Monday, March 31, 2008

2008 Equal Parenting Bike Trek - 758 Miles - Lansing Michigan to Washington, D.C.

In Australia the federal government is currently engaged in an inquiry into the feasibility of offering paid "maternity leave" to all workers. However, the terms of the inquiry contain inherently discriminatory language that undermines the role of fathers as parents (Read the report here).

Rather than talking about maternity leave they should be referring to parental leave which ultimately will serve the needs of both men and women.

If men can access parental leave then they are more likely to take on the caring role to allow their partners to continue in their careers. There is extensive research that has shown the important role that fathers fulfill for their children and how the quality of this relationship will have a clear impact on the child's future wellbeing.

Men need to be supported in their role as fathers in the same way that mothers are supported by a range of government initiatives. I agree that we need equal numbers of men and women representing us in our governments and we need equal numbers of men and women engaged in the process of rearing children.

Feminism allowed women to move into the workforce via affirmative action programs, and the next step to achieve gender equality is to support men in their role as parents via affirmative action. I find it incredibly frustrating that in this day and age people still cling to the outdated notion that rearing children is the sole responsibility of mothers.

Today I read about this great initiative in America The Equal Parenting Bike Trek. Five fathers from Michigan (though I live in Australia I was born in Detroit Michigan) Robb MacKenzie, Robert Pedersen , Brian Downs, Derek Bailey and Mike Saxton are riding their bikes 758 miles from Michigan to Washington DC to raise awareness of a child's fundamental right to be loved, guided, educated and nurtured equally by both fit and willing parents

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Outrage as (female) killers walk free

Kay Dibben in the Sunday Mail on March 23 2008, writes that "The families of homicide victims have hit out at government prosecutors over what they claim is a growing number of murder charges being reduced to manslaughter, allowing killers to walk free after just a few years in jail."

What follows are a list of murder cases which have been downgraded to manslaughter and it is interesting to note that all the perpetrators are female. Reminds me of the loving mother who killed her daughter - GR Klein

Karen Lee Cooper, 50, who stabbed her husband, Kevin Lee Watson, to death in 2006 because he stopped her listening to her Bruce Springsteen CD, was sentenced to eight years' jail after the Crown accepted her plea to manslaughter on March 14.

• In 2004, Irena Fotek's only child, John Fotek, 24, of Inala, was fatally stabbed in the chest by his ex-girlfriend Cindy Miller, whose murder charge later was dropped to manslaughter. She pleaded guilty and was jailed in March last year for seven years, but will be out on parole by March 2010.

Mrs Fotek said her life had been "absolutely destroyed" and would have preferred a murder trial, but was told by the prosecution there was a risk that Miller could be acquitted. "They said at least if she got guilty of manslaughter she would have some time in jail, but it's not enough," Mrs Fotek said. "You can't go out and kill people."

Lynette Norman was jailed for seven years in July 2007 after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of her de facto Robert Shelley, 47, a father-of-four, at Goondiwindi in September 2006.

Norman, who stabbed her intoxicated de facto in the throat in the loungeroom of their home with a kitchen knife, will be eligible for parole by March next year.

The victim's daughter-in-law Letitia Shelley said: "You don't go and get a knife and stab someone in the neck and expect them to live."

• Attorney-General Kerry Shine is appealing the eight-year sentence given to Alice Marie Potter, who pleaded guilty in December to manslaughter of her daughter Stephanie Brummer, 5.

Potter's murder charge was downgraded after the Mental Health Court ruled she was severely depressed at the time. (Please note that about 70% of all men in prison present with some form of mental health problem and the majority are depressed, however this cannot be used to excuse such behaviour as has been done with this female perpetrator - GR Klein)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Reaping the whirlwind

Fiona Mackeown

Karen Matthews

Daily Mail (UK), 17 March 2008, By Melanie Phillips

You couldn't avoid doing a double-take when you read it.

Karen Matthews, mother of the missing schoolgirl Shannon who thankfully was discovered alive and well a few days ago, referred to her daughter and one of her other six children as ‘twins’. These children are actually aged nine and ten.

But Ms Matthews says they are twins because she thinks that’s what you call children who have the same father. With seven children by five different men, she seems to have no idea of what having the same father actually means.

This little vignette is as frightening as it is illuminating. It reveals
not merely ignorance of some pretty basic facts about reproduction. Far worse, one of the most fundamental and universal features of human society - the connection between children and their fathers - is something which Ms Matthews does not appear even to register.

Cases like this expose the lethal hole at the heart of our society. There has been a great deal of criticism of Ms Matthews’s household arrangements, as well as the ‘unconventional’ lifestyle of Fiona MacKeown, mother of the 15-year-old girl murdered in Goa, who produced nine children by five different fathers.

Both women have been portrayed as irresponsible or feckless mothers. Now there’s a backlash with people saying they should not be blamed.

But why not? Here are no fewer than 16 children (one of whom now tragically lies dead) who have been exposed to harm, risk, emotional neglect and worse as a result of the gross irresponsibility of their mothers and fathers.

Ms Matthews has been denounced as an unfit parent by her own mother, who has claimed that Shannon and her siblings have suffered an awful life at the violent hands of Ms Matthews’s current boyfriend in residence, Craig Meehan — a charge he has strenuously denied. Ms MacKeown, meanwhile, has subjected her children to the anarchy of a hippy lifestyle.

Herself a cannabis smoker, her eldest son has a serious drug habit and mental health problems; while her murdered daughter Scarlett’s diary has revealed a confused and distressed child who was regularly stoned on drugs and got ‘stressy’ if she went two days without sex.

Yet Ms MacKeown also deserves pity as a mother grieving for her murdered daughter. And who could not sympathise with the joy and relief of Karen Matthews at finding her child alive and well?

These women have feelings no less than anyone else, after all. The problem is that these feelings have been channelled into the most twisted tributaries so that the very essence of love - putting the interests of someone else first - and the disciplines of everyday life that are essential to safeguard those interests, are to them a closed book.

The reasons this has happened go far beyond mere criticism of individuals. For these events reveal the existence of an underclass which is a world apart from the lives that most of us lead and the attitudes and social conventions that most of us take for granted.

But it is an underclass which affluent, complacent, materialistic Britain has created.

An underclass composed of whole communities where committed fathers are so rare that any child who actually has one risks being bullied. Where sex is reduced to an animal activity devoid of love or human dignity, and boys impregnate two, three, four girls with scarcely a second thought.

Where successive generations of women have never known what it is to be loved and cherished by both their parents throughout their childhood. How can such women know how to parent their own children?

These children are simply abandoned in a twilight world where the words ‘family’ or ‘relatives’ lose all meaning, as the transient men passing through their mothers’ lives leave them with an ever-lengthening trail of ‘step-fathers’ or ‘uncles’who have no biological connection with them whatsoever.

Shannon has been found; but, tragically, with a background of such emotional chaos she will remain a lost child.

Scarlett’s mother, meanwhile, still sees nothing wrong in having left her cannabis-smoking teenager in Goa, in the care of strangers in an area known for its druggy circles.

To many of us, all this is hard to comprehend. But then Ms MacKeown’s whole lifestyle has been one from which the words responsibility or judgment have been excluded.

Our society has encouraged people to think they have an absolute right to live exactly as they want without anyone passing judgment upon them. You want lifestyle choice? This may be an extreme case, but what happened to 15-year-old Scarlett is the result.

Seventeen years ago, the alarm was first sounded about these problems by two sociologists, Norman Dennis and A.H. Halsey, who warned that the bonds of civilised society would eventually snap following the collapse of the traditional family.

From that moment, well-heeled liberals denounced and vilified not just these academics but anyone who similarly pointed out that, in general, children in fractured families suffered harm in every area of their lives.

Those who went to such lengths to suppress this truth are the very same people who are complaining today that criticism of Ms Matthews and Ms MacKeown is unfair.

They are people for whom the pursuit of adult desires is so all-consuming that they simply don’t see the distress of the children or abandoned spouses or lovers who are the casualties of this free-for-all.

They are people who think it is altogether indecent to criticise parents for negligence - but that it is not indecent to abandon children to the chaos, distress and literally life-threatening environment of fatherlessness.

Indeed, even though fractured family life vastly increases the risk of abuse, violence and murder, our deeply irresponsible overclass has put rocket fuel behind its exponential growth through tax and welfare incentives. After all, Ms MacKeown was able to travel with her children to Goa in the first place only because she had been able to save £7,000 from her welfare benefits.

In that sense, it is indeed wrong to heap all the blame on women like her or, for that matter, the fathers of these poor children. The people who are really culpable are all those who, intoning the mantra of ‘alternative lifestyle choice’, have defeated every attempt to shore up marriage and the traditional family.

In its place, they have deliberately and wickedly created over the years a legal and welfare engine of mass fatherlessness and child abandonment, resulting in a degraded and dependent underclass and a lengthening toll of human wreckage.

To his great credit, David Cameron seems to have grasped much of this. He has consistently said he will support and promote marriage and has spoken strongly about the need for stable and secure family life, as he did once again at the Tories’ spring conference over the weekend.

What a shame, therefore, that he had to spoil it. His proposal to extend child-care leave will be unaffordable for many while putting businesses under even greater pressure — thus increasing the risk of throwing more parents out of work — just when chill economic winds are already blowing.

Both this and his breakfast photo-op at home with his children just seem to be examples of opportunistic gesture politics. But the reform of family life is far too important to be jeopardised by stunts like this.

Years of social engineering have brought the British family to its knees. Today, thousands of children, like the murdered Scarlett Keeling and the rescued Shannon Matthews, are paying the price.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hormones, Genes and the Corner Office

The New York Times, 9 March 2008, Book Review THE SEXUAL PARADOX By Susan Pinker ---- By Emily Bazelon

Why do girls on average lead boys for all their years in the classroom, only to fall behind in the workplace? Do girls grow up and lose their edge, while boys mature and gain theirs?

Ten years ago, no one would have thought to ask. The assumption that boys dominated at school as well as at work, while girls were silenced or ignored, seemed beyond dispute. But in her new book, “The Sexual Paradox,”
a ringing salvo in the sex-difference wars, Susan Pinker stacks up the evidence of boys’ classroom woes and girls’ triumphs. “In the United States, boys are three times as likely to be placed in special education classes, twice as likely to repeat a grade and a third more likely to drop
out of high school,” she writes. Tests of 15-year-olds in 30 European countries show girls far outstripping boys in reading and writing and holding their own in math. Boys are overrepresented in the top 1 percent of math achievers, but there are also more of them at the bottom. A 2006
economics study showed universities practicing affirmative action for men so that superior female applicants wouldn't swamp them. “If you were to predict the future on the basis of school achievement alone,” Pinker writes, “the world would be a matriarchy.”

And yet, of course, it is not. Once they move from school to work, men on average earn more money and run more shows. They particularly dominate in national government, the corporate boardroom and the science laboratory.
Meanwhile, women are more likely to leave the labor force and to end up with lower pay and less authority if they come back.

Pinker, a psychologist and a columnist at The Globe and Mail in Canada, is careful to remind her readers that statistics say nothing about the choices women and men make individually. Nor does she entirely discount the effect
of sex discrimination or culture in shaping women’s choices. But she thinks these forces play only a bit part. To support this, Pinker quotes a female Ivy League law professor: “I am very skeptical of the notion that society
discourages talented women from becoming scientists,” the professor writes. “My experience, at least from the educational phase of my life, is that the very opposite is true.” If women aren't racing to the upper echelons of science, government and the corporate world despite decades of efforts to woo them, Pinker argues, then it must be because they are wired to resist the demands at the top of those fields.

Thus, Pinker parks herself firmly among “difference” feminists. Women’s brains aren't inferior, she argues, but they vary considerably from men’s, and this is the primary explanation for the workplace gender divide. Women
care more about intrinsic rewards, they have broader interests, they are more service-oriented and they are better at gauging the effect they have on others. They are “wired for empathy.” These aren't learned traits; they’re the result of genes and hormones. Beginning in utero, men are
generally exposed to higher levels of testosterone, driving them to be more competitive, assertive, vengeful and daring. Women, meanwhile, get a regular dose of oxytocin, which helps them read people’s emotions, “the truest social enabler.” Then there’s prolactin, which, along with oxytocin, surges during pregnancy, breast-feeding and caretaking. Together, the hormones produce such a high that mother rats choose their newborns over cocaine.

Many of the scientific claims are familiar from previous books that pump up findings on sex difference, like “The Female Brain,” by the neurologist Louann Brizendine. Pinker goes even further by drawing a straight line from
those blissed-out rats to human mothers who dial back at work. Because of their biological makeup, she argues, most women want to limit the amount of time they spend at work and to find “inherent meaning” there, as opposed to domination. “Both conflict with making lots of money and rising through the ranks,” she points out.

Pinker is surely right to contest what she calls the “vanilla male model” of success - “that women should want what men want and be heartily encouraged to choose it 50 percent of the time.” Or that when employers say
jump, employees should always say how high. Even as they work fewer hours for less status and less money, on average, more women report that they are satisfied with their careers. Maybe men might well think the same if more
of them felt they could cut back. But Pinker’s difference feminism doesn’t really allow for that possibility. She is a believer: “The puzzle is why the idea of sex differences continues to be so controversial,” she writes.

In her zeal, Pinker veers to the onesided. She doesn’t acknowledge that some of the research cited in her footnotes is either highly questionable as social science (Louise Story’s 2005 article in The New York Times,* for
instance, about her survey of Ivy League women’s aspirations) or has never been replicated - like the findings from Simon Baron-Cohen’s laboratory that newborn girls showed more interest in looking at human faces, while
newborn boys preferred mechanical mobiles. Pinker omits the work of scientists who have shown that sex-based brain differences pale in comparison to similarities. We shouldn't wish the role of sex differences away because they’re at odds with feminist dogma. But that doesn't mean we
should settle for the reductionist version of the relevant science, even if the complexity doesn't make for as neat a package between hard covers.

Pinker also doesn’t acknowledge that some scientists wouldn’t accept the premise behind her chapters about male fragility. She cites men with Asperger’s syndrome and attention deficit disorder as examples of what she
calls the “extreme male brain.” These men are train wrecks in school but then get on track in adulthood, when they can focus singlemindedly on their chosen fields. Pinker argues that their experience helps explain the general male lag at school and jump ahead at work. It’s true that men are
more likely than women to suffer from Asperger’s and from some forms of A.D.D. But do their particular outsize talents and deficits really shed light on the workings of the average man’s brain? That question is hardly settled, and Pinker seems a bit glib when she fails to say as much.

Pinker also skips past an answer to the book’s central question that may have more explanatory power than her other arguments, even if it’s more prosaic and familiar to many a parent. Boys lag dramatically behind girls
in terms of psychological development and physical resilience and then start to catch up as teenagers, as a long-running and wellknown study Pinker cites documented. Maybe after a few years as girls’ developmental
equals, boys are ready to compete in the work force — and then zoom ahead as cultural norms and discrimination push women back. After all, why would girls’ hard-wired predilection against competition stay on ice while they
blithely sweep all the academic honors and then kick in only at work?

Despite such unanswered questions, Pinker deserves credit for hacking away at the vanilla male model. She is right to point out that “grueling hours do not always translate into productivity” and to seethe at employers for
ratcheting up their demands “even while extolling the virtues of gender balance.” And she is also right to call on schools to give the troubles of boys a fair share of attention. Pinker may not convey all the complexity that goes into making many men’s and women’s lives different, but she has a good prescription for helping more of us be our best selves.

Emily Bazelon is a senior editor at Slate.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?

The American, March/April 2008, By Christina Hoff Sommers

Women earn most of America's advanced degrees but lag in the physical sciences. Beware of plans to fix the "problem."

Math 55 is advertised in the Harvard catalog as "probably the most difficult undergraduate math class in the country." It is legendary among high school math prodigies, who hear terrifying stories about it in their computer camps and at the Math Olympiads. Some go to Harvard just to have the opportunity to enroll in it. Its formal title is "Honors Advanced Calculus and Linear Algebra," but it is also known as "math boot camp" and "a cult." The two-semester fresh man course meets for three hours a week, but, as the catalog says, homework for the class takes between 24 and 60
hours a week.

Math 55 does not look like America. Each year as many as 50 students sign up, but at least half drop out within a few weeks. As one former student told The Crimson newspaper in 2006, "We had 51 students the first day, 31 students the second day, 24 for the next four days, 23 for two more

weeks, and then 21 for the rest of the first semester." Said another student, "I guess you can say it's an episode of 'Survivor' with people voting themselves off." The final class roster, according to The Crimson: "45 percent Jewish, 18 percent Asian, 100 percent male."

Why do women avoid classes like Math 55? Why, in fact, are there so few women in the high echelons of academic math and in the physical sciences?

Women now earn 57 percent of bachelor's degrees and 59 percent of master's degrees. According to the Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2006 was the fifth year in a row in which the majority of research Ph.D.'s awarded to U.S. citizens went to women. Women earn more Ph.D.'s than men in the humanities, social sciences, education, and life sciences. Women now serve as presidents of Harvard, MIT, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and other leading research universities. But elsewhere, the figures are different. Women comprise just 19 percent of tenure-track professors in math, 11 percent in physics, 10 percent in computer science, and 10 percent in electrical engineering. And the pipeline does not promise statistical parity any time soon: women are now earning 24 percent of the Ph.D.'s in
the physical sciences - way up from the 4 percent of the 1960s, but still far behind the rate they are winning doctorates in other fields. "The change is glacial," says Debra Rolison, a physical chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory.

Rolison, who describes herself as an "uppity woman," has a solution. A popular anti-gender bias lecturer, she gives talks with titles like "Isn't a Millennium of Affirmative Action for White Men Sufficient?" She wants to apply Title IX to science education. Title IX, the celebrated gender equity
provision of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, has so far mainly been applied to college sports. But the measure is not limited to sports. It provides, "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of denied the benefits of...any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

While Title IX has been effective in promoting women's participation in sports, it has also caused serious damage, in part because it has led to the adoption of a quota system. Over the years, judges, Department of Education officials, and college administrators have interpreted Title IX to mean that women are entitled to "statistical proportionality." That is to say, if a college's student body is 60 percent female, then 60 percent of the athletes should be female - even if far fewer women than men are interested in playing sports at that college. But many athletic directors have been unable to attract the same proportion of women as men. To avoid
government harassment, loss of funding, and lawsuits, they have simply eliminated men's teams. Although there are many factors affecting the evolution of men's and women's college sports, there is no question that Title IX has led to men's participation being calibrated to the level of women's interest. That kind of calibration could devastate academic science.

But unfortunately, in her enthusiasm for Title IX, Rolison is not alone.

On October 17, 2007, a subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Technology convened to learn why women are "underrepresented" in academic professorships of science and engineering and to consider what the federal government should do about it.

As a rule, women tend to gravitate to fields such as education, English, psychology, biology, and art history, while men are much more numerous in physics, mathematics, computer science, and engineering. Why this is so is
an interesting question - and the subject of a substantial empirical literature. The research on gender and vocation is complex, vibrant, and full of reasonable disagreements; there is no single, simple answer.

There were, however, no disagreements at the congressional hearing. All five expert wit nesses, and all five congressmen, Democrat and Republican, were in complete accord. They attributed the dearth of women in university science to a single cause: sexism. And there was no dispute about the
solution. All agreed on the need for a revolutionary transformation of American science itself. "Ultimately," said Kathie Olsen, deputy director of the National Science Foundation, "our goal is to transform, institution by institution, the entire culture of science and engineering in America, and to be inclusive of all - for the good of all."

Representative Brian Baird, the Washington-state Democrat who chairs the Subcommittee on Research and Science Education, looked at the witnesses and the crowd of more than 100 highly appreciative activists from groups like
the American Association of University Women and the National Women's Law Center and asked, "What kind of hammer should we use?"

For the five male, gray-haired congressmen, the hearing was a happy occasion - an opportunity to be chivalrous and witty before an audience of concerned women, and to demonstrate their goodwill and eagerness to set things right. It was also a historic occasion - more than the congressmen realized. During the past 30 years, the humanities have been politicized and transformed beyond recognition. The sciences, however, have been spared. There seems to have been a tacit agreement, especially at the large research universities; radical activists and deconstructionists were left
relatively free to experiment with fields like comparative literature, cultural anthropology, communications, and, of course, women's studies, while the hard sciences - vital to our economy, health, and security, and to university funding from the federal government, corporations, and the wealthy entrepreneurs among their alumni - were to be left alone.

Departments of physics, math, chemistry, engineering, and computer science have remained traditional, rigorous, competitive, relatively meritocratic, and under the control of no-nonsense professors dedicated to objective standards. All that may be about to change. Following years of meticulous
planning by the activists gathered for the hearing, the era of academic détente is coming to an end.

The first witness was Donna Shalala, president of the University of Miami and secretary of health and human services in the Clinton administration. She had chaired the "Committee on Maximizing the Potential of Women in
Academic Science and Engineering," organized by several leading scientific organizations including the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. In 2006 the committee released a
report, "Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering," that claimed to find "pervasive unexamined gender bias." It received lavish media attention and has become the standard reference work for the "STEM" gender-equity movement (the acronym stands for science, technology, engineering, and math).

At the hearing, Shalala warned that strong measures would be needed to improve the "hostile climate" women face in the academy. This "crisis," as she called it, "clearly calls for a transformation of academic institutions". Our nation's future depends on it."

Shalala and other speakers called for rigorous application of Title IX and other punitive measures. Witness Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, stressed the need to threaten obstinate faculties with loss of funding: "People listen to money". Make the people listen to the money talk!"

The idea of "title-nining" academic science was proposed by Debra Rolison in 2000. She has promoted Title IX as an "implacable hammer" guaranteed to get the attention of recalcitrant faculty. Prompted by Rolison and a growing chorus of activists, the Senate Subcommittee on Science,
Technology, and Space held a 2002 hearing on "Title IX and Science." Later, in 2005, former subcommittee chairmen Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator George Allen (R-VA) held a joint press conference with feminist leaders.
Wyden declared, "Title IX in math and science is the right way to start." Allen seconded, "We cannot afford to cut out half our population - the female population." The Title IX reviews have already begun.

At the October 2007 subcommittee meeting, Representative Vernon Ehlers, a Michigan Republican and self-described "recovering sexist," cheerfully suggested we declare science a sport and then regulate it the way we do college athletics. He was joking, but it is important to recognize that science is not a sport. The purpose of college sports is to develop the
skills and confidence of young athletes and to promote school spirit, while
the goal of science is to advance knowledge. Success in fields like math, physics, computer science, and engineering is critical to our national security and well-being.

There is another essential difference between sports and science: in science, men and women play on the same teams. Very few women can compete on equal terms with men in lacrosse, wrestling, or basketball; by contrast, there are many brilliant women in the top ranks of every field of science
and technology, and no one doubts their ability to compete on equal terms. Yet a centerpiece of STEM activism is the idea that science, as currently organized and practiced, is intrinsically hostile to women and a barrier to the realization of their unique intellectual potential. MIT biologist Nancy
Hopkins, an effective leader of the science equity campaign (and a prominent accuser of Harvard president Lawrence Summers when he committed the solecism of suggesting that men and women might have different propensities and aptitudes), points to the hidden sexism of the obsessive
and competitive work ethic of institutions like MIT.

"It is a system," Hopkins says, "where winning is everything, and women find it repulsive." This viewpoint explains the constant emphasis, by equity activists such as Shalala, Rolison, and Olsen, on the need to transform the "entire culture" of academic science and engineering. Indeed,
the charter for the October 17 congressional hearing placed primary emphasis on academic culture: "The list of cultural norms that appear to disadvantage women...includes the favoring of disciplinary over interdisciplinary research and publications, and the only token attention given to teaching and other service during the tenure review process. Thus
it seems that it is not necessarily conscious bias against women but an ingrained idea of how the academic enterprise 'should be' that presents the greatest challenge to women seeking academic S&E [science and engineering] careers."

When the women-in-sports movement was getting underway in the early 1990s, no one suggested that its success would require transforming the "culture of soccer" or putting an end to the obsession with competing and winning. The notion that women's success in science depends on changing the rules of
the game seems demeaning to women - but it gives the STEM-equity movement extraordinary scope, commensurate with the extraordinary power that federal science funding would put at its disposal.

Already, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is administering a multimillion-dollar gender-equity program called ADVANCE, which, as Olsen told the subcommittee, aims to transform the culture of American science to
make it gender-fair. Through ADVANCE, the NSF is attempting to make academic science departments more cooperative, democratic, and interdisciplinary as well as less obsessive and stressful. And the "Gender Bias Elimination Act," introduced by one of the sub committee members,
Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, Democrat of Texas, a few weeks before the hearing, would mandate not only stringent Title IX reviews but also bias-awareness workshops for academics seeking government funding.

These proposed solutions assume a problem that might not exist. During her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton has noted that "women comprise 43 percent of the workforce but only 23 percent of scientists and engineers" and insists that government take "diversity into account when awarding
education and research grants." But what is the basis for this and other attempts to balance the statistics? If numerical inferiority were sufficient grounds for charges of discrimination or cultural insensitivity, Congress would be holding hearings on the crisis of underrepresentation of
men in higher education. After all, women earn most of the degrees - practically across the board. What about male proportionality in the humanities, social sciences, and biology? The physical sciences are the exception, not the rule.

So why are there so few women in the high echelons of academic math and in the physical sciences? In a recent survey of faculty attitudes on social issues, sociologists Neil Gross of Harvard and Solon Simmons of George
Mason University asked 1,417 professors what accounts for the relative scarcity of female professors in math, science, and engineering. Just 1 percent of respondents attributed the scarcity to women's lack of ability, 24 percent to sexist discrimination, and 74 percent to differences in what
characteristically interests men and women.

Many experts who study male/female differences provide strong support for that 74 percent majority. Readers can go to books like David Geary's Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences (1998); Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (2002), and Simon Baron-Cohen's The Essential Difference: The Truth about the Male and Female Brain (2003), for arguments suggesting that biology plays a distinctive - but not exclusive - role in career choices.

Baron-Cohen is one of the world's leading experts on autism, a disorder that affects far more males than females. Autistic persons tend to be socially disconnected and unaware of the emotional states of others. But they often exhibit obsessive fixation on objects and machines. Baron-Cohen
suggests that autism may be the far end of the male norm - the "extreme male brain," all systematizing and no empathizing. He believes that men are, "on average," wired to be better systematizers and women to be better
empathizers. It's a daring claim - but he has data to back it up, presenting a wide range of correlations between the level of fetal testosterone and behaviors in both girls and boys from infancy into grade school.

Harvard psychologist Marc Hauser has what seems to be the appropriate attitude about the research on sex difference: respectful, intrigued, but also cautious. When asked about Baron-Cohen's work, Hauser said, "I am sympathetic" and find it odd that anyone would consider the work controversial." Hauser referred to research that shows, for example, that if asked to make a drawing, little girls almost always create scenes with at least one person, while males nearly always draw things - cars, rockets, or trucks. And he mentioned that among primates, including our closest relations the chimpanzees, males are more technologically innovative, while females are more involved in details of family life. Still, Hauser warns that a lot of seemingly exciting and promising research on sex differences
has not panned out, and urges us to treat the biological theories with caution.

Nevertheless, it is hard not to be attracted to theories like Simon Baron-Cohen's when one looks at the way men and women are distributed in the workplace. After two major waves of feminism, women still predominate - some times overwhelmingly - in empathy-centered fields such as early-childhood education, social work, veterinary medicine, and
psychology, while men are overrepresented in the "systematizing" vocations such as car repair, oil drilling, and electrical engineering.

Rachel Maines, a visiting scholar in science and technology studies at Cornell University, recently wrote an essay expressing amazement with women's progress in veterinary medicine compared with engineering. Nationally, women now comprise fully 77 percent of students in veterinary
schools, compared with 8 percent in the 1960s. Maines writes, "To be sure, pup pies are cuter than microchips, but most of what veterinarians do isn't about cute. Veterinary medicine" remains irreducibly bloody, messy, and
often hazardous". It certainly requires a rigorous scientific education that is at least as difficult and daunting as what engineering demands."

Maines is surprised that women have man aged so rapidly to take over this male-centered, science-based field without the benefit of bias workshops or federal equity initiatives. Cornell, she notes, just received a $3.3 million grant from the NSF to build a "critical mass" of women in all the STEM disciplines - ASAP. It is a first principle of the equity movement that role models and mentors are essential for helping women to move ahead in a field. But where, asks Maines, were the mentors and role models in veterinary medicine? She urges her colleagues to study the mystery of what happened.

Theorists like Baron-Cohen may have solved the mystery. If he is right, veterinary medicine would be a dream job for the scientifically gifted but empathy-driven female. This challenging and exciting field appeals to the feminine propensity to protect and nurture - and the desire to work with living things. There is an immense literature documenting male and female differences in choice of vocation. It also goes without saying that there are a lot of women who will defy the stereotype of their sex and gladly
enter systematizing fields, free of people, children, or animals - professions like mechanical engineering, metallurgy, or agronomy. But the number of men eager to enter these fields is markedly greater.

Back to Math 55 for a moment. Baron-Cohen, along with many other scholars who write about cognitive sex differences, would not be surprised to learn that students who show up in 55 are overwhelmingly male. The Harvard
registrar's office reports that a total of 17 women have completed the course since 1990. Still, the equity activists could be right that the few women who defy the stereotype and take such a course have to overcome a "chilly environment."

I located two female survivors - Sherry Gong, currently enrolled, and Kelley Harris, who completed Math 55 with an A last year. "Did you encounter a hostile environment in that class?" I asked Miss Harris. She laughed. "I loved my classmates!" When she once thought of dropping out, it
was her male friends in the course who persuaded her to stay. Sherry Gong was taken aback when inquired whether she felt that women in math were unwelcome or marginalized. It was as if I had asked whether women had the vote. "It is 2007!" she reminded me. Sergei Bernstein, a young man now
enrolled, told me, "We would like to have more girls."

The research emphasizing the importance of biological differences in determining women's and men's career choices is not decisive, but it is serious and credible. So the question arises: How have so many officials at the NSF and NAS and so many legislators been persuaded that we are facing a
science crisis that Title IX enforcement and gender-bias workshops can resolve?

The answer involves a body of feminist research that purports to prove that women suffer from "hidden bias." This research, artfully presented with no critics or skeptics present, can be persuasive. A brief look at it helps
explain the mind-set of the critics and their supporters. But it is a highly ironic story. For the three recognized canons of the literature are, in key respects, travesties of scientific method, and they have been publicized and promoted in ways that have ignored elementary standards of transparency and objectivity. If they are auguries of how the STEM-equity
activists intend to transform the culture of science, the implications are deeply disquieting. We begin with the famous, and mysterious, MIT study.

In 1994, 16 senior faculty women, led by biologist Nancy Hopkins, complained to the administration about sex discrimination in their various departments. MIT's president, Charles Vest, and the dean of the School of Science, Robert Birgeneau, dutifully set up a committee to review the
complaints. But rather than bring in outsiders, they put the protesters (joined by three male administrators) in charge of investigating their own grievances. Under Hopkins's leadership, the committee produced a 150-page
study that found MIT guilty on all counts. Women, according to the document, had lower salaries, less laboratory space, and fewer resources. They felt "invisible" and "marginalized." Vest and Birgeneau quickly responded with generous salary raises, improved lab space, and more equity
committees. The women professed to be satisfied and the case was closed. The report was deemed "confidential" and "sensitive," and to this day it has never been made public.

What was released to the press, in March of 1999, was a brief summary of the report's findings along with letters from Vest and Birgeneau admitting guilt. As The Chronicle of Higher Education reported, "MIT released a cursory report of the study it conducted, so it is difficult for outsiders to judge what the gap was between men and women."

The summary of the report, nevertheless, created a sensation in the media and in universities for two reasons: (1) it appeared to be based on hard data, and (2) it had the full endorsement of MIT's top administrators. The
New York Times carried the story on the front page under the headline, "MIT Admits Discrimination Against Female Professors." Professor Hopkins was soon everywhere in the press and on April 8, 1999, was invited to attend an
Equal Pay Day event at the White House. Referring to Hopkins and her team, President Clinton said, "Together they looked at cold, hard facts about disparity in everything from lab space to annual salary."

But cold, hard facts had little to do with it. After reviewing the available evidence and interviewing some insiders, University of Alaska psychologist Judith Kleinfeld concluded, "The MIT report presents no objective evidence whatsoever to support claims of gender discrimination in
laboratory space, salary, research funds, and other resources." Readers are told in the summary report that women faculty "proved to be underpaid." But we also learn that the "salary data are confidential and were not provided to the committee." So on what basis did they conclude there were salary disparities? Hopkins and the other authors explain, "Possible inequities in salary are flagged by the committee from the limited data available to it." But "possible" soon became "actual," and by the time it reached President
Clinton it had morphed into "cold, hard facts."

There were other oddities. The report claimed that the problems confronting women faculty were universal, but the summary concedes, "Junior women felt included and supported by their departments." Instead of acknowledging that the problem might be generational and con fined to a small group of senior women from three departments, Hopkins and the other authors of the report
claimed that the junior women were naîve and simply did not know what was in store for them: "Each generation of young women believing that gender discrimination was solved in the previous generation and would not touch them."

Mathematics professor Daniel Kleitman, one of the three males on the Hopkins committee, told the Chronicle that he "never saw any evidence" of discrimination against women. He concedes the senior women were unhappy, and he does not fault the administrators for trying to remedy the situation. But, as he explained, you can find unhappy professors in all
universities. "I am not sure what the women were experiencing was unique to women," he said.

I recently asked Kerry Emanuel, an MIT professor in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science, about the report. He told me that although it was "widely praised in public, it was privately deplored and disparaged in the hall ways of MIT." His department was accused of bias, so he expected to
see the evidence. "But it was never made available."

When a reporter from The Chronicle of Higher Education asked Mary-Lou Pardue, an MIT biology professor who was among those who originally complained to the dean, about all the irregularities and the absence of data, she replied, "This wasn't meant to be a study for the rest of the world. It was meant to be a study for us". We weren't trying to prove any
thing to the world."

But the world thought otherwise. Vest and Birgeneau gave the impression that the report presented solid factual evidence of pervasive gender bias. When a Wall Street Journal editorial faulted the study, the two sent a
letter claiming that the work of their committee had "successfully identified the root causes of a fundamental failure in American academia." Feminist groups like the National Women's Law Center and the American
Association of University Women were electrified and got ready for action. And action they got. As a direct result of the MIT report, the Ford Foundation, along with an anonymous donor, came forward with grants in excess of $1 million to fund more equity studies and to promote more initiatives to fight gender bias in academic science - and then the NSF
followed suit with its ADVANCE institutional

transformation campaign.

In May 1997, the distinguished British journal Nature published a provocative article titled, "Nepotism and Sexism in Peer-Review." The authors, Christine Wenneras and Agnes Wold, two Swedish scientists from the University of Goteborg, claimed to have found blatant gender bias in the
peer-review system of the Swedish Medical Research Council. After reviewing the relevant data, they concluded that to win a postgraduate science fellowship, a female applicant had to be at least twice as good as a male

The Wenneras-Wold article caused a sensation both in Europe and the United States and is now a staple in the gender-equity literature. A recent article in Scientific American referred to it as the one and only "thorough
study of the real-world peer-review process" and judged its findings "shocking." When the NSF polled 19 institutions that had received gender-equity ADVANCE grants, it asked which materials "had proved the most effective in their institutional transformation projects?" The Wenneras-Wold study made it to the NSF short list of four must-read "top
research articles." The Shalala/NAS "Beyond Bias" report describes the piece as a "powerful" tool for educating provosts, department chairs, and search committees about bias. The charter for the October 17 House subcommittee hearing gave particular prominence to the Swedish study.

But what does the article actually show? Wenneras and Wold investigated the peer-reviewing practices of the Medical Research Council in 1994 after they had both been denied postgraduate fellowships. When they sought to review
the data on which the council's decisions were based, the Council refused to grant them access, insisting the information was confidential. But the two researchers went to court and won the right to see the data.

The Swedish study, unlike the MIT report, was actually published, and it presents data and describes its methodology. But there are serious grounds for skepticism: once again, it was a case of women investigating their own
complaints; furthermore, what they concluded seemed a little improbable. According to their calculations, to score as well as a man, a woman had to have the equivalent of three extra papers in world-class science journals such as Science or Nature or 20 extra papers in leading specialty journals
such as Radiology or Neuroscience.

I sent the Swedish study to two research psychologists, Jerre Levy (professor emerita, of Chicago) and James Steiger (professor and director, Quantitative Methods and Evaluation, Department of Psychology and Human
Development, Vanderbilt) for their review. They both immediately zeroed in on a troubling methodological anomaly: Wenneras and Wold had run separate regressions for only one productivity variable at a time. Since it is
unlikely that any single variable adequately characterizes academic productivity, the obvious approach would have been to enter several of the productivity variables into a single regression equation. In any event, the
dramatic results of the factor-by-factor approach that Wenneras and Wold used should have been tested against the more inclusive, realistic approach.

Steiger wrote to Wenneras and Wold requesting copies of the data so he could review them himself. Wold wrote back that she would gladly send the data, except that they had gone missing: "They were in a computer of a guy at the Statistics department and I got them on a diskette many years ago
and I am afraid I will not be able to find it anymore." Wenneras did not reply at all.

Certainly, researchers lose data. But these were pretty special data: The researchers had invested the substantial time and expense of a lawsuit to obtain them, and they were the basis of a highly celebrated study with singular findings.

But even assuming that the research held up, it is odd that a single study of postgraduate fellow ships at a Swedish university should play such a prominent role in a campaign to eliminate "hid den bias" in American universities. Is it twice as hard for women to receive postgraduate fellowships in the science departments of Berkeley or the University of
? If it is, would it not be straightforward to demonstrate the problem through at least one good study - one that followed customary statistical procedures and could stand up to peer review?

In fact, the NSF did do a review of its own grant-review process in 1997, and found no evidence of bias against women. In 1996, for example, it approved grants from approximately 30 percent of female applicants and 29
percent of male applicants. A formal outside study, done in 2005 by the RAND Corporation - titled "Is there Gender Bias in Federal Grants Programs?" - reached the same conclusion: "Overall, we did not find gender differences in federal grant funding outcomes in this study."

But unlike the Swedish study, the RAND study did not make it to the NSF/NAS list of essential literature on gender bias. Two other items in the "top four" are weak statistical studies of marginal issues that have never been rigorously evaluated. A final item in the STEM-equity canon is a book by feminist Virginia Valian that purports to be scientific, but is not.

Virginia Valian, a psychologist at Hunter College, is one of the most cited authorities in the crusade to achieve equity for women in the sciences. Her book Why So Slow? (MIT Press, 1998) is indispensable to the movement because it offers a solution to a vexing problem: women's seemingly free but actually self-defeating choices. Not only do fewer women than men choose to enter the physical sciences, but even those who do often give child care and family a higher priority than their male colleagues. How, in the face of women's clear tendencies to choose other careers and more
balanced lifestyles, can one reasonably attribute the scarcity of women in science and engineering to unconscious bias and sexist discrimination? Valian showed the way.

Her central claim is that our male-dominated society constructs and enforces "gender schemas." A gender schema is an accepted system of beliefs about the ways men and women differ - a system that determines what suits
each gender. Writes Valian: "In white, Western middle-class society, the gender schema for men includes being capable of independent, autonomous action"[and being] assertive, instrumental, and task-oriented. Men act. The
gender schema for women is different; it includes being nurturant, expressive, communal, and concerned about others."

Valian does not deny that gender schemas have a foundation in biology, but she insists that culture can intensify or diminish their power and effect. Our society, she says, pressures women to indulge their nurturing propensities while it encourages men to develop "a strong commitment to
earning and prestige, great dedication to the job, and an intense desire for achievement." All this inevitably results in a permanently unfair advantage for men.

To achieve a gender-fair society, Valian advocates a concerted attack on conventional gender schemas. This includes altering the way we raise our children. Consider the custom of encouraging girls to play with dolls. Such
early socialization, she says, creates an association between being female and being nurturing. Valian concludes, "Egalitarian parents can bring up their children so that both boys and girls play with dolls and trucks.... From the standpoint of equality, nothing is more important."

But what if our daughters are not especially interested in trucks, as almost any parent can attest (including me: when my son recently gave his daughter a toy train to play with, she placed it in a baby carriage and covered it with a blanket so it could get some sleep)? Not a problem, says Valian.

"We don't accept biology as destiny". We vaccinate, we inoculate, we medicate.... I propose we adopt the same attitude toward biological sex differences." In other words, the ubiquitous female propensity to nurture should be treated as a kind of disorder or disease.

Valian is intent on radically transforming society to achieve her egalitarian ideals. She also wants to alter the behavior of successful scientists. Their obsessive work habits, single-minded dedication, and "intense desire for achievement," not only marginalize women, but also may compromise good science. She writes, "If we continue to emphasize and reward always being on the job, we will never find out whether leading a balanced life leads to equally good or better scientific work."

Valian may be a leader in the equity-in-science movement, but she is not an empirical thinker. A world where women (and resocialized men) earn Nobel Prizes on flextime has no relation to reality. Unfortunately, her outré worldview is not confined to women's studies. It is a guiding light for
some of the nation's leading scientific institutions.

Valian's book is trumpeted on the NSF/NAS "Top Research" list, and Valian herself has inspired the NSF's ADVANCE gender-equity program. In 2001, the NSF awarded Valian and her Hunter colleagues $3.9 million to develop equity
programs and workshops for the "scientific community at large." Should Congress pass the Gender Bias Elimination Act, which mandates workshops for university department chairs, members of review panels, and agency program
officers seeking federal funding, Valian will become one of the most prominent women in American scientific education.

The NSF has an annual budget of $5.9 billion devoted to "promoting the progress of science" and "securing the national defense." It is not easy to understand how its ADVANCE program or its deep association with Virginia
Valian is serving those goals.

Alice Hogan, former director of ADVANCE, explained in a 2005 interview that the MIT study had been a wake-up call for the NSF. In the past, she said, the NSF had funded programs to support the careers of individual women
scientists, but the MIT report persuaded its staff that "systemic" change was imperative.

Since 2001, the NSF has given approximately $107 million to 28 institutions of higher learning to develop transformation projects. Hunter College, the site of Valian's $3.9 million program, is one of them. The University of Michigan has received $3.9 million; the University of Puerto Rico at
Humacao, $3.1 million; the University of Rhode Island, $3.5million; and Cornell, $3.3 million. What are these schools doing with the money?

Some of the funds are being used for relatively innocuous, possibly even beneficial, projects such as mentoring programs and conferences. But there are worrisome programs as well.

Michigan is experimenting with "interactive" theater as a means of raising faculty conscious ness about gender bias. At special workshops, physicists and engineers watch skits where overbearing men ride roughshod over hapless
but obviously intellectually superior female colleagues. The
director/writer, Jeffrey Steiger of the University of Michigan theater program, explains that the project is inspired by Brazilian director Augusto Boal's book Theatre of the Oppressed (1974). Boal writes, "I believe that all the truly revolutionary theatrical groups should transfer
to the people the means of production in the theater." To this end, the Michigan faculty members don't just watch the plays, but are encouraged to interact with the cast and even join them on stage. Some audience members will find the experience "threatening and over whelming," and Steiger aims to provide them a "safe" context for expressing themselves.

The NSF showcases this program as a "tried and true" success story. Michigan is not alone in using theater to advance the progress of science. The University of Puerto Rico at Humacao devoted some of its NSF-ADVANCE
grant to cosponsor performances of Eve Ensler's raunchy play "The Vagina Monologues," a celebration of women's intimate anatomy. The University of Rhode Island lists among its ADVANCE "events" a production of "The Vagina
Monologues," along with a visit by Virginia Valian. Rhode Island change agents, led by psychologist Barb Silver, are also trying to affect institutional transformation with a pro gram called TTM - "Transtheoretical Model for Change." The program, adapted from one used by clinicians to help
patients overcome bad habits and addictions such as smoking, overeating, and taking drugs, aims to break the Rhode Island faculty of its addiction to "traditional gender assumptions" and sexist behavior.

More mainstream schools are using their ADVANCE funds more conventionally - to initiate quota programs. At Cornell, as of 2006, 27 of 51 science and engineering departments had fewer than 20 percent women, and some had no women at all. It is using its NSF grant for a program called ACCEL
(Advancing Cornell's Commitment to Excellence and Leadership), dedicated to filling science faculty with "more than" 30 percent women in time for the university's sesquicentennial in 2015.

Sensible people - emphatically including the no-nonsense types who become scientists and engineers - will be inclined to dismiss the ADVANCE programs, the enthusiastic promotion of weak and tendentious bias studies,
and the blustering senators and congressmen, as an inconsequential sideshow in the onward march of mighty American science and technology. The NSF, like any government agency with a budget of $6 billion, can be expected to
spill a few million here and there on silly projects and on appeasing noisy constituent groups. Unfortunately, the STEM-equity campaign is not going to rest with a few scientific bridges-to-nowhere.

For one thing, the Title IX compliance reviews are already underway. In the spring of 2007, the Department of Education evaluated the Columbia University physics department. Cosmology professor Amber Miller, talking to
Science magazine, described the process as a "waste of time." She was required to make an inventory of all the equipment in the lab and indicate whether women were allowed to use various items. "I wanted to say, leave me alone, and let me get my work done." But Miller and her fellow scientists are not going to be left alone. Most academic institutions are dependent on federal funding, and scientists like Miller and her colleagues can be
easily hammered.

Equally ominous is the fact that the NSF and NAS - America's most prestigious and influential institutions of science - have already made significant concessions to the STEM-equity ideology. So have MIT and
Harvard. Can Cal-Tech be far behind?

The power and glory of science and engineering is that they are, adamantly, evidence-based. But the evidence of gender bias in math and science is flimsy at best, and the evidence that women are relatively disinclined to pursue these fields at the highest levels is serious. When the bastions of
science pay obsequious attention to the flimsy and turn a blind eye to the serious, it is hard to maintain the view that the science enterprise is somehow immune to the enthusiasms that have corrupted other, supposedly
"softer" academic fields.

Few academic scientists know anything about the equity crusade. Most have no idea of its power, its scope, and the threats that they may soon be facing. The business community and citizens at large are completely in the
dark. This is a quiet revolution. Its weapons are government reports that are rarely seen; amendments to federal bills that almost no one reads; small, unnoticed, but dramatically con sequential changes in the regulations regarding government grants; and congressional hearings attended mostly by true believers.

American scientific excellence is a precious national resource. It is the foundation of our economy and of the nation's health and safety. Norman Augustine, retired CEO of Lockheed Martin, and Burton Richter, Nobel
laureate in physics, once pointed out that MIT alone - its faculty, alumni, and staff - started more than 5,000 companies in the past 50 years. Will an academic science that is quota-driven, gender-balanced, cooperative rather
than competitive, and less time-consuming produce anything like these results? So far, no one in Congress has even thought to ask.


Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute <>.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Verve Earth

Found this great new site for finding blogs in different regions of the world

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Two women charged over handbag snatch

The story that follows is just another attempt to bust the gender myths, regarding violent behaviour.

Feminists would have us believe that men have a monopoly on violence, however the tragic reality is that both men and women are capable of committing violent acts.

But remember the vast majority of women never committ such acts, just like the vast majority of men never committ any acts of violence and as such violent behavour is an aberration in both men and women.

March 10, Brisbane Times

Two women have been charged after a violent handbag snatch on the Gold Coast early today, with one arrested after a police pursuit.

Police said a 24-year-old woman was assaulted by two women who stole her handbag at the intersection of Elkhorn Avenue and Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise, about 1am (AEST).
A 24-year-old woman was detained at the scene and has been charged with assault occasioning bodily harm.

Another woman who allegedly fled in a white sedan was chased by police through the suburbs of Southport and Ashmore to Nielsens Road, Carrara, where she was detained, police said.

The 31-year-old Southport woman was charged with robbery with violence and five driving offences, including dangerous operation and drink driving.

She is due to face Southport Magistrates Court tomorrow.

The 24-year-old Parkwood woman appeared at the same court today and was granted bail.
She is due to appear again on March 26.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Some men do some horrible things, however such men constitute a mere 2% of the male population

"Did you know that over 98 per cent of the men in the United States today have never been convicted of any violent crime or served time in prison? That, even though the U.S. imprisons a higher percentage of its citizens than any other nation, over 98 per cent of our men have never been convicted of rape, child molestation, assault, battery, breaking and entering, or any kind of violence? And almost half of the men who do land in prison are convicted of non-violent crimes (usually drug possession)?"

Androphobia: The only respectable bigotry: The mythology of male brutishness

Robert Anton Wilson

You know you dont have to look very hard to find examples of brutality, abuse or violence committed by males, however as the quote above exemplifies, men who committ such acts make up a tiny proportion of the total male population.

However, radical feminists would have us believe that all men are guilty of such acts or if give the opportunity very likely to committ such acts. This is an absurd proposition but one that seems to have been largely accepted by our society.

The same might be said for women. Of those females who engage in terrible acts of violence or abuse they comprise only a very small fraction of the overall female population. Thus just as with males those people who committ such acts are an aberration.

Simply because one small segment of a group of people engages in certain behaviours we cannot then generalise to the entire population of such individuals. However, this is what radical feminists ask us to do, one man committs a terrible crime, therefore all men are terrible. Using this same logic I would have to assume that if one women committs a despicable act then all women are despicable.........but I refuse to do this because it is illogical and wrong.

Women in my life have given me, love, compassion and joy, and some have given me pain, sorrow and torment and just a handful have given me both.

GR Klein

Friday, March 7, 2008

Lesbian killers jailed for life

This post is for Julie "man hater" Bindel who asserts that only men are violent towards women, well Julie check out this horrendous tale of violence and guess what the two main protagonists are women, and their victim is a women also, do we need a campaign to, "Stop women killing women" - GR Klein

Pictured at above are the killers
Jessica Ellen Stasinowsky and Valerie Paige Parashumti.

From the Adelaide Advertiser

TWO young lesbians who killed a teenage girl, kissed over her body and dumped it in a wheelie bin will each spend at least 24 years in jail.

The pair bludgeoned 16-year-old Stacey Mitchell with a concrete block, strangled her with a chain and then videoed her blood-splattered bedroom and semi-naked body.

Jessica Ellen Stasinowsky, 21, and girlfriend Valerie Paige Parashumti, 19, were today sentenced in the West Australian Supreme Court to life in prison after pleading guilty to Stacey's wilful murder at a Perth house in December, 2006. Neither will be eligible for parole until 2032.

Justice Peter Blaxell said: "You have each had more than a year in custody to reflect upon the evilness of your crime, yet you still lack remorse and obviously place no value on the sanctity of human life.

"There is also the added problem that you each enjoy being sexually aroused by the infliction of violence."

During sentencing submissions in January, prosecutor David Dempster told the court that Parashumti and Stasinowsky had killed Stacey, who they had known for three days, because she had been annoying them.

Parashumti's lawyer, David Edwardson, QC, said his client was partly motivated by a desire to dispel Stasinowsky's jealousy about Stacey, who had walked around the house dressed only in a bikini.

The girls attacked Stacey at their home after giving her alcohol containing a sleeping pill.

Parashumti repeatedly bashed Stacey on the head with a concrete block as the teenager tried to flee.

Because Stacey was taking a long time to die, Stasinowksy then wrapped a belt chain around her neck. After she died, the pair kissed each other over the body.

They then dumped Stacey's body head first in a wheelie bin behind the house, where it was found by police several days later.

Another occupant of the shared house, 27-year-old David Haynes, was sentenced to two years jail last year after pleading guilty to being an accessary after the fact to the murder. He was released on parole on February 15.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Why Julie hates men

Julie "man hater" Bindel has written a grotesque article for the Guardain about how she hates men (see below). This is the sort of outrageous misandry that is tolerated in our world.

I urge you to email the Guardian ( to complain about this disgraceful piece of writing and to email the UK
Press Complaints Commission,

We all know that both men and women are capable of despicable acts yet radical feminists would contend that only men are capable of such things. Reading through my archive you can see that this is simply not the case.

I think Julie is onto something though, she has found the power of hate, and I cant wait to see what her next installment will be, perhaps she will write a piece on "why i hate Pakis" (apparently an Indian gentlemen was rude to her once and thus all of such ilk are scum in her eyes) or perhaps she will regale us with her feelings toward the disabled in, "why i hate retards" you can see she has hit a rich vein here, I mean with so much hate the world is her oyster.

You thought the Nazis were hate mongers well lets meet Julie the heir apparent to Heinrich Himmler, with my comments in bold - GR Klein

Why I hate men by Julie 'Man hater' Bindel

November 2, 2006 3:34 PM The Guardian by
Julie Bindel

Listening to the news on the radio yesterday I mistakenly assumed it was a programme dedicated to men's violence against women and children. First there was the case of the mother and her four daughters who were burned to death. Then the case of the woman murdered by her jealous ex-boyfriend after a campaign of harassment. Then the man who killed three children and their stepfather by torching their home as they slept, because his 16 year old girlfriend had "rejected" him. He had killed a woman previously when she ended their affair, but the jury in its wisdom decided he had been "provoked" and found him not guilty of murder. He served three years and came out to kill four others. Oh, and let's not forget the teenager raped in a park by 8 men, "allegedly" of course (Just scroll through my archives to find plenty of heinous crimes committed by women, MEN dont have a monopoly on violence....because yes women can do anything, the difference is when women murder, torture and kill they get off lightly)

A quick trawl of other news stories this week where men have raped, tortured, killed and abused women and children produced the following (and a similar search by GR KLEIN - Nun rapes boys, ex girlfriend tortures ex boyfriend, mother smother daughter, mother shoots daughter, female teacher abuses male student...........easy done, but just because I can find some bad apples amongst the women folk does not mean we can say they are all bad..... GRK)

Man given six year in prison for raping woman for being a lesbian; student union president in rape trial for raping fresher; man kills daughter in revenge for "wife cheating"; man who killed whole family after being released previously for killing girlfriend given 35 years in prison; man arrives back in UK after trial for killing girlfriend collapses; gang rapist jailed, four walk free; man on trial for killing wife; woman beaten for saying Ronaldo is gorgeous; human rights guidelines to be changed after woman murdered by paroled rapist.

These are cases reported in national newspaper, over the past 4 days, and there are more I did not include. The irony is I and other feminists who fight against male violence towards women and children are labelled "man haters" (Maybe because you are, I mean the title of this article blatantly states that you hate maybe you labelled yourself and furthermore I find it curious that while you can have empathy for women and children who are victims I am assuming that as soon as a boy reaches puberty you no longer have any simpathy for that so...) . Am I missing something? It is men who hate women (apparently Julie has done extensive research interviewing all 3 billion men on the planet and can now speak for us all apparently........I love my daughter and I love my girlfriend and have many wonderful women in my life) , going on the evidence of the above cases, and the millions of incidents of battery, child sexual abuse, rape, sexual harassment, torture and murder of women and girls by boys and men (Because as we know women never abuse men or boys do they........f****ing BS)

Before the misogynists (just because some women abuse men, does not in any way cause me to hate all women, because this is totally illogical but that is what you would expect from such a loony) start ranting on about how many men are abused by women, how many women kill their children, etc, etc, don't bother. Every piece of credible research produced in every country in the world where this work has been done shows that sexual and domestic violence is committed overwhelmingly by men against females (WRONG - this is propoganda visit Media Radar or Erin Prizzey to see the truth) The men who regularly get very offended on this blog, protesting that they have never hurt a fly, probably do not do an awful lot to stop other men harming women. Where are men's voices of protest in this war against women? When can we expect your support in reducing numbers of females killed and raped by men? I will not be holding my breath, but in the meantime, I will say loud and proud, yes, today I hate men, and will tomorrow and the day after. But only the men who perpetrate these crimes against my sisters (what about women who bash women, is it ok for dykes to beat the shit out of each other is it? ) , and those who do nothing to stop it. Are you in either one of those categories? If so, then I despise you (and what are you doing to defend your 'sistas' Julie, not alot just, hating, whinging and complaining so maybe you should also hate yourself)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Lobbying the productivity commission

What follows is the letter I recently sent to the Productivity Commission in response to their recent press release

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I am a father to a wonderful daughter, however I share parenting of my child with my ex partner from whom I have separated.

I am an advocate for men’s rights and I manage the blog

It’s great that the Rudd government has taken steps to promote paid maternity leave, however as your terms of reference state, apparently you are trying to provide "support for parents", which would include both mothers and fathers.

However, the language that is used is clearly discriminatory towards males.
Throughout this document you refer to “paid maternity, paternity and parental leave”. You start off talking about parents and children but very quickly you begin referring to women and mothers, what about men and fathers…….

And if you want to help women balance work commitments then extend the same opportunities to fathers as you are offering to mothers. For example let fathers receive parenting allowance and stay home to care for the kids if they want, so women can be free to pursue their careers or vice-versa.

Get rid of this discriminatory language, you must use the term parental leave to acknowledge the vital role that fathers play.

Feminism has taught us language is the basis of all discrimination and we should not assume that only females care for children as much of this document would have us believe.

Furthermore, true gender equality will only ever be achieved when men receive the same support as women in their role as parents. Thus any program that would only see mothers provided with financial compensation is a direct case of discrimination.

You mention “working mothers” but at no time refer to working fathers like myself, so I can only assume that you are planning to directly discriminate against me and as such I will challenge this.

There is plenty of research that proves the importance of both parents, and based on basic equity theory we should do away with the outdated terms of maternity and paternity leave and move to adopt the term parental leave to ensure that both parents have access to such support.

You mention the employment of women, however males now comprise 66% of all people receiving unemployment allowance in Australia, so perhaps this should be revised to include men.

You mention the “the post-birth health of the mother” - Here we go again what about the father? Research has shown that fathers may also be affected by post birth depression.

So please join in the 21st Century and do away with your outdated notions of parenthood that would suggest that this is still the domain of women, which to be honest is insulting to both men and women.


GR Klein