Animal Mind

After Women Took off Their Aprons, Advertisers Began Taking Off the Rest!

fem 17Once we won our equal liberty to choose our personal “place” in the world, the male ego swiftly began to make sure that women would never forget their universal “purpose” in the world.

By T.L.Dayen

They say “a picture paints a thousand words.” Imagery has the power to elicit emotion and provoke thought. It can also be used to subconsciously persuade or manipulate. Imagery has also historically been used to disseminate propaganda such as the iconic “Rosie the Riveter;” an animated image of a strong-armed woman in a factory uniform intended to convey that it was acceptable to see women; the majority of the domestic work force during the war effort of WWII, as strong and capable. Images can also portray social behavioral norms like iconic Norman Rockwell fem 15paintings depicting ‘normal’ life in middle and working class America from the early to mid 20th century. Culturally, our social norms are reflected through imagery in our media; movies (entertainment mostly) and advertising (expressly to persuade).

Imagery in advertising works to convince, confirm or inform viewers about what they should want, think, identify with or accept as good for them. When advertisers use sexually implicit images to sell a product, it is reaffirming stereotypes that objectify women’s bodies and marginalize their humanity.

Selling Sex

Exploiting sexuality to sell a product is, unfortunately, effective. The ‘sex kitten’ eating Doritos on T.V. prompts the dorritosman to buy the chips because he wants to “get the girl” in the ad, and the woman buys the chips because she wants to “be the girl” in the ad; “We’re a visually explicit culture that’s become comfortable with selling domain names and winter coats on the backs of pretty, naked people” (Thompson, 2011).

Using sex in advertising subliminally links our most primal motive of procreation to the impulse desire for that product/service. In other words, buy the product, get (feel) the sex.

Sell Sex; Buy Sexism

The problem with ‘selling sex’ is that it takes the elemental human drive to procreate (which requires dominant and pliant roles), and attaches it to everything in our lives from food to cars to clothing to cleaning products to insurance. fem 14The dominant/ pliant roles of our sex organs become the roles we identify with as represented subliminally by the products and services we need and use every day. By ascribing the yielding female sex organ to her overall nature and character (as subordinate), advertisers can use sexually explicit imagery to not only potently objectify women’s bodies, but also marginalize female humanity by transforming “actual women into [sexual] objects, devoid of individual will or subjectivity” (Benshoff and Griffin 238-256).

The female body, pliant in sex, becomes the objectified woman, subordinate in life.

Even while women have made stellar strides in education and work force parity since the blatantly sexist advertising of the 1950’s; “an era when women’s roles were confined to the corridor between the bedroom and the kitchen” (Thompson, 2011);

the ‘new sexism’ is simply explicitly sexist imagery without the explicitly sexist messaging. In the 21st century, the message of sexual servitude is “implied.”

“Having lost the argument that women are incompetent, American advertising has had to settle on the argument that fem 18women are [still] attractive” (Thompson, 2011). In other words the iconic domestic dependent ‘June Cleaver’ telling viewers something like, “Your husband will never complain about undercooked eggs again with this new and improved egg timer!” has been replaced with the sexually implicit ‘cleavage and stilettoes’ seductively and silently stepping out of a Lincoln Continental. I call this “objectified female imagery.” This more modern version of sexism has only fed new life into age old social constructs of female subordination, because “American women still develop a sense of self-worth based primarily on how they look, rather than how talented or intelligent they are” (Benshoff and Griffin 238-256).

Domestic dependent submissiveness has simply been replaced by sexual objectification; both are demeaning and subordinate positions of “service.”

What’s even more poignant is that some of worst offenders of this type of sexist advertising are ‘women on women.’ fem 19Women who appeared on a Phil Donahue Show “fashion segment,” un-apologetically defended their unusual preoccupation with ‘perfecting’ their hair, skin, eyes, clothing and bodies. Susan Bordo took note of their naiveté and that “putting on makeup, styling hair, and so forth are conceived of only as free play, fun, a matter of creative expression,” but in reality is, “also experienced by many women as ‘necessary’ before they show themselves to the world, even a quick trip to the corner mailbox.” Bordo expresses her concern that the true messages being sent by ‘fashion statements’ are merely “whimsical and politically neutral vicissitudes [that] supply endless amusement for women’s [apparent] eternally superficial values.” Bordo goes on to say in the context of the fashion and beauty industry, “the specific ideals that women are drawn to embody…are seen as arbitrary, without meaning [by society].”

In other words, obsession with fashion culturally indicates frivolous and superficial priorities.

Bordo’s trepidation with the multi-million dollar fashion and beauty industry is shared by Benshoff and Griffen who assert that this advertising strives to persuade women to “buy their [own] femininity;” be re-made into “some ideal fem 20form” as an “object of the male gaze (objectification).” This, alleges Benshoff and Griffen, actually convinces women “to be complicit in their own objectification.” A massive and still growing fashion and beauty industry in America may be evidence that many women have indeed “internalized the ideology that their self-worth is based upon their public image… that achieving total objectified desirability is the only thing that will give them happiness and fulfillment” and that, “this mythical ideal keeps patriarchal (male) domination in place” (Benshoff and Griffin 238-256). If women are buying sexism, then apparently sexist advertising is working.

Hijacked Sexuality

Full disclosure: as a woman myself, I am frustrated that an industry has “hijacked” my God given sexuality for their profits! Can a woman in the 21st century fully express her innate sexuality without the implication that she is consenting to, even encouraging the sexist messages sent by the objectified female imagery in media advertising? And what of those who feed into the ‘cultural messages’ that are fabricated from objectified female imagery in the media; that a woman’s sexuality is by its very nature literally “there for the taking?”fem 5

Can a woman in the 21st century fully express her innate sexuality personally without the implication that she is “asking for it” publically? I fear that the answer to these questions today is “no.”

Sharon Marcus writes of the misleading dialogue used when legislating rape laws or hearing rape cases; “The rape script describes female bodies as vulnerable, violable, penetrable, and wounded.” A website called “Controltonight.com” ran an ad showing a young woman’s legs with her panties around her ankles lying on what looks like a bathroom floor. The ad reads, “2:19 a.m. She didn’t want to do it, but she couldn’t say NO.” The ad intends to warn against drinking and date rape, but the ‘message’ is that women’s bodies are simply up for grabs by anyone who may gain the advantage to take it – and that’s somehow a woman’s fault. Marcus purports, “the adherents of rape culture see female sexuality as a property which only men can truly own, which women often hoard, which can thus justifiably be wrested from us, which women themselves merely hold in trust for a lawful owner. Rape thus becomes the theft or violation of one man’s property rights by another.”

fem 8If women’s sexuality is not even seen in our law as our own rightful possession, it is no wonder it could be unabashedly exploited personally or commercially by whomever and however it serves to benefit.

Audrey Lorde writes of the uses and power of the ‘erotic’ – in this context, ones ‘passions;’ sexual or otherwise; “We have been taught to suspect this resource, vilified, abused and devalued within western society… the erotic has been encouraged as a sign of female inferiority.” So a woman’s capacity to “feel deeply” has been equated with weakness, and that “only by the suppression of the erotic within our lives and consciousness can women truly be strong. But this strength is illusory, for it is fashioned within the context of male models of power” (Lorde 188-192).

If we follow Lordes’ premise, then a woman’s capacity to feel her own sexuality is considered “suspect” and therefore only passably expressed within and through our patriarchal society’s consent and capacity to control it.

Conclusion

What came first, female objectification or female objectified imagery? The truth is not what you might think. While media imagery only began in the early 1900’s, female objectification is just one arm of female subordination that has fem 12stigmatized the male/female dynamic for thousands of years. However, in the 21st century human kind is capable of growing beyond our prejudices; capable of a much broader perspective of the male/female dynamic.

In the 21st century human kind is capable of recognizing our two species as ‘different in measure but equal in value.’

This is where the media continues to culturally perpetuate female objectification even as we are collectively capable of moving beyond it. Advertising media imagery is especially harmful because it is scrupulously knitted within the fabric of our consumer based culture. Every decade that passes, fem 4human kind becomes more familiar with women in leadership positions of authority in politics, more acceding to our dependability as an equal successful womanpartner within the home, and more reliant on our equally competent skills in the work place and industry. While this reality of the male/female dynamic may smack of truth, the false postulation of our disparity and subordination continues to be culturally projected before us as sexually objectified minions of the patriarchal social construct.

Women’s sexuality; our very autonomy is reduced to a collective cultural commodity, and only valid through its collective cultural usefulness to the patriarchal bedroom, boardroom or billboard.

If sex is selling, it’s only selling women out.

fem 16

 

References

Benshoff, Harry, and Sean Griffin. America On Film. 2nd. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

238-256. Print.

Bordo, Susan. “Material Girl: The Effacements of Post Modern Culture.” Trans. Array

Theorizing Feminisms. N.Y., New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 385-404. Print.

Lorde, Audre. “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power.” Trans. Array Theorizing Feminisms.

N.Y., New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 188-192. Print.

Marcus, Sharon. “Fighting Bodies, Fighting Words: A Theory and Politics of Rape Prevention.”

Trans. Array Theorizing Feminism. N.Y., New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 369-

  1. Print. (Marcus, 369-381)

Thompson, Derek. “Are T.V. Ads Getting More Sexist?.” The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly

Group, 31 Oct 2011. Web. 16 Oct 2013. <theatlantic.com>.

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Its Time for A Re-Release of “Bowling for Columbine”

If Columbine was to be the Beginning of the New Normal, Then Bowling for Columbine needs to be Compulsory in our College Classrooms

By T.L. Dayen

Guns don’t kill people, people do. But guns don’t work without bullets, so ‘bullets’ kill people? But bullets can’t kill people without combustion, so ‘combustion’ kills people? But then again, combustion cannot occur without a trigger mechanism; so ‘triggers’ kill people? But wait a minute; a trigger can’t pull itself, so guns loaded with bullets triggered by combustion by people kills people? Now I get it. People with guns kill people! And if they’re not killing people with their guns, they are practicing how to kill people with their guns. They imagine and prepare for all sorts of scenarios of why and where to kill people with their guns. This is their Constitutional right!   You can pry that gun off their “cold, dead fingers”; that is, if they haven’t killed you first.

Written and directed by Michael Moore, Bowling for Columbine was released in October, 2002. This documentary style film was tragically inspired by the 1999 massacre in Littleton, CO at Columbine High School when two students gunned down 43 people, killing 12 students and one teacher before killing themselves. Under Moore’s narration, the film not only explores factors that may have contributed to the Columbine massacre, but also goes deeper to address factors that may contribute to America’s unique “culture of violence” overall. Moore uses satire in much of the film to present his findings; perhaps in a way more engaging and digestible to the audience. For instance we hear the song “What a Wonderful World” played over a montage of pre-emptive, or non-defensive military campaigns that the U.S. has engaged in since 1953. Moore looks at our culture of violence as being perpetuated by a “culture of fear”, imposed on Americans by our military industrial complex, media institutions and politics.

The Columbine Massacre would be the first in a string of mass shooting massacres over the next fourteen years. In fact, by the time this film had been released just two months, an additional three more mass shootings had occurred in three different states taking a total of 26 lives. (Shen). Unbeknown to Moore at that time, between April, 1999 and December, 2012, this nation would see 29 mass shootings in 42 states taking the lives of more than 250 people. (Shen). In 2012 alone, we would see nine mass shootings in 29 states killing more than 60 people, culminating with the slaughter of 20 first and second graders at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, CT. (Shen). Since Dec.14, 2012, more than 3,360 lives have been taken by gun violence. (Kirk, and Kois).

Bowling for Columbine is a basis for analysis of this perverse phenomenon through theories of applied social science substantiating Michael Moore’s argument that a culture of fear is the impetus behind gun violence in America.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_3MFZYni6Y

Applied Philosophy.    Bowling for Columbine (BFC), uses “induction” (Rothchild, pg.2) to reach its assumptions that a “culture of fear” is the basis for gun violence in America. Moore presents a collection of facts, statistics and interviews to weave together a set of conclusions that when all things equal are considered, gun violence is unique to America because of our culture of fear.

(Table 1)                                                                    2012/2013

                                    Gun Deaths Per 100,000                   Reported Incidents of Crime

United States:            11,127 (3.601/100,000)                       1st in crime 11,877,218

Germany:                    381 (0.466/100,000)                            3rd in crime 6,507,394

France:                        255 (0.389/100,000)                            4th in crime 3,771,850

Canada:                       165 (0.484/100,000)                            8th in crime 2,516,918

United Kingdom:        68 (0.109/100,000)                             2nd in crime 6,523,706

Australia:                     65 (0.292/100,000)                              (not in top 10 of crime)

Japan:                          39 (0.030/100,000)                             6th in crime 2,853,739

Sources: “Bowling for Columbine” and Maps of World

The U.S. is number one in gun deaths among other wealthy democratic nations. We are 96.6 percent higher in gun deaths than the country in second and 87 percent higher per capita. (Table 1). Moore concludes that neither wealth, freedom, nor the size of our population makes us unique regarding gun violence. In Table 1, we can also see the national crime rates of these countries Moore references in the film. Fear of crime and the need for self-defense is often the most compelling argument for the vigorous defense of gun rights in America. However, statistics as seen in Table 1 show no correlation between crime rates and gun deaths. For instance, Great Britain and Australia have less than 2 tenths of a percent difference in gun deaths per capita; yet Great Britain is second in the top ten countries of reported crime, and Australia isn’t even in the top 10. Canada has twice the number of gun deaths of Great Britain, yet nearly two thirds less reported violent crime.

Gun Deaths

BFC points out other false rationales for gun violence in America as compared to these countries. Moore indicates that the two young men responsible for the carnage at Columbine were known as “Goth’s”: a genre of music and fashion popular in the 1990’s that combined heavy metal and punk music that’s fans are characterized as “anti-social”, and identified by their black clothing; black eye, lip and pale face makeup. After the Columbine massacre, the media focused on the Gothic lifestyle and music like “Marilyn Mason” as a factor in what may have motivated the boys to violence. However, Moore also points out that Goth fashion and music originated in Europe, and that Germany had a larger Marilyn Manson and Goth population per capita than the U.S. at the time. While Goth may indicate the social dissatisfaction of a young emerging counter culture in the U.S., BFC argues that the statistics show there is no correlation between counter culture music and fashion and gun violence in America.

Violence in movies and games were also explored as a possible factor in increasing gun violence in America in 1999. Once again, the film points out violent American movies are seen and enjoy huge success all over the world. In fact, Asia and Japan created especially gruesome franchises such as The Ring, The Grudge and Saw. Violent video games continue to be implicated in the violent behavior of American youth even today, yet Moore reminds us that some of the most successful violent video games are made in Japan and widely played by their youth. So while the effects of violent movies and video games will continue to be studied, BFC argues there is no statistical evidence that specifically links violence in our entertainment media to the high level of gun violence unique to America.

Finally, in an interview by Michael Moore in the film with former National Rifle Association (NRA), Charlton Hesston, when asked why America has such a high level of gun violence, Mr. Hesston replies that it may be due to our nation’s “history of violence.” Moore counters this thesis with the fact that European nations have a much longer if not, more horrific, “history of violence” than the U.S. This could also easily be said of Asia.

Applied Psychology.    BFC illustrates the “Justification Hypothesis” (Henriques, pg.166) as the unconscious process by which gun violence in America is perpetuated by fear. In the film, Moore attributes much of American’s fear to a “fear of the other”. The film uses a cartoon interlude called “A Brief History of the United States of America” that explores our sullied history with racism up to today, and a tenacious xenophobic fervor in America as collective “justifications” for apprehensive and defensive behavior. Gang violence in this country is also an illustration of the Justification Hypothesis; a reality within reality justified only by those within the “bubble” in order to make sense of the nonsensical. According to Henriques, humans do not justify behavior based on “objective reality”, but instead will “explain their behavior in a believable and favorable way” to others and to themselves.

While murder rates are high in gang infested urban centers, Moore points out that 90 percent of guns in America are owned by rural and suburban white people. It could be argued that people in gang neighborhoods may actually have reason to be “waiting for the bad guy with a gun”, but white suburbia is “looking for the bad guy with a gun.” This does not justify gang behavior however, because in most cases they would only need to travel a mile or two in any direction to find that their version of “reality” is a false impression compared to lives of the vast majority of Americans. But if gang violence is relatively sequestered to finite demographics, who are 90 percent of gun touting Americans afraid of? This is exactly the question asked in BFC.   The film exposes the turning point of America becoming a “locked and loaded” society as being the civil rights movement. Moore cites statistics depicting the American gun sales and manufacturing phenomenon originating during this time, and sustained by the Justification Hypothesis theory that “the other is comin to getcha!” One fairly lighthearted example the film provides is the hyperbolic national hysteria over “Africanized Killer Bees”; playing news reels of reports indicating that the “Africanized Killer Bee” is much more “aggressive and dangerous” than its “European counterpart.” The film also points out this trumped up national threat has yet to manifest.

Applied Anthropology.            BFC clearly demonstrates how the cultural institution of the news media has sensationalized violence in America to the point of creating a “business of violence” that requires fear to exist. It is also within this context that Moore does draw correlations between violence and the media; not as a causal affect, but that sensationalizing fear is profit motivated.

The film makes the startling point that while murder in this country has decreased significantly since peaking in the 1970’s, news media coverage of murder has gone up by 600 percent! Moore narrates the tragic story of a 6 year old boy who shoots and kills a class mate at Buelle Elementary in Moore’s hometown of Flint Michigan, not long after the Columbine massacre. News media from all over the country descended on the small town in droves to report endless hours of repetitive details of the heart-rending incident. The young boy was black. His mother was a welfare-to-work program single mom. The little girl was white. You get the picture. It was a “sensational” story; perfect for the endless loop of the 24 hour news cycle. But Moore points out, that while the incident may be newsworthy, so too were the circumstances surrounding the travesty. Eighty seven percent of the residents in Flint were at or under the poverty line. The highest cause of death in Flint was suicide. The high school football team was sponsored by the most affluent business in town – the funeral home. The boy’s mother worked 70 hours per week at two jobs. But social accountability stories don’t get the ratings.

BFC also indicates that while crime has significantly decreased in America, the polls show that fear of crime has risen, and in tandem, gun ownership and gun sales. Moore interviews the Executive Producer of the massively successful 1990’s show, C.O.P.S., who tells Moore point blank that anger, hate and violence “does well in shows” even while he admits that the crimes and perpetrators given coverage on C.O.P.S. were not representative of the nation as whole. It just got the best ratings.

It is here we can see the Deterministic Theory of Karl Marx’s “Historical Materialism” on the critical role that social forces play on our culture; “The collective material actions of people in society [are] shaped by the interests of the dominant class [and] are responsible for the human condition at any point in history.” (Shultz and Lavenda, pg.21). Marx goes on to assert that “Progress comes only through revolution”; an overthrow of the dominant view to “make way for the new.” (Shultz and Lavenda, pg.21). It is our addiction to fear that has created a market for it, and the market feeds that addiction. The market simply fulfills need and desire without conscience. Break the addiction and you break the power of the market.

Applied Sociology.      BFC exemplifies Gladwell’s “Broken Windows Theory” and C.W. Mills’ “Conflict Theory” as sociological factors in America’s unique culture of fear. Gladwell contends that the condition of our physical environments reflect the concerns and priorities of our community, as well as that community’s expectations of conduct from its members. For example, dilapidated neighborhoods in disrepair convey to its resident’s a lack of civil concern and the high probability that misconduct is likely to be overlooked or discounted. (Gladwell, pg.105). Moore draws this same inference with gun violence in the U.S. in as much as a nation so accepting of violence as a means to an end simply fosters a society that uses violence as a means to an end.  The number of guns owned in America averages 88.8 percent of every 100 people compared with 33.86 percent of the top 24 richest nations in the world combined. (“International Firearm Injury Prevention and Policy”).   What kind of message is a society sending to itself when its citizens own enough guns to provide a firearm to 88 out of every 100 of its people?

Moore points out that Littleton, CO. is home to the largest weapons manufacturer in the world, Lockheed Martin; the town’s largest employer with approximately 5,000 workers. In a conversation with the rocket missile facility’s Communications Director, Evan McCollum, Moore asks about a possible connection between the weapons of mass destruction built at the facility and the mass destruction that took place at the nearby Columbine high school. McCollum replies that he does not see the connection, as the missiles built at Lockheed are “designed to defend us” against those “who would be aggressors against us.” It is here in the film that we see the musical montage of “What a Wonderful World” mentioned in the introduction, chronologically revealing 16 pre-emptive, or non-defensive military intervention campaigns conducted by the U.S. since 1953; an average of nearly one every 36 months for 46 years up to April 20, 1999 when U.S. and NATO allies conducted the largest air strike bombing campaign in Kosovo, hitting a school and hospital. One hour after the strikes were conducted in Kosovo, 900 rounds of legally purchased ammunition were being fired at the students of Columbine high school; “The Home of the Rebels.”

Sociologist C.W. Mills speaks of a social “Conflict Theory” that results from social stratification, which is the grouping of individuals by social class or status. (Harrison, pg.105).   A recent Brookings Institute study found that over the past 25 years of income inequality in the U.S., we are seeing “an increase in “permanent inequality” — the advantaged becoming permanently better-off, while the disadvantaged [are] becoming permanently worse-off.” (Debaker, Heim, and et al). Mills contends that indeed “in the U.S. a ‘ruling class’ exists”; a “power elite that includes top business executives, media moguls, and military and government leaders who dominate decision making in this country.” Also that this “Stratification negatively affects the thinking of members of the lower [non-ruling] class [and] may even be ‘dysfunctional’….if it fosters feelings of suspicion, hostility and disloyalty to society.” (Harrison, pg.105).

BFC looks at the 250 percent rise in military militias in the U.S., specifically in Michigan where civilian paramilitary activity is especially high. These groups represent a growing ‘uneasiness’ in America that our “power elite” may not have our best interests at heart, and in fact, may have malicious intent. Moore interviews Terry Nichol’s, cousin of Timothy McVee who bombed the Oklahoma Federal Building; the worst act of domestic terrorism in our history.  While he claimed to not subscribe to the deadly terrorism wrought by McVee, he did confess his firm belief that a “government overthrow” should be carried out through violence if necessary, should that government become “tyrannical.” However, in this country, many believe that everything from income taxes to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), is an act of government tyranny. Anti-government conspiracy theories are gaining considerable support among the U.S. citizenry. According to a recent PPP poll, over 50 percent of 1000 respondents could NOT affirmatively say that they did NOT believe a secret power-elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government or One World Order. (“Conspiracy Theory Poll Results”).

Applied Political Science.        BFC reveals the use of “fear” by powerful interest groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) to influence politicians and the political process for their own economic gain. Moore reminds America that the NRA conducted “rallies” in Littleton, CO. and Flint, MI. within days after each of the tragic events wrought on these communities by gun violence. Actual footage of these “rallies” in the film shows former NRA President Charlton Hesston revving up the audience with slogans like, “they can pry my gun out of my cold dead hands.” Moore points out that evidently the NRA felt it was necessary to inform their members that no tragic massacre from gun violence, no matter how heinous, could be allowed to affect any public policy on gun ownership whatsoever; that anything less than zero tolerance for any legal interpretation of “the right to bear arms” that may include regulation or oversight is an infringement upon their Constitutional rights – period! The NRA capitalizes on senseless killing to actually encourage new membership into its ranks – “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” The premise of the NRA is that if everyone owned and carried a gun, we’d ALL be “safe.”

The truth is, with the number of firearms owned in this country, gun and ammunition clip manufacturing is one of the most lucrative industries in the nation. In fact, according to the Violence Policy Center of GunPolicy.org, just 22 firearm manufacturers gave nearly 39 million dollars to the NRA from 2005 to 2011; that’s over 6 million dollars per year from just 22 of its “members.” The NRA claims to have approximately 3 million members. Combine these annual dues with gun manufacture donations and you’ve got one of the most powerful and influential lobbies in Washington D.C. In the same way the NRA wields their propaganda scare tactics on their members that any reasonable gun safety policy is an infringement upon the 2nd Amendment, the NRA uses their money to pressure law makers with promises of “smear campaigns” come election time, should they support any legislation that would regulate the sale, purchase or use of firearms in this country. The recent gun debate in America after one of the worst gun massacres in this country at Sandy Hook Elementary school could easily be basis for an entire paper, but suffice it to say – they won – for now.

The political dichotomy of the NRA is perhaps most troubling, because its influence over our lawmakers, and its members, is neither “normative” nor “empirical”. (Spragens, slide 8). The empirical evidence against the NRA’s position on gun ownership in this country is overwhelming. The statistics of gun violence in America are quite clear and indisputable. However, they also seem to prevail against the normative argument; that the untethered access of paramilitary weaponry in this country is an unethical and immoral threat to the national domestic security of our citizens.   Perhaps this is because their trump card on both fronts is “fear” which is neither logical nor reasonable especially when you’re dealing with self-preservation – of your “profits.”

Conclusion

There are two facts about guns in America that will never change; Americans will continue to own and use guns, and Americans will continue to die from them. These are the facts, and again, they will never change. What can change however is the pathetic timidity with which Americans address the very real and present danger of unregulated gun ownership in this country. It is said that over 90 percent of Americans agree that we should have more thorough background checks on gun purchases, and that the streets of America are no place for the same caliber of weaponry and amo that is afforded our police and military. But reasonable people have many issues and concerns regarding American public policy, while those in opposition to reasonable “gun” concerns care only about guns. They have no other issue other than the absolute “‘un-infringed’ right to bear arms.” Until reasonable Americans meet this challenge with the same fervor and passion, these “extremists” will continue to win the argument – because that’s the only argument they’re making, and they’re getting good at it.

Michael Moore appeared on MSNBC Reports on March 22 where, in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre of Dec.14, he said of his film BFC, “On a personal level I feel like I’ve failed. I made that movie to try and stop this madness.”   The courage it took to make BFC is the same courage we 90 percent of Americans need to muster unless the “wild west” is what we’re now willing to call home. One thing’s for sure, whether it’s the “other”, the zombie apocalypse, losing a congressional seat, losing profits or losing 2nd Amendment rights, FEAR is the one element driving every argument, or excuse.

Resources

“Conspiracy Theory Poll Results.” Public Policy Polling. 2 Apr 2013. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.

<publicpolicypolling.com>.

Debaker, Jason, Bradley Heim, et al. “Rising Inequality: Transitory or Permanent: New Evidence from a

Panel of U.S. Tax Returns.” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. (2013): n. page. Web. 28 Apr. 2013. <Brookings.edu>.

Gladwell, Malcolm. “The Tipping Point.” The Power of Context.

“Gun Facts, Figures and the Law.” International Firearm Injury Prevention and Policy. n.d. n. page.

Web. 29 Apr. 2013. <GunPolicy.org>.

Harrison, Brigid C. “Sociology and the Study of the Social Sciences.” Power and the Social Sciences.

Henriques, Gregg. “The Justification Hypothesis.” The Tree of Knowledge.

Kirk, Chris, and Dan Kois. “How Many People Have Been Killed By Guns Since Newtown?” Slate. 17

Apr. 2013: n. page. Web. 29 Apr. 2013. <Slate.com>.

Rothchild, Irving. Induction, Deduction and the Scientific Method.

Schultz, and Lavenda. “Deterministic Theories of Sociology.” Culture and the Human Condition.

Shen, Aviva. “A Timeline of Mass Shootings in the U.S. Since Columbine.” Think Progress. 14 Dec

2012: n. page. Web. 29 Apr. 2013. <thinkprogress.org>.

Spragens, Thomas. “Understanding Political Theory.” Politics and Political Theory.

“Top Ten Countries with Highest Reported Crime Rates.” Maps of World. <mapsofworld.com>.

For Sale: 21st Century American Democracy

The Bad Case of Citizens United

money speech-silence

By T.L. Dayen

On January 21, 2010 Koch Industries, Inc. became a person, and the $890 million dollars it plans to spend on its chosen candidates in the 2016 presidential and congressional elections became protected speech. This is not fiction. According to the United States Supreme Court, this is a fact. On January 21, 2010, in the case Citizens United vs. The Federal Elections Commission, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Ruled that all ‘money is political speech’, and therefore limits placed on political campaign contributions are in violation of the 1st Amendment and ‘unconstitutional.’ In the same Ruling, the Court deemed that all corporations were legally and constitutionally ‘political people,’ and as such, also protected under the 1st Amendment; not bound to disclose the recipients of their campaign contributions to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), their shareholders or to the public (Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission, 2010).

Democracy is a “government based on the principle of majority decision-making that has been freely and equally elected by that majority” (Encarta Dictionary: English ‘North American’). Is our democracy for sale to the highest bidder? The only way to protect our democracy from the degrading forces of greed within our political systems is to strip the dominant influence of money from the democratic process altogether. We must get unlimited money out of our politics; it is not speech.   Those protected under the 1st Amendment must be defined as living, breathing American citizens, while corporate shareholders and public citizens must have the right to know which policies and politicians that corporations and the uber rich are aligning themselves. Citizens United vs. the Federal Elections Commission must be overturned by a Constitutional Amendment or Constitutional Convention.

In The 2010 case of Citizens United v. FEC, (Ruling) SCOTUS Ruled that placing limits on corporate and individual campaign contributions was a violation of the First Amendment free speech clause, and that corporate political speech is protected by the First Amendment; as follows:

“Prohibition on corporate independent expenditures is an outright ban on speech, backed by criminal sanctions. It is a ban notwithstanding the fact that a PAC created by a corporation can still speak, for a PAC is a separate association from the corporation.… the Court invalidated §608(e)’s expenditure ban, which applied to individuals, corporations, and unions, (because) it fail[ed] to serve any substantial governmental interest in stemming the reality or appearance of corruption in the electoral process.” (Opinions, 2010).

”Government lacks the power to restrict political speech based on the speaker’s corporate identity.… No sufficient governmental interest justifies limits on the political speech of nonprofit or for-profit corporations.… It is irrelevant for First Amendment purposes that corporate funds (may) have little or no correlation to the public’s support for the corporation’s political ideas.… All speakers, including individuals and the media, use money amassed from the economic marketplace to fund their speech, and the First Amendment protects the resulting speech” (Opinions, 2010).

With all due respect, similar to and in the spirit of the disastrous 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Ruling that all but solidified discrimination and civil inequality in this country, this Ruling by the Chief Justice Robert’s Court has severely undermined the rectitude of “civic” equality that our democracy was intended to preserve. 21st Century politics was already overwrought under the debauchery of greed. Less than two years before this Ruling, 2008 was already the most expensive election in history. According to the FEC (2008), a total of 5.3 billion was spent, and nearly 1.3 billion of that was spent by Political Action Committees (Pac). This 2010 Ruling, however, gave birth to the Super Pac. Now, unrestrained by congressional campaign finance reforms of 1974, corporate contribution limits and public disclosure requirements are no longer constitutional (Kerbo, 2012). Super Pac’s are limitless political ATM machines funded by undisclosed corporate ‘special interests’ and the uber rich. Another record was set with 7 billion spent in the 2012 elections (FEC, 2012); that’s a dollar for every human on planet Earth. This Ruling has only served to shred the last veil of sanctity separating civic equality from inequity within the American electoral and legislative processes.

It’s hard to gage specifically how the influence of unlimited money in our electoral process is translating in both our electoral and legislative processes. We know how much Super Pac’s are spending in our elections; but from whom?   Following the “quid pro quo” trail was easier when political donors were required to disclose how much and to whom they were pouring their millions. In 2005, there were 2000 registered Political Pac’s (Kerbo, 2012). By the first two months after the Ruling however, there were 8000 (FEC, 2012). We can however, follow the money in other ways. While Pac’s are not politicians, they are entities that collect money on behalf of causes that are represented by politicians (i.e. low taxes, the environment, etc.). We can look at the special interests that appear to be benefiting from current legislative policy and get a pretty good idea of where the money is coming from and going to.                    

It’s important to remember that although I am quoting figures from national elections, mid-term congressional elections (non-presidential) are just as, if not more, vulnerable to secrete unlimited special interest money. Many more Americans vote in national elections (’08, ’12), so these expenditures are more representative of the electorate as a whole, but those of private and corporate financial privilege and the Pac’s they fund, are using quieter mid-term elections (’10, ’14) to gain political influence by proxy in both state legislatures and our U.S. congress. The U.S. congress has been functionally controlled by the Republican Party since 2010, even when the nation has twice voted for a Democratic president. For the purposes of time and space, I will focus on just two special interests that many would consider the two most powerful interest groups financially holding our lawmakers and our country hostage to their bidding. They are the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the oil industry (Big Oil).

The NRA’s Political Victory Fund PAC has spent just under 37 million over the last two election cycles (FEC, 2014) to block reasonable federal gun safety regulations (Andrews, 2013). The NRA represents gun manufactures that make money selling guns, clips and ammo, not safety. But the NRA’s political influence extends beyond financial. They also represent a 2nd Amendment constituency that relies on the NRA to rate or score each member of congress by their gun legislation voting record and report this back to them. And apparently they believe that Republicans are more likely to play along, because in 2012, just 25 Democrats received NRA contributions compared to 236 Republicans. The NRA combines its campaign contributions with their influence over their voters to maintain gun legislation favorable to the gun industry. This would explain why even when 82 percent of Americans demanded gun safety reform after the heinous Sandy Hook Massacre, congress refused to require simple background checks on 40 percent of American assault weapon ownership (Andrews, 2013).

Big Oil is perhaps the most historically egregious confiscator of legislative favor within the political system. Oil is the most profitable industry in human history. Quarterly ‘profits’ exceed multiple billions; breaking their own records every year (Maddow, 2012). Big oil spent over 70 million on their preferred candidates in just the last national election. However since then, they’ve also spent 150 million in lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill. Even with a staggering national deficit threatening to undermine America’s global fiscal standing, the United States Government has been ‘giving’ the oil industry annual tax subsidies of nearly 2 billion of American taxpayer money for nearly 100 years (Kroll, 2014). Even so, since 2005 we’ve actually had a national bi-partisan consensus to end Big Oil corporate welfare. This includes former President George W. Bush, Forbes, The Heritage Foundation; five oil corporation CEO’s and a Wall Street poll showing 74 percent of American support – all with the exception of the U.S. Congress. The last time Congress took this to a vote in 2011, it did not pass (Maddow, 2012). We are all still giving the wealthiest industry in the history of money 2 billion a year in tax subsidies. That is called “political power!”

This brings me back to Koch Industries, Inc., an oil, gas, fracking and tar sands corporation owned by David and Charles Koch. These brothers have pledged to spend just under 1 billion dollars on their chosen candidates in 2016. They are notoriously politically active, and forgive me if I speculate that these two must find this whole “buying political influence” thing a bit fun for them; perhaps a welcome distraction. After all, the Koch oil tycoons are worth 42 billion dollars combined. Even though just these two men alone have pledged to spend in 2016, nearly the same amount of all Super Pac money spent in each of the last two elections, it is still only 2% of their total net worth (Confessore, 2015). What will be the return on their investment? Will it be social issues? According to the LA Times, after the 2010 mid-term election Republican takeover of state legislatures, the Guttmacher Institute counted 49 of our 50 states that brought forward 916 measures having to do with women’s reproductive rights (Abcarian, 2011). On the Federal level after the 2012 mid-terms, the 112th Congress went straight to passing over 159 Bills regarding abortion and birth control (U.S. Congress, 2012). Totals on the 113th Congress who were bought in 2014 are still out.

So what will David and Charles want; passage of Keystone; the repeal of the EPA Clean Air Act? The answer to this question is the most disturbing aspect of this paper; because perhaps there is no longer a clear money trail that reveals the clear quid pro quo and the clear culprits. Perhaps there is no one thing that any one person in any one state or district can accomplish for the Koch’s or any other oligarch or multinational corporation getting ready to fund the campaigns of those who will further their interests. Perhaps it is rather a preferred ideology that guides and underlays every decision behind every legislative effort nationwide that this top 2 percent of our population is now able to purchase on the installment plan. Perhaps it is a vision of the nation itself; one that serves their own success and achievement that they intend to buy under Citizens United. But what of the vision of average Americans who make up 98% of this country?

What of the voice of the average American majority who are now silenced by the thundering “speech” of the elite few? Can accountability be meted from a silent constituency?   The new disenfranchisement does not block our power to vote; it blocks the power of our vote. What good comes from counting all votes when only certain votes count? Justice is not silenced dissent; it is the liberated debate of its premise. However, within Citizens United v. FEC itself, we have one dissenting voice that we must all shout in unison:

Dissenting Argument Citizens United v. FEC

“. . . Corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, [and] no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established” Justice Stevens (Opinions, 2010).

            As of today, sixteen states have passed a resolution for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizen United. If your state is not one of them, urge your communities to urge your legislators to take this crucial step. Then join and support the national effort for a constitutional amendment or constitutional convention. Americans reversed Plessy v. Ferguson because it was the right thing to do for all Americans, not just a few. We shall, and we must, do the same with Citizens United; for the same reason.

References

(2008) Federal Elections Commission. DOI: FEC.Gov

(2012) Federal Elections Commission. DOI: FEC.Gov

(2012) Opinions. United States Supreme Court. DOI: Supremecourt.gov/opinions

(2014) Federal Elections Commission. DOI: FEC.Gov

Abcarian, Robin. (May, 2011). Anti-abortion measures flooding state legislatures. Los Angeles

Times.

Andrews, Wilson. (January, 2013). How the NRA exerts influence over Congress. Washington

Post Politics. DOI: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/nra-congress/

Confessore, Nicholas. (January 26, 2015). Koch Brothers’ Budget of $889 Million for 2016 Is

on Par With Both Parties’ Spending. New York Times, N.Y. DOI:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/27/us/politics/kochs-plan-to-spend-900-million-on-2016-campaign.html?_r=0

Kerbo, Harold. (2012). Social Stratification and Inequality; Class conflict in historical,

comparative and global perspective. McGraw Hill, N.Y.

Kroll, Andy. (April, 2014) . Triumph of the Drill. Mother Jones Magazine. DOI:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/oil-subsidies-renewable-energy-tax-breaks

Maddow, Rachel. (March, 2012). Senate filibuster kills (another) bid to end oil subsidies. The

Rachel Maddow Show: MSNBC Reports. DOI: msnbctv.com

US Congress. (2012). Congressional bills/issues. Federal Government. DOI: OpenCongress.com

Poverty and Domestic and Global Welfare

 Class Conflict in Historical, Comparative and Global Perspective

GOP_Income_InequalityCOLOR

By T.L. Dayen

Poverty is an unfortunate byproduct of advanced capitalist [stratified] societies like the U.S. But even while the research is clear that those born poor are more likely to become poor adults, the causes and remedies of poverty in America are still perceived differently (Kerbo: Duncan et al 1998). Our national perceptions of poverty stem from our opposed national perceptions of success; who deserves to succeed and why.

Social Darwinism (SD) applies Darwin’s biological “survival of the fittest” to socioeconomic survival of the fittest, and was first introduced at the turn of the 20th century by British and American sociologists Herbert Spencer and William Sumner (Kerbo 2012). The notion that one’s socioeconomic success or failure depends on an inherent level of “fitness” is supported by a uniquely American social value known as Individualism; “the belief that the individual is more important than the social group” (Kerbo: Luke 1973b). If this premise is to be believed, the individual is inherently and solely accountable for its destiny; fit you succeed, unfit you fail regardless of the “group” in which you find yourself at birth. Reagan conservative, Charles Murray firmly alluded to SD when he wrote that public welfare aid supported the “immorality and deviant behavior of the poor” (Kerbo: Murray 1984). Ten years later, he and fellow conservative Richard Herrnstein attempted to empirically support the SD theory with research that showed lower IQ scores among the impoverished (Kerbo: Herrnstein and Murray 1994).

The conclusion that the poor are biologically inferior was spurious at best, as it was not difficult for further research to rightfully take into account social factors uniquely affecting the poor with regard to mental fitness that includes fetal exposure to substance abuse, inadequate childhood nutrition and mental stimulation, and early exposure to the anxiety of impoverished physical home and community environments (Kerbo: Feldman, Otto and Christianson 200; Flynn 2000). This new research refuted that poverty is caused by lower IQ’s, but that a lower IQ is the causal effect of poverty. However, as Kerbo indicates, the 1994 Herrnstein and Murray research was published on the covers of leading magazines and newspapers while the 2000 Feldman et al. and Flynn rebuttal research was not.

When looking at poverty as an obstacle to social mobility, SD ascribes individual achievement to inherent character and/or biology. The Situational View (SV) however, ascribes ascription, or inherited social strata placement, as the actual determining factor in one’s ultimate social mobility. The SV does not dispute the impoverished have lowered educational, occupational and income expectations (Kerbo: Della Fave 1974a) but not based on inherent values; rather on perceived realistic opportunities for advancement based on, for lack of a better term, “their lot in life.” This pragmatic acceptance of ones limitations is in itself a type of “survival mechanism” that Hyman Rodman called a “lower-class value stretch” (Kerbo: Rodman 1963). The relative pinnacle of one’s success is learned, and personal success then becomes measured by how well one manages the parameters of one’s likely available resources in life.

The SV recognizes that likewise those born into advantaged environments have equally ascribed advantageous situational outcomes of social mobility. Yet despite the comparative phenomenal wealth of the U.S., in 2006, the U.N. found that the U.S. ranked 16 in the Human Poverty Index-2 out the top 17 industrialized nations; 1 being lowest and 17 being highest in poverty rates (Kerbo:Table 9-7). Therefore, lower class comparisons to and aspirations for, middle-class status and values are only made and exist to the extent that opportunities to realize those aspirations are present and within reach. When looking at poverty outside of the immediate context of social mobility, children and the elderly made up over one third of Americans living below the poverty line in 2009, with one third of those represented by single mother households (Kerbo:Table 9-2). In fact, of the same top 17 industrialized nations, the U.S. not only ranks 17 (highest) in child poverty, it ranks 1st (lowest) in expenditures as a percentage of GDP at only 2% on combating it’s child poverty (Kerbo:Figure 9-3). If a life of poverty can be attributed to ascription, then any sincere and genuine attempt to combat poverty must begin with child poverty.

The SV sees a central government role in assisting to place opportunities within closer reach of those children disadvantaged by ascription, such as education, nutrition and health services and parental family planning and housing assistance. Figure 9-3 indicates that child poverty is reduced as expenditures to combat it are increased. It’s not that U.S. does not have the revenue to accomplish this; it’s that the U.S. does not have the desire to do so. As to why this indifference to poverty in the U.S. may exist, research done in 1971 indicates that “welfare” functions to keep wages low; that the “able-bodied poor” provide business cheap labor markets (Kerbo: Piven and Cloward 1971). As immoral as it may sound, providing the poor, especially children, just the bare necessities to survive without providing opportunities to succeed, simply sustains systemic poverty and maintains a society stratified by ascription, and in the process, legitimating the widening income gap between the haves and the have not’s.

Bare necessities are important, but if we are truly interested in breaking, not maintaining, the poverty cycle, the SV supports addressing existing child poverty through investments in early and continuing education and nutrition, and reducing the perpetuation of child poverty by investment in family planning access and awareness; which has been found to increase social mobility overall.

Economically, the world is a system of interrelated nations categorized as either “core (1st world),” “peripheral (2nd world),” or “semi-peripheral (3rd world)” based on metrics of national wealth. These metrics include gross domestic product (GDP) and personal income per capita (PPP), but also other index metrics such as hunger and life span; indicators of access to adequate nutrition, clean water and humane living conditions. Income inequality however is not a measure of core or periphery (non-core) nation status. According to the World Bank (Kerbo:World Bank 2010:Table 1) in 2008, the U.S. ranked just second behind Norway in PPP at $46,970 (Kerbo:Table 16-2); however, in a World Bank Gini Index on global income inequality (2006a:280-282), out of 31 nations ranging from .25 (Sweden) to .58 (Guatemala), the U.S. was at .38; highest of the top five core nations but also higher than many of the non-core nations like Ethiopia (.30) and Bangladesh (.31) (Kerbo:Table 16-3).

The economic relationship that Kerbo is speaking of is foreign investment and debt dependency (Kerbo:Chase-Dunn 1975; Rubinson 1976). Kerbo indicates four primary variable influences of core nation economic world systems on non-core nation economic development: 1) “the existence and power of a small group of elites;” 2) “the degree of working powerlessness;” 3) “the type of political system[s] maintained; and 4) “the level of income inequality.” While we know that income inequality is not a requisite for core or non-core nation status, but actually to some degree, a natural consequence of industrialization (stratification), Kerbo indicates that when we take into account the other three relational variables of core nation wealth on non-core nation poverty within newly industrialized non-core nations as a result of foreign investment and debt dependency, that income inequality has tended to be more severe, systemic and permanent.

Historical data on todays industrialized core nations, indicate that income inequality has decreased as economic [industrial] development has increased (relatively) (Kerbo:Rubinson 1976; Jackman 1975). Today however, as Kerbo points out, the reverse is proving to be true for non-core nations whose economic development has occurred as a direct result of foreign core nation investment. The economic development of non-core nations resulting from foreign investment over the past forty years has preceded and even circumvented the development of the democratic, educational, bureaucratic and occupational structures within these non-core nations; unlike the historic economic and political evolution of modern industrialized core nations going back hundreds, even thousands, of years (Kerbo:Figure 16-4). In other words, the four variables Kerbo cited above are heavily influenced when non-core nation states have not been allowed the same opportunity to develop and negotiate their own collective means of production, ownership, labor and democratic structures to fairly distribute and reinvest collective benefits (Kerbo: Bornschier and Ballmer-Cao 1979).

Foreign debt dependence exists on two levels: 1) core multinational corporate capital investment; and 2) core government trade, crisis aid, and political and military protection. Non-core powerful elites (top 5% and/or corrupt governments) benefit the most from this dependence and so non-core production must go to providing cheap labor and raw materials for core corporate elites and cheap consumer goods for core non-elites, as opposed to production that provides for the needs of their own non-core non-elites. This leads to stalled non-core economic growth. Core non-elite high wage production ownership is lost to non-core non-elites and replaced by low wage service labor for core elites. Once again, as immoral as it may sound, core corporate/shareholder and non-core elite wealth and power both increase exponentially while standards of living for both core and non-core non-elites decline (Kerbo: Figure 16-5).

However, there are certain non-core Asian nations today that appear to be following the historic model of economic industrial development reducing, not increasing, income equality (relatively). East and Southeast Asian nations are reducing their income inequality in contrast to their non-core counterparts of South Asia, Africa and South America (World Bank 2010; Kerbo 2006). Two very important key factors have been found to explain this. First is education. Studies have shown that educated populations are more likely to make better use of foreign investment for long term broad economic growth, as opposed to short term limited economic reward (Kerbo:Kentor and Boswell 2003; de Soysa and Oneal 1999). Second is a deeply held sense of nationalism. Societies of ancient lineage have a historic pride and collective responsibility to its common national interests. Unfortunately, a strong national ethic is more likely to be in tact today when that society has not been victim to colonization during its history (Kerbo 2006, 2005). This would explain much when comparing these nations to those of South Asia, Africa and South America. Africa is additionally unique in that its only historical commodity has been the export of its own people; translating today into severely corrupt, exploitive and apathetic central governments.

            While we cannot re-write history, core nations can use there leverage and influence for more than profits. They can demand more democratic global partners, safer and healthier infrastructures and investments in education. The global elite can accept that a reduction in the bottom line for higher wages must be a shared sacrifice for a higher quality of life for all those who toil on their behalf, and to whom they owe so much for their personal, national and global success. Just imagine what humanity could accomplish with the human resource capital of 7 billion healthy, safe and educated minds.

 

 2012 (H.R. Kerbo). Social Stratification and Inequality. McGraw Hill NY. Ch 9:16

 

The Male Ego and Female Oppression

The Destructive Image of Male “Superiority”

dads pic

By Shane Stewart

Excerpt from; “The Female Imperative” – Shane Stewart – T. L. Dayen – Confessions of a Male Chauvinist Pig – Pg 17.

“Realizing that the images of male superiority and female inferiority had absolutely no foundation in truth, was an epiphany for me. Male superiority had nothing to do with nature, evolution, or universal law. The image of male superiority was just a charade, a fallacy, a hoax, intentionally concocted by the lowly male ego for the sole purpose of gaining domination and control over women. But sadly this hoax, of gigantic proportions, has unjustly and erroneously defined and molded the lives and character of every man and woman on earth since time immemorial. The very foundation of what humans believe to be true is actually a core of negative falsehood, built by men to control women. Humanity is living a lie! I began to question the very core of human social structure and examine everything I had ever been taught about the ‘relationship’ between men and women.”

* * * *

The Negative male ego is the most violent, destructive, oppressive and sadistic beast to ever have walked the Earth. The core motivation of men driven by their male ego, is the destruction of female creational consciousness.  The false image of male “superiority” is the very tool the male ego uses to maintain control over our species and perpetuate the domination, oppression, and servitude of women. For untold thousands of generations men have been able to successfully continue their campaign of “brainwashing, imprinting, training, and programming” every human being in every nation, society, religion, culture, and cult on Earth in the fallacy of male superiority and female “inferiority.” Men dominate and oppress women, plain and simple. We see it in everyday life; in our homes, our governments, businesses, schools, restaurants, work places, and while just walking down the street. Women are the oppressed of our species, molded for purposes of sexual, domestic, economic, and social servitude as a matter of course, while the false image of male superiority nurtures a negative atmosphere that leads to women being ridiculed, belittled, mocked, beaten, raped, and murdered by men in every society on Earth. The degree of female oppression women experience is simply determined by where on this planet they live. The more “civilized and social” nations have a lesser degree of female oppression than the more “uncivilized and barbaric” ones. I’m not going to get into which nations these are because we all know which ones they are. That subject is for another blog all its own.

My purpose and dedication of course, is emancipation of the female from male domination. In order for this to occur we must first understand that men continue to dominate women even while knowing deep inside that their male “superiority” is just a fallacy, an image. But males continue to be strongly “programmed” in the domination and oppression women. So we must note that the negative attitude and false image of male “superiority” is devastating and destructive not only to the female of our species [as I have covered in depth in The Female Imperative] but also to the male of our species, because it blocks any possibility that male children will ever have a chance of developing a sense of individuality, a consciousness of “partnership” with the female, and a compassionate “human” identity as they grow, especially since the image of male superiority is automatically based upon the shape of the body at birth.  A male baby = penis; superior, dominant, intelligent! A female baby = vagina; inferior, subservient, obtuse! Boys are “boys”, not just people! They are not just half of humanity, they are the “important” half, the “superior” half, the “male” half, and this attitude is pounded into them from the very beginning. They are not “sissy” girls! Men have established from the moment of birth that those born with a penis will “characteristically” be superior to, more intelligent than, more decisive than, and more courageous than anyone born with a vagina! And this determination is made even before male or female children have a chance to utter their very first word! How can this be an intelligent determination? How does the penis endow a human being with these “qualities of character?” Is it a magical wand? I thought the qualities of intelligence, decisiveness, bravery, and courage had to be observed in people before we could determine if that was part of their “character.” Not so with the image of male superiority! That wailing little infant with a penis is determined to already be in possession of all that stuff, while that wailing little infant with a vagina will never be in possession of those qualities of character. I didn’t know that a physical body part had anything to do with your character as a human being. So, maybe in the future, men will actually claim to have discovered that “center of consciousness” where the “brain of the penis” dispenses “intelligence, decisiveness, and bravery,” and bestows “superiority” upon all those who possess it.

As I write this and read it back, it even sounds ridiculous and incredible to me that half the people on Earth [men] have this “thought” process (male superiority) running through their minds all the time! Many men live in a complete fantasy world about women. Because in reality, no one really believes men have any kind of “superiority” over women, except perhaps in the realm of physical, bodily, brute strength. But brute strength is not “superiority of character.” The fantasy world of male superiority that most men live in will eventually implode and collapse upon them, unless they have succeeded in wiping out our planet first.

It’s quite sad and a bit pathetic to finally come to the realization that half the population of humanity (male) is rudderless and without identity unless it can be falsely perceived as superior to the other half of humanity’s population (female). And let’s not forget that all these “superior” men were dependent upon these “inferior” women to even have a chance of getting to planet Earth in the first place! In reality women are the ones who have a rudder; women have direction; women give life. Women have a foundation of “I am” which needs no image of “superiority” in order “to be.” Men know this and that is why they are desperate to “attach to, dominate, oppress, and control” women.   And it is upon this foundation of female oppression that the image of male superiority must stand, or it will fracture and crumble into dust.   The moment males are born, they enter a life where they are encouraged to “believe, act out, and behave” as though they are superior to the very women through which bodies they came. This must cause an unresolved “conflict” in every man as he gets older, and this conflict surely results in frustration that leads to the demonstration of perpetual male violence!

Men cannot give birth. That process is strictly reserved for the female. This is a fact that does not bode well for the image of male “superiority.”  So men have come up with a way to show women that they can also give “birth.”   I am not being facetious here. Men are desperately trying to perfect the process of human cloning so as to “prove” that they too can “create life,” and this will allow them to project a still stronger image of male superiority. We will truly enter the “age of Frankenstein” when men perfect the process of cloning a complete human body, and sadly they will be proud of it! And what about the day when men stand and proclaim that a “male clone” is superior to a “human female?” Oh, look out!! And how many men do you think would gladly spend money to pay for a clone of their favorite “sexual” female for just that purpose? Do not be naive about the “sexual” motivation of the negative male ego, nor deceived by it. I am in absolute and total disagreement with the cellular cloning of a complete human body.  But I am in absolute and total agreement with the cloning of individual organs for health and medical purposes.  (I will dedicate a future blog to cloning).

All this male superiority malarkey never ceases to amaze me, because everyone (men, women, boys, girls) knows that male superiority is just an atrocious fallacy, a baseless image. But the problem is that we all maintain this facade by continuing to wear our “masks” of superior male and inferior female even while knowing they are just masks! Men wear their mask of male superiority voluntarily, but they force the mask of female inferiority over the face of women.  Men will never take off their mask of superiority and they staunchly forbid women to remove their mask of inferiority, even under threat of harm. So the negative, violent, destructive charade of male superiority and resultant female oppression will go on, and on, and on, even unto our eventual demise.

All my life I was a male chauvinist pig with a strong attitude of male superiority.  I “used” women sexually, but I was not physically violent with them. I have never, nor will I ever, strike a woman. Men who beat women are solid “cowards of character.” They are “animal mind” beasts. Sadly, many of these men consider “hitting and pushing women around” to be a “manly” activity! But I am aware that just because I didn’t beat women does not excuse the fact that I exploited them sexually. However, in my world of sexual exploitation I considered women to be “equal” to me, in that they had the same opportunity to “use” me sexually. And yes, many of them did. So in my world I was on parity with women. Plus, I came out of the 60’s generation where “free love” meant sex with whomever you wanted, if you could accomplish that! That was my “free” generation.  I considered myself to be a “normal” guy, just trying to “get laid” and to fulfill the sexual “expectations” of the women I was with. This of course “died a slow death” as I got older because women paid less and less  attention to me, and “freedom” became more than sexual. I fell behind the times.

To truly understand my past “sexual” motivation I had to understand my broken, dysfunctional childhood. My family split apart before I was even one year old. My brother and I (he was 1 1/2 years older than me) were separated and constantly being shuttled around, forced to stay for a few months at a time with different members of the extended family. Because of this when I started school I had to transfer quite often and never had a chance to lay down any kind of foundation for a “permanent” relationship with anyone. For the first few years I was okay with that and I logged in very good grades on my report cards. But that would change. As I analyzed my childhood, it was apparent why I had become a chauvinist pig.

Excerpt from; “The Female Imperative” – Shane Stewart – T. L. Dayen, Confessions of a Male Chauvinist Pig – Pg 14.

“It was during the fifth grade that my entire life would suddenly be altered forever. That was the year my hormones erupted and I was sent careening down a path that I would be locked into for decades to come. The fifth grade was the year I discovered girls! Girls! One day they weren’t there, and the next day they were everywhere! I had never even looked at girls before, and now I couldn’t keep my eyes off them. Where had they come from? How did they get here? I was mesmerized!   How could I not have known about girls? They were pretty and exciting, and they liked to giggle and flirt with me! They were way more fun than my buddies, and they smelled good too! Girls gave me a strange feeling in my gut. I never felt more alive than when I was around girls. Life was getting exciting and I loved it! I lost interest in studying and learning, and it showed in my grades. But I didn’t care. That wasn’t important any more. Now I went to school because that’s where the girls were. Every time I enrolled in a new school my purpose was to get the prettiest girl there. I did not fail. Girls let me know they liked me. They told me I was cute and treated me like I was someone special. They didn’t know that I was just an unimportant, scruffy little kid from a totally dysfunctional and fractured background. So after all this time I had finally become someone important! However, this self-importance was only measured by how many girls could assuage my young male ego – a male chauvinist pig was born!”

* * *

Men continue to oppress women in every possible way; domestically, socially, economically, sexually, physically, and violently. Ironically men consider their image of “superiority” to be their birth right. They are superior to the very beings that give them life?? This attitude is a major problem and the only solution to this is that we must change what we “teach” our children.  We must begin to place into the minds of children of all future generations the truth that “equality for all humans” [female and male] is an underlying principle in the foundation of our species. However, in this year of 2014, children are still taught the lie that “all men are created equal,” not all humans. What about women? Men do not extend the concept of equality to the realm of the female. Many women are literally social, domestic, and sexual servants. They are not independent human beings, but an appendage of men! The attitude of male superiority and female inferiority is ground into the minds of our children as they continue to grow. And if this is not changed, and soon, we face a very bleak future indeed, because our “future” will simply continue to be a replication of our violent and destructive past, dominated by the animal mind of the negative male ego and awash in female oppression and violence.  The male ego and the image of male superiority is the foundation of our social destruction and the destruction of our planet!

Shane’s Rant on I.S.I.L.

The Insane Male Ego Run Amok.

Murder, domination, and 

absolute female oppression!

dads pic

By Shane Stewart

This website is dedicated to female emancipation. This dedication is necessarily “moral and political” in its nature. I write about and praise that which advances the cause of female emancipation and I write about and condemn that which perpetuates the injustice of female oppression.  I rarely speak in terms of “good and evil,” but the horror that the men of I.S.I.L. carry out against women, just because they’re women,  leaves me no choice but to accept that they are indeed “evil” in nature. In fact I.S.I.L. may be one of the most evil expressions of the negative male ego that has ever existed on this planet! How sad that these men exist entirely for the purpose of worshipping and spreading terror.  Where is the love? 

*  * *

All men oppress women to some degree because men consider themselves to be “superior” to women. But in a “modern” world, even men who are strongly controlled by their negative male ego (but still consider themselves to be “civilized,”) generally try to stay within acceptable parameters of “social order and decency” in their domination and control of women. They are not “blatant and overt” about it and do not “slap women around” at home or on the street. Female oppression is so deeply embedded and accepted in most societies that men have just been kind of “laying low” and letting female oppression “roll along” on its own energy. Men know they “got a good thing going,” and if not too much attention is brought to the atrocity of female oppression; it may just continue to “roll along” for quite some time. Men of “moderate” male ego know that it is no longer necessary to verbally, physically, and publicly demean, beat, and “hold women at gunpoint” to make them know that they are the “inferiors” of men. Women are already conditioned in every society on Earth to believe this fallacy. They have been brainwashed in this attitude for countless thousands of generations. So if things don’t get too bad for women, they just might keep accepting male superiority as the normal social construct. Inferiority is considered to be the “natural” position of women. So, rational men believe they “got it made” if they don’t scream too loudly about their superiority over women. They don’t want to risk a “major uprising” by the inferiors against the male dominated social order, as that would not bode well for continued male control of women and their desired social construct of female oppression. Therefore, in most “civilized” societies we see men treading lightly in their public insistence that women “stay down” and continue to be dominated. In these societies men project an appearance of giving women “some freedoms”, but very few.  Even in “civilized” societies women still perform mostly as sexual, domestic, and/or economic “servants.”

I think the reason many “moderate” men feel extreme anger toward I.S.I.L., is because these guys are not “laying low” about female oppression. They are blatant, religious, fanatical lunatics, straight up murderers and rapists, who stand with “pride” and shout out about their physical and sexual domination and oppression of women. They are “rocking the boat!” They keep screaming about their “God given right as men” to dominate and oppress women. In fact, if they don’t openly oppress women, they are not being the kind of “men” their “god” wants them to be! So now the horror of female oppression is being thrust into the forefront of our awareness in nightly newscasts. This horror is being brought home directly in our faces. Many witnesses tell of women being “carted off” to be raped, or logged in as “virgins” to be sold, or forced to “marry” some maniacal terrorist and give birth to his male child! All this is catching the attention of a lot of women who have hence-forth simply been going along with the status quo of their inferiority. But now they are beginning to ask questions. They are beginning to see that they do not have anywhere near the freedoms that men have told them they have. And they do not have the “freedoms” that men have, and they are certainly not considered to be “individual” human beings. Even in societies where female oppression is considered to be “benign”, [America and Western Europe] women still lack any substantial power and authority. I.S.I.L.’s public demonstrations of female oppression are opening the eyes of many women and taking the lid off a “Pandora’s Box” that may be impossible to close again. Women want freedom from domination by men.  They are going to start demanding some power as human beings.  They are going to start demanding control over their own lives and bodies.

I knew this would happen eventually, but I think it is going to happen much more quickly now because of the “attention” that I.S.I.L. has brought to female oppression. How can anyone hear about women being horribly tortured and abused just because they are women, and not be angry!? I hate to say this but the rise of these monsters just might be a blessing in disguise for female emancipation. Maybe women will now start to acknowledge the anger they certainly must feel about the injustice of their oppression and start taking action toward their emancipation. Women must come to realize that every man has a negative male ego which fosters the attitude of female oppression and male superiority. It is just a matter of degree within each man as to what depths unto which he will sink in his domination and oppression of women.  All men are guilty of oppressing women in one way or another; from tyrannical monster to benevolent despot.

These I.S.I.L. guys have sunk all the way out of “human” consciousness and conscience, and are molding a world where women have absolutely NO influence on anything whatsoever; a world where a donkey has more value than a woman; a world where the only purpose of women is blatant domestic and sexual servitude. A world dominated by gun-toting, egotistical, testosterone driven, screaming, marauding, murdering, raping, religiously fanatical, out-of-control, self-serving gangs of males, doing anything and everything destructive they want to do to anyone at any time! And if you say anything about it, they will just kill you! They are tyrannical, snotty nosed, violent little bad boys who now have real, loaded guns in their hands, rampant in their destruction because they’re “too big” for mommy to stop them now! No way! They’re “stronger” than her. She’s just a weak, powerless woman anyway!   These guys are running amok in the areas they control and they will come to your house and kill you if you offer any kind of logical and/or rational debate against I.S.I.L. control. These guys are violent and negative at the core, and demonstrate the very worst of humanity through the male ego. Can you imagine the horror of life under these maniacs? Whether you’re male or female?  Do you really want the future of the entire world to be under the insanity of I.S.I.L. control? There would be no future, just the destructive past repeating itself over and over in an endless loop of violence, horror, and terror until we are dragged over the precipice of our annihilation! The purpose of I.S.I.L. is the domination of every woman on Earth!! They will remove and rape any woman at will. This is their right as “victorious” males. Even the Taliban pales in comparison to the evil perpetrated against women by the men in this “organization.” And to further demonstrate their fractured and mentality, these monsters rampage along, raise and fire their guns at anyone, and as they grind their boot heels into female emancipation they pronounce themselves “pure” because they “denounce the ‘evils’ of alcohol!” Really? There is something horribly wrong with this picture!  Yes I’m ranting; outraged and angry!  Any “civilized” human being should be!

How many women do you think have volunteered to promote the “cause” of I.S.I.L.? How many women do you think are in leadership positions in I.S.I.L.? How many women do you think are prisoners of I.S.I.L.? How many women do you think, at this moment, are being raped as a matter of course and will be forced to bear “terrorist sons” under I.S.I.L.? How many women do you think, at this moment, are longing to escape the horrors of I.S.I.L. and live as human beings?  How many women do you think are sex slaves under I.S.I.L. control?

 The Creed of the I.S.I.L. “Freedom” Fighter??

I am might. Might is right.

God is He. I am he.

I am God. I am your God.

My gun makes it so.

You are woman; shut up!

You serve man. I am man.

Bear my sons. Bow to me.

Kiss my feet. Bring my tea.

I had a hard day, woman.

Testosterone + Money; What Could Go Wrong?

The NFL is simply a microcosm of an ancient blueprint of our global society – male ego greed and power.

T's Toes

By T.L. Dayen

The NFL is a world in itself. It’s the least transparent but richest organization in the world, and it is completely self-contained. It has its own physical and mental medical team. It has its own family and marriage counseling and liaison team. It has its own investigative team, and it has its own disciplinary team, with successful players receiving criminal sentences based on how valuable you are to the NFL. In other words, the NFL is a place where nothing is more important than money; males make ALL the rules, and break them whenever it serves them, and women; their role and experiences are secondary, if not inconsequential. Sounds like planet Earth to me!!

NFL is the “No Females League.”

Abusing a woman gets you 2 games sitting on the bench;

But abusing dog’s gets you 2 years sitting behind bars.

After all, dogs are man’s best friend!

If you don’t think it’s a man’s world, just look at the NFL; what a place with literally zero female influence looks like: tolerance of violence and abuse; exploitation of skills and contribution even to the point of physical and/or mental injury; a hierarchy of powerful [male] individuals who have the final say on every and all issues; an environment where profit is the determining factor in every decision that is made; a culture much less interested in justice as it is in maintaining an “image;” a place where female sexual objectification is central to advertising dollars and brand image; and a place where ones value is equal only to the amount of money you can make for your superiors.

arrest

http://www.utsandiego.com/nfl/arrests-database/

There have been 724 arrest offenses since 2000 with charges overwhelmingly represented by three categories: violence, drugs and weapons charges. That’s an average of 52 per year for 14 years. The NFL is made up of approximately 1500 players. There’s been a lot of talk about the fact that the percentage of arrests within the NFL is way below the “national average.” Has no one considered how absurd that notion is as a defense of these men? These players are employees of an organization, no different from IBM or GE or Exxon-Mobil, all which employ at least, if not more than 1500 people. How would we be reacting if GE employees for example, were arrested for violence, weapons or drugs at an average of 52 per year over 14 years? Really?? It would be an unprecedented outrage; and one that would never be tolerated in any other industry other than, apparently, the NFL.

These men are not from the street. Their offenses cannot be held to the same standard as the “national average” which is represented overwhelmingly by low income and ill-educated men. No, NFL players are college educated millionaires! And most will enjoy continued financial success in other endeavors after their time in the NFL (if they manage to avoid brain damage). How and why can the NFL tolerate this behavior within their organization? Or is the NFL itself complicit in this behavior?

nfl

Believe it or not, while I’m not a sports fanatic, I actually LOVE FOOTBALL! I’ll gladly spend a few hours on a free Sunday to watch a good game! I don’t follow it closely, but I like to know just enough about the game, the players and the season to hold a decent convo with the “boys” at a spirited Super bowl party. In fact, I’ve always said that the “holiday season” isn’t officially over until after Super bowl! I like watching football for the same reason I would imagine everyone does, it’s exciting! Large men in tight pants and shiny helmet’s running, rushing and passing like bulls and gazelles on a large field performing amazing feats of strength, agility and endurance surrounded by a roaring crowd; devoted, frenzied and face painted. Can everyone say “gladiator?” Football is the other “America’s favorite pass time.” For most, football is a great game, and for many it’s a religion. More people watch football on Sunday in America than go to church.

But football is really a business. The wealth of the NFL is unsurpassed by any other national league. The NFL is not required to disclose its annual financial records to the public. But statistics can shed light on the NFL cash machine. The average cost of one NFL team is between 1.17 and 1.43 billion. NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, earned 44 million in just the 2012/13 season, and according to Forbes Magazine, the NFL takes in over 9 billion in total annual revenues. Commissioner Goodell told his owners he expects the League to gross 25 billion by 2027.

 goddell

How does it make its money? fans, advertisers, sponsors – and taxpayers!

The NFL is a NON-PROFT!

The richest organization in the nation pays no Federal taxes!

Yes, taxpayers are even forced to pay for the elaborate stadiums that lure tens of thousands of fans to fill their seats at an average of $84 a seat. With modern day high tech home media to watch your favorite team in HD with your buddies from the comfort of your Lazy Boy and an arm’s reach of a cooler full of brew, it’s become difficult to fill the seats of these stadiums on a regular basis. Team owners often threaten municipalities to leave their cities if they don’t invest their citizen’s tax dollars on bigger and more spectacular stadiums which now exceeds 700 million dollars.

A cities football team is a sense of national pride and identity, but team owners care little for their fans devotion and will pack it up and move to the location of the highest bidder all at the expense of the American taxpayer. And if they do “build it” and “they don’t come” they’ll leave as soon as a more lucrative location is found anyway.

God forbid the NFL should dip in to those billions they make from devoted fans and spend their own money to build their own fricken stadiums!

The NFL is subsidized by the American taxpayer.

 money

While team owners and the league are rolling in the dough, what about the players that the fans and municipalities are paying to see play? NFL player contract salaries ranged from 118 to 180 million in the 2013/14 season, but the average career for an NFL player is just 3.3 years, and just 6 if you’re a rookie good enough to make the cut for the opening game. Team owners however, change out very rarely and ownership is often passed down within families from generation to generation. There have been only 3 NFL commissioners since 1960 (54 years). The infrastructure of the league is a “good old boys club” while the players are commodities flying in and out of a revolving door; and as a player, if your brain or body happens to get injured while whipping through that revolving door of the harshest contact sport – that’s your problem. There’s hundreds of strapping young men waiting in the line outside for their turn at a chance for “fifteen minutes of fame!” Cheerleaders either work for “free” or are grossly underpaid (less than minimum wage). Their skill, tireless dedication and phenomenal efforts to keep their bodies in mint condition are rewarded simply by having the opportunity to expose their skin and shake their “pompoms” in the faces of millions of testosterone pumped men tuning in twice a week.

            girls 1

The NFL is a man’s game, and it should be. I get it! But what really pisses me and most of the country off right now is how that translates – what that actually means in the real world for the men, their families and loved ones who have entrusted their lives to the NFL for a few brief years of descent money for themselves, but decades of continued phenomenal wealth for those who exploit their dedication. Considering the average career of a player to be only 3.3 years and 6 if they’re exceptional who have no record of arrests before coming to the NFL, how does this organization justify over 720 arrests out of 1500 revolving players over 14 years?

Are 48% of NFL players over 14 years really monstrous thugs, or are they aspiring young college men who thought they were realizing their dreams when in reality they were being indoctrinated into both one of the most profit motivated and most chauvinistic industries in the world? Even the military gives women more respect and authority than the NFL, and with the rampant rape within the military industrial complex, that’s a pretty pathetic comparison.

girls 2

How can we expect NFL players to be model citizens in society and exemplary role models for fans when their own role models, the organization that demands complete dedication and absolute loyalty in exchange for seeing to star players and their family’s every need, teaches them that “money is GOD,” “might is right,” and “girls are only good for one thing?” In this light, on the most fundamental of levels outside of culture, is there that much difference between what motivates the N.F.L. and what motivates I.S.I.L.?