Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I’ve held off on making this post for some time because

a) I was stuffing myself with Thanksgiving goodness, and

b) Lots of people have already done so.

For example, I bring you Chris Havercroft:

“Regardless of whether Chris Brown has any musical talent (he doesn’t) and whether this album is any good (it isn’t), the man recently brutally assaulted a woman, and is still regularly invited back to award shows and worshipped by “Breezy” fans worldwide. Which is, frankly, disgusting. And for those of you out there saying you need to separate the music from the man; screw you, don’ encourage his actions.”

Havercroft has a fair point in that last sentence. Long before basketball superstar Charles Barkley decried, “I am not a role model,” we venerated celebrities whose real-life antics would get a less moneyed and less famous person considerable jail time and repudiation. In the same way that we can’t let Jerry Sandusky off the hook simply because he was a college sports icon, we shouldn’t let Chris Brown off the hook because he’s a popular singer. 

He’s still a dirty, dirty douche canoe who deserves to be donkey-punched by anyone who sees him on the street.This is pretty much where I move away from my Christian beliefs. Jesus would urge forgiveness. I urge stoning.

What bothers me most about this situation is not that Chris Brown most likely doesn’t believe what he did was wrong (Really? Listen to his lyrics. Very little beyond misogyny in there.) or that he deserves to have it overlooked because he’s the singer of the century, but the fact that his former girlfriend and punching bag, Rihanna, keeps going back to this clown. Never has there been a more high-profile example of battered woman syndrome. 

Commentator Andy Levy recently poked fun at Brown via Twitter. The Breezy Army and Brown both lashed out at him. To be fair, they were only mad at him because he made light of the fact that Brown was a womanizing, woman-beating mantramp and called more national attention to the fact that Brown beat the crap out of Rihanna. Nobody appreciates you when you keep using “facts” to really screw up people’s perception of an individual.

It’s a simple concept, and one we here at MMISBTY heartily endorse: 

DON’T HIT WOMEN. DON’T HIT WOMEN. DON’T HIT WOMEN.

I consume Facebook at lot. I’m not all up there throwin’ up pics of lolcats because, honestly, that’s just not me. I use it to keep in connection with a wide and diverse host of people all over the planet, which is pretty sure what the original intent was meant to be – people chattin’ at people. Sometimes, however, this mine of the mundane produces a special gem. This was posted by the husband of a high school friend:

“Thank you God for getting me through this morning with twins! Also God please bring my wife home safely and SOON!

A prayer for his wife. What a great way to honor her, and more importantly, he wants his woman to return to him safely. 

Each year, there’s a lot of derision that comes up about Valentine’s Day and it kills me. However, living on the internet for the past 16 years has taught me that people will deride pretty much anything, so I shouldn’t be particularly surprised. The most common comment is something akin to “I don’t need a holiday for me to tell my wife I love her. We live that love every day.”

Except that most men don’t.

Now, I am sure the bulk of you manly men out there tell your wives you love them. Maybe several times a day; maybe once every couple of days. But you are not really steering off the designated path, are you? Not really taking the “road less traveled?”

I get it. Feelings. Not really the male arena. But we have them, so we should make them known. And we should use our outside voices. 

How many men out there tell their wives how beautiful they are? Lots? Perhaps. Take it one step further – how many of you notice when she wears new shoes, a new blouse or a new outfit? 

How many of you tell your significant other you are proud of them? That they really know how to mother your children? That they are damn good at whatever it is they do? At the risk of sounding like the 1950s, how many of your tell your stay-at-home wife or girlfriend that she’s incredible at keeping up the house. That she makes you feel like a king?

It seems innocuous, and women certainly don’t need us for affirmation, but it can be a day-altering event. I’ve seen people grab, bite into and suck the marrow out of a single compliment that keeps them going for a whole day. It’s not that they were weak or in need of validation, but they got it. It came, like a shiny, wrapped gift left just for them. It made them feel special.

And loved. 

I’ve never truly bought into the concept of the “emotional bank account” because I think that starts to overgeneralize the complex emotions of women. However, it’s built on a fairly simply concept. If you constantly berate someone, constantly tear them down, they will begin to see themselves as less than they are and worse, they will see themselves as less when you are present. The more you build someone up, the more they will see you as a light in their life, as a respite from the world. 

Isn’t that what we all dream of – the chance to be someone’s hero and build for them, even if its only emotional, a haven from the rest of the world?

Manly men use manly words to build people up and we need to do it every day. Not as a reflexive “I love you” habit, but through a sincere reading of a person that allows us to see how we can honor them. It takes so little to be a force for the positive and it will pay huge dividends in your relationships.

Bear with me, folks. This has been a long series experiment and this post will be the mother of all posts related to earlier said post. Too much posting? For those of you new to the series, this is, as stated, part four of my examination of 100 attraction principles as outlined in the book Why Men Love Bitches. If I have not stated this before, I should note for the record (is there really a record?) that I have not read the book. Nor do I intend to because such books nauseate me. However, I do understand that there are men and women schlepping this pebble who don’t feel they have the world’s greatest insight on relationships and hope that these manifestos will help them bone up. I can tell you from 40 years of experience in dealing with the male-female dictum that you will never, not by the end of your life, get it. Relationships are the most fluid entity on the planet and no matter how many “rules” one might lay out for how to deal with the opposite sex, they are not universal because they deal with emotion and feeling which are as unique to you as fingerprints. Alas, my job is to provide the catalyst for discussion and thought provocation. I hope you find that here.

You can find Part one of the series here. And part deux. And part the third.

76. He’ll never respect you as being able to hold your own unless you can stand on your own two feet financially.

This is always an interesting discussion. Finance, more than any other aspect of merging lives, causes the most downfall – people do not communicate well about money. Especially in relationships. But the short version answer for advice is that what you make is not as important as what you do. If you have a job and its just that – a vehicle to pay the bills, don’t sweat it. A lot of us go that route, especially early in our work life. If you have a passion rather than a job, make sure you demonstrate that passion and he will respect you because you have respect for your chosen passion. If he doesn’t, dump him like a sack of rotten peaches.

77. You have to show that you won’t accept mistreatment. Then you will keep his respect.

You shouldn’t accept mistreatment. This is not just a female thing, however, and it goes back to self-esteem.

78. Your pink slip is maintained when you can stand on your own–with him or without him. He should never feel that you are completely as his mercy.

Again, surrender is merited when both parties surrender to one another. He won’t feel you are at his mercy if he treats your respectfully as his mother hopefully taught him to do. If he Lords things over you, ditch him.

79. When a man views a woman as a “little girl” or a sister he has to take care of, the passion diminishes. He doesn’t want to make love to his sister.

I call BS on this. In the male world, we may not want to make love to our sisters, but the fact that our sister is passingly attractive does not go unnoticed. Further, if most relationships boil down to the affections we had for parents, we are looking for familiar traits in women that echo the traits in the women we grew up with. Plus, there’s a lot of guys into the submissive woman. That does not mean you should be a doormat, but your cuteness will sometimes go a long way.

80. The ability to choose how you want to live, and the ability to choose how you want to be treated are the two things that give you more power than any material object ever will.

True. Other than maybe a taser. That seems to give women a LOT of power. And a big-ass rottweiler. That gives you a ton of power when men realize that dog’s head is huge, full of teeth, and right at crotch level.

81. In a relationship of any kind, if one person feels the other person isn’t bringing anything to the table, he or she will begin to disrespect that person.

While I don’t advocate the “baller/scrub” mentality of modern dating, I will say that the rules of attraction can be confounding at times. We may find ourselves attracted to someone who seems like “a hopeless case” and want to work to restore that person to some perceived glory. We must resist this urge because it causes us to fall into co-dependency. But people can be overlooked for what they provide – emotional support, relief, love – simply because they are not career-oriented or ambitious. Thus, this line must be walked carefully.

82. Financial neediness is no different than emotional neediness; in both instances, he can still get the feeling that he has a 100 percent hold on you.

Many cases have been made for the independent woman. I would suggest that if you are looking for a man because you need to pay rent, you need to move back in with your parents and stop looking for men.

83. Regardless of how pretty a woman is, looks alone will not sustain his respect. Appearance may pull him in, but it is your independence that will keep him turned on.

Actually, it’s a lot of things that will keep him turned on. Sure, independence will be attractive to some. So will laughter. Eagerness in the bedroom. Care. Compassion. Athletics. Love of dogs. Don’t stress too much over this.

84. When a man is very consumed with not being taken advantage of, this is a sign that he’s “on the take.”

I’m not sure this is correct, though it has the probability of signaling that something is wrong. Or the fella has just been hurt by other independent, strong women. That doesn’t make him a robber; it makes him cautious.

85. People will show you they have self-respect simply by virtue of the fact that they want to carry their own weight.

True.

86. The more independent you are of him, the more interested he will be.

As long as you can walk the fine line between independent and distant, sure. But forcing yourself to be independent in order to gain respect or to prove that you are your own woman is simply forcing yourself to be someone you may not be. And you are putting on a front for him that might be confusing. Being independent is one thing; trying to be independent is altogether something else.

87. If you make it too obvious that you’re excited to get something, some people will be tempted to dangle a carrot in front of your face.

And if you bury a statue of a Catholic saint in your front yard, your house might sell faster. I’m not sure where wisdom like this comes from. If you are excited about something, be excited. Genuine emotion is all too rare.

88. When you alter the routine, your not being there is what will make him come around. Men don’t respond to words. What they respond to is no contact.

I honestly think I have seen this earlier in the 100. But men, actually, do respond to words. We just don’t use as many as women do. But we do listen to what you say, especially if you couch it in a way of saying “This is what matters to me.”

89. Don’t give a reward for bad behavior.

Don’t tolerate bad behavior.

90. He simply won’t respect a woman who automatically goes into overdrive to please him.

It depends on the context. We like women who go into overdrive sometimes. But if you are being false, if you are being disingenuine about how you feel in order to create yourself as something you are not, he will leave you. And he should.

91. If he doesn’t give you a time, you don’t have a date.

Fair enough.

92. Often the best way to adjust or fix the problem is by not letting him know it’s being fixed. When you alter your availability or change a predictable routine, it will mentally pull him back in.

Often, the best way to fix a problem is to be honest about a problem. If you don’t think you are seeing your man enough, don’t do something stupid to get his attention like stop communicating with him. If he feels he has to up and “fix” the relationship all the time, it will become that never-ending project like the muscle car in the garage. He’ll see it as work and he’ll let dust gather on it.

93. Once you start laughing, you start healing.

True.

94. You can get away with saying much more with humor than you can with a straight face.

Depending on what you are saying. “I just pushed your Grandma down the stairs” isn’t particularly well-received in either format and both should freak him out.

95. A man feels he’s won, or conqured a woman, when she eats out of the palm of his hand. At which point, he begins to get bored.

If you are with a man who considers you a conquest rather than a potential partner, you need to walk away. Right. Now.

96. The tension that arises with a slightly bitchy woman gives a subtle feeling of danger to a man. He feels slightly unsure because she is never in the palm of his hand.

Actually, women use this descriptor for men as well. The “mystery” is what keeps women coming back. Mystery, rather than true intimacy, leads to insecurity.

97. A “yes” woman who gives too much sends the impression that she belives in the man more than she believes in herself. Men view this as weakness not kindness.

At the same time, we want our women to be proud of us. No matter the situation, we want to believe that you believe in us because that can lift us higher than a thousand compliments from men. We long to know you have our back and that it’s “us against the world.”

98. Be an independent thinker at all times, and ignore anyone who attempts to define you in a limiting way.

Fair enough.

99. Truly powerful people don’t explain why they want respect. They simply don’t engage someone who doesn’t give it to them.

On the other hand, most truly powerful people have earned respect before they walk in the door.

100. The most attractive quality of all is dignity.

Amen.

Final Thoughts

It occurs to me that the author of Why Men Love Bitches has had a romantic life that can be described, at best, as tumultuous. It also strikes me that she runs in a circle of highly professional men who have a leaning towards aloofness, career-drive, and nightly romantic conquests. Of course, I could be way off base, but this is the general feeling I get as I read through 100 points of disdain for women who are perceived as weak. But we must remember that the perception of weaker women is one that lingers from our caveman days when the roles of hunter-gatherer men and women who birth, raise and cook were the societal ideals. I am sure that the first priestess in those groups to emerge was reviled as breaking all the male-created stereotypes of the day. It also probably turned on a number of the menfolk. Just sayin.

The bottom line to relationships is respect, but that is such a nebulous idea when two people are entering the dating arena. It’s a an uneasy position for both of them fueled by feelings they can’t quite define. It’s like standing on a rope bridge made out of wax; it seems firm and may hold our weight but our foot might go right through the bridge on the next step. Or it could be a hot day and bridge is melting. Insert any of a dozen wax-related analogies here. The truth is that we never know what we are doing so we must endeavor to raise up the person across the dinner table from us. If we all start from a position of mutual respect and slowly reveal ourselves, we should be well-received. If we are not, that person is not right for us. Overthinking something like relationships that exist only in the most tenuous of positions can move you into a constant state of worry. In doing so, you abandon yourself and strive to be someone you think the other person wants you to be. But that’s often a false read on the situation and leads to more pain that you could ever imagine. The other person will eventually suss out what you are doing and feel like you have put up a false front, which you did. When they confront you, you will feel betrayed because you put so much effort into the relationship.

You both end up feeling stung. 

So, to sum up:

Men: Respect her at all times. Listen to her. Protect her. Show her affection. Above all, be honest with her and toss out all of these notions of what you think women should be and appreciate the amazing creature she is.

Women: Stop playing stupid games. We hate it. We’re not some project that needs to be manipulated for us to love and respect you. We are guys. And despite the stereotypes, we can listen, respond and care without some underlying ploy. Don’t ever – and I mean ever – base your self-worth on the opinions of other people. You are magical, wonderful, intelligent, sexy, beautiful and courageous. And if anyone tells you otherwise, set that Rottweiler i mentioned earlier on them.

Relationships are complex. We are not born into a world where we can choose our families, and in some respects, we are not of the ability to choose to whom we are attracted.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t lines. 

About 20 years ago, I attended a party at a convention in which my fellow attendees and I were required to wear colored dots on our name badges. There were three colors, each indicating a certain aspect. One color indicated that the wearer was straight, one that the wearer was gay and the other to indicated that the wearer was bi-sexual. In many ways, it made the evening very fun and easy-going because everyone knew where everyone else stood in the sexual arena. Almost everyone at the party was single, and the system was designed to promote a hassle-free environment wherein a heterosexual like myself could mingle and flirt without worrying that I might be made uncomfortable by someone of the same sex hitting on me.

Would that the world was this way. That no one had to be made uncomfortable or to deny who they were because of their sexual orientation and that it might offend another. For now, we live our lives in a tenuous web of interpersonal relationships that may or may not make us uncomfortable or self-demonizing. Generally, we live in an uneasy harmony.

There is a group asking for a seat at that table, and to be honest, I’d rather hit them with the chair than offer it to them as a place to rest.

At a recent conference, a group called B4U Act was discussing the rights of the pedophile. No, you read that right. They were holding a discussion on the best ways to normalize the attraction to minors. Jacob Breslow, a gay-rights activist and a speaker at the conference, said that there should be no stigma associated with the attraction to children. In fact, Breslow suggested that consent from a child wasn’t necessary for a minor-attracted person to perform a sex act on “it” anymore than one need seek permission to perform a sex act on a shoe. His discussion, from the firsthand accounts of those who were there, seemingly advocated that child rape was “natural” and should be condoned.

Read that again. He advocated that child rape was “natural.”

My sons, from their first breaths, have relied on me to be a protector. In fact, I feel that role is placed upon me for all children simply by virtue of being a parent. As a person who has investigated the crime of commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes dealing with children, I am acutely aware of the psychology of the predator. I am also acutely aware of the sexual development of children. I remember my own feelings around age 12 and 13 for girls who were my age and older. I get that the pre-teen years and especially the teen years are a time of sexual awakening as we discover through constant trial and error who we are as individuals and begin on our path to adulthood. But I also knew, at the age of 13, that feelings of sexual attraction to an 8-year-old would be abnormal. (Just to be clear – I have never been attracted to children) It wasn’t just because society had implanted a normative feeling that attraction to minors was a sexual taboo, but it came from an innate sense that certain milestones happen at certain ages. That our bodies become biologically available for sex at certain ages.

That those ages were not early childhood. 

Courts in Texas have ruled that children who are not of the age of consent are not able to be criminally prosecuted if lured into commercial sex acts. This wasn’t done to promote the commercial sexual exploitation of children, but to shield them from the justice system once they have been victimized by child predators. But it was not an arbitrary ruling. There is a point at which we, as a society, must set limitations on behavior that is destructive.

The pedophile community argues that it is no different than homosexuals. They use the same argument that such behavior is not learned or chosen, but rather part of their inherent emotional makeup. I think the same argument could be made for a serial killer. Clearly, a serial killer is a deviant individual who takes pleasure in some way from the murder of another person. Yet, the murderer is robbing that person of their rights and without asking for any kind of consent. The child predator does the same. It seeks a sexual encounter with a non-consenting child who may or may not fully understand the concept of sex.

This group is small, but it is active. It’s active in the scientific community, pushing the boundaries of “acceptable sex.” I’m far from one to dwell on the inner workings of a couple’s boudoir, and that means if they get down while dressed up like Big Bird and Barney, far be it from me to scoff at what gets them off. Once that activity becomes a danger to children – who these pedophiles claim are rarely sexually assaulted or forced into a sex act – it’s no longer a question of what is permissible in the sexual arena. It’s a matter of protection. This is not about repression. When a child reaches adulthood, they should have the support of the community to have a vibrant and fulfilling sex life. Until that time, however, we must draw a line in the sand.

Pedophilia must never find footing in civil society.

But you guessed this already. In fact, pretty much anything I write on the subject would be redundant. And, truthfully, we men are not often the victims of rape, nor was Rep. Akin referring to men in his comments. So, instead, I refer you to the fine bloggette over at People I Want To Punch In the Throat. You can find her rant here: http://www.peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.com/2012/08/rep-todd-akin.html.

Warning: She gets a bit more extreme in her language than I do. It’s part of her charm.

I love “teh womens.” And by that, I mean “I love women,” and by that, one woman in particular who has managed to live with me now for nearly 18 years without setting me on fire while I sleep. That’s a huge accomplishment, because if you know me at all, you likely have that urge a lot. (To set me on fire, not sleep.) Anyway, this is not about me. 

It’s about vaginas

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The forbidden lands! What treasure may lie there…

When I started this blog, I promised it would not be overtly political because that’s not what this is about. Sure, being politically active is a high-minded pursuit for we men, but it usually distracts from the topic at hand. This time, it’s bound to get a little political, but only from the perspective that women’s health is a colossal issue that you should take the time to get to know. And despite what you think, it’s not all about the vagina. Though, it kinda is. Lemme do some ‘splainin.

First, we’ve had more discussions in the last year about the anatomical amusement park that is a woman’s body and who can purchase tickets to that venue than we have in about the last 20 years. But it’s a good thing. Second, you should thank your president for bringing vaginas to the forefront of the national discussion. (He totally said “vagina.” Probably.) The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has provisions in it that many find controversial.I, for one, do not when it comes to guaranteeing healthcare for women. 

Why? Anyone familiar with the phrase “If Momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy?” After 16 years of marriage, I get that concept way too well. For you younger men, pay attention. It may seem like you are giving up man points here, but trust me, its far more Machiavellian to head off problems long before they become problems than to blindly suffer the wrath of an unhappy woman.

You think talking to them now is tough? Try doing it while their hoo-hoo is on fire because its sick. You’ll be channeling Schwarzenegger and screaming “Get to tha choppah” as you run screaming from the room.

While individuals in the talk media have made this issue about sex, they’re only half-right. Granted, the ACA does provide for contraceptive consultation and prescription, which is all about sex. It’s also about lessening cramps and related symptoms of the menstrual cycle which can hit women hard. You call it the ugly red monster’; women call it a “license to kill.” And for good reason – the women I have dated and known throughout my life have suffered from a wide spectrum of issues related to menstruation. I’ve watched them go through massive mood swings, depression, weight gain, intense abdominal cramping, migraines, abdominal swelling, upset gastroenterological processes and massive chocolate cravings. (Not just for Dementors anymore!) Many of these issues are caused by hormonal imbalances that can be modified by the proper contraceptive prescription. Just because a woman is on birth control doesn’t mean she’s a slut; in truth, she may not want to have sex at all. She may just want a cease fire between the crazed biological processes that make women…well, women.

In addition, such preventative healthcare picks up on and provides counseling for sexually-transmitted diseases. Remember the hoo-hoo on fire comment? (Hoo-Hoo on Fire – great name for a band.)  If you want to be around women, you don’t want them constantly complaining about how their nether regions are transforming into angry woodland creatures. (Notice how I could have said “beaver” there and totally resisted it? Mom would be proud.)

But apart from the sexual realm are things like urinary tract infections, screening and counseling for diseases like HIV, HPV (human papillomavirus) and gestational diabetes. pregnancy and breastfeeding counseling, screening for interpersonal violence issues and well-woman office visits related to the general function of the va-jay-jay, boobies and every other body part we snicker at when mentioned in public. 

In the words of the great philosopher Robin Williams, the reason we do just about everything on the planet is: to woo women. Women will not want to woo if their hoo-hoo is not currently woo-hooing properly. So before we get on our collective guy soapboxes and talk about how the whole issue with contraceptive health issues in the ACA devolves down to the fact that “she’s gotta have it,” let us consider for just a moment that the issues are just never that simple. Also, the next time a state legislator like Lisa Brown of the Michigan House of Representatives has the courage to mention her vagina from the House floor, we should all listen closely to what she has to say. 

Because I bet it will involve the word “vagina.”

Two young women I know are likely paying a lot of attention to Olympic volleyball this week and next. It’s not for nothing; these two are heavily involved in the sport as juveniles. Like really involved. Like “we drive out of town for tournaments” volleyball.

They are upstanding women of high moral character. One day, while I was picking up my sons at their school, I noticed a bus pull up and offload a bevy of young ladies clad in battle attire for throwing down on the volleyball court. Battle attire, largely, comprised of hot pants so tight you wonder if the girls have any circulation at waist-level.

Hot pants like these.

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Now, these pants on an adult are a wonderful thing. Like most men I know, I believe God had a hand in shaping women a certain way and these garments do augment their features. However, while the young women I mentioned earlier are certainly beautiful, I have a hard time seeing these 16 year-olds as anything sexual, yet this attire seems to imply something different.

So, these two aforementioned young ladies attend my church and I lead the older one in a discipleship group. (Yeah, me. I know, right? Stop laughing.)  Seeing the opportunity, I asked her what the point of wear such shorts – especially at her age – was.

“The reason they tell us is that they give us freedom of movement.” I couldn’t stop from snickering.

She looked at me askew.

“So, in volleyball, you have to wear crotch-hugging pants in order to move around freely in a 20×20 box on the court, but women basketball players who have to run the entire length of a basketball court are able to do it in shorts that go down to their knees and are loose-fitting?”

She gave me that nod that said “I know, it’s stupid, but its what we do.”

So I figured it must be a volleyball thing. Surely the men wore the same gear. Here’s the hot pants that men wear:

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While I am sure that there are athletic supporters that keep their “volleyballs” in place, I’m relatively sure that they don’t suffer loss of freedom during a game.

So, the question is, why the difference? Ironically, it’s choice. The National and International organizations that govern volleyball have no restrictions on tightness. Marj Snyder, a spokeswoman for the Women’s Sports Foundation, said that these type of uniforms often change with the whims of current fashion.

That said, Livestrong.com posted this article as if they were actually answering my direct question. Apparently, a number of teams feel that the tighter pants cover that which need be covered, hold pads in place to protect players who fall or dive and, because they are form-fitting, prevent exposure of any of the women’s mysterious ladyparts. Apparently, there’s a whole untold litany of times when women are de-pantsed during sports events.

While I am inclined to agree with that take, I call “marketing nonsense.” While the pad part – the theory that because the pants are tight, they hold pads in place that might otherwise slip – does ring with some truth, I’ll note that football pants include a host of pads that need to be held in place but still manage to reach the calves.

I venture that this is simply another case of the oversexification of our children. And oversexification is totally a word. Don’t let spellcheck fool you.

Those of you slightly older than the Jell-O hardening in your fridge will remember a Calvin Klein ad campaign from the 1980s involving actress/model Brooke Shields that caught a lot of flack for being mild child porn. I guffawed at that because at the time, I was a teenager myself and there are few things teenage boys like more than seeing teenage girls partially dressed. But as I grew older, I realized the nature of what I was viewing. Sex sells, but we have somehow turned that into “sexy children sell” and then have the ‘nads to get angry when some guy rapes or molests a child.

While I am not at all calling for the downfall of volleyball or modern civilization, I think it’s important that we all keep in mind what kind of things we tell our daughters are OK. They need clear lines of definition that don’t involve hot pants as much as should involve hot bouts of raising self esteem, pushing education and letting them know that they are equals if not better than any man.

And they need not show off any part of their body to show off that they can compete on the same level.

And now, Gluten-free Bacon. Why Gluten-free? Because all bacon, technically, is gluten-free because its a meat product. HOWEVER, some bacon goblins choose to “sweeten” the bacon with stuff that includes a wheat-base; therefore, gluten.

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All Your Pre-Packaged Awesomeness Are Belong To Us. For great justice!

I should preface this by saying I’ve never met Romano, but it’s times like this that I feel caught up in the action of the moment so much that the guy must be family.

I support an organization called Make Way Partners. They are devout Christians, but not the type you would expect. They are not spending their lives evangelizing door-to-door passing out tracts and worrying about the best tablecloth for the church bake sale. The star of the organization is Kimberly Smith. She, along with her husband (Giant Manhood) have dedicated their lives to setting up and maintaining orphanages in Africa, primarily in Sudan. They provide food, shelter, and education for hundreds of children, many who have been orphaned by the numerous conflicts and highly oppressive regime in Khartoum. They minister by working to save lives in the worst parts of the world. Including Romania, but that’s a completely different story.

Now, one of the administrators of those orphanages is a gent named Romano.

So, Romano, in addition to caring for the needs of his own family, has dedicated his life to victims of the various conflicts in Sudan. Now, I can’t tell you a whole lot about Romano’s background, other than he is the administrator at Hope For Sudan, MWP’s orphanage.

Last week, he was driving from the orphanage to the Kenya/Sudan border to pick up a construction manager for the new school MWP is building on the grounds of the Hope For Sudan orphanage. The road he was traveling. The 25 KM (that’s how the rest of the world measures overland distance, but its about 15 miles for us American folk) stretch between the towns of Nadepal and Loki is Pirate’s Alley – and not the cool, Johnny Depp-style pirate. These guys are usually armed with AK-47s or SKS’s (the Chinese version of same) and just open up on anyone driving by. They kill and they loot like a video game. Except its real lives they affect.

So, at a river crossing, Romano is driving himself and several other people who didn’t have transportation (because real men serve others) when the vehicle ran into an ambush. Four gunmen in front, two gunmen in back. Now, Romano had hired security because almost no one travels on business without a security guard in that part of Sudan, or really, any other part of Sudan. Romano had a choice to make.

Like a boss, he gunned it and drove straight into the ambush. Recently, I spent a couple of weeks with a Ranger teaching basic combat tactics in a camp. One of the things we talked about was how to break an ambush. Short of having a whole platoon of Rangers at your back, the best defense is to crush the ambush and put them on the defensive. He did exactly that. His security guard, whom we’ll call Old Yeller on account of the fact that he was a complete coward, dropped his gun and tried to hide in the vehicle under the dash. Luckily, one of the other passengers (another guy with Giant Manhood) picked up Old Yeller’s gun and began returning fire. The ambushers ran and Romano and his party were on their way.

But this time, it was to an airfield. Romano was shot through the back, liver and other vital organs and was losing blood fast. With the help of the people in the truck, another orphanage director and a cast of several dedicated individuals, Romano was flown to Tenwek Airport (or really, a field near there, but that’s the closest landmark) and to a hospital. Romano, also “Like a boss,” held out and didn’t die on the way. Given the rate of his blood loss, lesser men with lesser wills would have given up and died. He didn’t.

Romano made it through surgery, ICU and is stable. So, I salute your manhood, Romano, as you are a paragon of what it means to be a champion. People count on you and you don’t back down. You’ve taken in the children abandoned by the world and made them yours. There may be bigger men than you, but not greater men.

Note: If you would like to donate to MWP to help their orphans, please visit THIS HERE LINK.

I’m introducing a new feature this week. I had planned this kind of profile and have been working on a few candidates, but Glenn here rose to the top by being in the news not once, but twice in recent months for showing that his head was firmly planted up his ass. Now, you might say that it’s easy to take potshots at a man who has his dome so deeply implanted in his rectum that he won’t see them coming, but stay with me and by the end of this rant, you’ll be urging me to kick the guy so hard his inner child will cry.

So Glenn’s made it to the Senate in Wisconsin, and we have all heard how well that’s going right? But that’s another story. Sort of. In the same way that Glenn wants to make sure voters basically show up with their Wisconsin home, a birth certificate, a note from their 3rd grade teacher and two witnesses just so that they can vote, he’s decided to become the champion of children in his state. 

But before that, let me tell you a couple of things about Glenn Grothman. Glenn is a bachelor, which likely won’t surprise you. He’s never been married and he’s never had children.

Yet, with his vast experience in marital bliss and childrearing, he’s decided that women who are physically abused by their husbands should remain married and that single moms are incapable of raising children. In fact, he says that just by being a single mom is tantamount to child abuse.

Seriously. No, really. Stop laughing.

Glenn has written in the past that he believes the government (you can find these links in the above article) is actively creating social programs that deter women from getting married. I can totally agree because all of the people who I’ve run into in the last year who wanted to get married decided to call it quits because the prospect of food stamps and some WIC vouchers were so much more attractive…ok, perhaps you can taste the sarcasm, but it does give us some insight into the vast, empty cavern that is Glenn Grothman’s mind. And this guy, believe it or not, is the Assistant Majority Leader in the Wisconsin Senate.

So, all of you moms out there, because hey, he specifically mentions you even though the law would require “the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.” He said that fathers are the primary preventers of abuse and neglect in the home and without a father, children are subject to a life without structure and discipline.

So, I’d like to introduce you to my mother-in-law. 

In many ways she’s just awesome. Mostly for raising my wife. As a single mom. You see, my mother in law didn’t wait for a guy to pick up her wrecked life and right it. She didn’t lose all control of her household and she didn’t ignore her child so that she was neglected and abused. In fact, her daughter has three college degrees – the last of which was a Ph.D. How many people have that degree? Less than 2 percent of the educated public.That’s right, peeps – I married well.

Were things easy for them while my wife was growing from child to adult? No, her former husband left her destitute and with a child to raise because his manhood is just about as small as it could be. However, she knew she had a responsibility to that child. It was more than love; it was duty. So she worked long hours and remained with the same company so her daughter would have stability. She suffered through debilitating diseases that often kill others and still worked her ass off to make a life for the two of them.

This situation was created, by the way, by the father who then completely neglected his daughter. So in the very first case that rose to mind, this idea that men are the only champions of dignity and family is proven false. 

I have another friend who was raised by a single mom, grew up with incredible artistic talent in Photography and has been a wedding photographer (irony, no?) whose work has won multiple awards. Now, she is mental, but that’s for completely different reasons. My point is that these young women were not neglected by their parents – they were RAISED by them. We talk of parenting, but in many ways, the concept of “raising” a child, lifting them beyond where they are now to a greater height, has often been a concept I have seen in single-parent homes. Unlike the “razing” of children Glenn assumes is taking place across America. 

In his state, more than one-third of the households contain single parents. Many of these parents have never been married. That fact seems to escape Glenn. So this is an issue that has an effect on a large number of Glenn’s constituency. He should do something about it, but rather than demonizing the men and women who are trying to raise kids on their own, perhaps he should make it easier for them to find jobs, keep a home, get a tax break or find better education for their kids. I mean, when he’s not trying to tear down education.

To be fair to Glenn, who will likely have to visit his proctologist so that he can see again, (Headfromassectomy. In German, it’s largely unpronounceable, though I hear its a popular sex practice there. In Norwegian, it’s simply referred to as an “asshat.” Norway. So uncomplicated.) he’s got a long history with children and legislation. He wants to defund Kindergarten programs because they have no intrinsic educational value and believes that sex education shouldn’t be taught in school because teachers all have a gay agenda. 

In defence of men, we CAN be champions. We can stay with women when our relationships fail, if that’s a healthy choice. Many of us just walk away instead of choosing the hard road. In many instances, if we become the champion of women, not just the ones we are seeing romantically, but all women, I think we can avoid many of these problems. But to say that without us, women are essentially incapable of raising children “except under certain circumstances” as Glenn would have us believe, is just complete and utter crap.

Amazingly, Glenn and I do agree on something. I’d love to see everyone in two-parent homes. Not only do I think it’s better for the child, I think it takes some of the stress of the parents, as well, to have a partner to live with, to share highs and lows with and to share the challenge of raising children. Because that’s not a task you take lightly. It takes great big, sparkly, mirrored golden balls the size of musk oxen to raise children. So, for you women out there doing it on your own, I salute you for having the balls Glenn Grothman is clearly without.

In my beloved South, we’d simply say “Bless your heart, Glenn.” Which, if you didn’t guess, is Southern parlance for “Sorry your head is so far up your ass, sweetheart.” 

I spent the last year and then some leading a high school devotional group. These kids were awesome, as most kids are, and truly, I was the one getting the most out of our interactions. For that couple of hours each week, someone lent me their kids and trusted me with the responsibility of being their surrogate parent. That’s totally ok. We all do that to some degree – we use babysitters, youth leaders, camps, etc – to parent our children for a short time.

But a lot of you out there have abdicated parenting altogether.

What makes a real man? Sadly, it’s not just bacon consumption, knowledge of box scores or the ability to bench press a Volkswagen. It’s using your strength without using your strength. Think I’m pulling some Zen mindfreak on you? Nope, just noting that being a man is as much about responsibility as it is grunting and repairing cars.

I know this amazing woman. We’ll call her Guinevere, because, hey, I’m nothing if not literary. Anyway, Guinevere met her King Arthur and had two beautiful daughters. Then, for reasons completely between her and Arthur (I don’t think there was a Lancelot in the mix, but it would work really well with my analogy), they divided up Camelot. She got the castle and he went off to find his Grail. Now, the King gets to see his princesses on weekends. It’s not the greatest arrangement, sure, but its an arrangement. Problem is, the King is busy looking for the next Guinevere. Or Lancelot. Or whatever, but he rarely spends the whole weekend with his girls.

And we wonder why the women we date have “Daddy” issues.

Now, this is not to say that Guinevere is not the greatest mom ever, because I think she’s doing a damn fine job. Also, the fact that she’s wonderful, gorgeous, and …why the hell doesn’t she have a boyfriend? Because most of you are too blind to see the incredible woman since you are staring at the kids in the picture. Which is sort of ok, I guess, because if you aren’t ready to be the main man in those girls’ lives, don’t entertain the job and waste everyone’s time.

But back to Arthur – he’s an idiot. Now, I am sure that Guin would tell me he’s great and fine and all, but I just don’t care. I’ve already pre-judged him because he’s not really tuning in to his daughters’ lives. And that’s going to suck for them now and him in the future when his failure to parent rises up in the relationships they attempt to have.

Women. Need. Fathers. Just like sons need us to help them develop their perspective on masculinity, little women learn from their fathers how big women should be treated. When that is absent, it’s likely going to be a point of contention when they become big women themselves.

What does it take to be a father? BALLS. The size of sea turtles.

I have another friend (Yay, friends!) who is in the process of a messy divorce that involves the wife leaving, drugs, guns, weasels and all sorts of stuff. We’ll call him Dweezil. Dweez has a daughter from this marriage and has spent the last several months trying to insure that she was taken care of throughout the divorce. She spent time with mom until it was discovered that the daughter was living in scary conditions in a scary residence. The little girl had been staying with her grandparents during the day while Dweezil worked.

Since the separation, Dweezil has been doing what he has been doing since his daughter was born – spending time with her. He works three jobs, seven days a week so that they can survive and possibly have a future. When he’s at work, the grandparents have the girl. When he comes home, he showers and spends time watching TV and drinking beer. No, just kidding – he spends as much time with his daughter as he can before she hits the sack. He’s the one that sees to her bath each night. He’s the one putting her to bed, reading her stories and telling her that he loves her. To her, there is no greater person in the world.

That’s what it means to be a man. That’s the definition of strength – that after hours at work, you come home and still can put on a smile and genuinely interact with daughter. Or son. My father was amazing. He spent a lot of time with me. He never called it “spending time with me.” He just did it. He loved me. And he was critical in shaping me as a man.

I’m not minimizing the role of the mother here, just emphasizing the role of the man.

While we temporarily give up custody of our children in the situations mentioned at the beginning of this rant, we don’t give up being a parent. And it’s not my responsibility to raise your child or deal with the issues that arise when you don’t take parenting seriously. I’m not speaking to all parents. Women, you have to get your crap together on your own. For you gents out there, wake the hell up. You can’t just walk away from your daughter when she’s five and crying in the kitchen and seriously think that the world is just going to pick up the slack. You created that kid and you should thank your lucky stars that God deemed you worthy of being a parent. I’m not saying you have to become a soccer mom, but I am saying that you have to invest time. You have to BE there. Because if you aren’t, that child will find another father. A father who might manifest as drugs, careless sex, destructive behavior or simply someone with different values than you.

I’m calling you out. Because if you are Arthur, you’re a big honkin’ moron and deserve to be driven from the kingdom while hungry ferrets gnaw on your dangly bits. That’s why my manhood, and the manhood of all men like me, will always be bigger than yours.