Friday, December 29, 2006

Pot Pouri for Men

One of the funny books I’ve read is called Military Justice Is to Justice as Military Music Is to Music, by Robert Sherrill. The theme for this day has to be International Law is to Law as Iraqi Music is to Music. Hey Saddam, how you hangin, pal?

I guess the hanging has not yet commenced but the Iraq government announced that it would be done by 6AM Saturday, ie 7PM Friday U.S. Pacific time. It seems they are waiting for a judge in Washington, DC to rule on a stay of execution. The request filed in U.S. District Court before Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly argues that because Hussein also faces a civil lawsuit in Washington, he has rights as a civil defendant that would be violated if he is executed. “To protect those rights, defendant Saddam Hussein requests an order of this court providing a stay of his execution until further notice of this court,” attorney Nicholas Gilman wrote.

A similar request by Awad al-Bandar, the former chief justice of Saddam’s Court who also faces execution, was denied Thursday and is under appeal. Al-Bandar argued that his trial violated his rights under the U.S. Constitution but the U.S. Justice Dept. countered that foreigners being tried in foreign courts are not protected by the U.S. Constitution.

This is what happens when U.S. judges start citing international law to justify their decisions. Truly bizarre!!

Another bad man although not in the Hussein class is Robert Jensen, professor of journalism at the University of Texas. Jensen recently wrote an op-ed in the SF Chronicle ( ) explaining that men being men is a bad deal and urging guys to “evolve beyond masculinity.”

Jensen writes: “It's hard to be a man; hard to live up to the demands that come with the dominant conception of masculinity, of the tough guy. So, guys, I have an idea -- maybe it's time we stop trying. Maybe this masculinity thing is a bad deal, not just for women, but for us. We need to get rid of the whole idea of masculinity. It's time to abandon the claim that there are certain psychological or social traits that inherently come with being biologically male.”

Jensen explains that gender differences are being promoted by an intellectual fad called “evolutionary psychology” that wants to explain all complex behaviors as simple evolutionary adaptations. They say, “Look at how men and women behave so differently; it must be because men and women are fundamentally different,” when it’s the political system that has been creating differences between men and women. (I just finished a course in Evo-psycho so I know about these things.)

So if we take Jensen’s advice and give up on the very idea of masculinity, what then?

Jensen again: “Of course, if we are going to jettison masculinity, we have to scrap femininity along with it. We have to stop trying to define what men and women are going to be in the world based on sex differences. I don't think the planet can long survive if the current conception of masculinity endures. We face political and ecological challenges that can't be met with this old model of what it means to be a man. At the more intimate level, the stakes are just as high. For those of us who are biologically male, we have a simple choice: We men can settle for being men, or we can strive to be human beings.”

There you have it, guys. We have to stop being men so we can begin being human beings. In case you are wondering what they teach in college these days, this is it –- a great example of what the “politically correct” professor substitutes for English literature or journalism or political science. The PIG guide to English and American Literature by Elizabeth Kantor contains dozens of other examples. Did you know that “Shakespeare has played and continues to play a significant role in the establishment and maintenance of gender roles that subordinate women.” (Prof. Robert Lublin, U. Mass.)

But it may be that Jensen has nothing to be worried about. A new study found that testosterone levels in America's males have declined over the past 20 years. No causes, such as aging, obesity or smoking, could be attributed to the decline, according to the lead researcher, Dr. Thomas G. Travison of the New England Research Institutes.

The Massachusetts Male Aging Study found that 50 year old men in 1988 (pre-Clinton) had 1.3% more testosterone than 50 year old men in 2002.

Best known as men's primary sex hormone, testosterone is critical for maintaining bone and muscle mass. Researchers have linked low levels of the hormone to diabetes, low sex drive and other medical conditions. Women also have the hormone, but in much lower levels. Oops, a difference among us humans.

And there is another difference that is undeniable, and now validated by a scientific study. It is something one half of the population has long suspected - and the other half always vocally denied. Women really do talk more than men. In fact, women talk almost three times as much as men, with the average woman chalking up 20,000 words in a day - 13,000 more than the average man.

In her new book The Female Mind, Dr. Luan Brizendine says women devote more brain cells to talking than men. “Women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion, while men have a small country road,” said Dr Brizendine, who runs a female “mood and hormone” clinic in San Francisco.

Well it is about time the science world has finally caught up to the daily scene at Starbucks where we can only get in a word edgewise if we start talking about sports or war or other guy things. Sorry Jensen.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I received a copy of "The Female Brain" for Christmas, and am looking forward to reading her findings.

-Mary G.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Bill! Looks like the moonbats are laying low!


8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,
Just a note to thank you for your clearly stated opinions, you are a breath of fresh air. I know we don't agree on every thing (who does) but I find you always have clearly stated reasons for your positions. I particularly loved your deflation of the Jimmy Carter canonization.

You would have made a great devil's advocate.

Happy New Year,

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that this is a self-image problem, and/or a maturity problem,

A few generations ago, a man was macho enough if he could provide his family with food, clothing and shelter. Women were no competition. They were to keep house, wash the clothes, cook the food, have a baby every year and die young.

Now, we tell women that 2 children are enough, and the housework and cooking are partially automated, or outsourced. So what are they to do with their spare time?

Well, they can sit and watch Oprah and grow fat, or they can join the work force. Many choose to work for satisfaction, or to keep up with the Joneses, helping to buy those luxuries which weren't even known a couple of generations ago Besides, excluding 51% of our population from the work force would be a competitive disadvantage.

Things have gotten out of the expected bounds. We now have women not only in professions and clerical jobs, where physical strength isn't an issue, but in construction jobs, police and fire departments, and even the military. The areas where our masculinity was unquestioned are increasingly invaded by females. Well, I worked with a few female engineers, and I never had the sense that the men felt their manhood was in question. I think it's a non-problem, although some men may need some attitude adjustment.

Has anyone checked to see if there's a correlation between the obesity epidemic and the reduction in testosterone?


12:05 PM  

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