Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Longer vacation...Camping and ....?

Hi. I have extended my 3 day holiday to 2 or 3 weeks. The weather is too beautiful to return home. It was a long, cold winter and now...so beautiful. These voice and email blogs are too cool.

Posted by Hello

this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, May 23, 2005

Philosophical...testing of the "waters."

The next post is comming soon and it is related t this question. I would like to get a general feel for this subject. Can you answer:
"Why is it more wrong to kill an innocent human being as opposed to killing an innocent non-human being?"

Monday, May 16, 2005

Demasculinisation of men.

I was asked to post this topic by a female blogger who wishes to remain anonymous. Make sure you answer the poll on the bottom of this column and leave your comments as this is the reason I post these topics.

Demasculinisation is defined as the removing of masculine characters or qualities. Is this happening in our society and why would it be of concern? Over the past 25 to 30 years, there has been an open movement to push men to reduce or control certain characteristics that at one time were considered "just being a man". A whistle from some construction workers was once a normal and sometimes desirable effect to a girl walking by in a short skirt. Now that same whistle is considered sexual harassment and illegal in some areas. In determining what characteristics should be controlled, it is important to define characteristics that are bad or hurtful to society, not just annoying. A whistle at a beautiful girl can be annoying, but is it hurtful? Behavioral traits that are deemed appropriate characteristics of a man are defined differently in each country. Example: My wife is walking down a sidewalk and is bumped by a young man. My wife says "excuse me" and the youth tells her to "f*ck off". I step forward and slap the youth's impertinent face. In some parts of the United states, I am arrested for assault. In other parts, I am commended for putting "him" in his place. In some countries, the youth could be dragged off by the police and "taught" a lesson. The idea that some of the masculine traits are ideal for certain situations or purposes has caused an identity crisis for the male gender. I would like to note here that women are enduring their own identity crisis and this can be discussed in a future post.

What are some of the stereo-typical masculine traits? Sexual aggressiveness, physical aggression and competitive nature seem to be the major traits listed. Decades of research strongly suggest that masculine traits are hard-wired in that they are hormaonally determined.

Fat Bastard's View

When researching "The Demasculinisation of Men", I came across many complaints and reports of men becoming demasculinised, but no definite reasons as to why this was. Some claimed that the portrayal of men in the "sit-coms" and commercials of today is more feminine and shows the men to be weak or bumbling buffoons. This idea can be further complicated by religious beliefs where conservative views declare any movement of the woman toward the workplace or the men toward domesticity as an affront to "Manhood." Though, I doubt if men taking a more active role in raising children or doing "house duties" is making men less men-like.

Today, some believe that both genders have equal capacities for all masculine and feminine traits. This newer belief may be flawed and causes distress for many. The traits of ambition, competition and dominance, which are stereotypically masculine traits and passive, nurturing, and dependence, which are stereo typical feminine traits are present in all of us. They help define us and how we react to different situations. Some are learned through our environment, but as stated earlier, some characteristics are the direct effect of our hormones.
It is true that the same protective drive that causes an aggressive response is treated differently in different societies. I do find it interesting that the societies that try to stifle these aggresive characteristics, later call upon them for times of civil unrest and war. The same characteristics that are complained about are called upon in defense of ideals. We are teaching that fighting and aggression are bad, but by the way, can you go kill for our country and our beliefs. This can be so confusing.

I feel that we are too hard on young boys and men when it comes to controlling their aggressive tendencies. We have a generation of "ritalin boys" that are put on drugs to control natural aggressive tendencies. My fear is that the move to control male aggression to a point of repression may be causing most of the violent reactions in schools and public arenas. While some good may come of our suppression of aggression, the overall effect may be worse. A few fist fights over a girl or other competitive or dominant issues seems acceptable when compared to mass killings in school or the work place. Rather than curtailing these drives, education on how to express them in a positive ways, may be of greater benefit.

The celebrated feminist and poet Audre Lorde, in her drive to help women's movement for equality wrote "...Because, differences that are nurtured lead to diversity, and diversity that is celebrated is the "springboard for creative change within our lives." Now this same concept needs to be applied to the young male and their natural drives. Now, we cant have young males running around with out any discipline, but where should the line be drawn?

In closing as always, I pose a question to you. If the same aggressive nature that causes some of these negative aspects, is linked to the same nature that creates heroes, what is the outcome of repressing this aggression. Can we do without the fire fighters and forest rangers that risk their lives for society? The men that cross dangerous flood waters to save our children. The man that faces a charging bull in an arena because a child has fallen over a rail. It reminds me of a story I read a few year back, where a woman was attacked by a shark. Her husband, swimming with her attacked the shark to protect his wife. The shark turned on it's attacker and killed the man. The woman lived and could tell the story of a hero husband. There are numerous stories of bravery and sacrificing of lives, just look at Sept 11th. How many men gave their lives to help those in need on that day.
Society is growing and will continually challenge human nature with intellectualism. There will come a point in time where idealism will go too far in suppressing our basic or hormonal drives. I do understand this and know that it is inevitable. I just hope we recognize the time this happens and find a balance where our drives and ideals can co-exist.

I am an aggressive person by nature. I have learned to channel this aggression to help society. It makes me a chivalrous person and allows my friends and family to feel safe in an increasingly dangerous world. I get up and help women put their heavy luggage away. I open doors and give up my seat. I am the first to step forward to protect the unfortunate. The best complement my wife ever gave me was when she said to me..."when I'm with you, I feel safe." It remind me of something written by Dr. Robert Humphrey:

Wherever I go, everyone is a little bit safer because I am there.
Wherever I am, anyone in need has a friend.
Whenever I return home, everyone is happy I am there.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Happy Birthday Syaza

Posted by Hello
Hi everyone, for those of you who dont know, this is my daughter, Aiyana. She will be 2 years and 6 months at the end of this month (May). We have made a birthday site for a special friend and fellow blogger Syaza. Click the Birthday link below and check out the site. Drop off a hug and see if you can find the link to her home page. Please tag her a happy birthday as she is just a doll.

Dont forget to come back here and leave a comment on how wonderful the site is...lol.
P.S. There are more pics of the children there!
If the link isnt workin, just paste this: http://syazakohsb-day.blogspot.com/

Saturday, May 07, 2005

What country and city is this in?

First, thankyou all for the B-Day wishes...you're GREAT!!!

Can you guess where this is? Well, click the "What Country is this?" link below, to see more photos of this country. But first leave a guess in the comments. If you read any Captions, read the one on the Snake temple...very funny! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

As Requested...Discrimination

After reading this post, please leave a comment on what or how you have been discriminated against. Or for that matter, reverse discriminated against. And yes, as always..answer the poll!

When I was asked by May about my views on racial descrimination, I thought sure I can write about that. As I started writing, I tried to determine the basis of discrimination and thought racial discrimination is only a portion of the over all problem. So I decided to write about descrimination as a whole.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines discrimination as: The treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit; partiality or prejudice. and the World Dictionary lists : unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice. Yes, that is what Discrimination is. Treatment or unfair treatment that is not based on Merit. With this definition, I am sure everyone reading this post has been a victim of descrimination and has infact committed an act of discrimination. There are so many areas of discrimination to consider. Discriminations based on race, religion, gender, age, education, wealth, heritage, intelligence, disabilities, citizenship, criminal record, weight, height, culture, health disparity (AIDS, Leprosy), sexual orientation, political views, and the list goes on. So is it possible to rid our world of all types of discrimination and have a truly tolerant society where all treatment is based on merit? Where all people are treated equally. I guess to answer that we have to look at the psychological basis of discrimination.

There are a number of valid experiment where people unknowingly were separated into different groups and studied. One of the most famous studies was a reaction to the assination of Martin Luther King. In 1968, a third grade teacher Jane Elliot, implemented a study where she separated the student in her class by eye color. She informed the students that brown eyed students were better, cleaner, more civilized. The brown eyed children were allowed privelges and the end result was that the blue eyed children accepted thier lower status, slumping and acting inferior while the brown eyed children carried them selves as if they were "special". Even at this young age, the children knew how to behave when assigned to different social classes. In the mid 70's Tajfel and Turner developed "The Social Identity Theory" to understand the psychological basis of intergroup discrimination. Tajfel et al (1971) attempted to identify the minimal conditions that would lead members of one group to discriminate in favor of the ingroup to which they belonged and against another outgroup. In each of the studies, groups were readily able and willing to conform to the group social structure. So is this genetic or a learned response?

Thorndike's Law of Effect (1898, 1911) represented an initial attempt to explain a fundamental principle of behavior, namely, that an organism's actions within its environment are learned and maintained through the consequences of those actions. So discrimination is learned and then maintained or reinforced in the environment.

Fat Bastard's position

Discrimination is a highly emotive issue, and is clearly damaging for direct victims. It seems to be a human trait to dislike and distrust anyone we perceive as being "different". Every one discriminates, and everyone is discriminated against, at some point in their life. It is not only learned through parents, but through a number of other sources. The schools we go to, churches, political parties, commercials on the TV and radio and friends. We are constantly bombarded from our birth to our deaths.

But is it wrong to discriminate? According to Keyes, "For any society to survive, it must discriminate in favor of behaviors that are morally worthy of choice and against those that are not morally worthy of choice". And according to Murray Rothbard; For a New Liberty "Discrimination," in the sense of choosing favorably or unfavorably in accordance with whatever criteria a person may employ, is an integral part of freedom of choice, and hence of a free society..." This means that not only do we have the freedom to discriminate, but that we should discriminate to remove bad morals or actions from society. Is it descrimination if I forbid my daughter to hand out with a boy is in a known gang or a drug dealer? Yes. Is this considered acceptable discrimination. Yes, by most standards, by my daughter's it will probably be persecution and guilt by association. Oh, am I preparing for the future? This leads to my point.

Though we are taught from birth to discriminate, we have a choice of what we will discriminate against. We have freedom of choice. We do not need to listen to those commercials that tell us fat is bad, that people with acne are not pretty enough. Your clothes arent right, you are too short, too tall, get a tan, buy whitening cream, this hair color is better, your nose is too flat, breast are too small...on and on. Even when we learn from family that certain races or colors or religions are bad, we have the ability to choose for ourselves. Who of us can rise above what we are taught in our environment?

I fear that even in the future, 500 to a 1000 yearsfrom now, when all races are successful at integration and the color of skin is a nice beautiful golden hue. We as a society will still discriminate against eye colors, variations of physical build, and of course, always wealth. Once in awhile there will be a genetic anomaly where a baby is pure black or pure white and they will be treated better as they will be more "pure".

We will never eradicate discrimination, but we can reduce certain kinds of it. It is wrong to treat people as inferior or hurt them because of their genetic differences. We must remember though, to take care that in our drive to reduce or erase discriminations that we find repulsive . Take care that we ourselves do not discriminate against the discriminators... and become that which we hate.

"It is a sad day when we must put someone down, inorder to feel good about ourselves" The Doctor, 1998

  • Stop-discrimination is the site for the european union to help with the countries comming together.
  • March 21st is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • Monday, May 02, 2005

    Newest addition to the fam...

    Sweet sleeping friend Posted by Hello
    Wanna see more? Click puppy to go to my PhoBlog.