Friday, January 11, 2019

American Psychological Association Labels 'Traditional Masculinity' as 'Harmful'

Maybe the male members of the association should give up their balls. Their balls don't seem to be functional anyway

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), being a traditional man is now considered on par with a mental disorder.

For the first time ever, the APA has issued a set of guidelines for how to approach men and boys, specifically, within a counseling practice. The new APA protocols for mental health professionals working with men and boys--released in August and available to read in their entirety in a document titled APA Guidelines for the Psychological Practice with Boys and Men--were recently summed up on the APA’s website by the statement that “research finds that traditional masculinity is, on the whole, harmful.”

“The main thrust of the subsequent research is that traditional masculinity—marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression—is, on the whole, harmful,” the January article from the APA goes on to read. “Men socialized in this way are less likely to engage in healthy behaviors.”

Progressive beliefs about a number of hot-button social justice and political issues such as sexism, patriarchy, and male privilege seem to be behind the new guidelines. More specifically, modern conceptions of gender appear to be driving the organization’s updated approach to men.

“What is gender in the 2010s?” asked Ryon McDermott, PhD, a psychologist at the University of South Alabama. McDermott helped write the new men’s guidelines. “It’s no longer just this male-female binary.”

According to McDermott, boys and men identifying as gay, bisexual or transgender face higher-than-­average levels of hostility and pressure to conform to masculine norms.

This particular area of psychology features prominently in the APA’s recommendations for working with men and boys.

“Gender and sexual minorities, too”, reads the article, “must grapple with societal views of masculinity. This is an ever-shifting territory. When Levant and Rabinowitz launched the guideline-drafting process in 2005, only Massachusetts recognized same-sex marriage. Today, transgender issues are at the forefront of the cultural conversation, and there is increased awareness of the diversity of gender identity.”

The APA believes that “psychologists have a key role to play, as the new guidelines lay out.”

Those guidelines include the need for clinicians to be aware of what the APA refers to as “dominant masculine ideals”, and to “understand how power, privilege and sexism work both by conferring benefits to men and by trapping them in narrow roles.”

Mental health workers are also directed to fight “against homophobia, transphobia, racial bias and other types of discrimination in institutions such as the criminal justice system.”

McDermott believes that ultimately, the clinician’s role “can be to encourage men to discard the harmful ideologies of traditional masculinity.”

If psychologists can focus on supporting men in breaking free of masculinity roles that don’t help them, the effects could spread beyond just mental health for men, McDermott says. “If we can change men,” he stated, “we can change the world.”

But American Conservative writer Rod Dreher is questioning the intent of the APA guidelines, arguing in a blogpost Monday that the move is “mostly about psychologizing the gelding of American males.”

“I do not trust Ryon McDermott, PhD,” writes Dreher, “to decide what is and is not healthy masculinity.”


Trump Finally Won Victory to End Social Experimentation in Military

Activist judges have been on a mission to expand the influence of the courts in America for the last half-century, but they may have just crossed a red line. The courts have decided a lot of things – but how the president runs the military isn't one of them. When it comes to America's defense, there is one commander-in-chief. The Constitution is clear: Donald Trump is the final authority on military policy. And after two years of liberal judges presuming to know better than this president, it's refreshing to see at least one court acknowledge who's in charge.

After a year and a half of fighting judicial activists for power that's been his all along, President Trump finally won a victory in his push to end social experimentation in the military. Seventeen months after he first rolled back Barack Obama's transgender troop policy, the D.C. Circuit Court agreed that it was within his prerogative to do so. With a deference that's almost extinct these days, three judges (including an Obama appointee) sided with the administration, saying that it had done its due diligence in researching the policy and its effects.

Attorneys for GLAAD, of course, insisted that the president's decision wasn't rooted in science but bigotry. The court disagreed, saying the government had taken "substantial steps" to justify the president's position. “These included the creation of a panel of military and medical experts, the consideration of new evidence gleaned from the implementation of the policy on the service of transgender individuals instituted by then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter ... and a reassessment of the priorities of the group that produced the Carter Policy.” For the left to argue that there was nothing but prejudice behind Trump's decision is just plain untrue. There is nothing discriminatory, the DOJ pointed out, about acknowledging the consequences of gender dysphoria on our military's effectiveness.

Honestly, this isn't a question of fairness – it's a question of fitness. The president isn't banning people who identify as transgender because he hates them. He's banning people who identify as transgender for the same reason the military doesn't allow 71 percent of Americans to serve. Because either they're too old and unhealthy, or our country can't afford the distraction that medical, mental, or behavioral issues cause. That's why there are literally hundreds of conditions or physical limitations disqualifying people from military service. So many, in fact, that your fingers will get numb scrolling through them all.

The left seems to think that there's a “right” for people to serve in the military. There isn't. When it comes to keeping America secure, only the strongest and brightest will do. Does that make the military exclusionary? Yes. But the Pentagon isn't in the business of equality. It's in the business of fighting and winning wars. If that hurts feelings, so be it. Either the military's priority is protecting America – or it's helping people on the path to self-actualization. It can't do both.

The courts, this panel writes, “‘must be particularly careful not to substitute our judgment of what is desirable for that of [the executive and legislative branches], or our own evaluation of evidence for [their] reasonable evaluation’ because ‘[i]t is difficult to conceive of an area of governmental activity in which the courts have less competence.’” If anyone's opinion matters, it's the people who understand our mission best: the men and women in uniform. And, as of yesterday, 61 percent of them agree with their commander-in-chief's policy on transgenderism. If they trust him, shouldn't Americans too?

As FRC's Lt. General Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.) pointed out, this is, above all, a “victory for our service members, who are tasked with defending America.” For once, “it allows our military to focus their mission on fighting and winning wars rather than social engineering.” Hopefully, he went on, this ruling will help “pave the way for President Trump to continue moving the military away from Obama era political correctness which left our nation's defenses at its lowest levels of readiness since before WWII. We trust that other appeals courts and the Supreme Court will agree -- and leave the responsibility for keeping our military strong and country safe where it belongs: with our commander-in-chief.”


Anti-Semitism Just Gained a New Foothold in Congress

There seem to be very few Muslims who don't have a burning hatred of Jews

In 1948, the Jewish people secured sovereignty over their ancestral homeland for the first time in nearly 2,000 years. Once again, they could thrive—religiously, economically, culturally—in the home their ancestors were forced to flee.

But more than 70 years after the rebirth of the Jewish nation, enemies of her very existence are using boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) to economically harm and morally impugn one of our closest allies. Unfortunately, several newly elected members of Congress are vocal advocates of BDS—particularly Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

Following her election victory, Tlaib said, “Americans should not be aiding any country that doesn’t support human rights. I’ve been very clear. I will not support racist countries that pick and choose who gets access to justice.” She further claims that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pursuing “apartheid policies.”

During Israel’s 2012 war against Hamas (an entity designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization), Omar claimed, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” She has also claimed that Israel is an “apartheid … regime.” Following her election victory in November 2018, her campaign said she “believes in and supports the BDS movement.”

These peddlers of hate hurl false allegations against Israel of apartheid and minority oppression in an attempt to generate public support for BDS.

In reality, Israel is the Mideast’s only true democracy—one in which minority rights are protected. The right to vote, access to public health care, public education, freedom of speech, and protection of legal rights are enjoyed by all citizens, regardless of race and irrespective of religion.

As testament to this, in 2015—the most recent general election—voters elected 17 Arabs to serve in the 120-member Knesset. Arabs also comprise a growing proportion—more than 16 percent—of undergraduate students, a long-term goal of the Israeli government. In fact, the number of Arab university students soared more than 78 percent in just seven years. And many Arabs serve in the Israeli Defense Forces.

The Israeli government also protects the freedom of religion. Across Jerusalem—the capital of Israel—Muslims, Christians, and Jews (and others) are free to practice their faith. Mosques, churches, and synagogues operate within yards of each other. From the Western Wall bordering the holiest site of the Jewish faith, the Muslim call to prayer can be heard throughout the day.

For nearly 700 years, Jewish people were denied entry to the burial place in Hebron of Abraham, their patriarch. Now, under Israeli control, both Muslims and Jews pray at this site. Across the nation, the Israeli government ensures these three great monotheistic faiths can be practiced more freely than at any other time in history.

Contrary to Tlaib’s “apartheid” claim, the Israeli government does not impose ethnic segregation on communities. Arab and Jewish Israelis are free to buy and sell homes and land within areas that fall under Israeli administration.

On the other hand, Jews are precluded from living in zones controlled by the Palestinian Authority, which manages Palestinian civil affairs. In fact, a fatwa—a ruling under Islamic law—forbids Arabs from selling real estate to Jews in those areas, under penalty of death. A top judge of the Palestinian Authority warned that acting contrary to this order qualifies as “high treason.”

The charter of the Palestinian Liberation Organization—technically considered the “sole official representative of the Palestinian people”—continues to call for the violent destruction of Israel. Schools and television stations operated by the Palestinian Authority poison residents with an endless diet of anti-Semitism. The Palestinian Authority government routinely names streets, public buildings, and parks in honor of terrorists. Even worse, it bestows millions of dollars annually as compensation to families of these same terrorists.

In past years, the political leadership in both U.S. political parties recognized and spoke out against the bigotry inherent in attempting to destroy the Middle East’s only bastion of liberty. It is time once again for these leaders to boldly condemn the bigotry of these newly elected BDS advocates.

Indeed, the BDS movement exemplifies contemporary anti-Semitism. How disappointing and appalling that a growing number of U.S. members of Congress join in the chorus of Israel’s enemies under the guise of human rights concerns.


Publishers, Not Trump, Endanger Free Speech

The kinds of corporations that frequently proclaim their dedication to the First Amendment ought to pride themselves on having a longer attention span than a social-media mob.
The First Amendment has never been stronger. Yet freedom of speech is under dire threat. Both of these things can be true, and both are.

The kinds of corporations that frequently proclaim their dedication to the First Amendment — and are quick to denounce President Trump’s taunts of the media — are doing something Trump has not done and will not do: muzzling writers. Publishers are presenting authors with contracts containing clauses that essentially say, “We will cut you loose should a Twitter mob come after you.” It’s a revolting, shameful trend.

As Judith Shulevitz writes in the New York Times, CondĂ© Nast, publisher of The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and many other magazines, recently started burying in its standard writers’ contracts a landmine. If the company should unilaterally rule that the writer has become “the subject of public disrepute, contempt, complaints or scandals,” the publisher can void the contract. Shulevitz mislabels such stipulations “morality clauses.” To paraphrase Mae West, morality has nothing to do with it. “Cowardice clauses” would be nearer the mark.

I won’t bore you by recounting all the times The New Yorker and Vanity Fair have railed against the president for supposedly endangering the freedom of people like its staffers to speak their minds. Now, the owner of these magazines is demanding that its own writers censor themselves, if they know what’s good for them. This is not just a stain on some of a free press’s loudest defenders, it promises to narrow and diminish the range of ideas they publish. If you know a field is mined, but have not been furnished with a map of each explosive’s location, why would you stray into that area at all? The New Yorker might as well place a sign above its office doors saying, “Warning: Do not be interesting.” (“Isn’t it there already?” I hear some wags replying, but The New Yorker remains replete with interesting material.)

As for Vanity Fair, for many years it published the musings of one Christopher Hitchens. Remember him? He said Michelle Obama’s undergraduate thesis wasn’t written in any known language. He said, about the Iraq War, that “the death toll is not nearly high enough.” He called Mother Teresa “a fanatic, a fundamentalist and a fraud.” Most unforgivable of all, he said women aren’t funny. Any guesses on whether, in today’s social-media atmosphere, one or two of his columns might cause a little light apoplexy on Twitbook or Facer? (I can report from personal experience that merely quoting what Hitchens said about Mrs. Obama predictably and boringly gets you tagged as racist.)

Book-publishing giants Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, and Penguin Random House have added cowardice clauses to their standard book contracts, and Shulevitz says she’s heard that Hachette Book Group is considering doing the same. (Penguin, to its credit, allows authors to keep their advances, but others don’t, says Shulevitz.) Penguin’s clause justifies itself with a reference to anticipated adverse impacts on business, warning authors not to do anything that might cause “sustained, widespread public condemnation of the author that materially diminishes the sales potential of the work.” That rationalization won’t withstand much scrutiny. Bill O’Reilly’s latest book stands at number four on the Times’ nonfiction bestseller list, and he was not only pilloried for years but actually fired by Fox News Channel due to scandal. Ann Coulter, Dinesh D’Souza, Tucker Carlson, and many other commentators who are vilified daily on social media (and in D’Souza’s case, actually spent time behind bars) sell books by the truckload. If anything, “being the subject of public disrepute, contempt, complaints or scandals” seems to boost sales, and publishers are well aware of this. Calumny, contumely, and controversy sell. I’m On the Fence About Trump is not a title Simon and Schuster wants to publish.

So why are book and magazine publishers putting such language in their contracts? Because they fear rebuke themselves. They don’t want to get dragged by association. “@PenguinRandom are you okay with what your author Mac McSmartypants just said to Chris Cuomo???” is not a comment a book publisher wants to see issuing from the Olympus of Alyssa Milano’s Twitter account and retweeted so many times it reaches more people than the population of France. The temperate response — “Publishing an author does not constitute an endorsement of his or her ideas” — will be ignored, laughed at, swept away in the tide of outrage, even though it’s true.

Much as soldiers report that every minute in a firefight seems like an eternity, though, social-media firestorms seem endless only when you’re in one. Even the really intense ones are usually over in days, sometimes hours. Private companies can, of course, impose whatever content restrictions they like on authors of the material they publish, but an entity devoted to the transmission of thought in forms that it hopes will endure ought to pride itself in having a longer attention span than a social-media mob. It ought also to prize diversity of opinion. Cowardice clauses stand to steer everyone toward dispensing received wisdom.

As for writers, courage. You know what the Hitch’s response would have been when presented with a contract containing one of these clauses; two words, beginning with an F and ending with an “off.” Yes, most of you lack his stature. Nevertheless, honor his boldness. Link your arms. Plant your feet. Make a stand for the culture of free expression just as you would for the First Amendment itself. Don’t sign.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


No comments: