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"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

SIGNS OF TIMES: The Men Taking Classes to Unlearn Toxic Masculinity

SIGNS OF TIMES: The Men Taking Classes to Unlearn Toxic Masculinity
Here are the latest stories demonstrating we live in a mad modern world. 
Wait till you see these stories...

For some time, Stephen Hicks had felt like something was off. “My relationship ended, then a lot of things started collapsing in front of me,” Hicks says. He began attending therapy, which made him realize that he needed to make a bigger change: “I wasn’t doing really terrible things, but I also wasn’t being the most ideal Stephen I could be,” he says. “The bar is really lowered for cisgender guys.”


 
So earlier this year, Hicks signed up for the pilot Rethink Masculinity class, a partnership between the Washington, D.C., Rape Crisis Center, Collective Action for Safe Spaces, and ReThink, an organization that works to prevent sexual assault.
The program bills itself as a class where men “learn how social constructs of masculinity harm them and the people around them, and work to construct healthier masculinities.” Or, as Hicks puts it, “It was eight weeks of guys discussing how they can address their actions with better self-awareness and less toxicity.”
“We spoke of emotional labor, consent, violence, communication, empathy, and vulnerability,” he adds, noting that the last subject, in particular, was a struggle for him: “[I was] trained and conditioned to be tough growing up.”
The Rethink program is the latest in a growing number of courses targeted toward people who identify as men, including the Men’s Project at the University of Wisconsin, Masculinity 101 at Brown, and the Duke Men’s Project at Duke. The goal, proponents say, is to help men examine their own biases and behaviors in order to cut down on misogyny and gender-based violence.
There’s no doubt that the problems these classes aim to tackle are pervasive ones — a reality that’s been made especially, painfully clear in recent days and weeks, as the Harvey Weinstein revelations have pushed discussions of sexual assault and harassment to the forefront. But can a class really be enough to chip away at something so deeply entrenched?
“It’s a promising approach,” says Eric Mankowski, associate chair of the psychology department at Portland State University and head of the school’s Gender and Violence Intervention Research Team, “but we don’t know whether they prevent sexual violence. Some studies show promising effects on attitudes and behavior intentions, but a single class is unlikely to undo years of socialization in toxic masculinity.”
For the past 25 years, Mankowski has taught a course titled Psychology of Men and Masculinities, which, he says, “deconstruct[s] how masculinity is socialized as a performative mask rather than a biological imperative.” He argues that the concept of “toxic masculinity” has four main components: suppression of anything stereotypically feminine; suppression of emotions related to vulnerability, like fear, sadness, or helplessness; male domination over women and other men; and aggression.
“From those four distal expectations come the proximal attitudes and behaviors, like ‘I deserve to have access to women’s bodies,’” he explains. “What we don’t know is if it’s more effective to address the distal or proximal ideas and behaviors.” Mankowski says alcohol abuse is a perfect example. “It numbs feelings and allows men to act aggressive. We can effectively address it, but we’re not addressing the underlying issue. It’s functioning to help them display their manhood, so why would they stop?”
“We’ve spent many years addressing survivors and victim behavior, but ethically, and in terms of efficacy, that’s incomplete,” he adds. “We have to address the roots.”  And while course evaluations show that his students typically absorb what he teaches, Mankowski notes, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the class is making a real-world difference: “It may change beliefs about gender,” he says, “but does it change behavior?”
It’s not a given, but it’s not impossible, either. Research consistently shows that holding sexist attitudes is associated with gender violence, for example, so it’s not unreasonable to hope that better beliefs can lead to better behavior. Studies have also demonstrated that bystander intervention training — a subject covered in Rethink classes — can be effective at reducing the incidence of sexual assault.
On the other hand, though, these classes are taking on a lot. Trying to undo a lifetime’s worth of lessons about how to act at home, in the workplace, and in public — it’s a lofty goal, especially when so much of what participants encounter outside the classroom contradicts what they learn within it. And some of the desired outcomes — increased vulnerability, more emotional openness — are difficult to measure.
But Hicks argues that these problems don’t negate what the classes can accomplish; the program, he says, isn’t designed as a fix for anything. It’s a step. Granted, it’s a step with limited reach — there’s probably a self-selection bias at work — but it’s a step nonetheless.
Since the class ended, Hicks says, he feels he has “been more deliberate about expressing emotions and making space for people.” (Over the summer, the class facilitators asked Hicks to become a co-director of the program, noting that he had been one of the most vocal participants.)
“You won’t be transformed by a ten-week class, but you’ve got to start somewhere. And ten weeks is better than no weeks,” Mankowski says. Those who are really committed to making a change, though, shouldn’t expect a one-and-done scenario: “The key is continued examination. You will have a difficult time maintaining anything unless you continue working on it.”




Nestle airbrushes Christian cross from yogurt packaging

Nestle airbrushes Christian cross from yogurt packaging
The world’s largest food and beverage company is erasing Christian crosses in photographs on its product packaging. Nestlé uses a picture of the famous blue domes of the Church of the Resurrection on the Greek island of Santorini for its yogurt packaging. The popular “Greek” yogurt proudly displays one of the most instantly-recognizable images in Europe. The huge, beautiful church domes are topped by white crosses as they majestically line the sparkling Aegean seashore. But recently the Switzerland-based company began photoshopping the crosses out. It’s a growing trend across secularized Europe, with the French retailer Carrefour, the Greek dairy company Mevgal, and the German supermarket chain Lidl also digitally amputating the Christian cross. A Lidl spokesman tried to explain the eradication of the Cross by referencing spiritual tolerance. “We avoid the use of religious symbols because we do not wish to exclude any religious beliefs.” READ MORE

 

UK Gov’t Demands Phrase ‘Pregnant Women’ Be Replaced with ‘Pregnant People’

UK Gov’t Demands Phrase ‘Pregnant Women’ Be Replaced with ‘Pregnant People’
The UK government is opposed to the use of the phrase “pregnant woman” because it could be perceived as excluding transgender people who have also given birth. The statement comes in Britain’s official submission on proposed amendments to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the UK has been a signatory since 1976. The UN treaty says a “pregnant woman” must be
protected, including not being subject to the death penalty. In the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) submission, Britain opposes the term “pregnant woman” because it may “exclude transgender people who have given birth”.The suggested term is “pregnant people”, the Sunday Times reported. “We requested that the UN human rights committee made it clear that the same right [to life for pregnant women] extends to pregnant transgender people,” an FCO statement said. READ MORE

Journalists Are Being Advised to Avoid Saying a Transsexual Person Was ‘Born Boy or Girl’

Journalists Are Being Advised to Avoid Saying a Transsexual Person Was ‘Born Boy or Girl’
Journalists working for the Associated Press (AP) have been urged not to refer to transsexual people as having been “born” a specific sex. The AP has updated its official style guide to include pro-transsexual terms, confirming the move on its Twitter page. Jeff McMillan, of the AP Stylebook team, said “sex reassignment or gender confirmation” should be used for medical procedures. “Call people transgender only if relevant; give the name they use publicly; avoid references to being born a boy or girl.” “Transition is the process by which people match their physical characteristics to their gender identity”, he added.
The AP has headquarters in New York City, as well as teams in more than 100 countries around the world. Earlier this month, a prestigious women-only college at the University of Cambridge announced that men will now be allowed to apply if they ‘identify’ as women. Murray Edwards College, whose alumni include Sue Perkins, Claudia Winkelman and Tilda Swinton, will now consider any student who “at the point of application identifies as a woman”. READ MORE

Parents outraged after sex worksheet given out at Oklahoma middle school

Parents outraged after sex worksheet given out at Oklahoma middle school
Jay Middle School in Jay, Oklahoma, is under fire from some parents who say the school took a sex education class way too far. Parent Mandy Callihan posted on Facebook that her 12-year-old daughter came to her in tears earlier this month after she was too embarrassed to complete her sex education assignment. Callihan said she understood why as soon as she read the worksheet. “I was appalled at
what someone in our school system had deemed appropriate to talk to my child about. My TWELVE year old child (who still colors in coloring books). In a room where boys and girls are combined. With male instructors (or female, depending on the time of day, I guess) who are not teachers (or Nurses) in our school system,” Callihan wrote, infuriated that she was not made aware of the school’s plans to teach the students about these things.  READ MORE

100,000 Brits sign up for polygamous dating site helping Muslim men find multiple wives

100,000 Brits sign up for polygamous dating site helping Muslim men find multiple wives
A website that helps Muslim men find “second wives” in Britain has more than 100,000 users registered, it has been revealed. The practice has been accused of opening women, often younger than their husbands, to physical abuse and even trafficking. In the UK, polygamous marriages – in which a person has more than one spouse – are only recognized if they took place in countries where they are legal. British law, however, does not stop unregistered religious ceremonies from taking place. Most Muslims in Britain do not practice polygamy, but some interpretations of the Quran say that a man may marry two, three, or four women, so long as he can deal justly and fairly with each of them. SecondWife.com creator Azad Chaiwala says the website came from his “need” and “thinking there’ll be other people in my situation.” READ MORE



Inventor of Sex robot claims he will soon have ‘children’ with his creations

Inventor of Sex robot claims he will soon have ‘children’ with his creations
The inventor of one of the world’s first sex robots claims he is not far away from being able to have a ‘baby’ with one of his creations. Sergi Santos also thinks people will be getting married to their automatic lovers within a generation. Santos previously revealed that his sex robot Samantha had improved his marriage of 16 years to fellow designer Martisa Kissamitaki.
But Kissamitaki might not be so relaxed about the prospect of her promiscuous scientist breeding with his silicon seductress. Santos’s vision of a sex robot baby involves ‘merge’ the robot’s personality and physical traits with his own attributes in a computer program to create their ‘child’s’ brain and body, that can be ‘born’ in a 3D printer. READ MORE


WHEN IS THAT COMET COMING AGAIN?


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10 comments:

  1. The first story reminds me of what Rush Limbaugh often talks about. The "woosafication" of men! All told...I DON'T RECOGNIZE MY COUNTRY OR THE WORLD ANY LONGER!!!!!!!!!!!!! COME SOON JESUS, I WANT TO GET OFF NOW :(

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  2. We must not stop praying and it looks like we need to be praying continuously too ! So sick , so sad , am not able to comprehend what is making people believe this is acceptable ? Please Saint Michael and all your legions help us now .... Amen

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  3. One of the indicators signaling the last days, the last days Jesus spoke of, is that society would look how it looked in Noah's day. It says in Genesis that it grieved God's heart that he had made man.

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  4. More evidence of man in rebellion against our CREATOR,being led by the enemy

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  5. Lord have mercy on us !

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