Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts

 

The Boy Scouts of America announced on Wednesday October 11, 2017 that it will admit girls into the Cub Scouts starting next year and establish a new program for older girls using the organization’s same curriculum.

What is the point of having girls in the boy scouts? I have no idea other than pandering to a very small minority of people who feel boys and girls are exactly the same and should always be in the same groups no matter what. Must we be reminded again that boys and girls are different?

I wish all human beings could raise a son and a daughter. I would love to see the people who feel every human is the same in every way recoil in horror as they watch their son behave differently than their daughter. I would love to watch their faces as they give a doll to their toddler son to play with but shriek as he rips the head off and looks inside the carcass to see how the doll was made.

It’s been long established that the male brain is different than the female brain. We learn differently and we see the world differently. That does not mean either is better, it is just different.

Some people seem to believe, for some bizarre reason that we are all equal. We aren’t. This horrible idea of having the girls in the Boy Scouts is a silly attempt to force the issue that we are all equal and should not have spaces where one sex bonds and has activities together. Men don’t always want to be around girls/women. We just don’t. Men and boys like to bond in our own ways just like women and girls do.

It is important  to have single sex groups from time to time. It facilitates a different type of bonding, competition and nurturing. One of the biggest advantage kids can receive from single-sex social groups is a chance to experience life outside the boundaries of ubiquitous gender dynamics.

When girls don’t have to worry about the thoughts of how they will perform when they’re with boys, girls are more likely to explore the depths of their own potential. Girls also get opportunities that are harder to find in organizations where boys make up the majority of participants. When girls and young women are in the position to hold all leadership roles, they learn how to succeed on their own terms. When there is an all female led environment, it means many more of the participants in the group are more likely to volunteer for, and be called upon to take leadership positions because there aren’t any males to compete with. From a very young age, young girls are attuned to incorrect stereotypes that cast men as more intelligent and capable than women. Single sex organizations caters to this need and address issues in ways co-ed ones might not.

That’s one of the many, many benefits of women’s colleges. The same applies to HBCU’s. Not having to stress out about racial issues being thrown at you daily creates an enhanced learning experience for people like me.

The Girl Scouts sounded like they were somewhat disturbed about this too.

“We learned about this through different channels but never directly from BSA leadership. We’ve had competitors come and go and this is yet another competitor. We’re disappointed in the way BSA handled this,” Lisa Margosian, Chief Customer Officer for Girl Scouts, told BuzzFeed reporter Tasneem Nashrulla in a statement.

“We’ve enjoyed a strong relationship and partnership with them over the years and we’re disappointed that the BSA didn’t discuss this with us to say ‘we’re having trouble with our membership.’ This is a direct response to boost their declining membership,” Margosian continued. At this point we’re just about reminding people that we have an expertise in serving girls that the Boy Scouts just don’t have,” Margosian continued in the statement.

Some have pointed out the problem has more to do with the Girl Scouts not having a high award similar to the Eagle Award. The Boy Scouts have the Eagle and the Girl Scouts have the Gold Award.

The reality is that the Girl Scout Gold Award is harder to get than the Eagle Award. There are more requirements to receive it and the girls have to earn it without help from others.  Why isn’t it more prestigious? That is a question the Girl Scouts need to address. Maybe it’s a marketing problem? I have no idea.

The Girl Scouts offer many of the same activities the Boy Scouts do, and to their credit, the Boy Scouts has programs that are open to both sexes.

I don’t see what the problem was. The Girls have their own organization as well as the boys. Are there any place or institution left where it is still safe and acceptable to be a boy, or raise one?

What if we get rid of fraternities and sororities. No more organizations like the Freemasons for men, no more gyms like Curves or Lucille Roberts. No more products made specifically for women. The Olympics? Men and Women compete equally from now on. There will no longer be organizations for women at all. N.O.W. will be N.O.E. (National Organization for Everyone.  Feminism will be humanism. No more women’s colleges. Wellesley will no longer be a school for women. They will be accepting all males who want to apply. Morehouse? A college for black men? No longer. White women will be applying now. Is this the genderless society we want?

It seems as if people are bending over backwards to try to please people. I’m not in the people pleasing business when it comes to my kids. I already know that boys and girls are different, have different needs, learn and play differently. I’m not sucking up to the left to include my daughter in every event or activity my son is in just for some notion of equality.

This was a really bad idea and I hope there is enough backlash to reverse this short sighted decision.

 

Why I REFUSE To Pay Child Support

When people ask me how can I be divorced with two children and pay no child support, I tell them I took a cue from Nancy Reagan; I “just said no.”

I took the road less traveled. One that more men should be allowed to travel.

For the past 18 years, I have been fortunate to be a full-time musician. Since the time of our daughter’s birth in 2003, I was at home with her during the day and working at night. Three years before my marriage ended, my wife and I agreed to switch roles. In order to make this arrangement work, I was extremely ambitious and found a way to work a 9-5 job as well as teach, perform in an Off-Broadway show and perform in weddings and corporate events. I paid all the bills while she took care of our daughter.

After two years of trying to fit back into the corporate world, I noticed a lack of communication between my wife and I. My focus was on our family; her attention appeared to be on the social calendar. My frustration with what seemed to be a lop-sided allocation of duties in our home-made for several stress filled months. Not only was I the sole breadwinner, I took care of many of the duties at home. The birth of our second child only intensified the tension in our home.

Working a full time job, gigs and doing much of the house work burnt me out so I quit my corporate job. Meanwhile my wife was unwilling to continue the therapy sessions we’d set up to find a way to repair our marriage. She hired an attorney and filed for divorce.

Our custody battle began in Family Court. During our first hearing, I received a court order for spousal support, which stated I was to continue paying all the bills until our case went to Supreme Court. On top of paying the household expenses, I had to pay my ex an additional $500 cash each month. I was furious. I questioned why I was responsible for everything and my wife was only responsible for being with the children.

Soon after filing, my wife began using the children as pawns. She filled the kid’s day with play dates, and after one of our many heated arguments, took the kids to her mother’s home in another state for two weeks so I could not see them. In addition to the attempts at alienating me from my children, my wife called the police after several arguments in futile attempts to have me vacate the marital residence and be thrown in jail. Luckily for me she was never psychotic enough to hurt herself or abuse the criminal justice system’s bias against men.

When our case was transferred to New York State Supreme Court, things began to change. A few months into our dispute I received an unlikely source of inspiration. My family had given me a father’s day gift certificate to a men’s spa. Here is where I received life-changing advice from a female staff member who’d gone through a divorce several years before. She and her former spouse had mutually agreed that their son be raised by his father. She informed me that in New York State, couples had the option to “opt out” of paying child support upon dissolution of marriage. I immediately called my attorney and told him I wanted to do just that: opt out.

I must acknowledge one piece of the puzzle that gave me a slight advantage that no one has today. At the time of my lawsuit, New York was the last state who hadn’t adopted no-fault laws. This gave me leverage that no one can use in court today. Now, everyone is at the mercy of their spouse and can’t contest their divorce. In fact, most people have no idea that your spouse can file for divorce for any reason and not have to prove why they want out of the marriage. This is a real disadvantage for the monied spouse in my state because the custodial parent gains an advantage with the child support guidelines. The spouse who makes more money is ordered to pay the non-custodial parent.

At the time, my attorney and I decided to contest my ex’s grounds for divorce. We were willing to compel her to tell the truth under oath. My ex would have perjured herself in court since there were several inconsistencies in her sworn deposition. Her attorney decided it would be unwise for her to proceed in that manner. This was the turning point that forced a settlement.

 

After 11 months in and out of court, we agreed that my parenting time would take place during the day; hers at night and that no one would pay child support. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I walked out of the courtroom secure in the knowledge that I could financially support our two children in a way that made much more sense to me. I did not succumb to the societal pressure to pay an ex-wife, child or spousal support because men have historically done so.

I’m not sure many men have the testicular fortitude to endure the pain it takes to achieve this goal today. Particularly since the avenue I pursued is now closed off to men in the family court’s crusade against fatherhood. I certainly thought of giving up but never did. I was also determined to get the court to understand the seriousness of my desire to be a fully committed parent and I was willing to go through the financial expense of seeing it through.

During my custody battle, I came to a deeper understanding how the courts system works and how the law applied in my particular case. I persevered by demonstrating that I was rational, reasonable, and always focused on the best interest of my children. Instead of relying solely on my attorney’s advice and historical precedent, I saw the bigger picture and thought long term.

I used several tactics to my advantage. I never left or was forced out of our marital residence, I managed to avoid physical altercations by keeping my emotions in check as much as possible, avoided being taken to jail by the NYPD by calmly explaining my side of the story and kept my focus by remaining totally devoted to my two children. I always took the high road and never talked badly about my ex to our children, no matter how tempting. I still don’t-she is the mother of our kids. They love her just as much as they love me.

I know all too well the stories of men who get taken advantage of by unscrupulous attorneys who don’t offer alternatives and other potential options their clients can pursue. State ordered child support should only be enforced when a spouse chooses to abdicate the responsibility of raising their children. There is no excuse for a parent to abandon their children. In my subsequent research, I have discovered that many fathers do not want to leave their children. Many times they are FORCED out.

 

Mandatory arrests laws that were written to protect women over the years have often been abused and are at times used to force fathers from the home straight into jail. This, in conjunction with punitive child support orders and the threat of imprisonment if it isn’t paid have been just a few of the reasons for the increase of widespread fatherlessness over the past 40 years.

The threat of divorce, child support orders or jail should ever stop a devoted father from having a healthy relationship with his children. No one should have the right to deny that important relationship unless there are serious criminal matters and there is due process.

Today it seems that many women intentionally abuse a system that was set up in the 1950′s and 1960′s to assist with the necessary expenses of child rearing for children that both parents gave consent to have. Now that women have joined the workforce in unprecedented numbers–and birth control frees them from the constraints they were otherwise under–it makes little sense to keep men stuck back in an era that has long passed. Women don’t want to go back to that era-men don’t either. If times have progressed for women, why are men forced to stay in the past?

I have seen many cases where spousal and/or child support is automatically assumed to be part of divorce even though it may be unwarranted, and most attorneys don’t even discuss potential options for their clients. I truly feel that men who desire to be a part of their children’s lives need not pay their future ex-wife at all.

My ex wife and I, more often than not, peacefully co-exist without a state ordered child or spousal support. I must emphasize this particular point: if anyone chooses the road I took, it requires a lifelong commitment of taking care of your children – something that unfortunately, most men today are not even given an opportunity to do.

I feel the default option in custody cases should be joint legal and physical custody with no court ordered child support absent a strong reason. Start with a 50/50 split of parenting time with the children. If that can’t happen and money needs to be transferred, the person receiving the funds needs to be held accountable for how the money is being spent. As it stand now, there is no way to account for how the funds are being used for the children.

 

The more often we keep the filthy claws of state and federal government out of our lives, the better. Once they get in, they never let go. The formation of the family court system, the state and federal offices of child support enforcement and all of the affiliated positions associated with it, has resulted in the creation of a massive state controlled Industry whose sole function is to affect the massive transfer of wealth from the father to the mother. The increase in state intrusion in our personal lives coupled with the culture of entitlement and unreasonable expectations currently embedded in our public consciousness, creates a system that feeds upon itself. It appears that this former government safety net has turned into a spider web. Eventually it will bleed fathers dry and the real victims will be their children.

When there are two loving parents that want to be actively involved in their children’s lives after divorce, there is no need to travel down the expected path of family court and mandatory child and/or spousal support. Women can learn from my story and understand that just because you may no longer love the father of your kids, your children do. Children need their mother AND father. Find a way to stay out of that hell hole they loosely call “Family Court.” I am living proof that there is another way.

The Interview: Joni Mitchell

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After reading this interview, I’m a bigger fan of hers. I’ve liked her music and voice, but her outlook on producing, the 70’s, producing, performing, feminism, empowerment and life in general is great.

In a rare and wide-ranging interview spanning 90 minutes, singer-songwriter-artist Joni Mitchell spoke from her home in Los Angeles. Her latest project, a box set called Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, a Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced, combines her experience as a Grammy-winning musician, a painter and a dance enthusiast by collecting 53 songs into four discs from 40 years of recording

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Q: You’ve voiced concern over what you call the “push-button generation of today.” What is impairing us the most?

A: Everything is about channel changing. It has ruined attention spans. I spaced out in school but I didn’t develop attention-deficit issues because I placed attention on my imagination and ignored the curriculum. I didn’t have a million newsfeeds to contend with. It is just like when I have people over to my house to watch a film—it’s like living in a Robert Altman movie! They are always talking over each other. We are all losing the plot. It’s an addiction to phones and too much information.

Q: What repercussions do you think future generations will feel now that everyone is on their phone during concerts, etc.?

A: Here’s an example. My grandson and I were sailing on a boat and he said, “It’s boring.” I asked, “How can you say it’s boring? The sun is shining, we’re going across the water so fast . . . ” And he said, “Not fast enough.” Technology has given him this appetite.

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Q: Your song Two Grey Rooms was another ahead-of-its-time song. Was there pushback from the record company recording a song about one man falling in love with another?A:

They always pushed me back but I take as much liberty as I can get away with. That’s why I’m not a feminist. When I heard, “You can’t do that, you’re a girl,” I went ahead and did it anyway.

Q: Yet feminism was monumental in the ’70s.Why weren’t you interested?

A: I’d rather go toe to toe with a guy than have a posse. I’m like Katharine Hepburn—I don’t know why but I just feel equal. I thought people should fight for their rights individually—not in a group. The feminists I met were so hostile. They would say, “You like men and they just want to f–k you.” They were browbeating me. They were also so undomestic. I have a lot of respect for domestic women. A lot of them were made graceful by supporting and serving a man. I tried to cook for two men but it was a thankless job

Read the entire piece HERE