Men Are Not Animals (Opinion)

It’s a common saying that “men are animals”. We say this when men cheat, when men act in a disgusting way, when men don’t control themselves. But lately I’ve been wondering if we do men a disservice by saying this.

We are all animals. We all come from the animal kingdom. We have evolved. I think it’s unfair to just say, “oh men are animals”. I think it gives them an excuse or a pass to behave badly. It’s like saying “they can’t do better.” But they most certainly can do better and many men do.

I have had the privilege of seeing both sides. I have suffered at the hands of men—I have seen the worst of men. For a long time I was scared because of what men did to me. I saw, what I thought was a great man, turn to a horrible man, I was lucky enough to have another great man pick up where that horrible man left off, and because of him I now I have seen a little boy grow into a man.
I’ve watched struggles and growth and pain and suffering and let me tell you—men are not animals. Men are humans. If you give anyone a pass to behave badly they will. If you give anyone the excuse to not try to exceed expectations—they won’t.
I’m sick of hearing people say, “that’s men for ya” or some form of that saying. Men—this country was built by great, flawed me. Some of the best books were written by genius men, discoveries were made, countries were grown, and children were raised. I would love to see an iguana do that—since men are just animals.
Men—like women, are subject to what is thought about them. If you think little of something or someone why would they ever strive to prove you wrong? Yet, if you look around you—every day men, like women, are fighting a battle for equal rights. The right to be a stay at home dad, the right to be a man even though women are leading the charge as bread winners, the right to be an equal partner, the right to be a feminist, the right to be more than an animal.



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There’s Nothing Else Worth Writing About, Really

Friday, December 14th, 2012, was like any other morning. I got up and got ready for work. I turned on the news and heard that there had been a mass shooting at an elementary school and I froze when I saw that six people were injured. I went to work. I work at NBCUniversal, so news was coming in pretty steadily by this time. I listened as the body count climbed from six to eighteen, and eighteen to twenty, and twenty to twenty-six. I fought back tears when I heard that twenty of the casualties were children. I fought back tears again when I sat in a conference call and heard “Why aren’t we promoting on social? Cause of those kids? Come on!”

There was a mass of misinformation that day. No one could figure out if the shooter’s mother was involved at the school, if there was a second shooter, if there was a motive, etc. It didn’t matter, though. Nothing really mattered. I went home and, for the first time, cried over an American tragedy. I tried to do anything that might take my mind off of that Friday’s events, but everything took such effort. I just wanted to stay in bed. Nothing mattered. When I did venture out and I saw people walking I couldn’t fathom how they were doing it. Did they not know? Maybe they just don’t watch the news, because that’s the only explanation, right?

By the time Sunday came, we had all the information we were probably going to get. It was a single shooter—he used a Bushmaster assault rifle, and he put anywhere from three to eleven holes in the bodies of six- and seven-year-olds. Teachers told their students that they loved them so it would be the last thing they heard—not gun shots. She told them to wait for the good guys, and that they would be coming. Teachers formed human shields around children, and they read them stories and gave them lollipops. “We thought it would be our last snack,” one seven year old told a reporter. A 27-year-old teacher hid her students in cupboards and a closet then told the gunman that her “students [were] in the gym” before she, herself, was gunned down. Children spoke of how they heard the shooter banging on the locked closet door, screaming “Let me in!” One sweet six year old girl hid under the bodies of her fifteen classmates. When the police arrived, she ran to her mom and said, “Mommy, I’m okay but all my friends are dead.” One student offered, “I know karate! I’ll lead the way out.” The Principal and School Psychologist even charged the shooter. They charged him, but the rapid-fire weapon won out over their bravery. Parents gathered at the firehouse, waiting to embrace their children. They matched up children ages, five to ten, with their parents. What was left was twenty parents without their babies and that’s how they began identifying the bodies.

This past Monday, the funerals began. The bodies were finally identified (by photographs, because no parent should remember their child with eleven military-grade bulletholes in them) and released. Stories came out about Jack Pinto, a six-year-old boy whose favorite football player was Victor Cruz of the NY Giants. That night, Cruz dedicated a game to Jack and wrote his name on his gloves and cleats before heading to Newtown to see his family. Jack was buried in a replica Cruz jersey. Jessica Rekos, another six-year-old, loved horses. Her parents promised her that on her tenth birthday she would get a pony. For Christmas, Jessica asked for cowgirl boots and a cowgirl hat. Seven-year-old Daniel Barton wanted to be a fireman. At his funeral on Wednesday morning, New York firefighters were there, standing clad in dress blue uniforms, many with white gloves to honor Daniel.

Emilie Parker, another victim, loved drawing and carried her markers everywhere. Her father spoke to the press over the weekend. He said, “I am so lucky to be your dad,” present tense, which psychologies will tell you means he hasn’t accepted she’s gone—or in his past. He also said to the Lanza family, the family of the shooter that took his six-year-old little girl from him, “I can’t imagine how hard this experience must be for you, and I want you to know that our family and our love and our support goes out to you as well.”

So far we know that Nancy Lanza, the mother of the shooter Adam Lanza, was a good, kind, generous woman that vowed to be her son’s caretaker for life. She was a gun enthusiast and kept them in a gun locker in her basement. She didn’t work so she could monitor Adam, who had difficulties. She was in the process of having Adam committed at the time and this is being looked at as a possible motive for what Adam did. I mention Nancy Lanza because she, too, was a victim. I think the gutting number of twenty children ages six and seven makes us forget that seven adults died as well.

Naturally, this has sparked gun debates, healthcare debates, cultural debates, and parenting debates. But I don’t care. I don’t care about these debates. I don’t care anymore. I know this has happened fifteen times this year. I know something has to be done but I don’t care to debate it anymore. I …

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Being Brad Pitt’s Mom Means You Can’t Have an Opinion

Photo of Brad Pitt and Mother Jane

Before joining forces with Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt was known primarily for being hot, an endeavor he was remarkably good at.  He has moved from eye candy to political awareness, though, and he has shown to be even better at this undertaking.  Whether giving time and money to victims of Hurricane Katrina or raising awareness about issues such as same-sex marriage, Pitt is a guy that’s used his popularity to get more than laid.

But does that mean that his entire family agrees with him?  Apparently not …

From Yahoo News:

In a letter to her hometown paper, the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, Jane Pitt writes that Christians, like herself, should not refuse to vote for Mitt Romney just because he is a Mormon. The published response to an earlier opinion in the paper describes President Barack Obama’s opponent for president as “a family man with high morals, business experience, who is against abortion, and shares Christian conviction concerning homosexuality.”

What I don’t understand, though, is why this is news.

My mother was raised in an extremely right-wing family.  As she grew into adulthood (at the height of the sixties, I might add), she developed her own ideas and opinions, becoming quite liberal.  There were never any turkey-throwing incidents at Thanksgiving over politics or anything, and I had no clue how different her views were from the rest of her side of the family until I was nearly an …

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Feminism and Judgement

photo of i am more than what you see pictures photos
Recently The Frisky did an article called “The Soapbox: On Feminism & Judging Other Women.” It was in response to another article that (duh) judged women and their decision to stay at home. I’ve been very open about how I feel regarding stay at home moms. Guys, these women are home with children all day… that’s who they talk to, that’s who has control over the TV, that’s it. My seven year old nephew came to visit me for a week and within 4 hours I wanted to rip my hair out because I had watched Pokemon, Great Adventure, and Kung Fu Panda 2 and not one episode of SVU on a Saturday. It takes strength to stay at home with kids and to be judged for it.

But I digress. The point of this article is not about stay at home, it’s about judging. I’ve been told I’m very judgmental and frankly, I don’t see it that way. I’m very opinionated and I also don’t really care what people want to hear so I tell the truth. I don’t play nice and therefore I am called judgmental. If someone asks for my opinion and I give it honestly does that mean I’m judging them? Does it make my opinion any more right than theirs? I don’t think so. I guess that’s the beauty of “opinion.”

Feminism needs to get over it. Yes, I said it. Feminism is about equality and equal human rights – it’s not about man-bashing or man-hating, about working or not working, about getting married or staying single. It has nothing to do with personal decisions. Feminism is the fight for equality when you make those decisions. If I decide to work. I should be paid the same dollar amount that a man would be paid if we are doing the same job and have equal experience and qualifications. I don’t understand how that is still not common knowledge and practice. My vagina does not mean I should make less money or that my education and experience periodically leaks from my body because I have a different hole than a man. It’s ludicrous to think that because a person has a dangly body part instead of …

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