Photo of the Week
October 5 - *National Day of Concern about Young People and Gun Violence. Students across America are asked to voluntarily sign a "Student Pledge Against Gun Violence," solemn promise never to bring a gun to school, never to use a gun to settle a dispute and to discourage their friends from using a gun. * Bodhidharma Day-Honors Zen Buddhist philosopher Bodhidharma (470-543), who believed one could attain Buddhahood by realizing one's own Buddha nature. Also, Mindfulness Day - Zen Buddhist day for being mindful that fear and hatred of others results from ignorance of interconnectedness. The Mystic's Wheel of the Year * Hugh Herndon and Clyde Pangbom complete the first nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean (1931). * Shawnee Indian chief and orator Tecumseh is regarded as one of the greatest of American Indians. He came to prominence between the years 1799 and 1804 as a powerful orator, defending his people against whites. He denounced as invalid all treaties by which Indians ceded their lands and condemned the chieftains who had entered into such agreements. With this brother, Tenskwatawa, the Prophet, he established a town on the Tippecanoe River near Lafayette, IN and then embarked on a mission to organize an Indian confederation to stop white encroachment. Although he advocated peaceful methods and negotiation, he did not rule out war as a last resort as he visited tribes throughout the country. While he was away, William Henry Harrison defeated the Prophet at the Battle of Tippecanoe on November 7, 1811 and burned the town. Tecumseh organized a large force of Indian warriors and assisted the British in the War of 1812. Tecumseh was defeated and killed at the Battle of the Thames, Oct 5, 1813.* Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians Surrender (1877) to the US Cavalry at Bear's Paw near Chinook, MT after a 1,700 mile retreat. Chief Joseph made his famous speech of surrender, "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever." * Civil War Submarine Attack (1863). In an attempt to disrupt the Union blockade of Charleston Harbor, the Confederate semi-submersible David rammed the Federal ironclad New Ironsides with a spar torpedo. This was the first successful Southern attack using a submersible craft. Although both sides experimented with submarine warfare during the Civil War, the results were far from encouraging as the submarines caused more fatalities to their own crews than to the opposing side. * A radiation alarm and Class I alert signaled a problem at the Enrico Fermi Atomic Power Plant, Lagoona Beach, near Monroe, MI (1966). The accident was contained, but nearly a decade was required to complete the decommissioning and disassembly of the plant.* A plane carrying arms for the Nicaraguan rebels (contras) was shot down over Nicaragua (1986). The only survivor was Eugene Hasenfus, ex-US Marine, who parachuted from the doomed plane and was captured by Nicaraguan Sandinistas the following day. The US administration at first denied "any link" to the mission. Hasenfus was put on trial for violating Nicaraguan security laws. He was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison. On request of President Daniel Ortega, he was pardoned a month later and was flown back to the US. This episode commenced the unraveling and exposure of covert operations and possible violations of US law which in turn led to Congressional "Iran Contra" hearings and investigation by a special prosecutor. * Space shuttle Challenger makes sixth mission with crew of seven, including five men. (1984) Kathryn Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space. * Birthdays: Robert Hutchings Goddard, Bob Geldof, Jonathan Edwards, Michael Andretti, Raymond Lester (Trace) Armstrong, Jeff Conaway, Bill Dana, Vaclav Havel, Grant Hill, Bil Keane, Mario Lemieux, Steve Miller, Patrick Roy.
When we're at the park, she'll buy a corn dog and eat it in a real sexy way just to drive me wild. - Jason, 28 Best of 1001 Sex Secrets Every Man & Woman Should Know
Our failure to conduct - to conduct fully and wholeheartedly - the internal debate between good and evil is the cause of those evil actions that constitute sin. The Road Less Traveled
Stern, moralistic warnings about not falling into the illusions of romantic love come from a place foreign to love. They are not messages from erotic life, but from a place that devalues Eros. Soul Mates
Invent yourself every day. Achieve Your Dreams
Things to Be Happy About: Young folks talking with old folks. A local hardware dealer. Deciphering someone's "hieroglyphics." 14,000 Things to Be Happy About
Don't laugh until after you've swallowed your milk. Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me
Where do your feelings of worthiness stem from? Search to discover the pathway to that source, for you will nee to revisit that source again and again throughout your lifetime. When you can easily find your way to the core of your essential value, then you know you have learned your lesson. If Life is a Game, These are the Rules
Who was the lesbian poet and essayist selected by President Clinton in 1997 as one of twelve recipients for the National Medal for the Arts who turned down the medal? She wrote the President a letter stating, "A president cannot meaningfully honor certain artists while the people at large are so dishonored." (Answer below.) Gay & Lesbian Calendar (Editor: Steps taken are not always as large as we would like them to be.)
In a sense, the key to our family is now we treat the child who tests us the very most. That child alone enables the other children to sense and feel that our love is unconditional. And that knowledge, that inward sensing and feeling, is beyond price. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
At the end of the day today, when the TV's off, the lights are out, and the kids are asleep, sit quietly for two minutes and enjoy the luxury and the grandeur of silence. Simplify Your Life
Schedule? What Schedule? If it seems like your newborn's sleeping schedule is no schedule at all, take heart; babies typically change their sleeping routines every two or three days in their first few weeks. You'll need to be flexible and adapt to your baby's schedule by recruiting help and sleeping when the baby sleeps. By the time your baby is 6 to 8 weeks old, they will probably fall into a more predictable routine. Parents Tips & Tricks
"Stress is the spice of life...Who would enjoy a life of no runs, no hits, no errors?" - Hans Selye. If you're feeling bored because your life lacks spice, here are some ideas. Take a cooking class. Sign up for dance lessons. Learn to play a musical instrument. Build houses with Habitat for Humanity. Stress Busters
Core an apple for an inside-out caramel apple! Help your kids do this. Remove the core from an apple, but keep some apple in the bottom. Now, pour caramel dip into the hole! To Do Today
Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him. - James Allen Win the Day!
La espuma (ehsPOOmah) Foam. El negocio ha crecido como la espuma! Business is booming! (Lit. The business has grown like foam!) Living Language
She washes my penis
This was my first poem, written while attending a gathering of poets and writers who had been sexually abused as children. My belief is that all of us, and particularly men, must come out of the closet around the ways we have been abused to help put an end to these problems, I have chosen Sexual/Ritual abuse as the focus here. I won't focus on the atrocities but concentrate on a different perspective.
It is said that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys (over 2 out of 3 boys if we include circumcision) will be sexually victimized before their 18th birthday, 85% of the perpetrators are individuals the child already knows-blood relatives, extended family members, neighbors, baby-sitters, etc. (Lear's Magazine, Feb, 1992).
If the truth be known, I think those numbers are on the low side and that it is such a horrendous thing for the adult mind to consider, that the inner child gets pushed even deeper from the surface of freedom, denying anything that bad could have ever happened to them. (In The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior, 1993, only 11% of men and 23% of women reported having been sexually molested as children.) When the nightmares come, or a flash of memory, or a negative body reaction to a sexual activity, it may be a sign that your inner child is ready to talk. Are you listening?
Definitions of Abuse:
Let's look at the five main definitions of abuse, emotional, intellectual, physical, sexual and spiritual, derived primarily from within the Recovery community. Because of the extreme nature, I will discuss the issue of ritual abuse separately.
Emotional: Major caregiver refuses to let child express feelings, shames a child for his/her feelings or demonstrates improper expression of his/her feelings in front of the child. Denying noncustodial parent unencumbered visitation.
Intellectual: Attacks on the chi's thinking process, over-control of the expression of the child's thoughts and failure on the part of the major caregiver to teach logical thinking and problem solving.
Physical: includes abject, use of implements, face slapping, shaking, hair pulling, head banging, tickling into hysteria, lack of appropriate physical nurturing and intrusive procedures. Request for information on services: for men battered by men; men battered by women, for male batterers and for female batterers. See Alternatives to Violence".
Sexual: "Physical sexual" involving intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, masturbation of the child, having a child masturbate an adult, sexual touching (fondling), sexual kissing and sexual hugging; "overt/explicit" involving voyeurism or exhibitionism; "covert" involving verbal sexual abuse or lack of appropriate boundary setting with the child; "Emotional sexual" involving emotional enmeshment by the parent, child witness to sexual abuse or not providing appropriate and healthy sexuality information Request information on services: men molested as children; men incested as children; men raped as children or adults (by a male; by a female); women molested as children; women incested as children; women raped as children or adults (by a male; by a female); partners of male incest/molestation survivors; partners of female incest/molestation survivors.
Spiritual: Major caregiver disrespectful of child's reality and demands to be the child's Higher Power; perfection demanded of the child; child is over controlled; child is ignored, neglected or abandoned; child is indulged; religious addiction of the major caregiver; abuse at the hands of a religious caregiver; major caregiver does not follow stated family rules or values; and shifting rules or hidden rules in the family. Request information on services for people ritually abused as a child (including circumcision).
Cultural Denial & Fear
We all probably have one or more examples of each of these n our lives, at least through newspaper accounts. What I will talk about here is a little different perspective. I want to focus on some of the effects of living in the largest sex-negative country in the world, where puritanical thought still wants us to think of sex as a tool for procreation only, not for joy. We're taught to be ashamed of masturbation, especially in marriage, not to touch children, not to hug and touch other adults unless it's sexual, simply because it will be taken as a sexual advance by most. It's a country where men touch other human beings 6-8 times a day, 4-6 of those touches are sexual yet Spanish men touch other human beings over 100 times a day, 6-8 of them sexual. Where two men could be beaten to death for walking hand-in-hand, though this is a common sight in Australia, Africa, Indonesia and many of the Soviet Block countries. Where people like Russ Limbaugh ridicule Bill Clinton and Al Gore for hugging in public, implying they must be some kind of perverts. There's something wrong with this picture where the power of a Limbaugh or the Christian Right can get a law passed in Colorado and almost in Oregon against gay and lesbians doing what the medical and psychological communities and many religious denominations have taken as a natural, God-given gift. (The Janus Report shows that 22% of men and 17% of women have had at least one homosexual experience.) It's the repression of what is natural that causes some people to do things that are not natural. Pedophiles are notoriously very "religious" people and, also reported in The Janus Report, three times as many ultraconservatives, compared to either independents or ultraliberals, rated sadomasochism as an acceptable practice.
In a country that claims to want to take responsibility to teach our children about sex, fewer than 20% of the parents actually do any form of sex education with their children. This has to be a contributor to the fact that there are 2 million teen pregnancies every year and that the heterosexual teen segment is one of the fastest growing segments when it comes to AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. So, what do we think we're doing as adults and parents. Protecting our children by not telling them? Know that under one of the definitions of "sexual abuse" above, the teaching of inappropriate information or the lack of teaching appropriate sex information is sexual abuse of children. We, have a responsibility as parents to get beyond our own fears and uncomfortableness, to insure that our children get information that will help them develop healthy and safe attitudes about sex.
Effect on Fathers
One of the travesties of this culture is the training fathers receive that causes them to withdraw as their teen-age daughters begin to develop. And, because most men are afraid to reveal our feelings to anyone, even other men or a therapist, we think that having these feelings makes us perverted. We often withdraw from our daughters at this very important time in their lives when they really need our positive reflection of their budding sexuality. If we would read, we would find out that the sexual energy is natural, and it comes from the daughter too. It shouldn't nor does it need to be acted out. But, don't turn or move away from your daughters hugs, either. It's often experienced by the daughter as a rejection of her as a sexual being, from the first and most important man in her life. This can be very damaging.
Phyllis Chesler writes in Mothers on Trial, that a custody battle constitutes male violence against women and that anti-mother brainwashing (among other things) by custodial fathers is child abuse. I think it's psychologically, if not sexually, abusive to keep fathers from shared joint physical custody of their children, making them a visitor at best in their children's lives. This includes fathers who decide not to be part of their children's lives. One of the reasons for this is that it denies the children the experience of their father, which is part of them and they'll never have the opportunity to see the masculine part of him as well as his feminine side. It is when the father is not allowed to acknowledge that feminine side in himself, in the presences of his children, and the acknowledgment of that in his children, that distorts those parts in his children.
Another area is around not informing the father of the birth and subsequent adoption of his child. Having talked to many adoptees about not knowing their father, nor being provided the information as a adult on how to find their father, has damaged them for a lifetime. Making it legal to keep this information from both the father and child is at least psychological abuse and can easily border on sexual abuse in many cases. "It is possible that the non-availability of a father...can be a predisposing factor in the development of gender identity disorders in their childhood" (DSM-III-R 302.60). Without the father's presence in his children's lives, the important lessons he was meant to teach don't get taught, not by a loving stepfather, a loving mother, or anyone else.
Abusive messages surround us. Safeway, the grocery chain that's supposed to nourish us, is running a commercial aired last year. It shows a mother with two children and claims that she is a mother and a father, thereby removing any need of the father in the upbringing of balanced children. In essence, they have chosen to support the raising of more dysfunctional children.
Then there are the extreme cases where the father is charged with sexual abuse in a custody case. This is all too often used to get back at the husband and keep the children's love. In the long run what often happens is that the mother is the one who is rejected by the adult children for getting in between the children and their father, and it only destroys what could have been a very healthy upbringing of the children by two parents in separate households.
While some of these accusations have been made that are false and tear divorcing families apart, it is important not to deny what is a horrid reality: sexual abuse happens, it happens to a great many children and some adults, it happens primarily by men but women also sexually abuse, and it is psychologically abusive to deny, minimize or keep the secret about the level of sexual abuse against boys and the impact it has on their lives.
I saw a program called Prime Time, a so-called "news" show which seems more like the National Inquirer made for television. A male reporter was talking with a male psychologist (who just happens to make his living by disputing the existence of ritual abuse for those charged and insurance companies) interspersed with video cuts from therapy sessions. While it probably wasn't produced by people who are in one of these cults, the whole development of the program appeared to suggest that as it went on to dispute the existence of ritual abuse.
So, what is Ritual abuse? It involves the use of rituals to physically, sexually or psychologically abuse children, adolescents and adults. The physical abuse is severe, sometimes including torture and killing. The sexual abuse is usually painful, sadistic and humiliating, intended as a means of gaining dominance over the victim. The psychological abuse is devastating and involves the use of ritual indoctrination, which can include mind control techniques, mind altering drugs, and ritual/intimidation which conveys to the victim a profound terror of the cult members and of the evil spirits they believe cult members command. (Be assured this is not an accusation of all witches since the vast majority of these people practice healing, non-abusive magic.) Because of the extreme nature of the abuse, it seems hard to understand that human beings can do this to other human beings, especially children.
A major effort is made within the cult, usually at a very early age, to program the initiate. This can be lethal programming (such as suicide, assassination), self-injury (cutting, burning, traffic accidents, jumps, falls), cult-control (reporting, access, return, seduction, etc.), therapy interference (scrambling, flooding, erasure, fixed verbal response, nightmare, isolation, etc.) and psycho neurological (numb, seizure, vision, hearing, sleep, etc.).
I Can't Believe It
Though ritual sexual abuse of children is a reality, many still believe that something that terrible couldn't really happen. When articles and television distort the reality of ritual abuse, it's similar to what Freud's colleagues did when he first published his shocking study that many women were sexually abused as children. There were no proven cases to support his theory so he rewrote his theory so he would be accepted by his peers. Like the Prime Time story that went to an accused couple (he a minister, she played the church organ) asking them on national television if they were guilty of ritual abuse, virtually all parents of adult children who have sexual abuse memories deny they were the ones who did it. Manipulating thought is one thing. Denying experience is unconscionable. After all, these "...cults are comprised of doctors, business people, churchgoers, (therapists) and PTA mothers..." says Daniel Ryder. "The ritual abuse field today is where the incest field was 12 to 15 years ago." We have a culture that is still denying that such atrocious things could have ever happened.
An area of distortion surrounds circumcision. While not officially termed ritual abuse, it has all the components. It is often a ritual, sometimes even performed in a religious structure, to mutilate the sexual organ of a child without his knowledge or permission. Yet, 74% of parents continue to sign the papers to allow this antiquated ritual abuse to be performed on their baby boys. Why is our culture systematically sexually abusing its boys when it would collectively be up in arms if Islamic-Arabic girls were given clitoridectomies here.
What to do?
After all is said and done, I really wonder if anyone, boys or girls, escape from some form of sexual abuse present in our culture today. The point is that we must take action now to break the chain of what happened to us, so we won't be multiplying this effect over the number of children we have and expect all of them to break the chain for their children. It takes one person at a time.
What's important is to listen to the stories, no matter how horrid they may sound. Stories of childhood sexual abuse, of orgies, of torture, of murder and sacrifice. It's important to talk about your own experience, if you had one that you remember, and join together with others to stop the perpetration of abuse wherever we find it - in our own homes, next door, at the grocery store, in church or school, no matter who's doing it or what their excuse may be. Abuse must be stopped, NOW! Think about it! - Gordon Clay
Hey Man: Did you make a difference yesterday? Let us know at Contact Us. Read women's literature. We are living in the midst of a major revolution about gender roles, yet we rely on newspapers or TV to help us understand it. We owe it to ourselves to try to learn firsthand about it. Especially if we have daughters. Ask women friends for recommendations. What Every Man Needs to Know Want to make a difference but you don't know where to start?
Domestic Violence Prevention Month - See Issues. Also, see books on anger, violence-general, violence-domestic, violence-rape, violence-sexual, women's violence, sexual harassment plus Q&A Slide Guide on Gangs in Merchandise and Alternatives to Violence programs. - resources for male and female perpetrators and male and female victims. Got some information to add, send it to mailto: Contact Us.
2010 State of the World: Transforming cultures from consumerism to sustainability, The Worldwatch Institute. Like a tsunami, consumerism has engulfed human cultures and Earth's ecosystems. Left unaddressed, we risk global disaster. But if we channel this wave, intentionally transforming our cultures to center on sustainability, we will not only prevent catastrophe but may user in an era of sustainability - one that allows all people to thrice while protecting, even restoring, Earth. In this year's report, 50+ renowned researchers and practitioners describe how we can harness the world's leading institutions - education, the media, business, governments, traditions and social movements - to reorient cultures toward sustainability. W. W. Norton, www.worldwatch.org, 2010, ISBN 978-0-393-33726-6
October is Adopt-a-Shelter Dog; Alternate History; Auto Battery Safety; Campaign for Healthier Babies; Celiac Sprue Awareness; Child Health; Computer Learning; Diversity Awareness; Dryer Vent Safety Awareness; Energy Management is a Family Affair-Improve Your Home; Family History; Family Sexuality Education, Fantasy; Gay and Lesbian History; Health Literacy; International Fired Up; Listen to Your Inner Critic; Lupus Awareness; National AIDS Awareness; National Animal Safety and Protection; *National Breast Cancer Awareness; National Car Care; National Crime Prevention; National Depression Education and Awareness; *National Disability Employment Awareness; *National Domestic Violence Awareness; National Family Health, National Family Sexuality Education; National "Gain the Inside Advantage"; National Home Inspection; National Orthodontic Health; National Pharmacy; National Physical Therapy; National Pizza; National Popcorn Poppin'; National Roller Skating; National Skin Care Awareness; National Spinal Health; National Toilet Tank Repair; Pediatric Cancer Awareness; Rett Syndrome Awareness; Sarcastics Awareness; Substance Abuse Prevention; Talk About Prescriptions; Unmasking Halloween Dangers; Vegetarian Awareness Month.
9/15-10/15: Hispanic Heritage Month. 10/1-7: Mental Illness Awareness; *Minority Enterprise Development; National Health Care Food Oct 8-14: *Fire Prevention; Home Based Business; National Adult Immunization Awareness; *National School Lunch, National Walk to School Week. 10/9-13: Pet Peeve, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Week. 10/10-16: Wildlife Week. 10/14-20: Ally, Pharmacy Week. 10/15-21: Getting the World to Beat a Path to Your Door; *National Character Counts; Teen Read Week. 10/16-22: National Health Education Week. 10/22-28: National Massage Therapy Awareness, National Save Yur Back Week. 10/23-31: Red Ribbon 10/25-31: Peace, Friendship & Goodwill Week. 10/1: World Vegetarian Day. 10/2: World Habitat Day, 10/3: Techies Day. 10/4: Toot Your Flute Day. 10/8 Global Learn Day; National Children's Day. 10/9: Indigenous Persons Day; *Leif Erikson Day, Yom Kippur, Canadian Thanksgiving Day. 10/11: Coming Out; Teddy Bear to Work Day; 10/12: Oktoberfest. 10/13: Blame Someone Else; Scream, Train Your Brain Day, Friday the 13th. 10/14: Sukkot. Be Bald and Be Free Day. 10/15: National Grouch; *White Cane Safety Day. 10/16: Dictionary; Boss' Day, Intl. Librarians World Food Day. 10/17: Black Poetry, International Eradication of Poverty Day. 10/18: Canadian Persons; Boost your Brain Day. 10/19: Evaluate Your Life Day 10/21: Sweetest Day. 10/22: Mother-In-Law; National Scientific Literacy Day. 10/23: National Mole Day. 10/24: United Nations Day. Black Thursday. 10/25: Cartoonists Against Crime Day. 10/26: Horseless Carriage; Mule, Intersex Awareness Day 10/27: Frankenstein Friday, Navy Day, Ugly Pickup Contest. 10/28: Make a Difference; Wild Foods Day; Day of Meditation. 10/29: Daylight Savings Times Ends. 10/31: Halloween; National Magic; *National Unicef Day. 11/2 is Election Day. Vote Absentee Ballot.
* Means a Presidential Proclamation has been made.
Domestic Violence Prevention Month - See Issues. Also, see books on anger, violence-general, violence-domestic, violence-rape, violence-sexual, women's violence, sexual harassment plus Q&A Slide Guide on Gangs and Safe Dating in Merchandise and Alternatives to Violence programs. - resources for male and female perpetrators and male and female victims. Got some information to add, send it to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
* Means a Presidential Proclamation has been made.
Men are so competitive that we even "out-die" women in all 15 of the major causes of death in the U.S. Most of these deaths are preventable with a positive change in life-style, eating habits, and/or general health care. Let's not strive so hard to hold on to this record. See what you can change now to live a healthier life.
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