Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Girls and Women Rock in Soccer

As we bring in the new year, how about changing any perceptions you might have about women as athletes. It's not about the men anymore.

Here is a video of women great at handling a soccer ball. Athletes every one.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Illegal Immigrants - Those of European Dissent

In a  role reversal where Native people take on the role of whites in the United States as deciding legal status for people from other places, the Native American National Council will offer amnesty to the estimated 240 million illegal white immigrants living in the United States.

Chief Sauti of the Nez Perce tribe explained that they will give Europeans the option to apply for native citizenship.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Islam - Cloak of Hierarchy Being Removed?

Thomas Friedman, in a New York Times op-ed entitled "How ISIS Drives Muslims from Islam," gives the following quote:

"As an outsider, I can’t say how widespread this is (blowing the lid off some long simmering frustrations in the Arab Muslim world). But clearly there is a significant group of Muslims who feel that their government-backed preachers and religious hierarchies have handed them a brand of Islam that does not speak to them."

When religious hierarchies use judgement, oppression, ridicule, and clergy only from a select group, they often hide behind the cloak of religion allowing them to further their hierarchies with little opposition.  Often if the hierarchy becomes too extreme, people see it for what it is, which Mr. Friedman indicates is happening to some extent with the violent interpretation of Islam by ISIS.

Republicans Championing a Death Struggle?

We are at a decision point in the United States – will we support hierarchies or not? Are we seeing death struggle in those efforts that are intent on keeping hierarchies strong? Are their efforts to care more about hierarchies than the health of our country, and to maintain the long-standing privilege of a few not going to be successful?

Maybe so. Since Republicans now are the strongest visible supporters of long-standing hierarchies, Houston Chronicle columnist Chris Ladd, who goes by the handle GOPLifer, gives us cause to believe that the death struggle is real.

Coming Apart at the Hierarchy Divide

In a blog post by Francis Wilkinson in Bloomburg View, he states that the United States is coming apart at the seams. He points out that the rights and opportunities of people in this country are determined more by where a person lives than the United States Constitution.

Wilkinson gives clear examples of how health care, abortion access, gun regulations, and voter access are very different according to in what state a person resides.

In hierarchy terms, we are living in a time where we are deciding as a country whether or not we will support people working hard to maintain hierarchies which increase the divide between the haves and the have-nots. The people who are supporting hierarchies are championed most by the Republican Party.

It's no surprise that places where Republicans are dominant tend to enact laws that work for the haves and against the have-nots. We see differences in support of hierarchies "as red and blue states pursue their sharply divergent versions of government," a phrase quoted from Mr. Wilkinson.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Accountability for Police

Redditt Hudson, a former cop, now works for the NAACP and chairs the board of the Ethics Project. He left the St. Louis Police Department because he could no longer "participate in a system that was so intentionally unfair and racist."

Like any top group with power who is allowed to act without considering the interest of people in lower groups, Mr. Hudson says of the police department, "The problem is that cops aren’t held accountable for their actions, and they know it. These officers violate rights with impunity. They know there’s a different criminal justice system for civilians and police."

He goes on to say, "Even when officers get caught, they know they’ll be investigated by their friends, and put on paid leave. My colleagues would laughingly refer to this as a free vacation. It isn’t a punishment. And excessive force is almost always deemed acceptable in our courts and among our grand juries. Prosecutors are tight with law enforcement, and share the same values and ideas."

All over the country, we are having a conversation about holding police accountable. In many ways, allowing police to be unaccountable is similar to many other hierarchies where the top wants to call the shots, no matter how it detrimentally affects the lives of the people it works to control.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lower People Get It, the Top Needs to Change

Chris Rock (an American comedian, actor, screenwriter, television producer, film producer, and director) in an interview with New York magazine, described well the concept that in hierarchies, the lower groups know what is going on, while the top groups can go their way clueless to how their attitudes and behaviors affect everyone else.

"When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it's all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they're not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before…"

"So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he's the first black person that is qualified to be president. That's not black progress. That's white progress. There's been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years."

"There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let's hope America keeps producing nicer white people."

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Women Stick Together

Alanah Pearce, a game reviewer from Australia, decided to do something about “young boys” tweeting threats and disgusting comments concerning what they were going to do to her, so she decided to tell someone: their moms. She is hoping that someone can influence these males before they turn into worse specimen as men.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

OK for Charles Manson, but not Gays and Lesbians

In 17 states, couples who love each other are not allowed to marry. But heterosexual mass murderer Charles Manson, serving a life sentence, can. Manson is 80 and his fiance, Star Burton, is 26.

Huffington Post says it all in the title of the article: Mass Murderer Charles Manson Can Get Legally Married, But A Lot of Gay Couples Still Can't.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gender Equality Benefits Everyone

According to an article published in the Telegragh (UK), gender equality helps men and well as women. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, both men and women tend to perform better in Olympic competition if they come from countries with better educational equality.

Greater income inequality was linked to countries having fewer medals.

Another examples or how hierarchies hurt everyone, including those on top who think that their privilege means hierarchies should not be challenged.

The people who wrote the article said that the argument that striving for equality for women means that men will lose out is not substantiated in Olympic sports. “Rather, gender inequality is likely to hurt both women and men by encouraging stereotypes that limit their ability to reach their full potential as individuals,” they said.

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Goodness – Russia is Certainly Bringing Up the Rear

In an announcement last week that may open opportunities for other gays and lesbians, and at the least make corporate CEO jobs seem a little less unattainable, Tim Cook of Apple told the world he is gay.

Many people praised Cook, but it seems that Russia didn't learn anything from Cook's essay in Bloomburg Businessweek.

A memorial to Steve Jobs in St. Petersburg, Russia, that looked like a large iPhone, was removed because it apparently "violates Russia’s law against gay propaganda.”

As hierarchies fall, no matter who is on top and who is on the bottom, change comes from people who understand that hierarchies are the same, no matter what the criteria used to set them up. Then, on the other hand, there are people who can't cross the line to see that gender, age, race, size, sexual orientation are criteria whose hierarchies have the same characteristics.

Russia, you are clearly not seeing the connection. One day your citizens will look back and wonder how you could have been so naive.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sexual Harassment - More Than Unwanted Sexual Advances

For ten hours, actress Shoshana Roberts walked the streets of Manhattan with microphones in her hands recording the comments made to her by men she didn't know. In front of her was filmer Rob Bliss who was outfitted a backpack with a hidden camera.

Men approached, leered at, and trailed Roberts, sometimes for minutes at a time, as they seemed to believe that women's bodies should be accessible to them on command.

The ever present threat of sexual harassment is real for women, no matter where we go. Sexual harassment and disrespectful, dangerous views of men toward women are not a case of "isolated incidences." Every women knows that, so we must be on guard 24/7.

World Gender Equality Rankings for 2014

The annual report from the World Economic Forum shows us that the Nordic countries with working social democracies fare best when it comes to lives for women, and the worst countries are homes of political instability and conflict with large rural populations and traditional cultures.

Countries are scored on a range of criteria: women's health indicators, their political empowerment, their participation in their country's economy and their right to education.

Even though there are great differences between top and bottom countries, such as Iceland and Sweden on the top, and Pakistan and Yemen on the bottom, no country has fully closed the gender gap. Wage inequities persist virtually everywhere.

The United States ranked 20th, behind Nicaragua and Rwanda, two among the nineteen who do a better job.

Friday, October 24, 2014

For Real – A Major Man in US Sports Fired for Making a Sexist Comment?

Is it possible that a major player in men's sports could lose his job for making a sexist remark?

Today, men's Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) president Ted Bishop was removed from office by his board of directors for "insensitive gender-based statements." In trying to insult English golfer Ian Poulter, he called him a "lil girl." 

We remember the time when making sexist comments made a sports figure a "man," and now look at this. Will other men follow suit, and think about their sexist comments? 

Harriet sat in as a spectator on the case of the PGA versus Casey Martin, when the PGA was fighting the successful efforts of Martin to use a motorized cart in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act. Has the PGA come a long way, or are they nervous about the fact that participation in golf is declining, and they don't want to turn half of the population of potential players against them?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Women - Redefine the Box the Gender Hierarchy Defines

In any hierarchy, people in lower groups are given conditions which they are supposed to follow to keep them in their lower positions. With women, much of the conditioning centers around body issues, that women aren't beautiful just the way they are. Women are supposed to understand their inferior place on the gender hierarchy by changing their real selves with make-up, unhealthy weight bodies, shaving, being in a subservient relationship with men, taking responsibility for sexual assault, and accepting that their role in life is to have children in a traditional marriage, etc.

Brazilian illustrator Carol Rossetti has created a series of supportive illustrations to help motivate women in their struggles against gender prejudices and discrimination. She recognizes that every day, females around the world hear rude and abusive words directed their way.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sports are Only for Males, You Say

Back when Harriet used to coach children's sports, it was common for the sports clothing and equipment to be located only in the boys section of the store. Girls were given the message loudly and clearly that they weren't real athletes, and that boys were the only ones who were. Even though Harriet protested, stores didn't care.

Once Harriet went into a Pearl izumi store and noticed that all the bike jerseys for young people were labeled "boys" with no thought to label them "youth." Again, girls aren't supposed to ride bikes, only boys.

Now we see that life has not changed, at least at Dick's Sporting Goods. Twelve-year-old McKenna Peterson noticed that the store shut out female basketball player from its catalogs, and wrote the company a letter about it. Dick's hasn't responded.

The article also calls out Men's Health for its sexist evaluation of women and sports.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Men Portrayed in Commercials Like Women

Role reversals are a very informative way to see hierarchies.

In the video listed below, the submissive role of women in commercials, as well as the violence depicted toward them by men, is clearly shown in real advertising.

Then, the same commercials are shown with women in men's roles, and men in women's roles. As with any hierarchy, when we replace the bottom group with a top group, and move the bottom group to the top, the situation that before seemed "normal" now looks ridiculous.

See for yourself, compliments of students from Canada.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Seattle Replaces "Columbus Day" with "Indigenous People's Day"

Men like Christopher Columbus certainly got away with using violence to build hierarchies, killing and raping native people. But with hierarchies falling, their exploits are no longer universally admired.

Today the city council of Seattle unanimously decided to declare the traditional "Columbus Day" holiday as "Indigenous Peoples' Day" in the city, honoring the people who have contributed much of their rich history to the area. People worked for the name change because they say Columbus was responsible for genocide.

Also, last Wednesday, the Seattle School Board voted unanimously for schools to observe "Indigenous Peoples' Day" on the same day as the federal holiday of "Columbus Day." The resolution, in part,  “recognizes the fact that Seattle is built upon the homelands and villages of the Indigenous Peoples of this region, without whom the building of the City would not have been possible.” Also, the board “has a responsibility to oppose the systematic racism towards Indigenous people in the United States, which perpetuates high rates of poverty and income inequality, exacerbating disproportionate health, education and social crises.”

Monday, September 29, 2014

IOC Adds LGBT Anti-Discrimination Clause

The International Olympic Committee has added an anti-discrimination clause to the contract that host cities must sign if they wish to be considered for future Olympic games.

Future host cities, starting with the 2022 Winter Olympics whose host city will be chosen next year, will sign a legal document saying they will follow Fundamental Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, which reads: "Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement."

Declaring that the Olympics must prevent a replay of Sochi – in a nation with an anti-gay "propaganda" law – Andre Banks, co-founder and executive director of All Out said, “This is a significant step in ensuring the protection of both citizens and athletes around the world and sends a clear message to future host cities that human rights violations, including those against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, will not be tolerated.”

Hierarchies are weakening all over the place.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Feminism - Men, For Your Benefit Too

The Harry Potter and Bling Ring actress Emma Watson gave a speech on gender equality at the U.N. recently. She is launching her new initiative, HeForShe.
In seeking to get men to listen that feminism should be their issue too, she said,

"Gender equality is your issue too. Because to date, I've seen my father's role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence, as a child, as much as my mother's. I've seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help, for fear it would make them less of a men—or less of a man. In fact, in the U.K., suicide is the biggest killer of men, between 20 to 49, eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I've seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don't have the benefits of equality, either."

Friday, September 19, 2014

Football - Can the NFL Remain Clueless?

As the top  money-making sports enterprise in the world, and one who promotes a sport that is now shown to cause significant brain damage to its (wealthy) participants, will NFL power and money trump how women and children and other men are treated by its players?

After all, football is a male-only violent sport. According to ESPN's Hannah Storm, "Are we supposed to simply separate a violent game on the field from violent acts off the field?"

With a public who is mesmerized by the hype and money that football has become in the United States, which is more important, keeping players and team owners as demigods who are beyond the law, or looking seriously at a sport that may not be healthy for participants or observers?

“Are you a decent person? Do you regard yourself as having a moral compass? Do you try to lead your everyday life in accordance with some basic ethical precepts, such as not countenancing brutality, greed and deception?” If so, Michael Tracey at Vice says, “then please, for God’s sake, don’t watch the NFL.”

Monday, September 15, 2014

St. Andrews - Will Another Male Bastion Fall?

 In addition to the independence vote in Scotland this week, we will all soon find out if the Royal and Ancient Gold Club in St. Andrews will break its tradition since 1783 of not allowing women to be members. Yawn........

Hopefully the reason for the change, if it occurs, which is likely, will be because stogy old men have come to their senses. However, we can't rule out the fact that golf participation is declining in the UK and the US and needs more players. Since Augusta National changed, St. Andrews can't claim that discrimination is the right of courses who consider themselves elite.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Holly Bobo - Same Song, How Many Verses?

The remains of Holly Bobo have been found, the Tennessee nursing student who disappeared in 2011, following the abduction by a man as described by her brother. Two male suspects are in custody.

Apparently, another woman or girl killed by a man.

Until we stop refusing to focus on the underlying causes of men's violence against women and girls, we won't come close to solving the problem. Why do men attack women? Why do men think it is advantageous to them to attack women? Why do men even consider the possibility? What about our male culture encourages, even rewards, these attitudes and behaviors toward women and girls? Why is the behavior that teaches men to attack women and girls seen as entertaining in movies and video games? Why do men refuse to examine and change their culture?

It is way past time to hold the top of our hierarchies accountable for their cultures that damage and kill those below. Yes, we may still need to come to the aid of victims, but our main focus in assault of women and girls must turn toward men.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Untimate Family Man

If anyone tells you the stereotype that African American men can't step up to the plate when it comes to providing for and being committed to their families, mention Thurmond Alford.

Thurmond Alford commutes on land 7 hours, 220 miles each way to his dream job in Washington, D.C. so that his family can keep their roots in Richmond, Virginia. He passes through three major cities, forges three large rivers and crosses nine different counties.

What does Mr. Alford have to say about his commute? "It's all about family. If you don't have family what are you going to do?"

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Football Yields it's Place on Top to Archaeology

Football, on top of the sports hierarchy, receives a vast amount of resources and benefits only a select group of people, men. But as in anything on top of a hierarchy, we expect that football represents everyone, and that everyone wants to support and participate in the hierarchy that benefits only a few.

The author of the article "How Football Sounds to People That Don't Care. This Guy Nails It,"
uses a roll reversal technique to demonstrate the expected participation of all of us in the top-of-the-hierarchy game of football:
"Firstly, imagine every time within a day that football is mentioned by someone else. Secondly, replace it with something that you don't want to hear about every day. Say... Archaeology. Then, think carefully about how an average day would pan out."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

G.O.P. Stuck in the Past

According to a new research indicates that female voters view the Republicans as “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion” and “stuck in the past.”

As a away to block African-American voters from voting, since they tend not to vote Republican, the G.O.P. has tried hard to put in voting restrictions into every state it can. Hispanic voters have voted against Republicans more and more as time passes. People who are in other racial minorities also understand that the Republican agenda tends to support hierarchies more than the Green Party or Democrats.

So who do we have left who are the major supporters of the G.O.P.? Just look at the picture in this article and it answers that question.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mo'ne, Don't Listen to Him

 Will white males ever get it? Look at this video to see how clueless one can be.

Little League World Series star Mo'ne Davis, with her 70 mph fastball, featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, has to put up with comments that we hoped would have left major media years ago. This white male asked her why she doesn't play something more female friendly than baseball.

And when she is done with the LLWS, maybe she should go back into the kitchen and just learn to cook.

Gender-Neutral Language is Official

In a world where everyone is equal, would it no longer be necessary to distinguish gender in converstaions, which has for centuries been used to keep men on top of our hierarchies.

A new pronoun, hen, has entered the Swedish National Encyclopedia which can be used in place of "hon" which means "she" in Swedish, or "han" which means "he."

Imagine discussing a possible promotion for an employee and using the word "hen" when the gender is unknown. It would be kind of like having musicians audition behind curtains.

Friday, August 15, 2014

India's Prime Minister - Hold Boys Accountable to Curb Rape

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that with the rising cases of rape, he urged parents to treat their daughters and sons the same. 

"Every parent who has a 10 year old girl at home, ask them where are they going, when will they come back and tell them to call back home after reaching their place.”

“But have you ever asked as to where your sons are going? why they are going? and who are they making friends with? After all, the person committing the crime is the son of someone.”
Modi said that rape makes ‘our heads hang in shame’ and asked parents to take responsibility for their son’s actions and put the same restrictions on them as they put on their daughters.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Whatever it Takes to Stay Clueless

A Republican congressman from Alabama, Mo Brooks, now claims that Democrats are engaged in a "war on whites." He says that it is part of the strategy of the Democrats, implemented by Barack Obama in 2008 and continued in 2012, to divide people by race, gender, creed, envy, and class warfare, "all those kinds of things."

People at the top, like Mr. Brooks, believe they represent everyone, and that as long as they prosper, there is no reason that we should change the situation. They don't see that it is their hierarchical privilege that brings them their advantage, so to them there is no productive need to discuss why other people unlike themselves aren't in the same position. In other words, discussions of race, gender, creed, and class can do nothing but divide us from  accepting a wonderful country where everyone, if they worked hard enough and were clever enough, could have what the top has.

Clueless through and through.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ivy League - Perpetuates Hierarchies

In an interesting article concerning how setting children up to be accepted into an Ivy League college makes them conform to the status quo, William Deresiewicz states that the system is exacerbating inequality, retarding social mobility, perpetuating privilege, and creating an elite that is isolated from the society that it’s supposed to lead. In addition to describing in detail the decisions made as to who will be accepted, he gives us this paragraph toward the end of this informative piece:

"It’s partly because of the students that I’d warn kids away from the Ivies and their ilk. Kids at less prestigious schools are apt to be more interesting, more curious, more open, and far less entitled and competitive."

In other words, people at the top continue to be predictable and clueless.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Topism – Time to Discuss Openly

We all acknowledge racism, sexism, homophobia, and discrimination against people with disabilities exists.

Topism - the attitudes and behaviors that cause all of the above isms. Now it is time to break our programming to not hold the top accountable and openly and boldly call top-of-the-hierarchy attitudes and behaviors just what they are.

Any and all of us exhibit topism, in small and large ways. But if we want to see prime examples, just look at the white, male, heterosexual, tall, able-bodied Christian men in Congress who vote to further the advantages of the haves in our society, and you will see the effects of being clueless to the advantages given to those on top while ignoring the contributions and rights of the masses who actually generate the wealth and well-being of our nation.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

MEN'S WORLD CUP - let's specify the gender

In hierarchies, the top group is supposed to represent everyone. And if we talk about a lower group, we specify that group as separate. Of course that assumes a lower group even ranks a mention.

THE WORLD CUP - you assume it is a men's tournament, right? If we talk about the women's WORLD CUP, we have to say WOMEN'S WORLD CUP. Just like the NCAA Final Four is about men, and if you want to talk about the women's game, you have to specify it.

As the article says, "Why do people consistently claim that Mike Krzyzewski is the winningest coach in college basketball when he is still 115 wins behind Pat Summit, with a significantly lower win percentage (his .763 to her .841)?"

And:  "The male position is not the neutral position. It has a point of view, the male point of view, which not everyone shares, and which is not always superior."

Next time you hear that Landon Donovan is the all-time leading goal scorer for the U.S., remember there are seven U.S. women higher on the list than he.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hierarchy Conservators Showcase Again - SCOTUS

The conservative majority of the Supreme Court of the United States has again highlighted the problems of hierarchies for all of the world to see. In ruling that the Hobby Lobby does not have to fund contraceptives for women in their health insurance, they are allowing hierarchical religions to dictate the rights of people who do not adhere to their religion. People who put themselves on the top of a "morality" hierarchy that they create dictate "morality" for every other view which, of course, they view to be inferior to theirs.

Of course we will never buy products from Hobby Lobby, but for a list of other companies fighting legally to deny women the control over their own bodies, see the link below:

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sexual Assault – Great VIdeo

In sexual assault, as in negative consequences of any hierarchy, the top of the hierarchy (men) don't take seriously their attitudes and behaviors that harm a lower group (women).

KLEPPER: You're telling me that women just spend their whole day just navigating an obstacle course of sexual menace?
WILLIAMS: Pretty much.
KLEPPER: Seriously?
WILLIAMS: Seriously.
KLEPPER: Ha! Sorry. But not all men are bad! Some are still gentlemen, thank you very much.
WILLIAMS: Thanks. I'll keep that in mind the next time a guy says he wants to lick my back when I'm walking to work at eight in the fucking morning.

Watch it!! From The Daily Show.

King and Collins – Two Generations of Gay Athletes

Tennis legend Billie Jean King is 70. She won 39 Grand Slam titles in tennis, and won the famous "Battle of the Sexes" against Bobby Riggs in 1973 (Harriet saw that game at the USMA at West Point while attending a Tennessee/Army football weekend with a cadet high school friend). Ms. King was outed in 1981 by a former lover, lost all her money overnight to lawyers, and had all of her endorsements yanked.

Jason Collins, 36, outed himself last year on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and became the first male athlete in a major American team sport to publicly announce he was gay while playing. He is a 7-foot-tall, 13-season veteran of the NBA. He was greeted by a supportive public, friends, and family.

In a fascinating interview, the New York Times talks to them both in a Manhattan restaurant about how things have changed in 32 years.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The United Methodists Move Forward

Rev. Frank Schaefer, a United Methodist pastor who was defrocked after performing the wedding of his gay son and his partner, has been reinstated after an appeals panel on Tuesday overturned an earlier ruling against him.

Once Rev. Schaefer was removed from the clergy, he became an outspoken activist for gay and lesbian rights.

Before his defrocking in December, Rev. Schaefer had been the pastor of Zion United Methodist Church of Iona in Lebanon, Pa. He will now resume his pastoral work in Santa Barbara, Calif., where he will minister to college students from the invitation of Bishop Minerva G. CarcaƱo.

Many predict that the issues of same-sex marriage and ordination of non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy will further divide the denomination after this ruling.

Monday, June 23, 2014

How Long Until the Next Mormon Revelation?

From the mid-1800s until 1978,  the Mormons (also called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or LDS) had a policy which closed the church's lay priesthood to most men of black African descent. This resulted in these members being unable to participate in some temple activities. In 1978, leadership of the Mormon church declared they had received a revelation instructing them to reverse the racial restriction policy.

So now the Mormon Church has excommunicated Kate Kelly, who has formed an organization insisting that women be allowed full access to their Mormon faith. The ruling came down from an all-male panel of judges who say she cannot return unless she abandons her cause.

The Mormon leadership is showing us a wonderful example of how they may state that "man" is made in the image of God, in a hierarchical religion such as theirs, the God they describe is, instead,  made in the image of a man on top of a hierarchy.

Probably before we know it, if they start to lose members, or the social pressure gets to strong, the leaders of the Mormon church will have a revelation about ordaining women clergy.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Transgender Clergy Preaches at National Cathedral

In celebration of LGBT Pride Month, a first will happen at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. tomorrow. The Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge, the Episcopal chaplain at Boston University, will be the first openly transgender priest to preach from Canterbury Pulpit at the cathedral.

Many Christian denominations are proclaiming that people who are not heterosexual should undergo psychological treatment to become heterosexual, according to the God they speak for, and place themselves at the top of their Christianity hierarchy as the "Only Way." We can, however, remember that other Christian denominations believe that the God they speak for accepts people for who they are.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Find Hate Groups Near You

The Southern Poverty Law Center has published a map according to state, showing the location of hate groups, those who use an innate human characteristic to build a hierarchy. If you go to the pull-down menu, you can see who is in your neighborhood.

The internet has become a great tool for exposing hierarchies, and here is another example. The more we expose the top, the more we know about who is clinging on to the past using hierarchical techniques to stay there.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Size Matters According to Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker

Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker demonstrated yesterday a hierarchy that values tall people over people not as tall.

At a Senate Banking Committee vote on Thursday, Senator Corker made the comment "I'm sorry it just feels like a bunch of midgets up here worrying about some CBO issue."

His comment called "embarrassing and insulting" and a "slur" by the Little People of America, Senator Corker was obviously equating physical size with competency.

Maybe in his next life, Senator Corker will be born with a smaller body and will realize first hand that size and ability aren't related at all.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Another Man on the Rampage

When we published our op-ed in the Washington Post last year suggesting that the male culture, specifically the white male culture, should examine why a disproportionate number of them engage in mass shootings in our county and promote guns, we received thousands of comments and many hateful emails. To suggest that one group, specifically white males, has something in their culture that creates these mass shootings was called sexist and racist.

We know, however, that groups on top of the hierarchy, like white males, are used to not being held accountable for their actions and will lash out when anyone suggests that they should.

With the Santa Barbara shootings last week, we were glad to see Kevin Powell write an editorial commenting on the male culture that promotes violence with guns and violence against women.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Oregon – We Did It

Joining our neighbors California and Washington, we here in Oregon are very proud that we now allow same-sex couples to marry.

Sexual orientation is another hierarchy that is falling. Yes, there are people still opposed to civil rights for non-heterosexuals. Many people opposed feel they have a right to their opinions and should be able to force them on others claiming difference of opinion only. However, every hierarchy saw those claims when it was in the midst of falling, and hindsight proved the opposition to only be holding up one more hierarchy.

May many other states follow suit, as did Pennsylvania today. However, we in Oregon, since our state officials stated that opposing same-sex marriage is unconstitutional (see previous post), have the distinction that there is no one who is in the legal position to appeal.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Oregon - A Hierarchy is a Hierarchy

The Oregon Supreme Court and the Attorney General's office have refused to support a hierarchy that is trying to hide behind the noble cause of religious freedom.

Members of the Friends of Religious Liberty in Oregon have announced that they will try legal action in an attempt to allow individuals and businesses to exempt themselves from serving same sex couples in Oregon.

The group had initially prepared a ballot initiative to allow people to choose whom they serve stated as religious exemptions, but withdrew it after the Oregon Supreme Court without a comment Thursday withheld the ballot title drafted by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum's office, which emphasized that the measure would, really, modify anti-discrimination laws:

"Religious belief" exceptions to anti-discrimination laws for refusing services, other, for same-sex ceremonies, "arrangements"

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sterling is Sterling

The L.A. Times editorial "Forget Donald Sterling and Clivan Bundy; they aren't today's Americans" is an excellent example of what we will be seeing more of in the future in the U.S. media. As hierarchy conservatives like Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy expose themselves more and more, they show they are struggling to keep their power. The article includes three significant points:

1.  Recognize and reward of the centuries of work to build equality and fairness by millions of current residents and their ancesors;
2.  Break down the barriers put up by the top by calling out their outdated views;
3.  Proclaim a bright future because the majority does not support the hierarchies of those on the top.,0,2333434.story#axzz30U7EBtql

Friday, April 25, 2014

Government Subsidies Look Different from the Top

Bundy's remarks on African Americans made people instantly distance themselves from him, even the most conservative of politicians such as Rand Paul.

This situation illustrates the  power using hierarchy theory. When Bundy speaks with authority from the top of his own hierarchy - a white male rancher whose family has received government subsidies for generations - he can sound reasonable to a segment of the population. But when he switches into another hierarchy such as race and talks about a group that's not on top of that hierarchy, then he sounds so ridiculous and clueless that he loses his support.

People who want to conserve hierarchies can be set up to look ridiculous by forcing them to discuss more than one hierarchy at a time. This is done by taking an issue pertinent to the situation such as government subsidies and force the conversation onto other groups who are associated in their minds about government subsidies.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Cilven Bundy - American Indians Had it Way Before the Mormons

Cliven Bundy states that his rights to graze his cattle on federal land derive from the fact his Mormon ancestors were using the land far before the federal government claimed authority. The BLM has ordered his cattle off the land. 

Using that rationalization, then his Mormon family has no rights to even be on the land. Since the American Indians occupied the land before him, and the federal government used its authority to take it away from the Indians, then what he claims as his grazing rights are really those of the American Indian.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Paul Ryan - Even More to the Top

Paul Ryan’s new budget spells out clearly yet another move to channel resources to the top of hierarchies. We’re glad that those who are so intent on conserving out-of-date hierarchies are being bold enough to spell it out with math, adding clarity to their rhetoric of “Premium Support” and "Path to Prosperity” Ryan used to describe the programs in his budget.

Even though the budget has no chance of becoming law, the budget passed the House with a 219-205 vote, with only Republicans voting yes. There’s tax cuts to the wealthiest and corporations while increasing taxes to the middle classes. Safety-net programs for the poor would fall to the whims of individual states. Medicare would morph into an option to purchase insurance from private corporations.

The Radical Right is slipping. As they keep playing their hand to prove their loyalty to the top, the rest of us understand their motives even more clearly.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hierarchies Keep Us NOT Number One

According to an article today by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, we in the United States may fancy ourselves to be number one in men's professional basketball, people like Katy Perry, use of iPhones to post on Facebook, aircraft carriers, and blame for the C.I.A.

But when it comes to livability, we definitely are way down the list. And as the conservatives who want to conserve hierarchies become even more blatant in their efforts, the rest of us who are charged with generating the resources to send up to the top will continue to feel our lives become even more difficult.

We will fall even lower than the ranking of 16th we currently hold.

Kristof suggests change starts with education and health care. However, conservatives will consider those social reforms after we keep funding the military, so to continue their elusion that even if our middle class is falling apart, we will still be Number One on the world hierarchy if we have the biggest guns.

Friday, March 28, 2014

White Men on the March

Participants at the recent White Man March showed again that it’s very difficult to see hierarchies when one is on top. Their theme, “Diversity = White Genocide,” and their remarks about the threat of the loss of white culture, show they are oblivious to how dominant white males are in our country.

Charlotte has been involved with a citizen planning committee for a local park for almost two decades. Nearly twenty years ago, a suggestion was made that the committee partner with indigenous people who had been ignored so much that a major newspaper reported and most people believed that they were extinct. During the initial discussions within the all-white committee, one white man expressed his concerns that if we just met with the Indians, we had to be careful that the history of the white settlers was not lost.

Our local area is full of white male history – not only in the recorded history of our area, but in the names of towns, human-built structures, and natural areas. (How did they reproduce if there were no women around, because they are rarely mentioned?) And yet, when mentioning an indigenous person, the white man’s immediate response was to worry about the monopoly of white male history and recognition. 

The White Man March produced more responses through a Twitter hashtag mocking the marchers, #WhiteManMarchProtestSigns, than people attending the march. Our favorite came from Charles@Ugaries:

"What do we want – EVERYTHING. When do we want it – STILL"

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fred Phelps – When Hierarchies Hide Behind Religion

Fred Phelps Sr., the founder of Westboro Baptist Church, passed away, and with him, hopefully, will weaken one of the best examples in recent time of using religion to shield actions that build hierarchies.

He and his church are famous for picketing funerals of gay and Jewish people, including that of Matthew Shepard in 1998. Westboro had no problem adding a soldier killed in action, or a movie star, or an innocent child victim in a mass murder to the church’s picketing calendar.

Just a few weeks ago, the church members went to a University of Missouri vs. Tennessee men's basketball game to protest football player Michael Sam's announcement that he is gay, but students at the university blocked the church members by forming a human wall. 

Even though Mr. Phelps used his church to justify his hate, groups such as The Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center saw through his use of religion to justify building hierarchies. The SPLC called the Westboro Baptist Church, "arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America."

Friday, March 14, 2014

Being Rich Doesn't Mean Knowledge about Other Issues

In his article, "Stop Listening to Rich People," Matthew Yglesias argues that just because people make a lot of money in business, we should not assume that they have any special insights on any other issues.

Yglesisas is responding to a letter written in the Wall Street Journal by venture capitalist Tom Perkins in which he "parallels fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its 'one percent,' namely the Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the 'rich.' "

"Who better to solve the world's problems than the people who benefit from the status quo?" asked one person who commented on the article. 

In the U.S., we look up to people with a lot of money – even though the image of the 1% is probably slipping. Still, the super rich often expect and are given higher status on other hierarchies that are not based on accumulating wealth. In our hierarchical society, we are trained to transfer status from one hierarchy to another, even if the criteria used to establish the hierarchies are not related.

Yglesisas is correct to remind us not to assume that rich people have expertise in any other subject besides making money. We need to make a point to scrutinize or even ignore their comments on social and political issues.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Men Step Up for Boys

Obama announced a $200 million, five-year initiative, "My Brother’s Keeper," to help black youth, particularly black boys, who are more likely to be suspended from school, less likely to be able to read, and almost certain to encounter the criminal justice system as either a perpetrator or a victim.  

The president called for action from business leaders, members of religious groups, actors, athletes and anyone who can intervene in the lives of black men before they veer off course. He also challenged black men to do better themselves, and said they must not make excuses for their failures or blame society for the poor decisions they have already made.
We are glad to see a focus on helping males in America. 

For decades, women of all races have advanced the opportunities for girls and we’ve seen girls excel in education and careers. At the same time, few men have stepped forward to focus on the plight of their male children. Boys are often left to struggle to make healthy choices without the strong guidance from fathers and community programs, lacking the support girls have enjoyed from their mothers, aunts, and many other adult women. 

Obama’s remarks and his initiative are a step in the right direction.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Arizona: Top Trying to Rationalize Discrimination

Arizona's SB1062 gives us a wonderful example of how the view of a hierarchy is so different from the top than it is from the bottom.

People on top of a hierarchy (those claiming religion as a legitimate reason to discriminate) use rationalizations so that they won't have to examine how their actions adversely affect those in lower groups (in this case LGBT folks). Also coming into play are elaborate uses of "noble causes" to justify their beliefs.

What a wonderful example happened this week in Arizona, where people are using their hierarchical religions to rationalize that they are really the ones being slighted, because they can not hide behind their religion to discriminate.

In hierarchical religions, "Man" is not made in the image of God, but instead, "God" is made in the image of a man on top of a hierarchy. Here is a perfect example.

Friday, February 14, 2014

An Old White Guy from Texas Done Good

Dale Hansen, a Dallas sports anchor for ABC local affiliate WFAA, made a wonderful address on Monday night in support of Michael Sam, the SEC defensive lineman poised to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.

He did a great job of pointing out that violent and criminal behavior of men is overlooked in allowing players the benefits of the NFL, but the NFL is balking at accepting a gay man. Typical of hierarchies, the top group (straight men) is allowed to act and and do as they please, but the bottom group (gay men) barely has the right to exist. 
Mr. Hansen was interviewed live today on "Ellen," with his charismatic wife Chris supporting him in the audience. He said that people might be surprised that an old, fat, white man from Texas would say what he did, and stereotypes are falling on both sides. He said that the outpouring of positive comments and support gives him hope for a good future for his children and grandchildren.

Monday, February 10, 2014

You Won't Forget This Twenty Minutes

Even after studying hierarchies for thirty years, both of us were really amazed by this movie, and learned a lot.

Imagine a world where being gay or lesbian is the norm and being straight is the minority. This role reversal is a short movie told through the life of a girl who is straight, but is harassed in a homosexual culture that views being straight as wrong.

This short movie takes less than twenty minutes to watch, but you will remember that twenty minutes for a long time.

Friday, January 31, 2014

No Real Accountability in Sexual Abuse

Yes, sexual harassment and abuse is a problem. But as usual, we are trying to address the problem without holding the top accountable, our male culture. Instead, in a recent article:

"Children have a right to be safe in schools and schools have a legal and moral obligation to fulfill that promise," Miller said in a statement. "We must take every available and reasonable step we can to ensure that the people and schools that are entrusted with our children every day protect them from abuse."

We will not stop sexual assault until we stop thinking it is a normal part of life, and the best we can do is help our children to avoid becoming its victim.

It is way past time to state it clearly – MEN NEED TO CHANGE THEIR CULTURE THAT PROMOTES VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. As a society, we need to call out and make clear that it is time to tell men that they may think their abuse against women and children is beneficial, fun, enjoyable, sporty, and masculine, but we don't, SO STOP IT.

The picture in this article says it all. We all know who the culprit is. Put anyone else in that picture standing behind the young women, and it wouldn't make sense.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Men and Sexual Assault

President Obama's Weekly Address concerned sexual violence. We are glad to see that he emphasized the role of males in sexual assault. The traditional rhetoric has been to focus on protecting and training the women to avoid the attacks while not holding the male culture accountable to stop being violent.

Obama said:

"We’ve especially got to teach young men to show women the respect they deserve. I want every young man in America to know that real men don’t hurt women. And those of us who are fathers have a special obligation to make sure every young man out there understands that being a man means recognizing sexual violence and being outraged by it, and doing their part to stop it."

Women can not stop the culture that men pass down from generation to generation that sexual assault is their right, as women cope year after year as men refuse to change. It is time to hold men accountable to change themselves.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Congress Becomes Wealthier

Now Congress has a new distinction: over half of the nation's senators and representatives are now millionaires. Marking the first time, in 2012, that half of the members of Congress have passed the million dollar mark, the medium net worth is $1,008,767. 

It is not surprising, then, that members of Congress seem to be out of touch with the average American – proposing, fighting for, and passing laws that help the rich get richer, and working hard to defeat those that would help to decrease the ever-increasing gap between the rich and the poor.

As in any hierarchy, it is very difficult for those at the top to understand the experiences of those at the bottom. How long will it be before the Congress, when asked about the number of people in poverty in this country, will cluelessly respond, "Let them eat cake."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Time Finally Brings Change

Florida officials have finally decided to change the name of a high school that was previously honored a former Confederate general, and a co-founder of the Ku Klux Klan.

Westside High is the new name of the school that used to be called Nathan B. Forrest High.

The vote for change was unanimous this time. But even just six years ago, the vote was 5-2 against the change.