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05/13/2010
IconDuring my college years in the Sixties, "empowerment" and "consciousness-raising" were the main focus of existence, even though these concepts were largely used to insist that you were a victim of something or someone just for being female.Well, fast forward to now, and one young, married woman in her twenties has decided that giving birth live on the Internet is empowering to women!' The use of that term in this circumstance cracks me up.' I remember, during my loooong labor, my husband saying that he was going to leave to get a cup of coffee.' I threatened him with "if you leave...never come back!!"' I guess that threat was "empowerment," but giving birth in public or private is one of our least powerful times.' We are completely at the mercy of a baby who is usually saying "Hell, no, I won't go."Nonetheless, this woman has decided that taking something personal and making it public is empowering and educational and spreading joy.' Oh, puleeze!' In our sadly growing exhibitionist, voyeuristic, reality show mentality of a society, this is how people become "important," known, and "famous."The point of "personal" is that something is perfected by its modesty, and sharing is not an issue of public promotion, but an opportunity for a few people to embrace a meaningful moment of experience.' Experiences and moments that are universal (like child-bearing) are not educational.' The childbirth is going to be posted on a mom website, which means that they've all been there and done that.Her husband is marginalized.' She admits that he was "hesitant" at first, but I'm sure he ultimately had no say.' There aren't too many decent men who want to share the birth of their first child with a camera crew and a blog audience - that makes Daddy less special and less involved.It's all just sad to me.' And what happens after the event, when the thrill, the attention and adrenaline of being in the spotlight goes away?' What is she going to do with this kid to keep the flow going?' Think Jon and Kate.' Think "sad" for the children who become the means of their parents' moment in the light, in ways other than simply enjoying their first smiles and first steps. More >>

Tags: Common SenseFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyFeminismInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPregnancyRelationshipsRelativesSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconStudents in the American Fork High School Marching Band swept the awards not long ago in a competition at Brigham Young University.' What made this story interesting and somewhat controversial is this:' on the way back from another competition held in Idaho, the driver of the bus in which the students were riding fell asleep at the wheel.' All of the students survived.' The one fatality was the 33 year old instructor who grabbed for the steering wheel when she noticed the driver was out cold.The controversial part occurred because some people believe that it is unseemly for life to go on, for joy to be in people's hearts, or for friends and relatives to be happy and involved in their lives when someone dies.' Some people believe that it is disrespectful, cavalier and insensitive for others to carry on as though a tragedy didn't happen.' Generally, this belief comes out of a confusion of pain, emotions and guilt over survival.I think it's a good thing that these students competed, and they did so in remembrance of Heather Christensen, the teacher who saved their lives.' And that's the point:' she saved their lives so they could live, love, and play music.' I believe they showed her immense respect by playing in her honor, continuing with the competition for which she coached them.'' Her immortality comes from being remembered fondly by her students who used the skills they learned from her to create the music she loved so much.When someone we love dies, we don't honor them by denying ourselves the normal pleasures of life.' I find that to be an insult.' Life is precious, and when somebody is gone from life, that which they lost should be treated with the utmost reverence by squeezing every moment of dignity, creativity, joy, adventure, work, love, compassion and fun that is possible.' This is the way you honor the deceased:' you carry on and do something of value with your life.The students received a long, standing ovation as they marched off the field and embraced in tearful hugs.' What a fitting memorial to a brave, caring teacher. More >>

Tags: AttitudeCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCourageEducationfamilyHealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeRelativesSchoolValues
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05/13/2010
IconThis is from Michelle: Dear Dr. Laura: A few weeks ago, you had a caller who was contemplating divorce, because her husband wasn't being nice and, in turn, she wasn't being nice to her young son.' During the call, the little boy started crying and to calm him, she picked him up and he immediately stopped.' You told her of the power of a mother's arms, and you told her that if she would just treat her husband the same way, he would melt just as her son did.' I thought about it, but forgot to do anything, and then I listened to the program again this week.' It was like you were personally talking to me. I have been married for 16 years to a wonderful man who has been the sole financial provider for all that time so I can be an at-home mom to our teenage son and daughter.' While I always thank him for making this possible, unfortunately, my attitude has been 'well, while you were at work all day, I had to deal with very important things like toddler meltdowns to teenager meltdowns.'' But your words changed all that. Last night, my husband arrived home after a business trip to find out we have some unexpected, high medical bills for our son (he has special needs so, while this has happened before, now is a particularly hard financial time).' Instead of me attacking my husband and telling him I had to consent to all the tests which resulted in the bill, I took your advice.' I held him in my arms and said:' 'This must be so hard for you, when you work so hard and you plan all the finances for our family, to have something so big come up when you don't expect it.' I really appreciate you supporting this family, and I feel our kids are so blessed to have you as their dad.' Dr. Laura, he melted, just as you said he would.' We went on to have a lovely night, planning how we would pay for this bill and then talking about other things.' If I had not taken your advice, we both would have been angry and sulking and it would have lasted for days.' You reminded me that even though my sweet husband is a big, strong provider, he still needs compassion and comfort.' How blessed am I that I could provide that for him. Your words have changed my life and my marriage, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.' Keep helping people do the right thing. More >>

Tags: AbortionDatingFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriagePersonal ResponsibilityRelativesSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI have watched film adaptations of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in all its incarnations many, many times, and I recently watched the 2005 film version again. I love the film...no matter what criticisms may be about a portrayal or a performance. I clearly have a profound attraction to this work.First and foremost, I love the utter regard the men had for women, which is evident from how they addressed them: "Miss..." (and their first names if they were single) or "Mrs...." (and their last names if they were married). Men bowed upon entering and leaving a woman's presence, and women curtsied, even under unpleasant conditions. Flirting was ever-so-subtle: a look, a light "accidental" touch of a hand. A man romantically yearned for and tried to earn the affections of a woman. The sweetness of the regard for women in this era (particularly in upper and middle classes) was something to be admired, and something we now miss. There was a clear distinction between a "good" woman and an easy, loose woman or whore.That distinction is gone today. Now, women put down good money for music that represents them as whores without pay. So many young men are casual about women and sex in general, and sex is a casual expectation almost always fulfilled.Young women scoff at dignity and modesty as just stupid, prudish, sexist notions. They "shack up" with some dude without a marital commitment, yet expect the love and respect, fidelity and loyalty to exist without the spoken vows, only to be disappointed, hurt, and generally confused.There was a recent film comedy, called "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," in which Matthew McConaughey (in a twist on Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" ) got to go back into his life to see all his old girlfriends. There was one scene in the television ad for the movie which showed a seemingly endless dining table filled with hundreds of girls. Obviously, this was meant to show how shallow and manipulative he had been. To me, it just showed how many stupid girls there were (and are), "putting out" in a situation where there was clearly no respect, regard, or intent.Men used to have to ask a woman's dad for permission to "court" her, even when the woman was an adult! Now, all he has to do is show her a bedroom, back seat of a car, or a motel room, and the date is sealed. When men had to explain and express their intentions, they had to take the whole activity of dating much more seriously, as there were personal and social consequences to misleading a young lady. That reputation would annihilate any chances he might have had of marrying a good woman. He'd have to move states or provinces away. Now? That kind of rakish reputation makes girls/women want to line up to get some from an infamous entity.The women's revolution did not raise any consciousness worth elevating. It mostly diminished a woman's sense of herself as special, minimized her value in the minds of men, put sex on the level of animals, created a nanny/baby-sitter/institutionalized day care financial boom (as women gave up the blessing of nurturing their own children), increased the use of abortion as a birth-control technique when an accidental pregnancy occurred with a guy who did not want fatherhood, created perpetually unhappy, angry, nasty wives, and made it very difficult for "nice girls" to be respected and cherished.The last scene in Pride and Prejudice between the two now-married lovers has them discussing what she wants to be called by him when he is not using her given name. He suggests one name, and she rejects it sweetly, because it is what her father calls her. She then asks him what he will call her when he is angry. He, not being able to envision that situation, talks to her about always letting her know how lovingly important his happiness in wrapped up in her...forever...and he kisses her gently about her face as he says "Mrs. Darcy" over and over again. He gave her his heart, his life, his vows, and his name. And, in that era, giving a woman your name was the ultimate public and private statement of his total commitment to her, which makes that scene so moving to most of us, and infuriating to feminists who see that scene only as ripping away the woman's identity.I always cry at the end of the movie.I cry also for what women have given up in exchange for wanting to have it all and not be subordinate to a man. I don't know...I kinda think being on a pedestal is not subordinate. But what do I know? I'm only a recovered feminist. More >>

Tags: AttitudeChildrenDatingFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyFeminismHealthInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeRelationshipsRelativesSocial Issues
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Tags: BusinessFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyFinancesJobParentingRelationshipsRelativesSex
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05/13/2010
Icon"Technology is the Evil Empire, Bent On Destroying Family Intimacy!" That's the headline I'd like to put on this post, but guns don't shoot people - people shoot people - so technology is not destroying families. People are destroying their own families.The technology I'm talking about is texting, video gaming, Facebook, email, Twitter, MySpace and more. Remember when the only complaint about lack of communication in families was when family members were all in separate rooms watching different television programs? Well, now, family members can all be in the same room, totally ignoring each other for the sake of fake friends and useless information, instead of for family conversations. Some family members even text each other from different parts of the same home, rather than walk the 15 feet, hug, and talk to each other.I remember the not-so-recent TV ads that promoted a family eating dinner together. Now, if you showed an ad with a family at the dinner table, there'd have to be a sign nearby that said "No Wireless Zone." I wonder what depth of interaction is being missed because one is getting superficial "quickies" from texting or emailing or Facebooking?' On the other hand, I already know that we're less able to engage in reasoned, significant discourse and profound intimacies these days, because, from the age of 4 or 5, we're geared toward the superficial, faceless exchange of comments on each other's web pages.Parents, you must get yourselves into gear and limit the amount of time per day donated to the wireless world outside of work. Otherwise, over time, there'll be no need for lips and vocal cords and eye contact, and we'll evolve into "thumbs only" beings who just peck away with a false sense of actually participating in the real world. More >>

Tags: DivorceFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMySpaceRelationshipsRelativesSocial IssuesSocial NetworkingTwitter
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05/13/2010
IconWhile I was having a healthy breakfast the other morning, I became incensed at a particular TV commercial for TUMS.' TUMS itself is a fine product for relieving excess stomach acid, but that's NOT how the commercial was positioning the product.A man, standing in the evening rain, is looking through the glass into a restaurant, gazing hungrily and sadly while the cook is frying up a bunch of meat and pouring cheese all over it.' The music accentuates the man's painful disappointment.' The scene is a "take-off" on the situation where a starving child has his nose against the glass watching rich people dine, while his stomach has shrunken to the size of a raisin.It was not very funny.The next shot is of a TUMS bottle.' The shot after that is of the man who had been looking into the restaurant eating this ferociously unhealthy sandwich of meat fried in a ton of oil with artery-clogging cheese melted all over it.Not very funny, either.So, here is a product which is NOT being promoted as a rescue effort for someone struck with a little excess acid.' This product is now being promoted as an ENABLER of horrible eating habits (Hey!' Eat that rich, fattening food - because now we have a way to get you through it with minimal discomfort!) Since two thirds of Americans (including children) are fat or obese, this is so irresponsible that I am ALMOST speechless.' Showing people they can indulge in unbelievably unhealthy eating with the help of TUMS sounds like something you would see in a comedy movie, but not in an actual promotion of a supposedly healthy product.I liked it better when they were touting the amount of calcium in it for strong bones.It's not the fault of the TUMS tablets.' It's the fault of the greedy folks behind it, who are willing to let people hurt themselves, if it sells a tablet. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreFamilyMorals, Ethics, ValuesObesityRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconA female professor from Oxford University in England, in an article published in the Journal of Population Economics, has decided that American and British men (who don't mind lending a hand when it comes to housework), make the best husbands, while Australian men are the worst.' She's also "decided" that Norway, Sweden, and Northern Ireland, where men "lend a hand in housework," are egalitarian countries which produce better husbands.I say: unbelievable feminista hogwash!! The professor's definition of a good husband is ridiculous.' Men who are sexually faithful, who work hard to provide for and protect their families, who take care of the plumbing and the lawn are not good husbands, because they don't do what used to be called "women's work."' This is just one more salvo in the war against masculinity, in which men are completely emasculated because they're told that they're neither good men nor good husbands unless they fold the laundry.When women call me complaining about such things (usually women who are at home), I ask them if they drive their husband's route in traffic every day, or if they deal with difficult bosses or co-workers, or if they aren't able to take breaks whenever they choose or take care of all the car and house repair issues.' They say "no," but expect him to do housework in addition to all his other responsibilities.In those situations where both husband and wife have full-time jobs, and there's a "war" about who's going to take care of household chores, I say they should budget and pay for part-time housecleaning help, or one of them ought to reassess their life and decide if having no one at home to make a nest is worth the money they both make.There are biological and psychological imperatives in females for nesting/child care, and in males for conquering/protecting.' When these are turned inside out, there is usually (but not always) a reaction in the female to feel less respectful and sexual toward her mate.' Women don't stare at skinny guys with spectacles when they walk by, but they do stare at Bowflex-toned commercial male actors with huge pecs and biceps.' Why?' It's the animal attraction of a male who, potentially, is sexually healthy enough to produce offspring and then provide and protect.Women who want emasculated men generally have huge hostility issues with masculinity (which they got from their mothers or the feminist teachers of their women's studies courses), and want to be able to control the man (never as much as their mother could) or are just too scared of their normal natural dependency on a real man.A better study would be to find out what household situations make MEN happiest, because those are the ones which, overall, are going to attract the men who make the best husbands.' Happy husbands spend more time with their families, and would swim through shark-infested waters for them.' This particular study?'' Just another piece of feminist propaganda flotsam. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyFeminismMarriageMen's Point of ViewRelativesSocial IssuesValues
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