Thursday, June 19, 2008

Interview with Kathleen Parker

parkercov.jpgKathleen Parker is a columnist and author of Save the Males: Why Men Matter Why Women Should Care. While I am not crazy about the title (it implies that men are victims in need of saving and only because women are involved), the content in this book is worth a read by anyone who thinks that men are still in charge of society and by those who already know differently. Far from focusing on men being victims, Parker brings to light the need to fight unfair laws and societal trends that lead to a loss of freedom and autonomy for men and harms families and children.

Parker discusses the lower rates of men in college, domestic violence, what the Presidential candidates need to know about fatherhood, and whether the Democrats have become the party of girly-men.

You can listen directly -- no downloads needed -- by going here and selecting the gray Flash player. You can download the file and listen at your leisure by clicking right here. And you can always get a free subscription via iTunes -- and why not, really?

Music is by The Mr. T. Experience. Show archives are at

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Blogger Wayne said...

I don't have a problem with the title. It suggests to me that it was written specifically to women who may currently be on or leaning toward the radical feminist position, and is intended to give reasons why being anti-male is harmful to them as well as to the men they have convinced themselves don't matter.

9:55 AM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

Yeah, it's useful that way. It bugs me precisely for the reason that it draws the demographic who needs to read it. Rather like "The Care And Feeding Of Husbands," one of the more obnoxious titles ever to promote politeness.

10:31 AM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

PJ, I see your point. At the same time, women and men are wonderfully different in a complementary fashion. For a while now, feminism got confused into thinking that women did not need men, but they do. We need each other. It is a wonderfully reciprocal arrangement when both parties step up to the plate.

Remember that old lie, women need men like fish need bicycles? What a broken metaphor. Female fish need male fish and vice versa. Obviously.

One of the things I talk to the boys I see in my practice is about how to keep their mother happy. Obviously, these are healthy mom's we are talking about, but these are lessons about appreciating and accepting our gender differences and honoring them through compromise and equally shared sacrifice.

Clearly, the feminist focus has become toxic to everyone. We certainly agree on that point. Still, I think that serious and fair literature about gender differences and complimentary relationships are worthwhile if done right. I wish I had received more instruction about honoring women from my father, I would not have had to figure out so much on my own!


11:48 AM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Not trying to stir up anything here, but when I look around my city & state, the majority in charge of companies & government are men.

This isn't always the case, I know, but for the most part and definitely in the past. Federal, state & local. So is it men making these laws against men? Anyone can set me straight here.

Although I don't see this continuing as more females are going to college now than males.

3:54 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


"So is it men making these laws against men?"

In many cases, yes, it is male judges and legislators making these decisions but they are often doing it in response to feminists who put pressure on them but also due to chivalry etc. We talk about this in the podcast.

4:02 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

Many progressive white males are self hating. That is how I see it. They misunderstand and fear positive aggression. Many had a tenuous relationship with their father and are not initiated men of power.


4:38 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...


I couldn't agree with you more. One of the effects of labeling men as the great oppressors has been an incredible amount of self loathing among men. Educators especially, in an attempt perhaps to undo the oppression, go over the top telling girls they can do anything. The modern day girl power movement, really. My own life experience suggests to me that we have forgotten to tell boys the exact same thing with the same sort of emphasis. The psychological and social consequence is we now have an abundance of overachieving, super competitive, girls and an epidemic of video game addicted, half-illiterate boys with no motivation.

5:37 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

There is a small strip shopping center near my house. Yesterday I need a few things from the store so I went to the store. After I finished with my purchases I sat down on a bench near the parking lot to sort through some papers. I hadn't sat there more than a few seconds before Mr. Ghetto Boom Box came rolling by at 2MPH making everything around him shake. After he passed another man driving a pick-up that was about 5 feet off the ground came by. It was a 2 lane street but he drove down the middle making a woman in a compact car swerve around him. After the truck passed, a few seconds later a man on a cell phone sat down next to me so he could scream on the phone to a coworker about his very important business deal.

I get it, men feel disaffected and angry. They want people to know they matter, they exist and to have others care about them. But some of them certainly aren't cutting a very sympathetic figure.

5:58 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...


I think you illustrate something I've notice for a while, that you get very different results from men when you neglect men than you do from women. Psychologists have noted for a long time that neglected boys deal with their problems and negative emotions outwardly, while neglected girls tend to turn inwardly. These are generalizations, of course, and individuals will always provide an exception to the rule. But generally, that's what happens.

Perhaps the nature of men to vent their frustrations outwardly makes it more difficult to deal with them. Regardless, they are no less deserving of the same care and consideration we have provided for quite some time to women.

6:14 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Cara said...

From the Centrist perspective, I don't believe that the feminists are controlling men's choices. I acknowledge that people take some rotten bait sometimes, and the Centrists cannot keep an eye on everyone and everything at all times. I am dismayed that Helen seems to be falling for one of men's most notorious rationalizations for evading their conflicts with each other. Put women in the center of it as an excuse for men to do what they already wanted to do, and then use women as a shield to evade responsibility for their own choices.

The bottom line is that the feminists show up. If men want a better deal, they had better start putting out. The only way to persuade the Centrists is to show up with a better idea because we are not inclined to ignore serious social problems.

6:23 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Cara said...

I will probably continue to support setting limits for the other side when needed for the sake of societal equilibrium, but I will be holding my nose when I do it. Men's tactics have left me feeling very uninspired.

6:25 PM, June 19, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where do you get these ideas, cara?
I am amazed. I must be going to the wrong book stores.

6:53 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

"So is it men making these laws against men?"

Yes, but women make the majority of the voting population, so it is often men elected by women.

Politicians spend half their time telling women how bad they have it, and half their time telling them how wonderful they are, with the subliminal message of "vote for me I'll pander to you."

I'll at least give the men credit that i'm sure they think they are doing the right thing. Yet they aren't.

6:55 PM, June 19, 2008  
Blogger cinderkeys said...

What's the operational definition of a girly-man?

Say it turns out that there are important group differences between men and women, and that those differences are primarily caused by biology, not socialization. Does that make it okay to make fun of the men who are less macho than average?

Just as some men are shorter than some women even though men are taller than women in general, some men will not be stereotypically masculine. Shouldn't part of men's rights be acknowledging that not everybody conforms to the stereotype, and that's okay?

12:41 AM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger cinderkeys said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:41 AM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

Cinderkeys - The definition of a girlyman is a male who does not agree with the opinion of the commenter.

6:38 AM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

Cara wrote: "If men want a better deal, they had better start putting out."

Cara, a kiss is not a contract:


9:24 AM, June 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vicki sez:

"So is it men making these laws against men? Anyone can set me straight here."


Yes. It is men and women making laws against men.

Here's where you're getting confused: It's probably a basic tenet with you that if you were in charge, you and other women would simply favor women. And you are assuming that men think the same way you do.

They don't.

Either because of genetics or upbringing or societal pressure or desire to get sex, or all of the above, men look out for women. They will pass laws holding men to strict standards to protect women (whom, according to some of them, are naive and helpless).

These are chivalrous idiots, and they are ubiquitous in society.

Here's the hierarchy: Men care for women, women care for other women and children. Men have to pretty much look out for themselves.

11:22 AM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger zed said...

Cara said...

"The bottom line is that the feminists show up. If men want a better deal, they had better start putting out."

You're absolutely right - the feminists showed up and whined and nagged men into the legal system into letting them have their way. The big problem is that same strategy will not work for men.

Instead of "putting out", a large number of men are simply "getting out" or "opting out." It's only possible to sell what one has to offer at a loss for so long until it becomes obvious that you need to get out of the business entirely.

11:22 AM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger zed said...

jg said...

"Men have to pretty much look out for themselves."

Got the nail on the head, jg. Although I think there is even more to it than that. Nobility is a far rarer commodity than we might wish it was, and I have personally seen a lot of men who really get off on having the power to stick it to other men - with the added bonus of looking like heroes to women and getting all the rewards which go with that.

11:27 AM, June 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nobility is a far rarer commodity than we might wish it was, and I have personally seen a lot of men who really get off on having the power to stick it to other men - with the added bonus of looking like heroes to women and getting all the rewards which go with that."


Mike Nifong, the ex-prosecutor in the Duke case, was a good example of that. He was going to be the hero who avenged poor Crystal (and he didn't really care if the guys did it or not). It's fun to push around other men - if you've got the upper hand. Some police officers also enjoy it just a bit too much.

11:30 AM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...


"Put women in the center of it as an excuse for men to do what they already wanted to do, and then use women as a shield to evade responsibility for their own choices."

"The only way to persuade the Centrists is to show up with a better idea because we are not inclined to ignore serious social problems."

Ignoring equal rights for men is ignoring a serious social problem.

And your first comment about men using women to avoid responsibility for their own choices couldn't be farther from reality. I'm sure it happens with individuals, but characterizing the whole male population as such, or even a portion, is just incorrect.

Case in point, the institution of marriage and the criminal justice system. Both institutions hold men to higher standards, provide them fewer rights, and require more responsibility from men than from women. So you can talk all you want about how men use women to avoid responsibility, it still remains that for women our government has gone so far as to enact publicly funded institutions that allow women to absolve responsibility from their actions and blame men.

Take child rearing, women have rights and men have responsibilities. For a woman it's impossible to be forced into parenthood. For a man to be forced into parenthood, all it takes is the woman changing her mind.

In the case of the criminal justice system, men receive on average three times the sentence for committing the same crime as a woman. That's a double standard that borders on oppression.

In the criminal justice system and marriage, it is men who are forced to sit in the back of the bus.

11:38 AM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger boxingalcibiades said...

The podcast fundamentally mis-prescribes the solution to the problem. Judges and other men who provide superior benefits to women do so because they'd like to get elected/stay in office/ keep their jobs. Simply offending a woman is a direct threat to one's career: nobody cares if a guy's feelings get hurt.

Women outnumber men, spend more than men, and tend to vote according to identity politics: there are very few women who *care* that divorce, child support and other laws are unfair to men, or who care that men are being left behind in education (I teach community college btw: summer courses are usually 2-1 or more ladies).

Pace Cara above, women are voting in their own interest, and are indifferent to and/or outright hostile to the notion that the playing field should be level. Men have complained about this for years, and have no power to change this in the face of a voting bloc that outnumbers them and votes consistently in its own favor. So if you want to balance these trends, first, you have to convince a sufficient number of women that they should give a crap, and that the conversation is therefore worth having in the first place.

1:40 PM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger Maxine Weiss said...

A Male CEO will frequently surround himself with a bunch of incompetent women, so that he looks good by contrast.

Whenever you see companies, and corporations, with one lone male at the top, and a harem of women's so obvious !

A lot of male CEOs are threatened by other men---- the competition, and threatened that another male will supplant them. No such worries when hiring a bunch of incompetent, slack-jawed women who are very docile and easily manipulated.

Look at the women of Enron ! And, it was overwhelmingly women who were the enablers. I submit that if there were men at the Enron workplace...a lot of that nonsense wouldn't have happened.

1:52 PM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

jg wrote: "Mike Nifong, the ex-prosecutor in the Duke case, was a good example of that."

Good point and well made.


1:57 PM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger Cara said...

More cop outs from men. Just a way to get women to do all of your advocacy work for you.

If the voters have so much control over politicians, then why are our politicians always so out of control? Women are not a monolith in terms of voting, either.

6:41 PM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger zed said...

"More cop outs from men. Just a way to get women to do all of your advocacy work for you."

Oh, it's not our advocacy work women need to be doing, it is their own - at least those who still value marriage and would like to be married some day.

In US and Australia, less than half of all women have a husband. More than half of all the babies born to British mothers are born out of wedlock. In the US nearly 40% of children are to unmarried mothers, and in the black community it is almost 70%. About 30% of black women are married.

We've passed the crossover point, and there are no real forces going against the trend. The generation of men who were born and raised to value marriage and expected to be married and have kids has been pretty much been mined out for their wealth and now the legislative industry is opening up the new markets of same-sex marriage. It's been around maybe 3 years, and there are already some divorces which are just as adversarial as between heterosexuals. Attorneys are salivating.

Women have basically made it illegal for men to have relationships with them. If that is what women in the Anglosphere want, a lot of men can live with that. They are simply obeying the laws - telling a woman she is attractive is a crime if it is "unwanted", so fewer men are doing it. Pretty much anything a man does can be declared a crime by tacking the word "abuse" onto it.

Your hostility toward men just drips out of your every post, cara. And frankly, those of us who do nothing that you are so bitter about men doing are no more impressed about your methods in demanding that we go out and change the kind of man you choose to sleep with.

Your body, your choice. Don't like abusive men? Don't sleep with them. Don't let them get you pregnant. Pretty simple from the male POV.

The men who didn't, and aren't going to, can't decide who you are going to sleep with - men can't tell women what to do with their bodies. But, then women can't tell men what to do with their bodies either - such as work like a dog until they die to support a woman and her children.

Not his sperm, not his problem. Let the law chase the fool that got her pregnant. That's the point you and probably agree on most - with all the evidence out there about what a bad idea it is, those that go ahead and do it are exceptionally stupid.

If women want families, then they will need to work to get the rights of decent men to have stable relationships restored.

And, they will need to stop sleeping with thugs and showing a little better taste in men.

9:25 PM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

"Your hostility toward men just drips out of your every post, cara."

Honest, it does.


10:42 PM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger Acksiom said...

Cara, you appear to characterize your behavior and attitude as 'centrist'. I am curious about what your 'centrist' positions on some issues are, and would appreciate it if you would enlighten me on these matters.

1st, since experts estimate the rate of paternity fraud overall in the usa as ranging from 5% to 10%, are you in favor of making paternity testing a mandatory requirement -- tied, for example, to the issuance of birth certificates -- or opposed to it? Please note that this is a child's right issue, not a gender one; that it is the right of the child to know their actual paternity that is the basis for such legislation.

2nd, Where do you stand on (A) the constitutionality, and (B) the wider moral or ethical correctness, of criminalizing at the federal level the routine and ritual genital cutting of only female minors, exclusively?

11:12 PM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger ricpic said...

Mrs. Parker states that it is up to women to instruct men in the ways of proper male conduct, to show (or teach) men how to be men. It occurred to me, listening to her, that she is making the tacit admission that mothers haven't been doing that for their sons, haven't been raising their sons to be men.
If she's right, that only women can set men straight, doesn't it follow that the root of the problem is mothers (in great numbers) who don't do that, who don't set their sons on the path to manhood?
How mothers do set their sons on the path to manhood is a mystery to me, that's Dr. Helen's department. But mightn't that be the crux of the problem? that so many don't?

11:48 PM, June 20, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

For Maxine:
"A Male CEO will frequently surround himself with a bunch of incompetent women, so that he looks good by contrast."

I take it you don't meet with many C-level execs -- if you did, you'd know this is sheer nonsense.

And in the case of Enron, the true enablers were the (largely) male accountants who advised the C-suite that the house of cards they were creating really was made of concrete.

10:47 AM, June 21, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:15 PM, June 22, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

Cham: "Those pesky women simply won't behave right to make men happy."

Funny you say that, since many women seem to be huge advocates of men behaving right to make women happy. More of that in women's magazines than men's magazines, that's for sure.

2:40 PM, June 22, 2008  
Blogger zed said...

A review of the book from -

[1.0 out of 5 stars] Excuses, excuses!, June 24, 2008

By Kosto Barry Granlund "K.R.G." (New York, NY)

The author attempts to make excuses for men and their hopeless, helpless, childish, pathetic behavior and where its gotten them. She valiantly attempts to defend "males" and to re-focus the present-day perspectives on how useless and worthless men really are.

Well, generally speaking, men REALLY ARE useless and worthless. They are spineless. They are sniveling whiners. They are infantile fools. They are children in adult bodies more interested in professional sports events than in the game of life! They retreat from reality. They show no power or force that the female can find attractive. They skulk and slink around in society, ever careful not to "offend" and to avoid confrontation with their detractors. Is this not a wide-spread case of USELESSNESS AND WORTHLESSNESS?!

And no number of books like this one are going to change things. As long as "males" are content to remain second-class citizens and human door mats, they will continue to be treated in a manner which applies to their behavior. Girls and women cannot and WILL NOT solve this problem for the hopeless and hapless "males". Instead, they will laugh and find mates from other cultures and races and leave the so-called "masculine" half of their own kind in the dust to degenerate and rot. And the "males" will deserve it - absolutely.

Life is merciless and short. If males remain as they are, they will always be ground up, trampled, and forgotten.....and to hell with them all!

However, read this book. Try to control how much your stomach turns and see if you can get through it without feeling utterly disgusted with the typical "male" of our society. Equally, see if you can buy into the excuses the author offers you. That will be a challenge in and of itself!

But remember, if "males" today want to blame someone for their problems in our society, all they need to do is stand in front of the nearest mirror and take a good, long look! What they see in that mirror is precisely where the blame should be placed. Again, to hell with them all!

9:39 AM, June 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like the little kid said in "Kindergarten Cop", "Men have penises. Women have vaginas."

As long as that rings true, the battle will never be over.

10:18 PM, June 28, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

Trey: Thanks for sharing that music video, it was very funny!

11:58 PM, July 28, 2008  
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