Monthly Archives: November 2008

Stop Picking on Boys!

I am so unbelievably sick of academic feminist organizations perpetually whining about their imagined assaults on girls in education.  A long time ago, The American Association of University Women once had me give a keynote speech at one of their luncheons.  I looked around the room of successful and powerful (mostly older) women, and wondered why they had to have a meeting to complain about how difficult it is for women to succeed…when we had a room chock full of women who had incredible accomplishments because of their efforts and sacrifices.

I didn’t get a standing ovation and never got invited back.

The truth interferes with the perpetual “we are victims” mentality of the feminist activists.  Here are the facts:

* 2/3 of all learning disability diagnoses are for boys
* 70 percent of all D’s and F’s go home with boys (they’re not challenged appropriately)
* 90% of school discipline referrals are for boys (it’s hard to make boys sit still)
* 80% of all Ritalin takers are boys (yeah…drug the little buggers into submission – a kind of psychological castration, I’ve always thought)
* 80% of school drop outs…are…boys!
* Fewer than 40% of college students are currently males (making it harder for girls to find a date)

Girls, in general, are surpassing boys in school in all subjects except math and science -  and that gap has been closing quickly

Other facts are that boys are more competitive, energetic, visual, physical, risk-taking and so on than are girls.  Boys need a different learning environment than girls.  The “girly”-oriented educational system in the United States demands that boys become like girls or be medicated.

Boys need more physical movement in the curriculum.  They need recesses to work off that male energy, they appreciate reading more male-friendly subjects, they like projects, and they enjoy competing rather than cooperating and all getting the same grade.  Boys do better with male mentors, and boys need teachers with more of a sense of humor toward “boy antics” without punishment or demeaning reactions.

I believe boys and girls should have separate classrooms, curriculum, teaching styles, and completely different academic environments.

The beginning of the feminist attack on the educational process proclaimed that girls were being short-changed.  Maybe so…and, if so, maybe the best thing for girls is a girl-centered and oriented academic program.

Eat Less, Move More

There are two sure fire comments that I can make on the air which will get hackles way, way up.  The first is to say anything which even sounds remotely like a criticism of cats (for some reason it doesn’t work for dogs, chickens, pigs or parakeets…just cats) or comment that, for the most part, being fat is your own darn fault.  There’s even a fan site for my show called “We Love Dr. Laura” – which has a thread that goes wild whenever I take a “fat” call and give my opinion that by and large, being fat and unfit is a voluntary condition.

Let me give you an example: a woman called to tell me about her mean, mean, and oh so mean, husband who is trying to influence her to lose weight and start working out.  She just about had a fit on the phone, telling me that he should just love her the way she is…or he’s, simply, a bad guy.  Since when don’t we owe our families our healthiest selves: mind, body and soul?

When I didn’t agree with her, the harrumph resounded across the land.

I’ve basically told people who call about weight that it is ultimately a simple issue: “eat less, move more.”  That might not result in the kind of body they show off in all those home exercise equipment videos (by the way…does anybody believe you go from fat and flabby, to svelte and ripped exercising 20 minutes a day, three times a week?).  Nonetheless, you can evolve into a more healthy, fit, and attractive version of yourself.

This is all in preparation for an inspirational story of a fat man, 330 pounds, who wanted become a Marine.  Their answer was, well, nope.  Committed as he was to joining the military, he did what is generally said to be too difficult to do: without miracle weight loss potions sold on television, he moved more and ate less.  The 23-year old man gave up beer, cut his food portions way, way down, and exercised 140 pounds away in about a year.

Kindly, the Marine recruiters also worked with him – helping him to develop an appropriate, safe yet effective workout regimen.

When his friends would sit down for beer and pizza, he’d put on a head lamp and go out for a run in the dark.

Eat less…move more.  It’s the least expensive weight management program on the planet.

The God Wars

Ads proclaiming, “Why believe in a god?  Just be good for goodness’ sake” will appear on Washington D.C., buses starting this week and running through December.  The American Humanist Association recently announced the controversial $40,000 holiday campaign.

Fred Edwords, spokesman for the humanist group told the Associated Press: “Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion.”

No matter what side of the Christmas and God wars you may be on, that is one lame excuse for challenging the majority of people in the United States who are “believers” (92% according a poll by the Pew Research Center).

 I am Jewish and have never felt “alone” because the end-of-the-year holiday event of the country was “Christian”; Christmas is a lovely spectacle no matter what your beliefs, and for those who are seriously Christian, it is additionally a sacred time.

Last month, the British Humanist Association upped the ante with their bus sign campaign, which said:  “There’s probably no God.  Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”  At least the American version still holds to the idea of doing good, while the British version is like letting kids go wild in a candy store claiming there are no such things as cavities or obesity.
    
American Family Association president, Tim Wildmon, calls the American Humanist’s ad, “…stupid.  How do we define ‘good’ if we don’t believe in God?  God in his word, the Bible, tells us what’s good and bad and right and wrong.  If we are each ourselves defining what’s good, it’s going to be a crazy world.”

Don Feder, editor of the “Boycott The New York Times” website, demanded equal space in the New York Times for the display of religious symbols as he perceives the paper to have a “relentless drive to secularize society.”

Feder writes: “The New York Times gives the game away when it insists that public property ‘must be open to all religions on an equal basis – or open to none at all.’  In other words, a town that chooses to display the Ten Commandments – which are sacred to 90% of the American people and an integral part of our nation’s heritage – has to give equal space to every other faith and New Age sect that’s out there.  In reality, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment was intended to prohibit a state church, like the Church of England.
 
“If the Founders thought giving one religion preference was odious, why was Congress’s first official act to hire a Christian chaplain?  And why did the first Congress appropriate sums of money for Christian missionaries to the Indian tribes?  What about ‘In God We Trust’ on our currency and ‘One Nation under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance – which clearly give preference to Judeo- Christian tradition over Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Summunism?”

To read more from Don Feder’s point of view: www.boycottnyt.com and www.aim.org.

Sperm Donors No Longer Anonymous in Britain

In 2005, Britain changed the law protecting anonymous sperm donors and allowed children to learn the identity of donor fathers (which is bad news) and limited the number of women who can use sperm from one donor (which is good news).

In 1991, Britain registered some 500 sperm donors; since the change in the law, the numbers have dropped by 40%.  Obviously, the men were anonymously donating sperm for the financial compensation, and not for the purpose of fatherhood.  Once the anonymity factor was gone, motivation declined as these men likely felt threatened by potential future responsibilities to a child they had no intention of taking any responsibility for; either financially or emotionally.

Another concern about anonymity is the sanctity of the family.  I have always advised married, infertile folks who have called my program to keep their plans a complete secret.  I don’t believe it is in the best interest of children to have a sense that the wonderful man protecting, providing, and loving them is not their daddy.  Anything which interferes with that child/father bond should be avoided whenever possible.  And, I never thought the origin of the haploid DNA contribution was as significant as the ultimate parent/child relationship.

Britain capped the number of babies which can be created from one donor.  Sperm from one man can now be used to produce only 10 babies (in Holland the number is 25).  The United States does not cap sperm donations at all…and I think that is ridiculous.  You certainly don’t want anonymous sperm in one geographical location to be used to make scores of babies who are unaware of their genetic relationship.  The statistical probability of them meeting, falling in love, marrying (aw, I’m such a romantic) and then having children is not insignificant.  This is a factor that could lead to obvious medical problems for their offspring.

Husband Sues Wife for STD

There have been a number of lawsuits over the years concerning the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during relatively casual sex in relatively casual relationships.  The New York Post published a story about a forty-seven-year old attorney who filed suit against his wife of twenty-two years, charging that her straying had left him with Herpes Simplex virus 2, an STD that caused him to experience “pain, suffering, emotional, mental, psychological and physical injuries and the loss of enjoyment of life.”

I guess he figured that if he had it, and had sex with her, that she’d contract it and then he’d blame it on her during their estrangement so that he could leverage his position with respect to collecting back monies he’d have to give her in a divorce.  I guess that’s it…because she filed papers last month with the results of her blood test which was negative for HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes, with which the lawyer husband says he’s infected.

Nonetheless, the question still remains: who is responsible for the transmission of an STD in a casual or dating relationship?  Is it the full responsibility of the infected individual to reveal in advance of any sexual activity that they have the communicable disease?  Or, is it the responsibility of each and every individual to not rely on the kindness of strangers?

I believe that anyone who knowingly transmits an STD should be prosecuted criminally and sued civilly.  The severity of the consequences should match the seriousness of the STD.  Some of the STDs are curable with medication; others are simply controlled with medication; some may lead to a higher incidence of cancer; and some are a virtual death sentence.
 
Considering these factors, people who don’t ask – much less are foolish enough to believe it when they’re told, “No, I don’t have anything,” – who don’t take precautions such as condoms (which aren’t foolproof), who have multiple sexual partners, and who don’t value the monogamous commitment of marriage after both people have complete physicals and blood tests to ensure a “clean slate,” have to take some responsibility onto themselves for their foolishness.

It’s like this: when you let your dog loose off the leash and it runs into the streets to be run over by a speeding car…the car actually killed the dog; but you put the dog in the place where it could happen.  That is shared liability and shared moral obligation.

DO ask, and DO tell; and be truthful.

Quote of the Week

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with same person.
               – Mignon McLaughlin
                 American journalist and author

Day Care Bites the Dust

I know I have made myself quite a controversial subject by my insistence that children be loved, cared for and raised by their mommies and daddies instead of hired help and institutionalized child care. As I have said many times, children evolve each and every day…and those minutes need to be influenced by and experienced with the people who matter the most. This is why I am thrilled about the one-sided effect of the current economic problems in America.

According to a recent report in USA Today, parents nationwide are telling day care providers that “they must scale back or abandon their services. Instead, they keep kids at home with grandparents or up-end their work-life balance because gas and food prices have become prohibitive and average child care costs outpace rent and mortgage payments – even for those drawing salaries.”

Of course, the day care industry is scurrying around trying to come up with a plan to save itself. Many are offering all kinds of hours and financial deals. The USA Today article, after noting that the 2005 U.S. Census Bureau data (the most recent available) indicated that 2.65 million preschoolers attended day care, and that current statistics of un-enrollment were not available, called the situation “distressing.”

Sure it’s distressing for an industry that has been so effective in its marketing, that parents who actually raise their own children are made to feel guilty for doing so. But it is not distressing for the children, who will now be in the arms of people who love them and are there to teach, nurture, support, and experience life with them.

Sure it’s distressing for parents who have to reconsider and reconfigure their lives to accommodate raising their children. But, they will find surprising rewards in the true experience of family.

The hysteria from the child care industry has included dire warnings that parents will leave their kids home alone, in cars, or with strangers who might hurt them. That sort of child neglect and endangerment goes on in spite of filled-up day care establishments and should be dealt with through social services (to help families make better adjustments in their priorities) or through the legal system (where children are removed to live with safer relatives or foster care).

If it is true that every cloud has a silver lining, then the “shine” is there for many children of parents who can no longer pay the $3,000 to over $10,000 a year for day care, because mommy or daddy is coming home to you.