But there is an issue which MRAs and non-MRAs in the Manosphere can find common ground upon, and, further, it's an issue that affects all men, regardless of their status as parents. Even better, it's one that men, acting together, can actually have an effect upon without being labeled sexist misogynists just for having a dick and speaking their mind.
Keep in mind that for the last 100,00 years, the physical security of the human race has been the responsibility of men. Whether we were driving off a cave bear incursion or using million dollar drones to bomb hundred dollar tents, our job has been to first build civilization, and then defend it. Of course picking up a rifle and standing a post is one traditional way a man can do that, but the fact is that most of the dangers we face aren't from unfriendly strangers with AK-47s.
In the tribal era, in the Time Before Writing, things were simple. The sacred and biologically-derived division of labor mandated that women stay in the collective safety of the village while men stood on the periphery to guard, hunt, and defend if necessary. To women was bequeathed the "life magic" that kept the food supply and children supply running, while men held "death magic", the power to take the lives of animals or other men in service and defense of the village.
Agriculture changed that by making violence more efficient through technology and organization, but the same basic division-of-labor remained. Only when we hit the post-industrial era did this primal element of our masculine souls take a hit. Military service is now a specialized and highly developed skill, not a basic skillset of every man. We are discouraged from learning the arts of violence by nearly all women, from our choice of video games to practicing tactical skills during paintball. Our modern society does not empower us to protect and defend, unless it's in uniform at the behest of the government. The feminine imperative finds this to be a good thing. The masculine imperative finds this to be a highly frustrating and angst-producing thing.
A man can see this frustration fester if he does not find other ways to allow his natural impulse to defend and protect to flourish and express itself. When the most a man can do to protect his family is pay a hundred-dollar-a-month alarm service and stock up on his homeowner's insurance, the psychic frustration implicit in his inability to protect would be as profound - if not moreso - than a woman who was deprived of any opportunity to express her need to nurture. (And yes, I know just like there are men who would rather die than defend . . . anything, there are women who would rather die than nurture . . . anything. I'm not talking about those contra-survival clowns, just the rest of us. Our descendants' future ancestors.)
This masculine frustration with the modern age and its limited ability to allow us to feel protective and express our guardianship over what we value is not just a wistful, bitter, "loss of male privilege", it's as tangible as the women who wait at church for thirty years for Jesus to send them a man, when the man never comes. Men need to feel protective of what they value; it is part of how they assesses and express value.
Many people from outside of the US express confusion over the fierce manner in which we Americans defend the Second Amendment, when we so clearly suffer from its abuses with gory, bloody regularity. The key to the matter is understanding that the 2nd Am. institutionalizes and ordains with especial protection the masculine need to feel secure in his person, family, and property. The importance of owning a firearm in America is not the idea that you will be able to protect yourself from a criminal or fend off invaders; it is the feeling of sovereign security such ownership brings.
It was elevated to the status of a "right" by our founding fathers for much the same reason that Roe v. Wade rightly elevated a woman's control over her own body as a sacred right by the Supreme Court: because such a thing is essential for an individual man or woman to feel control over their own destiny. A woman who cannot freely control whether or not she has a child, or be forced into marriage against her will, is not truly free. The man who cannot freely control whether or not he can protect his child is likewise not truly free.
The other Western Democracies guarantee the right to due process, personal security, and (within various limits) private property. The United States is the only nation in which, thanks to the 2nd Am., those rights are assured.
But the Ironwood Initiative is not a scheme to get dads to buy guns. The issue isn't gun rights.
The issue is school safety.
Let me begin by saying that I'm not advocating armed guards, militias, etc. patrol our schools -- that's neither reasonable or effective. In fact, let's take the Lone Gunman totally off the table for the moment and just look at general school safety.
That sounds like a fairly mild issue to most men . . . until you're a father. Before fatherhood, you think of "school safety" as crossing guards and school buses stopping at railroad tracks.
Once you realize you're going to be a Dad, your entire perspective shifts. Every news story involving a child getting injured sends a chill up your spine. Really, your first year of fatherhood is a full-time freak-out. Once you're a dad, you realize just how vulnerable your children are in a school system long before they ever get there. School shootings get your attention . . . but so does every child abduction, missing kid, Amber Alert, and savage tale of criminal acts against children.
Your feelings of inadequacy to protect your kids from all manner of dangers when they are supposedly safe at school can lead to insomnia and ulcers. If you are divorced and your kid is in another state . . . well, that's a kind of persistent hell.
School safety is getting a lot of press, but that's because the spectacular failures end up in the news. Once you take school shootings out of the equation, then bullying and drugs get the exposure. My suburban kid learned all about the Crips and the Bloods and how to gang tag an area in elementary school. He came home terrified the Latin Kings would come creeping through our neighborhood after him for a drive-by. Gang activity is a serious issue, don't misunderstand me - but your kid isn't nearly as likely to get jumped in or jumped on by a gang in middle school, despite what the Gang Resistance Education program might suggest.
The fact of the matter is, for boys "school safety" isn't just having a good place to hide when the shooting starts. It isn't just avoiding bullies and telling a teacher. It isn't saying 'NO' to drugs or watching after-school specials. When we send our kids to school, the dangers there are real, persistent, and can come from unexpected places. While we anxiously scan the horizon for armed gunmen and gang lords, we rarely take the time or emotional energy to consider the people who are far more likely to be in a position to hurt your kid: the teachers and staff.
No one wants to think about that ugly truth. It's Blue Pill thinking that a teaching certification and an apple on a desk are enough to verify the security profile of the person who's teaching your kid. Yet every year hundreds of public school teachers are quietly shuffled from school to school after various "incidents", anything from sexting a hot 8th grader to getting grabby during PE, up to and including rape of a child. I was shocked when I learned just this week that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of child predators in my state that hold valid teaching certificates. The way that most public school systems are set up the bureaucracy involved is designed to protect the teachers, not the students. It's designed to protect the teachers FROM the students.
But rarely does the school do much to protect the students from the teachers.
"Passing The Trash"
That doesn't sound like a very big deal, but that's because when there is an "issue" with a teacher and a student, and the police aren't involved, the school's first institutional impulse is to obfuscate, protect, and deny. If you have a legitimate issue, the bureaucracy is designed to make it go away quietly, bury the parents in pointless paperwork, have a lot of conferences that result in little or no action, and generally protect the teacher, the principal, the counselor, and the school board from any pesky accountability.
Any father who has had to deal with this understands just how frustrating and dangerous to our children it can be.
The Ironwood Initiative is designed to empower men, fathers, and the occasional Black Knight with the knowledge and support to make the issue of School Safety clearly a masculine interest and a goal of Patriarchy 2.0. The Patriarchy 1.0 was founded on a man's ability to defend his home and family from a threat. Mature masculinity implies the power to protect and defend with your strength, and no subject will make a father more vicious and angry than the idea that his children are being sent into jeopardy every day. Patriarchy 2.0 is in part a paternal response to the subtle dangers our children face today. Everyone does tornado drills. No one does Child Predator drills.
The dangers faced by our kids are manifold: while everyone dreads the horror of a school shooting, those tragedies are, thankfully, few and far between. The fact is, your kid is far more likely to be molested by a teacher at his/her school than getting shot by a lone gunman. But while millions of dollars are being dedicated to the study of how to turn our elementary schools into impregnable fortresses, virtually NOTHING is being done about the potential child sexual predators they get locked into that fortress with. If you're a Dad it should terrify you to know that if your kid is molested by a teacher, then you can pretty much count on the school system covering for them completely unless they got beyond Third Base.
School systems know this is a problem. If examined in aggregate, the number of reported and unreported cases of sexual impropriety and molestation in our public schools DWARFS the Sandusky affair on an annual basis. It makes the problems with child predators in the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church In terms of shear numbers, the number of kids who get molested or preyed upon in public schools is vastly higher than those who suffered that fate in Catholic schools. The reason you don't hear about it is because the public school system's policies are designed to keep things from being reported to appropriate law-enforcement authorities and handling things quietly "in house" as "personnel matters".
And as "personnel matters", they are naturally cloaked in the kind of secrecy that allows criminal child predators to go on molesting indefinitely . . . and then retire at the public expense.
That is, they use the privacy issue in Human Resources to cloak and obscure any chance of accountability you might have. "I'm sorry, we can't release that information, it's covered by Privacy laws" is the standard reply . . . which demonstrates, if nothing else, just how unwilling most public school systems are to even deal with the issue. School systems can feign that they are afraid of being sued over violations of privacy and personnel records by their teachers . . . because they make the process of demanding accountability so complex and obscure, and many such issues are covered by statute that grants schools immunity from liability in a lot of cases.
No one wants to admit that this sort of thing happens. The fact is, it happens constantly, and the public school system in this country goes out of its way to conceal and obfuscate it. And because of their unwillingness to keep their own house clean, serial molesters skip quietly from one school to another with the tacit permission of and often a glowing recommendation from their administrators. This happens with such frequency that there's even a an industry term for this transference of child predators from school system to school system: Passing The Trash. The teacher resigns quietly, the parents are paid off or buried in bureaucracy, and the teacher moves to another school system with a fresh start and a whole new crop of unaware victims.
Unless a child is violently raped on campus in front of a camera, securing a conviction through the auspices of the school system is going to be nearly impossible.
Since public school systems get state and federal funds based in part on their reporting of violent crimes and serious issues, the principals involved have a vested interest in burying and under-reporting serious criminal offenses by teachers. Any time a principal can avoid issuing a police report and treat even serious sexual and criminal offenses by teachers as "internal disciplinary affairs", they can keep their numbers low and their reputations intact. And if some teacher does get busted en flagrente delicto, then usually the family is quietly paid off through a "secret" institutionalized binding arbitration, and the teacher is not only allowed to resign, they are often given a glowing recommendation by their principal to help get them established in a fresh school system.
No record of the offense or any ethical problems are ever revealed. Unless the teacher has a criminal conviction and the new school system is willing to check their criminal background history, the child predator can continue with their pursuit in a fresh district with a fresh crop of victims. Meanwhile, the teacher's previous employer quietly buries all record of it as a "personnel matter", keeping it forever out of the light of day.
There's even an education industry term for the practice: "passing the trash".
This has to stop. We can stop it.
How? Here's a list of stuff you can do to help make YOUR kid's school a little safer from the teachers:
1) Run your own criminal background screen on every teacher and staff member at your kids' schools. It might cost you a couple of bucks, but it's worth it. Call any violations out in writing to the school principal and the school system's HR department.
2) Start attending school board meetings and start putting non-agenda items on that revolve around Passing The Trash. For instance, ask that the school board require annual criminal screens and fingerprinting of all employees. They often do it for parent volunteers, but at least in my state they only do them on teachers at the date-of-hire, and then never again. Or ask for teacher's CVs to be publicly available. They might say 'no', but other parents and local press might be very interested in their reasoning.
3) Identify possible "passed trash" that has landed at your school. Common indicators are suddenly leaving in the middle of the semester, frequent moves from school to school, etc. Often these teachers are extremely popular with their students, as that is part of their MO, so resistance to the very idea is going to be strong. Remember how many folks were willing to come out in support of Sandusky?
4) Also at the school board meetings, move that the board require special annual instruction of all teachers and staff in the warning signs and indicators of a potential child predator, as well as the laws and criminal penalties involved for failure to report. The Boy Scouts of America has a twenty-minute video presentation and test online that would suffice, but I suggest you check out parenting.org's list of child predator indicators. If every employee in your kids' school system isn't required to know this stuff, make it your mission to ensure that they are.
5) Demand accountability. School systems will bury as much as they can under the obfuscatory blanket of "personnel privacy laws". They will hide behind policies and pointless grievance procedures. Teachers are smart, they have protected themselves pretty well from the consequences of their actions.
6) Most schools have an "open door policy" that they love to talk about at the beginning of the year. Something along the lines of "any parent is welcome to visit our school at any time". Take them up on it. Make "surprise inspections" where you essentially walk around the school, recording anything you suspicious you see. If nothing else, it will make potential child predators nervous. They work best with inattentive parents (particularly single moms) and often seek out "troubled" kids. If they see a couple of Dads wandering through, looking stern and menacing, then they might think twice. And it makes principals nervous, which is never a bad thing.
7) Know the Regs. Both the local school board policies and the state and federal regulations that regulate your local public school system. There's nothing a bureaucrat fears more than someone who knows the regs better than they do. In this case that includes the Safe Schools Act, No Child Left Behind, and FIRPA.
8) Make friends with local law-enforcement over the matter. Most local law-enforcement agencies already have a touchy relationship with the school system, as "School Resource Officers" or "School Safety Officers" are often stymied in enforcing ANY laws against teachers. They're there to keep the kids in line, not the teachers. They see plenty of stuff they'd love to act on, only that's difficult without a parental complaint. Find a cop who has kids in the same school system, let him or her know your concerns, and be vigilant to any attempt by the school administration to stymie your efforts.
9) Record EVERYTHING. Check your state's laws for legality, but in many states it's perfectly permissible to record evidence of wrongdoing. Even if it isn't admissible in court, often it's enough to justify "probable cause" for further legal action.
10) Network with other concerned Dads over the matter. Not moms. As much as moms want to be involved and feel strongly about student safety, they're often overly-concerned with public perceptions, reputation, and "making waves". When the Female Social Matrix is involved, most moms don't want to be "one of those parents". Dads don't mind making a few waves if their child's safety is at stake, and they are a lot less likely to compromise to the reasonable-sounding suggestions of the school administration. Dads are also more personally intimidating, in most cases, and while any violent language, threats, or even a raised voice can get you in trouble, being quietly menacing is perfectly within your rights. Dads in groups are even more menacing. Moms are too willing to "be reasonable". Dads can get away with being assholes, and aren't nearly as concerned with what the neighbors think.
Now, should the worst-case-scenario occur and you do discover potential child predator at your kids' school, then the school system often feels smug because they've been through this before, and they feel "protected". Local DAs often won't prosecute an "internal matter" in a school even if there has been felonious criminal conduct. State laws often protect local school systems from all liability, or at least most liability. But there happens to be more laws written about schools than most schools can successfully obey. Here's a few suggestions about how to put pressure on the school system to make changes:
1) The Press. There's usually some local newspaper in search of a scandal, some local TV station looking for good stories. If you can give them one, they might run with it. "Five Local School Teachers Face School Board Ethics Inquiry" would be too juicy for most to ignore. There are limits to what the press can do, and "going to the press" doesn't have the same potency that it used to, but raising awareness of an issue is almost never a bad thing.
2) The State Police. If the local police or sheriff is unwilling to "shit where they eat", involve the state police, highway patrol, and state Attorney General in the case. They don't have the same vulnerabilities, and busting local corruption is what they're there for. And no matter how much a school system tries to wiggle around and obfuscate, "Obstruction of Justice" is a lovely one-size-fits-all charge for such maneuvers.
3) Read their email. Most states provide legal access to all state employee emails with a simple request. Feel free to request as much email between the school administration and the system administration as possible. Most teachers and principals never think anyone will read what they write, but unless the email in question is part of an ongoing lawsuit, or it has student names or grades in it, there should be no legal impediment to you seeing them. And they can be quite revealing.
4) Get the school board to create the position of Omsbudsman. If you aren't familiar with this obscure legal term, it bears investigation. An Omsbudsman is basically an official third-party to whom a consumer or stakeholder can register a complaint. The Omsbudsman then investigates on your behalf, even though they are getting paid by the school system. Usually an attorney, the Omsbudsman has certain limited powers that can often get things done in the absence of a cooperative administration. Omsbudsmans can be very specifcally focused, too: a school board can, for example, create the position of School Security Omsbudsman, ADA Omsbudsman, No Child Left Behind Omsbudsman, etc. School boards don't like to do this, as it takes up time and money when the school board is supposed to be doing everything just perfectly on its own. But it adds a layer of accountability to the system that most school boards lack utterly.
5) Sue their ass. It's hard to sue a school system over liability, but there are a number of ways to sue them through proper channels, all good and legal. Consider a Title IV suit, which involves school security or safety, or if the alleged victim is male you may well have grounds for a Title IX suit, considering the gender disparity in prosecution and sentencing. Remember, segregation didn't end in the South because of legislation, it ended because of Brown v. Board of Education.
And if you want to be really sneaky . . . you can sue them under the False Claims Act.
This is a little-known provision of law that was written during the Civil War to cover government agencies and contractors who were knowingly providing low-standard equipment (originally blind mules) to a federal agency, essentially defrauding the government. These suits are usually known as whistleblower suits, or "Qui Tam" suits, from the Latin phrase "Qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur", or "[he] who sues in this matter for the king as [well as] for himself."
Qui tam suits have recently been used against colleges and pharmaceutical companies, and they have a lot of specific restrictions: the plaintiff (called the "relator") must have personal knowledge of a violation that is not general knowlege or discovered through an official audit, they must inform the appropriate authorities of their finding before they file, and they must give the Attorney General the opportunity to investigate and take over the case. That happens about 20% of the time. Many states also have False Claims Acts, so the same filing will often work with both state and federal attorneys general.
Now, this might seem a little far-fetched, but the fact is that while local school boards are institutionally prepared for direct legal action against them, the beauty of a Qui Tam suit is that it obligates the state and/or federal Attorney General to investigate the matter automatically to determine the veracity and standing of the relator. Personnel privacy rules are suspended during an attorney general's investigation. An attorney general's investigation can go anywhere, look at any document, interview anyone they want without the school system (whom the AG is usually supposed to protect) being able to do anything about it. Even if you are not granted Qui Tam status as a Relator, the investigation is likely to turn up something . . . or at least make some folks in the school administration mighty uncomfortable for a while. It's worse than an IRS audit.
But since all public school systems take both state and federal money, they are subject to the provisions of the False Claims Act. Just as discovering that the school motor pool is paying premium prices for sub-standard gasoline for its buses is grounds for a Qui Tam suit, so is under-reporting violent crimes such as abduction, child endangerment, harassment, etc. It constitutes making a false report in most cases. And if the suit does go forward without the State or Federal AG intervening, then the Relator is usually entitled to $10,000 per offense plus up to 30% of all recovered funds. That's right, you can sue your local school system for fun AND profit!
While no one wants to be the dickhead who lost a couple of million in public funds for a school system, no one wants to be the father of a child who has been preyed upon, sexually abused, and damaged by some trash passed on to your school by another. Remember, schools didn't do jack about segregation until the courts forced them to. That's really the only thing they respond to.
Now, for those of you non-fathers out there who see this as the impotent pussification of the Manosphere, let me call to your attention a couple of salient details about the Gender War:
1. The teaching profession (K-12) in America is predominantly female, and largely feminist in orientation.
2. The school is where the first serious feminist indoctrination begins for both boys and girls.
3. The feminist-oriented, female-dominated education industry is clearly (by all objective measures) designed to empower girls and punish boys.
4. Elementary school is where the first elements of blanket male disrespect are formulated -- it's a freakin' BETA incubator.
5. The teaching profession (K-12) is the secure backbone of the liberal voting bloc in this country. Teamsters might change their votes if it's in the interest of unions. Teachers won't change their votes from a liberal or progressive candidate without divine intervention.
The public school system in this country is where feminist ideas and attitudes get disseminated, largely because feminist teachers understand the Byzantine network of special laws and protections available to them in defense of their "teaching style". By putting a lot of pressure on them institutionally and administratively, especially in the name of student safety, then they have a very hard time defending themselves. No one, not even the teachers' unions, want to be on the "pro-child predator" side of the argument.
These are just a few suggestions. If you have more, please make them. We all have a stake in this, and as fathers we have a gender-based determination to protect our young . . . even from those to whom we entrust their care.
Let me know what you think.