Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Most Interesting 9 Year Old In The World

Believe it or not, this is a Game post.

I rarely talk about my kids here, because I don't want to drag them unnecessarily into anything that might be considered sordid, but this bears repeating.  For those of you just tuning in, Mrs. Ironwood and I are raising three precociously brilliant kids.

The eldest is a 13 year old boy who is intellectually brilliant but struggles socially -- think Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, only with far more interest in boobs.  My daughter (let's call her "Kitten", because she would like that) is 11, artistically gifted to the point of commercial consideration, is hyper-aware socially, and loves her Daddy more than life itself.

Then there is my 9 year old.

While he's almost as intellectually smart as his older brother and almost as artistically talented as his sister, his most impressive talents lie elsewhere.  Not only is he cute and smart . . . the boy has serious Game.  Like, better Game than most grown men.

Let's call him Bob, because he'd like that and it's the name of his favorite dog, not because it's anywhere close to his real name.  Bob has Game far beyond his years.  A recent episode demonstrated just how much Game he had, and I think you might find it instructive.

Mrs. I and I took the kids to a rare social event in which we reconnected with many old friends, some of whom had children about the same age as ours.  One couple's daughter, let's call her Sophia, is just a few months older than Bob.  Bob recognized that fact at once, took an interest, and began to plot his moves the moment he arrived at the party.

I tried to warn Sophia's dad, Seth, about Bob and his interest in his daughter, but Seth dismissed it with a wave and a chuckle.  "They're kids," he insisted.  "I'm not worried."

I was on "kid duty", which meant I stood out on the deck and talked and smoked cigarettes and watched the kids play in the backyard while Mrs. I was inside catching up.  I watched with fascination as Bob examined his environment and chose a comfortable porch swing.  As twilight fell, he claimed a spot at one end and made the rest of the cushions into a comfortable nest.

Then he waited.

When Sophia next ran by, he caught her attention by calling her name.  She turned to look, and he gave her a  stare.  Then he patted the space next to him, and with supreme and utter confidence he told her "Join me."

He didn't ask.  It wasn't even quite an invitation.  It was a politely-worded instruction.  Sophia balked, in response, and said something catty, because his 11 year-old sister was in earshot.  Bob ignored his sister.  He just patted the seat again, twice, very deliberately, and kept looking at her.  Within sixty seconds she was sitting next to him.

For the next ten minutes I vicariously witnessed my youngest presenting as The Most Interesting 9 Year Old In The World.  He asked about her school.  Her pets.  He told her about his, and discussed the differences.  Then he asked how she was feeling, and made sure she had a drink within moments when she admitted she was thirsty.  His arm landed just behind her shoulder when he sat down.  She laughed at a joke (it was genuinely funny, but even Bob knows when a woman is trying too hard) and he knew she was hooked.  Then he started talking about the full supermoon, and how it was larger now than ever, and why it looked that way, and how pretty it was, at which point his sister exclaimed a loud "Aw, Come ON!" in disgust in an effort to c-block him.

Bob was nonplussed.  After his successful approach and his hook, he used his sister's reaction as an excuse to invite Sophia to go inside and watch a movie.  Isolation.  The kid is a natural.

That's when I reminded Seth about Bob's interest in Sophia.  Seth looked up and saw them walking back into the house together and laughed.  "Aw, it's sweet!  They're just kids," he reminded me.

He didn't know Bob. But since he was inside, that was out of my zone.  he was Mrs. Ironwood's problem now.

Half an hour later, Mrs. Ironwood came out for a kid-check and head count.  The older two were still chasing fireflies with the big kids, but the younger two were absent.  I told her they were inside.  Alone.  Together.  Her eyes got wide.

"Seth, come with me, now," she demanded, and he reluctantly got to his feet to follow her.  They went down the hall to where the "kids room" was only to find the door shut.

"Uh oh," whispered Mrs. I.

"It's nothing," assured Seth.  "Sophia shuts her door all the time.  It was probably just too loud out here."

 Then he tried to open the door to find it locked.  He turned around and looked at Mrs. Ironwood in horror, as it struck him for the first time that he had a daughter, and just what that meant, as a father. I couldn't help but sympathize.

"I warned you," Mrs. Ironwood said, shaking her head.  "Now turn around, Seth, and start being a Dad.  You have a daughter, and when it comes to this sort of thing you need to be that dad."  It took him a moment - he was reluctant to acknowledge the truth of the matter - but he was banging on the door in seconds.

"Sophia, you come unlock this door RIGHT NOW!" he demanded.

"We're just watching the Incredibles!" she called back, saucily.

"Unlock the door . . . NOW!" Seth insisted.  It took far longer than it should have.  Seth aged visibly in the duration.

When the door finally did open, Bob was sitting back on the futon, cool and at ease, while Sophia indignantly confronted her father.  "Daddy, we were just watching a movie!" she dismissed with her little girl sass.

"I'm sorry the door got locked, Sir," Bob said politely and earnestly.  "I think it was my fault."  He wasn't acting guilty, he wasn't even acting busted.  He was acting as if this was an expected and completely cope-able interruption of his evening.  "It won't happen again, Sir."  (and yes, my kids really are that polite.  There are some very good things about raising a kid in the South).

Sophia wasn't having it, however.  She was used to running over her father.  "Daddy, it was MY idea to shut the door and MY idea to lock it, so we could have some privacy."

Before Seth could err and find that a reasonable and rational explanation for their behavior, my wife intervened.  She knows better.

"ALL RIGHT," Mrs. Ironwood said, knowing that Seth was about to crumble before the onslaught of cuteness.  Seth just has the one girl to contend with.  We have three brilliant heathens.  "Both of you, OUT OF THERE NOW!" she bellowed like a drill sergeant.  Sophia was unused to being spoken in that way, but trooped out, dutifully followed by Bob.  Bob didn't look fazed at all.  "I think it's time we leave," Mrs. Ironwood sighed.  "It's getting late."

"Thank you for a lovely evening," Bob said to Sophia, solemnly.  "Maybe we can do it again sometime."  Sophia, of course, was enchanted.  Mrs. Ironwood was determined.  Seth was attempting to adapt to the fact that his daughter had just had the moves put on her for the first time.  I just got the keys and started rounding up the older two. Quickly.

We said our goodbyes with good humor, and made it out of the party without further incident.  Once we'd all piled into the minivan, Bob's Game was a hot topic of conversation.  His older brother was speechless in admiration (he has a hard time talking to girls about anything but comic books or computer games).  His sister was indignant and jealous.  Bob was . . . thoughtful.  And utterly unapologetic.  Apparently he'd seen his foray with Sophia as merely his opening move.

"Why did you go there?" I asked him in a private moment, later.  He shrugged and looked thoughtful.

"She was cute, Daddy," he replied.  "She was nice to me.  She likes Minecraft.  Besides, when she was running around, I saw her tattoo and I told her I liked it."

"Tattoo?" I asked, confused.  I didn't remember a tattoo.

"Yeah, she had one of those temporary tattoos of a cat or a flower or something, and I told her I liked it."


"At the party?  Don't you remember?" he asked, exasperatedly.

"No, no, where on her body was it?  I didn't see it."

"Oh, it was on her back.  Way far down, just above her pants."  He indicated the region.

Bob had been allured by her temporary tween tramp-stamp.  I was in shock.

"Girls who wear tattoos," he said, shaking his head.  "You just know they want you to talk to them."

"Weren't you scared when Mr. Seth banged on the door?" I asked, thinking of all the angry fathers in his future.

"Nah," he dismissed, casually.  "It was all her idea, but I was ready to take the blame.  He's not my dad.  He can't spank me," he reasoned.  I couldn't argue with that.  It did set a dangerous precedent, though, and I couldn't help but worry.  "Besides," he said, philosophically, "she's having a birthday party soon.  Almost all girls are going.  I'm so in," he said, confidently.  He had every reason to be.

He was . . . The Most Interesting 9 Year Old In The World.

Monday, June 24, 2013

New Mixed Review Of The Manosphere Book By Matt Forney

As I promised, I point out bad reviews as well as good ones.  This one at the venerable Matt Forney's site is mixed, but doesn't recommend the book for reasons he points out in the review.  Essentially, sloppy scholarship (particularly in the MGTOW section).

As I said in the comments section, I'll cop to that.  If I could have, I would have spent another year on the book and refined it, annotated it properly, and had it meticulously fact-checked . . . but when your choice is "publish it now or abandon it altogether", you go to print with the book you have, not the book you want.

That being said, Matt's criticisms are well-taken.  The biggest one (besides sloppy scholarship and some editing issues) is the supposed failed take over of The Spearhead by white supremacists, and I do feel this needs some note of explanation: after I'd written the MGTOW section, it became clear that the Southern Poverty Law Center was investigating various Manosphere sites, and ultimately listed Roosh as some sort of thought criminal because, well, his kung-fu works.  But they apparently (from what I understand) became aware of the whole 'sphere while tracking white supremacist trolling, and that's what led them to The Spearhead.  And that much activity was enough, apparently, to rationalize a full-scale "investigation" of the Manosphere.  So from the interior perspective I can see how this would be a glaring error, but as I was examining the movement from an exterior perspective and this alleged fact was used to attack the movement, I felt it was worthy of inclusion.  A second edition may see the section re-written as events unfold.

And that brings me to the other point I have in response to Matt's cogent review: as he says, trying to define the Manosphere is a big task.  What he doesn't emphasize is just how fast the Manosphere changes, and how difficult it is to pin down a "history" or even a helpful survey of something that is evolving so rapidly and in so many different directions.  A book is a static thing, just as a blog is a plastic one.  Worse, you can be focused on one section and miss important developments in others.

For example, when I started the book In Mala Fide was the ex officio New York Times of the Manosphere, and Return of Kings hadn't been launched.  My first version of the MGTOW and MRA sections was based on that.  By the time I came back around to a re-write, I had to include RoK because of its obvious importance in the 'sphere . . . but my editor thought we'd covered MGTOW and MRA exhaustively and didn't think we needed to include "every new blog that pops up".  In fact, it was one of the issues leading up to the decision to publish on my own, instead of abandoning the effort.

When a writer tackles a subject like this it can be difficult to separate his personal perspective from the objectivity needed to do a subject credit; while Matt's criticism is well-taken and deserved, his perspective is skewed in the sense that he is part of the thing I was attempting to describe; I'm guessing that being at the center of it, he doesn't see the popular reaction to the idea the way I do, or how the basics of the MGTOW movement have been co-opted and mixed with other ideas and sprouted new hybrids.  That's perfectly understandable, from Matt's position.  I'm not arguing I got some of the facts wrong (or didn't relay them well), but the fact is that MGTOW has grown beyond the ideals of the original movement, it has influenced a lot of other ideologies and responses, and it has inspired thousands of men to do things with their lives that perhaps the originators of the ideal hadn't considered.  

Other issues:

I know there are gay men lurking in the Manosphere because they have written to me, ostensibly because I'm less homophobic and judgmental than other areas in the Manosphere.  In fact I'm working on a post about the nature of masculinity and homosexuality, and the role gay men can and should play in the Manosphere, but as that subject is still fairly nascent I may wait until it develops further.

I chose the term PUA because terms like "Game Artist" or "Game Theorist" get confusing.  The common perception of Game bloggers is that they are "PUAs", and since that's how they are commonly (if erroneously) referred to, that's the term I used.  I can see Matt's point, but I can see my own as well.

Yeah, politics always comes into it, and it could be argued that mine have gone more conservative over the years.  On the other hand, I'm still just as pro-2nd Amm, as I was when I started, and I'm no less enamored of the corporate ruling elite, the tax system, the federal bureaucracy, and all sorts of other issues.  I am one of those surprisingly common dudes who fits into neither Left or Right when my aggregate politics are examined.  While I'll be the first to insist that the Democrats are the Party of Women and Women's Issues, for example, I cannot in good conscience say that the Republicans are the Party of Men and Men's Issues, because the fact is they really aren't.

All in all, it's a good, thoughtful, intelligent review that ultimately doesn't recommend the book for dudes in the Manosphere.  Hell, I can live with that.  I wrote this book to be an introduction, a survey, a place for the man ignorant of the Manosphere to get an idea of where to go to find what he needs.  Dudes who are already neck-deep in the Manosphere know most of this stuff already, as Matt points out.  This is for the guy who heard the term, was curious, and wants to know more.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Ironwood Initiative: Taking Out The Trash (Patriarchy 2.0)

People often look with scorn on the attempts by the MRA community to affect meaningful change.  Considering most of the issues they deal with -- divorce, custody, visitation, alimony -- tend to be narrow and in reaction to their personal experiences, there isn't a lot of room in there for dudes who didn't have a bitter divorce and custody battle.  So while these brave men are hurling themselves at an unyielding system and howling in their frustration, the rest of us who are sympathetic to their cause have little we can do save offer them our moral support.

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.

Want to know an ugly Red Pill truth?  If you want to be a child molester in this nation, the easiest way for a free ticket to your fondest dreams is going to college and getting a teaching certificate.  Crimes that would get a crowd with torches and pitchforks on your lawn if you were a mechanic or a systems analyst are heavily protected from prosecution and the consequences of their crimes by the educational and legal bureaucracy.  If you are a child predator, having a teaching license is the equivalent to having a half-price coupon to a strip club.

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.  

Even if the offender is caught and prosecuted, in the cases where the offender is female the sentencing tends to be light, and in some cases the teacher doesn't even lose her license, she just goes on "probation".  In fact it horrified Mrs. Ironwood and myself when we learned from an inside source that in our state alone there are around 100 convicted sex offenders who still hold valid teaching licenses in my state, who have managed to hang on to them even while they are in prison, thanks to the rules of the State Board of Education.  Some of these "educators" are even getting continuances on their ethics hearings while they are actively serving prison sentences for their crimes.

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'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 protectbeing 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.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Patriarchy 2.0

I've discussed the Red Pill in terms of marriage, relationships, and a general approach to life.  During the last two years or so I have rarely extended the metaphor or the practice into the realm of parenting.  That has been by design - I take great strides to keep my children's childhood happy, that being one of my Wolf Alpha Prime Directives, and discussing them overmuch on my blog endangers that.

However, things have changed in the last few months.  Thanks to some you-wouldn't-believe-it-if-it-didn't happen-to-you events, Mrs. Ironwood and I have been devoting our "abundant free time" to a special project.

We've been fighting crime.

No, really.  The long and short of it is (and about all our lawyers will let us say at this point) is that back in late February, my 13 year old son was abducted by his 23 year old female teacher.  He was safely returned, and was unmolested, but the consequences for my entire family have been fairly profound.  The loss of trust and the loss of security was devastating, and we're still dealing with the aftermath.   If you recall my PLEASE STAND BY post in late February, that was due to the immediate aftermath of the event, and the "Demon's Run" post dealt with the first of several confrontations with various legal and official authorities.

While that battle rages on, another issue was dropped on our doorstep.  The Niece who has lived with us for over a year and acted as our nanny at Stately Ironwood Manor fell in love with a worthless boyfriend with an addiction to that faux canniboid mixture known as "Spice".

Spice is EVIL.   

Unlike the fairly benevolent weed cannabis, Spice is essentially some mildly euphoric herbal base like Marshmallow Leaf or Damiana . . . sprayed or soaked in a number of organic solvents and caustic chemicals.  Touted as being "legal" (it's not - most jurisdictions don't have specific laws making it illegal, but the FDA has - so yeah, it's illegal at the Federal level, but most people don't know this and feel helpless to keep it out of their communities.)and sold as "incense", labeled "not for human consumption" (the Spice industry's equivalent of "For Novelty Purposes Only" or "For The Prevention Of Disease Only")  Spice has become extremely popular in middle schools and high schools because of its lack of regulation and how easy it is to get.

The problem is, unlike pot, Spice (sold under a variety of brand names including BIZZARO and Neutronium) is not only easy for them to get, it's also HIGHLY addictive.  Like crystal-meth/heroin/ levels of addiction, plus a violent change in personality that can resemble schizophrenia. Violent schizophrenia.   Some kids smoke Spice once . . . and just never come back.

My Niece's boyfriend got her and a number of other girls to steal for him from their families and friends to support his Spice habit - and of course he got them hooked too.  In just a few months my Niece dropped out of college and began exhibiting all sorts of other classic addict behaviors.  And then our stuff started going missing.  I'm still pursuing the matter . . . and him.

Since then, Mrs. I and I have been collecting data on local Spice vendors, using our Niece (who is in rehab for it at the moment) to inform on her ex-boyfriend's MO and dealers, and we've turned that information over to local law-enforcement, along with the applicable FDA statutes and potential charges.   Believe me, ask anyone in your local law-enforcement agency about Spice, and they'll be happy to tell you what they've seen.

To quote one cop I've spoken to, "If you catch your kid with Spice just once, go find a way to buy them a big bag of weed.  Kids on weed go to the convenience store at 3:00 am with the munchies. Kids on Spice go to the convenience store at 3:00 am with a pistol.  Weed makes you unambitious.  Spice makes you viciously ambitious in a very negative way."

Spice can destroy you.  It essentially "embalms" your lungs, producing a nasty and distinctive hacking cough, it eats holes in various parts of your brain, and it often leads to seizures and violent psychotic episodes.  If there was ever a case to be made for legalizing pot, Spice makes it.

Why am I bringing all of this up?  Because as the Mrs. and I have been hacking our way through this (and I've been trying to hack my way through getting the Manosphere book out) it has occurred to us, over and over, that in interviewing all the teens we have who are addicted to Spice, in just about every case the kid lacked a strong, compelling father figure.  In many cases these kids were raised by grandparents or single moms who just didn't know or didn't have time to watch and supervise their kids adequately . . . and then their jewelry goes missing, and all the Christmas presents she got her kid are in a pawn shop somewhere and their little girl is having inexplicable seizures at school.

The lack of strong, involved fathers contributed to this problem.  When feminism threw down the Patriarchy, they also threw down the moral authority of paternalism with it, allowing the next several generations of kids to be, as a culture, Fatherless.  Paternal authority is unlike Maternal authority.  Maternal authority can get you to clean your room out of guilt and do your homework.  Paternal authority tells you to stop seeing that boy if you value his life. When we lost the Paternal authority of the Patriarchy in this culture, we also lost its ability to order and regulate our social affairs and expectations.

With the erosion of "patriarchal", traditionally-male values like Family (as opposed to individualism), Duty (as opposed to irresponsibility) and Honor (as opposed to entitlement) feminism broke the shield that once protected our children from such things as Spice and abduction and tried to replace it with Social Workers, Diversity Training, and "Self-Esteem" lessons.  

And I've fucking had enough of seeing our kids' lives get wasted because of such things.  My son told me instantly when he got home what his teacher did, because he knew he could trust me and trust me to do the right thing, whatever that was.  I'd like to think I haven't let him down on this.  Four months into his crisis, we're still grinding away at the various bureaucracies to see justice done, accountability accorded,  and our children protected.  It hasn't been easy, and it's far from over, but he's watching me give it everything I've got, so even if we lose, in the end I've won . . . and so has he . . . just by not giving up.

As we men collectively face the social horror of the 21st century, therefore, it occurs to me that the re-establishment of those sorts of masculine values can only be affected if we re-found the Patriarchy.  

Not the way it was - the pre-Industrial patriarchy won't work anymore, and the post-Industrial model got crippled before it really was firmly developed - but in a new way.  We need "rule of the fathers" if we value our children's lives and futures . . . because the alternative is abandoning them to the whims of what feminism has wrought.  And I ain't got not time for that.

We need Patriarchy 2.0.

So this Father's Day, I'm officially re-founding the Patriarchy in honor of Papa Ironwood and all the other dads who made it through the Feminist Interregnum successfully.  True, most dads out there today feel unempowered and helpless against the giant bureaucracy that has evolved to keep them from influencing their own children, but that doesn't mean it can't happen.  They may feel impotent in the face of domineering wives or baby-mamas who feel that they and they alone have an active say in parenting.

They are Beta dads, and it is because of their inaction and their unwillingness to stand up to their wives or the system on behalf of their children that stuff like Spice happens to our kids.  Only strong fathers can provide the kind of no-nonsense direction and order a developing kid needs.  Mothers compromise, seek consensus, worry about their child's feelings before the other elements of their lives.  Dads Lay Down The Law.  And if you are incapable of that, you need a dose of Red Pill parenting, stat.

Those men who have, by accident or intention, brought another human being into this world have made a pact with their fellow fathers whether they understand it or not.  I've seen, up close and personal, what happens to a kid who is raised by just a mom, or by a strong mom and a weak dad, and the results fill our psych wards and juvenile detention centers.

Patriarchy 2.0 isn't the broad-based Patriarchy of yore; it is the quiet forging of strong bonds between all fathers, local and national, to act as a collective defense of our children.  It has fuck-all to do with marriage, as the shattered landscape of our social system has amply demonstrated that marriage and fatherhood are now well-estranged, in general.  Patriarchy 2.0 is smarter, leaner, and more pissed off.  Patriarchy 2.0 isn't pushing for the return of the Traditional Family as much as it is striving for the survival of the families we have.  

Patriarchy 2.0 is a 21st century response to the problem of child-rearing, with the understanding that the Diaper Years are, actually, the easiest for a dad to navigate.  Patriarchy 2.0 implies a spirit of activism on behalf of all children, not just your own, and a willingness to ignore the "better" approach of feminism and HR departments.  Patriarchy 2.0 is not opposed to MGTOW, PUAs, or any other aspect of the Manosphere.  We're all just Dads, who are worried about our kids, and we need to look to each other for support and guidance because if we rely on the women in our lives to navigate such treacherous waters, then we are risking the lives of our children and abandoning our duties as fathers.

I'm not saying that Fathering is superior to Mothering, or that Dads are better parents than Moms.  What I am saying is that Fathering is important to both boys and girls, and that Dads can do things, say things, and teach things to children of either gender that Moms cannot.  Most Beta dads are content to back whatever their wife decides; Patriarchy 2.0 insists that Dads get to contest that decision if they don't agree with it, and will step in and take charge when they see the need.  Patriarchy 2.0 says dads deal with their business, and get other dads to help if they need it.  Patriarchy 2.0 says if you see a dad in trouble, you help any way you can.  It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a Father to drag their ass into maturity.

Fatherhood is a universal male value, and a universal masculine issue.  Feminism has tried for years to destroy the Patriarchy by eroding or eradicating the father-son relationship, and poisoning the father-daughter relationship, the removal of family planning decisions from male hands, assorted other attacks on the very institution of fatherhood, and that's what has given us the mess we currently stand within.  We can either accept it or we can fight against it.  I have some ideas how to fight it, and over the next few weeks I'll be sharing some of them.

Father's Day is about honoring fathers, specifically our own, but henceforth I wish it to reflect on the debt we owe to all Fathers, in all times, in all places.  Fatherhood is such a rare and special commodity, thanks to feminism, that when it does genuinely appear these days it needs to be nurtured, protected, and encouraged like a nascent flame during a storm.  And like that flame, it may become the only light and heat we have in the future to get us through the storm.

To this end I am launching the Ironwood Initiative: a series of pro-active instructions and information on what dads can do to help protect their kids - and all kids - from the dangers they face, and how to bring them into manhood or womanhood successfully.  Patriarchy 2.0 needs guidance, and I encourage all fathers out there to join me in giving the advice and support that all other fathers need.  Patriarchy 2.0 is about Red Pill fathering, and while that's still a nascent and nebulous concept . . . it needs to be done.

And the essence of the Red Pill isn't "what can I do?", it's "what needs to be done?"

Happy Father's Day to you all.  Call your dad.  Ask him what he thinks.  Listen.  And then start approaching the entire idea of Fatherhood from a perspective of masculine strength and tenacity.  Raising a kid ain't easy, but it's helpful if you have a couple of other dads around to help.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Manosphere review over at stagedreality

Wanted to give a shout-out and point out a review (first!) of the Manosphere book, over at stagedreality by blogger Leap of Beta.  I won't add too much to what he's said -- it stands on its own -- but I accept the criticism as eagerly as I do the praise.

While we both come from different backgrounds and we're at different stages in our lives, with different values and different perspectives, we're both men in this century, and by participating in the Manosphere we help bring other men to wisdom and maturity.  And how to get mad poon.

The book really grew out of the 2011 debate that tried to define the Manosphere as either a MRA phenomenon or a PUA phenomenon.  While both had outstanding claims to the role, the fact is that the Manosphere is bigger than both of them, and is inclusive of both of them, plus plenty of other dudes who were some mixture of both of those and more.  The Manosphere exists, and will continue to develop, as a 21st century vault of wisdom and debate about masculinity and a means of the un-fathered to help initiate themselves into the company of mature men.  Or just get mad poon.

Thanks again to Leap of Beta, whose own blog is worthy of checking out regardless of what he says about me.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Manosphere: A New Hope For Masculinity Is Now Live!


The Manosphere book went live on Kindle last night, just before midnight.

The story of how the book came to be, came to be written, and then how it went through a gazillion editions before, alas, I was forced to publish it myself (it wasn't rejected, exactly . . . it's complicated) is freakin' epic.

If I promised you a review copy and you haven't received one, email me.  I'm a little out of it.

The book is not intended to be exhaustive -- it's an intro and a survey, not an in-depth study, even at a robust 270,000 words.  The number of bloggers and experts on various things I mention is vast, yet there is still so, so much more of the perpetually-evolving Manosphere to chart.  This is intended as a place to begin the journey, not end it.

Among the notables quoted within are:

Hugh Hefner
Robert Bly
Camille Paglia
Ferdinan Bardimu
The Society of Phineas
Dr. Albert Mohler
Kevin Deride
William Bennett
Christy Krumm
The Private Man
Hailey of Hailey’s Halo
Sexo Grammaticus
Cath Eliot
Warren Farrell
The Spearhead.
A Voice for Men
Roger O. Thornhill
John the Other
Jack Donovon
Michael Kimmel
Sam Keen
George Lucas
Peggy Noonan
Rollo Tomassi
Hugo Schwyzer
Susan Walsh
Dr. Andrea Doulcet
Sara Ruddick
Suzanne Bianchi
Good Men Project
National Organization of Women
Joe Kelly
Jenny Thalheimer
James Poniewozik
Emily Goulding
Chloe Angyal
Neil Shyminski
Dr. Roy F. Baumeister
Average Married Dad
Erik von Markovic
Neil Strauss
Jonathan Frost
Liza Mundy
Kasey Edwards
Andrea Dworkin
Dr. Philip Zimbardo
Nikita Duncan
Joe Francis
Victor Assange
Tucker Max
John Gray, PhD
Dr. Helen Fisher
Dr. Emily Nagoski
Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam
Dr. Vicki Levkoff
Bill Powell
Marina DelVecchio
Athol Kay
And many more!

So check it out, review it, tell me if you think it sucks, tell your friends if you think it's good, and generally let me know I haven't been spinning my wheels for the last two years on this project.

More promo stuff to come, but I thought I'd at least let y'all know.  Oh, and I uploaded it yesterday in honor of my brother Sylvester's birthday.  Happy b-day, li'l bro!

The POD version should be ready in plenty of time for giving a copy to Dad on Father's Day (fingers crossed) but I will probably release more versions on more platforms as time goes on.

Oh, and very, very little of it is recycled blog content.  Just sayin'.  I wouldn't charge you that much if most of it wasn't new material.

(Oh, and my editor killed a few quotes . . . including John Scalzi's.  The note said (??? Not important or well known enough to be of interest - cut).  Life's hard out here for a Gammarabbit.)