Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Whatever happened to women’s lib?

(Originally published in the Capitol News, Corydon, IN)

Recently, I was discriminated against at my workplace.

It was that time of year, when boxes of old files had to be shuffled from one storage room to another.

Ordinarily, my co-worker (a 60-something grandfather) and I sit behind desks, making the files that go in these boxes. We work in a white-collar environment where the most strenuous work we have to perform is unjamming staplers or accepting deliveries of office supplies. But this week, the boss gave us the order not only to build shelves for housing the said files, but to transfer the archived files to the newly built shelves, and to "get it done quickly."

This ritual has been oft repeated over the years, but what made this year’s ceremony unique was the steady stream of people coming to the basement to ask us if we were done yet; that’s annoying. Besides all that, the week before, I was out sick with the stomach flu, and really wasn’t feeling up to the whole manual labor gig.

At this point, some of you might be wondering where our help was. Well, there is no help. In our office, we are the sole male staff members; we work with a bunch of chicks. And the fact that they’re somehow above being conscripted into pack mule service really rubs me wrong.

Growing up, I remember so well all the raging debates over equal rights: How women were treated unfairly in the workplace, didn’t earn enough money, were sexually harassed, blah, blah, blah. I remember people getting upset that men still opened doors for women.

When I joined the Air Force in 1990, the military was adamant about stamping out sexual discrimination. Yet, it seemed odd to me that men and women wore different uniforms. That women had different physical fitness standards. That women could wear makeup and jewelry and men couldn’t even have beards.

Today, I’m married and have two daughters. I’m the male minority in my house—My girly-house, with flowers, pillows and Barbie dolls everywhere. Thank God I have a basement I can retreat to, adorned with GI JOES, movie posters, and my computer.

My recent box slinging has really gotten me thinking though. What ever happened to equal rights for women? Hillary Clinton is being seriously touted as a Presidential candidate in the next election, so surely that’s a sign that women are not second class citizens.

So why was it that me and a man almost ready for retirement were the only ones moving those 60 pound boxes? Why couldn’t the younger (than both of us) girls in the office have been helping out? Why am I asked to carry cases of blank paper to the back on a regular basis? Why do the secretaries always want me or my co-worker to fix this or that?

And it’s not just my workplace. Try as I might, I can’t recall what color ribbon people wear for national testicular cancer week. Just recently, when people were encouraged to wear red on a Friday, I recall that it was because heart disease is a leading killer of women. Funny, the only people I’ve ever known to have heart attacks were men.

What happened? When did it happen? Years ago the most abrasive bullying person on daytime television was Morton Downey Jr. Today the biggest bully is Rosie O’Donnell.

In researching this further on the internet, I see that the National Organization for Women is still alive and kicking. And still pushing for an equal rights amendment. I think that’s an excellent idea. Let’s have some equal rights. Let’s make women sign up for Selective Service. Why can’t a woman go into combat? When do I get to stop opening doors for women, or standing up when they enter a room? Or letting them go first?

I think it’s high time women started pulling their own weight, and stopped whining they aren’t being treated fairly. I’ll tell you who’s not being treated fairly: My back!

Monday, April 23, 2007


(I originally wrote this article in response to the flap over Ann Coulter making fun of John Edwards by insinuating he's gay. After the Don Imus flap, it seems appropriate to finally publish this one.)

Rehab. It’s such a magical word. Or rather, a truncated form of a word used as everyday slang. It’s actually short for "rehabilitation". That’s a big word meaning to restore to a former, better state of being.

Originally, at least as I far as I can recall, rehabilitation used to be a fancy-schmancy way to deal with criminals. God forbid we lock them up like the animals they emulate, or beat them like they do their victims. No, let’s give them big hugs, lollipops and help them learn to be the fine, upstanding citizens they once allegedly were.

In the 1980s, I started hearing a lot about drug rehabilitation clinics. Places folks could go who had drug problems. Places that would help them to kick their habits and once again become non-dependants. The problem was, so many folks were going to these clinics, that folks apparently got tired of saying "drug rehabilitation clinic" and shortened it to just plain old "rehab". Kind of like "Bowl Movement" which became "B.M." or "erectile dysfunction" which became "E.D.".

In the grand 21st century we hear about folks going to Rehab on a weekly basis. And not just for drug or alcohol use anymore either.

Recently, Ann Coulter was lambasted for making a homosexual joke at John Edwards experience. Actually, what she did was mock the whole concept of Rehab as the solution for all evils committed by people. "It turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,' so I'm kind of at an impasse -- I can't really talk about Edwards," Ms. Coulter said.

See, a famous tv celebrity, Isaiah Washington, of "Grey’s Anatomy", had recently called one of his co-stars a "faggot". This of course enraged the pro-homosexual Hollywood community. In response, Mr. Washington offered up a sincere apology and stated he was going into rehab- thereby inferring he was not actually responsible for his slander.

This wasn’t such a new idea. In 2006, Mel "Mad Max" Gibson got plastered and was arrested by the police for drunk driving. During this incident, Mr. Gibson cut loose with a lot of drunken slurs and ethnic epithets. Afterward, Mr. Gibson was apologetic and went into rehab- for his drinking problem.

What I would like to know, is how does Isaiah Washington plan on being rehabilitated for his language problem? Is Hollywood so obsessed with forcing the idea of homosexuality down America’s throats, that they missed that the problem was Mel Gibson was a raging drunkard? Did they ever hear about a little thing called the First Amendment? So Mr. Washington’s opinions of homosexuality are not the accepted norm in Hollywood. As a sentient being he is entitled to think whatever he wants. He just needs to work on where and when to express those thoughts.

When Mr. Washington goes off to his language rehab, at some plush spa-like resort, is he going to be subjected to shock-therapy to prevent him from uttering such words as "faggot"? Is he going to be given sensitivity lessons, to make him alter his way of thinking? Will he be forced to watch gay porn 24 hours a day to de-sensitize him to the idea of man-on-man love?

And while I’m on the subject, what is really wrong with calling someone a "faggot" anyway? Historically, a "faggot" was a red-hot ember. Then, in the United Kingdom, it became a slang term for a cigarette. "Queer" on the other hand, means odd, or strange, yet homosexual men are often referred to as "Queers"; take for example, the television shows "Queer as Folk" and "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." Why is it okay to call them "queer" but not "faggot"?

What other words or expressions merit the utterer being sent to rehab? If I call someone an ***hole, am I being insensitive to hemmorroid sufferers? And what about lesbians? If this is an era of equal rights, then mocking homosexual women should surely have the same penalty as mocking homosexual men.

Maybe I need to go to rehab? I have often mocked noted lesbian women, for example "Ellen Degenerate" or "Rosie O’ Ton-ell". Perhaps I should go off to some spa-like resort and sit around watching lesbian movies to de-sensitive my perceptions of that particular lifestyle.

Of course with my luck, it wouldn’t be hot, playmate-type lesbians making out, it’d be rugged, bearded ladies that would make Rosie and Ellen look good.

Well, Sheryl Crow has certainly latched on to a unique way to save the world; she's renounced the use of (disposable?) napkins and pledged to use only one square of toilet paper per trip to the potty- although she admits two or three sheets "if you need it" might be appropriate.

I don't know what Sheryl eats, but one square seems a little far-fectched to me. Butt aside from that, what about kleenex? I mean, it's made the same way as napkins and toilet paper. Why not cut back on the snot catchers?

How tissue papers contribute to global wamring is beyond me- unless you burn it. Although, I still don't buy that whole CO2 crapola anyway.

Nonetheless, either Sheryl's overlooked kleenex, she's being paid off by a tissue consortium or she's a complete idiot. In any event, I thought I'd help Sheryl kick off her new "Pick Green" campaign to save the Earth, one tissue at a time.

or for a slightly more tasteful, more lady-like poster:

Way to go Sheryl! Maybe you should switch to Bluegrass Music to, since you're going to be a pickin' and a grinnin'!

Sunday, April 15, 2007


(Originally printed in the Capitol News, Corydon, IN, 2007)

NOTE: Here is the first of a series of articles I wrote for a local paper before it went under. Waste not, want not.

Is it just me, or does American society think of dads as little more than donors of genetic code, capable of being pressed into pack mule service after baby’s arrival?

During my wife’s first pregnancy, I was a team player and read all the books and articles I could find on raising babies. The books were very informative, detailing virtually every medical scenario for mom and baby imaginable. The many magazines were helpful too- revealing that fatherhood wasn’t just going to be about staying up all night, changing diapers and trying to figure out where all the noise was coming from.

Somehow, during all this reading, something escaped my notice. The gender bias against dads.

During and after my wife’s second pregnancy I began to notice the hidden message of the "parenting" literature- the slant towards a female audience. When I pointed it out to my wife, she suggested that more women read about parenting than, so the material is tailored for a female audience. I wonder if there is a statistic out there somewhere to back that up?

What if the gender bias is intentional? What if the parenting magazines truly believe dads to be inferior buffoons more like Homer Simpson than Ward Cleaver? What supposedly makes a woman a better parent than a man? And don’t give me the "I carried the baby for nine months" line. I’ve been carrying 60 pounds of extra weight around my middle for nine years.

Changing a diaper isn’t so hard. I can whip up a bottle of powdered formula with the same ease I could a pitcher of instant lemonade. I also know enough to not let the kids stick their fingers in electric sockets or run with sharp objects. Why then is there such a condescending tone towards men in the magazines? I don’t mind a good, illustrated article on breast feeding now and then, but where are the articles about giving dad a day off? Or that special meal to cheer dad up?

And it’s not just the magazines. I keep hearing all these stories on the news about celebrity women adopting children. I never hear about some celebrity guy adopting a bunch of kids. Instead you hear about how many children they’ve fathered illegitimately then failed to pay support on.

In fact, when single mothers are usually discussed, it’s in a matter-of-fact tone, like it’s perfectly normal and dads aren’t really needed. When you hear about a single dad, you hear a story of one man overcoming his solitude, prevailing against all odds to raise his child without a mother in the home.

I take great offense at the idea that I am any less capable a parent because I can’t lactate.

Frankly, I think it’s all a front to cover up an inferiority complex. I call it "Father Envy".

Look at the prominence of father figures in the world and history. God, our Heavenly Father, is a guy and the ultimate Handyman- capable of creating whole universes. The Holy Father- or Pope- lays down Catholic law from the Vatican. Santa, also known as Father Christmas, is a fatherly type who brings children presents. And don’t forget the Wiggles, four goofy Australian guys, dancing and singing children’s songs around the world.

I think the moms of the world, once relied upon for all the cooking and cleaning are feeling their former special attention waning. Take for example Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. Thanks to stores like BassPro and Radio Shack, dads can look forward to their parent day with as much anticipation as moms do for Mother’s Day. And frankly, we get cooler stuff. After all, what can you really do with roses and candles? Give me a new shotgun or a bigscreen TV and I’ll be happy all year round.

I see it clearly now. It’s all a conspiracy from the mothers’ sisterhood to keep dads down. Everyone knows Dads are cooler anyway. Dads take you fishing. Dads can carry you to bed past the age of three when you’re too heavy for mom. Dads teach you to drive. Dads take you to ball games. Dads roughhouse with the kids, despite moms’ pleas to "Stop before something gets broken!"

Moms bake cookies, put on bandaids and give hugs.

It’s all spin. There’s really no difference between moms’ and dads’ parenting skills. Raising a child is not rocket science. All a child needs is to be loved, clothed, fed, and sheltered.

And a cool dad.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


I originally started this blog as a way to stay disciplined on my writing. It worked too well. I ended up getting a freelance job writing for a paper and actually got paid for 7 articles. Alas, my luck has reared its ugly head and the paper folded, hah, hah.

So now I am once more back to being an aspiring writer. So for all one of you that read this- the Troglodad is back!

To kick things off, I'd like to showcase one of my newest efforts in the world of paid opinions: a "Photoon" (photo shopped photo-cartoon) related to the recent firing of Don I'm-an-ass.