Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jason Collins - "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay"

Collins (right) guarding Shaq

It was going to happen at some point, and now it has - a male athlete in one of the four big team sports (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) has come out and will go forward living as an openly gay man. Congratulations to Jason Collins for choosing to be himself, and feeling comfortable enough to do so.

But Collins is 34 years old, and he is a perennial backup center in a sport where big men are often done at his age - and he is free agent. The big question is whether or not he will be on an NBA roster next season. If not, his coming out will still be a good thing, but we not yet know how an openly gay athlete will be accepted in the locker room.

Here is some of the Sports Illustrated article:
By its nature, my double life has kept me from getting close to any of my teammates. Early in my career I worked hard at acting straight, but as I got more comfortable in my straight mask it required less effort. In recent days, though, little has separated "mask on, mask off." Personally, I don't like to dwell in someone else's private life, and I hope players and coaches show me the same respect. When I'm with my team I'm all about working hard and winning games. A good teammate supports you no matter what.

I've been asked how other players will respond to my announcement. The simple answer is, I have no idea. I'm a pragmatist. I hope for the best, but plan for the worst. The biggest concern seems to be that gay players will behave unprofessionally in the locker room. Believe me, I've taken plenty of showers in 12 seasons. My behavior wasn't an issue before, and it won't be one now. My conduct won't change. I still abide by the adage, "What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room." I'm still a model of discretion.

As I write this, I haven't come out to anyone in the NBA. I'm not privy to what other players say about me. Maybe Mike Miller, my old teammate in Memphis, will recall the time I dropped by his house in Florida and say, "I enjoyed being his teammate, and I sold him a dog." I hope players swap stories like that. Maybe they'll talk about my character and what kind of person I am.

As far as the reaction of fans, I don't mind if they heckle me. I've been booed before. There have been times when I've wanted to boo myself. But a lot of ill feelings can be cured by winning.

I'm a veteran, and I've earned the right to be heard. I'll lead by example and show that gay players are no different from straight ones. I'm not the loudest person in the room, but I'll speak up when something isn't right. And try to make everyone laugh.

I've never sought the spotlight. Though I'm coming out to the world, I intend to guard my privacy. I'm making this blanket statement in part to keep rumors and misunderstandings at bay. I hope fans will respect me for raising my hand. And I hope teammates will remember that I've never been an in-your-face kind of guy. All you need to know is that I'm single. I see no need to delve into specifics.
I've been asked how other players will respond to my announcement. The simple answer is, I have no idea. I'm a pragmatist. I hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

Look at what happened in the military when the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was repealed. Critics of the repeal were sure that out military members would devastate morale and destroy civilization. But a new study conducted by scholars from every branch of the armed forces except the Coast Guard concluded that "cohesion did not decline after the new policy of open service was put into place. In fact, greater openness and honesty resulting from repeal seem to have promoted increased understanding, respect and acceptance."

The same goes for sports. Doc Rivers, my coach on the Celtics, says, "If you want to go quickly, go by yourself -- if you want to go farther, go in a group." I want people to pull together and push ahead.

Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it's a good place to start. It all comes down to education. I'll sit down with any player who's uneasy about my coming out. Being gay is not a choice. This is the tough road and at times the lonely road. Former players like Tim Hardaway, who said "I hate gay people" (and then became a supporter of gay rights), fuel homophobia. Tim is an adult. He's entitled to his opinion. God bless America. Still, if I'm up against an intolerant player, I'll set a pretty hard pick on him. And then move on.

The most you can do is stand up for what you believe in. I'm much happier since coming out to my friends and family. Being genuine and honest makes me happy.
At The Atlantic, there is a good response to this story.

Why Jason Collins's Coming Out Is Such a Big Deal

Everyone's been waiting for a major male sports star to make a move like this. Here's why it's so much harder for men than for women.

APR 29 2013

Washington Wizards' Jason Collins (L) goes to the basket against Chicago Bulls' Taj Gibson during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Chicago, April 17, 2013. (Jim Young/Reuters)

Female professional athletes are already gender non-conforming. Male ones are still worshiped as exemplars of traditional masculinity. Extremely sporty women have to fight stereotyping that they are lesbians and ignore all manner of unkind commentary about how they are mannish, while sporty men are seen as participating in a form of the masculine ideal.

This is the backdrop to why N.B.A. center Jason Collins' revelations in a Sport Illustrated piece today that he is gay are such a big deal -- and why it is that similar recent revelations from the this year's W.N.B.A. Number 1 draft pickBrittney Griner were greeted in mid-April with a collective yawn.

Women who play professional sports are grown-up versions of what we still to this day call "tomboys," a linguistic relic of our cognitive inability to see outdoorsy, competitive, rough-and-tumble behavior as inherently and naturally female, as well as male. Remember when people were speculating that then Supreme Court-nominee Elena Kagan was a lesbian just because she played on a softball team? "Sorry, softball=lesbian," wrote Brian Moylan in Gawker. (Yeah, that still happens.) Team sports have about them something martial or manly, which means that female team sports are often seen as butch activities. Meanwhile, men who participate in activities like gymnastics or ice skating are often stereotyped as gay; even though they are athletes, they are taking part in something more feminine. As King Kaufman observed in Salon in 2002: "The average American sports fan, watching the Olympic men's figure skating competition, probably figured that most of the contestants were gay." He then went on to debunk this assumption in a conversation with U.S. Olympic medalist Rudy Galindo, "the first actively competing figure skater who was out as being gay."

There have been many female athletes who have come out of the closet and been pioneers. Tennis great Billie Jean King. Tennis player Martina Navratilova. WNBA player Sheryl Swoopes, the "female Michael Jordan." Soccer midfielderMegan Rapinoe. Most recently, we had the example of college basketball phenom Griner. Her casual mention earlier this year that she's gay was greeted with aNew York Times story headlined, "Female Star Comes Out as Gay, and Sports World Shrugs." Why was her declaration seen as not such a big deal? Because she was female, according to the paper of record.

"It was an odd juxtaposition," the paper's Sam Borden wrote, "as there is increased speculation about whether a male athlete -- any male athlete -- will come out while still playing a major professional team sport, one of the best female athletes in the history of team sports comes out, and the reaction is roughly equivalent to what one might see when a baseball manager reveals his starting rotation for a three-game series in July."

The reality is that by becoming a top-ranking female basketball player, Griner had already done hard work violating gender norms and was already seen as a gender outlier. "In sports right now, there are two different stereotypes -- that there are no gay male athletes, and every female athlete is a lesbian," Patrick Burke of the gay sports advocacy group You Can Play told the Times. "We've had tremendous success in getting straight male players to speak to the issue; we're having a tougher time finding straight female athletes speaking on this issue because they've spent their entire careers fighting the perception that they're a lesbian."

But a traditionally masculine man, playing a traditionally masculine team sport -- and he's gay? Well, that's news.

Monday, April 29, 2013

America's Military-Masculinity Complex and Other Issues of Masculinity

From Bookforum's Omnivore blog, an interesting collection of links about masculinity - most of them dealing with the more toxic and violent (i.e., archaic) forms of masculinity. Looking at these, you might think men were little more than sexually coercive and violent criminals/terrorists.

Of these, the first one is perhaps the most interesting - here is the abstract:

Feminism, Masculinities, and Multiple Identities
Martha Albertson Fineman

Masculinities scholarship could be seen as distinct from and complementary to feminist theory — an independent and parallel companion theory, developed by men. In this regard, from a feminist’s perspective masculinities scholarship might be thought of as ethnography, helpfully providing insights into the operations and assumptions of a distinct masculine culture. This approach would seem to validate the notion that there are significant differences between men’s and women’s experiences and perspectives, and consideration of both is necessary to form a complete legal theory picture. Feminist legal theory and masculinities theory are thus seen as both contrasting and complementary in nature.

On the other hand, masculinities scholarship can be understood as providing the basis for a critique of feminist legal theory. This approach begins with the allegation that feminist legal theory generally and incorrectly treats men as a monolithic group when there is in fact a multiplicity of male identities. Masculinities scholarship, in this framing, could be categorized as the male-focused companion to critiques that have been made over the past thirty years that feminist legal theory is excluding and essentializing. It is this understanding of the significance of masculinities to feminist legal theory that prompted this Essay.

Toxic masculinity

APR 29 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Color-Coded Introduction to "Man Crying™" from the Good Men Project

This bit of fun comes from the Good Men Project, posted by Mark Greene.

Is Your Man “Choppin’ Onions?” A Color Coded Introduction to Man Crying™


red_onions featured3

We support a man crying, but first you have to figure out if he’s actually doing it or not.

Men are crying! That’s right. You heard it here first! And as they get their emotional fluids on, we at the Good Men Project are here to help you identify the sometimes subtle indications that a Man Crying™ event has actually taken place. The Good Men Project’s Color-Coded Man Crying™ Diagnostics Chart is helping significant others identify real world incidents of this evolutionary cultural shift! Just listen to what one of our many happy and satisfied readers has to say:
”Thank you so much for introducing me to the subtle and nuanced art of Man Crying™. Your rating chart has really opened my eyes. And all along I thought my husband just had gas pains. Who knew men had emotions? It’s so sweet! “
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And now, here’s your very own copy of the GMP’s Official Color-Coded Man Crying™ Diagnostics Chart.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Exercise Harder, Not Longer (Men's Journal)

If you want to lower your triglyceride levels (a marker for increasing fat storage), interval exercise does a better job at this task than does steady-state exercise. Some of the best forms of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) are running stadiums, sprints, and jumps, but you can also utilize most cardio machines, such as spin bikes, rowers (the two best, imo), and elipticals.

Full Citation:
Trombold JR, Christmas KM, Machin DR, Kim I-Y, and Coyle EF. (2013, Mar 15). Acute High-Intensity Endurance Exercise is More Effective than Moderate-Intensity Exercise for Attenuation of Postprandial Triglyceride Elevation. Journal of Applied Physiology, 114(6):792-800. DOI: 10.​1152/​japplphysiol.​01028.​2012 [ePub Jan 31, 2013]

Exercise Harder, Not Longer

Andy Batt / Getty Images

Intense workouts are the best way to fight fat

An intense workout is the most efficient way to fight fat, according to new research. Experts have long known that regular exercise helps lower the spike in triglycerides (fat in your blood) that happens after you eat. But a study by the University of Texas suggests that interval training may lower triglyceride levels more than working out longer but not as hard. "The different intensities might modify the way fat and carbohydrates are burned or stored after exercise," says lead researcher Justin Trombold. "By exercising a bit harder, you could save time and get similar, if not better, health benefits." 
Melaina Juntti

Follow us: @mensjournal on Twitter | MensJournal on Facebook
Here is the abstract of original research article - unfortunately, it's not open access.

Acute High-Intensity Endurance Exercise is More Effective than Moderate-Intensity Exercise for Attenuation of Postprandial Triglyceride Elevation

Justin R. Trombold Ph.DKevin M. ChristmasDaniel R. MachinIl-Young Kim, and Edward F. Coyle


Acute exercise has been shown to attenuate postprandial plasma triglyceride elevation (PPTG); however the direct contribution of exercise intensity is less well understood. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of exercise intensity on PPTG and postprandial fat oxidation. Healthy, young men (n=6) performed one of three experimental treatments: non-exercise control (CON), moderate-intensity (MIE; 50% VO2 peak for 60 min), or isoenergetic high-intensity exercise (HIE; alternating 2 min at 25% and 2 min at 90% VO2 peak). The morning after the exercise, a standardized meal was provided (16 kcal/kg BM; 1.02 g fat/kg, 1.36 g CHO/kg, 0.31 g PRO/kg) and measurements of plasma concentrations of triglyceride (TG), glucose, insulin and β-hydroxybutyrate were made in the fasted condition and hourly for 6 h postprandial. Indirect calorimetry was used to determine fat oxidation in the fasted condition and 2, 4 and 6 h postprandial. Compared to CON, both MIE and HIE significantly attenuated PPTG (Incremental AUC) [75.2 (15.5) %, p = 0.033 and 54.9 (13.5) %, p = 0.001], with HIE also significantly lower than MIE (p = 0.03). Postprandial fat oxidation was significantly higher in MIE [83.3 (10.6) % of total energy expenditure) and HIE (89.1 (9.8) % of total] compared to CON [69.0 (16.1) % of total; p = 0.039 and; p = 0.018, respectively], with HIE significantly greater than MIE (p = 0.012). We conclude that, despite similar energy expenditure, HIE was more effective than MIE for lowering PPTG and increasing postprandial fat oxidation.

Friday, April 26, 2013

What Boston Showed about Human Nature

When I finally released the misanthropic cynicism of my 20s, I began to understand that human beings are essentially good, essentially kind. Most often, it's trauma and painful life experience that allows good people to do bad things.

This belief was deeply supported by the response of the crowd when the bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon (and also in the 9/11 attacks) - when uninjured bystanders ran toward the explosions, not away from them as one would tend to assume. They ran to help others, not knowing how many more bombs there were, not worrying about their own safety.

This is real-world altruism, and the scientists who dismiss altruism as selfishness in disguise need to seriously reconsider their positions.

What Boston Showed about Human Nature

In the seconds after the explosions came an answer to an ancient question: Are we by nature good, or bad?

By Adrian F. Ward | Tuesday, April 23, 2013

At 2:50 PM on Monday, April 15, I was sitting in my Cambridge office, separated from the finish line of the Boston Marathon by 2.5 miles of parks, city streets, and the iconic Charles River. Around 3:00 PM, I started receiving what would soon become a flood of messages—texts, emails, and Facebook chats, from friends, family members, and high-school classmates: “Are you ok?” “Are you safe?” “You’re not at the marathon, are you?”

This is how I learned what else happened at 2:50 PM. This is how I learned that mere miles away, two home-made bombs had detonated, killing three people and wounding 183 more. And this is what led me to pace the halls of my building, knocking on every door; to contact, in any way possible, friends I knew were there, at that finish line; to make sure that these people—my people—were safe.

In times of distress and unease—of apparent attack—it’s easy to think in us-vs-them terms: to care only about our people, our city, our country.

But if these attacks were perpetrated against any “us,” it was the “us” of humankind. The official list of marathon participants includes more than 23,000 athletes: males and females ranging in age from 18 to 83; runners, handcyclists, and wheelchair operators; citizens of 96 different countries and 6 of 7 continents (only Antarctica—which is not home to any permanent human residents—was not represented). They were us. And they were diverse.

The bombs exploded at a site celebrating this magnificent diversity—along the home stretch of the Marathon, a section of Boylston Street lined with the flags of each participant’s native country. This diversity was also displayed by the injured, and the dead—an 8-year-old boy, a 29-year-old restaurant manager, a 23-year-old Chinese graduate student.

This was, and is, a tragedy. There is no denying it.

But in the midst of this tragedy, there also was—and is—an unmistakable beauty.

In the immediate aftermath of the explosions—even as debris continued to fly through the air—countless people ran not away from the blasts, but towards them. These people had no way of knowing whether or not there would be more explosions, no way of knowing whether or not they were putting their own lives in danger; they simply saw others in need and immediately rushed to help. At the same time, more people—many of them marathoners who had just completed a draining 26.2 mile test of endurance—began to rush en masse to nearby Massachusetts General Hospital, seeking to give their own blood for the hundreds of wounded that would soon follow. In fact, so many people showed up that the hospital was forced, multiple times, to turn away would-be donors; there were simply too many people trying to help.

These overwhelming displays of helping—of selflessness and what psychologists call “prosocial behavior”—are beautiful in and of themselves. But they are even more beautiful because they transcend us-vs-them ways of thinking. These actions were not reserved for members of one group, one city, or one country; they were enacted without preference or prejudice, directed at victims of every color, creed, age, and gender. And they are still more beautiful because of their immediacy. These actions were not the result of carefully considered decisions, of weighing the pros and cons of each possible behavior; they were virtually instantaneous, seemingly born of a raw, instinctive urge to help those in need. In the face of overwhelming tragedy, people sought to help the “us” of humankind—immediately, prodigiously, and with little regard for their own safety.

A long tradition of research in social and evolutionary psychology tells us that this behavior doesn’t make sense. That people operate according to fundamentally selfish instincts, and that these selfish instincts can be found in every organism, every cell, and every gene. According to this tradition, thinking of any “us” at all can be explained as a means to the end of preserving one’s own physical and psychological well-being, living to see another day, and producing children that have a reasonable chance of doing the same. Ostensibly altruistic behaviors—everything from sharing resources to laying down one’s life to save others—can be explained by fundamentally selfish motives like reputational concerns (the desire to be seen in a positive light), kin selection (the desire to preserve one’s genetic material, sometimes even at the cost of one’s own life), or simply a desire to ease the personal discomfort that comes along with viewing others in distress. In short, people help others to help themselves.

But other research tells a different story. When people find “lost” letters on the sidewalk, they tend to mail them to the intended recipients, even though this good deed will receive no recognition or reward, does nothing to further their own genetic legacy, and probably does not relieve much personal distress. People make anonymous financial donations, and as many as 32% are even willing to anonymously donate their own internal organs—while still living—to complete strangers. Even children who are four years old spontaneously help others with no apparent concern for approval from friends and/or authority figures, personal benefits, or moral (good/bad) imperatives. Examples such as these provide a counterargument to the selfish view of human nature that has long dominated psychological research. They suggest that people may help others with little or no thought for their own well-being; people may help others simply because they need to be helped.

Of course, it could be that these heartwarming actions can also be explained by selfish motives, ones that are simply more difficult to pin down. Or it could be that these actions represent the outcome of hard-fought battles pitting conscious control against selfish core impulses—victories for virtue, yes, but ones that require continuous effort and are likely to be surrendered as soon as people are unable or unwilling to continue overriding their selfish impulses. It could be that when caring for others threatens people’s own welfare, they will retreat into increasingly smaller moral circles—from caring for the “us” of humankind to the “us” of their families, friends, and ingroup members; from caring about this restricted “us” to only caring about themselves. It could be that, when people are put to the ultimate test, self-preservation will always win out.

The Boston Marathon bombings put people to this test. The attack created chaos, pain, and destruction; it destroyed lives and landscapes. It destroyed pretense. Those on the scene were immediately forced to face the jarring reality of those who had already been injured—a reality that represented both these victims’ need for help and the possibility that providing help could result in personal injury from further explosions. In this situation, people had neither the time nor the resources to override impulses or think strategically; they could only react, behaving intuitively and emotionally.

It is in these reactions that I see beauty. In the initial movements of the helpers—the first responders, the blood donators, the countless men and women who rushed in to do anything and everything they could to fix the gaping hole left by those Monday afternoon explosions—I see an extreme example of the human capacity for selflessness. I see evidence that people tend to intuitively, instinctively, and perhaps automatically reach out to others in times of need. I see that extreme situations can cause people to transcend us-vs-them thinking, uniting diverse peoples into the “us” of humankind.

In the few days since the bombings, the intervening eventscontinued loss of life, a night filled with sirens and shootouts, a day spent in “lockdown,” the capture of a 19-year-old, and the heartfelt displays of appreciation for law enforcement—have threatened to prematurely relegate the explosions on Boylston Street to the past. Similarly, the delayed reactions of some—actively seeking a “them” to set up in opposition to “us”—have threatened to overshadow the immediate and selfless reactions shown by those at the scene. Taken together, these actions and reactions show that people are complex, confusing, and often self-contradictory. However, they also highlight the immense capacity for human goodness present in the midst of this complexity.

They offer the hope, at least, that the good in people will always overcome the bad.

Are you a scientist who specializes in neuroscience, cognitive science, or psychology? And have you read a recent peer-reviewed paper that you would like to write about? Please send suggestions to Mind Matters editor Gareth Cook, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist at the Boston Globe. He can be reached at garethideas AT gmail.com or Twitter @garethideas.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

School Principal Discouraged Teen Girl from Reporting Sexual Assault Because It Would Ruin Attacker's Basketball Career

This principle, Terry Urguhart (as well as the Superintendent, Daniel Behm, and Assistant Superintendent and Title IX Coordinator, Anne Edsenga) all should be fired from their jobs. Fortunately, they are being sued by the National Women’s Law Center on behalf of the victim (who was a 15-yr old sophomore at the time of the assault in 2010).

Not only did the principle fail to investigate, he left the perpetrator in the same class as the victim for two weeks. It gets worse.
As word of the sexual assault spread among the student body, the female victim became the target of an intensive cyber-bullying and harassment campaign—both at school and online—that depicted her as a liar and a “whore” who was trying to bring down an innocent athlete. These cyber-attacks were only reinforced by the fact that the school continued to take no action to reprimand the male student. Not only did fellow students harass the victim, the attacker and his friends verbally and physically harassed the girl as well. They followed her around as she moved in and out of classrooms, through hallways, and around the school campus. The attacker sometimes pushed her into other students as she walked down the hallway, causing her to slam into lockers. Despite repeated efforts by the victim’s parents and other students to alert the principal and the school’s Title IX Coordinator about the viciousness of the harassment by the attacker and other students, school administrators took no action.
The perpetrator had already been convicted in the juvenile system of Aggravated Assault and been through the Kent County Adolescent Sex Offender Treatment Program. Apparently, the treatment did not work for him. In the time between his assault of the first victim and his being charged by the Kent County Prosecutor’s office (two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct), he attacked and assaulted another female student (thus the two felony counts) at the school.
The attacker later pled guilty to a single count of misdemeanor assault and battery. He was sentenced to attend Kent County’s Adolescent Sexual Offender Treatment Program for a second time. The only sanction the school imposed upon the student assailant was to temporarily bench him on the basketball court.
He still has not served time for his actions - and he may still have a shot at a college basketball career, where there a lot more women to sexually assault.

If the principle could sit in my office for a week and see how these assaults, and worse, the discounting of the victim's suffering, affects their lives, their self-esteem, their ability to get through the day, he would hopefully not been so willing to dismiss the girl's experience and let the athlete get away with it.

We need to do better at educating school officials, law enforcement, and other groups that this shit is real, and it can be debilitating, and to consider how they might feel if their daughter was ever sexualy assaulted.

I originally found this story at AlterNet, and the text below comes from Jessica Pieklo at RH Reality Check.

Michigan High School Protects Student Athlete at Expense of Alleged Sexual Assault Victim

by Jessica Mason Pieklo, Senior Legal Analyst, RH Reality Check
April 21, 2013 

A lawsuit filed last week by the National Women's Law Center suggests high school administrators have a long way to go in protecting students from sexual assaults.

Last week the National Women’s Law Center, along with a local law firm in Michigan, filed a complaint in federal district court on behalf of a high school student who was allegedly sexually assaulted at school by a fellow student and star basketball player. In many ways the story echoes the tragic high school rape story from Steubenville, Ohio, which should lead all of us to ask just what kind of culture are we raising our children in, and what kind of culture is being cultivated at our high schools?

According to the complaint, in 2010 the victim was sexually assaulted by a star player on the school’s basketball team. The assault took place on campus in a sound proof band room at Forest Hills Central High School. The victim notified a teacher who in turn reported the assault to the principal. But rather than open an investigation into the allegations, the principal discouraged the student and her parents from filing charges, telling them that doing so could ruin the assailant’s prospects at being recruited to play basketball for a Division 1 school.

The victim and her parents ignored the principal’s request not to file charges because they were concerned that this student might attack other girls. Instead, the student and her parents filed a police report, and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department began a criminal investigation. Meanwhile, the school did nothing.

As alleged in the complaint, two weeks later another female student was sexually assaulted by the same attacker. Despite a legal obligation under Title IX to investigate the assault and protect the student, the high school officials never interviewed the girl or her parents again, failed to conduct an investigation, and for two and a half weeks left the attacker in one of her classes.

It gets worse. As word of the sexual assault spread among the student body, the female victim became the target of an intensive cyber-bullying and harassment campaign—both at school and online—that depicted her as a liar and a “whore” who was trying to bring down an innocent athlete. These cyber-attacks were only reinforced by the fact that the school continued to take no action to reprimand the male student. Not only did fellow students harass the victim, the attacker and his friends verbally and physically harassed the girl as well. They followed her around as she moved in and out of classrooms, through hallways, and around the school campus. The attacker sometimes pushed her into other students as she walked down the hallway, causing her to slam into lockers. Despite repeated efforts by the victim’s parents and other students to alert the principal and the school’s Title IX Coordinator about the viciousness of the harassment by the attacker and other students, school administrators took no action.

Thankfully law enforcement did. Five weeks after the sexual assault, the Kent County Prosecutor’s office authorized two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct against the attacker for his assaults on NWLC’s client and the second female victim at the school. The attacker later pled guilty to a single count of misdemeanor assault and battery. He was sentenced to attend Kent County’s Adolescent Sexual Offender Treatment Program for a second time. The only sanction the school imposed upon the student assailant was to temporarily bench him on the basketball court.

“Title IX requires schools to ensure that the educational environment is free from sex-based discrimination,” said NWLC Vice-President of Education and Employment Fatima Goss Graves said in a statement.
“This school completely ignored its legal responsibility to address student-on-student sexual harassment and failed to take reasonable steps to protect the victim. The school’s failure to address the harassment sends a chilling message to students that they should remain silent in the face of sexual assault and cannot count on their school to provide a safe learning environment.”
Because of the school district’s inaction, the victim’s grades suffered, she quit the soccer team and cheerleading squad, became isolated from her classmates, and ended up transferring to a new school. And while the lawsuit may vindicate her rights, it does little to undo the message the school district sent to other students, which is that if a student dares to speak out against sexual violence they will be ridiculed and left unprotected. Students not only deserve to feel safe in their school environments, according to Title IX they have a right to be safe in them as well. Unfortunately for students at Forest Hills Central High School, their administration doesn’t seem to understand that duty trumps potential college athletic recruitment.

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Follow Jessica Mason Pieklo on twitter: @hegemommy

Cracked - The 10 Greatest Wrestler Glamour Shots of All Time

When you think of professional wrestling, you probably think of Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage (below), or  the Undertaker (above). These guys generally try to be hyper-masculine.

Back in the 1980s, however, Memphis wrestlers Stan Lane and Steve Keirn, known as the Fabulous Ones, found success and fame as a tag-team. Unfortunately, the 1980s were not kind to macho . . . and there are pictures to prove it. Thanks to Cracked for this one.

The 10 Greatest Wrestler Glamour Shots of All Time

By:Cyriaque Lamar
April 24, 2013

Many pro wrestlers nowadays craft their ring personalities using some mixture of barbarian aggression and homicidal machismo. But back in the 1980s, Memphis wrestlers Stan Lane and Steve Keirn found success as a tag team known as the Fabulous Ones, whose schtick was that they were happy-go-lucky men of leisure who pumped iron for the ladies.

And to reinforce this maxin'-and-relaxin' playboy persona, the Fabulous Ones posed for what are easily some of the most retroactively hilarious photographs ever taken of adult human beings.

"Saturday, Saturday, Saturday at the Clarksville Civic Center! You bring the entire family, we'll bring our dicks!"

Remember, the Fabulous Ones hailed from a gentler, more yacht-rocking era, so they were able to spin an acclaimed five-year career out of lubing up their torsos, donning bow ties, and obscuring their dongs under a tenuous veil of spandex. And during that period, the Fabs took tons of glamour shots, the likes of which make the Ultimate Warrior look downright Mennonite. Here are 10 of their finest moments, which I have taken the liberty of titling. (NOTE: All titles are also up for grabs as band names.)

#10. "Sebaceous Repose"

Here we have two grown men wearing nothing but puce bikini briefs, assorted pendants and charm bracelets, and an entire industrial drum of canola oil. Now, note their footwear. THIS IS PROOF POSITIVE THAT FLIP-FLOPS DON'T GO WITH ANY OUTFIT WHATSOEVER.

#9. "Turgid Illusionists"

What you're looking at here is every single one of Fred Phelps' nightmares transmuted into the corporeal realm. When he's thrashing around at night, entangled in his quilt -- which is presumably embroidered with passages from Leviticus and scenes of Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt -- Mrs. Phelps wakes him up by shouting, "FRED, CALM DOWN. YOU'RE HAVING THAT DREAM ABOUT THE GAY WARLOCKS AGAIN."

#8. "Maximum Cravat"

I am so fucking disappointed that we don't live in a reality where the Fabulous Ones starred in a sitcom about two Chippendales dancers turned social workers whose penchant for pageantry brought hope to an inner-city youth crisis center. That show, by the way, would have been called Big, Big Brothers.

#7. "The Butt Janus"

Sweet Jesus, gazing upon this picture for 10 seconds is like watching Road House five times in a row. If I were all about the fellas, I'm pretty sure I'd he-bop to this photograph with such unearthly vigor that my gear would eventually resemble one of those port wine cheese logs covered in slivered almonds you find at business-casual cocktail receptions.

#6. "Testosterone Acres"

For whatever reason, the countryside in this shot reminds me of the second season of The Walking Dead, when AMC cut the show's budget and made the cast wander around an apple orchard all season.*

Anyway, that season would've been vastly improved if the characters had stumbled upon a duo of unflappable pretty boys who use their Greco-Roman prowess to suplex zombies. Like, The Walking Dead's shit-smudged survivors are busy boiling their boots when the Fabulous Ones roll up in their banana-yellow pickup truck, blasting "Separate Ways" by Journey. (Sample dialogue: "Hey there, strangers! The walkers swarmed our cabana, but at least we escaped with these great hats!")

*In the course of writing this article, I found myself Googling "WALKING DEAD" + "PRODUCE" + "HERSHEL'S FARM." That's easily the dumbest Internet search I've ever subjected myself to, so according to my own canon, it's a goddamn apple orchard.

#5. "The Prom Vikings"

Everything about this photo is perfection, namely their poses and the jarring contrast between their bleached-white suits and their sun-kissed mullets. Their heads are so damn orange that they appear to be levitating, like they're the homecoming court of Sleepy Hollow Prep. A night of passion with the Fabulous Ones would be like getting double-teamed by Moose from Archie. (Well, Moose and his brother, uh, Elk?)

#4. "Malibu Sherpas"

Remember that poignant-but-goofy-as-hell scene in The Wrestler where Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei accuse Kurt Cobain of ending the 1980s? Well, the above photo is what Arcade Fire would look like if Nirvana had never existed.

#3. "Key Party Alpha"

As you can see here, the Fabulous Ones are posing with fellow 1980s heartthrob grapplers the Rock 'n' Roll Express. WILL THEY SWAP PARTNERS? Anyone who gave this magazine but a perfunctory glance would assume that they'd stumbled upon a periodical either dedicated to exceedingly flamboyant Tennessee-area law firms or crafty swingers who make their own clothing out of old towels and wrapping paper. In any case, I'm guessing audiences packed arenas just to see if the Rock 'n' Roll Express would finally show up to a bout dressed in leotards made of Fruit Roll-Ups.

Hot damn, Lisa Turtle had a posse.

#2. "Man Napkins"

At some unknown point in the history of professional wrestling, you know a manager grimly handed his up-and-coming tag team the above photo in a 12-by-18 manila envelope emblazoned with the words YOUR NEXT MATCH in big block letters. Oh, to be a fly on the wall when that went down.

#1. The Fabulous Ones' Magical Music Videos

Of course, the Fabulous Ones' beefcake portraiture is only half of their legacy. The duo pioneered the use of wrestling music videos as promotional tools. And if YouTube videos that promoted neuron death were National Historic Landmarks, this shit right here would be Monticello.

What's awesome about this two-minute music video is that maybe nine scattershot seconds indicate that these dudes are wrestlers. The rest of it is mostly the Fabulous Ones expressionlessly drinking sherry in the bath or lounging in a hayloft. Anyone flipping channels in the early '80s would assume this was a paid program, jointly funded by Tennessee's influential beard, hay, and fedora lobbies.

YouTube - This here's what they call "The Chattanooga Iron Triangle."

In case the plot in that music video was too hard to follow, here are the Fabulous Ones hanging out in a closet for 160 seconds with nothing but a strobe light and sequined tuxedos. If Marvel Studios had only $15 to spend on Thor: The Dark World, you can bet it would look like this.

And do you want to know the secret of the Fabulous Ones' workout regimen? It's easy! Get mostly naked and jog around an indoor track with your best friend.

And finally, it's worth mentioning that the Fabulous Ones weren't the only Memphis-area tag team to splash their thoraxes with buttermilk and stare wistfully into the horizon. Another duo known as the New Generation used this formula as well, but they incorporated topless carriage rides into their repertoire (a perplexingly long shot of such kicks off at 2:15).

And so concludes today's column. If you found absolutely none of the above titillating, my gift to you is the equally garish Playboy's Roller Disco and Pajama Party TV special, which starred flugelhorn godhead Chuck Mangione and the noted sassy ventriloquist's dummy Madame.

I could only tolerate 30 seconds of this, so it's unclear if Madame takes off her top.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dr. Adam Sheck - What Do Men Really Want in Relationships?

Dr. Adam Sheck - in an article re-posted at The Good Men Project - insists that for men relationships are not about a “trophy” wife or a caretaker . . . and it’s not even all about sex. It's about acceptance, safety, intimacy, and so much more.

What Do Men Really Want in Relationships?


Dr. Adam Sheck insists it’s not about a “trophy” wife or a caretaker . . . it’s not even all about sex!

It’s really not that complicated. From both personal and professional experience, I can tell you that what men want in relationships is pretty basic.

Hint: It’s not about having a “trophy” partner or someone to feed us and take care of us when we’re sick. It’s certainly not about having someone to “process” feelings with. It’s not even about sex, though sexuality IS an important part of relationships.

What men REALLY want in a relationship, is a safe place to recharge and renew themselves in order to go back out and face the world and “fight the good fight.” What men want is a safe, secure, STRESS-FREE environment where we can recover from dealing with the “rat-race” and just relax.

What men want is a place where we can be ourselves, without putting on the facade that the world sometimes demands. We want a place where we don’t have to be on our best behavior, where we don’t have to walk on egg shells and where we don’t have to pretend that we’re something we’re not.

We want a place where we can be accepted for who we are and for who we are not! What men want is consistency and routine, because that is what relaxes us. ”Same place, same thing” calms us down. Yes, we like change and excitement from time to time, but what we really want in our primary relationship is a place where we can be at peace, where we don’t have to have our “fight or flight” response triggered. We’re activated enough in the work world, we don’t want our relationship to be like a second job!

Why is this what men want? Why do men want to recharge in relationships? I believe it goes back to our early childhood development (I’m a psychologist, of course I’m going to go there!). Attachment theory tells us that one stage of childhood is that time where we have started to break away from mommy and become more independent. We play with our friends and have fun, but every once in a while we take a look back and connect to mommy, maybe just eye contact, to make sure that she is there and that everything is okay. And then we can get back to play. We need a “secure base” to launch from in order to explore our world and when necessary we need a “safe haven” to seek comfort from that world.


On some level, I believe that men still do this in our adult relationships. Not in that cliche, “I’ve married my mother” way, but hopefully in a more mature, more conscious way. We want someone around us, to make sure that it (we) are okay. We don’t necessarily want or need to interact with them constantly, just “check in” or “touch base.”

When I’m in a relationship, I’m happy just knowing that my partner is in the house, we don’t even need to talk. And yes, we do interact as well, but there’s something comforting in just knowing that someone is there.

There is the psychology, and then there is also the biology. Men are more susceptible to being physiologically aroused. Yes, THAT way, too, but I mean in terms of “fight or flight” and being ready to fight off attacks from the dinosaurs and sabertooth tigers. That’s what our bodies tell us to do and so we have relationships in order to take a break from that, in order to give our systems a rest, to renew ourselves.

As men we don’t want to multitask and we don’t want to speak in the language of feelings. We’re not built to do these things optimally. We can do them, and of course, sometimes we must, yet we’re just not designed to do them very well.

I’m not saying that we should use biology as an excuse, it just needs to be understood and accepted, so we that can optimize our relationships and have both partner’s needs acknowledged and met.

So there you have it, what men want in relationships. Not necessarily what their partners want (if they are partnered with a woman). And what do women want? And how do we reconcile the differences? That, dear reader, will have to be addressed in another post. Stay tuned!

And of course, it is certainly possible that I’m simply projecting what I personally want in a relationship and backing it up with psychological data, it’s happened before. Once again, it is up to YOU, the reader, to decide what is true for yourself.

If you have a reaction to this post, I welcome ALL of your comments. As always, I am grateful and stimulated by your interaction.

Thank you so much,
Dr. Adam Sheck

Originally appeared at ThePassionDoctor.com

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Research - Men ARE More Romantic

A new study reveals that 48% of men admit to falling in love at first time, while only 28% of women admit to having a "love at first sight" experience. On the downside, 33 per cent of men and 19 per cent of women admit to having sex outside of their current relationship. Men are more romantic, but they are also more likely to spread that love around.

The study data is preliminary from an ongoing survey - and the current data is published in The Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples and What They Reveal About Creating a New Normal in Your Relationship, by Chrisanna Northrupp, co-authored by academics Professor Pepper Schwartz (sociologist at the University of Washington), and Professor James Schwartz, Director of the Centre for Social Science Research at George Mason University in Virginia.

Men ARE More Romantic

I knew that!

Published on April 20, 2013 by Nancy Kalish, Ph.D. in Sticky Bonds

A survey of 100,000 people worldwide, published in The Normal Bar (Crown Publishing Group, 2013), reveals that 48% of the male participants said they had fallen in love "at first sight." Only 28% of the women said that they had a love at first sight experience.

This survey result indicating that the men were more romantic than the women is consistent with my rekindled romance research. The first post I ever wrote for this blog -- Are Men Romantic? -- discussed my finding that the men who had tried lost love reunions were significantly more likely than the women to report that they "never got over" their first loves.

Yes, men are romantic. And many women are not. The stereotypes of unromantic men with romantic female partners are harmful to adult relationships, and can lead to attempts at gender typing of young boys - to everyone's detriment.
Here is a more in-depth article from The Daily Mail Online.

Men ARE more romantic: 48% fall in love at first sight compared with 28% of women

  • Around 10,000 people took part in online survey about love and relationships in the 21st century
  • While romantic, men are more unfaithful gender, with 33% admitting to having had sex outside a relationship
PUBLISHED: 22 April 2013

They may forget anniversaries and buy last minute Valentine’s gifts from petrol stations, but men are, apparently, more romantic than women.

A survey found that while 48 per cent cent have fallen in love at first sight, a mere 28 per cent of women could claim the same.

The research, published in new book The Normal Bar, questioned 10,000 people worldwide about their attitude towards love and relationships.

Dispelling the myth: A new book has found that men are more romantic than women

The Normal Bar is the brainchild of entrepreneur Chrisanna Northrupp and is co-authored by academics Professor Pepper Schwartz, sociologist at the University of Washington, and Professor James Schwartz, Director of the Centre for Social Science Research at George Mason University in Virginia.

Using data collected from their online survey, the book aims to dispel the myths surrounding sexuality and relationships, shed light on what a real 21st century relationship entails and help make your own relationship more satisfying.

The survey, which is ongoing, contains 1,300 questions and touches on everything from sex to the most attractive physical features to personality traits a prospective partner looks for, the Washington Post reported.

Other interesting figures from the survey included the finding that only 74 per cent of people are happy in their relationship and 66 per cent of those questioned believe their partner is their soulmate.

The survey also found that more men than women had strayed in their relationships

But perhaps the most interesting - albeit worrying - discovery was that having sex without a emotional ties outside a relationship was not technically regarded as an affair by many.

While only 15 per cent of those asked admitted to having had an affair, the number confessing to being unfaithful shot up dramatically when the question was phrased as ‘sex outside your current relationship’.

A third of men and 19 per cent of women then said they had indulged in extra-marital relations.

The books goes on to explain that for many, the secret to a happy relationship includes having regular date nights, using pet names, holding hands, passionate kissing, back rubs and frequently saying 'I love you'.

But the most important factor, that almost everyone surveyed agreed on, was communication.

In unhappy relationships, a lack of communication was cited as the number one reason for it breaking down.


We are now twice as likely to choose money over love, according to a new study.

The research, carried out by innovative charity and gambling website jaro.com, has found that twice as many Britons would opt for £650 million (or $1bn U.S., where the research was carried out) over finding their true love, with men particularly being the most money-orientated.

And materialism peaks around middle age, with 40 per cent of those aged between 35 and 44 years old saying cash is more important than love or good health.

The survey of 2,000 adults found that women are more likely to choose love than men, but only by two per cent - 13 per cent of men are more likely to choose money.

The younger generation were found to be the most romantically inclined, with 18 to 24-year-olds placing equal importance on love and money at around 35 per cent each.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Watch: Bill Clinton Delivers Speech At GLAAD Awards That Every American Must Hear

Via The New Civil Rights Movement, here is a video and summary of former President Bill Clinton's (recipient of GLAAD’s Advocate for Change Award) gave a speech that transcended the LGBT work for marriage equality and touched on the larger issue dividing this nation:

“We have a new bigotry in America — apparently we don’t want to be around anyone who doesn’t agree with us,” the Democrat whose career began in Arkansas, told the audience of thousands at the Marriott Hotel. 
“Whenever we turn away from treating someone with the dignity and honor and the respect that we would like accorded to ourselves, we have to face the fact it’s about us,” Clinton said.

He paid tribute to his daughter, Chelsea, for swaying his opinion on marriage equality - Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which is now essentially obsolete. He made a crucial point about his change of heart:
"And over the years, I was forced to confront the fact that people who oppose equal rights for gays in the marriage sphere are basically acting out of concern for their own identity, not out of respect for anyone else.”
Those who still seek to deny marriage equality are doing so out of fear, or insecurity, or some dogmatic religious belief - but they are not doing so in the service of anyone's interests but their own.

First a summary of his speech, then at the bottom there is a video of the full speech.

Watch: Bill Clinton Delivers Speech At GLAAD Awards That Every American Must Hear

by DAVID BADASH on APRIL 21, 2013

“We are stumbling toward our more perfect union”

Bill Clinton last night delivered a heartwarming speech at the 24th annual GLAAD Media Awards last night in L.A. that every person in America must listen to. Clinton, recipient of GLAAD’s Advocate for Change Award, spoke to many issues that impact the LGBT community directly, but on a larger scale, the former two-term U.S. President spoke to issues of equality and how all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, relate to each other, see each other, and treat each other.

“We have a new bigotry in America — apparently we don’t want to be around anyone who doesn’t agree with us,” the Democrat whose career began in Arkansas, told the audience of thousands at the Marriott Hotel.

“Whenever we turn away from treating someone with the dignity and honor and the respect that we would like accorded to ourselves, we have to face the fact it’s about us,” Clinton said.

“People who oppose equal rights for gays in the marriage sphere are basically acting out of concerns for their own identity, not out of respect for anyone else,” the 66-year old Rhodes Scholar and founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation told the audience.

In his usual fashion, Clinton spoke with reverence and deference about the two women in his life, Hillary, his wife the former Secretary of State, and Chelsea, his 33-year old daughter who is now a special correspondent for NBC News. Both are rumored to be interested in seeking elected office.

“Chelsea and her gay friends have modeled to me how we should all treat each other regardless of our sexual orientation or any other artificial difference that divides us. Many of them come and join us every Thanksgiving for a meal,” the former President said. “I have grown very attached to them. And over the years, I was forced to confront the fact that people who oppose equal rights for gays in the marriage sphere are basically acting out of concern for their own identity, not out of respect for anyone else.”

The president mentioned ENDA several times, urging its passage, and talked about DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act Clinton signed in 1996 that bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing its constitutionality.

“I believe you will win the DOMA fight, and I think you will win the constitutional right to marry. If not tomorrow, then the next day, or the next day.”

“I want to keep working on this until not only is DOMA no longer the law of the land, but until all people, no matter where they live, can marry the people they love,” Clinton said. When he mentioned DOMA, a heckler shouted, “You signed it!”

“You are the agents of change,” Clinton announced. “I got this award tonight because I was the object of your affection — or not, as the case may be. My daughter led me to support the marriage equality law in New York when we were debating it, and to oppose North Carolina’s denial of marriage equality, and to do all these other things. So I want to thank her too.”

“Make sure this immigration law passes but that it’s fair to everybody,” he added, referencing immigration reform that is now wobbly at best, after the Boston Marathon bombing — which Clinton also referenced.

“You have made this a better, a more interesting, and a better prepared world for the future.”

Watch, and share: