Readers' Submissions

Fact Checker: Traditional Values and Wives



Believe me, I don't enjoy writing these missives against misinformation that many writers try to pass off as facts, but when it comes to America (my country) I feel a special obligation to defend fact from fiction. As I write this, that last sentence makes me laugh because Caveman and a few other readers seem to believe I am writing anti-American filth with these FC articles, but more on that later. Again, you can have any opinion about America of any other subject and I wouldn't give a baht's notice, but when you put forward facts that are not true, then expect the Fact Checker to weigh in and set the record straight. In this case, I have to take issue with Old, Fat, and Bald or OFB (maybe Obviously Factually Bad) and his "Traditional Values and Wives" article. Some might say that a man who has been married 4 times and lectures the rest of us on how to have a happy marriage has some enormous balls. I won't but I will look at some of the issues he raises in the article and hopefully I can put a few things right.

First of all, most of you know my stance on the issue of political correctness. If PC is so oppressive in western countries then why would any male spend one minute there? I think I have shown in past articles that PC is not so bad, especially in America, where Rupert Murdoch reigns supreme. Also, I have two sisters and many female friends, who have kept their men happy through many years of marital bliss. What am I missing? No matter, let's put that down to an OFB opinion, which he is welcome to. But when he proposes that it is so bad that he cannot raise proper children in America I really start to shake my head. OFB says that schools are so PC in America that it is better to raise children in the Philippines. I have done some research in this area and the Philippines schools rank near the bottom of every survey I have been able to find; even below such powerhouses of education like Indonesia and Tunisia. Sure, OFB may counter that his kid will go to better private schools there, but these are mostly Catholic or Muslim schools. So does OFB propose to replace one form of indoctrination for another? Why not private schools in America? Alas, this seems to be another example of a disturbing trait among those who say that PC is running amok in the west, they also seem to also suffer an inability to tell truth from fiction; an opinion I hope to one day prove as factual.

But his statistics of women vs. men in college is deceptive and not a true picture of what is really happening. It is a fact that more women are attending college than men but not at the rates that OFB claims, which in his distorted world has men falling off the chart altogether at some point in the future and becoming hunters and gatherers. My son, who will soon have a masters degree in Aerospace Engineering, will not soon be reduced to that condition. As It turns out, there are not only more women than men in college in America, but all over the world except in one country – Japan. Now, the statistics do show that in America, the one ethnic group who do have more males than females in college is Asian, but most Asians in America do not trace their heritage to Japan so what does this mean? As there are more women than men in most countries, why not? Now throw in the fact that males on average make more money than females for the same job. So women are better educated but make less money than men? What does all this mean? I have no fucking idea! Looking around on the internet, there are lots of theories but no facts. Certainly, western societies are changing quickly these days so maybe this new dynamism is mistaken for End of Days or PC replacing rule of law (OFB's opinion). In my father's time, people were scared stiff that Communists were taking over American society. Personally, like my father who grappled with my long hair and hippie ways many years ago, I just don't understand where our society or young people are going and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

But OFB does not stop there, he tries to make the case that college campuses are now unsafe for male students. The basis for this accusation is that colleges are being pressured by the government to make their campuses safe for women by locking up innocent males. This belief is not only silly but is counter to the facts. Sexual assault is widely considered to be the most underreported violent crime in America, and colleges are doing a poor job finding and reporting these crimes, according to research done by our Department of Justice (http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/205521.pdf). In case you think this is a work by PC provocateurs, it was written by the Bush administration and sponsored by that notorious PC promoter AG Alberto Gonzales. But do we really need a government report to tell us that women have to be more careful than men when they are out and about? My middle-aged but cute Thai wife can't run along certain roads in the morning because she will be shouted and whistled at by male truck drivers. Funny how she doesn't have those problems when I run with her. But the whole issue of campus security is more than feminine assertiveness. A few years ago, at my alma mater, a student gunman killed 32 people in a terrible rampage. Sure he was crazy, but he was displaying weird behavior months before the incident and was even seen by campus medical and security personnel, yet was released. What if he were retained and properly examined and then given treatment for his mental condition, would those 32 people still be alive? The same sort of thing exists today for sexual assaults on women. If reported, they are usually passed on to a sleepy campus security force who rarely do anything. Is this what we want for our sisters and daughters? OFB's downplay of this situation is despicable and shows an attitude similar to men in Arab countries who harass women who don't wear a scarf or a burqa in public.

Stick asked for articles on which are better: schools in Thailand or western countries. My wife's two sons are living with us here in America and this is our story. Sure, they had problems at first because of language, but now they are doing fine and learning much more than they ever learned in Thailand. How do I know? Because they told me so. Also, as I am increasingly peppered with questions from them, it is clear the boys have increased their critical thinking skills way beyond anything they would have achieved in Thailand, where rote learning is the rule. I have to say that not both boys have prospered. One learned early that he had to change his Thai school ways and is now a National Honor Society student well on his way getting into one of the top colleges in America. The other has struggled a little as he is still used to the "always pass" and "never ask questions" system in Thailand. His transition has been slower but we now have him at a A-C range of grades. Even he will graduate high school and attend a good college. Afterwards, both will hopefully have good job offers in America or terrific job offers in Thailand, where their English skills will be highly prized by multinational companies. Compare that to what their prospects would have been in Thailand. Even if they had studied very hard and graduated from a good college, their chance of landing a great job would be much, much less. If we assume that Thailand and the Philippines are similar, why would OFB deny his future child this chance for a better life? Because of PC? I wonder if his yet to be born child would agree with his decision.

I suspect (opinion) as many others who have read his article, that OFB is anxious to move to the Philippines and still fulfill his procreative duties to his wife. Why not admit as much? Why badmouth his home country, which has provided him with the means to have a good life in a 3rd world country, as he exits? As I mentioned at the beginning of this article regarding Caveman, I believe (opinion) that those who spout these silly ideas about PC and other political absurdities, really do not like the society they live in and are looking for any excuse to leave it, no matter the facts. As they fictionalize their home country, so too do they venerate beyond the facts of the country they will migrate to. As a fellow future migrant to distant lands, one who tries to keep his eyes open, I wish them well but fear the worst.


Stickman's thoughts:

I have to admit that I am intrigued to visit America again. It's 20 years since I was there and there is much I would like to see. I am totally intrigued as to whether things are as bad as some people make out.