"Telemachus Listening to Mentor" by Joseph NatoireA Poem on Toxic Masculinity: ‘Our Worthy Sons’ by Susan Jarvis Bryant The Society September 28, 2020 Culture, Deconstructing Communism, Poetry 61 Comments Our Worthy Sons dedicated to Samuel Our worthy sons should never be ashamed Of who they are and who they’re meant to be. For far too long men’s gender has been blamed In wars that weaponize identity. To hell with toxic masculinity— That noxious term indelibly ingrained In minds so duped and blind they fail to see Our worthy sons should never be ashamed. No baby boy is born to be constrained By chromosomes or nationality. No baby boy is born to be defamed For who he is and who he’s meant to be. Dividers hex and vex society Till patriarchy’s name is trashed and stained By twisted takes on inequality— For far too long men’s gender has been blamed. Our worthy sons are slammed and damned and framed For heinous acts in long-gone history. They’re criticized and demonized and maimed In wars that weaponize identity. Woke, factious terms like male supremacy (Designed to geld the gallant) have inflamed This mother’s ire to fight vile misandry— To stand up and to shoot down hatred aimed At worthy sons. Susan Jarvis Bryant is a church secretary and poet whose homeland is Kent, England. She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas. Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets). NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 61 Responses Shola Balogun September 28, 2020 Living lines. Thank you for this poem. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Shola, thank you for your comment… you are most welcome. Reply Joseph S. Salemi September 28, 2020 Feminism used to be about equity — equal pay for equal work, the same voting rights as men, an appreciation of the value of specialized female labors, and the honoring of the supreme social and cultural importance of motherhood. All that has metamorphed into something much different. Feminism, in its accepted mainstream model, is now nothing but the venomous denigration of the male sex, and of anything that is associated with male behavior or styles. This evil counterfeit of feminism is now sometimes called “gender” feminism.” It is simple hatred, uncoupled even from any interest in the actual sexual identity of persons. It is an arrogant, triumphalist contempt for any attitude or activity or inclination that does not have a left-liberal seal of approval. Reply Mike Bryant September 28, 2020 Exactly, Joe S, and the fact that Susan highlighted this assault on our children as a beautiful rondeau redoublé is remarkable. Today is recognized as National Sons Day. Many articles on the internet are using this day to tell mothers how to emasculate their sons. Maybe this poem will immunize some. What a beautiful message for our worthy son, Susan. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Mike, thank you, biggest fan! Jerilyn Nash September 28, 2020 THANK YOU (both to Susan for the poem and to Joseph for his comment)!! When I have seen how today’s young women treat my worthy sons, I have been tempted to despair that they will find worthy partners to join with and have families of their own. It’s truly depressing, but I can’t really quite believe that there is no one out there for them. God willing, they will not give up because they need to be the fathers of the next generation. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Jerilyn, thank you for your comment, and I sympathize with your thoughts entirely… I do, however, believe there are many worthy women out there. It’s just that their voices are overpowered by the constant bombardment of PC divisive narrative we are fed everyday. It takes courage to speak up for men these days, but I’m certain some worthy young women can see through the insidious spin to a brighter future. Wishing you and your worthy sons the very best. Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Thank you very much for your perspicacious observations, Dr. Salemi. I am all for championing a worthy cause, but when that cause enters the realms of the ridiculous and becomes divisive and destructive – count me out. Reply Jason Dain September 28, 2020 Mr Salemi gives a sharp and pure definition of what feminism is, or was, and what the word was understood to mean. He explains also what it has ‘morphed’ into. His definition is constructively positive; it identifies clear and inarguable social inequalities. But in discussing the ‘mainstream model’ for the word now he can describe it only as an exercise in ‘denigration’, ‘hatred’ and ‘contempt’. I agree. These words expose the model: it is not a worthwhile belief, or a ‘secular creed’; it has no foundation of thought or reasoning behind it; it is merely an abusive tirade. I read Susan Bryant’s poem, superbly rich in its vocabulary and diversity of thoughts, as a mournful and lyrical lament for patriarchy’s name. Susan doesn’t use the word ‘feminism’, but it lurking there in the shadow of her words. Mr Salemi is more direct; and through the medium of prose tells us what it really is. Prose and poetry are powerful mediums when used so well together. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Jason, thank you very much for your appreciative and considered comment. I will admit to being thrilled with the reaction to the poem. It goes against the grain to speak up on the behalf of worthy men these days, and I can see that such words are long overdue. You are right – “Prose and poetry are powerful mediums when used so well together”. I’m ever grateful to this site for allowing views that don’t bleat along with the herd a platform. Reply Julian D. Woodruff September 28, 2020 An excellent job on male / masculinity, Susan. Maybe you’ll take on “dead” and “white,” too, with similarly impressive results. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Thank you very much for your comment, Julian. I’ve taken your suggestions on board… watch this space! 😉 Reply Peter Hartley September 28, 2020 Susan – Misandrists are killing their own twisted cause, I hope, in pursuit of (un)equal opportunities and positive discrimination and it can’t come soon enough. Mike – thank you for telling me that one of these poems is a rondeau redoublé. All I know is that it is metrically, technically perfect as we can only expect every time from its exceedingly talented author. She never disappoints. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Peter, I agree wholeheartedly with you on the misandry front, which is exactly what prompted my poem. Isn’t it egregious that in the pursuit of equality for women, the sexes have never been so divided. As for your diplopia, I think on this occasion it worked to your advantage – this poem definitely bears reading… twice. Thank you very much for dropping by. Your comments are always valued. Reply Peter Hartley September 28, 2020 Sorry, it’s the diplopia playing up again. Reply Mike Bryant September 29, 2020 No problem, I knew exactly what you meant. She does have a way with words. Reply M.A. Scott September 28, 2020 Brilliant! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 M.A. Scott – thank you very much! Reply Margaret Coats September 28, 2020 Thank you, Susan. The rondeau redouble is an excellent choice of form, with enough scope to make several important points, and to emphasize them with repetition. Yet it’s short enough to hope that a young man who doesn’t look at poetry every day might be willing to read it. I’ll be sending it to my son in his 20s and my godson in his teens, and to some former students. They have good fathers, the basic necessity for confronting the toxic ideology, but every additional weapon helps. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Margaret, I am thrilled that my rondeau redouble resonated with you, and that it is being put to a worthy cause. I hope your worthy son, worthy godson, and worthy former students benefit from the sentiments. Reply Rod Walford September 28, 2020 Wonderful Susan – a breath of fresh air! Especially coming at a time when we have had yet another incident in NZ of a man being verbally assaulted by a female for the “crime” of using a parent’s room in a shopping mall to change his baby daughter. (You may have seen me mention it on my FB page.) Thank you for this beautifully worded and timely reminder that our self-esteem is still a thing of great value. And a big thank you also to Prof Salemi for his succinct definition of feminism past and present – a viewpoint with which I could not agree more! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Rod, thank you very much for your comment. Having read about the incident you mention, this makes my poem ever more relevant. I have a feeling our “worthy sons” need all the support they can get these days, especially when trying to care for their baby daughters in a shopping mall. Reply PAUL G. VANGELIS September 28, 2020 THE PENDULUM HAS SWUNG SO FAR IT HAS THE CLOCK UNSEATED AND TOPPLING THE TAIL HAS PROGRESSED FROM WAGGING THE DOG TO BATTERING IT TO DEATH ANYTHING TAKEN TO UNWHOLESOME EXTREMES IS DELETERIOUS… THOUGH IT IS THE HEIGHT OF UNFASHIONABILITY TO EVEN MENTION, MUCH LESS QUOTE, FREUD, LET US NOT FORGET THAT FEMININITY CAN BE JUST AS TOXIC– HOW DID HE PHRASE IT? “VAGINA AD DENTATUM”– A VIVID AND NOWADAYS ALMOST FORBIDDEN OBSERVATION– BUT NO LESS TRUE FOR ALL THAT, AT LEAST, AS AN EXTREME… STILL, NEVER DID FREUD, OR ADLER, OR JUNG, OR ANY OF THEM, DEMONIZE AN ENTIRE GENDER! EXTREME FEMINISTS, ON THE OTHER HAND, DEMONIZE THE ENTIRE MALE GENDER, INDEED, THE VERY NOTION OF MALENESS. OH BRAVE NEW WORLD! WELCOME TO A WORLD SIRED BY TURKEY-BASTERS! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 I hear you loud and clear, Paul. I wholeheartedly agree with your astute observation; “ANYTHING TAKEN TO UNWHOLESOME EXTREMES IS DELETERIOUS”. Thank you for dropping by and commenting. Reply Daniel Kelly September 29, 2020 Will no one respond to this poem in the voice of the victims of rape, domestic violence or workplace sexual harassment? To deny that cultures for 2000 years have treated women as possessions and built their male-dominated societies around that principle is absurd. Is this website seriously that one-sided that not a single voice other than mine is raised to call this poem out for enabling violence against women? Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Daniel, thank you very much for reading and commenting on my poem. Firstly, in no way do I condone the mistreatment of women. I abhor misogyny in any form. I also abhor misandry. Please read the title of my poem, which is the repeated thread throughout – “Our Worthy Sons”, with the emphasis on “worthy”. No “worthy” man is a misogynist. No “worthy” man is a rapist. No “worthy” man is a violent abuser. And no “worthy’ man is a sexual harasser. So, why should “worthy” men have to endure the stigma of divisive language. You never hear the term “toxic femininity”. Yet, there are plenty of men who suffer domestic violence and mistreatment at the hands of women, and plenty of boys who have been sexually assaulted by women. I am all for equality, and that includes equality for men as well as women. My poem is written by a woman and mother to her “worthy” son and all the “worthy” sons out there that are constantly given a bad rap by the terms that are NEVER applied to women. Women have come a long way on the equality front, and I have championed every one of their worthy causes. Divisive language and putting men down isn’t one of them. This does not make me an enabler of violence, just a lover of worthy sons and worthy daughters in equal measure. Answer me this, why do you want to shut me down for singing the praises of worthy men? Reply Timmy75 September 29, 2020 Try offering something born of independent thought, rather than what you’ve been taught to assume. as what you’ve stated is as predictable as a second coat of paint. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 … Another thought, Daniel. You say; “To deny that cultures for 2000 years have treated women as possessions and built their male-dominated societies around that principle is absurd.” In saying this you have trampled over the achievements of many strong, society-shaping women – “Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Indira Gandhi, Queen Victoria, Catherine the Great, Empress Wu Zetian (the only female Emperor in Chinese history) and Elizabeth I, to name but a few. Maybe women don’t need social justice warriors to stand up for them – they’re perfectly able to do so themselves. Reply Daniel Kelly September 29, 2020 Hi Susan, Each of the women you mention here, in addition to their legacies, had to fight the patriarchy first (or lost their life to it in Joan’s case). Imagine what they could have achieved if they hadn’t had to leap that hurdle first. In response to your #notallmen comment about ‘worthy sons’, I would agree with you, if my experience in society (Australia not the US) was not that misogyny remains the norm amongst young men. I was raised in a Pentecostal Christian home, where the subjugation of women was taught. I graduated high-school as an aggressive misogynist. The long road to a position of respecting and valuing women is not an easy one, and one that most don’t bother to travel because it is easy to enjoy the benefits which come from a patriarchal mindset. Toxic Masculinity is a term that rightly characterizes bad behaviors that still need to be called out. The Counting Dead Women page is up to 37 this year. Clementine Ford has written some good books on the reality of where Australia sits on the spectrum of an entrenched culture of violence against women. I’m not suggesting that you don’t praise worthy men. I’m suggesting that your attack on the term ‘toxic masculinity’ is doing no favors to the millions of women who are rallying behind it seeking justice for the violence they have experienced. Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Daniel, thank you for your response. I hear everything you say and understand the difficult path women have had to tread. My point is this. If one is fighting for equality, then equality should mean exactly that – equality. This equality should extend to language. If it’s frowned upon to refer to female traits as “toxic femininity” (which it most certainly is), then the scales of social justice are tipping in the wrong direction. I’m inclined to agree with Timmy75, ” The issue isn’t “toxic masculinity”, lack of masculinity is.” Take a look at this: https://metro.co.uk/2016/01/25/there-are-parts-of-britain-where-more-men-are-killed-by-women-in-domestic-violence-5643040/ You should ask yourself why society isn’t talking about this. Could it be that men and women are easier to control by a nefarious, overbearing government if we are divided not united? Language is powerful. That is exactly what drove me to writing my poem. Calling out despicable behaviour based on chromosomes is wrong. Calling out despicable behaviour based on despicable behaviour is right. I’m fine with the word “toxic”. I’m not fine with the accompanying word “masculinity”. People are toxic based on the content of their character, not their gender. People are toxic based on the content of their character, not their colour. Perhaps we should all take a leaf out of Martin Luther King Jr’s book. This divisive language is setting his call for social justice back decades. Jerilyn Nash September 29, 2020 It does my Heart good to hear you speak about not using color or gender to judge people but to judge on the basis of character and actions! Thank you again! I have long said that I am not a feminist but a humanist and I will defend the point of view that a child of either gender needs 2 strong role models; one male and one female, who work together as equals. This is hard to find in a culture that feels two incomes are necessary for survival because allowing institutions to raise children damages the child’s ability to bond. I feel this is the true root of the deterioration of our society. Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Jerilyn, you make very valid points. I hope more women start speaking up for their men and the combined asset of a joint mother/father role in children’s lives. Society is suffering the repercussions of the purposeful destruction of the nuclear family. I only hope many are waking up to this. Thank you for drawing attention to the problems in your perspicacious comments. I’m over the moon I’m not just a poetic voice in the wilderness. Jerilyn Nash September 29, 2020 Thank you for your kind words! I am just as delighted to discover you speaking my own feelings so eloquently! Timmy75 September 29, 2020 43% of boys are raised by single mothers. 78% of teachers are females. Ergo, nearly half of all boys have 100% feminine influence over their lives with an 8/10ish chance of 100% female influence at school. The issue isn’t “toxic masculinity”, lack of masculinity is. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 An excellent point, Timmy – one that today’s society is loathe to address… maybe because this PC divisiveness has gone a long way towards shaping these sad statistics. Reply Jerilyn Nash September 29, 2020 Timmy, I couldn’t agree more!! There’s a whole book about it called “A Fine Young Man” by Michael Gurian which I would recommend to anyone thinking about being a parent. Reply Sheila September 29, 2020 Excellent poem. As a mother of 2 sons – TOTALLY AGREE! And, hey, the author has moved to the great State of Texas – WELCOME! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Sheila, thank you so much for your lovely comment. I’m thrilled you see exactly what I’m getting at in my poem, and I’m thrilled I’ve moved to the great State of Texas – it’s a privilege to live here! Reply Mike Bryant September 29, 2020 The social justice warriors INSIST on dividing every possible group of people… along racial lines… along religious beliefs, or disbelief… along weight, for Heaven’s sake… and now even whether you were born male or female. Are there toxic males? Of course, and there are toxic people in every single group you would like to suggest. It’s ridiculous that because there are toxic people in one group or another, that group must be called down and demonized. Before there was social justice, there was a thing called crime. People that murdered other people were called “criminals”… what a concept! How politically incorrect to think that criminals are of every race, every gender, every belief and every other subgroup you can possibly imagine. How easy it is now that no one is responsible for anything… that is, of course unless you happen to belong to a group that is out of favor with the powers that be and their apologists. I thank God that this toxic ideology is collapsing on itself because of the many internal inconsistencies. The WOKE need to wake up before they find themselves under the heel of the authoritarianism that their idiocy is enabling. Reply Jerilyn Nash September 29, 2020 HEAR HEAR!! The voice of reason! Thank you, Mike! Reply Joseph S. Salemi September 29, 2020 Daniel Kelly is a biopsy slide of the entrenched politically correct mentality that is strangling the Western world to slow death. Rather than simply disagreeing with Mrs. Bryant’s poem, he stupidly attacks it as “enabling violence against women.” That absurd charge is an open prelude to the censorship, arrest, and prosecution of Mrs, Bryant — which is exactly the sort of Smiley-Face totalitarianism that modern leftists are pushing. Then, of course, Kelly can’t resist posturing and virtue-signaling, when he trumpets that “not a single voice other than mine is raised” against Mrs. Bryant’s poem. Yeah, congratulations, Danny boy. You’re a big brave hero. Reply Shola Balogun September 29, 2020 I had a fit of laughter, Dr. Salemi. You practically threw me off my seat! Meanwhile Daniel Kelly’s consequent words about himself, experience while growing up and religious mis-interpretations of patriarchal or male-centred positioning should be humbly revisited, albeit psychoanalytically to understand the relationship between worldviews and individual expressions. The comments here have been so interesting. Couldn’t afford to miss any. Again many thanks to Susan Jarvis Bryant. Reply C.B. Anderson September 29, 2020 What we have here from D.K. is not any insight into the many issues discussed in this thread, but rather only a bit of insight into his own particular psychopathology. Reply Jeff Eardley September 29, 2020 Susan, the volume of response to this is a confirmation of your status as a truly gifted poet. Thank you for educating me on “Misandry” and “Diplopoda”, two words that I didn’t know but will now chip in to conversations as appropriate. A powerful and thought provoking work. Thank you. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Jeff, thank you very much for your lovely comment. I would like to think the response to my poem is down to talent, however, being honest, I think it has more to do with the subject matter. It takes a little courage to step outside the bounds of the politically correct, and I’m overwhelmed by the support and heartened to see that so many relate to my words. You have the erudite Peter Hartley to thank for “Diplopia” – I had to look that one up, too! As for the word “misandry”, I am sure many have never heard of this word, which serves to prove my point. We are living in a far from equal society when the mistreatment of men is shamelessly overlooked. Everyone knows the word “misogyny”… by PC design, methinks. Thanks again, Jeff! Reply Jason Dain October 1, 2020 Susan: you query whether your ENORMOUS readership was germinated by talent or the subject you wrote on. Despite my not’ being drawn by the subject, I did read and was prompted to comment simply by the rich vocabulary and variety of expressions you used. You must be worn out reading the avalanche – perhaps a benign hornets’ nest may be a better description – of comments. But you really do deserve to receive – and now please re-read – Jeff Eardley’s first and last sentences. Keep writing more fertile verses ! Jason Susan Jarvis Bryant October 1, 2020 Thank you so very much, Jason. My poem has sent me on one helluva tough, eye-opening journey and your words mean the world. Thanks again, Jeff for your support. I live and breathe poetry, so I’ll never stop no matter how tough the going gets. It’s the Jasons, Jeffs, Jerilyns, Josephs, Julians, Margarets, Mikes, Sheilas, Sholas, Timmys, Pauls, Peters, Rods, Davids, M.A.Scotts, and C.B.s of the world that make it all worthwhile. Thank you all for your support! ❤️ Susan Jarvis Bryant October 1, 2020 … oops, I forgot Daniel Kelly whose forthrightness and aspersions have assisted in illuminating the dark side of social justice. Jeff Eardley September 29, 2020 I meant “Diplopia” caught out by the spell-checker. I think the other is a dinosaur!!! Reply Jeff Eardley September 29, 2020 Diplopoda are apparently millipedes. (I had to look that one up). Yet another new word to savour as our nation, and no doubt yours, settles down for the Trump/Biden showdown. Looks interesting. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 29, 2020 Millipedes… wonderful. Another word to add to my word jar. My new words fly around and light up like fireflies until I pick the brightest for my next poem. As a fellow poet, I know you’ll understand this. As for the Trump/Biden showdown being interesting… indeed, it will be. It does, however, bring to mind the Chinese curse; “May you live in interesting times”. I had no idea why this was a curse… until now. Daniel Kelly September 30, 2020 Last time I made a comment on this page, I believe in the defense of the brilliant poet William Butler Yeats, there was at least some diversity in the responses. Now the readership appears to have refined itself into a monolithic echo chamber of right wing conspiracy theorists. Congratulations on the progress. Divide and conquer played out so perfectly. Does anyone here have first had experience of sexual assault in the workplace, of having to flee a violent partner or of the experience of Daisy Coleman? Words and idea matter, and for some they have life or death consequences. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 30, 2020 Daniel Kelly, in your quest to stand up for women who have been mistreated by men, you have insulted every female commenter on this thread in your effort to shut them down as “right wing conspiracy theorists” just because they don’t agree with divisive terms used to single out groups based on identity. Whether the women have had “first hand experience of sexual assault…” has nothing whatsoever to do with you, my poem, or the responses to it. But, as the author of the poem, I will answer you. Yes. I have had first-hand experience, including a subsequent trial, which I won. And I still refuse to tar every single male with the same “toxic masculinity” brush! Reply Mike Bryant September 30, 2020 Mr. Kelly, Daisy Coleman was a victim of sexual assault when she was fourteen. She committed suicide when she was in her early twenties. Suicide is tragic. Three to four times as many men die as a result of it. Our culture is more deadly to the male. Again, the knee jerk reaction against all men, because some men are criminals. Words and ideas do matter. Misandry is a huge problem and it is getting worse. Reply Daniel Kelly September 30, 2020 Mike, I know this is a poetry site, but your ‘huge problem and it is getting worse’ statement does not match the data. The ratio of male to female deaths by intimate partner (Fig 11) has remained tipped towards female victims and the gap has only widened since 1975. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/vio.2019.0005 The change is attributed, by some, to the rise of feminism, which has provided women with the options and confidence to leave violent relationships, rather than be faced with violent retaliation as their only option. Reply Mike Bryant September 30, 2020 First we were talking about suicide and the trend is way up for males. I see now we are talking about murder. That’s ok I like moving targets. You say, of spousal murder, “The change is attributed, by some, to the rise of feminism…” however some might attribute the trend to data mining, or the rise of appointed prosecutors, or cultural diversity. My point stands that murderers must be prosecuted. Somehow, I have the feeling you are not a big promoter of law and order. It seems that your grievance is against poets, commenters and every single person born male. If you really want to be aggrieved, why not put murderers in your crosshairs? Joseph S. Salemi September 30, 2020 When Kelly refers to figures gathered by Mary Ann Liebert, he doesn’t tell you that she is a self-proclaimed “progressive” activist, whose website is dedicated to providing skewed data that is designed to buttress left-wing academics in the publishing of propaganda. And Kelly refuses to recognize what is glaringly obvious to anyone in the Western world: hatred of males, the systematic emasculation of young boys in school, the explicit contempt for male authority figures, and the demonization of anything masculine by damning it as “toxic,” are all now out of control. Kelly is just a quisling for militant feminism. David Watt September 30, 2020 Susan, your timely poem made me think about a good deal of the advertising we see on television these days. The trend now is to present a dumb or incompetent male husband/partner shown up by his female partner/wife. It’s like we have replaced the submissive/dumb woman in advertising of decades ago with a modern day male equivalent. I believe that your poem speaks for equality and positive role models. Standing up for the worth of young men has absolutely nothing to do with condoning violence. The WOKES are not really awake. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 30, 2020 David, thank you very much for your astute and significant comment. My litmus test for equality is, if you wouldn’t allow a woman to be shamed in that manner, then it’s not okay for a man to be shamed and vice versa. Although, as you rightly point out, it’s only the men getting shamed in adverts these days. The same goes for language. When it comes to appalling behaviour, the word “toxic” will suffice. The minute one starts shaming entire groups based on a few bad apples, is the minute we’ve entered the realms of prejudice, the very thing champions of social justice claim they’re trying to eradicate. I am most grateful to hear you appreciate the positive message portrayed in my poem. You are spot on when you say; “Standing up for the worth of young men has absolutely nothing to do with condoning violence”. I wrote my poem with love and care in my heart. The sad thing is, had I written a poem for “Our Worthy Daughters” highlighting the pitfalls of stereotyping and labelling women, there would be no such shaming. Reply Daniel Kemper October 7, 2020 Susan, first and foremost, Hurrah! And secondly, hurrah! The subject of the poem is men. Not anything else. No, all those other topics (which are slantedly put) do not belong here. If I write a poem about Pearl Harbor, I’m not obligated to write about the atomic bomb; if I write a poem about the atomic bomb, I’m not obligated to write about Nanking; if I write about Nanking, I’m not obligated to write about Uighur Muslim concentration camps; if I write about Uighur Muslims, I’m not obligated to write about 9/11; if I write about 9/11, I’m not obligated to write about Japanese internment camps; if I write about Japanese internment camps, I’m not obligated to write about… Pearl Harbor. The idea that bad things happened is not at argument. The idea that the tilt of good and evil is not equivalently balanced between men and women is. Sin is not a sex-linked characteristic. Warren Farrell is a pretty good one-stop shop for gathered stats about the equitability of bad behavior between the sexes. Not perfect, but a good compendium. Finally, how many times in the history of press and literature in the USA has anyone interrupted an American female expressing her grief to say, but what about the gross disproportion of men killed in war? That’s the kind of inappropriateness the other Daniel’s remarks are here. I’m sorry I hijacked your thread… to talk about your thread having been hijacked… er.. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant October 8, 2020 Thank you for making such a spot-on point, Daniel. It has amazed me to see how my celebration of worthy sons been twisted out of all proportion to hammer home a grievance that has absolutely nothing to do with what I’m saying. I appreciate you dropping by. 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