RAD was Never for Men

Hey all, this is Sage. I’ve been auditing the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Systems implementation on Kennesaw State University (KSU) since January.

On July 1, 5:00 p.m. EST, I attended Resisting Aggression with Defense for Men (RFM). RFM is a men’s self-defense program implemented at KSU in 2012, ten years after its women-only counterpart. RFM took place in the University Room of the James Carmichael Student Center, which is where the upcoming KSUM conference will be held. Three cops were in attendance, plus four men, including myself and the KSUM Secretary. The cops were not the best teachers, but they were professional and kind as individuals.

I cannot say much about the presentations because RFM was cancelled after the second class had met but before that same class had ended. RAD Systems requires at least four participants, so they pulled the plug when only two people attended the second meeting (including myself). Not even KSUM’s Secretary returned due to his disgust with the content.

Trudi Vaughan, Georgia State Director of RAD, and a trainer at KSU (complete with a shady history), served as a contact for several unproductive months. I was prompted to investigate RFM after I read Vaughan’s statements about RFM in The Sentinel (KSU’s paper):

[RFM] focuses a lot on what your responsibilities are as a man. […] When women say ‘no,’ it doesn’t mean ‘no until you talk me into it’; it means no. […] Typically males are raised to always stand up and fight. […] The whole educational aspect of this is letting them know that it’s okay to make a better choice, a better decision.

Non-Normative Anti-Assimilationists pressured KSU to install RFM, but this does not mean RAD Systems was interested in helping men. The founder, Lawrence Nadeau, wrote the following introduction in the RFM manual:

In all honesty, this program would not exist if it did not benefit the R.A.D. programs for Women. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has clearly stated that institutions offering R.A.D. programs for women must have a like offering for men. So to continue meeting the needs of women at educational institutions, we as an organization must address the safety needs of men attending those same institutions. This high quality program will in my opinion, never reach the lofty status that the R.A.D. programs for Women have, but it will, simply by existing, perpetuate the growth of our network and it’s destiny driven programming for women.

The founder says to men that RAD for Men is for women, and that RFM’s existence is obligatory, given a statement by the OCR.

To be fair, there are two positive aspects to the RFM manual.

One, it states that violence is not just a women’s problem by making solid references to male victimization.

RAD-for-Men-Violence-is-not-just-a-womens-problem-1024x612

 

Two, it has a gender-neutral definition of rape, assuming you do not care about the order in which the words her and his appear (I personally don’t).

RAD-For-Men-Rape-definition-1024x612

 

This is great, but these positives do not redeem RAD Systems for several reasons.

First, the statistics were from dated sources such as the 2002 FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and a 1997 publication of The Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls. The cops said they “just teach what RAD gives them,” which means KSU’s 2012 introduction of RFM included content that went without updates for years. RFM was founded ten years after the women’s course only after students pressured security, so would RFM ever have existed if KSU students had stayed silent? And given Nadeau’s comments, were the facts reported because RAD cared or because RAD had to be pressured? I cannot answer these questions, but it is my opinion after six months of research and correspondence that RAD Systems is not compassionate enough to (re)invest in the well-being of men.

Second, the neutral rape definition is legally worthless. When I had my only chance to photograph other RAD manuals via an open records request (a state right granted to me that was later deemed to be in contention with federal copyright law), I could only take so many shots before my battery died. A page in the RAD instructor’s manual also had a fair definition of rape, but that same page refers instructors to definitions of crimes in state codes.

State-code-1024x612

 

In Georgia, rape is defined as follows (O.C.G.A. § 16-6-1):

(a) A person commits the offense of rape when he has carnal knowledge of:

(1) A female forcibly and against her will; or

(2) A female who is less than ten years of age.

Carnal knowledge in rape occurs when there is any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ. The fact that the person allegedly raped is the wife of the defendant shall not be a defense to a charge of rape.

(b) A person convicted of the offense of rape shall be punished by death, by imprisonment for life without parole, by imprisonment for life, or by a split sentence that is a term of imprisonment for not less than 25 years and not exceeding life imprisonment, followed by probation for life. Any person convicted under this Code section shall, in addition, be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Sections 17-10-6.1 and 17-10-7.

(c) When evidence relating to an allegation of rape is collected in the course of a medical examination of the person who is the victim of the alleged crime, the law enforcement agency investigating the alleged crime shall be responsible for the cost of the medical examination to the extent that expense is incurred for the limited purpose of collecting evidence. 

Legally, only men rape, so sayeth the Patriarchy. Regardless of the definitions it presents, a RAD course follows the host state.

Finally, the propaganda throughout the manual dwarfs all aforementioned positive aspects. RAD Systems is protective of its copyright, so I cannot distribute the entire manual without having a gavel shoved sideways up my ass. Still, you deserve quotes in context. To appease the gods of fair use and journalism, let us close with commentary that addressed RAD’s endorsement of the White Ribbon Campaign, RAD’s citation of the 1-in-4 statistic, and RAD’s take on rape culture.

I finally found the “responsibilities” mentioned in The Sentinel:

After a brief email discussion with the Board of Regents, KSU has autonomy in terms of program funding. For that reason, I have turned to research alternative self-defense companies with which universities can do business. The findings will be presented to KSU administration, alongside a long-overdue request for basic respect for both men and women, and nothing else.

This is not over.


KSUM is the first AVfM-sponsored men’s rights student organization, and it works on missions like these to correct institutional corruption on campus. KSUM needs your help to fund a conference on educational equity issues affecting male students. If everyone reading this donated $1 every hour, KSUM will reach its goal today. Will you part with just one dollar to put men’s rights on campus?

Starting at the Beginning

Anyone with eyes and mind open knows that male advantage and female disadvantage has been over-stated and conversely male disadvantage and female advantage, understated—-more at minimized, ignored or denied.

Male disadvantage is substantial, yet there is little comment passed on it and essentially no effort made to end it by the sources of power in western society: intellectuals (and universities more generally) political parties, courts or the mainstream media.

The disadvantage ranges from males being more likely to be caught in the maws of the criminal justice machinery like every disadvantaged minority from African Americans to Aboriginals, to males having a significantly shorter lifespan—-like every disadvantaged minority.

One would think those two items alone would bring considerable awareness to male disadvantage, but most people are unaware of it and  even fewer seem to care—-perhaps due to the sources of power being so uncaring about, even hostile to, males; particularly males who don’t just accept the male lot in life and “suck it up”.

If males early demise is the end point of their disadvantage, what is the beginning point? The answer is ‘the educational system.’ The disadvantage for males on college campuses is apparent from the dramatic reduction in male enrollment to well below 50 % and dropping in many faculties, particularly the humanities, to sexist “sensitivity training” for males, to a demonization of male sexuality combined with a celebration of female sexuality amongst other actions creating an environment hostile to masculinity—-but just in males.  Not to mention some ‘female only’ scholarships or bursaries.

But sadly, the disadvantage seems to begin at the beginning years of school and continue throughout.

When I attended first year university, lo those many years ago, the first psychology text I had, made the observation that our society was failing boys. How? By making schools such “feminine institutions”,  valuing above all else, students sitting still, being quiet and colouring between the lines. An agenda ill suited for energetic, squirmy little boys. Then feminism came along and made things worse for boys. Educators discovered that boys could do relatively well with the pressure and excitement of final exams, while girls shone on day to day activities. The upshot was many schools moving more of the final grade to day to day work,  which further advantaged girls.

Accordingly, with an endless obsession about “what works for females” in  our culture and a conflation of the distinct concepts of “getting more for females” and “creating gender equality”  our educational institutions changed a system already imbalanced in favour of girls learning and made it more imbalanced in females’ favour by focussing on the relatively small problems faced by girls and ignoring the big problems faces by boys.

The unwillingness to help boys can become a sexist pathology. And not just from power sources.  Sadly, disturbingly, from more ‘every day’ people as well.  There was a case in the news a few years ago, from I believe the Province of Nova Scotia (although perhaps elsewhere in the Maritimes) in Canada. A school principal was aware that boys in his school (elementary, I believe) were doing poorly in English and so he set up, as an option, an all boys class.

They showed a clip from an all boy classroom (I assume from his school, although they didn’t say). It was a sight to behold. A male teacher, at the front of the class, went through the multiplication tables with them. The idea was to make learning exciting. So the boys were supposed to shout out the answer if they knew it. Some boys were standing up; other even standing on their chairs, all shouting out the answers—-excited to be learning.  On their feet.  Shouting, laughing, learning.  A different learning style from most girls. One that seemed to work for the boys.

The pathological sexism? Some parents of girls complained about the ‘all boys’ classes. All the these parents were women, the principal noted, rather bravely. All these women accused him—-remember, all he is doing is giving under-performing boys an option—of trying to get the girls to want to be ‘barefoot and in the kitchen’. The other bizarre and pathological part, is that this school already had given girls the option of ‘all girl’ classes, based on the girls lower performance in math. That program had already been instituted and was put in place without also doing the same for boys at the same time, even though at that school, the under-performing girls were doing better in math than the under-performing boys were doing in English.

So we start with a system more designed for most girls than for most boys. Make it more sexist yet, through means such as tweaking the grading system, then make it more sexist than ever by having a special ‘girls only’ class, without simultaneously having a special ‘boys only’ class—and then when finally something is done for the boys, a number of women complain that somehow something bad is being done to girls.

This accords entirely with my own experience with the educational system with my son, as he was growing up. In elementary school or it might have been the low middle school years, he and a group of other boys got detention. What did he do, I asked him? “Threw snowballs at some girls” he replied honestly. “Why” I asked? His reply: because they threw some at us yesterday. Hmm. Did the girls get detention too, I asked? No, he said. Why not, I asked? “Girls tattle. Boys don’t.” he insightfully informed me. At one level I admired his young chivalry, but at another level I knew it to be a bad thing. Times have changed. Chivalry is inappropriate in a age of putative equality. I should have called the school, but my son dissuaded me. But you’d think a teacher or principal would have had enough sense to ask the ‘why’ question without a call from a parent. There can never be gender equality as long as females remain so free to run crying to authority—even over actions they’ve participated in, or as in this case, been the instigators.

Another significant sexist thing in middle school and high school, were ‘same sex’ phys ed classes—for girls only. Almost too obvious say—-but offer both sexes or neither sex the opportunity for a same sex class. Even a proposition that basic can get sexist push back these days, however.

The one sexism that annoyed me the most however, was seeing school teachers approach a group of misbehaving teens, “Ladies—” they would say. Then “boys—” they would continue.

One can say to females ‘you’ve come a long way baby’. One can’t say that to males. Although I suppose we could say to males re eliminating areas of female advantage and areas of male disadvantage, “you’ve come a long way—-backwards”.

Let’s change all that for the next generation of boys.

Let’s start right now.

Some Pictures of Women Against Feminism

There exist strong, independent women who oppose feminism. Their reasoning is that they don’t need an ideology centered around them to be independent and able to strive for their own well-being. I could speak more towards why they are the way they are, but I won’t, because these women can speak for themselves just fine.

Many of these pictures are from http://womenagainstfeminism.tumblr.com/

7 3 15 4 13 114 142 62 5 113 8 2 9

The KSUM Conference on Educational Equity Needs Your Help

Kennesaw State University Men (KSUM) is the first men’s human rights student organization to emerge from the A Voice for Men (AVfM) community and the first men’s rights organization in the state of Georgia.

We grew a flower in concrete, and with your help we can put men’s rights on campus permanently.

KSUM is hosting a conference on educational equity called Male Students in Peril (MSP) on November 1, which is five days before KSUM’s one-year anniversary and ten days before the officer election that will take KSUM into the future.

We tell KSU students that there is no need to speak of men’s humanity in hushed tones. It is up to us to end educational inequity on campus, and we ask students one simple question: Do you wish to live in a culture of fear, where you are not allowed to speak about the humanity of certain groups of people?

Although students signed a petition saying they wanted KSUM, our members both old and new have been frightened to speak openly. But here are some people who are starting to crawl, slowly but surely, out from under the boot of dogma.

KSUM Signatories (private information blurred)
KSUM Signatories (private information blurred)

We have a chance to show one of the fastest-growing universities in Georgia what equity looks like, and believe me, they need that lesson. I understand the fear of saying what people won’t like, but no risk is too great if it means announcing to the world that men are people too.

MHRM leaders will voice the taboo truth at the KSU Carmichael Student Center on November 1 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST (speakers are subject to change).

Jonathan Taylor is the founder of A Voice for Male Students, and is the keynote speaker of the Kennesaw State University Men conference. Johnathan Taylor (keynote) is an expert in composition and argumentation, a walking statistics portal, and the founder of A Voice for Male Students (AVFMS). AVFMS is the go-to resource on educational equity issues affecting males.
Photo of Karen Straughen (GirlWritesWhat), a prolific antifeminist Karen Straughan (a.k.a. GirlWritesWhat) is a Canadian writer, lecturer, and videographer known for her encyclopedic treatises on the gender zeitgeist. She spoke at the New York Libertarian Party, at Ryerson University, on CTV, and from a panel seat next to a flabbergasted Naomi Wolf.
Dr. Janice Fiamengo is an increasingly powerful critic of feminism in academia. Janice Fiamengo, Ph.D, is a professor of English at the University of Ottawa and a former feminist. She courageously speaks out against double standards and dogma in scholarship, even in the face of academic animosity.
Dr. Miles Groth is a psychologist that focuses on issues affecting males. Miles Groth, Ph.D, is a professor of psychology at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, and the founder of Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies. Groth is the current editor of New Male Studies, an open-access, interdisciplinary journal for research of issues facing boys and men worldwide.
Paul Elam is the founder of A Voice for Men. Paul Elam, a former mental health professional, is the founder of A Voice for Men, the men’s rights flagship organization. AVfM is now an international community with 24/7 radio broadcasts and subsidiary publications in Italy, Brazil, Sweden, Ecuador, and Australia (with upcoming publications in Farsi and Hebrew).
Sage Gerard (Victor Zen) is a men's human rights activist and the founder of KSU Men. Sage Gerard (a.k.a. Victor Zen) (organizer, master of ceremonies) is the founder of KSU Men, the first men’s rights student organization to emerge from the AVfM community. Sage was interviewed by USA Today, Mother Jones, PJTV, The New Republic, and other publications for activism that can help change campus life in the future. Sage currently serves as the Collegiate Activism Director of AVfM.
The venue is the University Room in the KSU Student Center.
The venue is the University Room in the KSU Student Center.

We secured space for up to 422 people, along with the necessary production equipment.

But we have a problem.

Ticket revenue comes after the event, so we need $13,000 in 30 days to cover promotion, facility fees, security, speakers, lodging, and travel. If we go beyond our goal, we can arrange for extended time, additional speakers, or catering.

One of our stretch goals is to hire Dr. Fred Jones, who spoke at the ICMI. His inclusion would be groundbreaking because he is a former professor from the Coles College of Business, the home of KSU’s flagship business program. If KSU students see a distinguished KSU professor speak about the risks facing young men today, then words cannot express how successful this event will be.

Ticket sales will start on August 1.

I hate to bring yet another financial burden onto this community, but I’m afraid the timing is as good as it is ever going to be. If every AVfM reader repeatedly donated just $1 an hour, we would reach our goal today.

The media is starting to notice us. Recently, Jenny Jarvie from The New Republic and the Los Angeles Times reached out to us, as did a Josh Pate, a Kennesaw journalist who interned for KSU student media.

The resistance is also growing. People are repeatedly ripping down our banners and writing little notes on our flyers.

“HAHA “men’s rights” What rights don’t men have – from a man”
“HAHA “men’s rights” What rights don’t men have – from a man”

I also get emails full of sheer insanity.

She seems nice
She seems nice

Kennesaw citizens are also a-twittering.

Tweet, tweet, motherfuckers
Tweet, tweet, motherfuckers

KSU will soon have its own Title IX-backed football program and an entire new campus from Southern Polytech State University (SPSU) next year. In fall 2011, 4,590 of 5,784 SPSU students were male (79%).  KSU is currently (and long has been) a predominantly female campus (~60%), with 24,604 students by fall 2012. The merge will create a roughly 50/50 split in the student body between men and women. This break in enrollment trends creates new opportunities and a need to watch over future developments.

No more rhetoric; it’s time for results. This is a huge opportunity, folks. We’re not just expanding the dialogue, we are installing the first AVfM-backed student organization on campus and making it last, regardless of what ideologues think about us.

The game-changing KSUM election is coming, and we need people who are just as passionate about men’s rights as I am, if not more so.

All I am asking is for you to get excited and make history, because KSUM will not survive without people who care.

Will you help KSUM put men’s rights on campus by donating or volunteering?

Note that donations go to KSUM, NOT AVFM.

» CLICK HERE TO DONATE «

» CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER «

To the Student(s) Taking Down our Posters

If you are afraid to speak against tyranny, then you are already a slave. To attempt to silence a man is to pay him homage, for it is an acknowledgement that his arguments are both impossible to answer and impossible to ignore.

– JBR Yant

No attempt has ever been made by KSUM to alter, obscure, deface or censor any opinion whatsoever, because we strongly believe in an open dialogue. So imagine our surprise when our posters around campus have been taken down (repeatedly!) by those who cannot be bothered to write a simple email or attend a meeting to express dissent.

We speak against the anti-male, and we are critical of feminism, gynocentrism, and other ideologies that deem men as anything other than human beings with thoughts and feelings. This is a controversial position today, but it is by no means incompatible with humanist values and a quest for gender equity.

KSU Student Life has been extremely professional and helpful in our quest to remain a noticeable force on campus, and we thank them for their student advocacy. They have agreed to keep a close eye on our 42″x56″ banner (pictured below) and to review security footage to discover the identity of the cowardly vandal.

KSUM Banner in Student Center
KSUM Banner in Student Center

In the event that the coward happens to be reading this post, we have something to say to him or her: Printing is expensive, and every time you destroy a print, you take money away from either KSUM or Student Life, depending on who wrote off the cost.  You are destroying someone else’s property because you don’t like the thoughts the owners express. That is no one’s problem but yours. As a result of your actions, we are now going to keep a sharp eye out for oppressive forces like yourself.

If you have any problems, you can write me personally or show up to a meeting in CL 3050 every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30 PM. Unlike you, I am not frightened of disagreement, and can conduct myself like an adult. It is up to you to decide when you will stop being a petulant child, but I do not expect a speedy transition.

Every time you rip down our posters, we will put up new ones, no matter the cost. People want us here, we will not stop, and we will not go away.

Now sit there and live with it.