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Opinion: The mythical 'war on men'
Suzanne Venker claims women are pushing men out of the workplace and home with their anger and defensiveness.
November 29th, 2012
05:59 PM ET

Opinion: The mythical 'war on men'

Editor's note: Michael Kimmel is distinguished professor of sociology at Stony Brook University and author of "Guyland" and "The Guy's Guide to Feminism," among other books.

By Michael Kimmel, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Some years ago, I appeared on a well-known television talk show opposite four "angry white men": four men who believed they had been discriminated against in the workplace by affirmative action programs initiated, they argued, by feminist women.

Each man told his story of how he was qualified for a job or qualified for a promotion that he did not get because of this putative reverse discrimination against white men. One ended his remarks with a line that served as the title for this show: "A black woman stole my job," he declared.

Asked to respond, I had but one question for these guys, a question about the title of the show. Actually, my question was about one word in the title of the show. I wanted to know about the word "my." Why did the men think it was their job? Why wasn't the title of the show "A black woman got a job" or "A black woman got the job"? The answer, I argued, was that these men felt entitled to the position, and that any effort to make the workplace more equal was perceived, by those men, as a loss.

I thought of those men recently while reading Suzanne Venker's addled rant against feminist women as the source of the unhappiness that saturates male-female relationships. I thought of how painful it is when you are used to having everything to now have only 80%. What a loss! Poor us! Equality sucks when you've been on top - and men have been on top for so long that we think it's a level playing field.

FULL STORY
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Opinion: A gay son and his dad give thanks
Paul Begala says one family's struggle to help their son accept his sexuality is a story of love, support that resonates at Thanksgiving.
November 23rd, 2012
08:10 AM ET

Opinion: A gay son and his dad give thanks

Editor's note: Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist and CNN political contributor, was a political consultant for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992 and was counselor to Clinton in the White House.

By Paul Begala, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - Every parent loves his or her child; it's the prime directive of the species. Twenty years ago, when my wife was pregnant with our first baby, Hillary Clinton told me that having a child is like taking your heart out of your body and letting it walk around.

For some parents, however, their beloved child takes their heart on a long, wild ride that careers from joyous and generous to dark and dangerous. So it was with John Schwartz and Jeanne Mixon. Joseph, their third child, was a precocious reader, a super-sensitive old soul, fiercely defiant when he believed the teacher was too autocratic, hyper-quick on the trigger. Or, as his father put it, a squirrelly kid.

He's also gay. Fabulously gay. From early childhood he preferred feather boas to football; pink shoes to playing soccer. No problem; his parents are enlightened, intelligent, educated, urbane and progressive. Their community in suburban New Jersey was welcoming and inclusive. Their rabbi is gay.

And yet shortly after he came out of the closet at age 13, Joe attempted suicide.

Read Paul Begala's full column
Celebrating Thanksgiving with 'Generation Alzheimer's'
A family member with dementia will have a better Thanksgiving experience in a small-group setting, says expert Laura Wayman.
November 22nd, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Celebrating Thanksgiving with 'Generation Alzheimer's'

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

(CNN) - Judy Warzenski didn't realize how bad her father, Donald's, memory had gotten until he turned to her sister Joyce and asked, "Where's the girl who was sitting next to you?" He did not recognize Joyce as his own daughter.

This Thanksgiving, Warzenski and her younger siblings will eat Thanksgiving dinner with their father in a private dining room at a nursing home in Pennsylvania. Moving her father there in October was an agonizing decision.

"It's really very upsetting to me," said Warzenski, 62, of central New Jersey. "I promised him I would never do this. I promised him I would never put him in a nursing home, which I've come to realize is an unrealistic promise."

Warzenski, who had commented on a previous CNN dementia story, is one of many baby boomers who must watch their loved ones suffer from Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia. The condition, which robs people of their memory and thinking skills, necessitates tough decisions about caring for people as their minds slowly slip away.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Age • Family • How we live • Relationships
Opinion: 5 ways to raise thankful children
November 21st, 2012
05:10 PM ET

Opinion: 5 ways to raise thankful children

Editor’s note: Vincent DiCaro is vice president of development and communication for the National Fatherhood Initiative, where he has worked for more than 10 years to promote involved, responsible and committed fatherhood. He lives in Maryland with his wife and toddler-age son.

By Vincent DiCaro, Special to CNN

(CNN) – I’ll always remember the first time my son spontaneously said, “Thank you,” to me. It was only a few months ago. He has Type 1 diabetes and was having a low blood sugar episode. I brought him his favorite juice to get his blood sugar up, and when I handed him the juice he said, “Thank you, daddy” in his adorable toddler voice.

I melted of course, but I was also grateful that my son was picking up one of the most important character traits he will need as he grows up: thankfulness. But as the father of a 2½-year-old, I can say with confidence that thankfulness does not come naturally to children, mine included.

While my son is starting to say “thank you” on his own, it was only after making him say it over and over again; the first few hundred times he said those magical words, he didn’t even know what they meant. But somehow, he knew what “no” and “mine” meant right away – funny how that works.

So raising thankful children is an uphill battle against the generally selfish tendencies of children. But not all hope is lost. Parenting, like having a good jump shot, is a skill that can be learned through the right techniques and practice.
To get you started, here are five things you can start to do right away that will build a character of thankfulness in your children.

1. Model thankfulness. It is difficult for children to be what they don’t see. Therefore it is critical that you live out thankfulness in your own life.

Read the full post on CNN's Schools of Thought blog
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Same-sex marriage in the U.S.
November 19th, 2012
11:28 AM ET

A preacher, a teacher, a soldier's parents, a GOP leader: Allies in marriage votes

By Wayne Drash, CNN

(CNN) - After their son was killed in battle in Afghanistan, Lori and Jeff Wilfahrt crisscrossed their home state of Minnesota. They spoke at churches, schools, book clubs. They spoke of Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt's love of country and the Constitution.

They spoke, too, of grief. They are a mother and father who utterly miss their son, a soldier who was openly gay.

On Tuesday, November 6, the Wilfahrts entered their polling station in Rosemount to vote against a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and woman. Both parents wondered: Had their boy died protecting homophobes who would deny him rights back home?
In Frederick, Maryland, the Rev. Barbara Kershner Daniel had lived with guilt for nearly 25 years. A fellow preacher who was gay had asked her to officiate his wedding with his partner. She told him no.

"Why did I do that?" she has asked herself ever since.

Mark Ellis, the former GOP state chairman in Maine, knew where he stood on the issue of same-sex marriage. Yet he struggled with whether it would hurt him professionally to break from his party.
In the northern suburbs of Seattle, middle school band and orchestra teacher Michael Clark had always spoken of dignity and respect for all. He and his partner of 18 years sat together at their dining table to vote early this year.

Their ballots weren't just votes. They were an affirmation of their love.

From Minnesota to Maryland, from Maine to Washington, this mixed coalition of voters - grieving parents, a preacher, a lifelong Republican and a gay couple - joined forces to push for historic change on same-sex marriage.

Never before had a state rejected a constitutional amendment to prevent gays from marrying. Minnesota did just that, in part spurred by the Wilfahrts' activism.

Never before had voters approved laws allowing same-sex marriage. Maryland, Maine and Washington did just that. Those states may not have garnered enough votes if ordinary citizens like Daniel, Ellis and
Clark had remained quiet.

Each took up the cause for personal reasons shaped by life experiences. Together, they surprised America; their voices emerged as a sign of a more progressive electorate that's grown tired of arguments that say marriage between two men or two women undermines the institution and the very fabric of society.

FULL STORY
November 11th, 2012
12:00 PM ET

A father seeks peace in a place of war

By Moni Basu, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) - Robert Stokely fired up his computer and began a journey to a place an ocean and continent away, to a land of parched earth and dusty brush not far from the banks of the Euphrates.

Yusufiya.

It is the Iraqi town where Robert's son Mike was killed on a hot August night in 2005. A place that haunted him.

Robert showed me his Google Earth mapping ritual the first time I met him in his office in suburban Atlanta.

It was almost a year after Mike's death, and he was tortured by the thought that he might die without ever seeing where his son fell.

Now, when I meet him for lunch at a sports bar more than six years later, it is as though a great weight has been lifted.

The sorrow of losing a child, unimaginable to many of us, never withers.

Robert still wears Mike's dog tag around his neck and occasionally sleeps in his son's bedroom, frozen in time with Mike's Green Day CDs and military memorabilia.

On a shelf in the room sits a round clock that Robert bought for $4.98. He stopped it at 2:20 a.m., the time of Mike's death, and in black marker scribbled the date: August 16.

Robert still does the things that made his grief so visible to me in the aftermath of Mike's death. But Robert's voice is steadier now. He can finish most of his sentences without tears.

I know that it is because of that place - Yusufiya.

FULL STORY
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Justices could take up same-sex marriage
The justices could decide to hear a constitutional challenge to a law denying benefits to same-sex couples.
September 25th, 2012
09:25 AM ET

Justices could take up same-sex marriage

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

Washington (CNN) The divisive issue of same-sex marriage was expected to be discussed privately by the Supreme Court on Monday, and the justices could soon announce if they will hear a constitutional challenge to a federal law denying financial benefits to gay and lesbian couples.

An order from the court announcing whether it will take up either or both of two separate issues could come as early as Tuesday morning. If so, oral arguments and an eventual ruling would not happen until next year, but the current appeals are sure to reignite the hot-button social debate in a presidential election.

At issue is whether guarantees of "equal protection" in the U.S. Constitution should invalidate a California law - and the separate 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which for federal purposes defines marriage as the legal union only between one man and one woman.

Read the full story

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Why the jobs recovery favors single workers
August 16th, 2012
03:06 PM ET

Why the jobs recovery favors single workers

By Annalyn Censky @CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - As the economy slowly recovers, single people are finding jobs much faster than their married peers.

Single men and women lost about 5 million jobs during the financial crisis, and have since gained back 90% of them, according to the Labor Department. That's not too shabby, especially considering the jobs recovery has been so slow.

But married people, who make up a slightly larger part of the adult population, lost even more jobs and have gained far fewer back. Of the 6 million jobs they lost, they've recouped only about 22%.

Could employers be favoring single workers?

That's unlikely, economists say. The real story probably lies in other demographic factors.

The first clue is the timing. Singles slowly started recovering jobs in 2009, whereas married people didn't see a recovery begin until 2011.

That could be of their own choosing, according to University of Chicago Economist Bruce Meyer. He suggests that in dual-earner households, married people have slightly more freedom to take their time in searching for a new job that's a good fit.

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August 13th, 2012
05:29 PM ET

Former Cosmo editor Gurley Brown dead at 90

By the CNN Wire Staff

New York (CNN) - Helen Gurley Brown, former editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and the author of "Sex and the Single Girl," has died at age 90, the Hearst Corporation said Monday.

Gurley Brown died Monday morning at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia after a brief hospitalization, the publisher said.

"Helen was one of the world's most recognized magazine editors and book authors, and a true pioneer for women in journalism - and beyond," Hearst Chief Executive Frank Bennack said.

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August 8th, 2012
11:00 AM ET

Wisconsin city holds prayer vigil for temple shooting victims

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - People of all faiths lit candles and prayed Tuesday night in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, for those killed and wounded at Sunday's mass shooting at a Sikh temple.

The prayer and remembrance vigil, which appeared to draw a large crowd, was held outdoors in the Milwaukee suburb.

The step toward healing came as family and friends recalled the six killed by a gunman.

The older son of one victim, Paramjit Kaur, 41, said his mother was shot just after completing prayers.

When Kaur was in the temple praying, "My aunt told her that there was a shooting going on outside, we need to get up and leave," said 20-year-old son Kamal Saini. "Rather than just getting up and leaving, she wanted to just bow down and pray for the last time and then get up and leave. She was just getting up. She was shot in the back."

Read the full story 

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