Two weeks ago, the Seattle Weekly ran an article which I thought was possibly their best piece … ever. It’s called ‘Ripped Apart’, and you can read it here:
Not long after that article was written, today, Josh Powell, a man denied custody of his two children, a man who clearly had a psychotic break, killed himself and his family. (http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/2-fatally-killed-graham-house-explosion/nHTtd/)
Pierce County Sheriff’s officials say the bodies of Josh Powell and his two young sons were found after an explosion and fire at a home in Graham.
Graham Deputy Fire Chief Gary Franz said the explosion occurred moments after a Child Protective Services worker brought the two boys to the home for a supervised visit.
He said Powell let the boys in the house, then blocked the social worker from entering. The social worker called her supervisors to report that she could smell gas, and the home exploded.
“The fire started immediately, it went very fast, very hot, burned very quick so we believe there was accelerants used – the fire department does – it was set intentionally,” said Det. Ed Troyer, Pierce Co. Sheriff’s Office.
“We don’t believe it to be anybody other than Josh Powell and his kids, and we believe he intentionally did it,” he said.
Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire and discovered the bodies. The home was completely destroyed.
The caseworker was not hurt.
A lawyer for Josh Powell told the Associated Press he received a three-word email from his client just minutes before the explosion. It said, “I’m sorry, goodbye.”
Of course, as I type this, the finger waggers are out in full force, and they have something to say. Boy do they have something to say.
Everyone is jumping up and down, pointing fingers, placing blame, and asking how such a thing could happen. How a person could commit such a monstrous and desperate act. Not one person, however, is taking any personal responsibility for this tragedy. Not one person is blaming themselves.
Should they, though?
I mean, is it fair for random members of a society to blame themselves when awful things like this happen? Is it really our fault?
Just because we’ve beaten down an entire gender for decades upon decades, should we be blamed when this gender feels that they have nowhere to turn … that they have absolutely no way out but to take their own lives, and tragically, in a fit of psychosis … the lives of innocent people?
Once upon a time, our nation practiced slavery, and it was bad. So bad that, to this day, it’s still a part of our national dialog. So bad that we have entire programs in place which purport to right the wrongs of our checkered past.
Once upon a time, our nation practiced sexism. We denied women the right to vote, and the right to fully participate in society. It was so bad that we’ve swung the pendulum in the opposite direction, and now women are the majority of the electorate, majority of college graduates, and majority of private wealth-holders.
Now, the only people left in America to legally and tacitly cruelly abuse are the males of our nation, fathers in particular, and the country has taken to this civil rights flogging with the rabid enthusiasm of injustices past.
Consider just a few examples of our new civil rights calamity:
- On average, men die five years younger than women in developed countries. Men die younger and more often than women for the ten leading causes of death.
- Men are roughly 50% of the workforce but account for 93% of job related deaths.
- Males between 20 and 24 have a seven times greater rate of suicide than their female counterparts, and overall, men commit suicide at a rate four times greater than women.
- Despite the suicide disparity, far more women receive treatment for depression than do men.
- Women initiate 70% of divorces overall, and 90% of divorces when both partners are college educated — yet men receive primary custody of their children less than 20% of the time.
- Even if DNA testing proves a man is not the biological father of a child, he may be forced to pay child support or face jail in many U.S. states. The mother is rarely prosecuted for fraud, and she is rarely ordered to pay back ill-gotten support.
- Men do not have reproductive rights. Women can engage in sexual intimacy without sacrificing reproductive choice; men cannot. Women can terminate a pregnancy without the consent of the father when an unplanned pregnancy occurs; men cannot similarly relinquish their parental rights and financial responsibility.
- Women benefit from war every bit as much as men, yet no gender oppression is comparable in magnitude to the deaths of males in war, which includes forced conscription. About 500,000 male U.S. soldiers died in WWII alone. Young men are required to register for Selective Service or face fines, jail, revoked citizenship, and denial of financial aid and federal jobs.
- Men have made up 97.6% of U.S. military deaths since 2001.
- Men can still be discriminated against in the marketplace, such as the purchasing of automobile insurance.
- Male victims of domestic violence are systematically neglected, stigmatized, and denied outreach and services. They’re also far less likely to report it, which makes crime data unreliable.
- Overall, men receive sentences for serious crimes 48 months longer than the sentences women receive, and women are more likely to receive no jail time for the same crime, even when all other factors are equal (age, race, priors, family situation, etc.).
- 43% of teacher sex abuse comes from female teachers but over 90% of prosecutions are of male teachers.
- Due to abhorrent prison conditions, more men are forcibly raped each year than are women. Male victims are frequently raped in jail, prison, and the military, yet male-on-male rape remains a punch line.
- Males are 4 times more likely to be murdered than are females, and are more likely to be the victims of assault, yet there is no Violence Against Men Act.
- Close to 100% of every tool, technology, and convenience, from the toaster to the space shuttle has been invented by men, yet males are constantly made to feel guilty for perpetrating a “male dominated society”.
- Physical abuse against men in the media is amusing, while there is “no excuse” for similar abuse against women. A woman locking a man out of the house and tossing his belongings out of the window is a beer commercial, while the reverse is sexism.
- Women account for 52% of the electorate, yet blame men for the gender disparity in congress.
- Women claim to earn less than men for equal work, yet somehow, someway, women control 60% of the nation’s personal wealth, and account for nearly 80% of consumer spending.
- For every 100 women who earn a degree, only 73 men do. Men earn 38% of associate degrees, 42% of bachelor’s degrees, and 40% of master’s degrees.
- Men have accounted for nearly 75% of job losses during the late-2000′s recession. The unemployment rate is 10.5% for men and 7.9% for women.
- 31% of women out-earn their husbands, yet 97% of alimony recipients are female.
- And, of course, last but not least … family courts across the USA routinely strip men of their rights without due process of law, often leaving them broke, alone, and unassisted.
In the name of special interests and political correctness, we have, over the past several decades, systematically abused an entire gender under the auspices that two wrongs make a right. In response, men are killing themselves at alarming rates, and are more and more often having violent and psychotic episodes not unlike those exhibited by animals repeatedly tortured while in captivity.
Every time, we act surprised. Each and every time this happens, we throw up our hands and ask questions such as “Why did this happen?” and “How did this happen?”.
Just like we did during the height of slavery, and just like we did before women’s suffrage, we refuse to take responsibility for a situation and a travesty that we have all had an equal hand in creating.
We’ve all borne witness to the abuse of men, though … fathers in particular, for decades, but we’ve done little to stop it.
We’re afraid that by speaking up, expressing our outrage, and calling attention to the abuse, we’ll offend the wrong person. We’re afraid that we’ll upset the wrong group. We’re afraid that, if we speak up against the ongoing psychological holocaust against fathers, we’ll not get the job, we’ll alienate our friends, or we’ll lose the lucrative sponsorship deal.
Men are being backed into the cruelest of corners each and every day, and many of them are regarded by our courts as nothing more than indentured servants. They are treated with a complete and pathological lack of empathy and concern, yet, when they react like creatures treated with a pathological lack of empathy and concern, we are oh-so-shocked and outraged.
Well, folks, during times like these, my question for you is simple:
What did you expect?
As society creates an even larger class of creatures which receive no empathy, receive no support, receive no care, and receive no consideration, at some point, we have to blame ourselves for letting it happen. And we let it happen because we are self-centered cowards and pathological hypocrites.
For these reasons, or at least in part because of these reasons, another awful tragedy has occurred, this time in Metro Seattle.
Shame on Josh Powell, and shame on us all.