Beyond the Bricks
by Kim Persky | published Sep. 12th, 2014
Men’s Rights Activism
How many men are getting sick of being asked to check their privilege? While the thought of “men’s rights” may seem ridiculous to some, it is a real and increasingly growing movement. This summer, Joel Rose of NPR covered the first International Conference on Men’s Issues. A few hundred men accompanied by a small number of female supporters congregated in Detroit, Michigan in June. The group addressed several issues which in their opinion doesn’t receive much attention, including higher suicide rates of boys than girls and the legal system’s favoritism towards women regarding custody of children.
According to Monica Hesse of the Washington Post, numerous men claimed ex-girlfriends and wives as the cause of disadvantages for men. Men’s rights activists call this epiphany of discrimination a “red pill moment,” and cite false rape accusations, manipulation of children in divorce cases, and paternity fraud as examples. The spectrum of beliefs ran the gamut, from those who had complaints about the lack of attention devoted to male rape cases to one female columnist claiming that most female college students who file charges for rape just don’t want to own up to being “drunkenly irresponsible.” With another conference in the works for next summer, the men’s rights movement seems to be holding its own.
Scotland Votes on Seceding From UK
The United Kingdom may soon shrink in size if Scotland’s citizens vote to split from their English counterparts. On September 18, Scotland will be voting on a referendum regarding their independence from the rest of the United Kingdom. According to Aljazeera America, the British government has promised more sovereignty to Scotland if voters do not approve the referendum.
David Cameron, the British prime minister, traveled to Scotland on September 9 in an attempt to dissuade voters from supporting separation. Cameron spoke to the Scottish people saying, “In the end, it is for the Scottish people to decide, but I want them to know that the rest of the United Kingdom — and I speak as Prime Minister — want them to stay.” Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish National Party and the pro-independence movement, sees these as last-minute pleas of desperation. According to BBC, Salmond’s main argument for independence is that on its own, Scotland would be one of the world’s wealthiest countries due to North Sea oil production. Echoing the voices of pre-revolutionary America, Salmond says it is time for Scotland to break free of the “shackles” of British Parliament. The polls are close to 50/50. If Scotland gains independence, a union over 300 years old will be broken.
Obama to Send Support to Middle East to Combat ISIS
On Wednesday night, addressing a nation weary of American involvement in the Middle East, President Barack Obama explained his plan of action against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). As the War on Terror continues 13 years after the attacks of 9/11, the president promised protection against the “…terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are.” According to the New York Times, America will execute airstrikes in Syria and close to 500 more military advisers will be sent to Iraq to aid in the degradation and destruction of ISIS. Despite concerns of war, U.S. officials on both sides of the aisle approved legislation allowing Syrian rebels to be trained by American soldiers. This will be an extension of a smaller CIA-run operation.
Aljazeera America confirms that the U.S. government knows no immediate threat that ISIS will launch an attack on American soil. However, the possibility of Americans that have joined ISIS returning to America to attack is a legitimate fear. For many of those opposed to the United States' increasing involvement, the recent beheadings of two American journalists have swayed opinions. As Obama stated, the destruction of ISIS will take years of sustained effort.