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NCFM Anynomous Member and Donor concept for a “Switchboard for Men”

April 15, 2014
By

ncfmSwitchboard for Men:

An Exploratory Concept Paper

By an Anonymous Donor

Overview

The Internet has played a critical and instrumental role in the modern day men’s movement, particularly in the dissemination of information leading to the consciousness shift that’s now underway among both men and women. This proposal expands new men’s movement communication tools available via the Internet, and gives National Coalition For Men (NCFM) both a unique offering with which to bring attention to the plight of American men, and a mechanism that can generate additional Internet web site traffic.

This brief concept paper describes a new service that could be inexpensively offered by the NCFM via its web site. In a nutshell, the service would provide a free self-service scheduling system that brings together young men who are confused and desiring advice, and older men who wish to be mentors, men who are knowledgeable not only about women and life, but also feminism, men’s legal rights, and men’s typical life trajectories in America. So far as the author of this memo is aware, no such service currently exists.

This is the first article about the “Switchboard” — which is what the author is calling the new web based scheduling service — and the thoughts contained herein are therefore preliminary, incomplete, and exploratory in nature. The reader’s comments, suggestions, criticisms, corrections, and/or inspired ideas related to the Switchboard are both solicited and welcome. These should be directed to Harry Crouch, Director of NCFM (details about what needs to be done and contact information are at the end of this article).

Problems Addressed

Modern women have for a long time disapproved of spaces where men congregate with other men, without the presence of women. For example, coffee houses were banned in 1676 by the King of England, because the King (obviously an early version of the “white knight”) bowed to pressure from women who didn’t like the fact that men were congregating therein without women. Sandman has a very interesting YouTube video called “Destroying Male Spaces – MGTOW” which documents the efforts by American women to institute Prohibition in the period 1920-1933, as a way to prevent men from congregating in bars, which were at that time most often exclusively male spaces. More recently, we see something similar in the way that radical feminists have targeted the all-male Augusta National Golf Club, claiming that it must open its doors to women. Similarly, those of us who have been married, or perhaps are still married, know that many wives try to cut off their husbands from their friends, so that the wives can have greater power over their husbands. Again we see women trying to stop men from talking to other men. Why is this? This author believes women are afraid that when men privately talk to other men, they will share their observations about women, relationships with women, what a bad deal marriage is for men, etc. Women want men to be kept in the dark about the way the current social, legal, moral, and sexual marketplace system is rigged against men. So long as men are kept away from honestly talking with other men (perhaps via over-the-top excessive concerns about homophobia), then women’s tricks, such as using their sexuality to induce a man to marry them, are likely to remain effective.

Whether or not the reader agrees with the author’s analysis in the prior paragraph, all readers will probably agree that young men in America today often suffer from under-fathering or absent fathering. For example, Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is often used by mothers with custody of children to prevent fathers from gaining any access to their children. Even without PAS, divorce accompanied by unsympathetic family courts, as well as single mother family structures, often prevent many boys from seeing their fathers as often as they would like. Incarceration, military assignments overseas, work related travel, work assignments in far-away cities, a heavy work schedule, death, and other problems prevent boys from spending time with their fathers. The disintegration of tight and geographically-concentrated family structures in America has also meant that uncles and other close male relatives are much less frequently available to step in and play the role of father these days. Fatherless boys in particular are in serious trouble, and there are statistically demonstrated correlations between fatherlessness and involvement in serious crime, drugs, and school drop decisions. Many American young men desperately need more fathering, and this author suggests that it would be best if they were fathered by older men who knew the score about gender relations, what feminism has done to the family, how feminism has changed the laws surrounding divorce, etc. The proposed Switchboard service is sort of like the Big Brother system, except it is intended to be of service to 20-something men, not boys.

At the same time that American young men need additional fathering (and here I am not talking about “manning-up” and living up to women’s expectations or society’s expectations), there are many older men who would like to help out younger guys, but they don’t know how they might make a difference in younger guys’ lives. Perhaps through a men’s group they could influence a younger man, but younger men don’t often find themselves in men’s groups (only later do many young men realize that they are up against a lot of myths and disinformation, such as the myth of romantic love, which holds that there is only one true mate for each man). The use of older men who are in the men’s movement, men who may not necessarily be playing any current active role with NCFM, allows some of this awareness raising work to be off-loaded onto new people, limiting the burn-out of those who are now actively participating with the NCFM organization. Older men, who may not necessarily even show up for a NCFM chapter meeting, may still be willing to give a few hours a month to being a virtual mentor.

Instead of being worldly, aware, and adequately fathered, younger American men often find themselves in personal emergencies, without the knowledge or perspective to make good decisions, and unfortunately frequently subject to the social controls like shaming that women often employ. Here I am talking of critical junction points in a young man’s life, where he has to make a big decision, such as whether or not to marry a particular woman. Here young men all too often have no older man that they can talk to honestly, openly, confidentially, about the difficulties they are having in dealing with these junction points. So not only will the Switchboard system bring those older men who wish to be mentors together with younger men who are in some sort of acute or pressing pain, some serious personal emergency, some other very difficult place, but it will also provide a way for younger men to get acquainted with the men’s rights movement, the father’s rights movement, the men-going-their-own-way (MGTOW) movement, the game and pick-up artist (PUA) spheres, and other branches of the new thinking in what Rollo Tomassi calls the “manosphere.”

Objectives

(1) Emergency Support: Provide an emergency support conversation service, just for young men, much like a suicide prevention hot-line, whereby young men can get immediate confidential advice relevant to the problem or situation they find themselves confronting. The Switchboard could be unlimited with respect to the personal problem or issue young men are experiencing. The Switchboard could support young men in tough situations, for instance after they have been kicked out of their own house by their wives, and been falsely accused of domestic violence.

(2) Faster Learning: Connect younger men who would appreciate some perspective and advice from older men who have been through marriage, kids, false rape accusations, and similar problems, so that the younger men can learn what it’s really like, rather than having to make the same mistakes again and again. The conversations established via the Switchboard would be a way to support men who don’t really understand what’s going on in the gender-relations domain in America today, including the tactics that women use against men to get their way, such as “shit-tests.” Thus the Switchboard would accelerate not only the personal life skills learning of young men, but also accelerate their understanding of how the roles, risks, and liabilities of being male in America have changed dramatically in the last five decades.

(3) Awareness Raising: Indirectly, through the conversations set-up through the Switchboard, the awareness of American young men about the men’s issues that NCFM addresses in its activism will be expanded. There need be no specific agenda associated with the conversations set-up by the Switchboard, and the topics discussed will naturally come back to matters of great concern to men, such as unfair laws (such as men must go to war and register for the draft, but women have no such obligations). No explicit promotion of NCFM is needed here. Simply providing a needed service, that is not provided by any social service agencies or the government, and explaining why that new service is now necessary — that alone speaks volumes about the dire state of American men today.

(4) Public Relations: By offering a much-needed service to young men, NCFM will probably soon find itself being the topic of additional news articles and other publicity. This favorable publicity gives NCFM spokespersons an opportunity to talk about some of the issues that NCFM addresses in its other work. The Switchboard could be a free public service, such as those services offered by Hamas in the Gaza strip. Hamas has not just met the needs of people in crisis, like young men in America today are in crisis, but it has gained a good deal of positive publicity via its public service efforts, such as the provision of free health care and free food. I don’t mean to imply anything about NCFM’s politics and those of Hamas, just that the provision of free public services is a good way for a controversial group to get good publicity and also meet the basic needs of constituents.

Steps To Manifestation

The Switchboard could be a sideline that NCFM could be involved with, and it need not detract from, dilute, or distract from the activism and legal work that NCFM is already involved with. NCFM could offer this Switchboard as a service to the community for free (donations would be solicited of course).

Predictably, there would be a number of disclaimers, such as “the opinions of the mentors do not reflect the opinions of NCFM,” and “NCFM assumes no liability for any advice provided by mentors.” In addition, the site probably wants to make statements such as: “The advice and counsel provided by mentors is not a substitute for professional counseling via psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other medical professionals…. if those requesting a conversation need such services, they should consult with the relevant professional.” This is just a sample of the boilerplate statements that could be on the Switchboard web page, and ideally there would be a formal “terms of service” to which young men must agree before they proceed to using the Switchboard. These disclaimers and statements can readily be developed by legal counsel, and there are many comparable disclaimers and statements, that could be used as models, which are readily found on other web sites.

While the author has a master’s degree in computer science, he has no direct experience setting up a system such as the one described here. Nonetheless, in broad sweeping terms, the steps to manifestation could be: (1) obtain NCFM management approval to proceed, (2) develop content that would be posted on the web site in support of the Switchboard, (3) get advisor, legal counsel, and Board of Directors review and approval of all content, (4) choose a free open-source software package (examples include Acuity Schduling, Bookfresh, and Calendarfly), or else develop a rudimentary NCFM-specific piece of software that is basically an appointment scheduling system connecting young men with available mentors, (5) set-up and exercise a beta test version of the system which would be used by beta testers to make sure the system works properly, (6) document the system and how it works, so that new people can take over when the time comes to hand over the reins to other people, (7) develop a press release and other marketing materials to publicize the Switchboard, (8) disseminate the press release and marketing materials, (9) handle press inquiries and user questions, and (10) on an on-going basis, tweak the system to make backups, update the relevant web pages, attend to minor administrative details, and improve system functionality.

Cost Of Operation

The Switchboard system, really simply a clearinghouse to connect young guys wanting a conversation, with older guys who are willing to be mentors, would be very low cost. The major part of the cost would be set-up, and that could be well under $5,000, perhaps under $2,500 if a NCFM member with technical computer skills would donate some of his or her time. Basically all we are talking about is a junction point that establishes a network of connections between young men, and older men (who could be any age over 30, but I am thinking particularly of the largely-underutilized retired men who are hip to what’s happening with feminism, marriage, child support, alimony, false rape allegations, default arrest the male domestic violence laws, etc.). As an aside, while a minimum age restriction for younger men is probably necessary in order to steer clear of potential legal problems (such as males not having the capacity to independently enter into a contract), aside from that lower bound age limit, I suggest that there be no set requirements about the age of the young men requesting conversations, or the age of older men providing counsel and advice.

This Switchboard would not need any ongoing staff to support it once it is established, except for an occasional tech support intervention, and a few hours a month of technical administrative effort (perhaps changing the web page). An on-line evaluation form could be used to determine whether the young men were satisfied with their interactions with their mentors. Mentors who consistently got poor reviews would be asked to step back and no longer serve in that capacity; mentors who got stellar reviews could be featured in published interviews. Administrative work associated with enrolling mentors, evaluating mentors, getting a legal release from mentors, and the like could take a few hours a month. Technical support should be minimal, but if the system was not well tested and designed, as laid out in bare-bones fashion above, then technical support could be more time consuming. Note that aliases could be used by either the young men or the mentors, and this functionality could be handled automatically so that no on-going labor would be required.

A brief up-front training program for mentors is recommended. This training program could provide: a review of basic counseling skills, a checklist of how to determine that a mentor is in over his head and needs to refer a young man to another person, and contact information for a wide array of additional support services (such as how to get male-affirming legal assistance). The cost to develop such a training program would be $2,000 at most, and perhaps much less if volunteers put it together. Criminal records checks are recommended for mentors, and that might run $30/mentor, depending on the third party service providing the check.

Technically the Switchboard service would be just a scheduling system. The actual conversations would be held via (1) Skype or its VoIP competitors like Google Voice, VoxOx, and Jitsi, (2) telephone, or (3) in-person meetings if the parties were physically close enough to each other. Charges to use Skype or the telephone would be borne by the conversing men, and not NCFM. The men could talk once, or several times, and perhaps even set up a regular time to talk. It would be entirely up to the guys involved. Likewise, because the bandwidth required to carry the conversations would take place via other channels than via the NCFM web site, and because the Switchboard is a simple system to program (basically a calendar-scheduling system), the traffic and computing burden on the NCFM server would be minimal. Depending on the traffic and computing load on the current server, there is probably no need to buy another server, or for that matter any other equipment, in order to support the Switchboard service.

Also of concern is how this Switchboard service will “scale,” which is computer-speak for whether it can readily ramp-up to support a large number of users. Because the NCFM component is simple and does not require significant computing power or network bandwidth, the service could easily be expanded to support thousands of participants. The technical side of the expansion in activity is not problematic, and if anything, another server would be added, or the speed of the Internet service would be upgraded to support a greater volume of users. The major cost of ramping this Switchboard up to support thousands of men would be the administrative labor required to do background checks on prospective mentors, review the mentors’ performance reviews, and otherwise handle the people-side of this endeavor. Nonetheless, these people-side costs would be relatively low, and if the service caught on, and had large volumes of traffic, then it is likely that a few donors would step forward to fund these people-side activities.

Next Steps

Your input on how best to structure the Switchboard would be appreciated. If you have skills, talents, abilities, or financial contributions that you would like to use to advance this effort, please contact Harry Crouch directly at harryal@earthlink.net.

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4 Responses to NCFM Anynomous Member and Donor concept for a “Switchboard for Men”

  1. Ryan Grossie on May 22, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    I agree with this idea! I myself am in legal hell trying to primary custody of my kids. I’m a disabled vet and on ssdi while my ex wife using every opening even many straight out lies to court me and kids. I have 3000+ texts from her saying she doesnt care about the joint physical and legal custody court order. she even moved 90 miles away. Im disabled so that alot of money and she alienates me but kids know she is doing it. they recorded messaeges on my phone in case a judge or hearing officer will listen to them asking to live with me and how mom abuses them physically and emotionally and she records all calls I have to my kids. No privacy at all. She was convicted of domestic assault against me but the court is so gender biased. I have plenty of evidence of her lies to have me pay 475 for support when VA gave me 350 for disability. Its increased alot since and ssdi pay my support obligation now but I cannot afford a laywer with balls to help me. I have the best intentions and never has any allegation been made or inappropriate anything ever happen so how can she record and listen to private calls to my kids who accuse her of abuse and they told school and princaple. She just told my ex and my kids had to pay for it. This is happening everyday. I have all texts from her and her assistant in crim grandmother. It all proves what me and kids claim and her disreguard for judges and court orders. Its pure malice against me for going against her and doing the right thing for kids. Please help! Louisiana Ryan

  2. s deluca on April 22, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    I know how hard the anonymous donor has worked on this and I also know how hard he works for gender issues. For him to take the time out of his very busy life to put this together is remarkable and only one as well-educated, passionate and caring as he could pull it off. I will donate 100 dollars towards helping launch this and I will see if I can get another to donate 100$ as well. I ask of our readers to share this widely, to be pushy, to ask men who have been screwed by the system or watched their sons struggle – men who have more money than I do which doesn’t take much – disabled vet income isn’t that high and I do have a daughter in college – to reach into their wallet and make a donation and to ask a couple of other men to do the same. Women have no problem getting women to donate to causes that are bogus, women’s health, safety, education, jobs… when women are doing so much better in almost all ways… our brothers are in jail, or sons lose homes and children, some are arrested simply because an angry bitch wanted the house and kids… boys are so sad and alone that they are killing themselves straight out with suicide or slowly with unhealthy lives simply because they don’t think they matter. Men need to unite and pay up or … it’s over for us. SD

    PS Hey you, if you are a rich businessman, famous actor, or fed up politician and can’t risk having your name attacked because you are afraid of women, a small brown bag with 100$ bills mailed to our group won’t be traced to you and money well spent.

  3. George on April 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    I think the Switchboard is a fantastic idea!

    For the past few years, I have made a conscious effort to talk to young men about their lives. Far too often, they seem to be adrift — struggling to define a vision of the future for themselves, struggling academically, struggling to make a living, struggling to understand the messages society is sending them. This is not only a personal tragedy for the young men themselves; it’s a disaster for society.

    As mentioned in this article, I think there are lots of men out there that would be willing to help with the project — I certainly would.

    Let’s make it happen!

  4. theoutside on April 18, 2014 at 6:53 AM

    A really good idea.

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