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NCFM Member Man Up asks Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego why they don’t ask women to women up?

October 25, 2015
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NCFM Member Man Up asks Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego why they don’t ask women to women up?NOTE: First published August 20, 2014. Republished October 25, 2015 as part of rebuilding our website…

One of our NCFM members received the following email from Milvi Chao, Recruitment and Enrollment Specialist, Operation Bigs/Military Mentoring Program, Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County,  which lead him to their “Man Up” campaign. Our members response follows:

On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 5:13 PM, Milvi Chao <milvic@sdbigs.org> wrote:

Dear Reserve Officers Association of San Diego,

Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County is looking to recruit volunteers for our Operation Bigs program, where volunteers mentor military children. Are there any upcoming events where I can present to potential volunteers? Without the support of extended family, our volunteers provide the support, consistency, and friendship to military children in situations like having a parent deployed, moving to a new city, or transitioning into a new school. Reserve Officers Association would be a great way for us to inform people about our need for volunteers. Your help would be very appreciated as we currently have children waiting for a mentor.

Here is a link to learn more about our Operation Bigs program: www.SDBigs.org/OperationBigs

Respectfully,

Milvi Chao
Recruitment and Enrollment Specialist
Operation Bigs/Military Mentoring Program

THE RESPONSE

Miliv,

I am not sure if you have served in the military.  Have you served?

I don’t know who writes your campaigns to get men to volunteer for your organization, but based on my personal experience and from other officers in my old unit when I was on Active Duty.  Your rep at that time had the same campaign info and was wondering why no one was “Manning up” or “Be a Man” after reaching out to thousands of Active Duty men.  Basically, your campaign takes the approach to shame men into volunteering and this is not an effective approach that appeals to men by shaming and insulting them for not volunteering for your organization because they want to just watch sports on tv with their free time.  I recall we had some private discussions regarding this and would have never tell you or provide any feedback while on Active Duty since the General Officers strongly encourage volunteering and don’t want to openly criticize certain nonprofit orgs and create rifts in the community.

Your message conveys the same equivalent of the church groups that protest military funerals by shaming the public the the veteran died  because he was not in touch with God and our society is not with God so the Soldier died for societies sins.  Also your organization gets used by newly single vindictive mothers that get false restraining orders to cut the children off from the father and replace him showing that the fathers are disposable and replaceable while the mother is not.  I had to counsel several of my enlisted Marines that felt they were mistreated and driven to almost suicide when the mother was having his children spend time with another man and the Marine was treated like a criminal being forced to pay for supervised visitation in order to see his children and many were not able to afford to pay and to add insult to injury; they were never convicted of DV or harming their children.  Many of the Marines had multiple deployments and were gone from their children fighting for our country and felt totally betrayed and this even added more insult that they were replaced by another male figure sending the message that dads do not matter, they are replaceable with another male figure.

Don’t get me wrong here.  I believe children should have a good male role model around them and in my last unit, I volunteered with children who lost their fathers in combat and it seemed that these children benefited very much, but I disagree with how your organization is willing to substitute any male will do approach besides the father that is living.  I have also worked with incarcerated prisoners and the difference  between fathers and mothers was that fathers can only see their children through a plexiglass window and speak on a phone only for a few minutes once per week while mothers got to meet with their children in a private area and have lunch with them and can do it as frequently as possible.  I believe that the setting for meeting the father is sterile and traumatizing for the children to not have any real contact that the children eventually do not want to visit the father anymore, whereas visiting with the mother who is incarcerated their is actual contact and hope that they will be reunited soon and the situation is less stressful and traumatizing.  The system recognizes that the child should not be punished with no contact with the mother just because she made mistakes and is doing time, but it is grossly unfair how fathers are cut off and alienated when they are fathers to children.  I believe the child and the father both lose out and this could have devastating consequences for the child’s choices and actions in the future and how they relate when they reach adulthood..

For children of divorce, society has placed no value in the biological father that he can be replaced and kept out of his children’s lives or face jail time if he attempts to see his children.  It is all up to the consent of the mother which I believe is no best interest of the child when they really need both parents.

We called the Marines who consistently got in trouble the 10%ers meaning that they were the bottom 10% of Marines and did not punish the whole group for the actions of a few.  It seems that our society focuses on the bottom 10% of fathers and blames and punishes all fathers for the actions of a few bad ones.  Our society is quick to throwaway any father good or bad and for no reason.  On the other hand, mothers are treated as indispensable and have to be a part of their children’s lives no matter how bad they are even if they abuse their children or harm their children, they are quickly reintroduced back into their children’s lives.

Nobody ever tells a women to women up or be a women.  This would come off as rude, insulting, and sexist. To question a women’s actions or decisions no matter how bad they are is wrong, it is her choice and one can not question her choice and no matter how bad or irresponsible the decision is detrimental to her own children, the woman will face no accountability or consequences for poor choices or actions that impact others.  If she is not interested in something, NO means NO period and to shame her for not being interested is harassing and could be considered stalking.

To tell a man to man up or be a man is okay?

To use donated funds to do a entire campaign website to insult men is going below to the belt and a gross misuse of donated funds?

Why is your organization singling out only men who do not volunteer, this is out right discriminatory and then shaming them at the same time and then expecting them to volunteer?

I believe your campaign is insulting and sexist towards men and insulting someone’s manhood because they don’t want to don’t volunteer with your organization does no justice to the children that will someday be adult men themselves.  I could only imagine if you did the same campaign asking women to women up.  Women would be quickly offended and attorney Gloria Allred would be contacting your organization seeking damages from all the women that felt injured by looking at your “woman up” campaign website because she would argue that this is inciting others to overtly and callously discriminate against women.

I know most of this is out of your hands and that your higher ups are possibly not even aware since this has been your organization’s attitude towards men for several years now.  I believe you will attract more male volunteers if you eliminate this campaign of insulting, shaming, and alienating men.

This is my personal opinion and nothing expressed is the opinions or endorsed by the organization or organizations that I am involved with.

Rich

national coalition for menMan up? Why not “women up?”

“Man up” is short for man is immature, always falls short, and is inferior to women, which, of course, is a crock…

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3 Responses to NCFM Member Man Up asks Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego why they don’t ask women to women up?

  1. Art on January 9, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    The very fact that a public display of sexism like “Man Up” didn’t result in a media blitz of criticism is itself indicative of sexism: If the gender roles were reversed and “Woman Up” had been used, there would have been such a media blitz.

  2. Mr. E on November 21, 2015 at 8:13 PM

    Was there ever any follow-up to this?

    • NCFM on November 25, 2015 at 10:18 AM

      No, no response.

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