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Sat Mar 29, 2014, 08:46 AM

 

‘Men’s rights’ group claims free self-defense classes for women are sexist

Last edited Sat Mar 29, 2014, 11:52 AM - Edit history (1)


(Stupidity Knows no bounds...)

A “men’s rights” organization has objected to a pair of free self-defense classes for women in Glendale, California, violate the equal protection clause of the Fourth Amendment, the Glendale News-Press reported on Thursday.

The classes, which have been organized by the city’s Commission on the State of Women, will be offered on April 9 and 16 at local facilities as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

But National Coalition for Men President Harry Crouch stated in a March 13 letter (PDF) to commission chairperson Denise Miller, City Attorney Michael J. García and the course instructor complained that men were being excluded from the sessions.


“Simply advertising self-defense classes for only women and girls, or for only men and boys, may also violate anti-discrimination laws, just as if the City of Glendale advertised a job opening for a police officer or librarian as being available to only male applicants,” Crouch wrote.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/03/28/mens-rights-group-claims-free-self-defense-classes-for-women-are-sexist/

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Reply ‘Men’s rights’ group claims free self-defense classes for women are sexist (Original post)
Katashi_itto Mar 2014 OP
Nevernose Mar 2014 #1
Katashi_itto Mar 2014 #2
Jgarrick Mar 2014 #3
Seeking Serenity Mar 2014 #5
Nevernose Mar 2014 #6
Katashi_itto Mar 2014 #30
treestar Mar 2014 #4
newdemocrat999 Mar 2014 #10
mainer Mar 2014 #42
FSogol Mar 2014 #7
Nye Bevan Mar 2014 #14
Lancero Mar 2014 #17
Lancero Mar 2014 #16
FSogol Mar 2014 #29
newdemocrat999 Mar 2014 #8
The Straight Story Mar 2014 #9
dawg Mar 2014 #18
BainsBane Mar 2014 #46
seabeyond Mar 2014 #48
Ms. Toad Mar 2014 #11
Vashta Nerada Mar 2014 #12
Nye Bevan Mar 2014 #13
Katashi_itto Mar 2014 #25
etherealtruth Mar 2014 #15
Eleanors38 Mar 2014 #19
Lancero Mar 2014 #20
kcr Mar 2014 #22
Eleanors38 Mar 2014 #24
Katashi_itto Mar 2014 #27
Eleanors38 Mar 2014 #35
Katashi_itto Mar 2014 #36
Nuclear Unicorn Mar 2014 #21
davidn3600 Mar 2014 #23
rrneck Mar 2014 #26
Gormy Cuss Mar 2014 #28
Nye Bevan Mar 2014 #32
rrneck Mar 2014 #33
lumberjack_jeff Mar 2014 #43
rrneck Mar 2014 #47
mainer Mar 2014 #51
rrneck Mar 2014 #54
gollygee Mar 2014 #31
Eleanors38 Mar 2014 #34
Nye Bevan Mar 2014 #37
mainer Mar 2014 #53
displacedtexan Mar 2014 #38
Threedifferentones Mar 2014 #39
mainer Mar 2014 #41
Threedifferentones Mar 2014 #45
mainer Mar 2014 #49
Threedifferentones Mar 2014 #55
mainer Mar 2014 #40
Jamaal510 Mar 2014 #44
sarisataka Mar 2014 #50
mainer Mar 2014 #52
Katashi_itto Mar 2014 #57
CFLDem Mar 2014 #56

Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 08:55 AM

1. They might have a valid legal point

I know, for instance, that a local chain of gyms had to stop offering "ladies join for free" campaigns because it was held to be sex discrimination.

However, morally and ethically, it's a very stupid point.

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Response to Nevernose (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 08:57 AM

2. You may have a point, from a legal standing. But still, dear lord,

 

as a martial artist, I find it repugnant.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 09:13 AM

3. As a supporter of a woman's right to armed self-defense, I agree.

 

Repugnant.

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Response to Nevernose (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 09:31 AM

5. Why "morally and ethically" a stupid point? (n/t)

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Response to Seeking Serenity (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:02 AM

6. I'm actually rethinking my position now

I'm going to amend it to: if entities wish to avoid sexism and sexist language, they should usually just leave mentions of sex/gender out of things.

Why not just call it a "Self-Defense Course" and let anyone who wants to learn to defend themselves learn?

(It doesn't change the fact that the A in MRA should stand for Asshole 95% of the time)

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Response to Nevernose (Reply #6)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 11:06 AM

30. I agree, have to look at it differently. Oh the surface it seems horrendous.

 

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 09:15 AM

4. They are right here though

There are small men out there, too, and they should have equal access to a government program on self defense. Or anyone. Anyone can be attacked.

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Response to treestar (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:16 AM

10. Or sexually assaulted

 

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Response to treestar (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:50 PM

42. Usually attacked by other men

I feel sorry for vulnerable guys who can't defend themselves. They need to take self-defense classes.

But once you open the classes to both men and women, it's impossible to separate out the guys who really need to defend themselves from the bullies who are there to disrupt the class for everyone else.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:07 AM

7. Pap smears only for women are sexist too!



Hope the city laughs at the asshats.

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Response to FSogol (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:31 AM

14. Men can't get cervical cancer. So they have no use for a pap smear.

But men can get physically attacked. So they do have a use for self-defense classes.

I don't think your analogy really works.

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Response to Lancero (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 11:02 AM

29. I was going to say mammogram, but then figured that men could have that test.

Live and learn. Thanks.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:09 AM

8. Why not have it free for men and women?

 

If it's being funded by city tax dollars collected from residents it should be free for both or have an all male class included.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:14 AM

9. Sounds like benevolent sexism to me (nt)

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:37 AM

18. I know you probably mean that in a snarky way, but I agree with you this time.

The implication is that only women need to be taught how to defend themselves, which is patently untrue.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 01:15 PM

46. Rut, roh

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 01:21 PM

48. really? the hypocrisy... oh, and da doors

 

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:24 AM

11. As much as I hate to agree -

If it is paid for by tax dollars, limiting enrollment to women is an ill advised idea.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:25 AM

12. Men and women both should know how to protect themselves.

 

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:28 AM

13. Why should a small, weak, 70 year old guy who is living in a bad neighborhood be denied free classes

in self-defense, while a tall, fit, strong, 25 year old female athlete gets them for free, paid for by the taxpayers? I have to side with the plaintiffs on this one.


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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:55 AM

25. When you phrase it that way I agree

 

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:34 AM

15. A stopped clock is right twice a day

Though I usually find the MRA point of view as ridiculous as I would find a "NAAWP" ... they are correct about this.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:40 AM

19. They used to call them "battered womens' shelters"...

 

Now, they are called "domestic violence centers," Safe Place (Austin), and other gender-neutral descriptions. All people who wish to better their self-defense capabilities should be able to do so, esp. if tax payers are funding those efforts.

I understand that many women prefer an all-woman classroom setting, just as many women choose all-women instruction when learning how to use guns for SD. This can be worked out. But open such instruction up to ALL. There are too many older guys (hello), impaired fellows, and boys who are attacked, and who may wish SD instruction -- maybe even in separate classes.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #19)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:41 AM

20. Seperate but equal then?

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Response to Lancero (Reply #20)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:50 AM

22. Why is that a problem?

There are separate bathrooms. Sports are separate. Why would separating self defense classes by gender be a problem as long as they're offered freely for all?

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Response to Lancero (Reply #20)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:53 AM

24. Cute. You need to ask women that question...

 

Many women prefer female handgun instruction be in an all-woman setting, preferably with a female instructor. They can explain the reasons better than I, and without resorting to apartheid allusions.

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Response to Lancero (Reply #20)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:59 AM

27. When you have total beginners learning martial arts it's often good to separate

 

sexes. It's dependent on the instructor and the style being taught too.

Weight classes and strength come into play, you have some untrained person throwing their weight around it can get dangerous. But again it's also dependent on the instructor's teaching ability.

However publicly funded classes should be offered to all in a safe manner.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Reply #27)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 11:46 AM

35. I agree. On the range, guys don't want to be shown up!

 

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #35)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 11:48 AM

36. Umm, thats not what I'm talking about. I spar with women who are brilliant and

 

Know what they are doing. I been beaten often by women, who beats me doesn't bother me. I view it as a learning experience to improve my technique.

Here we are talking about beginners.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:47 AM

21. Two points

1. if it's tax funded it shouldn't be exclusive.

But I would even caveat that statement with: If the instructor volunteered their services and the only public expenditure was a public asset such as a meeting space I don't see this as an issue so long as a "men only" activity could use the same meeting space.

However, if the county is paying the instructor or some other expense with public funds then I am uncomfortable with this.

2. I think the article meant to refer to FOURTEENTH Amendment rather than the FOURTH with regards to the equal protection clause.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:52 AM

23. The problem is its government-sponsored

 

When I saw the headline I was originally going to say that it is up to the organization doing it since it is a private business and private property.

BUT then I saw it's being funded by the city commission....that's going to create a legal problem for the city. The MRAs may have a legit case here.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:57 AM

26. At first glance the classes sound unfair.

But a self defense class for women would be different from one for men. And if defense against sexual assault is the focus of the class the presence of men in the class might make it difficult for many women to attend. Lots of people, and probably more women than men, have reservations about physical conflict and the presence of others in the class that are larger and stronger could be intimidating.

All and all this is just more culture war bullshit. They're looking for something to complain about to get eyeballs on some stupid blog.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #26)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 11:00 AM

28. ^^^This^^^

I wonder if simply offering other free classes without the gender exclusion would constitute a reasonable accommodation.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #26)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 11:08 AM

32. I have no problem with the classes being sex-segregated.

But there should also be a free class offered for men.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #32)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 11:12 AM

33. I thought of that.

And it's fine, since men aren't universally warriors in our culture. But women suffer sexual assault at a much higher rate than men, so in light of that and the inevitable budgetary realities I don't mind prioritizing by gender.

But I agree that they should be offered by all. It would do people good to learn about the realities of physical conflict.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #26)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:51 PM

43. The self defense teaching should be appropriate to the students.

 

Men and women have different needs and techniques appropriate to their weight and strength.

Men are 50% more likely to be victimized by violent crime, so self defense classes for men are at least equally justified.


There should be no problem with self defense classes for women, provided the city is not refusing to extend the same service to men.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #43)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 01:19 PM

47. It looks like it's funded by private donations

under the auspices of the city of Glendale. No doubt public interest is greater for one gender than the other. That disparity might come from a lot of sources: the idea that men are universally aggressive, disparity of venue availability, more community outreach may be required to get women interested and no doubt others that don't occur to me at the moment up to and including the usual culture war stuff.

I agree that men suffer more instances of violence than women and while rape is a terrible thing to experience comparing terrible violent experiences gets us nowhere. But I also think that absolute parity is a red herring. If it's MRA's raising a stink about it I'm not likely to worry much. From what I've seen of that crowd they can go pound sand.

The rate of violence suffered by men has fallen precipitously to almost that of women. I doubt there will be much interest in funding classes for men. This is a political response to a cultural issue and in this case I say "meh". If it gets people to consider the value of taking control of their personal safety the benefits will outweigh the liabilities.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #47)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 01:31 PM

51. Right, private donations. The city's only giving them space.

Why doesn't Harry Crouch hold a bake sale and raise his own damn funds for his own damn "male defense against other males" classes.

And how's he going to distinguish between the male bullies and the male victims who want to take his classes?

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Response to mainer (Reply #51)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 01:42 PM

54. Well, to be fair

how would you feel about the use of city space for religious services even though they are privately funded? If the space is taxpayer supported, then it should be used to benefit all taxpayers. Feminism is pretty gender specific and in some quarters it can take on the fervor of a religion, so the issue isn't as clear cut as one might expect. Again, absolute parity is a red herring.

In this case I consider those classes of value to the community even though the emphasis is on women.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 11:07 AM

31. There's a bit of a contradiction with what we usually hear

Usually, it's, "If women want to protect themselves from sexual assault, they should take self-defense classes." We're even told that classes for men about consent and rape are horrible, and that women should be the ones to learn to protect themselves instead.

But now, it's, "The city can't offer self-defense classes for women to protect themselves from sexual assault."

It seems like women are just SOL.

I understand the legal argument, but I don't think that's what the MRAs care about.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #31)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 11:42 AM

34. You have this wrong, imo...

 

I haven't seen anyone advocate "the city can't offer self-defense classes for women..." Not even the guy objecting to the unfairness of the city's proposal (and it is unfair) is advocating against such classes. There seems to be general consensus here that publicly-funded classes be offered to all. And they should be.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #31)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:23 PM

37. Oh please. As far as I can see everyone here supports free defense classes for both women and men.

The only thing people are complaining about is giving women free classes but making men pay.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #37)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 01:36 PM

53. The only reason it's free for women is private fundraising

The men are free to have a private fundraiser, too.

In fact, I think gay rights organizations should do just that, to help gay men protect themselves against straight bullies.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:29 PM

38. Paragraph 2

"The classes, which have been organized by the city’s Commission on the State of Women, will be offered on April 9 and 16 at local facilities as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month."

If this asshole wants free classes for men, I applaud him. NO ONE IS STOPPING HIM FROM ASKING FOR THEM; however, he needs to petition the Glendale city council to create a Commission on the State of Men as part of Men's Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Oh yeah, and he needs to get a Men's Sexual Assault Awareness Month designation, too. That shouldn't be difficult if it's as serious a problem for men as it is for women.

There's a reason why there's a Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

This man acts as if just saying that women are equal now means that we should no longer be able to get help for any situation at all. History be damned, women. Don't you know that you're equal now? Fend for yourselves, bitches! He also wants us to believe that men are not to be held responsible for anything bad that has ever happened to or now happens to women... Now that we're equal and all.

Each to his/her own need: the city of Glendale can spend its money any way it sees fit until enough voters decide to change it. Good luck to the men who try to do away with the Commission on the State of Women.

Shame on this asshole.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:37 PM

39. A self defense class without men cannot hope to live up to its name.

Although there are many exceptions to this rule, in general boys and young men get much more cultural encouragement to spar or "roughhouse" as they grow. This practice serves to magnify the advantage their (on average) greater size and lower body fat gives them when it comes to physical confrontations. Compared to your average woman, your average man is much better trained in boxing and wrestling.

As a result a woman's abilities will not progress very far or fast if she is only practicing them against other women. In the horrific event that she must actually use these self defense techniques, it is almost certainly going to be against an aggressive man, and so if she wants them to be of any use she must practice them against male opponents.

If these classes are more about fitness, self-esteem and socializing then it all makes sense, but then they should be called judo or kick boxing or something other than self defense, since that name implies an entirely practical focus.

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Response to Threedifferentones (Reply #39)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:46 PM

41. Maybe they're taught by a guy?

I once took a self-defense class, led by a male black belt in karate, but intended for women. He was great, and he focused on the things that women are more comfortable doing in certain situations. For instance, he realized that many of us lack the killer instinct to go for the eyes, but we're OK with using our elbows. And he also helped us overcome our natural inclination of non-aggression. I suspect a lot of men would find it doesn't apply to them.

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Response to mainer (Reply #41)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 01:12 PM

45. Now that you mention it mainer I was overlooking that psychological aspect of it.

I think you are absolutely correct, a lot of women could benefit just from pretending they are under attack and putting themselves into an aggressive/angry state of mind that may not be familiar to them. It makes sense to me that in such a case they would be much more comfortable starting out in a setting where there are not a bunch of men around to chuckle at them and call them cute.

But in the long run my points are not really disputable. Speaking from experience, people only master physical skills by using them over and over. When it comes to fighting, that means if you want to get better you need to fight.

Of course self defense is not learning to fight per se, since fighting implies a desire to hurt and thus a rough balance between offensive and defensive techniques.

Still, since a woman's real life confrontation is almost certain to pit her against a man, the techniques she hopes to employ to hinder and escape from her attacker need to be practiced against men, or they will not be of any use when her adrenaline is spiked and she is forced to rely on her instincts. The instructor cannot spar with all the students, so if these women want to really internalize effective defensive maneuvers they will need male classmates to practice with.

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Response to Threedifferentones (Reply #45)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 01:25 PM

49. Our class didn't involve sparring, but learning to feel comfortable throwing punches

And we certainly weren't going to punch each other.

A lot of it was learning which targets to go for (e.g. the crotch is really hard to aim for, so kick at the knee or slam the throat instead), and really finding our focus. Also, how to use our voices and lungs to increase the power of the blow.

Luckily, I've never had to use any of it, but he drilled us through hours of just yelling and punching, until it became almost second nature to react that way.

I do think that if men were also taking the class, a lot of us wouldn't have signed up for it because we'd feel like second-class citizens.

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Response to mainer (Reply #49)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 02:15 PM

55. Okay, that all makes sense, we don't disagree at all, we're just making different points.

But remember my first point was that men are not only stronger, they went through all that as boys. For the man attacking a woman, striking is second nature, not almost.

The man attacking a woman will have struck and been struck many times, and so his advantage comes not only from the biological facts of height and muscle, but also from the psychological impact of having been raised male.

From my perspective, finding your focus and learning to be aggressive is a baby step, in almost a literal sense. That is what was forced on me before the age of 10, before I knew what rape was, before I could fully grasp just how nasty the world really is, because I was a boy and not a girl.

Still, even that first step in defending yourself is huge, it gives you a fighting chance because it will prevent you from simply seizing up and giving in.

But in order to progress beyond that a person needs to practice fighting men. Now there is no need, and perhaps no good reason, to do that. I'm sure most women don't find it interesting or enjoyable to train to hurt another person, but when I read "self-defense" I assumed that is what they meant, which just means that I did not understand.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:42 PM

40. The classes are paid for through fundraising

They just happen to be held in a public space.

There's no reason that some other organization couldn't also fund-raise for men's classes.

Or is the point that Harry Crouch just doesn't like the idea of women being able to protect themselves?

The Glendale News-Press reports that the Commission on the Status of Women has been holding the classes for years on city property in April to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The classes are paid for through fundraising.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 01:10 PM

44. OT, but

the guy in that picture kinda reminds me of Ed Wuncler lll from The Boondocks. He looks psychotic, and he's wearing the tank top and chain.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 01:28 PM

50. Likely the complaint is valid...

but I will continue my policy of free classes to women in at risk situation.

This does give me an idea of adding a class open to all women, free of charge in April. I will have to see if I can schedule one.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 01:33 PM

52. harry crouch sounds like god's gift to women...

Not.

Seriously, is this guy married? Did he grow up hating his mother?

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Response to mainer (Reply #52)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 05:48 PM

57. Maybe he didn't get breast fed, I dunno. He seems pretty hostile.

 

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 02:23 PM

56. Plaintiffs are right on this one.

 

Government funded classes should be open to all tax payers.

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