Monday, October 01, 2012

Bryan Craig's booklet "It's Her Fault": It got him fired from a school system, and he is suing; he does say something valuable

Author: Bryan Craig

Title: “It’s Her Fault

Publication: Author House, ISBN 978-1-4772-5459-2, 8 chapters with Foreword and Afterword: 45 pages, paper.

Amazon link:  

This little booklet has attracted controversy because its author (he says “written by” on the cover) was fired  (after first being suspended) from his job as a guidance counselor and girls’ basketball coach at Rich Central High School in Olympia Fields, IL. (near Chicago), after this self-published book appeared.  The “writer” is suing the school district for $1 for wrongful termination, apparently based on his free speech rights as a public employee.  There is a long history of litigation over where public speech rights of teachers or school employees end – when it could interfere with instruction in the classroom or discipline in the school.  The Huffington Post has a story about the matter (witn embedded interview of the author on CNN) here.

Most teacher firings in recent years have occurred over social media, rather than published books.  But self-published books may seem to test the waters – as they don’t go through as much oversight.  Is there a conflict of interest issue?  I had to deal with that myself when I self-pubbed my own “Do Ask Do Tell” book in 1997 because I was working for a company that specialized in selling life insurance to military officers. (I'll be covering a principled controversy about a book by an ex Navy Seal here soon.)  I can well imagine that some of his explicit comments about physical matters (below) could create the impression among students that he could be prejudiced against some of them -- leading to a legal variation of the "hostile workplace" problem, this time in a pubic school system.

The booklet, however brief, was valuable to me.  Craig, who says he is married, starts out by describing courtship and subsequent marriage as a mental con game in which the man knows that the woman is “superior” in terms of potential brain power and stability (that was George Gilder’s argument in “Men and Marriage” back in the 1980s – see April 12, 2006), but needs to fool his own brain into believing that he has the upper hand in power games. In a 1993 book, Warren Farrell had made similar points, from a socially liberal perspective, in his "The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are the Disposable Sex" (Simon and Schuster).  "Disposable" essentially means "fungible". 

All of this might not be so controversial (conservatives go along with most of it), but then Craig gets quite explicit about some intimate matters, especially those primary sexual characteristics of women that (he says) makes women more “satisfying” to the egos of men.  He gets quite explicit as to race.  Now some stuff like this (more about the “secondary characteristics”) I used to hear young men talk about in college dorms and Army barracks during my own coming of age, so it is nothing new.  But the level to which he takes this heterosexual fetishism is new to me.

As a gay man, I don’t experience what he describes, but I experience something comparable, with respect to “the secondaries”, about other men (as was an issue with my "therapy" at NIH in 1962).  Maybe that helps support the idea that sexual orientation is immutable.  Psychologists (and conservative writers like George Gilder) call this process “upward affiliation”, and cast it in a negative light.  The implication is that a man will not be able to love anyone (or at least remain in love for a lifetime of marriage) who does not feed his ego by being “good enough”.  Ever heard the phrase, “He can do better than that?”  Craig at one point uses the phrase, “You do the math.”  There’s still deeper point, too: should our ability to experience compassion and participate in reinforcing the social capital of others depend on our “having what we want” in our own relationships first?  I have the impression that the healthiest marriages were not predicated on prerequisites of ego satisfaction (I don't think this was true of my parents, married for 45 years).  

Craig (whose picture shows him to be African-American), by the way, is quite explicit that men ought to play the field before marriage.  (Our acronym in Army barracks was “SIBM”.) The old religious idea of reserving sexuality for marriage with one person can’t possibly work, in his view.

Here’s YouTube video by “Interactive Healing” in which the speaker discusses the authors’ “objectification of women and girls”.  But should psychological traits revealed in published writings disqualify one from working in a public school system?

For my own experience with this issue, see my “BillBoushka” blog, entry on  July 27, 2007.

The booklet is inexpensive to download to Kindle, but a but pricey for its length in hardcopy (it's done by print-on-demand).  

Last picture: from a Hooters (restroom sign) in Waco, TX. 

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