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Where Is the Love in Wikipedia?
Online encyclopedia riddled with bias in matters of the heart
Joan M. Dawson (joanied40)     Print Article 
Published 2007-01-15 13:40 (KST)   
"I had heard for weeks from teachers, journalists and historians about 'the wonderful world of Wikipedia,' where millions of people worldwide visit daily for quick reference "facts," composed and posted by people with no special expertise or knowledge -- and sometimes by people with malice." (USA Today 11-29-05)
Initially I thought Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia boasting over 1.5 million articles, was a wonderful tool. Soon, I found out the encyclopedia that was supposed to be neutral and backed up by citations was riddled with biased opinion and often, contempt.

One of the threads I found to be particularly offensive was the thread for marriage. By following the links, I felt like I was on a wild Da Vinci Code-like whirlwind tour inside the minds of the righteous and the defamatory-ous. Indeed, I couldn't help but wonder: Where was the love?

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Wikipedia's article on marriage has links to over 20 related concepts. They include topics as adultery, divorce, monogamy, etc. As I clicked on the links, I was taken to links within links. Somehow, I was never taken to love. I had to type it into Wikipedia's search engine to find it. What I did find while searching, however, was eye-opening and jaw-dropping, and not for the reasons you would expect when searching on a hot romance ticket like marriage.

The Wiki article on marriage ("The neutrality and factual accuracy of this article are disputed" -- a warning I often ran into) goes through the usual -- definitions and types of marriage, religious perspectives, same sex marriage, and the termination and criticism of marriage. In the criticism section, I was introduced to the father's rights movement.

The father's movement is part of the men's movement. Their main belief is that family law is biased against men, particularly in regard to child custody. The Wiki article says that "any aggression that the father may have manifested in the past" is used as a means to award full or majority custody to women. This they refer to as a "witch hunt."

This group strives wholeheartedly (or is that cold-heartedly?) to prove that women are just as abusive as men in cases of domestic violence. Citing 440 shelters for women and two for men in the U.K., they state this is, "suggesting a conspiracy to deny domestic violence against men."

Following up on this accusation, we have quotes from Christianity about wives accepting the authority of their husbands and being submissive and quotes from Islamic texts justifying hitting wives. Oh yeah, they also seek to change biased language, something feminists get charged with as being political correctness gone mad.

You can link to Allegations of domestic violence. It states father's rights campaigners believe many of the allegations of domestic abuse are false and are motivated by "the gains in property and child custody which may accrue to the alleged victim."

It likens this to false allegations of rape (but fails to mention that rape is one of the most underreported crimes in the U.S., and probably worldwide). If anyone needs more information on false allegations of domestic abuse, they can link to "Don't make her mad dot-com;" you can imagine what you'll find there.

Okay, since my mouth dropped at "allegations of domestic violence," I decided to visit blame. That's always been a good one for women, and this article was no exception. The example of "blame" is rape. Surprise! So, those who believe "others" can cause a deed say that rape victims "brought the rape upon herself" because of her provocative clothing. And, those who believe "rape is a freely chosen choice" would say rapists are to blame, not the victims' provocative dress. Those who believe the victim causes his or her own victimization do so "in good faith." Now, aren't they sympathetic?

When they can't prove that women are as violent as men, they claim women prefer using psychological abuse to physical violence. So I decided to click on the link to emotional abuse. There's a list of 18 indicators of emotional abuse as adapted by "this is a war dot-com." One of the indicators states, "They ignore logic and prefer histrionics in order to remain the centre of attention." Another age-old prejudice: women are illogical and hysterical.

Okay, the link to hysterics gave a fairly objective background. I investigated further and found Histrionic personality disorder.

Oh, this was a good one. Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is a pattern of "excessive emotional expression and attention-seeking, including an excessive need for approval and inappropriate seductiveness, that usually begins in early adulthood." The individuals inflicted with this disorder are dramatic and flirtatious. "They may be inappropriately sexually provocative, express strong emotions with an impressionistic style, and be easily influenced by others."

This disorder is rarely found in men. Are you surprised? They are further characterized as shallow, inappropriate, and over-concerned with their attractiveness. Not surprisingly, the topic of penis envy is mentioned in this article.

Okay, so let's say your wife is physically and psychologically abusive, what can you do? Well, you can either divorce her or seek an annulment, of course.

If you link to annulment, you will find the nicest version of Henry VIII's annulments that I have ever read in my life. He offered Anne Boleyn an "easy death" if she would agree to annulment. She was beheaded with a sword for treason. What a kind king.

Now, curiously, in regard to divorce, women file more often than men. These emotionally abusive women have some nerve! What could be their reason? Well, according to Wikipedia, 27 percent of divorces were the result of extramarital affairs in the U.K. in 2004. Yet, when you scroll down, you'll find that financial gains are a "seductive enticement to divorce" for women. Seductive, in deed.

Women catch their husbands cheating and divorce them for financial gains. What a seductive scenario. It makes me want to race out and get married. (But, then again, if I'm so easily "influenced by others," maybe they'll label me as having HPD.)

Since we're on the topic of affairs, I investigated adultery. Well, of course we all know men can't commit adultery, only women can, thus, the article is devoted to the topic of women who commit adultery. (In fairness, it does state that when men cheat it's considered "philandery," not adultery.) No article of adultery would be complete without mention of the history of women being owned as property, religious rationale for why women should remain faithful to their husbands, and execution as a form of punishment for women's adultery.

When a women cheats on her husband, the husband, I learned, is called a "cuckold." The article on cuckold refers to the female as dominant and the men as "monogamous," "supportive," "nurturing" and "serving her." And yet, if he's in control, he may "pimp" his wife when he makes arrangements for her to have a sexual encounter himself.

Now, when a man cheats, it is said he takes a "mistress." The mistress exchanges sex for money but reserves herself for one man. In the "role reversal" section of the article, examples include Catherine the Great and Lady Chatterley as being the mistresses of men. They can't be sexual beings who take on lovers. No, they are still relegated to being "mistresses" of men.

Well, let's see, men can also visit prostitutes so I took a gander at prostitution. Apparently, prostitution excludes "any form of rape from the definition." Um, excuse me but rape and murder are occupational hazards of prostitution. Well, that wasn't nearly as surprising as finding that the definition includes being "married to the sexual counterparty," thus, I suppose, wife and prostitute can be synonyms. I must alert Webster's thesaurus to this. And, "some societies would even classify rape victims as prostitutes." Indeed.

So, you ask, who's working to strengthen marriage? Well, you'll be relieved to know that the men's rights movement is. They seek to strengthen marriage, oppose same-sex marriage, improve the lives of children, and reduce poverty and abortion. They'd like to fight the mistreatment of men in the media and false rape allegations. "The men's movement, as a whole, seeks equal rights for all people," whereas feminism, they claim, discriminated against and abused men.

As a further criticism of feminism, they contend, "Leading men's rights activists largely oppose same-sex marriage and civil unions. Feminist organizations launched these initiatives in the late 1970's with the idea it would end single-mother poverty (which is caused largely by family structure) by creating "female-female" marriages.

Feminist strategists realized it would place women in the position to control all aspects of reproduction, life, politics, and marriage." Same-sex marriage, they further contend, is a "secessionist movement" whereby society would be controlled by "the matriarchy." Oooh, you can't get any better than this for conspiracy theories.

If all this puts you off from marriage, you can (if you're male) join the marriage strike. The term is self-evident. If you need further information, you can visit the links on Wikipedia: "Dump your wife now blog," "Eternal bachelor blog," and "Stay single, young man."

Where, indeed, is the love?
©2007 OhmyNews

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