David King, MSc, PhD
Writer, Teacher, and Health Psychologist


       davidking2311@gmail.com

"We need not to be let alone. We need to be
really bothered once in a while. How long
is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something
real?" (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)
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Tolerance

How We Got Here (or, Who We Are)

by David King on January 23, 2017

Trump

Donald Trump now formally occupies what is arguably one of the most powerful seats in the world. On the surface, this may seem like it has very little to do with me or my politics as a Canadian. But when I take a step back, I see the bigger picture. This world is reaching a precipice of sorts, a breaking point, where literally everything is on the line and no one is left unaffected.

I have always been hesitant to oversimplify any social phenomenon, because I believe that important information is inevitably lost in the process. But all complexities aside (for a moment), here are a few considerations to be had:

1. People can essentially be divided into three groups: the haves, the have-nots, and the have-a-lots. Conventional thinking typically reduces all of us to one of … Keep Reading Here

Donald Trump

For brevity’s sake, I’m going to cut right to it—and leave the frills and prose for another post. After spending a good part of this teaching term discussing and analyzing Donald J. Trump with my students, I thought I might offer some additional insight on the madness that has befallen the United States of America and the Western world at large. 

I believe there are three primary perspectives worth considering in psychological terms. The first is the man himself, Donald J. Trump. He served as our second case study in my personality course, and so some credit is owed to my students whose thoughts and views have contributed to these conclusions. The second perspective is that of the Trump supporter, whose psychology may indeed bear the greatest burden of responsibility in this election. The final perspective is that of the … Keep Reading Here

end_of_doma_1

Yesterday, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, putting an end to a ridiculous law that prevented the federal government from recognizing state-legalized same-sex marriages. Let me preface the rest of this article by saying that this is definitely a good thing, and it is a step in the right direction. Without a doubt, supporters of equality and human rights should be pleased.

Let’s take a closer look at the reality of the situation. The Defense of Marriage Act was approved by Congress in 1996, spearheaded by Georgia Republican Bob Barr in an effort to express the collective moral disapproval of homosexuality (literally). Although it was met with some resistance, it was nonetheless pushed through Congress quickly and easily, with votes of 85-14 in the Senate and 342-67 in the House of Representatives. … Keep Reading Here

To Be Cool, or To Be Great

by David King on May 11, 2013

michael jeffries

In case you missed it, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Michael Jeffries, is a jerk. He was recently quoted as saying, “A lot of people don’t belong in our clothes, and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”

Not surprisingly, this has left people outraged. And rightly so. It’s pretty shocking that we even need to have a conversation about such dated use of the phrase cool kids. Seriously, Mr. Jeffries, we live in a world that’s trying its damnedest to be accepting, and to expand its definition of cool to include such acceptance.

But all is not lost. This guy has revealed himself as … Keep Reading Here

Gender Bent and Borrowed

by David King on February 19, 2013

Photo property of Carole Moran

Gender is an issue that has long been a bother – to me and to millions of people around the world. It’s a complicated subject, and it only seems to get more complicated. It’s the F in M/F, or it’s the M, depending on perspective; it’s the T in LGBT; it’s the pink and the blue, the doll and the truck; it’s both penis and vagina, both John and Jane; it’s who we are and yet not even close, a mere product of socialization; an evolutionary relic, forged in binary minds with eyes blind to all that lay outside the box.

When I was a kid, I struggled with my lack of conformity to the male gender role and all its macho stereotypes. Most of my friends were girls and while I enjoyed my fair share of action figures (and … Keep Reading Here

I’ve avoided writing about the gay marriage debate because I thought my stance was too obvious. I’m gay, and more importantly, I’m a human being in favor of equal rights – and so I obviously support gay marriage.

And I do. But this debate has become a distraction of sorts, particularly in North America.

Historically, marriage actually started out as something much closer to civil union, particularly in Ancient Greece and later throughout Europe. Hereditary lines and property rights were the priorities of the times. Until the late 16th century, even Christian marriages required only mutual consent and physical union, without the presence of a priest or witnesses.

Appropriately, a verbal promise between the parties took place, called the verbum. It could be stated privately, without witnesses: “I marry you.” It was binding, legally, and recorded as such … Keep Reading Here

Intolerant of “Tolerance”

by David King on March 26, 2009

tolerance

Although originally used in reference to minority religious sects, the term “tolerance” has found broader applications in Western society.

Today, tolerance is used to describe a moderately respectful attitude toward any social minority group that has been previously disapproved of or rejected by the majority. We hear of “racial tolerance” and tolerance of “the gay lifestyle.” Websites and organizations abound who wish to teach tolerance to young people. Thefamily.org (a Christian movement) emphasizes the importance of racial tolerance for the success of society. George W. Bush urged that Americans show religious tolerance following hate crimes against Muslims in 2001. And, in case you missed it, Sarah Palin tolerates gay people. Yup, she really does!

This past week, I saw a TV interview with a sociologist who stated, with pride, that tolerance had become an American value. So there we have … Keep Reading Here