Dear John,

March 31, 2011

Dear John,

I hope that you have followed along in my posts and have seen that this is an incredibly important issue to me. I don’t believe that you are a horrible person. I do believe; however, that you have a responsibility that comes along with being a musician in the spot light. That responsibility is to serve as a role model for your fans, especially the young ones. By publicly degrading women who you used to have a personal relationships with you’re encouraging this type of behavior from young men. With your actions you are saying, “I am a man, I do and say what I want to who I want even if it degrades and belittles women.” The message you are sending to young women is that this is normal behavior from a man, that it should be expected, and that there is nothing wrong with it.

I don’t believe that it is too late for you to evoke a positive image. You have an extremely amazing opportunity to show young men the right way to treat women. Not just by telling, but by doing as well. That is why I am asking you, John, to make a public apology to all women for the past mistakes you have made. I, also, want to ask you to address all young men publicly and advocate to them the importance of respect towards women, and all others. Is this a responsibility that you believe you can take on?

With the most sincere intentions,

Maddison

Advertisements

When it comes down to it, John’s comments may be rude, disrespectful, degrading, and so much more but some people may just say, “Well, those are just words, maybe he doesn’t mean it.” There are; however, many instances where disrespectful words are just the beginning to a long cycle of abuse.

Abuse within a relationship is an extremely important issue that we all should be educated about, and because the issue I am addressing of disrespect seems to be closely related to dating violence I think it’s important that I do my part of informing all of you.

Signs you are being abused (According to Love is Respect)

When your significant other does any of the following:

  • Looks at you or acts in ways that scares you
  • Acts jealous or possessive
  • Puts you down or criticizes you
  • Tries to control where you go, what you wear or what you do
  • Texts or calls you excessively
  • Blames you for the hurtful things they say and do
  • Threatens to kill or hurt you or themselves if you leave them
  • Tries to stop you from seeing or talking to friends and family
  • Tries to force you to have sex
  • They hit, slap, push or kick you

Signs that you are being abusive (According to Love is Respect)

When you:

  • Call your significant other names?
  • Text or call them excessively and get upset when they don’t respond
  • Monitor their email, calls, texts, or profile on a social networking sites
  • Feel you have a right or need to know where they are most of the time
  • Get jealous or angry when they spend time with friends or family
  • Ask them to change their clothes or style of dress
  • Get in their face during a disagreement
  • Push, slap, or punch them for any reason
  • Restrain them to keep them from leaving during an argument
  • Guilt or force them into having sex
  • Threaten to hurt them or yourself if your relationship ever ends

If you  or anyone you know may be in an abusive relationship, please, get help right away. You can confide in a friend, a mentor, or call a hotline. Abusive relationships are incredibly difficult to get out of, but the most important thing for your safety is to remove yourself from the situation before things get worse. For more information and personal insight into dating violence, read Sarah Van Zanten’s blog.

National Dating Abuse Hotline:

1-866-331-9474

Visit loveisrespect.org for more information on dating violence!


I was in high school when John Mayer’s ‘Daughters’ came out and it was an instant favorite of mine. The lyrics to this song were so deep and meaningful; I became an instant fan. And, how couldn’t I, right? With the beautiful words, the soft sensual sound of his guitar, and let’s not forget about the close-ups in the music video of John with his puppy-dog eyes.

The chorus to the song reads:

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

But listening to the song today, is much different then when I was 16 listening to it in my bedroom. Sure, when it comes on the radio I won’t change it, musically the song is still beautiful, but the feeling I used to get of love and admiration for such beautiful words has vanished. The image that John Mayer has portrayed to the media sends the exact opposite of the underlying message in the song. The song creates the idea that fathers should nurture the relationship they have with their daughters from a young age because that bond between father and daughter will effect future relationships the daughters have with men. In the song John presents the idea that the way a woman is treated is the most important part of creating and molding her future, but he is seen portraying the exact opposite in magazines and on camera.

So I am now publicly calling John Mayer’s bluff. I don’t believe that those lyrics ever came from the heart. I think, to him, they just made for a good song, because if these lyrics were true to him it would show in his day-to-day interaction with women. The two extreme opposites of John can be confusing to girls who admire him for that song, and is also extremely deceiving. Young girls already have to deal with so much growing up: puberty, liking boys, not being liked back, young heartbreak… Music is the only stable thing for us a girls/young women to rely on to always be true. So, by John Mayer portraying an image he is not he setting up girls everywhere to suffer a major loss.

In the following post I interviewed a young woman on her personal opinion of John Mayer and his influence in the media. I also interviewed a young man with similar questions because I was curious to see if their were differences in opinion on this subject based on gender. Here is the interview:

Q: What’s your opinion of John Mayer in 1 or 2 sentences?

A: I think that John Mayer is an amazingly talented singer songwriter, who spent the first 20 years of his life as an outcast and a loser, and spent the next 10 years of his life trying to balanced that out by being an arrogant a-hole.

Q: What kind of image does John Mayer portray to the media?

A: John Mayer tries so hard to portray himself as this rough around the edges guy who can get any girl. Every other article is him like, “Look at me! Look who I just had a fling with? Look at how troubled and mysterious my life is.”

Q: What do you think of that image? Is it negative or positive? Explain.

A: John Mayer’s image is mostly negative. He obviously has some issues when he is discussing his sex life to magazines. I think its more sad on his part though. He is trying so hard to let everyone know about these beautiful women who want him, while at the same time he is degrading them publicly.

Q: What kind of influence do you think John Mayer has on young men? Is it negative or positive? Explain.

A: His affect on young men is negative. I dont think that he is as much as an influence on young men compared to hip hop today, I mean, he isn’t E-40 calling women “bitches” or worse. His music isn’t degrading, which is a step above many artists today. But there are kids who see his interviews, and follow his life, and are going to be influenced by Mayer. He is the total opposite of a gentleman. He has the ability to say, “Hey, look at all these beautiful women who want me… This is how amazing I treat them. This is how a real man treats a women.” But instead he degrades them in magazines.

Q: How do you think John Mayer’s actions and image in the media affects women?

A: I feel like women are confused about how to feel about Mayer. On one hand, he treats the women in his life horrible, and on the other hand, he makes awesome music.

Q: What do you think of John Mayer in terms of his music/talent?

A: I don’t have any John Mayer, except for “Your Body is a Wonderland”, and to this day, I’m not sure how it ended up in my iTunes. I wouldn’t call myself a fan. But when ever I hear his songs on the radio, or on TV, I keep them on. I think he has a lot more talent than majority of “artists” today.

Q: Do you think the fact that John Mayer is very talented gives him the right to act anyway he pleases? Or should even celebrities have boundaries?

A: No one has the right to act like a douche bag. I think that John Mayer and celebrities have the right to there own lives, and the right to make horrible mistakes. However, they have the responsibility to set an example. If he wants to be like that, fine… But don’t go talk to rolling stones about with gritty details of sex with your exes.

Q: As a young man, do you think celebrities like John Mayer, Charlie Sheen, Tiger Woods, etc have an effect the way young men treat women? If yes, explain.

A: I personally feel like Charlie Sheen, and Tiger woods have little influence on young men, because guys can see how much of a screw up these people are. I haven’t heard anyone say, “Man I wish I was Charlie Sheen right now”. I feel like guys are guys. Sheen, Mayer, Woods… They aren’t too far off base from the majority of men. I feel like the real tragedy is that these celebrities are so successful, and so influential, they could set a good example on how to treat women respectfully, but they don’t. They seem to be lowering the status quo.

I feel that the results from both interviews were generally similar. They seemed to agree that John Mayer certainly shouldn’t face criminal charges for what he has done, but he also isn’t someone for anyone to look up to. I agree with both when they say that John Mayer has an incredible opportunity to set an example of how to treat a woman, and it isn’t too late for John to take advantage of that opportunity.

Because I am making the serious accusation that John Mayer’s actions are influencing young men and generating a negative impact on young women I want as much evidence to back it up as possible. The following is an interview with a female regarding John Mayer and his presence in the media:

Q: What’s your opinion of John Mayer in 1 or 2 sentences?

A: To me, John Mayer as a musician is talented and pours his heart into the lyrics of his songs. But as a person, the way he treats girls totally contradicts what he preaches in his music.

Q: What do you think of John Mayer in terms of his music/talent?

A: There is no denying that he’s very talented, his music is soothing, gentle, and catchy.

Q. What kind of image do you think John Mayer portrays to the media?

A: It seems to me that John Mayer doesn’t really give a crap about what the media says about him because clearly it doesn’t seem to be effecting his ability to sell records or get girls.

Q. What do you think of that image? Is it negative or positive? Explain.

A: I think to women he has a negative image because he treats girls poorly. To men though, I feel like they see the musician rather than the person he is.

Q: Do you feel John Mayer’s actions effect young adults who witness them through the media?

A: I believe anyone who is in the public eye has the ability to effect young adults. They are very impressionable and if they look up to him, I have no doubt that his actions and the way the media portrays him effect them.

Q: As a woman, do you personally feel John Mayer disrespects women?

A: I definitely feel like John Mayer disrespects women. To his defense, I only read what the tabloids say about him. But from what i see in the media, he has screwed over numerous women in Hollywood and continues to do so. However, I do not know how he treats them during the relationship. But regardless, I am amazed at how he goes from girl to girl and all i ever read about is how he broke their hearts in one way or another.

Q: Do you think the fact that John Mayer is very talented gives him the right to act anyway he pleases? Or should even celebrities have boundaries?

A: No matter how talented someone is, it never gives them the right to treat people poorly. They do not get some kind of validation or “free pass” just because of their talent. Not just celebrities, but everyone should always treat others with respect. Male celebrities especially need to convey the idea of respecting women because of the impression they have on the younger generation of men.


Men of Integrity

March 29, 2011

Chapman University does an amazing job of honoring respectful men on campus with its annual Men of Integrity event. This event honors men who treat women with love and kindness and also serves as a step in the right direction towards ending all violence against women. Men are nominated by their Chapman peers based on the following qualities:

  • Makes good decisions and leads by example?
  • Treats everyone equally and with respect?
  • Takes NO for an answer?
  • Lives by his convictions and does what he says he is going to do?
  • Speaks up when someone degrades other people?
  • Is responsible regarding laws?
  • Actively promotes a safe environment?
  • Doesn’t resort to violence?
  • Does not objectify women?
  • Would put a stop to abusive, degrading or coercive speech or behaviors?

Just because there are men out there who mistreat and hurt others it doesn’t mean there aren’t any true gentlemen. For this post let’s forget about what a jerk John Mayer can be and let’s focus on the real men. If you know a man who is respectful, caring, and meets the criteria above show him that we recognize all that he does by nominating him here!

Thank you and spread the love ❤ ❤

Let’s take a moment…

March 29, 2011

I am extremely passionate about the fact that John Mayer needs to change the ways he treats women, and I know I’ve made it VERY clear in my blog. With this post; however, I’d like to take a moment to honor the men in the world who do respect women, because they damn well deserve it!

Because I can’t give a personal shout out to all of the stand-up men out there, I will instead honor the men in my life that have always and still continue to treat me with the utmost respect.

My boyfriend, Mike, has always respected the fact that I am my own person. He always rooted for me  in everything I strived to achieve even if he knew it could make our relationship a little bit harder. When applying to transfer out of junior college in 2009  I was between two difference schools: Chapman University (my top choice) and Cal State Northridge (where my boyfriend happens to go). Instead of pushing me and pressuring me into choosing Cal State Northridge, so that we would be together, Mike was with me every step of the way towards my future at Chapman. When I got tired of hitting the refresh button on the ‘application status’ page of web advisor, Mike would take over. He even stayed up with me all weekend during the application process helping me perfect my Dodge College application. I love Mike even more for insisting that I always follow MY dreams.


My dad will always be the number one man in my life; I look up to him because he taught me to have standards and helped me realize what kind of man I deserve. I can’t pinpoint any one specific event that makes my dad honorable, it’s a combination of countless events that makes him an amazing man. It is the flowers he’ll bring home for my mother every once in a while, the father-daughter dances we went to, the boyfriend advice he’ll give me, the ice cream trips after the orthodontist, the loans he took out for my very expensive Chapman education…… It is my entire childhood and the rest of my life. He is the greatest man that I will ever know and I cannot thank him enough for everything he has ever taught me.

I hope that someday John Mayer will grow out of his ways because I don’t believe he is a horrible person. I think he has a lot of growing up to do, but I know he has the ability of being just as great as any other man out there. Here’s to hoping he strives for a change to be that supportive boyfriend or that loving father to somebody.

Meet-and-Greet

March 22, 2011

As you can see from my blog header and the picture posted above, I got to meet John Mayer. I was in high school, and when my mom told me that she won a meet-and-greet with John Mayer I just about peed my pants. After all he was the sensual, sexy, yet shy, guitar player with a voice from heaven. As I waited in line to meet my future husband I could feel my palms getting sweaty. I couldn’t think let alone put a sentence together. I handed him my picture and when I told him my name he said, “Maddison? I love that name.” That was all it took for me….I fell in love with John Mayer that day, and I fell hard. But then again, who couldn’t, right? From his amazingly brilliant guitar solos to his beautiful lyrics in the song “Daughters” he seemed like perfect husband material.

Unfortunately, since that day John’s sweet, shy persona began to wash away and his womanizing, chauvinistic, “woman, make me a sanwhich” characteristics were shining bright . In this post I’d like to give you all your own personal meet-and-greet with the real John Mayer. I feel like my meet-and-greet was a giant LIE, so I’m letting you all meet the true John.

In 2002 Mayer dated Jennifer Love Hewitt for a short amount of time. Years after their relationship came to an end Mayer cracked a joke about their love affair at The Laugh Factory in Hollywood saying, “We never actually got to have sex because of a bout of food poisoning from some bad fish.” He apologized shortly after through an US Weekly interview, but it is rumored that his apology was forced.

Mayer later dated Jessica Simpson in 2006, but it was in the beginning of 2010 when he openly bragged to Playboy Magazine how AMAZING the sex was. In the article he refers to Simpson as a drug; “And drugs aren’t good for you if you do lots of them,” Mayer says, adding, “Yeah, that girl is like crack cocaine to me.” He goes on to say: “Did you ever say, ‘I want to quit my life and just f*****’ snort you? If you charged me $10,000 to f*** you, I would start selling all my s*** just to keep f****** you.'”

In 2009, Mayer and Jennifer Aniston dated. After their break-up Mayer was on the cover of Rolling Stones, in the interview he was asked what he was looking for in a woman, this was his answer: “You need to have them be able to go toe-to-toe with you intellectually. But don’t they also have to have a vagina you could pitch a tent on and just camp out on for, like, a weekend? Doesn’t that have to be there, too? The Joshua Tree of vaginas?”

And then it was just last year that Mayer took ahold of innocent Taylor Swift’s heart. He must not have listened to any of her music before breaking her heart, because he would have seen her back lash coming if he did. He hasn’t said much publicly about Taylor yet, but her song ‘Dear John’ seems to say it all:


I would have never idolized John Mayer if I knew he was capable of degrading women in the way that he has. And to think that these are ONLY a few comments that he has said publicly. Think what he has said behind closed doors, to these women’s faces, to his friends. John Mayer is not a man to be idolized. Sure, I will admit, he is one hell of a musician, but that’s it for me. He no longer makes my heart melt, instead he makes me sick.

So I say this to you, John- Do you really think that women deserve to be publicly berated? What kind of image do you think you are setting for young boys who see you flaunting your disrespect for women all over magazines and in front of the camera? It’s not to late to make an apology to women. It’s not too late to set an example for these young boys.


I’d like to start out my blog by saying that I don’t have anything against men. I love my boyfriend, my father, and my brother; they are all amazing men who I admire greatly. I have; however, had my fair share of experiences with men who have left me with an empty box of chocolates and a pile of tissues. In order for you all to get a better idea of why I’d like to change the negative influence that Hollywood celebrities like John Mayer, Charlie Sheen, and others have on young men, I will share with you my first experience of heartbreak.

When I was 18 years old I started dating a guy named Scott (name changed) that was 5 years older than me. When we first started dating he didn’t have much going for him: he didn’t have a job, wasn’t going to school, and was living on his dad’s couch. But I was young and naive and I was quick to succumb to his charm. I worked hard to get him a job, enroll him in college classes, and find him a room to rent from my friend’s mother, but even after that it’s not unexpected that my dad didn’t see this guy as prince charming. In fact he sat both of us down and told Scott that I couldn’t have brought anyone worse home and he was right. Being only 18 years old I didn’t see that my dad was protecting me, he didn’t want Scott to hold me back. I defended him and told my dad that he was wrong and Scott would prove himself. I had never disagreed with my dad in that way before, but I naively believed that I was right. It was just two days later that Scott left me for another girl. I felt used and stupid for not believing my dad. I had done so much for Scott and this is how he thanks me? I have never been so disrespected in my life and I still to this day cannot believe someone could sink so low.

I know that John Mayer can’t be held fully responsible for Scott’s actions, in fact Scott is the only one to blame for the pain he caused. At the same time, I know that the images and roles powerful men like John Mayer publicly flaunt have a huge impact on men. It can make a man think, “If John Mayer can sleep with a woman then just get up and move on to the next then I can too.” John Mayer has messed up, but he still has the chance of changing himself for the better and using his power of influence for good, and that’s what I hope to achieve through this blog.