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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The gender pendulum has swung too far

"In strictness we are all mad when we give way to passion, to prejudice, to vice, to vanity; but if all the passionate, prejudiced and vain people were to be locked up as lunatics, who is to keep the key to the asylum?" - The Times, 1853, on the verdict of "not guilty by reason of insanity"


The gender pendulum has swung too far

"True or false

1. The majority of medical research and outreach has been done on men.

... most gender-specific health care research has been done on women. When I searched PubMed, which indexes 3,000 medical journals over the past 60 years, there have been 43 articles on "women's health" for every one on "men's health"...

Also, the overwhelming majority of gender-specific health outreach has been to women. Although sudden heart attack kills more men and kills them younger, most of the heart-disease public relations campaigns have been aimed at women. And although almost as many men die of prostate cancer, we see a sea of pink ribbons for breast cancer in our supermarkets and advertising campaigns but rarely the ribbon of prostate cancer. (Do you even know what color that is?) There are seven federal agencies for women's health, none for men.

2. The vast majority of severe domestic violence is initiated by men.

False. The media mainly reports the misleading police reports, which grossly underestimate the amount of female-initiated domestic violence because men are far less likely to report abuse. One reason: men are embarrassed to say their wife abused them. In contrast, women are considered heroes for reporting their abusing men... A California State University metaanaylsis of 200 studies with an aggregate sample size exceeding 200,000 "demonstrates that women are as or more physically aggressive than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners." Yet much female-initiated abuse is ignored by the police and shelters overwhelmingly serve only women.

3. Girls do far better than boys in school.

True. Male school achievement used to exceed female. Today, however, by high school graduation, girls are reading 1.5 grade levels higher than boys, a far greater gap than the tiny edge boys have in math. Boys are eight times as likely to be put on a chemical leash such as Ritalin, nine times as likely to be disciplined, twice as likely to drop out...

In graduate school, despite the fact that a far higher percentage of men work full-time after they get their degrees, fully half of students in medical school, law school, and MBA programs are women., as are almost 80 percent of veterinary school students. Yet inexplicably, there are far more scholarships set aside for women than for men...

The response to boys' falling far behind girls is too often for boys to be told to sit still for ever more seatwork, as recess and other physical activities, which used to allow boys to drain energy, are cut. Otherwise, it's a trip to the principal, a suspension, and/or placement in special education and/or that Ritalin leash.

4. According to the Dept. of Defense, 99% of U.S. soldier deaths in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been men.

True: You might ask, "How could that be? The media and government constantly say, 'Our men and women fighting in Iraq.' Media interviews with soldiers are roughly 50/50." Fact is, only men are allowed to serve in direct combat and only men must register for the draft.

5. Men comprise 80 percent of completed suicides.

True, yet there are many programs aimed to prevent women from committing suicide, almost none for men.

6. Women earn less for the same work than men.

False: For the same work, women earn, on average, the same

... today, unmarried women who have never had a child earn 113% of what men earn. That suggests that for the same nature, quantity, and quality of work, women likely earn more than men...

Here is further evidence that when women do earn less, it's not because bosses undervalue them: Working women who have no boss (they own their own business), earn only 49% of what the average male business owner earns. Why? A Rochester Institute of Technology study found that money was the primary motivator for only 29 percent of women versus 76 percent of men. Women put a premium on shorter work weeks, proximity to home, fulfillment, autonomy, and safety...

7. While women's employment rates remain steady, one in five men ages 25-54 are now unemployed, the highest percentage since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started collecting data in 1948

... How did you do on the quiz? If you didn't do well, why?... society's mind molders--the colleges and the media--employ many hard-line feminists and men afraid of being called sexist. So, for example, rather than dig beneath the misleading statistics trumpeted by women's advocacy groups such as the infamous "women earn 80 cents on the dollar," they report those statistics unquestioningly. And movies, TV, and commercials disproportionately portray men as boors, sleazebags, and/or morons. For example, the box-office-record-breaking movie Avatar disproportionately displays the women as strong and ethical, the guys as troglodytes. The major exception is a jarhead who is shown the path to wisdom by a woman. In the leading kids' movie, Princess and the Frog, it's the same: Tiana's (the heroine) dad is killed off immediately so she can be raised by a wise woman. Consulted to by her and Granny Bayou, Tiana beats all the bad guys who are, yes, all guys.

If a Martian read the above information, he'd reasonably infer that to be treated this poorly, men must be the inferior sex...

We perceive men who earn more money as having privilege but we are blind to dads who sacrifice their own dreams because earning more, even if the job is disdainful (e.g., traveling widget salesman) better helps their children live their dreams. When we view men's higher earnings only as discrimination against women, our anger blinds us to his mid-life crisis when he realizes he will never be the writer or artist he once hoped to be. And more important, it blinds us to how his love for his wife and children made him make the enormous sacrifice of giving up his dreams. In turn, our blindness deepens his crisis of meaning and often, his depression or anger...

25 years ago, when I began as a college and career counselor, both sexes were equally confident about their futures. Today, most of the girls and women I see are optimistic while far more males are dispirited or angry"
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