Viewpoints

Men in Power reflects larger rights movement

The formation of a men's advocacy group at the U of C is indicative of national trends.

I was so happy to read about the student group “Men in Power” in the Chicago Tribune. Groups like this are part of a growing, global men’s rights movement that advocates for equal treatment of men in areas such as child custody, domestic violence policies, reproductive rights, criminal sentencing, public health policies, paternity laws, the draft, dating expectations, and more.

Opponents of this movement tend to reactively look only at gender disparities at the top of society (government, CEOs) while overlooking the bottom, where men account for 80 to 90 percent of homeless adults, work-related deaths, prisoners, and suicide deaths, as well as 99 percent of combat deaths and the majority of dropouts and special education students. Men also die younger and more often than women for the 10 leading causes of death.

In fact, the reason for the gender disparity at the top—including the “pay gap”—is that women have more options than men to be primary parents, and many of them exercise that option rather than work long, stressful hours. One study found 57 percent of female graduates of Stanford and Harvard left the workforce within 15 years. This is an option few men have (try being a single male and telling women on the first date that you want to stay home). The pay gap only looks at yearly incomes but doesn’t account for these options or for overtime (90 percent male), commutes, flexibility, physical risk, etc. This has been confirmed by a recent study funded by the Department of Labor, entitled “An Analysis of Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women.”

 

Marc E. Angelucci, Esq.

Board Member

National Coalition For Men

  • Marc A.

    MEN’S RIGHTS MOVEMENTS ARE GROWING WORLDWIDE

    INDIA
    http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20071203&fname=Husband+(F)&sid=1
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Mens_groups_rise_against_DVA_misuse/articleshow/3391362.cms
    http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1190494
    http://in.news.yahoo.com/43/20080625/812/tnl-as-renuka-fights-for-women-men-alleg.html

    MEXICO (men’s rights march in Mexico City) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZcIL93nTOY

    KENYA http://ipsnews.net/africa/interna.asp?idnews=20858
    http://www.africanews.com/site/Kenya_15m_men_suffer_domestic_abuse/list_messages/25041
    http://www.nation.co.ke/News/-/1056/602726/-/item/0/-/6313roz/-/index.html

    SOUTH AFRICA http://www.dailytimes.bppmw.com/article.asp?ArticleID=10548

    ENGLAND http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/09/14/opinion/edtaylor.php

    IRELAND http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/1222/1229728440856.html

    SCOTLAND http://www.dunfermlinepress.com/

    HAWAII http://www.akamaiuniversity.us/MensStudies.html

    UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-u-of-c-mens-groupmay19,0,4707353.story

    AUSTRALIA http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,24289828-953,00.html

    ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY (African-American Fraternity asks for a White House Commission on Men and Boys) http://apa1906.net/PressNewsDetails.php?newsID=90&newsCat=Press%20Release

    NORWAY http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article1924493.ece

    SINGAPORE http://tomorrow.sg/archives/2009/05/01/singapore_mens_rights_watch.html

  • Marc A.

    FATHERS

    Fathers have historically been denied equal parenting rights with mothers. The 19th Century “tender years” doctrine gave mothers presumed custody for children age 13 and younger. Even after being replaced by the “best interests of the child” doctrine, the “tender years” doctrine still thrived. As late as 1971, the Minnesota State Bar Association’s handbook advised lawyers and judges that “except in very rare cases, the father should not have custody of the minor children. He is usually unqualified psychologically and emotionally.” Time Magazine, 11/11/03, “Father Makes Two,” http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101011119-183968,00.html

    Today, fathers usually ask for 50% custody while mothers ask for – and usually get – 80% custody, while fathers are relegated to visitors and must pay high child support with hardly any enforcement of their parenting time. The myth that fathers get custody when they ask for it 70% of the time has been repeatedly debunked. “Cynthia McNeeley, “Lagging Behind the Times, Parenthood, Custody and Gender Bias in the Family Court,” http://www.law.fsu.edu/journals/lawreview/downloads/254/mcneely.pdf. See also, Sanford Braver, Ph.D., “Divorced Dads; Shattering the Myths.”
    An Urban Institute study entitled “What About the Dads?” found that CPS case workers attempted to contact fathers of children at risk in their mothers care only a little over half the time. That was true even though they knew the father’s identity in 86% of cases. http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/06/cw-involve-dads/rs.htm

    Fathers are also frequently subjected to false accusations in order to gain an advantage in divorce. The California State Bar has expressed deep concern about the rising abuse of restraining orders in divorce. http://www.cafcusa.org/docs/family-law-news_TRO_RO_Pages%2026thru30_Vol27-Number4_2005-1.pdf

    MEN’S HEALTH

    The American Journal of Public Health (5/03) has declared that men are in a “silent health crisis.” http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9475.php Almost every chronic illness affects men more often than women. Men die younger and more often than women for the ten leading causes of death. http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/TopCausesDeath2000.pdf Men account for 80-90% of homeless adults, job deaths and suicide deaths. Men more often have mental disabilities but are less often treated. They are the majority of special education students and are more likely to skip a grade or drop out of high school.

    Men’s health has nonetheless been seriously neglected. There are 7 federal offices of women’s health and similar offices at every level of government but no offices of men’s health except one in Georgia. Breast cancer gets by far the most funding of all cancers, and has been known as a “horde” of existing cancer funds. In fact, for decades the National Cancer Institute spent about four times more on breast cancer research than on prostate cancer research. http://www3.cancer.gov/public/factbk97/varican.htm.
    Men’s Health Magazine did an entire story on how all other sources, including the Department of Defense, have funded breast cancer at far higher and disproportionate rates compared to prostate cancer.

    It is frequently claimed that women were excluded from medical testing. This exaggeration has been refuted by Dr. Sally Satel of Yale University and others. Historically, women participated in 95% of NIH clinical trials going back to the early 1970s. Men have historically been underrepresented in research on cancer, reproductive health, and sex hormones. In the past, gender representation in medical research was approximately equal. Now, men represent only 37% of participants in NIH funded research, and gender-specific budgets favor women by more than a 2:1 margin. See this report by Men’s Health America. http://www.backlash.com/content/gender/2000/12dec00/acfc1200.html See also, Young, C., Satel, S., M.D., “The Myth of Gender Bias in Medicine”; Satel, S.: PC, M.D., “How Political Correctness is Corrupting Medicine.”

    CRIMINAL SENTENCING

    The most recent research on criminal sentencing shows that men still get higher penalties than women. Seattle Times, “State courts unfair to men, minorities, UW study suggests,” http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/PrintStory.pl?document_id=2008782782&zsection_id=2003925728&slug=courtstudy25m&date=20090225

    This confirms what previous studies have found, which is that men get higher sentences than women for the same crime even when all other factors are equal (age, race, priors, family situation, etc.), and that “gender differences, favoring women, are more often found than race differences, favoring whites.” (Crime and Delinquency, 1989, v 35, pp 136-168.)

    A study published in Justice Quarterly in 1986 found that, for the same felony, being male increased the chance of incarceration by 165% (being black increased the chance 19%).

    The gender of the victim matters as well. A drunk driver will receive an average of a 3-year higher sentence for killing a female than for killing a male (compared to a 2-year higher sentence for killing a white instead of a black). (“Unconventional Wisdom,” Washington Post, Sept. 7, 2000.) Researchers Edward Glaeser (Harvard) and Bruce Sacerdote (Dartmouth) examined 2,800 homicide cases randomly drawn from 33 urban counties by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and found killing a female instead of a male increased sentences by 40.6% (compared to 26.8% for killing a white instead of a black).

    FORCED LABOR

    For years, the Forced Labour Convention of 1930 exempted “able-bodied males” between ages 18 and 45 from the ban on slavery and forced labor. See Article 11 at http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/cgi-lex/convde.pl?C029 Male slaves are frequently ignored by human rights laws and policies. http://nationmultimedia.com/2007/05/14/headlines/headlines_30034148.php Male slaves in China have trouble getting their slavemasters prosecuted because only women are protected from slavery. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-06/15/content_895414.htm

    DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

    Male victims of domestic violence are systematically neglected, stigmatized, and denied outreach and services. But they are not rare at all. They’re less likely to report it, which makes crime data unreliable. Virtually all sociological survey data consistently shows women initiate domestic violence at least as often as men and that men suffer one-third of injuries. http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

    Harvard Medical School and the American Psychiatric Association both recently announced a study showing half of heterosexual domestic violence is reciprocal and women initiate most of the reciprocal violence and commit about 70% of the non-reciprocal violence. http://www.patienteducationcenter.org/aspx/HealthELibrary/HealthETopic.aspx?cid=M0907d
    http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/42/15/31-a

    A recent 32-nation study by the University of New Hampshire found women are as violent and as controlling as men in dating relationships worldwide, in both rich and poor nations. http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2006/may/em_060519male.cfm?type=n

    Government- funded domestic violence programs, however, still discriminate against male victims of domestic violence. Some governments have revoked funding from domestic violence shelters for refusing to help male victims. http://express-advocate-wyong.whereilive.com.au/news/story/support-team-pulls-plug/# This is happening in the U.K. as well. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/apr/05/domestic-violence-charity-funding Other governments, like the Netherlands, have set aside specific funds for battered men’s shelters. http://www.amsterdamnews.net/story/464390. But in many countries, battered men’s shelters remain without any public funds. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1146783/First-refuges-battered-husbands-offer-support-male-victims.html

    The National Coalition For Men recently won a landmark appellate victory in California that held it is unconstitutional to exclude male victims of domestic violence from the statutory funding provisions or from services in state-funded programs. Woods v. Horton (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 658. http://www.metnews.com/articles/2008/wood101508.htm

    The federal Violence Against Women Act, though mostly gender-neutral, has provisions that expressly discriminate against men, such as the entire Native American section that excludes American Indian men. And the title itself stigmatizes and downplays the seriousness of male victims. We don’t have a “Men’s Occupational Safety and Health Act” just because 92% of occupational deaths happen to men. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cfoi.t04.htm And the Act has been implemented in a completely discriminatory way, as the funds get routed to state coalitions that limit the funds to women. http://www.ncfm.org/chapters/la/gelles.html

    MALE RAPE VICTIMS

    Historically, many anti-rape laws have expressly excluded male victims of rape from the same protections women receive. In England, funding for sex abuse victims is often denied for male victims. http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/CityandRegion/2007/06/25/4287949-sun.html A study in South African found 2/5 of South African boys say they have been raped, “most often by adult women.” http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=ad3524cc-6076-4bc2-a015-23860553bd04 A major study in Canada found high rates of homeless kids being molested, with 3/4 of the molestations of boys being by adult women, but there were still no programs for the boys, only for girls. http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=604d29af-5999-47ec-a156-0f5bc96954f2

    Male victims are frequently raped in prison and the military, but sometimes are raped elsewhere as well, and not just by men. A student survey showed 43% of teacher sex abuse comes from female teachers but over 90% of prosecutions are of male teachers. http://www.newsobserver.com/672/story/501955.html

    Many African men in Namibia are being raped and battered by women http://allafrica.com/stories/200708210872.html

    Men are also frequently victims of “sexual coercion” by women as well as by other men. (Sexuality and Culture, Summer 2000.) According to a May 2008 study by the University of New Hampshire, 28% of college women and 11% of college men experienced unwanted sexual contact and the perpetrator was a member of the opposite sex 98% of the time for girls and 91% of the time for boys. See Table 1 at http://www.unh.edu/news/docs/2006unwantedsexualexperiences.pdf

    FALSE ACCUSATIONS OF RAPE

    Almost every month we read of another man let free by DNA after years of incarceration due to a false rape accusation. False accusations are hard to measure. But studies show between 9% and 60% of rape accusations are false. http://glennsacks.com/blog/?page_id=1334 A new study in India found 18% of rape accusations are false and are often “coached.” http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/18_rape_cases_false_Study/articleshow/3910217.cms (These are not just rapes that were dismissed in criminal actions, but that were found in empirical research to be false.) The U.S. Air Force study found 60% of rape accusations were false and the most common reasons for false rape accusations were: (1) spite or revenge; (2) feelings of guilt or shame; or, (3) to cover up an affair. Mental illness also played a role. McDowell, Charles P., Ph.D. “False Allegations.” Forensic Science Digest, (publication of the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations), Vol. 11, No. 4 (December 1985), p. 64.

    According to a nine-year study conducted by former Purdue sociologist Eugene J. Kanin, in over 40 percent of the cases reviewed, the complainants eventually admitted that no rape had occurred. (Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1994.) Kanin also studied rape allegations in two large Midwestern universities and found that 50 percent of the allegations were recanted by the accuser. Kanin found that most of the false accusers were motivated by a need for an alibi or a desire for revenge. Kanin was once well known and lauded by the feminist movement for his groundbreaking research on male sexual aggression. His studies on false rape accusations, however, received very little attention.

    False accusations of rape are a form of psychological rape that are not included in the traditional definition of “rape.” And false accusations are not studied enough because it’s politically incorrect to talk about. Meanwhile the names of the accusers are often protected while the names of the accused are not. For more information, visit http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/

    MILITARY CONSCRIPTION

    No gender oppression is comparable in magnitude to the deaths of males in war, which includes forced conscription. Over 20 million male soldiers died in WWII alone, about 500,000 of them U.S. soldiers. http://www.hitler.org/ww2-deaths.html

    In the U.S. males must still register for the draft by age 18, including “only sons” and even disabled men if they can move about. Historically, a large percentage of men were drafted before they were old enough to even vote. The Vietnam Memorial has 58,000 male names and 8 female names. Males throughout the world are still forced to fight wars, even at ages as young as 6 in some countries.

    People who say “men make war” are the same ones who find it sexist to say men make science, medicine, etc., as women were restricted from participating and still did contribute in many ways. The same is true of war. Women leaders supported and declared war, and women in the general population have supported wars at almost the same rate men have. E.g., 76% of women and 86% of men supported the U.S. military attack in Kuwait and Iraq during the Gulf War.

    In his report, “War and Gender,” University of Massachusetts political scientist Joshua Goldstein
    documents how women have actively encouraged military adventurism, both in modern and indigenous societies, and that in the face of imminent conflict, women goad their men into combat. In the Revolutionary War, women were known to withhold sexual favors from reluctant fighters. During the Civil War, Southern belles refused to accept suitors who did not take up arms. In World War I, British women organized the White Feather campaign in which they gave a white feather to men who refused to fight, as a sign of their unmanliness. Among the Bedouin, frenzied Rwala women bare their breasts and urge their men to war. Before the 1973 coup in Chile, women threw corn at soldiers to taunt them as “chickens.” During the era of the Soviet Gulag, female interrogators were just as ruthless as their male counterparts in extracting confessions. In the Rwanda genocide, Hutu women played a major role in killing Tutsi men.

    “Women of every social category took part in the killings. … Some women killed with their own hands. … Women and girls in their teens joined the crowds that surrounded churches, hospitals and other places of refuge. Wielding machetes and nail-studded clubs, they excelled as “cheerleaders” of the genocide, ululating the killers into action.”

    African Rights report, Rwanda – Not So Innocent: When Women Become Killers, August 1995.) http://www.gendercide.org/case_rwanda.html

    THE “PAY GAP”

    The “pay gap” is probably the most cited example of modern day discrimination and disadvantages for women. But the pay gap is totally misleading, as it is based entirely on raw numbers without any explanation as to the reason behind them. It is essentially a snapshot of average yearly incomes among full-time workers, but it does not account for overtime (about 90% male), the type of work done, or other important factors that, when accounted for, make the gap disappear. See Prof. June O’Neill, Ph.D. (former director of Congressional Budget Office), “The Gender Gap in Wages, circa 2000,” American Economic Review, 5/03. Recently the Department of Labor funded a major study that confirmed the pay gap is almost entirely about choices, not discrimination. The study, with a forward from the Department of Labor, is at http://www.consad.com/content/reports/Gender%20Wage%20Gap%20Final%20Report.pdf

    In “Why Men Earn More, Warren Farrell, Ph.D. shows that there are 25 career/life choices men and women make (hours, commute times) that lead to men earning more and women having more balanced lives, and that men in surveys prioritize money while women prioritize flexibility, shorter hours, shorter commutes, less physical risk and other factors conducive to their choice to be primary parents, an option men still largely don’t have. That’s why never-married childless women outearn their male counterparts, and female corporate directors now outearn their male counterparts. http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0752118220071107?feedType=R Warren Farrell lists dozens of careers, including science fields, where women outearn men.

    Women have more options than men to be primary parents, and many of them exercise that option rather than work long, stressful hours. For example, 57% of female graduates of Stanford and Harvard left the workforce within 15 years of entry into the workforce. http://edition.cnn.com/2005/BUSINESS/03/15/optout.revolution/ This is an option few men have (try being a single male and telling women on the first date that you want to stay home).

    Blaming men for the disparity is misplaced. Research shows most men have no problem with their wives outearning them. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23413243 One study found most working dads would quit or take a pay cut to spend more time with kids if their spouses could support the family. http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/Careers/06/13/dads.work/index.html Research also shows that parents share workloads more when mothers allow men to be primary parents. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-05-04-equal-parenting_N.htm
    See also:
    ABC News: “Is the Wage Gap Women’s Choice? Research Suggests Career Decisions, Not Sex Bias, Are at Root of Pay Disparity” http://abcnews.go.com/2020/GiveMeABreak/story?id=797045&page=1&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312
    http://money.cnn.com/2007/06/04/magazines/fortune/muphy_payact.fortune/index.htm
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23413243

    THE “HOUSEWORK” MYTH

    A recent 25-nation study by economists from Berlin, Brussels and Texas, which included rich and poor nations, found men do as much work as women when all types of work are combined. http://www.slate.com/id/2164268/

    A University of Maryland study found the total workloads of married mothers and fathers is roughly equal when paid work is added to child care and housework, at 65 hours a week for mothers and 64 hours for fathers.
    http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007204060320

    A University of Michigan study found women work an average of 11 hours more housework per week more than men while men an average of 14 hours per week more than women outside the home.

    GENITAL INTACMENT

    The male foreskin is a highly-functioning sexual organ. In a new study published in the British Journal of Urology International, scientists used fine-touch medical instruments on the male penis found that male circumcision removes the most sensitive part of the penis. (Morris L. Sorrells, James L. Snyder, Mark D. Reiss, Christopher Eden, Marilyn F. Milos, Norma Wilcox, Robert S. Van Howe, “Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis,” British Journal of Urology International, v. 99, issue 4, p. 864, April 2007.) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990302063210.htm The full study is posted at
    http://www.nocirc.org/touch-test/bju_6685.pdf

    Prior studies on this issue – which had mixed results – were unreliable because they were based upon self-reports of men who were either circumcised as adults for medical purposes or were circumcised as children and could not compare the difference. One of the study’s authors, Dr. Robert Van Howe, explains that the male foreskin is concentrated with high-sensory nerve endings that are only found in our eyelids, lips and fingertips.

    The male foreskin is also gynecologically equivalent to the removal of the clitoral hood, one of three forms of female circumcision that is banned by international and human rights laws. See Darby, R. and Svoboda, J. S., ‘A rose by any other name?; rethinking the similarities and differences between male and female genital cutting,’ Medical Anthropology Quarterly (2007), Vol. 21, Issue 3, pp. 301-323.

    Yet infant male circumcision is still routinely practiced even though the American Board of Pediatrics has said there is no medical purpose for routine infant circumcision.

  • Mark Ruffolo, M.S., M.B.A.

    I do not need a study to tell me something’s wrong in the U.S. court system.

    After three years of marriage, my wife divorced me. Privately she told me she was unhappy and I did not make her happy. Publicly she called me abusive.

    Though I was legally innocent, without due process, but as a matter of routine, after a fifteen minute discussion before a Kane County, Illinois family judge, I was “awarded” four days every month to parent our son; ordered to pay $2,600 monthly in support (60% of my income) for the next 18 years; $200,000 of my savings frozen; and, an order of protection entered against me for my wife (as she “felt” afraid).

    After three years in the divorce process, over one hundred court calls, $150,000 in legal fees, and three jobs, I lost a successful career; involved in a dozen incidents calling for police; imprisoned; filed for personal bankruptcy; car repossessed; and evicted from my apartment, but won joint custody in Illinois to which 17% of fathers win. In February, however, my wife in retaliation had my visitation suspended, and still the Kane County Circuit Clerk refuses to accept $15,000 in proof of payments as credit for court ordered support paid.

    I do not believe most marriage end with this much drama, however, at the end of the day, a woman knows that she rules over husbands as the courts, culture, friends, and family support her.

    I regret saying, “I do,” but miss a son and wife.

  • David

    Ahhhhh, the smell of Men’s Rights in the morning…..

    Nothing could be grander!!!

  • Phil Underwood

    Really, Maroon, you approved the comment below that seems to just be a copy-paste from an encyclopedia? Don’t you have a vetting process?
    Also, is it really a good idea for the University of Chicago newspaper to become a mouthpiece for cranks like this guy?

  • Marc A.

    “cranks like this guy?”

    Yeah, the University should instead post ad homs and name-calling rather than facts, substance and sources. That’s right. What’s wrong with you, University? Gee wiz.

  • David J

    It is still shocking that someone can a person like Marc A a crank. Whether he knew that info off the top of his head, whether he looked it up 10 min prior to posting it, or whether he has done extensive research on the subject, the fact is the info itself is relevant. Trying being a person man that has experienced abuse, nfair treatment by the courts or the mental trauma that comes with child custody cases, and see if Marc is still considered a crank. We are always asked, as a nation, to consider the ramifications of things that affect women,and we oblige. But how many of us actually consider the ramifications of things that affect men? The only male emotion that seems to garner attention is violence. We never consider the power of love a man may have for his children as do for women. We never consider the sadness and heartache which comes with being able to see your child only a few days a month, because somehow society has mandated that as a proper custody division. We never consider the stress which comes with trying to work, pay chid support, support yourself, and maintain a level of sanity which will allow you stay focused and productive at work when your world is crashing down. But let this combustible mix manifest itself in violence, even ratiliatory or defensive violence,and the man will suddenly get all of the attention in the world. Society will instantly label him a monster of Hannibal Lecter proportions, and the woman will once again skate away as Ms. Innocent.
    The male-as-victim situation is no joke, and not worthy of mocking. It is a serious issue which I predict will boil over in the next few years. There are an equal amount of men as there are women, who are always striving to do the right thing, but they unfortunately have their hands tied. And though women, and shortsighted and simple minded men, will attempt to make this a misogynistic, or man vs. women thing, it is anything but. Always remember, even if you are not a man, just think how you would feel if this happened to your father, your brother, your son, your uncle, or any other male that is close to you? You see, in the end, it actually affects us all.
    So please, calling someone a crank is too easy, too thoughtless, too destructive, and quickly invalidates you as a rational voice in this world wide debate. As you will note, Marc A. never said anything foul, degrading, or disparaging about women or anyone else. He simply illuminated the studies or articles that showed men are humans and not robots devoid of emotion, and impervious to illness, and that there is a world wide movement for mens rights that will people will take notice of in the very near future.