Monday, February 20, 2006

WorldNetDaily: Has bias pendulum swung against men?

A good question. I answer "yes" when I see that women outnumber men in the Grand Commencement Parade, this although affirmative action still favors women over men.

To be fair, some of the points in the WorldNetDaily article need some extra perspective:

  • "Men, whose average life expectancy was formerly on a par with women, are now dying 10 years earlier." Actually, when I was growing up, men were dying about five years earlier than women. But most of those deaths were in battle, and for fifteen years, no American saw battle since Vietnam, except for a few brief incidents in Grenada and off the coast of Libya. Sadly, the casualties in Iraq have involved both sexes, something that shouldn't happen, because we shouldn't send women anywhere near the front. Going into a place where you can get shot at is man's work, not women's. (Let's not have any jokes about hunting accidents, here.) So now, if men are dying ten years earlier than women, and it's not because of disproportionate military or LEO casualties, something is killing them. If women were involved, the MSM would be screaming to find out what. But as it is--silence.
  • "Boys have inferior reading and comprehension scores and lower graduation rates than girls." In my day, the teacher fixed that with a little discipline and competition. But today, they're letting it slide. Deliberately, perhaps?
  • "The suicide rates for boys, young fathers and older men range from four to 10 times higher than for their female counterparts." Actually, women have historically been quicker to attempt suicide. Men have been far more likely to succeed at it, however, because of the methods they employ: shooting themselves instead of taking drugs or poison, for example.
  • "Men spend more and more time at work, as compared to women in similar full-time jobs, and they engage in considerably more demanding and dangerous career choices." Frankly, that's an argument for paying men more, and putting paid to "comparable work" arguments.
The article dwells on the treatment of men in the family courts. I have always found that monumentally unfair. Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep demonstrated that in the film Kramer v. Kramer. But this bias is not universal. The universal thread seems to be that judges rule in favor of undermining the moral foundations of society. Usually that means doing favors for whichever party wants the divorce. That's usually the woman--but not always. And it means not giving the tail of a stray rat in the law library about adultery.

But the worst problem is one they only touched briefly on: that boys aren't going to college in the numbers in which they once did, and when they do, they're not getting the advanced degrees, either. Part of that might be that advanced degrees in most subjects confer no additional marketable job skills, except for being a college-level instructor in that discipline--and job opportunities never match the total population of graduates holding degrees like Master of Arts or even Master of Science. (The chief exceptions are the hard-nosed professional degrees of Master of Business Administration--called "Master of Public and Private Management" at Yale--and Doctor of Jurisprudence and Doctor of Medicine.) But the other part is that boys aren't "getting with the program" in high school--and teachers are now letting boys slide, saying, "I'm not going to worry about you anymore!" Now that wasn't always the case.

That's what happens when discipline takes a slide. Everyone needs discipline in order to succeed--and minors need discipline from adult authorities. But people seem to forget that boys are different in every way. And so, if you let a boy get away with cutting class, you won't do him any favors.

In the boys' school that I went to, you had boys splitting up into two opposing camps, the "Jocks" and the "Freaks". The two camps came to open war at one point, and the administration stepped in. Today I see the Jocks getting away with letting their grades slide--and they're paying for it later on. And in fact all of society is. And it wasn't noticed because--"everybody knew" that "the best thing boys do is fool." And maybe also because society started to say that nothing was "a man's job" anymore, so boys took that as a license to let everything slide.

Repairing this problem will take a generation, and it must begin in K-12. And it will require a change in the way men and women value one another--back to the old ways.

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