Male resentment of the self-righteous and automatic public support for women's interests and issues has been increasingly on the boil for some time. Civic celebrations of antipathy to men such as the Violence Against Women Act are finally generating specific and pointed responses by men fatigued, if still baffled, by the knee-jerk assumption that they suffer irredeemably from what I call Male Original Sin.He recommends the New Hampshire Commission on the Status of Men.
At my university as at countless others, one of the very first official greeting to students is a rape seminar predicated on the intrinsic danger males carry with them. And in family courts, the presumption of male behavioral malefaction has yielded heartbreakingly numerous cases in which men are charged with domestic violence to which courts overwhelmingly--often in brief hearings in which the male is not even present--issue temporary "restraining orders." These frequently segue into permanence, and award women the dwelling they've shared, financial support and the all-important privilege of custody--mothers gain custody in 66% of uncontested cases and 75% of contested ones. Less than a quarter of parents are awarded joint custody.
Judges issue such orders based only on the word of the alleged victim. It is small wonder the overwhelming majority of such actions are sought and achieved by women. It has been legitimately argued that there is a merciless postmarital racket of therapists, lawyers, judges and governmental advocates who prosper because it is so easy to define males as guilty.
Meanwhile, the publicly financed educational system is at least 20% better at producing successful female students than male, yet hardly anyone sees this as remarkable gender discrimination. While there is a vigorous national program to equalize male and female rates of success in science and math, there is not a shred of equivalent attention to the far more central practical impact of the sharp deficit males face in reading and writing.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Male Original Sin
Anthropologist Lionel Tiger