Wer des Englischen mächtig ist, sollte sich die Zeit nehmen und ihn Wort für Wort durchlesen.
Außerdem kann ich den Weblog von Mr. Boggs nur wärmstens empfehlen.
Before you read this, it might be a good idea to peruse the short list in
"Why Few Men Protest A."
A message mostly to journalists,
and mostly male journalists…
The Untold Side of the Gender Story
By Jerry A. Boggs
"A...challenge will be to confront the claim that ‘we don’t need to study men’ because ‘history is men’s studies.’ We need to explain that history for men is not the equivalent of feminism for women; it is the opposite of feminism for women. Feminism questions the traditional female role; history does not question the traditional male role. Rather, each history book is 500 pages of advertisements for the performer role. Each lesson tells us, ‘If you perform, you will get love and respect; if you fail, you will be a nothing.’ It is therefore pressure to perform, not relief from that pressure. Feminism is relief from the pressure to be confined to only the traditional female role." –Warren Farrell, author of Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say (Read Chapter Eight and visit Farrell’s Web site.)
If there is one major difference between the sexes that everyone is supposed to accept after 30 years of a media-affirmed feminism, it is probably that the female’s life has been one of drudgery and oppression, and the male’s one of power and privilege. I, too, once believed this, but now I realize that this perceived difference between the sexes – which often influences how gender-based programs, policies, and laws are fashioned – gravely misrepresents the world of gender as I have come to see it.
The Gender Wage Gap:
Proof Positive of Female Oppression?
In the early '80s, I was a contributing editor of a feminist newsletter produced and distributed to employees at my workplace in the federal government. I wrote often about women being oppressed largely because employers paid them only 59 cents (now about 77 cents) to men’s dollar. Some time later, however, I came across an array of facts that cast startling new light on why women's average pay differs from men's.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (as reported by Dr. Warren Farrell, author of Why Men Earn More), "full-time" work means as few as 35 hours per week and as few as 26 weeks per year. Women, I learned, are much more likely to work 35 hours per week, men much more likely to work 40-60 hours per week. And women are much more likely to work 26 weeks per year, men 52 weeks. Also, men are much more likely to hold two workplace jobs. But statistically a man with two jobs is considered one full-time worker. So we are often comparing a man’s two jobs to a woman’s one job. A man earning $40,000 per year from two jobs paying $20,000 each, for example, is treated statistically as though he were unfairly earning 33 percent more than a woman paid $30,000 from her one job.
I also learned of another important influence on the sexes’ income gap: choice. The sexes are equally aware that engineers, for example, will average more income than home economics majors. Yet as late as 2001, over 80 percent of the engineer degrees went to men, and over 88 percent of the home economics degrees went to women.
If even career-minded, higher-educated feminist womenare often makingmake such lower-paid career choices, we perhaps can better understand why millions of traditional women are drawn to traditional low-paying jobs such as secretary and nurse.
A survey of 350 female executives in Canada revealed that an overwhelming majority prefer incentives that allow them to attain balance in their lives - such as a four-day work week and the opportunity to work from home a few days a week - rather than a hefty paycheque. Theresa Tedesco, National Post, July 17, 2001
But don’t women choose "female" jobs because they presume discrimination in "male" jobs? Partly, yes, but men, too, have presumed discrimination in "female" jobs, such as daycare worker, nurse, secretary, and stewardess. Just a few years ago, few if any employers would hire a man for these positions; some still don't - try being a dental hygienist, Farrell says to men. And men are influenced by the female’s expectations: How many women, even among today’s equality-minded feminists, regardless of their own income, want to date and marry a male nurse or clerk-typist? (Many women are married to a man who earns less than they, but almost all of these women earned less than their husbands when they married.)
Women’s job choices - and men’s - tend to be influenced by the principle of "what the market will bear."
Since most women are supported by a man or anticipate being supported, they are able to bear lower pay than the group that must do the supporting. They are likelike working teens who are supported by their parents and who are able to accept a job that pays only pocket change, while their parents must earn enough to support both the teens and themselves. Supported women thus have been in the position of being able to accept the low-paying jobs men generally cannot accept. They often can view their husband as an "employer" who pays them to tend the hearth, so they need not look for a higher-paying real employer.
Writer Anna Quindlen, after quitting the New York Times, was able to accept work (fiction-writing) that initially may have paid zero. Loraine O’Connell wrote about her in an Orlando Sentinel column: "The reason so many professional women are able to scale back on their careers is that they’re married to men who make a good living. [Quindlen] says the articles written about her Times departure gave short shrift to the working husband who made her choice possible."
Many feminists assert, "When men dominate a job, the job pays more; when women dominate, it pays less." In short, "Which sex dominates a job determines the job’s pay." Actually it's the other way around: a job’s pay determines which sex dominates the job. Just as society has steered women into low-paid jobs, it continues to steer men away from low-paid jobs and into jobs which pay more (but which men pay more for with greater seniority and education, as well as with a job accident rate six times higher than women’s and a job death rate 15 times higher).
Many feminists believe women should average the same pay as men. This presumes, incorrectly, that women are a primary or sole provider as often as men are. Suppose men weren’t expected to be primary providers and didn’t need a well-paid job to feel attractive to women. (Feminists and the media have said successful women drive men away, a statement that might discourage women from moving up, thus helping keep their wages lower than men's.) Men’s average wage would be much less than it is now. If money meant nothing more to either sex than economic survival, the average pay for both sexes would, of course, fall somewhere in between women’s current average and men’s current average. Many employers, in an effort to "help" women raise their average pay to that of men’s, voluntarily replace - or are pressured to replace - equal-opportunity programs with equal-results programs. This often results in blatant discrimination against men, not to mention friction and lowered morale if unqualified women are selected solely to yield the "proper" gender balance.
After 30 years of "gender equality" - which technically hasn't been equality as much as a righting of the wrongs to women - men are still expected to be at least the primary provider who will take up the slack when the wife leaves the workforce, usually at her own choosing.
They are expected to be able to handle on demand most or all the family’s expenses. "Primary" providers, because they must always be ready to be sole providers, experience the exact same restrictions as sole providers. So if a man is married or expects to be, he naturally feels unable to accept the pay of a secretary or a clerk-typist, since this pay seldom is enough to provide for a family. To the degree that the child-caring role has caused women to be barred from high-paying jobs, the primary provider role, just like men’s traditional sole provider role, bars men from - in effect prices them out of - lower-paying jobs, jobs which might interest them more or offer the flexibility usually missing in higher-paying jobs.
The male’s provider role, sole or primary, has naturally given rise to the expectation that men should be more successful than women. The expectation of greater male success leads the female secretary to judge the male secretary, her actual equal, as unequal to her, as not being up to her standards. It leads her to fall in love only with the male executive. "It leads the female nurse," says Warren Farrell in another example, "to look right past the male nurse to the male doctor."
These are examples of what anthropologists call hypergamy, "marrying up." Hypergamy, writes Susan Maushart in The Weekend Australian, March 22, 2003, "is a fancy word for the apparently universal compulsion among human females to secure a male partner slightly older, taller, better educated and better remunerated than they are themselves."
When males detect that the female prefers to date and marry "up" (females do this as much as New York Times’ Maureen Dowd in April 2002 said the male wants to marry "down," a behavior she might call hypogamy!), they believe that without success or the proven will to succeed, they’ll be sentenced to a life deprived of both a woman’s love and society’s respect.
Thus the expectation of male success discriminates against men just as the expectation of child-raiser discriminates against women. It stops men from even thinking about becoming a secretary or other low-paid worker who doesn’t earn enough to give a wife the option of working, staying home, or using some combination of the two. (This explains why many men in lower-paid "female" jobs are gay: gay men are not influenced by women’s expectation of male success.)
When couples with young children run aground financially, as they so often do, more widening of their husband-wife wage gap may result:
DEAR BRUCE: Every month, we seem to get further into debt. Frequently, we can do more than make minimum payments on our credit cards. We have two car payments, but we each work and have to get there. We have college loans, a mortgage and, of course, the usual expenses for having three children. Maybe this is typical, but I feel like I'm drowning. What can you suggest?
-- E.J., Midland, Mich.
DEAR E.J.: It appears that you spend more than you bring in. Given that you are working, raising children, etc., it's unlikely that you can increase your income. However, your husband might be able to take a part-time job…
-Bruce Williams, http://www.newsando/, Nov. 13, 2002
A root cause of the sexes’ earnings differential, then, is men’s willingness to support a woman, and women’s unwillingness, except perhaps in brief or special cases, to support a man even when the woman herself is successful. It could be argued that when the (successful) female becomes equally willing to support a man and offer him the same options she expects from him, more men will take lower-paid "female" jobs, thereby freeing up more higher-paid "male" jobs for women. When the sexes’ "willingness gap" closes, the sexes’ pay gap will close. (It can, of course, close also by the already-mentioned employers’ preferential treatment of females – by the deliberate discrimination against men to compensate for the supposedly ill-intentioned discrimination against women, a "discrimination" which was in fact against both sexes and which evolved as a system that both sexes in roughly equal number have supported in order to support families.)
Full-time career women who have never married or had children and live alone earn almost $1.02 for every dollar earned by men in the same situation. Women’s lower pay is a result of family choices rather than gender discrimination. -Ronald Bird, economist and author of studies by the Employment Policy Foundation (http://www.epf.org/) -Gannett News Service, April 04, 2002
Unfortunately, a closing of the sexes’ "willingness gap" does not appear to be in the offing. In fact, many men report feeling even more pressure to be successful as more women move up the job ladder but don’t adjust down their expectation of greater male success.
"I was surprised," writes Ellis Cose in A Man’s World, "to hear a graduate of an Ivy League university say she was no longer certain she wanted to marry her fiancé. It seems she had landed a nice job and was making a good deal of money – perhaps more than he would be making when he completed work on his MBA. ‘I’m not so sure I want to share all of this,’ she said without a trace of irony. That she would have had no doubts about sharing his good fortune if the situation were reversed went without saying. Clearly, she had assumed that he would be earning the most money, and apparently the relationship was somehow less desirable, from her perspective at least, if he was not."
David M. Buss writes in Toward An Evolutionary Psychology of Human Mating, "[W]omen who make more money tend to value monetary and professional status of mates more than those who make less money."
An example of this increased pressure on men is the woman who as a secretary felt satisfied to marry just a salesman. When she became a salesperson herself, she suddenly had eyes only for the sales manager. Then, after she became the sales manager, she found herself attracted only to the general manager. Because many women won’t compromise their desire to "marry up" as they move up, successful Jane Fondas and Jennifer Lopezes marry even more successful Ted Turners and Ben Afflecks. Prominent Gloria Steinems date more prominent Henry Kissingers, as well as more successful Mortimer Zuckermans. Such women validate and perpetuate with their behavior the gender earnings gap they condemn with their words.
Journalism at the entry level is now among the lowest paid professions. That means women (and gay men) will increasingly occupy it – not because they will be "corralled" into the field, as feminists will assert, but because the lower pay will attract fewer and fewer (heterosexual) men. Feminists will claim the dominance of women has created the low pay, not that the low pay has created the female dominance by discouraging men.
Other points to consider when using the sexes’ earnings gap to "prove" women are oppressed:
Women generally have found a well-paid husband as often as men have found a well-paid job. Conversely, men have been unable to find a well-paid wife (who is willing to give her husband the option of taking a low-paid job and raising the children) as often as women have been unable to find a well-paid job. What limits and hurts one sex limits and hurts the other.
The bottom line is that women in general have had equal access to a man’s income without equal production in the workplace, just as men have had equal access to home-cooked meals and other domestic advantages without equal production in the home.
Overnight a bride gains access to everything a man toiled for years to earn.
Think Bill Gates: he became a billionaire after working hard for over 15 years; his wife Melinda became a billionaire overnight.
After a divorce, a wife may continue to get part of his income (alimony) without having to continue doing anything for him. But alimony means he must continue to work in part for her. A startling example is provided on page 125 of Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination Against Men: "'Michael' goes to court in the hope of having the judge reduce his family-support payment. On the surface, his case seems preposterous. After all, he earns $158,000. The judge rejects his plea, perhaps not surprisingly, and orders him to continue paying his former wife $7,153 every month. But that amount represents 96% of his take-home pay; after deductions, he takes home $7,455 every month. And after making his family-support payments, he has only $302 on which to live. The fact is that even single men on welfare in his city actually receive more money: $520. His son and former wife, on the other hand, are hardly living at the poverty line. Was Michael evil enough to have deserved this situation? Neither infidelity jor physical violence caused his divorce. Not , for that matter, did 'psychological violence.' It was caused, according to his wife, by the fact that he spent too much time at work. When the local newspaper ran a story on deadbeat dads, nevertheless, his sixteen-year-old son had this to say: 'Dad, did you read that article in The Star? Well, that's what I think of you.'" As Warren Farrell says, Michael is paying people to hate him. (Think about the court order: after being divorced for working too much, the judge forced him to continue working too much! And feminists claim divorce courts discriminate against women!)
Women typically marry up in age and live longer than men. So a wife may benefit longer from her husband's earnings than her husband does. Suppose a woman, typically, is four years younger and lives seven years longer than her husband, and suppose his income and assets were acquired only in their marriage. She benefits from the fruits of his labor 11 years longer than he does.
Single women’s pay is 93 percent of single men’s.
Unlike the races, says Warren Farrell, the sexes have approximately equal numbers of people born into privileged and oppressive conditions.
There is no power in earning money. There is often satisfaction, even exhilaration (the "thrill of the hunt and conquest"), but over time this satisfaction tends to wither as the daily grind and monotony of work bear down. For the vast majority of workers, earning money brings only responsibility and stress.
The power in money is in spending it. (Ask political action committees, or mobsters who bribe officials. Or suppose you worked 60 hours per week and earned $1 million per year but couldn’t spend it? Would you feel powerful? "Money talks" points to the power derived from spending money, not from earning it.
And according to American Demographic, women control consumer spending by a wide margin in nearly every consumer category. The greatest power in spending money, I suggest, lies in the right to spend money toiled for by others.
Who controls most of the wealth in the nation?
Women. And they read newspapers.
–Editor & Publisher, Sep. 21, 1996, front page
"Even if Gates, Buffett, Allen and the 272 other billionaires pooled their assets, what could they make you and me do? Could they force you to bus your kid to a school across town? Could they force you to abandon use of your property so as to provide an abode for some endangered species? Could they force you to wear a seat belt when you drive? Or could they force you into the government's retirement program? All by themselves, billionaires and millionaires have little power over us compared to the awesome power that politicians and midlevel government bureaucrats have over us. They can force us to do many things that we otherwise wouldn't do." -Economist Thomas Sowell
Consider, too, the effect of the following on the sexes’ income gap: When a pregnant woman can’t afford parenthood or doesn’t want to interrupt her career, she can obtain an abortion. Yet if she wants the baby and he can’t afford parenthood, she can force him to pay support for the next 18 years. He may have to seek overtime or an extra job, while she, to care for the child, may go from full-time work to part-time, or quit work altogether. If so, this creates an enormous wage gap between the two of them. He is then called privileged because of the higher earnings she forced him to seek. (In most states, husbands must support children wives have from affairs! One way or the other, a wife often can control the number of children a couple has, and so to a great degree can, with the full support of the law, control her partner’s life. Can you think of just one reverse example of this? Suppose the male could require the female when pregnant to deliver and give him the child and pay him support. Feminists would relentlessly condemn this as The Number One Economic Discrimination Against Women. The word "slavery" would surely be tossed in there as well.)
White-collar males make on average only 6 cents more per hour than they did in 1973, when America was on the brink of the worst economic fallout since the Depression.
Women reinforce their belief that the male vastly out-earns them when they make invisible the men who earn little. Just as men tend to fantasize and think only about attractive women and not about homely ones, women tend to fantasize and think only about successful men (who are also attractive) and not about the men who collect our garbage, fill potholes, or push brooms.
The low-earning male is out of mind and might as well not exist.
"The latest Census data (P60-221) shows that in 2002 the average white household had an income of just under $47,000, while the average Asian American household had an income of just over $52,600. Does that prove discrimination against whites?" -Thomas Sowell, "Random Thoughts," April 16, 2004, Jewish World Network
Other Gender Gaps
There is another job-related gender gap that fails to catch the media’s eye. That's because this gap show men at the disadvantage: the workplace injury-and-death gap.
Men experience a 600 percent higher incidence of work-related accidents than women, each year suffering over 2,000,000 disabling injuries.
About 6,600 men are killed on the job each year, versus only about 400 women. In the Vietnam War, 58,000 male soldiers were killed at work on the battlefield, compared to just eight females. In the Civil War, 600,000 men were killed, and only about 60 women were killed or hurt. We hear often, "The less a job pays, the more likely a woman is to occupy it," a statement which ignores the fact that the male’s primary provider role prices men out of low-paid jobs.
But we never hear, "The more dangerous a job, the more likely a man is to occupy it."
Thus the work policies addressing gender gaps are aimed only at increasing women’s pay to that of men’s, not also at reducing men’s injury-and-death rate to that of women’s.
In databases such as LexisNexis, compare the number of articles on men’s higher death rate at work to the number on women’s lower pay rate. If more women than men were killed at work, this would be the media’s biggest issue by far.
Why do the media apparently care more about women’s pay than about men's lives, the lives of our fathers, brothers, and sons?
Other Men’s Issues Ignored
When I studied the Statistical Abstract of the United States and the Report to the Nation on Crime and Justice, I came across other startling facts that the media ignore or distort:
Nearly 85 percent of the street homeless are men. (This fact is never played up by the media, only the fact that 95 percent of CEOs are men.)
- Men have higher death rates for each of the 10 leading causes of death.
- They develop heart disease 10 years sooner than women.
- Although only 14 percent more women die of breast cancer than men die of prostate cancer, the amount spent on breast cancer research exceeds that spent on prostate cancer research by more than 600 percent. (The death rates from these cancers might be equal if men lived as long as women!)
Still, feminists say, "Because of sexism, women get less health care than men." How would women feel if men complained they got less health care than women while women were dying at a higher rate of all the major illnesses, and these men said the reason they got less health care is doctors' sexism? That would be bizarre enough. But it's still not as bizarre as the feminists' complaint.
That's because in truth women do get the lion's share of health care despite living longer and healthier lives than men, annually making 100 million more doctor visits than men.
Males have always committed suicide at a much higher rate than females. But during 1979-98, the female suicide rate dropped by 26.6 percent, while the male rate held steady.
SUICIDE RATES PER 100,000 POPULATION ALL AGES, 1979-98
Year Male Female
1979 18.6 6.0
1998 18.6 4.4
Seventy-two percent of suicides are committed by white men
(a benefit of "male power"?) -U.S. Statistical Abstract
When we heard that blacks were overrepresented in the Gulf War (but far less than 50 percent), many called it racism. But when it was reported that 94 percent of the U.S. troops at risk in that war were men, no one called it sexism. What would it have been called if 94 percent had been women?
Likewise, when we hear that 48 percent of the prison population is black, we think "racism." But when we hear that 92 percent is male, we do not think "sexism," as we would if 92 percent were female. Instead, we think, "Deservedly so!" (Such disparate reactions belie feminists’ claim that society is insensitive to women.
A question for feminists: if men are insensitive to women, why did feminists themselves ask the military to put male soldiers through programs that "desensitize" them so that during combat they would not be overly protective of female soldiers?)
In the Gulf War, hundreds of allied male soldiers died, compared to only 13 U.S. servicewomen. (See "Women Join the Boys in Combat, But Not Without a Fight," by Leela Jacinto, Jan. 14, 2003, ABC News.) Reportedly, over 30,000 male Iraqi soldiers died. No female Iraqi soldiers died, apparently, because antimale sexism (protector is a male role only) made sure that only men were dispatched into the murderous fray.
Victims of aggravated assault are more often men than women. Rape is the only violent crime that victimizes females more. But even when rapes are included with aggravated assault – because that’s what rape is, aggravated assault – males are still far more often victimized.
The FBI says males are less likely to report being victimized, so the ratio of male-to-female victimizations may be worse than the figures show.
The lifetime risk of being a homicide victim is:
1 out of 30 for black males
1 out of 179 for white males
1 out of 132 for black females
1 out of 495 for white females (the group most vocal about violence – but only the violence against women)
Of the violent crimes, 70 percent are against males. Yet there is a Violence Against Women Act. (See also "Letter to Judic.")
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission shows that over a four-year period about 90 percent of the acts of heroism were performed by males. Significantly, far more men rescued women than the other way around. Yet the media rarely point this out, preferring instead to showcase men’s violence against women. This angers men and frightens women – while the media never admit they help polarize the sexes.
Feminists and the media often address as a women’s issue the atrocities against females in other countries. They rarely mention antimale atrocities and never mention them as a men’s issue.
It’s as if men everywhere, even in third-world nations, never encounter violence. Perhaps man-as-victim is invisible because the brutality males suffer is masked by such terms for victimized men as "soldiers," "employees," "workers," "personnel," or, simply, a number. Thus we often hear such statements as, "The custom of facing east [on Veterans Day] was a tribute to the 10 million military personnel who died and the 20 million who were wounded." –Dear Abby, May 7, ‘97 [Emphasis added.] (About antimale atrocities, see The Greater Outrage for Female Victims of Gover.)
In a Los Angeles Times story ("Sending Children to War," Mar. 26, ‘95), staff writer Bob Drogin seems reluctant to mention nations’ atrocity of sending only boys to war. These young males are merely "children." He writes, "From Mozambique to Bosnia, youngsters are being used as soldiers, spies and cannon fodder.... Although hardly new in the annals of war, the use of child soldiers has increased dramatically in recent years, according to the United Nations. The humanitarian group Save The Children estimates that more than 1.5 million children have been killed in conflicts from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Kashmir in the last decade.... [Emphasis added.]
"Child soldiers appear to be most common – and most brutal – in Africa. Human rights groups say [some] children are kidnapped at gunpoint and flogged, raped or beaten to ensure obedience. Thousands of boys [Finally, he says boys!] have been forced to fight in the civil war that rages in southern Sudan."
How would Drogin have written the story had only young girls been kidnapped at gunpoint, raped, flogged, and sent to war? What would have been his story’s title?
"The Serbs drove out the women and butchered the men, according to numerous eyewitness accounts, burying most of the bodies in mass graves. Officially, as many as 8,000 men from Srebrenica are still listed as missing." "They disappeared last July ...." " On the first day, July 12, they took only the old men; later they began taking boys as young as 12." "Today, Lehovic [the Muslim village outside Srebrenica] lies uninhabited in Serb-held territory. Of its 126 residents, 33 are listed as missing -- 31 men, a boy and a woman. The rest, mostly women and children, are scattered in refuge camps all over Bosnia." --Quotes from "Death of a Village," Newsweek, 4-15-96 (What would have been the title and the focus had females been murdered in such proportion?)
Exploring Male Power
Despite the reality of these disturbing facts, in the politics of gender image carries much more weight. The media’s persistent image of the female as helpless, vulnerable, and easily offended (the image that equity feminists have fought hard to eradicate), confers to her the status of a child in need of protection. This image may blind journalists to both women's privileges and men's burdens. It may cause them to perceive women as experiencing only oppression and men only power - even as the male journalists themselves fail to see their own lack of power if they fear challenging the image….
Let’s look even more closely at male "power." The best place to look may be the productive
sphere, the supposed quintessence of men’s power.
Less than 12 percent of working men hold the "power" positions of management. (About six percent of working women held them as of 1991.) Although men have - or used to have - a better chance to secure these positions, 88 percent of the male work force will never obtain them and wield "management power" at work. This 88 percent is, says Warren Farrell in The Myth of Male Power, "on their company’s assembly line – either its physical assembly line or its psychological assembly line."
The vast majority of working men are just like the vast majority of working women: they possess no power on the job.
Does this mean the 12 percent of men in management do possess power at work? The bulk of them are like I once was: a front-line supervisor. As such, I mostly had responsibility and stress. That's largely because for supervisors, merely a wrong word said in a distracted moment may bring an employee’s wrath and a lawsuit. Amid the "rewards" of managing, supervisors catch hell from both above and below. Since today we don’t pay much attention to what men say regarding gender, ask female supervisors how much power they have. Many will laugh. I know – I’ve asked a good number myself. Some will tell you, "Take this job and shove it."
But what about the tiny percentage of men who are in upper management? In the right setting - safe and anonymous - some of these "powerful" men might dare to open up with an admission along the line of:
Power? Sure, some people call it that, because I can hire and fire people and make decisions that affect my employees’ lives. But to me that’s just duty. And pressure. If I hire or fire the wrong person, or screw up on a decision, I could harm my company - not to mention my career. The bottom line on my well-paid position is that I have a workweek that leaves me scant time for my family. At home I practically have to camp out in the middle of my briefcase, cell phone, and computer. I hardly know my kids. Or my wife. I got married for love, but as the years roll by I seem to have fewer and fewer moments left for it.
My wife says I’m married more to my company than to her. The emotional deprivation she feels I feel, too. Yet if I took a less-imposing job, it would pay less and my wife might then become even more disenchanted, because deep down, I suspect her attraction to me all along has been my money and so-called power.
I don’t feel powerful as much as I feel trapped in a demanding role. My only "reward" is that people believe I have power. All I really have, though, are the conveniences that money buys.
But my wife has these, too, and she doesn’t work. After the domestics and the nanny come in, she’s generally free to do what she wants to do. She’s our "social director" but only because she likes doing it. It’s not politically correct these days to say any woman has it good, or that any man has it bad, but the way I see it, my wife lives like a queen, and I often feel as though I’m her worker drone. Don’t give out my name!
"My grandfather always used to say he felt as though he was walking on the edge of a precipice," said billionaire Rep. Amo Houghton Jr., the former chairman and CEO of what was used to be called Corning Glass Works in Corning, N.Y., "and I feel the same way."
–The Hill, June 5, 2002 http://www.hillnews.com/
The Successful Wife’s Three Options:
Option #1: Work full time
Option #2: Mother full time
Option #3: Work part-time and mother part-time
The Successful Husband’s "Three Options":
Option #1: Work full time
Option #2: Work full time
Option #3: Work full time
In Love And Profit, author James A. Autry explains power and control versus influence:
Power and control are illusions that we create for ourselves out of the sense of our authority, just as we have the illusion that we control our children because we’re bigger and stronger. At some point, we realize the truth: Our children control their own lives, and all we can hope to do is influence them.
The same is true with your employees. The power you have is the willingness and commitment of your employees to carry out your goals or vision. And they have that commitment because they trust you to lead them in the right way. You do not have the power to force them to do well the things they don’t agree with.
Furthermore, the power you have – which they have given you – is to be used for them. As the head of a group of committed people who share and support your vision, you have enormous power: in the marketplace and within your company.
But do not try to use the power against your people, as so many managers do. You’ll waste a lot of time and effort establishing what you’ll finally realize is an illusion. You’ll also realize finally that your employees weren’t suffering under the same illusion.
The fundamental mistake of the feminist movement was to take the female area of sacrifice, raising the children, and call that sacrifice, and take the male area of sacrifice, raising money, and call that power.
Many female executives, too, sense that in upper management only the illusion of power exists. In "Executive Women Confront Midlife Crisis" (Fortune magazine, September 18, 1995), Betsy Morris writes:
Large numbers of [executive] women find themselves going through the kind of mid-life crisis their fathers and grandfathers went through. "Suddenly women know what men have known all along: that work is hard; work takes a lot of time; work isn’t always a day at the beach," says Sharon McGavin, once a senior vice president at Ogilvy & Mather.... As former Labor Secretary Lynn Martin puts it, "Women are more aware of what’s on the gravestone, which is not ‘I worked for IBM.’"
To get a better snapshot of the phenomenon [of female executives’ mid-life crisis], Fortune enlisted Yankelovich Partners to survey 300 career women, ages 35 to 49, about their thoughts and feelings as they enter mid-life. About 94 percent of the women surveyed were managers or executives. Nearly half had salaries of more than $60,000. The extent of their angst was astonishing. All but 13 percent said they had made or were seriously considering making a major change in their lives. Almost a third said they frequently felt depressed. More than 40 percent said they felt trapped.
Just as they made their own way into the corporate suites, [many executive women] are now making their own way out – and confounding the companies that had been grooming them for years. [There were no reports of any of the women beaming, "I really love my power!"]
Both sexes have areas of power. At work mostly men have run things, and at home mostly women have run things. But now at work hordes of women are in charge, and at home still mostly women run things. (Because we view this through a biased feminist lens, we say men’s running things at work - telling employees what to do, making all the decisions on how to run the workplace - is "power," no matter how stressful; and women’s running things at home - telling family what to do, making all the decisions on how to run the home - is "oppression," no matter how pleasurable.)
"I actually have more power in the family now than I ever did when I was the breadwinner." -Glenn Sacks, a stay-at-home dad/writer, http://www.gl/
Perhaps the greatest form of power is to be able to live to a very old age, then, in a disaster, to be rescued at the expense of others, including children. This happened to the old women helped into the lifeboats of the Titanic at the pinnacle of the "oppressive patriarchy," which doomed the men to die so the women could live, thus insuring that when rights really mattered, not even the wealthiest male was equal to the poorest female.
Titanic and the Invisible Fourth Class
Percent of Men Dying
Percent of Women Dying
The richest men were more likely to die
than the poorest women.
And let’s not forget the beauty power that, besides generating economic power for the attractive woman, often permits women to legally share via marriage the benefits and assets created by the "male power" they don't need. Actually, to share these benefits a woman doesn't necessarily have to be attractive, merely ordinary-looking. Again, consider Bill Gates’ wife and the millions of other ordinary-looking women who benefit from extraordinary male wealth without contributing anything themselves to create that wealth.
Of course, it isn’t just managerial women who discover that "rat race," rather than "power and glamour," more accurately characterizes "men’s" work. Some non-managerial women discover this as well. About the "glamorous" field of law, Randee G. Fenner, a lecturer at Stanford Law School, writes in her letter to the editor of The New York Times, April 26, 2002:
I wonder whether you are underestimating the long-term impact of "Ally McBeal" ("That Late-Nineties Moment," editorial, April 22). Just as "Perry Mason" and "L.A. Law" gave rise to generations of lawyers who ultimately found that the reality of legal practice did not match the television template, I fear that Ally may have inspired impressionable young females (and males?) to seek a version of her similarly misleading professional lifestyle.
Although Ally admittedly has many personal problems, her "law practice" - including the adorable outfits, groundbreaking cases and office romances - gives no hint of the daily grind faced by most associates in law firms. And for good reason: it would not be entertaining.
Regrettably, many Ally fans may discover this truth after three arduous years of law school and many long, unglamorous hours spent in an office with a view of a real alley.
According to another New York Times story by Carey Goldberg (September 21, 1995), Gloria Quifiones of East Harlem gave up her $74,000-a-year job as a Legal Aid lawyer last year to focus on raising her sons, ages 10 and 14. The family now lives on her husband’s public school teacher salary. Though she may not be buying any power suits, she "wouldn’t want them anyway." "I feel free," she said. "I’ve broken out of that loop and I don’t want it back."
So now that she’s out of the "loop" of "male power," and back into the realm of "female oppression," she feels free? What, then, does her husband feel? How would she have felt had he left his job to care for their children, leaving her imprisoned in the provider role, in a job she hated? (How would the media opine about the husband who curtailed his domestic chores and forced his wife to take up the slack, because the chores didn't fulfill him as the men’s movement had promised?)
As for other "power and glamour" white-collar jobs, Laura Vanderkam, a member of USA Today’s board of contributors, writes on November 25, 2002:
Nancy Collins remembers when she hit rock bottom. She was in Australia for her investment-banking job at JP Morgan, trying to seal deals on two projects at once.
She thought she could handle the stress. After all, co-workers had dubbed her previous boss the "Prince of Darkness" for making people work until 3 a.m., and she knew she was good at what she did. But then, one night after weeks of 18-hour days and constant travel, she staggered home at 7 a.m. Not to sleep. To shower. As she stood in the water, she started crying. At age 25, she was having a midlife crisis. "I started thinking, there's got to be more to life than this," she says.
JP Morgan isn't the only firm driving its young employees insane. Salomon Smith Barney. Goldman Sachs. High-end consulting firms such as McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group and many tech companies do the same. All hire the brightest Ivy League grads and make them a deal: We will pay you $60,000 or more a year and give you glimpses of corporate luxury, from ritzy hotels to jaunts on the jet. In exchange, you must work 70, 80, 100 hours a week through the best years of your life.
Forget accounting, these white-collar sweatshops are corporate America's most successful scam. Give a kid a signing bonus and a $500 bottle of champagne, and he doesn't notice that he's working for $12 an hour. For years, exclusive firms have kept labor costs low by squeezing blood out of their hires. It's not exploitation. These kids are savvy enough to know what they're getting into. But they're also smart enough to wonder whether the lifestyle's worth the cost.
Those who work in a job only for fulfillment or to "help out," and who can abruptly quit when the going on the job gets tough, have more power at work to speak their mind, to make demands, and to stand up for their principles, than those who must work to support a spouse and children....
...And that’s why women are more often able to force the workplace to adapt to them, while men usually feel they must adapt to the workplace. This power differential between the sexes at work generally goes unnoticed because feminists and the media purposely blind themselves to female power and male powerlessness.
Might not true power lie in being able to walk away from the "privileges of power" at their point of diminishing returns and force one’s spouse to take up the slack? (Even in dual-successful families, far more husbands give this walk-away freedom to wives than the other way around. I call it a male generosity that goes unappreciated by feminists and the media.)
Workplace power can turn out to be an illusion not just for those in the private sector. Many in public office also discover the illusion. These men – and women – may often come to see themselves as having less power than responsibility to constituents (and staff) who frequently may be overbearing. Some men in public office may indeed see themselves as possessing power when they can require others to come to them to get things done. But other men soon recognize the price for this power. They begin to feel like an overused machine to whom people ceaselessly turn for help, but they cannot complain because of their need to be seen as powerful and in control. (Their frustration is sometimes vented in angry or arrogant outbursts.) If it is power to have others seek our permission to do things, then mothers with primary care of their children have power. Or do they just have burdens? About men in office, Warren Farrell reminds us:
"Power is not in who holds the office. Power is in who chooses who holds the office." Most of the choosers, the voters, are women.
If, as feminists say, men have the power and want to oppress women, why can’t men direct Congress, the media, the government, and all other institutions to attend to their gender issues and ignore women’s, instead of it happening the other way around? If men have the power, why do so many people feel it a betrayal to women to advocate the gender rights of both sexes?
After gaining these new insights into the sexes back when I was a contributing editor of a feminist newsletter, I was faced with a dilemma. For years I had proclaimed that men have the power, that males are oppressors and females the oppressed. How could I continue this fable knowing in my heart that the facts did not support it? Unfortunately, I continued it for some time.
I eventually came to grips with why. I later became a peace activist and began researching the underpinnings of ill will between individuals as well as between nations. A powerful cause of ill will, I learned, is human beings’ deep-seated need to be "right" when challenged about their views. People develop this need mostly because they fear that if they alter their views, they will be punished or damaged professionally or personally. A punishment I feared if I altered my views on gender was that I’d be seen as wishy-washy, incapable of sticking to definitive answers to the issues. I also feared being ostracized by the friends with whom I had enthusiastically aired my "females are oppressed" theories over the years. I even feared that someone would try to get me fired from my job. But mostly I feared that changing my beliefs about the sexes would brand me a misogynist. Having to wear the "Scarlet M," as I called it, meant being treated like a leper by women. To many men, especially men in the media, being singled out and scorned by the "oppressed" might mean the end of a career, a fate perhaps worse than death, especially to a man with a wife and children to support. (The book Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say explains how the author's income was dramatically curbed when his views on gender switched from male-negative to male-positive.)
Thirty years ago sexism against women was fueled largely by the fear of offending men.
Today sexism against men is fueled largely by the fear of offending women, especially feminists.
How often does a male journalist sell out men for fear of having to answer to an offended feminist staffer who stops him in the hallway?
In general, the fear of such punishments and the resultant need to be "right" run more deeply in those who widely publicize their views. Could either conservative Condoleezza Rice or liberal Hillary Clinton say to the other during a televised debate, "Hmm. You make an excellent point, one I haven’t considered. I’ll have to rethink my position"? Would not each fear being ostracized by her respective conservative or liberal community? I can imagine what awaits some journalists who change their "Women have oppressions, men have power" position to "Both sexes have both power and powerlessness in different areas." The frequent fate of those making this change in their views is well documented by the books Who Stole Feminism: How Women Have Betrayed Women, by Christina Hoff Sommers, and Professing Feminism, by Daphe Patai and Noretta Koertge.
Eventually, I realized that "Misogynist!" is the same as "Chicken!" – an intimidation to goad males into doing what someone else wants. "Misogynist" is an intimidation used to stop men from thinking independently about gender issues and to get them marching to the politically correct drums. Many independent-thinking and otherwise fearless male journalists fear disputing the politically correct, feminist vision of the sexes lest they get fired or branded with the "Scarlet M" (or get labeled a complainer or whiner; men deeply fear being called a complainer, even if they complain about life-threatening oppressions. By encouraging women to complain and silencing men, we have legitimated the idea that only females face gender-based problems).
Men stand in the path of army tanks to defend democratic values. But when feminist Catharine MacKinnon arrives to attack male values and propose antimale sexual assault and harassment policies, these brave men quickly scatter or sit silent and dumb-struck. When men fear discussing gender issues, they are, in the "battle of the sexes," divided and conquered.
Once I conquered most of my fear of being labeled a misogynist, I felt freed to look critically at the rhetoric and to explore uncharted gender waters. I soon transformed from a women’s-rights activist who promoted malice toward my own sex, to an equal-rights activist who promotes understanding of both sexes. I am happy to report that I have not been called a misogynist in many years. I am instead told I bring a little sanity to the gender madness. Now and then even a feminist says to me, "You’ve got me thinking." The only friends I have lost - male or female - are those who I believe never cared about equality, only about thrashing men. I have gained much respect from both men and women.
Understanding and caring about both sexes was invaluable to me. (Compassion is not a limited resource!) It permitted me to see for the first time that true gender equality - or, barring that, a system of equitable tradeoffs - might truly be an attainable goal, rather than a "movement" that seems less interested in equality than in a multi-optioned, adversity-free world for women, at men’s expense where necessary, and in female moral superiority. (The "morally superior movement" is the flip side of men’s bygone effort to prove males are intellectually superior. For more on how the women’s movement shifted from a quest for equality to a quest for moral superiority, read Rene Denfeld’s The New Victorians: A Young Woman’s Challenge to the Old Feminist Order.)
If privately you are tired of what appears to be an outright conspiracy to debase and discriminate against men, it may be mostly up to you to stop it. As an employee of the media, you have the resources needed to research and intelligently present the facts for countering the antimale miasma.
I urge you to research men’s issues and begin reporting a balance to what the feminist movement is saying. The research could begin with, in addition to the books I’ve already mentioned, the books and Web sites listed at the end, especially those by Warren Farrell. Farrell, like me, was once a gender feminist. Years ago he wrote The Liberated Man, which showed little understanding of males. Farrell admits he built his income up by putting men down. When he shifted his views and built men up, his income plummeted. One price of courage. (By losing income after he shifted from telling only the female perspective on the gender story to also telling the male perspective, Farrell belied the feminist complaint that women's voice isn't heard. For more on whose voice is heard on the gender story, see "An Open Letter to Dr. Phil.")
Editors add to a culture of radical feminism - and gender disharmony - when they fail to question anything feminists submit for publication, no matter how absurd or unsubstantiated, and when they question and subject to a higher standard everything men submit that opposes feminism, no matter how sensible and substantiated.
I hope you won’t shrink from researching men’s gender issues because "male power" situates men in such positions as president, congress member, CEO, and policy maker. Do such men exhibit or create "power for males" when they subject only men to the military draft and combat; when they pass a Violence Against Women Act to protect only the safer sex; when they uphold the maritime law of "Women and children first;" when they allocate most of the gender-focused health money to the healthier, longer-living sex; when they push to close the gender wage gap but not the gender occupational accident-and-death gap; when they exhaust themselves to help women collect child support but ignore fathers’ visitation rights; when they fight for women’s equality in the world of work but turn a deaf ear to men’s equality in the world of children? What do men with "male power" do for men that they don’t do for women, besides giving men a better shot at becoming a member of the "male power" group that in the aggregate serves women more than men? "Powerful" men serving and protecting women is not male power. It is female power.
And I hope you don’t think only a trivial number of men seem concerned. In a speech delivered to the Washington Press Club in 1990, PBS reporter Bill Moyers said of his Robert Bly interview broadcast a month earlier (Bly is the author of the once-popular Iron John), "There were more requests for transcripts of the Robert Bly interview than for any of the top 50 programs rated this year." Moyers’ show tapped into a huge vein of people interested in how men felt about themselves and their issues. So regard the small number of men who express concern about men’s issues as just the tip of a great iceberg.
(More of the iceberg can be seen, of course, on the Web’s back roads, where men’s gender-issues sites are rapidly springing up. One new site is Men's News Daily. Its founder, Mike LaSalle, says, "The Internet is beginning to change the way news is packaged and the ways it's consumed by millions of people. I'm trying to repackage the information that we get everyday so as to bypass the mainstream press, which - to a certain extent - is under the control and under the suasion of people who have a mindset that is in line with radical liberal feminism.")
More men would speak up if they were not:
Socialized to repress their feelings about personal matters the way women have been socialized to repress their feelings about sexual matters, and hence are as uncomfortable talking about gender as nuns are talking about pornography!
Fearful of being the first to speak up and being scorned with: "Why are you the only one having a problem?" (Most men, I suspect, intensely fear being told they have a problem - with anything. A là Betty Friedman, I have named this fear "a problem with no name," a topic worthy of a book-length discourse itself!)
Silenced by the chivalrous fear of upsetting women, whom men are supposed to simultaneously see as capable of handling the violence of hand-to-hand combat with enemy soldiers but incapable of handling men’s mere words. Radical feminist ideology wants us to believe women can cope with death-threatening revilement – "Die, slut!" – from an enraged enemy soldier on the battlefield, but not with a good-intentioned compliment – "Hi, gorgeous!" – from an effervescent man in the workplace.
Silenced by seeing themselves as protectors of women. Many men, especially feminist men, want to be known as protectors of women (often to earn female approval or female votes). Such chivalrous men may sometimes be willing to sacrifice their lives for women, thus many can be counted on to sacrifice their rights for women.
Silenced by a political correctness that is hostile and censorious to non-feminist views on gender, particularly to such views dispensed by men.
Silenced by the mistaken belief that all feminists work in the interest of both sexes and for the good of the country, and that to be against feminists is to be against women.
Taught by feminists and the media to see male powerlessness as male power. (The military conscription of men is presented as male power, not the male powerlessness that it is. So is having to work long hours in an often oppressive job in order to support a family.)
Most men might say they feel they have more in common with the average female than with the roughly six percent of males "with power." They might also say they feel that when all things are considered, they are no better off than women.
The mainstream media have "progressed" from believing it wrong to let only men speak on political issues to believing it right to let only women (mostly feminists) speak on gender issues, even though gender issues impinge upon men’s lives as much as political issues impinge upon women’s.
Men are not the only ones hurt by this.
"The Neo-Feminist still wants an oppressive welfare state," writes Joe Schembrie, a senior writer for Enter Stage Right, "only now she also wants a guy slaving away at the office on her behalf - while she retains the right to divorce him and expropriate half his net worth as community property before the honeymoon is even over. Such a deal, it's a wonder young men aren't stampeding to get married."
Men’s growing fear of marriage and relationships is but one of many boomerangs coming back to haunt women as a result of harmful gender-based laws and policies influenced by the media’s feminist monologue on the sexes. Another is protect-the-women legislation regarding sexual harassment. "There’s no doubt about the fact that the climate has been counterproductive," says Ricki Gaull Silberman, vice-chairman of the EEOC. "It limits women’s opportunities, although nobody will admit to it. Managers are afraid to give travel assignments to women, late-night assignments, [work behind] closed doors. We are in danger of reinstituting the protective laws of the early 20th Century that we were so proud of getting rid of in the name of equality."
Mariana Parks, Vice President at the Seattle-based Washington for Policy Studies, notices the extreme importance of a mentor for anyone serious about a career. "You learn your best lessons from the mistakes you make," she says, "but someone must be willing to sit down with you and tell you that you’ve screwed up. Now we have created a situation, with the deadly cocktail of affirmative action, EEOC lawsuits, and sexual harassment lawsuits, in which people are increasingly unwilling to tell women what they are doing or have done wrong because it creates a paper trail. In the long run, this will be a huge impediment to women’s advancement."
Female executives may find male executives becoming more reluctant than ever to include women in their circles, even as diversity programs call for women’s inclusion. Many men, says Judith Tingley in Genderflex: Men & Women Speaking Each Other’s Language At Work, are paralyzed by the fear of doing something that will brand them as sexist pigs guilty of sexual harassment.
By helping provide a balance to the gender issues, you as a journalist could help pave the way to true equality, not just an arrangement whereby in the social sphere, the productive sphere, and the reproductive sphere, women are given new choices and men are limited to the same old responsibilities such as "primary" provider (which restricts as much as sole provider), relationship initiator (which in practice subjects only him to charges of sexual harassment), protector of women, children, and country, and financial supporter of women’s reproductive choices. An "equality" that listens to and liberates only one side is not equality; it is an intentional sexism that guarantees to keep between men and women a wedge that need not be.
As you research and write about gender, realize two things: power is not taken but given via the cooperation of others, and no one, as Phillip McGraw of NBC's "Dr. Phil" says, does anything without getting or expecting a pay-off, such as peace and quiet, a steady paycheck, or the image of being seen as nice. Thus, when one has "power," it was given by those who cooperate to obtain a pay-off in return. (Unless you are a feminist man who blindly sides with women no matter what, think about the pay-offs that you as a male journalist receive for towing the feminist line and remaining quiet about the male side of the gender story.)
Remember also: When an employee goofs off at work, he or she decreases the company's profit. However small the decrease, it can help doom the company, in the small way that one vote helps turn an election. Similarly, when journalists, consciously or unconsciously, forgo fairness in writing, they help undermine our democracy, which is based largely on the fairness concept.
0Gannett’s Newspaper Division announced June 14, 1999, that it requires its newspapers to commit to: "seeking and reporting the truth in a truthful way, promoting understanding of complex issues, not intentionally slanting the news, guarding against assumptions and preconceived notions, including their own, protecting against being manipulated by advocates and special interests."
How many newspapers do all this when reporting on gender issues? Likely not many. Says Dan Seligman, writing in the Wall Street Journal on November 19, 2001, "[Diversity] has filled newsrooms with partisans for minority causes, many of them activists in the...women's…journalists' associations, whose pressures lead editors to self-censorship and distortion when those causes seem threatened by stories at variance with politically correct news perspectives."
If a journalist wants to provide a man's non-feminist view as a balance to what a feminist is saying, locating that view is quick and easy. A Google search on "men's issues" fleshes out endless possibilities. Thus the journalists who reflect only a feminist or female perspective on gender are making a conscious choice to be biased. They no longer can dismiss their bias with, "No one submits anything," knowing, of course, that when someone does submit something opposing feminism, it is often discarded.
Recommended Books (most are found at www.Amazon.com) :
A Man’s World: How Real Is Male Privilege – And How High Is Its Price? Ellis Cose
Bias, Bernard Goldberg; Chapter 9: "Targeting Men"
Ceasefire! Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality, Cathy Young
From Data to Public Policy, Women’s Freedom Network (www.womensfreedom.org)
Lip Service: The Truth About Women’s Darker Side in Love, Sex, and Friendship, Kate Fillion
Real Boys, William Pollack
Spreading Misandry- The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture, Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young
Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination Against Men, Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young
The New Thought Police, Tammy Bruce, former president of the L.A. Chapter of NOW
The New Victorians: A Young Woman’s Challenge to the Old Feminist Order, Rene Denfeld
The Princess at the Window: A New Gender Morality, Donna Laframboise
When She Was Bad – Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence, Patricia Pearson
The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism is Harming Our Sons, Christina Hoff Sommers
Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say, Warren Farrell
Women’s Freedom Network newsletter