By Rod Van Mechelen
The continuation of earnings gap between men and women, the decimation of affirmative action in order to protect white men from "reverse discrimination," the rise of male victories in child custody cases -- all of these attest to the need for a way to galvanize women's opposition and women's power in the 1980s.
Caught Looking: Feminism, Pornography & Censorship; Kate Ellis, Barbara O'Dair& Abby Tallmer
Sexual affirmative action for nerds, wonks and geeks?
1991 Bellevue, Wash. - If we intend affirmative action to redress present social inequities and defend against discrimination, then we need to extend these protections to men. That includes sexual parity.
As most know, women sexually discriminate against men. Commonly, men are the ones who have to stick their necks out and do all the asking. They ask for the dates and risk being rejected, make the first moves and risk being accused of sexual harassment, initiate sex and risk being accused of date rape. It is time, therefore, for women to share these burdens.
Until affirmative action guarantees sexual parity for men, as, for example, by requiring women to date nerds, wonks, geeks, and other men who are victims of discrimination in the singles' scene, and do 50 percent of the asking, the government is encouraging sex discrimination. That no such guarantees have yet been forthcoming is clear evidence affirmative action discriminates against men.
(The passage above was supposed to be humorous. Rereading it, however, I realized it makes a certain amount of sense. Scary thought!)
Affirmative action discriminates against men and creates an "us" versus "them" mentality by awarding preference to workers and students according to their gender. Understandably, this causes many men to see women as educational and economic enemies. That women are not likely to remain on a job as long as men makes matters worse by highlighting just how little most women seem to value the advantages affirmative action affords them. (The Great Divide, Daniel E. Van Weiss, p 92)
So those who may take exception to my stand on Affirmative Action will know I do not speak of this as some self-serving "white" man, I will mention that, while both of my grandfathers immigrated from Europe, both of my grandmothers were American Indians, and I am a member of a federally recognized tribe in Washington state. Thus, as a legal minority I have available to me all the opportunities which Affirmative Action might afford and choose to exercise none of them -- justice is not served by injustice.
Affirmative action is not supposed to supply advantages, but provide the means whereby minorities can be mainstreamed into higher education and the workplace. But affirmative action goals too often take priority over fairness: "Goals and timetables quickly become de facto quotas when employers face sanctions if they don't achieve them, and when the burden of proof falls upon the employer to justify hiring practices." (Civil Rights Bill: The Way to Religious Quotas, Edward Koch (former Mayor of NYC), Wall Street Journal, February 6, 1991)
Quotas are not a good idea because they impose unfair restrictions based on non-job-relevant characteristics. They cause justifiable resentment. Inevitably, that will lead to the backlash pop-feminists rightly fear.
Instead of preventing discrimination, affirmative action is promoting it. When a "solution" causes more problems than it fixes, it's time to find a new solution. Is there a better solution? Maybe it's time to go back to school and find out.
Education and Discrimination
One of the most discriminatory environments in modern American society is the public school system. Dominated by women and the female ideology, with its emphasis on sitting still, being quiet, and other "feminine" behaviors, it stifles male abilities and, therefore, indiscriminately restricts boys' opportunities. If our goal really is to prevent discrimination in our society, then it needs to start in the public school system, and that means sexual segregation in the lower grades when boys are at a developmental disadvantage to girls, and suffer by being forced too young into co-educational classrooms:
The problem begins in the first grade, when many of the boys are a full nine months behind the girls in digital coordination, and the emphasis is on penmanship. -- Men and Marriage, George Gilder, p 118
This pattern continues, but the dynamic of discrimination reverses. Despite that "the overwhelming number of public-school elementary and high-school teachers are women" (Washington Post / Seattle Times, February 12, 1992), the Seventeen magazine mentality "deters girls from science and math." Thus, according to the 1991 report from the female supremacist organization, American Association of University Women, "the educational system is not meeting girls' needs." (Girls Left Out in Science and Math, Mary Elizabeth Cronin, Seattle Times, February 12, 1992, p B1)
The fundamental goal of our present public education system is conformity to the status quo. (The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan) A curriculum of conformity is the problem as, in many ways, our public schools teach our children to cherish conformity -- pedagogues preaching the sacred stereotypes by means both subtle and gross.
From hate-male behavior modifications, which force energetic and object-oriented boys to sit quietly and listen to boring stories about domestic life, to subtle withholding of recognition and rewards, which divert girls away from participation in math and science, they claimed that public education still follows the agenda of the 1950s' functionalists:
(F)unctionalists did not wholly accept the Freudian argument that 'anatomy is destiny,' but they accepted whole-heartedly an equally restrictive definition of woman: woman is what society says she is. - The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan
Their agenda called for molding each of us into the kinds of cogs needed by corporate America -- to fit our "necessary" function -- by converting the hopes and dreams of our childhood into the wants and needs necessary to sustain the status quo.
When I wrote the passages above twenty years ago in 1992, they were still true. Since then, however, public education has done much to remedy the short-comings for girls, while things have grown even worse for boys. Public education is now dominated by a feminist agenda, which uses functional empiricism to destroy masculinity and promote the female supremacist agenda.
I do not intend this to be an attack upon the teachers, but upon a system that systematically stifles its students' passionate delight in life. Our hopes and dreams are the fires in the engines of our lives. By them, we aspire to impossible heights of existence and glory. We delight in them, they give our lives meaning, and we live for their fulfillment. But the life ruled and defined by functional empiricism -- deprived of the chance to reach for stars, like a child chasing after an impossibly beautiful butterfly -- has no meaning, only machine-like purpose. A purpose affirmative action is supposed to oppose.
Discrimination prevails at the most fundamental level of our society -- in our public school system. Until we resolve this, all the affirmative action programs in the world won't fix anything.
Rod Van Mechelen