The "new" gender gap?
By Rod Van Mechelen
Proponents of patriarchal rule see salvation in the subjugation of women. Femagogues believe the path to a new golden age belongs to some kind of matriarchy. Both ignore that to place either sex ahead of the other diminishes us all.
2003 Olympia, Wash. - On March 10, 1992, I came face-to-frown with a feminist who, with fascist flare, threatened me with arrest and shriekiness for the foul crime of making an equalitarian observation about the state of education in America:
'Is it not true more boys drop out of high school than girls?' She said 'Yes.' 'Is it not true more women earn B.A. and Masters degrees than men?' 'Yes,' she replied. 'So, doesn't it seem the public school system oppresses boys more than it does girls?' - American Association of University Women: The Pop-feminist Agenda, by Rod Van Mechelen, 1992
Despite that the equalitarian wording of my third question explicitly noted that our public school system harms both boys and girls, the frowning feminist, Dr. Cecile Andrews, then-Executive Director of the Seattle chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), lost her temper and threatened to have me arrested if I did not leave immediately. Her intolerance toward any hint of concern for the condition of boys in American education typified the attitude that led to the "new" plight we see today:
Schools have inadvertently played a big role, too, losing sight of boys -- taking for granted that they were doing well, even though data began to show the opposite....Indeed, many administrators saw boys, rather than the way schools were treating them, as the problem. - Michelle Conlin, The New Gender Gap, Business Week, May 26, 2003
The result, as Conlin notes, is that "today's boys are a sort of payback generation -- the one that has to compensate for the advantages given to males in the past."
By definition, this is a zero-sum result: girls' gains equal boys' losses. It didn't have to be that way, but that's how the feminists view our world: for women to win, men must lose. Unfortunately, this is zooming us toward a big loss for all of us, women, men, everybody. It's creating a burgeoning underclass of men who are slackers at best, criminals at bad, and a growing powder keg of rage and unrelenting fury at worst.
For feminists, whose extremists view men as little more than savage beasts with table manners, the thought of a male-led rebellion fills their perpetually half-empty glass less with dread than anticipation, as it would provide just the excuse they yearn for, to collar, tag and corral all men. While such a science-fictiony outcome may seem a little like The Outer Limits, we are witnessing hints of this in our schools, already:
Hug a girl, and he could be labeled a "toucher" and swiftly suspended -- a result of what some say is an increasingly anti-boy culture that pathologizes their behavior....Squirm, clown, or interrupt, and he is four times as likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. That often leads to being forced to take Ritalin or risk being expelled...All the while, he's 30% more likely to drop out, 85% more likely to commit murder, and four to six times more likely to kill himself, with boy suicides tripling since 1970. - Michelle Conlin, The New Gender Gap, Business Week, May 26, 2003
The data clearly point to a bad end if we don't change direction, soon. Proponents of patriarchal rule see salvation in the subjugation of women. Femagogues believe the path to a new golden age belongs to some kind of matriarchy. Both ignore that to place either sex ahead of the other diminishes us all.
Rod Van Mechelen
Rod Van Mechelen is the author of What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues: The Male-Positive Perspective (the page now includes several articles by other authors), and the publisher of The Backlash! @ Backlash.com. He is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and served for 9-1/2 years on the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Council.