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Friday, March 10, 2006 

Anger: The War on Men

Jeff really knows how to push my buttons. This time his post on Roe v. Wade for men triggers the following response :

As a hardcore pro-life person, I don’t have a dog in this fight; a pox on both sides. I do have a comment, however.

I see this as a result of our society’s “war on men”. In almost every situation in law, men are at a tremendous disadvantage in situations where gender is a consideration: Divorce, domestic violence, sexual harassment and in this case abortion/parental responsibilities. Men are seen in some quarters and in the law as guilty of the crime of being male and are punished accordingly. I have personally been through the domestic abuse meat grinder (I can tell the story if required. In a nutshell I am guilty of being the male in a marriage where the female has a seizure disorder). In no other venue have I felt so powerless, weak and hopeless. I don’t fear much in this world, but I am terrified that I could be placed into that situation again knowing that my previous exoneration will mean absolutely nothing.

In this situation can society really be surprised when men push back?
Long time friends and readers will remember the story that I refer to in the quote. Those unfamiliar or needing a quick reminder can click here for my only post on the subject to date. I don't usually post about that part of my life, but it is very much still a part of my life. I only bring it up as background to my comments below.

I really do see the lawsuit described in Jeff’s post as male push back.


Most people, when pressed, can see the anti-male bias in divorce laws. I have 3 friends that have been royally shafted by the divorce courts. The first was married for 15 years. The marriage resulted in a beautiful daughter. One morning the wife woke up and announced that she no longer loved my friend and was going to file for divorce. She is a professional and my friend is a welder. Her salary is roughly twice his, yet my friend was required to pay both child support and “spousal support”. I can see making a contribution, in proportion to income, to the costs of raising his daughter, but why the alimony? He got screwed by the court in a divorce he never wanted. The next friend was married for 7 years and caught his wife in a compromising situation with a neighbor. He owned the house they lived in for 10 years before getting married, yet lost it in the divorce. The third friend is a blue collar/Joe Sixpack kind of guy that makes a reasonable living and gladly gave up everything for his 3 daughters. His wife moved out, with the girls, one day while at the factory where he worked. He found out about it when he came home to an almost empty house that night. In the divorce he lost that house as well as his truck and a large chunk of his weekly paycheck. He was reduced to working at a fast food joint to be able to make the rent on his new studio apartment in the wrong part of town. When the ex-wife found out he was working a second job, she had him hauled into court and won a hefty chunk of that paycheck as well. When he quit that job (it was no longer worth it) and moved in with friends and relatives (he crashed at my place for a few months), he found himself back in court to explain why he quit the job and was pretty much forced to get it back.

I realize that the experience of my 3 friends is anecdotal, but most of us know people in similar situations.

Domestic violence:

My story is pretty tame compared to others in the world. At least I was able to beat the rap. BTW: The insistence of my wife that I didn’t hit her actually worked against me. “She is protecting him” was/is the attitude. The upshot is that if you are guilty of having male genitalia, you had better have iron clad proof that you didn’t do anything wrong. “When did you stop beating your wife?”

Sexual harassment:

You want to get a man in some really deep trouble? Ruin his career? Destroy his reputation? It’s easy! Just pull out the WMD of a sexual harassment claim and watch him squirm, stumble and fall into the gutter. You really want to get him? Well then, pull out the nukes and cry “RAPE!” or better yet have consensual sex then call in the police. Ask Kobe Bryant about that (even if you contend he is guilty, it was unjust).

When the interests of men and women clash, women usually win out.

In some ways, my traditional sensibilities agree with this general statement. My male “protector/provider” gene is fully functional, even if it is in conflict with my belief in the equality of women. The problem is when society, through the courts, is blind to the merits of individual cases and rule in favor of one side based solely on genitalia or society abandons the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” when dealing with one gender.

The inequities are certainly not limited to the courts. Just this week, for example, the local college sponsored an event for 6th grade girls called “Women in technology”. The student population was divided by gender and the girls went to the college to get various pep talks on math and science and the importance of going to college, the boys played basketball and had study halls in their regular school. Is this right? Doesn’t this discriminate against the boys? Isn’t this the “soft sexism of lowered expectations” in action? Do we not need men in college and in math/science professions? Instapundit has many posts on that subject

Ditto for “Take your daughters to work day”.

I expect that I am going to take a lot of flak for this (I already have in the comments to Jeff’s post) but I thank we better face these issues or the next push back will not be a simple lawsuit over child support.

The pendulum has swung too far. When it starts its inevitable swing back, it may go farther than the Oprah/Man-Hatin’/NOW types can dream.

Linked to: basil.

Update: What he said!

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