|The Feminists Continue Their War Against Men
|Double Standards about Child Care
When the feminist movement burst onto the American social scene in the 1970s, the rallying cry was “liberation.” The feminists demanded liberation from the role of the housewife and mother who lived in what Betty Friedan famously labeled a “comfortable concentration camp.”
Feminist ideology taught that the duties of the housewife and mother were (in Friedan’s words) “endless, monotonous, unrewarding” and “peculiarly suited to the capacities of feeble-minded girls.” Society’s expectation that a mother should care for her own children was cited as oppression of women by our male-dominated patriarchal society from which women must be liberated so they can achieve fulfillment in workforce careers just like men.
Demanding that husbands take on equal duties in child care, the National Organization for Women passed resolutions in the 1970s stating, “The father has equal responsibility with the mother for the child care role.”
In 1970, Gloria Steinem told the Senate Judiciary Committee it is a “myth” to believe “that children must have full-time mothers. . . . The truth is that most American children seem to be suffering from too much mother, and too little father. Part of the program of Women’s Liberation is a return of fathers to their children. If laws permit women equal work and pay opportunities, men will then be relieved of their role as sole breadwinner.”
Articulating vintage feminism in the 1974 Harvard Educational Review, Hillary Clinton wrote disparagingly about wives who are in “a dependency relationship” which, she said, is akin to “slavery and the Indian reservation system.”
In 1972, Ms. Magazine featured pre-marriage contracts declaring housewives independent from essential housework and babycare, and obliging the husband to do half the dishes and diapers. As a model, Ms. published the Shulmans’ marriage agreement, which divided child-care duties as follows: “Husband does Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Wife does Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Friday is split according to who has done extra work. All usual child care, plus special activities, is split equally. Husband is free all day Saturday, wife is free all Sunday.”
Then-ACLU attorney Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her 1977 book Sex Bias in the U.S. Code that “all legislation based on the breadwinning-husband, dependent-homemaking-wife pattern” must be eliminated “to reflect the equality principle” because “a scheme built upon the breadwinning husband [and] dependent homemaking wife concept inevitably treats the woman’s efforts or aspirations in the economic sector as less important than the man’s.” Feminist literature is filled with putdowns of the role of housewife and mother. This ideology led directly to feminist insistence that the taxpayers provide (in Ginsburg’s words) “a comprehensive program of government-supported child care.”
The icon of college women’s studies courses, Simone de Beauvoir, opined that “marriage is an obscene bourgeois institution.” Easy divorce became a primary goal of the feminist liberation movement. Robin Morgan, one of the founders of Ms. Magazine, said that marriage is “a slavery-like practice” and that “we can’t destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage.” Three-fourths of divorces are now unilaterally initiated by wives without any requirement to allege that the cast-off husband committed any fault.
As divorces became easy to get, the feminists suddenly did a total about-face in their demand that fathers share equally in child care. Upon divorce, mothers demand total legal and physical custody and control of their children, arguing that only a mother is capable of providing their proper care and upbringing, and a father’s only function is to provide a paycheck. Gone are the demands that the father change diapers or tend to a sick child. Feminists want the father out of sight except maybe for a few hours a month of visitation at her discretion.
Suddenly, the ex-husband is targeted as a totally essential breadwinner, and the ex-wife is eager to proclaim her dependency on him. Feminists assert that, after divorce, child care should be almost solely the mother’s job, dependency is desirable, and providing financial support should be almost solely the father’s job.
It is settled law in the United States that parents (note the plural) have a fundamental right to the care, custody and control of the upbringing of their children. But feminists have persuaded family courts, upon divorce, to acquiesce in feminist demands that the mother typically be given 80% to 100% of those fundamental rights that belonged to both parents before divorce.
What’s behind this feminist reversal about motherhood? As Freud famously asked, “what does a woman want?” The explanation appears to be the maxim, Follow the money. Beginning in the mid-1980s, the feminists used their political clout to get Congress to pass draconian post-divorce support-enforcement laws that use the full power of government to give the divorced mother cash income proportional to the percentage of custody time she persuades the court to award, but unrelated to what she spends for the children or to her willingness to allow the father to see his children.
Since the father typically has higher income than the mother, giving near-total custody to the mother enables the states to maximize transfer payments and thereby collect bigger cash bonuses from the federal government. When fathers appeal to family courts for equal time with their children, they are opposed by a large industry of lawyers, psychologists, custody evaluators, domestic-violence agitators, and government bureaucrats who make their living out of denying fathers their fundamental rights.
It’s time for a national debate and discussion of the taxpayer incentives that favor divorce, the anti-marriage feminists, and the resulting exclusion of fathers from the lives of their children.
Why Aren’t Boys Going to College?
The runaway success of this game proved again that stereotypical roles for men and women do not bother Americans one bit. Political correctness lost out as all-male teams battled and women cheered.
It’s too bad that male sports are being eliminated on most college campuses. Except for Texas, USC, and a few other places, radical feminism rules in the athletic departments at the expense of popular male sports.
Feminists oppose anything that is all-male or all-female unless it’s gay marriage. They won’t be able to ban the Rose Bowl anytime soon, but the Feminist Majority Foundation posts this warning on its website: “By encouraging boys to become aggressive, violent athletes, and by encouraging girls to cheer for them, we perpetuate the cycle of male aggression and violence against women.”
Using bureaucratic and legal clout, the feminists have been censoring out hundreds of traditional manly college sports teams. If your favorite college once had a wrestling, baseball or track team, check again: there’s a good chance it has been eliminated.
Several years ago, Howard University Athletic Director Sondra Norrell-Thomas announced her elimination of both its wrestling and baseball teams on the same day. It should surprise no one that Howard University’s male enrollment dropped to only 34% compared to 66% female.
On June 2, 1997, the feminist National Women’s Law Center announced that it would file a complaint against Boston University, the fourth largest private school in the nation, over its sports programs. Within months, BU ended the football team that had been in existence for 91 years. It is no surprise that male enrollment at Boston University is now down to 40%. One transfer student expressed his dismay in the student newspaper upon learning that his new school has 16,000 undergraduates but no football team.
In the entire State of Washington, there is no longer a single major college wrestling team, despite wrestling’s huge popularity in high schools. Wrestling is one of the least expensive sports, requiring little equipment and having a low risk of injury, but feminists are working to eliminate all masculine sports.
The few colleges that have held firm against feminist pressure continue to attract males. Penn State, for example, has kept its superb programs in football, wrestling, baseball and track, and enjoys a 55% to 45% male-to-female enrollment.
The mean-spirited feminists recently demanded the resignation of 79-year-old football coaching great Joe Paterno because he spoke in sympathy of an opposing team’s player accused of sexual assault. There was nothing offensive in Paterno’s comments and 89% in an online AOL poll sided with him, but just a few feminists with a fax machine will smear anyone in their war against football.
The Rose Bowl proved that public demand is for all-male sports, not female contests. Boys do not want to go to a college that eliminates the macho sports, and that is true even if the boy does not expect to compete himself. The lack of college sports teams and camaraderie makes many high school boys wonder, why bother going to college? Despite the bloated price of college tuition, college doesn’t even offer the sports opportunities that they enjoyed in their poorer high schools.
The effects of the feminists’ attack on men’s sports are now coming home to roost. By the time this year’s college freshmen are seniors, the ratio will be 60% women to 40% men, and women are now crying that there are not enough college-educated men to marry.
China’s brutal one-child policy has artificially created millions of young men for whom no wives are available. Right here at home, the feminists have created hundreds of thousands of college-educated women for whom no college-educated husbands are available, and the trend is getting worse.
Part of the change in the ratio of male and female college students is due to the ruthless interpretation of Title IX by the radical feminist bureaucrats in the Carter and Clinton administrations. Unfortunately, President George W. Bush and Secretary of Education Rod Paige chickened out on their opportunity to remedy the mischief. Bush appointed a couple of feminists to the commission investigating Title IX outrages, and then Paige refused to implement the majority’s recommendations because the report was not unanimous.
Congress should step into the gap and stop funding colleges that terminate men’s sports to meet arbitrary feminist quotas. Congress should imitate its action in passing the Solomon Amendment that tells colleges they will lose federal funding if they discriminate against military recruiters. Congress should tell colleges they will lose federal funding if they discriminate against men’s sports. The American people clearly want male football, baseball, track and wrestling, and colleges that cut these sports should be cut out of the federal budget.
In 2004, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) introduced a bill of over a hundred pages to authorize a high-level Office of the Victim Advocate (OVA) in the Department of Defense; fortunately, it didn’t pass. In 2005, congressional feminists sponsored a four-page version of the same bill, which likewise went nowhere.
But the feminists are resourceful. They persuaded Rumsfeld’s Community and Family Policy office to award a $50,000 contract to Wellesley College Centers for Women to make recommendations about establishing an OVA in the Pentagon. The report has been delivered to Secretary Rumsfeld but, as of this date, he hasn’t released it.
However, feminist recommendations are wholly predictable they will be based on Slaughter’s failed legislation. They will call for setting up an OVA in the Pentagon to provide feminists who major in Women’s Studies with tax-funded jobs from which they can pursue worldwide feminist goals in the Armed Services and destroy the career of any man who stands in a woman’s way.
A Pentagon Office of the Victim Advocate would soon become an out-of-control agency working to implement feminist beliefs, i.e., men are batterers and women are victims, a woman’s complaint or he-said-she-said allegation must be accepted as valid and acted upon while no presumption of innocence is granted to the man, the definition of domestic violence does not have to be violent or even physical, and the complaining woman must be provided with free legal and “victim services” while the man is on his own to find and hire a civilian lawyer willing to challenge feminist anti-male orthodoxy.
Wellesley’s recommendations doubtless will include many of the details spelled out in the original Slaughter bill, such as a rule that no military man can be eligible for promotion if he has received any adverse personnel action relating to sexual misconduct or domestic violence. Another feminist rule is that arrest and prosecution of the man must go forward even if there is no visible indication of injury and even if the victim opposes prosecution.
Wellesley will surely copy portions of the Slaughter bill that authorize feminist pork. The victim is to be provided a victim advocate, a victim counselor and victim support liaison, and lucrative contracts are to be awarded to the domestic-violence service industry to train the Defense Department on how to assist self-proclaimed victims.
Violence against women should, of course, be prosecuted, but there is no justice when the government accepts feminist dogma that the woman is always right while the man is always wrong.
Secretary Rumsfeld needs to understand that the civilian domestic-violence lobby uses a definition of domestic violence that includes facial gestures, perceived insults, put-downs, embarrassments, and ordinary annoyances and disagreements. The American Bar Association’s “Tool for Attorneys to Screen for Domestic Violence” states, “Domestic violence does not necessarily involve physical violence.”
Another portion of the Slaughter bill that will probably turn up in Wellesley’s recommendations is the prohibition against providing “couple counseling or mediation.” The domestic-violence lobby is routinely anti-reconciliation, pro-divorce and pro-prosecution. The Slaughter bill also includes the requirement that the man must sign a release to allow private information on his case to be given to 14 agencies.
A Pentagon OVA would make it easy for a woman to destroy the military career of any man by a simple accusation, whether or not it is true or proven. Motives to stick the knife in a man are endless, including rejection after a relationship gone sour, disappointment when he resists her advances, an unwanted pregnancy, preventing the man from getting joint custody of his child, resentment about an unpleasant assignment, or envy because she was passed over for promotion.
The feminists always think big when it comes to spending other people’s money. If the Slaughter legislation had passed, it would have put $218,600,000 over four years into feminist coffers, and they will now be seeking that incrementally from Secretary Rumsfeld in addition to the many supportive programs that already exist.
The recent PBS program called “Breaking the Silence” is an example of feminist propaganda that men are batterers and women are victims. PBS’s ombudsman, Michael Getler, wrote that the program was “a one-sided advocacy program,” and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s ombudsman, Ken Bode, accused it of “lack of balance and fairness.” Among the falsehoods in the film was the assertion that “one-third of mothers lose custody [of their children] to abusive husbands” and that if a divorcing father seeks any form of child custody, he is most likely a wife-beater. In fact, divorced fathers win child custody of their children only 15% of the time, and U.S. government figures show that the majority of perpetrators of child abuse and neglect are female.
On January 5, President Bush signed into law a five-year $3.9 Billion extension of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to provide “comprehensive” federal services to empower women making accusations against men, including attorneys, “governmental victim assistants” and help to prosecutors. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (whom we thought was busy handling issues of wiretapping, spying, mistreatment of prisoners, and the Patriot Act) traveled to St. Louis on January 13 to celebrate the grand opening of a $1.24 million feminist domestic-violence center, one of 12 similar recipients of federal money.
Equality or Feminization of Our Military?
Affirmative action for women in the military has been a longtime feminist goal. It was even urged during the 1970s by now-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her book Sex Bias in the U.S. Code.
President Bill Clinton made clear his disdain for our military, but the Clintonista feminazis were more focused. They were determined to give us a gender-neutral military or, as one of their spokespersons put it, an “ungendered” military. That goal means feminizing men and masculinizing women. Clinton’s Pentagon “consultant on gender integration,” Duke University law professor Madeline Morris, advised the military to eliminate its “masculinist attitudes” such as “dominance, assertiveness, aggressiveness, independence, self-sufficiency, and willingness to take risks.” Some soldiers are trained with prisoner-of-war-desensitization exercises to help them emotionally accept the mistreatment of women by the enemy.
The picture we have seen so often of the female U.S. soldier, Pfc. Lynndie England, holding a leash around the neck of a prone naked Iraqi male prisoner, like a dog, was not only a public relations disaster for America abroad, but is a revelation of the depths to which the gender-integrated military has taken women.
When the Jessica Lynch story first hit the news, she was acclaimed as an exemplar of how bravely females fight on the battlefield. But feminists distanced themselves from Jessica after her book revealed that she had been a victim of anal sexual assault and she told Diane Sawyer, “People need to know . . . how they treat the female soldiers that are over there.”
The Clinton-era feminists eliminated the Defense Department’s “risk rule” that had previously kept women out of areas where they had “a substantial risk of capture,” a regulation change that was directly responsible for the capture by the Iraqis of Jessica Lynch, Shoshana Johnson (another POW for a time), and Lori Piestewa (who was killed). The Clinton feminists persistently pushed women into more and more near-combat and combat-related jobs, and 48 have so far been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Social experimentation in the military includes generous subsidies to induce single mothers to enter and remain in the military. That’s why we have had the shameful incidents of single mothers of infants being killed or taken prisoner, a byproduct of the Iraqi war that the feminists describe as equal opportunity for women.
Adopting coed basic training for all the services except the Marines lowered the standards to the physical capabilities of women. This is often disguised by gender-norming, the deceitful practice of scoring women higher than men for the same performance and then pretending that women are performing equally.
Something much more insidious and destructive to our military and our culture has also been going on. Clinton’s famous “don’t ask, don’t tell” regulations do not merely mean tolerance of gays in the military; they also mean that commanders’ eyes are diverted away from all sexual misconduct.
The result is a breakdown of military discipline and a dramatic coarsening of women and of men’s treatment of women. This has caused a critical diversion of time and energy away from the essential task of teaching men to be soldiers into dealing with the obvious problems caused by the powerful factor of sex in a wartime environment.
The current high percentage of women in the military has been achieved by gender quotas in recruitment and retention, and by affirmative action to promote women to higher ranks so they can command men. Nobody admits the existence of gender quotas, but everybody knows that recruitment quotas explain why we now have a 15% female military.