Does Feminism
Discriminate Against Men?
A Debate

Warren Farrell, Ph.D., is the author of numerous international best-sellers on men and women, including Why Men Are The Way They Are and The Myth of Male Power. Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection and Father and Child Reunion has led to Dr. Farrell doing expert witness work that has encouraged many judges to keep dads in children’s lives. Dr. Farrell’s released Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap and What Women Can Do About It in 2005 and Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? A debate in 2008.

Warren is the only man in the US ever elected three times to the Board of Directors of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in New York City. He has been chosen by The Financial Times as one of the world’s top 100 thought leaders, is in Who’s Who in America and in Who’s Who in the World. He has taught in five disciplines, most recently at the School of Medicine at the University of California in San Diego, and is ranked by the International Biographic Centre of London as one of the world’s top 2000 scholars of the Twentieth Century. He has appeared on over 1,000 TV shows worldwide and lives in Mill Valley, California with his wife and two daughters. You can visit him at or E-Mail.


Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? A debate Excerpts

Ch. 1, “Do We Need Men’s Studies...History Is Men’s Studies, Right?”
Ch. 2, “Do Men Have the Power?”
Ch. 3, What the All-Male Draft and the Combat Exclusion of Women Tell Us About Men, Women and Feminism
Ch. 4, Why Do Men Die Sooner and Whose Health is Being Neglected?
Ch. 5 Domestic Violence: Who is Doing the Battering and What’s the Solution?
Ch. 6) The Politics and Psychology of Rape, Sex, and Love
Ch. 7) Does the Criminal Justice System Discriminate Against Men?
Ch. 8) Why Men Earn More Discrimination? Choices?

Cross-Examining Warren Farrell on Why Men Earn More
Do Women Belong in Combat? Part I
Do Women Belong in Combat? Part II: Why Hazardous Jobs Can Be So Much Less Hazardous for Women
Do Women Earn More for the Same Work?
11 Top Tips on How Women Can Earn More
Guns don't kill people...Our sons do
How I Began the Discovery that Men Earn Less than Women for the Same Work
How the Assumptions of Discrimination against Women Backfire against Women
Introducing Men’s Issues and Why Men Earn More
Is Pay Equity Ready to Enter a New Era?
Three Judicial Biases About Moms, Dads and Children
Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap
Why Pay is about Giving Up Power to Get the Power of Pay


Excerpts from Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? A debate by Warren Farrell

Everyone’s life experiences create biases to which they are usually blind (they see them only as their life experience). I would like to share mine up front...

Although I am critiquing the feminist analysis of men and what I perceive to be feminist dependency on “victim power,” my background is as a feminist, and I support the portions of feminism that strive to create new options for women. Because I feel the underlying biology of men and women is to adapt, I see the future as an opportunity to develop more flexible roles than the past allowed. I feel that the male-female roles that were functional for the species for millions of years have become dysfunctional in an evolutionary instant. I feel that traditional men and women are incomplete psychologically. In these respects, I differ from most conservatives.

Without feminism, fewer companies would have experimented with part-time workers, flexible schedules, childcare options, and improved safety standards. Without women in police work, few police forces would have discovered that 95% of conflicts are not resolved by physical strength; without women doctors, few hospitals would be cutting back 90-hour work weeks for doctors; without women therapists, short-term counseling and couple counseling would be much less available.... The feminist movement has allowed thousands of workplace assumptions to be re-examined; feminism brought into the workplace not only females, but female energy.

When I see girls playing baseball, my eyes well up with tears of happiness (Farrell is Irish!) for what I know they are learning about teamwork. Without the feminist movement, those girls would be on the sidelines. Without the feminist movement, millions of girls would see only one dimension of their mothers and, therefore, of themselves. They would have to marry more for money than for love. They would be even more fearful of aging.

My background as a feminist includes serving three years on the Board of the National Organization for Women in New York City, starting hundreds of men and women’s groups, and speaking around the world from this perspective during the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. In the process, I put tens of thousands of men through “men’s beauty contests” to give them an emotional experience of what it was like to be viewed as a “sex object.”

Let me share with you first some of the personal reasons I was so receptive to feminism, and then some of what led me to balancing that with equal empathy for men.

Growing up (in the fifties and sixties), I had seen my mother move in and out of depression. Into depression when she was not working, out of depression when she was working. The jobs were just temporary, but, she would tell me, “I don’t have to ask Dad for every penny when I’m working.” At forty-eight her depression and a dizzy spell led to a fall that led to her death.

My mother died before the current feminist movement was born, but she would often say, "I'm your mother, not your slave." I can recall coming home after being elected seventh-grade class president, proudly announcing it to her, and saying, "Our class meetings are on Fridays... could I have an ironed shirt when I have to preside in front of the class?" She said "sure" and without missing a beat, took out the ironing board and showed me how to iron my shirts.

Whether for these reasons or others, when the women’s movement surfaced, it made sense to me in an instant. I found myself at the homes of emerging feminist friends in Manhattan, plopped in front of their husbands with instructions to “tell him what you told me.” Soon I was involved with the National Organization for Women, formed men’s groups, gave up my position as an assistant to the president of NYU, wrote a book called The Liberated Man on the value of women’s independence to men, and began speaking around the world on these issues.

Some years later, though, another family experience was to open my eyes differently. My brother Wayne, twelve years my junior, and his woman friend went cross-country skiing in the Grand Tetons. They came to a dangerous pass. It was April, and they both feared the avalanches. Two of them going forward would put them both in danger, yet would give each the opportunity to save the other. Wayne went forward alone. The snow slipped from the mountain, gathered momentum and tumbled its thousands of frozen pounds over my brother. Burying him 40 feet under. He would have been twenty-one.

Wayne and his woman friend had unconsciously agreed that it was his life that would be risked – and in this case sacrificed – as he and she both played out their roles. I would soon see much more evidence of how deeply ingrained it is both for women to unconsciously expect men’s protection (even when it means the man sacrificing his life), and for men to compete to give it in exchange for approval, respect and love.

The experience with Wayne catalyzed my thinking about male vulnerability. In my presentations, rather than just having men walk a mile “in the beauty contest of everyday life” that women experience, I asked women to experience male vulnerability by asking men out on a “role reversal date,” and risking just a few of the 150 or so risks of rejection that men might experience between eye contact and intercourse.

Risking rejection male-style opened up women’s eyes to male vulnerability and opened up men’s mouths about their feelings. Especially men’s feelings of powerlessness that evolve from his sexual desire—whether he’s in college or “single again” after a divorce. For example, a man who talks about the compulsive sexual feelings he has is being vulnerable exactly because he is revealing his compulsiveness. This makes the woman he’d like to feel closer to feel less special, and more distant from him—and therefore makes him vulnerable to losing her love.

I began to see men’s vulnerability in other ways. After divorce, a man is ten times as likely to commit suicide as is the woman. Why? Women are more likely to have the children -- someone to love them and need them. People who feel loved and needed rarely commit suicide.

And women develop support systems. Women’s traditional support systems support women to be vulnerable; men’s traditional support systems support men to be invulnerable.

This creates a paradox: the support men get to be invulnerable makes them more vulnerable; the support women get to be vulnerable makes them less vulnerable. It is just one example of how women’s strength is their façade of weakness and men’s weakness is their façade of strength.

Take, for example, the most archetypal of men’s support systems -- the cheerleader, his football team, and his family. When a cheerleader says, “first and ten, do it again!” she isn’t saying “first get in touch with your feelings again." Nor is his coach. Nor are his parents cheering in the stands. All of us are unwittingly supporting him to “risk a concussion again.” His motto is, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” (they don’t cry to the school therapist). If, instead of getting a touchdown, he gets in touch with his feelings, and quits his position on the team to avoid the concussion, the cheerleader doesn’t say, “Next week I’m going to cheer for you -- I noticed how open and vulnerable you were when you were playing football." Yes, next week she does cheer. But she cheers for his replaceable part.

Expressing feelings of vulnerability brings women affection and men rejection.

Ch. 1) “Do We Need Men’s Studies...History Is Men’s Studies, Right?”

Excerpts from Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? A debate by Warren Farrell

“Feminists call it sexism to refer to God as He; they don’t call it sexism to refer to the Devil as He.” Warren Farrell

Women’s studies courses are the seeds from which the forest of feminism has grown. Over 30,000 courses are offered at American universities, including about 700 majors or minors. A study at 55 major universities found that every Ivy League school, with the exception of Princeton, “now offers more courses in women’s studies than economics, even though economics majors outnumber women’s studies majors by roughly 10-to-1.”

In contrast, there are virtually no men’s studies courses. The few courses labeled “men’s studies” are rarely genuine men’s studies, but feminist men’s studies. Feminist men’s studies’ courses tell men how they can forfeit power, be less abusive toward women, share the housework... In feminist men’s studies, when men have a disadvantage it is seen as men’s fault. Whether that disadvantage is dying sooner; committing suicide more; doing worse in almost everything in school; being less likely to attend college; paying for children they can see only as “visitors” after divorce; being more likely to be in prison; male-only draft registration; dying sooner of nine of the ten leading causes of death; suffering 94% of workplace deaths; being more of the street homeless than women and children combined. That is, in feminist studies, women’s disadvantages are often seen as men’s fault; and in feminist men’s studies, men’s disadvantages are seen as men’s fault.

Many women’s studies departments have become gender studies’ departments, but also only in theory. The male perspective is not dealt with—only the feminist perspective on men. Feminists teaching the men’s perspective on men and calling it gender studies is like Republicans teaching Democrats’ perspective on Democrats and calling it party politics. Just as it is true that no has less empathy for Democrats than Republican activists (or vice versa), so it is also true that no one has less empathy for men than feminist activists. Feminists call it sexism to refer to God as He; they don’t call it sexism to refer to the Devil as He.

Women’s studies in its current form is not women’s studies—it is feminist studies. A genuine women’s studies would involve the views of not just liberal women, but also of conservative women (e.g., Independent Women’s Forum; Eagle Forum). Every study of gender should include four perspectives: those of both liberal and conservative women, and those of both liberal and conservative men. Gender studies now studies only liberal women’s view of women’s powerlessness, and liberal women’s perspective on male power. It doesn’t look at liberal or conservative men’s view of male powerlessness, or liberal or conservative men’s view of female power.

What, pray tell, is female power and male powerlessness? For starters, from the male perspective, many women have male-paralyzing beauty power, sexual power, verbal skills and victim power, even as he is paralyzed by his biological instinct to protect women.

As a result of the inattention to male powerlessness and female power, men are as ignorant about their own powerlessness and female power as women in the

1950’s were about their own powerlessness and male power. And as a result, men today are psychologically about where women were in the 1950’s. The last half century has not been a battle of the sexes, but a war in which only one side has shown up. Men have put their heads in the sand and hoped the bullets would miss. The less sense this makes now, the more you need genuine men’s studies.

The feminist objection to genuine men’s studies sounds convincing: “history is men’s studies.” Wrong. History is the opposite of men’s studies: history books reinforce the traditional male role of performer. The function of both women and men’s studies is to question traditional roles, not reinforce them. Women had to question the assumption that they must do the child-raising and couldn’t do the money raising. Men need to question the assumption that they must do the money raising and can’t do the child-raising.

Women’s studies is necessary to help women see clear alternatives to traditional roles; men’s studies is necessary to help men see clear alternatives to traditional roles. Men’s studies is currently needed more than women’s studies exactly because men’s role has been less-questioned.

History books, by celebrating men only when they perform, trap men into stereotyped roles even more than they trap women, because when we celebrate and appreciate someone for playing a role, we are really bribing them to keep playing that role. Appreciation keeps the slave a slave..

Men’s studies is not for men only. It would help both sexes understand dad: why dads are so often afraid to express feelings; why, when dad becomes 85, he is more than 13 times as likely to commit suicide as mom; why he is more likely to suffer from problems with alcoholism and gambling; why, after divorce, he often feels the children have been turned against him and the courts have turned him into a wallet.

Because half of the children’s genes is their dad’s genes, as men’s studies helps students understand their dad, it helps them to understand the half of themselves that is their dad. Men’s studies, therefore, does not merely change the student’s relationship to her or his dad, but the student’s relationship to her or himself. The corollary is that when women’s studies portrays men as the dominant oppressors, and the abusers, molesters and rapists, it leaves women and men feeling shamed about the half of themselves that is their dad-- and, for men, the 100% that is male.

Men’s studies helps every future mom raise her son more effectively, and to raise her daughter to learn empathy toward men. Her daughter’s empathy is eventually extended toward that daughter’s sons. In contrast, a women’s studies-only approach toward men leaves her daughter with antipathy toward men that can become antipathy toward her sons.

Men’s studies helps both sexes understand all the problems men deal with as a result of a heritage that made men able to be loved and respected only if they were able to kill animals, kill in war, or make a killing on Wall Street. It helps both sexes understand all the problems that I discuss throughout this book. Without men’s studies, gender studies misunderstands not just gender but also women, in the same way that if party politics studied only one party, it would misunderstand not just party politics as a whole, but also the party it favors.

Men’s studies is not the opposite of women’s studies. It doesn’t say women had rights and men didn’t. It explains that none of our grandparents had rights—they had responsibilities. They had obligations. Making money was about not about male power and privilege, but about male obligations and responsibilities. Men who fulfilled their responsibilities most effectively received female love. Men who failed received female contempt.

Men’s studies does not say women have the power and women oppress men. It helps us understand that neither sex had the right to play the role of the other sex, and therefore, if power is control over our lives, neither sex had power. For example, most dads prior to the early 20th Century had to forfeit any fantasy of becoming a writer, artist or musician to get paid enough to feed a family of ten. Working as a coal miner was not power. Pay was about the power dad forfeited to get the power of pay—the power to have his children live a better life than his. Men’s studies helps both sexes understand why, instead of power, both sexes had roles. And to understand that by definition a role cannot be power—again, because real power is control over one’s own life. Instead, a role implies outside forces have control of one’s life.

Men’s studies explains why, in the past, the dominant force was neither men nor women, but the need to survive. And why the “oppressor” was neither men nor women, but the fear of starvation.

If close to a half century of women’s studies without men’s studies had only given us an understanding of women while neglecting men, the problem would be easily solvable: create balance with a half century of men’s studies without women’s studies. But after a half century, feminism is part of our nation’s consciousness like syrup in a pancake: even if it we attempted removal, the pancake is forever reshaped. For example, who doesn’t believe that men earn more money for the same work, or that men batter women more than women batter men, or that women do two jobs while men do one? These beliefs have created a deep-seated anger toward men and have resulted in policies like affirmative action extended to women, and women-only scholarships. Of course, if these beliefs were true, anger would be warranted. In this colume, I’ll explain why none of the above is true.

Ch. 2, “Do Men Have the Power?”

Excerpts from Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? A debate by Warren Farrell

"The weakness of men is their facade of strength; the strength of women is their facade of weakness."

There are many ways in which a woman experiences a greater sense of powerlessness than her male counterpart: the fears of aging, rape, date rape; less physical strength and therefore the fear of being physically overpowered; less socialization to take a career that pays enough to support a husband and children, and therefore the fear of economic dependency or poverty; less exposure to team sports—especially pick-up team sports-- and its blend of competitiveness and cooperation that is so helpful to career preparation; greater parental pressure to marry and interrupt career for children without regard for her own wishes; not being part of an "old boys" network; having less freedom to walk into a bar without being bothered....

Men have a different experience of powerlessness. Men who have seen marriage become alimony payments, their home become their wife's home, and their children become child support payments for children who have been turned against them psychologically, feel like they are spending their life working for people who hate them. They feel desperate for someone to love but fear that another marriage might ultimately leave them with another mortgage payment, another set of children turned against them, and a deeper desperation. When they are called "commitment-phobic" they don't feel understood.

When men try to keep up with payments by working overtime and are told they are insensitive, or try to handle the stress by drinking and are told they are drunkards, they don't feel powerful, but powerless. When they fear a cry for help will be met with "stop whining," or that a plea to be heard will be met with "yes, buts," they skip past attempting suicide as a cry for help, and just commit suicide. Thus men have remained the silent sex and increasingly become the suicide sex.

Fortunately, almost all industrialized nations have acknowledged the female experiences. Unfortunately, they have acknowledged only the female experiences--and concluded that women have problems, and men are the problem.

Industrialization did a better job of creating better homes and gardens for women than it did to create safer coal-mines and construction sites for men. How?

Industrialization pulled men away from the farm and family and into the factory, alienating millions of men from their source of love. Simultaneously, it allowed women to have more conveniences to handle fewer children, and therefore be increasingly connected to their sources of love. For women, industrialization meant more control over whether or not to have children, less likelihood of dying in childbirth, and less likelihood of dying from almost all diseases. It was this combination that led to women living almost 50% longer in 1990 than in 1920. And it was this combination that allowed women to go from living only one year longer than men in 1920 to living more than five years longer than men in 2005.

What we have come to call male power, then—men at the helm of industrialization-- actually produced female power. It literally gave women a longer life than men.

While the male role in industrialization expanded women’s options, it retained men’s obligations. For example, men voted for women to share the option to vote. But when both sexes could vote, they still obligated only men to register for the draft.

We are at a unique moment in history -- when a woman’s body is affected, we say the choice is hers; but when a boy’s body is affected, we say the choice is not his -- the law requires only our 18 year old sons to register for the draft, and therefore potential death-if-needed.

"A Woman's Body, A Woman's Choice" vs. “A Man's Gotta Do What A Man's Gotta Do”

Even as women were touting equality in the 1980’s and 1990’s, in post offices throughout the United States, Selective Service posters reminded boys of what is still true today--that only boys must register for the draft—that only “A Man’s Gotta Do What A Man’s Gotta Do.”

If the Post Office had a poster saying "A Jew's Gotta Do What A Jew's Gotta Do".... Or if "A Woman's Gotta Do..." were written across the body of a pregnant woman....

The question is this: How is it that if any other group were singled out to register for the draft based merely on its characteristics at birth--be that group blacks, Jews, women, or gays--we would immediately recognize it as genocide, but when men are singled out based on their sex at birth, men call it power?

The single biggest barrier to getting men to look within is that what any other group would call powerlessness, men have been taught to call power. We don't call "male-killing" sexism; we call it "glory." We don't call the one million men who were killed or maimed in one battle in World War I (the Battle of the Somme) a holocaust, we call it "serving the country." We don't call those who selected only men to die "murderers." We call them "voters."

Our slogan for women is "A Woman's Body, A Woman's Choice"; our slogan for men is "A Man's Gotta Do What A Man's Gotta Do."

I am unaware of a single feminist demonstration protesting this inequality—or any other inequality that benefits only women at the expense of men.

The Power Of Life

We acknowledge that blacks dying six years sooner than whites reflects the powerlessness of blacks in American society. Yet men dying in excess of five years sooner than women is rarely seen as a reflection of the powerlessness of men in American society.

Is the five-year gap biological? If it is, it wouldn't have been just a one-year gap in 1920. (In many pre-industrialized countries there is only a small male-female life expectancy gap, and in their more rural areas men sometimes live longer.)

If men lived more than five years longer than women, feminists would be helping us understand that life expectancy was the best measure of who has the power. And they would be right. Power is the ability to control one's life. Death tends to reduce control. Life expectancy is the bottom line--the ratio of our life's stresses to our life's rewards.

If power means having control over one's own life, then perhaps there is no better ranking of the impact of sex roles and racism on power over our lives than life expectancy. Here is the ranking:

Life Expectancy
As A Way Of Seeing Who Has The Power

Females (White) 80.5
Females (Black) 76.1
Males (White) 75.3
Males (Black) 69.0

The white female outlives the black male by more than 11 years. Imagine the support for affirmative action if a 49-year-old woman was closer to death than a 60-year-old man.

I am unaware of a single feminist demonstration protesting this inequality.

Suicide As Powerlessness

Just as life expectancy is one of the best indicators of power, suicide is one of the best indicators of powerlessness.


  • From ages 9 to 14, boys' rate of suicide is three times as high as girls';
  • from 15 to 19, four times as high; and
  • from 20 to 24, almost six times as high.

Item. As boys experience the pressures of the male role, their suicide rate increases 25,000%.

Item. The suicide rate for men over 85 is 1350% higher than for women of the same age group.

The Clearest Sign Of Powerlessness

Subjection of a group of people to violence based on their membership in that group is a clear indicator of that group's powerlessness, be it Christians to lions or the underclass to war. If a society supports violence against that group by its laws, customs or socialization, it oppresses that group.

In the United States, women are exposed to greater violence in the form of rape. And therefore rape is punished by law, and opposed by religion, custom, socialization and virtually 100% of men and women.

In contrast, men’s exposure to violence is required by law (the draft), supported by religion and custom (circumcision), by socialization, scholarship incentive, and the education system (telling men who are best at bashing their heads against 11 other men that they have "scholarship potential"), via approval and “love” of beautiful women (cheerleaders cheering for men to “do it again”-- to again risk concussions, spinal chord injuries, etc.), via parental approval and love (the parents who attend the Thanksgiving games at which their sons are battering each other), via taxpayer money (high school wrestling and football, ROTC, and the military), and via our entertainment dollar (boxing, football, ice hockey, rodeos, car racing, westerns, war movies...). After we subject only our sons to this violence (before the age of consent), we blame them for growing into the more violent sex.

But here's the rub. When other groups are subjected to violence, we acknowledge their powerlessness. Men learn to associate violence against them with love, respect and power. Instead of helping men who are subjected to violence, we bribe men to accept it by giving them money to entertain us by risking death.

This is deeply ingrained. Virtually every society that has survived has done so via its ability to prepare its men to be disposable—to call it “glory” to be disposable in war, and eligible for marriage to be disposable at work.

Ch. 3, What the All-Male Draft and the Combat Exclusion of Women Tell Us About Men, Women and Feminism

Excerpts from Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? A debate by Warren Farrell

"Every society rests on the death of men."--Oliver Wendell Holmes

Item. Almost one out of four American men is a veteran.[i]

Item. In one World War I battle alone (the Battle of the Somme), over one million men were killed or maimed.[ii]

Understanding men requires understanding men's relationship to the Three Ws: Women, Work, and War. As we just saw in the Section on Power, only 18-year-old boys are legally required to register for future wars. How realistic is it that the boys will, in fact, be drafted? We know only that in 24 to 72 hours the first induction orders can be in the mail.[iii] Should another 9/11 happen tomorrow, that's how fast your life or your brother’s or boyfriend’s life could change. As I write this, National Guard and Reserve units practice each week setting up the infrastructure to allow 100,000 men to be trained for potential death in boot camps in four weeks.[iv] This efficiency is made possible by the pre-registration system.

If a boy refuses to register for the draft when he turns 18, he can be barred from all federal jobs--from the US Post Office to the FBI.[v] He faces a fine of up to $250,000 and five years in prison.[vi] Once in prison, a young man's nubile, young body combined with his reputation for not fighting makes him a perfect candidate for homosexual rape and, therefore, AIDS. In brief, he is subject to being killed. Why? He was too sensitive to kill.

The Multi-Option Woman And The No-Option Man

In many states, an 18-year-old boy who has not registered for the draft cannot attend a state school.[vii] He cannot receive even a loan for a private school.

Male-only draft registration leaves a woman who doesn't register for the draft able to:

(1) go to a state school;

(2) go to a private school with federal aid; or

(3) get married and work; be single and work; have children...

It leaves a man who doesn't register able to:

(1) go to jail;

(2) go to jail;

(3) go to jail.

“Male obligation” vs. “Female entitlement”

Before boys and men can vote, they have the obligation to protect that right with the risk of their life; women receive the right to vote without the obligation to protect that right with the risk of anything. Only women receive the privileges of freedom without a single obligation. This male-female legal gap creates a male-female psychological gap—a gap between male obligation and female entitlement.

I say “male obligation” vs. “female entitlement” because, even if one believes that women should not be in combat (for whatever reason), there are dozens of other obligations that women could be required to register for at age 18—administrative roles, technical support, medical support, factory support. But nothing is required of women. And everyone takes that for granted. That’s entitlement.

How the Law Affects Men vs. Women’s Moral Maturity

More important, when registering to be a potential killer is a legal requirement for only boys, that frees a woman from moral dilemmas, allowing her to see herself and other women as more innocent and moral than the young man she sits next to in class. (Hence, we decry “the innocent women and children” killed in war.)

The magnitude of the moral dilemma is greatest at two points in history: when going to war is likely; when our country is engaged in a war the boy considers immoral. Then, every boy must face the moral dilemma of registering to be drafted to potentially lose his life and kill others for something he may consider immoral. For many boys, even if they are in college and think they will never be drafted, the likelihood that their college teachers and peers will consider a war like the War in Iraq immoral and illegal, makes registering for it an ethical dilemma. No matter what their level of developmental readiness, only boys are forced to lose their innocence as a rite of passage to adulthood.

My Body, My Business?

For women, it's "our bodies, our business"; for men, it's "our bodies, government business." For men, G.I. means government issue. A woman’s body is a woman’s issue; a man’s body is the government’s issue.

Registering all of our 18-year-old males for the draft in the event the country needs more soldiers is as sexist as registering all of our 18-year-old females for child-bearing by force in the event the country needs more children.

Why Should Women Fight in the Wars Men Cause?

Some feminists say that men cause wars, so it’s only right men should fight. This is like saying, women raise children, so it’s only right women should go to prison for the crimes committed by children. Parents—not women-- are ultimately responsible for raising children, and voters of both sexes are ultimately responsible for their laws and their leaders. And in the U.S., seven million more female voters than male voters elect the politicians who create the policies that make or prevent war.

Aren’t there more male politicians, though? Yes. Politicians are like chauffeurs—their bodies are in the driver’s seat; voters are like the owners in the back seat telling the chauffeur where to go. The politician and chauffeur have some discretion as to how to get there, but the voters-- or owners in the back seat—are the ones who must take responsibility for the chauffeurs and politicians they hire, and where they tell them to go.

On the deepest levels, wars are not caused by men, and oppression is not created only by men. Rent An Officer and a Gentleman. When I saw An Officer and a Gentleman in a theater when it first opened, the women cheered wildly when the female heroine got the officer who had learned how to kill, not the pacifist who refused to kill. As long as women choose the killer genes, they will create children from the genes of killers, not from the genes of pacifists. And if women did not choose those genes, there would be no war from which Europeans would live in America. And if American women only started choosing pacifist men’s genes in 1900, they would now be Nazis speaking German. Similarly, if women cared about Blacks not being oppressed, no woman would be wearing a diamond mined by companies supporting Apartheid. Women who are adult enough to take responsibility for their choices will acknowledge their role in both war and oppression.

[i]See US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of United States: 2006, 126th edition, p. 346, Table 509; p. 344, Table 505; and p. 13, Table 11.

[ii]See John Laffin, Brassey's Battles: 3500 Years of Conflict, Campaigns, and Wars from A-Z (London: A. Wheaton & Co., 1986), p. 399.

[iii]Air Force Lt. Col. Ronald Meilstrup, Deputy Director of the Selective Service System's Regional Headquarters in Illinois.

[iv]Bob Secter, "The Draft: If There's a War, There's a Way," Los Angeles Times, January 3, 1991, p. E-1 & E-5.

[v]Military Selective Service Act. See "Privacy Act Statement," SSS Form 1, Registration Form, September, 1987.

[vi]Military Selective Service Act. See "Privacy Act Statement," SSS Form 1, Registration Form, September, 1987.

[vii]Jim Schwartz, College Press Service, 1986.

© 2010, Warren Farrell (with Steven Svoboda) vs. James P. Sterba

Ch. 4, Why Do Men Die Sooner and Whose Health is Being Neglected?

Excerpts from Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? A debate by Warren Farrell

Myth: Women just naturally live longer than men.

Fact: In 1920, American men died only one year sooner than women; [i] now the life expectancy gap is 5.3 years (75.8 years for men; 80.1 for women).[ii]

Myth: The government neglects women’s health research. Evidence: Women’s health research receives only 10% of all health research funding by the National Institutes of Health. [iii]

Fact: Men’s health research receives only 5% of all health research funding by the National Institutes of Health. [iv] (The other 85% is for non gender-specific research, such as cellular, blood, DNA, etc.). For example, a man is slightly more likely to die of prostate cancer as is a woman to die of breast cancer.[v] Yet the government spends almost two times as much money on breast cancer as it does on prostate cancer.[vi]

Myth: More of the serious, published research is done on men than on women.

Fact: In the 10 years prior to mid-2023, gender-specific systematic reviews were published on women three and a half times more than on men.[vii] In the same period, the number of randomized controlled trials (the highest quality research) using only women is nearly twice as large as that for men.[viii] Since as far back as major computer searches can access complete records (1965) most gender-specific research pertains to women. (For the four 10-year periods beginning in 1965, bibliographic searches find 16%, 13%, 18%, and 30% more gender-specific research was published on women.[ix])

*    *    *

In certain areas women’s health research was neglected. We were led to believe that is because we didn’t care about women. The opposite was true. Men, and especially male prisoners, military men and African-American men, were the most likely to be the guinea pigs for the testing of new drugs because we cared less if men and prisoners died. That is, we used men for experimental research for the same reason we use rats for experimental research.

While dozens of studies are being done on the possible damage of silicone breast implants, the causes of men dying 5.3 years sooner are virtually ignored. Nor are most of us aware of how quickly men’s health is deteriorating. In 1993, the gap between male and female suicide was 3.9 to 1; now it is 4.1 to 1 (see table).[x] In Great Britain, there is a recent 339% increase in male suicides by hanging alone.[xi]

Even as we are increasingly hearing that women die of heart disease as often as men, we are not hearing that when most women die of heart disease, men have been long dead. Here are the age-adjusted death rates for the ten leading causes of death[xii]


Male to Female Ratio

1. Diseases of heart

1.5 to 1

2. Malignant neoplasms

1.5 to 1

3. Cerebrovascular diseases

1.02 to 1

4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases

1.4 to 1

5. Accidents

2.2 to 1

6. Diabetes mellitus

1.2 to 1

7. Influenza and pneumonia

1.4 to 1

8. Alzheimer’s disease

0.8 to 1

9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephosis

1.5 to 1

10. Septicimia

1.2 to 1

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Vital Statistics Report, Volume 54, No. 10, January 2006, Table 17, pp. 69-76,

Not all of the significant causes of death are neglected. Fortunately, people feared AIDS would affect heterosexuals, and affect women equally to men, and its funding increased. We pay attention to chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis because we believe women are more at risk than men—but in fact, men are more at risk.[xiii] With suicide, most people know it is predominantly a man’s method of disposability, so it is the only leading cause of death that is also neglected. 

Here is my list of at least 34 neglected areas of men’s health exist:

Neglected Areas of Men's Health

1. a men's birth control pill (There is 14 times as much published research on female than male contraception in the last 10 years despite the need and scientific viability for a male pill.)[xiv]
2. suicide
3. PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome)
4. circumcision as a possible trauma-producing experience
5. the male mid-life crisis
6. dyslexia
7. autism
8. the causes of male violence
9. criminal recidivism
10. street homelessness among veterans (85% of street homeless are men; about 1/3rd veterans)
11. steroid abuse
12. colorblindness
13. testicular cancer
14. prostate cancer
15. BPH – benign prostatic hyperplasia
16. lifespan. Why the male-female gap increased from one to seven years; solutions.
17. hearing loss over 30
18. erectile dysfunction
19. non-specific urethritis
20. epididymitis (a disease of the tubes that transmit sperm)
21. DES sons (diethylstilbestrol, a drug women took in the 1940s and ‘50s to prevent miscarriages; the problems it created in daughters were attended to, while the sons' problems were neglected)[xv]
22. hemophilia
23. ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) – alternatives to ritalin
24. workplace deaths (94% men)and injuries
25. institutions turning backs on HGH (human growth hormone) abuse among male athletes/body builders, the damage of artificial turf...
26. concussions, and the cumulative damage from multiple concussions (football)
27. male testosterone reduction between 50 and 70
28. infertility (40% of infertility is male; NIH has increased female infertility research, but has no research for male infertility)
29. depression (women cry, men deny; women check it out, men tough it out; women express, men repress). Rand Corporation finds 70% of male depression goes undetected
30. being victim of domestic violence; unwillingness to report battering
31. chlamydia as a creator of heart disease in men between ages of 30-60[xvi]
32. estrogen transference to men during intercourse[xvii]
33. Viagra’s effect on heart disease, stress, and marital communication
34. LSD (lower sexual desire) Syndrome (seen in more than half of men between 25 and 50)[xviii]

What Our Lifespan Tells Us About Who Has The Power

Life expectancy can be thought of as one of the best indicators of real power. When we learn that non-whites have about 80% of the chance of whites to reach

85,[xix] we know that it is because of the relative powerlessness of non-whites. But... 

Item. A boy infant is only half as likely as a girl infant to live to age 85.[xx]

Item. When a man is about 25, his anxiety about "making it" is at its height. Here are the odds of a person living out that year:

Odds of Living This Year (25-Year-Olds) [xxi]

Females (White)

1754 to 1

Females (Black)

943 to 1

Males (White)

561 to 1

Males (Black)

311 to 1

Item. Blacks die earlier than whites from 11 of the 15 leading causes of death. Men die earlier than women from 9 of the 10 leading causes of death, and women and men are tied for two of the other 15 leading causes of death.[xxii]

A major reason for men’s shorter lives has to do with the loneliness and isolation single men feel as a result of not developing the tools to express feelings, especially to other men. And among married men, it is often from the stress of long work weeks or the manual labor that tears away at their body when they try to make enough income so their children can have a better life than they. This leads less-skilled or educated men to the “death professions."

How do we solve these problems? First, by understanding them. One example: the men’s birth control pill.

*     *     *

[i] R. N. Anderson, K. D. Kochanek, S. L. Murphy, “Advance Report of Final Mortality Statistics, 1995,” Monthly Vital Statistics Report (Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 1997), Vol. 45, No. 11, Suppl. 2, p. 19.

[ii] For children born in 2003, male and female life expectancies at birth are 74.8 and 80.1 years. U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. “Table 96. Expectation of Life at Birth, 1970 to 2003, and Projections, 2005 and 2010.” /Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006./ Ed. U.S. Census Bureau. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau, 2006.

[iii]Interview July 14, 1992, with Vivian W. Pinn, MD, Director of the Office of Research on Women's Health, National Institutes of Health. not rep

[iv]Interview July 14, 1992, with Vivian W. Pinn, MD, Director of the Office of Research on Women's Health, National Institutes of Health. not rep

[v] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Vital Statistics Report, Volume 54, No. 10, January 2006, Table 17, pp. 69-76,

[vi] United States Department of Health and Human Services, “Estimates of Funding for Various Diseases, Conditions, Research Areas,” March 10, 2006,

[vii] Bibliographic search by Steven L. Collins, Ph.D. of PubMed’s controlled vocabulary index (MeSH Terms) on June 6 and 7, 2006. Pub Med is a service of the National Library of Medicine. See A search for “male NOT female” was considered to be gender-specific to men, and likewise for women.

[viii] Bibliographic search by Steven L. Collins, Ph.D. of PubMed’s controlled vocabulary index (MeSH Terms) on June 6 and 7, 2006. Pub Med is a service of the National Library of Medicine. See A search for “male NOT female” was considered to be gender-specific to men, and likewise for women.

[ix] Bibliographic search by Steven L. Collins, Ph.D. of PubMed’s controlled vocabulary index (MeSH Terms) on June 6 and 7, 2006. Pub Med is a service of the National Library of Medicine. See A search for “male NOT female” was considered to be gender-specific to men, and likewise for women.

[x] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Vital Statistics Report, Volume 54, No. 10, January 2006, Table 12, pp. 41,

[xi]Dr. David Gunnell, et. al., “Sex Differences in Suicide Trends in England and Wales,” The Lancet, No. 13, February, 1999, p. 557.not rep

[xii]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Vital Statistics Report, Volume 54, No. 10, January 2006, Table 17, pp. 69-76, not rep

[xiii]USDHHS, “Healthy People 2010 Objectives: Draft for Public Comment,” September 15, 1998, pp. 25-16 to 25-17. not rep

[xiv] Search by Dr. Steven L. Collins of Pub Med’s controlled vocabulary index (MeSH terms) on June 5, 2006. Pub Med is a service of the National Library of Medicine. See

[xv]Pamela Newkirk; “A Mother’s Nightmare: The Shocking Story of DES Sons,” McCall’s, February, 1993, pp. 93-164.. not rep

[xvi] Hans-Udo Eickenberg, “Androtropia: Diseases Leading to Early Death in Men,” paper presented at the 7th World Meeting on the Aging Male, February, 1998.

[xvii]Hans-Udo Eickenberg, “Androtropia: Diseases Leading to Early Death in Men,” paper presented at the 7th World Meeting on the Aging Male, February, 1998.Hans-Udo Eickenberg, “Androtropia: Diseases Leading to Early Death in Men,” paper presented at the 7th World Meeting on the Aging Male, February, 1998.

[xviii]Hans-Udo Eickenberg, “Androtropia: Diseases Leading to Early Death in Men,” paper presented at the 7th World Meeting on the Aging Male, February, 1998.Hans-Udo Eickenberg, “Androtropia: Diseases Leading to Early Death in Men,” paper presented at the 7th World Meeting on the Aging Male, February, 1998.

[xix]See the University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, Vol. 8, Issue 1, October, 1991, p. 1.

Ch. V) Domestic Violence: Who is Doing the Battering and What’s the Solution?

Excerpts from Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? A debate by Warren Farrell

“Men learn to call pain ‘glory;’ women learn to call the police”

Don’t Men Batter Women More Because Men Have More Power?

This question falsely assumes men batter women more. Here’s why that’s a false assumption...

If we look at only police reports and all-female self-help groups, it appears that men perpetrate about 90% of the domestic violence. But both these figures are dependent on a person’s willingness to volunteer a complaint. The women’s movement taught us, though, that many women keep feelings to themselves if they feel they will be ridiculed. The only way to know if this might also be true of men is to ask men, (rather than wait for the men to call a police station and say, “My wife is beating me. Help me” and fear the police will die laughing.)

We began including men in questions about domestic violence in 1975, when Suzanne Steinmetz, Murray Straus and Richard Gelles conducted the first scientific nationwide sample of both sexes.[i] The researchers could hardly believe their results. The sexes appeared to batter each other about equally.

Dozens of objections arose (“Don’t women batter only in self-defense?”; “Aren’t women hurt more?”). Over a hundred researchers during the next thirty years double-checked via their own studies. About half of these researchers were women, and almost all of the women were feminist academics. Most expected to disprove the Steinmetz, Straus, and Gelles’ findings.

To their credit, despite their assumptions that men were the abusers, every domestic violence survey done of both sexes over the thirty years in the U.S., Canada, England, New Zealand and Australia found one of two things: Women and men batter each other about equally, or women batter men more.

To the researchers’ greater amazement, women themselves acknowledged they are more likely to be violent, and to be the initiators of violence. [ii] Finally, women were more likely to engage in severe violence that was not reciprocated. [iii]

Studies also make it clear that the women are more likely to inflict the severe violence. How? Women are 70% more likely to use weapons against men than men are to use weapons against women...[iv] They are more likely to wait until men are asleep, drunk, or otherwise incapacitated. For example, one woman waited until her husband fell asleep, then “sewed him in the sheets, and broke his bones with a baseball bat.”[v]

Abuse against men is most common among the elderly, when a frustrated female caretaker starts battering her older, sicker husband. He feels he can’t do anything about it because he is dependent on her for his care.

When I first investigated this research, for Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say, my preliminary readers expressed considerable skepticism until I created an Appendix with each of the fifty most significant studies and their findings. The larger and better-designed the study, the more likely the finding that women were significantly more violent.

Since Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say was published in 1999, have new studies have confirmed these findings? Yes. For example, in 2006, Dr. Murray Straus presented data from 68 studies in 32 nations, concluding that college women worldwide commit more dating violence than their male counterparts.[vi] More specifically, about a third of dating relationships had some violence, and most dating violence was mutual. The second largest category was couples where the female partner was the only one who was violent. Perhaps the most revealing finding is that when a woman is the dominant partner, she is more likely to be violent than when a man is dominant.

Aren’t Women Injured More Than Men?

Despite the fact that women are more likely to use weapons and severe violence against men, 1.9% of the men and 2.3% of the women surveyed said they had sought medical treatment for an injury due to partner abuse.[vii] Here’s why I believe that grossly underestimates the injuries to men. When I do a radio show and ask men who have been severely battered to call in anonymously, I ask them if they reported their injury to a hospital or police. The answer almost invariably is “no.” Even for a broken arm , if they seek medical attention, it is reported as an athletic injury. And doctors are not trained to cross examine the man to see whether the claim of an athletic injury might be a cover up….

[i]Murray A. Straus, Richard J. Gelles, and Suzanne K. Steinmetz, Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American Family (NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1980). repeated

[ii]Murray A. Straus, Richard J. Gelles, and Suzanne K. Steinmetz, Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American Family (NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1980). This was the original nationwide random sample that sparked the controversy after finding that 3.8% of husbands beat their wives; 4.6% of wives beat their husbands. repeated

[iii]Straus, Richard J. Gelles, Suzanne K. Steinmetz, Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American Family (NY: Doubleday/Anchor, 1980), op. cit., p. 43-44. repeated

[iv]US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Violence by Intimates,” March, 1998, NCJ-167237

[v]" Barbara Spencer-Powell, Overland Park, KS. In Letters” section, Time, January 11, 1988, p. 12. repeated below

[vi] Murray A. Straus, “Men are More Likely than Women to be Victims of Dating Violence,” based on data from 68 coordinated studies including 13,601 students at 68 universities in 32 nations. by the Family Research Lab of the University of New Hampshire, May 21, 2006.

[vii]Barbara J. Morse, “Beyond the Conflict Tactics Scale: Assessing Gender Differences in Partner Violence,” Violence and Victims, Vol. 10, No. 4, 1995, pp. 251-272. not rep

[xx]University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, Vol. 8, Issue 1, October, 1991, p. 1.

[xxi]Almanac of the American People, Tom and Nancy Biracree, Facts on File, 1988.

[xxii]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Vital Statistics Report, Volume 54, No. 10, January 2006, Table C, p. 5, and p. 10,

Ch. 6) The Politics and Psychology of Rape, Sex, and Love

Excerpts from Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? A debate by Warren Farrell

"Men who are unjustly accused of rape can sometimes gain from the
experience."[i] - Vassar College Assistant Dean of Students

Is Rape An Outgrowth Of Male Power?

MYTH. Rape is a manifestation of male political and economic power.

FACT. Any given black man is three times as likely to be reported a rapist as a white man.[ii]

Do blacks suddenly have more political and economic power? Maybe rape does not derive from power, but rather from powerlessness.

Is Rape An Outgrowth Of Male Violence?

MYTH. Rape has nothing to do with sexual attraction—it is just an act of violence.[iii] This is "proven" by the fact that women of every age are raped.

FACT. Being at the age of greatest sexual attraction makes the chances of being raped at least 8400% greater than being over fifty.[iv]

When a woman is between ages 16 and 19, her chances of being raped are 84 in 20,000; when she is between 50 and 64, her chances are less than one in 20,000.[v] Sexual attraction, then, does have something to do with who is raped.

What are we really doing when we ignore the role of sexual attraction? We are ignoring our responsibility as a culture for reinforcing men's addiction to female sexual beauty and then depriving men of what we've helped addict them to. We will not be willing to stop reinforcing men's addiction to beautiful women until we are willing to stop the benefits that beautiful women receive when men's addiction gets boys and men to perform for women, pay for women, pursue women, and give women the option to raise money or raise children even as he has no option but to raise money.

Men’s Experience of Pursuing, Paying and Performing

While the label "date rape" has helped women articulate the most traumatic aspect of dating from women's perspective—and helped attentive men understand that date rape can be as traumatic as stranger rape since it is a violation of trust-- men have no labels to help them articulate the most traumatic aspects of dating from their perspective. Now, of course, the most traumatic aspect is the possibility of being accused of date rape by a woman to whom he thought he was making love. If men did label the worst aspects of the traditional male role, though, they might label them "date rejection," "date robbery," "date fraud," and "date lying."

150 Risks of Rejection: The Anatomy of the Journey from Eye Contact to Intercourse

A study conducted by two feminists found nearly 40% of college women acknowledged they had said "no" to sex even "when they meant yes."[vi]

Whether it’s called dating, “hanging out,” or “hooking up,” someone has to take the risk of the first kiss, first tongue kiss, and so on. Most women sense that if they don’t stop the tongue kiss at some point, the journey from tongue kiss to intercourse is only about a ten minute ride. So she says “no” by withdrawing her tongue from time to time. And then, instead of saying, “when I’m ready to go beyond this, I’ll let you know,” the man is expected to guess whether the “no” means no forever, until the next date, whether she’s fulfilling a social expectation to say “no” and really wants him to pursue, or is a “no” until she has: more liquor to relax, more coffee to wake up; more talk about her, more feelings from him; more slow dancing, more fast dancing.... The less she has been drinking, the more likely he is to experience about 150 risks of rejection between eye contact and intercourse. And, of course, the 150 risks of rejection are more likely to be experienced if the woman is one of the 40% who says “no” when she means “yes.”

Robbery-by-Social-Custom: She Exists, He Pays

To shorten the period of potential rejection, men learn to pay for all of the 5 D’s-- Drinks, Dinner, Driving, Dating, and then, if he is successful at repeatedly paying for the first 4 D’s, he gets to pay for the fifth: the Diamond. Or, more precisely, a diamond with the right 3 C’s (carrots, color and clarity). Together, the expectation for him to pay for these 5 D’s can feel like robbery-by-social-custom: she exists, he pays.

The only other social transaction among humans in which the person paying is not guaranteed to receive anything in return is that between parent and child. Women who do not fully share the expectation to pay are children-by-choice; they are not women, but girls.

Few men are conscious of how the expectation to pay pressures him to take jobs he likes less only because they pay more; how this leads to stress, heart attacks, and suicides that are the male version of "my body, not my choice."

"Date Fraud"

If a man ignoring a woman's verbal "no" is committing date rape, then a woman who says "no" with her verbal language but "yes" with her body language is committing date fraud.

The purpose of the fraud? To have sexual pleasure without sexual responsibility, and therefore without guilt or shame; to reinforce the belief that he is getting a sexual favor while she is giving a sexual favor, thus that he “owes” her the 5 D’s before sex or some measure of commitment, protection, or respect after sex…..

[i]Nancy Gibbs, "When is it Rape?" Time, June 3, 1991, p. 52.

[ii]US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (hereinafter USBJS), Criminal Victimization in the United States: 1987, publication #NCJ115524, June, 1989, p. 47, Table 41.

[iii]Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape (NY: Bantam, 1976).

[iv]US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (hereinafter USBJS), Criminal Victimization in the United States: 1987, publication #NCJ115524, pp. 18-19, Table 5.

[v]US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (hereinafter USBJS), Criminal Victimization in the United States: 1987, publication #NCJ115524, p p. 18-19, Table 5.

[vi]Charlene L. Muehlenhard and Lisa C. Hollabaugh, "Do Women Sometimes Say No When They Mean Yes? the Prevalence and Correlates of Women's Token Resistance to Sex," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1988, Vol. 54, No. 5, p. 874.

Ch. 7) Does the Criminal Justice System Discriminate Against Men?

Excerpts from Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? A debate by Warren Farrell

Unequal Time For Equal Crime

Item. A man convicted of murder is 20 times more likely than a woman convicted of murder to receive the death penalty.[i] Although women are one of eight of those arrested for murder they are only one out of a hundred of those executed. [ii]

Item. Andrea Yates murdered her five children. She was found not guilty in 2006 by reason of insanity, and given treatment rather than punishment. [iii]

Item. Virginia, one of the leading states in executing males, last executed a female almost a century ago, in 1912.[iv]

Item. In North Carolina, a man who commits second-degree murder receives a sentence an average of 12.6 years longer than a woman who commits second-degree murder.[v]

Item. The US Department of Justice records the following sentence differences nationwide:

Number of Months To Which Females vs. Males
Were Sentenced For the Same Offense[
% ot added
Time Males
Sexual Assault
(Include Rape)

Item. Being male contributes more to a longer sentence than race or any other factor--legal or extra-legal.[vii]

Item. Prosecutors consistently note that women almost always receive lower bail for equal crimes.[viii]

In essence, there are two bails: the male bail and the female bail. Women are also more likely to be released on their own recognizance.

The Execution Club—A Male-Only Club

Item. At least thirty Americans have been executed and later found innocent. All 30 were men.[ix]

Item. 123 men (and zero women) have been consigned to Death Row and later freed after their convictions were proven unjustified.[x]

Approximately 1900 women commit homicide in the United States each year.[xi] When women commit homicide, almost 90% of their victims are men.[xii] Remember, though, that when women kill men it is often via a contract killing, but never gets recorded by the FBI as a woman killing a man, but as a “multiple offender killing.”[xiii]

For nearly four decades now, we have become increasingly protective of women and decreasingly protective of men--even if that man is a boy and a legal minor, as was 16-year-old Heath Wilkins. Adult Marjorie Filipiak and child Heath both pled guilty to being co-conspirators in a murder. Neither was a hardened criminal. Heath Wilkins got the death sentence; Marjorie Filipiak went free.[xiv] When Heath Wilkins was found to have been a victim of child sexual abuse, it did not deter the judge from giving him the death sentence.[xv] I know of no case in which a female minor who was a co-conspirator with an adult man in a murder, and found to have been a victim of child sexual abuse, was given so much as a long prison sentence.

Item. Any given man in prison is still 1000% as likely as any given woman to die via suicide, homicide, or execution.[xvi]

Although women's prisons are safer than men's prisons and designed more for rehabilitation, virtually all the recent press coverage has focused on the plight of the female prisoner--as if that plight were unique to the female prisoner. The result? States such as California are now financing the study of only female prisoner health issues.[xvii] Mothers in Lancaster, Massachusetts, have special facilities in which to see their children; fathers do not.[xviii] In New York's Bedford Hills Corrections Facility, mothers have a live-in nursery; fathers do not.

Women Who Kill Too Much and the Courts That Free Them: The "Female-Only" Defenses

Neither men nor women are exempt from killing loved ones. The difference is in what happens to them when they do. We have already seen the plea bargain defense, and “the contract killing defense.” Underlying these defenses is a deep-seated propensity: When women kill, judges and juries search for a reason, and the reason becomes her defense. Thus many of the more than 10 defenses I review in The Myth of Male Power imply a reason the woman’s crime led to her receiving either no sentence or a reduced sentence: the “Battered Woman Syndrome”; PMS; Post-partum depression; being a mother; children need their mothers; the “my child, my right to abuse it” defense; and the “Svengali defense.”

No man has successfully used any of these defenses in similar circumstances. Nor do men have any equivalent "male-only" defenses. Each of these defenses therefore violates the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection to both sexes under the law. This double standard of self-defense will be wreaking havoc in the legal system for decades...


[i]US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (hereinafter USBJS), Profile of Felons convicted in State Courts, January, 1990, publication #NCJ-120021 by Patrick A. Largan, PhD, and John M. Dawson (BJS statisticians), p. 9.

[ii] Victor L. Streib, “America’s Aversion to Executing Women,” Ohio Northern University Women’s Law Journal, volume 1, pages 1-8 (1997); Victor L. Streib, “Death Penalty for Female Offenders, January 1, 1973 through December 31, 2005.” Ohio Northern University. Accessed July 31, 2006.

[iii] Angela K. Brown, “Jury finds Yates not guilty in drownings,” Yahoo! News, July 26, 2006. September 11, 2006.

[iv] Victor L. Streib, “Death Penalty for Female Offenders, January 1, 1973 through December 31, 2005.” Ohio Northern University. Accessed July 31, 2006.

[v]Matthew Zingraff and Randall Thompson, "Differential Sentencing of Women and Men in the USA," International Journal of the Sociology of Law, 1984, Number 12, p. 401-413.

[vi]USBJS, State Court Sentencing of Convicted Felons, 2002—Statistical Tables, May 2005, publication #NCJ-208910, Table 2.6 "Mean length of felony State court sentences imposed, by offense and gender of felons, 2002." Downloaded August 1, 2006.

[vii]For the smaller impact of racial differences, see USBJS, Profile of Felons convicted in State Courts, January, 1990, publication #NCJ-120021 by Patrick A. Largan, PhD, and John M. Dawson (BJS statisticians), p. 1, column 2. For the smaller impact of other differences, see Matthew Zingraff and Randall Thompson, "Differential Sentencing of Women and Men in the USA," International Journal of the Sociology of Law, 1984, Number 12,.

[viii]See Howie Kurtz, "Courts Easier on Women," The Sunday Record (Bergen County, NJ), October 5, 1975.

[ix] The first 23 are documented in Hugo Adam Bedau and Michael L. Radelet, "Miscarriages of Justice in Potentially-Capital Cases," Stanford Law Review, Vol. 40, No. 1, November, 1987, p. 21-179; the additional seven are in Death Penalty Information Center. “Executed But Possibly Innocent.” Downloaded August 8, 2006.

[x] Innocence Project. “Innocence: List of Those Freed From Death Row.” Downloaded August 1, 2006.

[xi]USBJS, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 1991, p. 442, Table 4.7.

[xii]John T. Kirkpatrick and John A. Humphrey, "Stress in the Lives of Female Criminal Homicide Offenders in North Carolina," Human Stress: Current Selected Research, Vol. 3, ed. James H. Humphrey (NY: AMS Press, 1989), p. 109-120.

[xiii] US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Crime in the United States --2023 (Washington, DC: USGPO, October 2004), table 2.7 titled “Murder Victim/Offender Relationship by Race and Sex.” Downloaded July 31, 2006. The notes adjoining the tables state that the table only applies to“Single Victim/Single Offender” killings, i.e., multiple offender killings are not broken down into gender categories. Only “Single Victim & Single Offender” crimes are broken down into gender categories. not rep

[xiv]Ron Rosenbaum, "Too Young To Die?" The New York Times Magazine, March 12, 1989.

[xv]Ron Rosenbaum, "Too Young To Die?" The New York Times Magazine, March 12, 1989.

[xvi] Suicide, execution, and homicide data for 1987 is from USBJS, Correctional Populations in the United States, publication #NCJ-118762, December, 1989, p. 105, Table 5.17. Prison statistics for 1987 are from the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstracts of the United States: 1991, 111th edition, p. 195, Table 338.

[xvii]Statutes of 1991, Chapter 692.

[xviii]Fred Strasser and Mary C. Hickey, "Running Out of Room For Women In Prison," Updates section, Governing, October, 1989, p. 70.

Ch. 8) Why Men Earn More Discrimination? Choices?

Excerpts from Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? A debate by Warren Farrell

“Women who have never been married and never had children earn 117% of their male counterparts.”

There is no single issue that bothers women in the workplace more than the belief they get paid less than men for the same work.[i] And for many women, the psychological damage of being undervalued hurts even more than the economic damage of being underpaid.

For these reasons, when I was on the Board of the National Organization for Women in New York City in the seventies, I led protests against what I felt was the discrimination the pay gap reflected. And now, since my wife and two daughters (both in college) work, discrimination against women is discrimination against me.

But one question haunted me. “If an employer has to pay a man one dollar for the same work a woman would do for 76 cents, why would anyone hire a man?” If women do produce more for less, I thought, women who own their own businesses would earn more than male business owners. So I checked. I found that women who own their own businesses earn only 49% of their male counterparts.[ii]

Are women less effective? No. When the Rochester Institute of Technology surveyed business owners with MBAs, they discovered money was the primary motivator for only 29% of the women, vs. 76% of the men.[iii] Women prioritize flexibility, fulfillment, autonomy and safety. Women aren’t less effective; they have different priorities.

After more than a decade researching this for my book, Why Men Earn More, I discovered 25 of these differences in men and women’s work-life choices. All 25 choices lead to men earning more money, but women having better lives (e.g., more time with family and friends).

I was learning that the road to high pay is a toll road. Real power is about having a better life. The male definition of power-- feeling obligated to earn money someone else spends while he dies sooner--is not real power.

Operationalizing real power involves discovering which tolls are worth paying. For example, the average full-time working man works at least three more hours per week than the average full-time working woman. Extra hours pay disproportionately. People who work 45 hours per week earn more than twice the pay than people who work 35 hours per week (132% more pay for 28% more time).[iv] Is the trade-off worth it? Real power includes properly assessing trade-offs—assessing your family’s needs, your talents, your passion, what different careers pay, and your values.

If the first piece of good news for women is that they are doing a better job assessing trade-offs than men, the implication is that men have more to learn from women than women have to learn from men.

There is a second piece of good news for women: it appears women now earn more than men when they make the same 25 choices (e.g., a male and female civil engineer both with their company 10 years, both traveling and relocating equally, risking equal hazards, working equally egregious weekends...) Even part-time working women who work equal hours to men average higher earnings.[v]

If this is true, then when women and men make similar choices, does the pay gap either disappear or get reversed? Yes. For example, women who have never been married and who have never had children earn 117% of their male counterparts.[vi] (This controls for education, hours worked and age.)

Why? Without husbands, women have to focus on earning more (longer hours, moving, traveling, fields in technology). Without children, men are freer to earn less—that is, they are freer to pursue fulfilling careers (e.g., teaching writing or art) which tend to pay less because the supply exceeds the demand. The supply exceeds the demand exactly because they are more fulfilling.

See if you can find in any text in any other women’s studies or gender studies class, a list of fields in which women are paid more. In Why Men Earn More, you’ll see 39 of the major fields in which women are paid at least 5% more than men—out of the more than 80 fields that exist like this…


[i] Carol Klieman, Chicago Tribune, reprinted as “Closing Wage Gap for Women May Depend on a Little Research,” in San Diego Union-Tribune, September 29, 1997.

[ii] U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Statistics of Income Division. Unpublished tables E2-1; E2-3 ; E3-1; and E3-. Data provided by Dr. Ying Lowry, an economist at the Small Business Administration.

[iii] Richard DeMartino, Ph.D and Robert Barbato Ph.D “Gender Differences Among MBA Entrepreneurs” Rochester Institute of Technology. United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 2001.Table 7. See

[iv] US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, unpublished data for 2005 from the Current Population Survey, p. 110, Table A-18, "Usual Weekly Earnings of Employed Wage and Salary Workers by Hours Usually Worked on Primary Job and Sex, 2002 Annual Averages." Data provided by Mr. Howard Hayghe, Economist, Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics: (202) 691-6380. The average worker working 35 hours per week earns $384; the average worker working 45 hours per week earns $894.


Hours Worked
Median Wkly Earnings (2005)

[v] U.S. Bureau of the Census, unpublished data from Employment and Earnings, Table D-20, “Median weekly earnings of part-time wage and salary workers by selected characteristics.”

[vi] U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2001 Panel, Wave 2.

© 2010, Warren Farrell (with Steven Svoboda) vs. James P. Sterba

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Man is not the enemy here, but the fellow victim. - Betty Friedan

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