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Glenn Sacks is a men's and fathers' issues columnist and a nationally-syndicated radio talk show host. His radio show, His Side with Glenn Sacks, can be heard on KMPC 1540 AM in Los Angeles and on KKOL 1300 AM in Seattle. To listen live via the Internet from anywhere in the world, go to Listen Live . Both radio and Internet listeners are encouraged to call and participate in each show live and on the air at 1-800-770-1540. All callers will be mailed a free CD of the show in which they appeared at their request. His columns have appeared in dozens of the largest newspapers in the United States, and he has made hundreds of radio and television appearances. He invites readers to visit his website at www.glennsacks.com . He can be reached at Glenn@GlennSacks.com.

AB 2051 Moves California in Wrong Direction on Domestic Violence
Boys: The New Underclass in American Schools
Colorado Arsonist Terry Barton's Smart Strategy--When in Trouble, Blame a Man
In Defense of a Flawed but Decent Russell Yates
Domestic Violence: A Two-Way Street
Father Care: The Other Child Care Option
The Heart of Darkness: Parental Alienation Syndrome
How to Bring Back Our Fathers
Is Pay a Function of Gender Bias?
Kuehl's Marriage License Bill Ignores Male Victims of Domestic Violence
Laws Must Protect the Rights of Military Dads
Male-Female Wage Gap Largely Reflects Male Sacrifice, not "Discrimination"
Men, Women and Work
New Survey Confirms Men Do Fair Share of Household Work
New Study Finds Myths, Misrepresentations In Women's Studies Textbooks
Is Pay a Function of Gender Bias?
Popular Women's Studies 101 Textbook: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
Title IX Lawsuits are Endangering Men's College Sports
Why Males Don't Go to College
Will Some Reservists' Homecoming Be a Jail Cell?

AB 2051 Moves California in Wrong Direction on Domestic Violence


The California Assembly just passed a misguided bill which puts ideology over evidence by reiterating the state's mulish definition of domestic violence as something which only women suffer. Not only does Assemblymember Rebecca Cohn’s AB 2051 turn a blind eye to male DV victims and their children, it may also cost the state tens of millions of dollars in lost federal grants.

California law defines domestic violence as "the infliction or threat of physical harm against...female intimate partners.” AB 2051 refers to domestic violence victims only as “battered women.” By defining domestic violence as something only experienced by women, both existing law and AB 2051 exclude male victims and their children from receiving state-funded domestic violence services, including shelter, hotel arrangements, counseling and legal services.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, men comprise over 35% of all domestic violence victims. A meta-analytic review of 552 domestic violence studies published in the Psychological Bulletin found that 38% of the physical injuries in heterosexual domestic assaults are suffered by men.

The National Institute of Mental Health funded and oversaw two of the largest studies of domestic violence ever conducted, both of which found equal rates of abuse between husbands and wives. California State Long Beach University professor Martin Fiebert maintains an online bibliography summarizing 174 scholarly investigations, with an aggregate sample size exceeding 160,000, which conclude "women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners."

Further, a number of these studies contradict the common claim that women usually strike in self-defense, and demonstrate that abusive women use weapons and the element of surprise to help compensate for their smaller size.

These cases sometimes turn tragic for fathers and their children. In the Socorro Caro murder case, Socorro often abused her husband Xavier, a prominent Northridge, California rheumatologist, once assaulting him so badly he had to have surgery to regain his sight in one eye. Because the domestic violence, criminal justice and family law systems are almost incapable of seeing a man as a DV victim, Xavier couldn’t take his children and leave. Because of his wife’s violent nature, he couldn’t walk away and leave his children behind. Socorro later shot and killed three of their four children, for which she was convicted and sentenced to death.

California is currently the target of a controversial lawsuit filed on behalf of a young Sacramento-area woman who spent a nightmarish childhood trapped in a home with a violent, abusive mother. Maegan Black’s father David was partially disabled, and thus financially dependent on his wife. His and Maegan’s numerous attempts to get help from domestic violence service providers were consistently rebuffed—David was excluded because he was the wrong gender for a victim. AB 2051 could weaken the state's legal position by reiterating this exclusion.

The federal Violence Against Women Act, which funds states’ DV programs through STOP grants, was amended last year to include a requirement that DV programs be gender neutral. It was also amended to state that VAWA’s title should not “be construed to prohibit male victims of domestic violence…from receiving benefits and services.” AB 2051 again places California at odds with federal law, putting the state at risk of losing tens of millions of dollars in STOP grant funds.

The California Alliance for Families and Children has organized a petition against the bill signed by 50 prominent domestic violence researchers and treatment providers. The signatories call on California to stop ignoring male victims and their children, and note:

“The data is without question – domestic violence affects both men and women. The politicization of this issue must stop and services must be provided to all children and their parent victims.”

The group is comprised of many of the biggest names in the domestic violence field, including: author and psychologist Don Dutton, who served as a domestic violence expert on the prosecution team in the OJ Simpson trial; author and criminologist Denise A. Hines, PhD; longtime domestic violence researcher Murray A. Straus, whose co-authored 1980 book Behind Closed Doors: Violence in American Families helped launch the movement to help battered women; author and psychologist Kathleen Malley-Morrison; author and psychologist Patricia Noller, former director of the University of Queensland Family Centre; domestic violence treatment provider Mary Susan Convery, MSW, LCSW; author and psychology professor Marlene Moretti, PhD; psychology professor John Archer, Ph.D., former president of the International Society for Research on Aggression; California domestic violence treatment provider Mike Carolla, MFT; clinical psychologist Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling; Laura Petracek, PhD, LCSW, who helped develop the Harborview Hospital Anger Management and Domestic Violence Program for Women; forensic psychologist Dr. Tonia Nicholls; Jan Brown, founder and Executive Director of the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women; Philip Cook, Executive Director for Stop Abuse for Everyone and the author of Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence; psychologist Dr. Reena Sommer; certified domestic violence counselor L. Darlene Pratt; Deborah J. Burkes, director of a court-certified batterer intervention program in Contra Costa County, California; Terry W. Gilbert, director of Capitol Anger Management, which provides court-certified batterer intervention programs; and court-certified batterer intervention provider John Hamel, LCSW, author of Gender-Inclusive Treatment of Intimate Partner Abuse: A Comprehensive Approach.

In his testimony against AB 2051 Hamel asserted:

“AB 2051 deliberately ignores heterosexual males, even though they account for half of all domestic violence victims and incur approximately one third of domestic violence related injuries…there is an overwhelming, irrefutable body of research indicating that children are adversely affected by witnessing interparental violence regardless of the perpetrator’s gender. Boys and girls who have seen their mother physically assault their father are just as likely as those who witnessed their father assault their mother to perpetrate dating violence as adolescents and assault their intimate partners in adulthood. Research also finds that parents who assault one another are also likely to also assault their children, and this correlation holds equally for mothers and fathers. By ignoring the problem of female-on-male violence, Cohn’s bill inhibits our common efforts to effectively combat domestic violence in our communities.”

Cohn introduced AB 2051 to address the problem of domestic violence within the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender communities. This is commendable, since research shows that domestic violence occurs as often in gay and lesbian couples as it does in heterosexual ones. The bill also provided Cohn the opportunity to correct California’s harmful (and potentially costly) error of ignoring male DV victims and their children. Rather than fixing this problem, Cohn has instead chosen to exacerbate it.

This is an expanded version of an article which first appeared in the Daily Breeze [Los Angeles] (6/1/06).

Is Pay a Function of Gender Bias?


I used to make good money. I worked long hours, sought out opportunities and took advantage of them. Largely because of my efforts, my wife and I were able to buy a nice home with a big yard.

All that changed when, at my wife's urging, I gave up much of my career to be the manager of a household, specifically, to be the main caregiver for our baby daughter and young son. I cut back my work schedule, turned down job opportunities, closed my side business and took on the traditional female role of homemaker. I now earn just 30% of what I previously did. My wife's income, once considerably less than mine, has now soared past.

Many families with young children are in similar situations, except with more traditional gender roles: The husband works a 50-to 60-hour week, while his wife is at home, working part time or working full time at a convenient job close to home. The men's wages have soared, and the women's have plummeted. Even after their children are older, most of these women will never catch up.

The National Organization for Women supports Equal Pay Day, a day dedicated to highlighting pay discrimination against women who, we are told, earn only about 75% of what men make. What NOW doesn't recognize is that the pay gap has little to do with "discrimination" but is instead a product of the gender roles of the nation's mothers and fathers.

NOW gets 75% by comparing apples and oranges--adding up what the average full-time employed male and average full-time employed female earn, without accounting for the following:

Full-time employed males (whether fathers or not) on average work eight hours a week more than full-time employed females. According to the International Labor Organization, the average American father works 51 hours a week, whereas those mothers of young children who do work full time (themselves a minority) work a 41-hour week. Women earn 76% of what men do for working 84% (not 100%) as many hours.

Full-time employed females have, as a whole, 25% less job experience than their male counterparts. Most of this gap appears in older workers and, accordingly, the gender wage gap among older workers is far greater than that among younger workers, where recent studies indicate that it is often nonexistent. Older women earn less, in part, because they've lost years of career progress to child rearing and homemaking.

Of the 25 most dangerous jobs in the United States (according to the U.S. Department of Labor), all of them are overwhelmingly or exclusively male. Over 90% of American workplace deaths and serious injuries occur to men. It is not unfair in the least that dangerous jobs pay more than safe jobs at the same skill level.

If NOW were correct that women earn 75% of what men earn for the same job, why wouldn't American businesses hire all-female work forces, cut their labor costs by 25% and annihilate their competition?

And remember, we're only talking about wages, not spending or net worth. On those, American women come out at least even to and often ahead of American men.

Who gets the better deal: the modern mother or the modern father? I could make a long list of advantages and disadvantages for both. It depends upon the jobs and personalities of those involved.

Being at home with my young children has been the greatest experience of my life. Many stay-at-home mothers I know feel the same way. I feel sorry for my male breadwinner friends who miss out on so many of the joys of raising children. I remember the days when I'd work until 10 p.m., get home and carry my sleeping son around the house on my shoulder because I missed him so much. I have no desire to return to the demanding work schedule that most working fathers endure.

Leaving aside the mythical "wage gap" and the idea that family issues only negatively impact women and not men, NOW does have some good ideas for families. Making childcare more affordable would help both mothers and fathers, as would flextime, better health care benefits and more opportunities for family leave. Freeing up women to pursue their careers would take breadwinner pressure off men and allow them to spend more time with their children--a great benefit for families and society as a whole.

But please, stop claiming that women make less money than men because of "discrimination." And stop ignoring the contributions and sacrifices of men, who work the longest hours at the most demanding and dangerous jobs to provide for their wives and children.

Laws Must Protect the Rights of Military Dads


When the Iraq war began two years ago, tens of thousands of fathers who serve in the Armed Forces expected hardship and sacrifice. However, they never expected that their children might be taken from them while they were deployed, or that their own government might jail them upon their return.

Military service sometimes costs men their children. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act provides that if a parent moves a child to a new state, that new state becomes the child's presumptive residence after six months. With the long deployments necessitated by the war, a military spouse can move to another state while her spouse is deployed, divorce him, and then be virtually certain to gain custody through the divorce proceedings in the new state.

Given service personnel’s limited ability to travel, the high cost of legal representation and travel, and the financial hardships created by child support and spousal support obligations, it is extremely difficult for fathers to fight for their parental rights in the new state. For many, their participation and meaningful role in their children’s lives ends—often permanently--the day they were deployed.

In one highly-publicized case, Gary S., a San Diego-based US Navy SEAL, had his child permanently moved from California to the Middle East against his will while he was deployed in Afghanistan after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The 18-year Navy veteran with an unblemished military record has seen his son only three times since he returned from Afghanistan in April, 2002. Meanwhile he is nearly bankrupt from child support, spousal support, travel costs, and legal fees.

To solve the problem, the federal government must amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA) (formerly known as the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act) to specifically prohibit the spouses of active duty military personnel from permanently moving children to another state without the permission of the active duty military spouse or of a court. In addition, the UCCJEA needs to be modified to state that the presumption of new residence does not apply if the children are taken in this wrongful fashion.

Also, states must do more to prevent custodial parents from moving children out of the lives of noncustodial parents, except in cases of abuse or dire economic need. For example, last year the California Supreme Court decided in LaMusga that courts should restrain moves that harm children by damaging the loving bonds they share with their noncustodial parents.

While some military fathers face the loss of their children, others face prosecution and jail for child support obligations which their service has rendered them unable to pay.

Support orders are based on civilian pay, which is generally higher than active duty pay. When reservists are called up to active duty they sometimes pay an impossibly high percentage of their income in child support.

For example, a California naval reservist who has three children and who takes home $4,000 a month in his civilian job would have a child support obligation of about $1,600 a month. If this father is a petty officer second class (E5) who has been in the reserves for six or seven years--a middle-ranked reservist--his active-duty pay would only be $2,205 before taxes, in addition to a housing allowance. Under current California child support guidelines, the reservist’s child support obligation should be $550 a month, not $1,600.

A reasonable reader unfamiliar with the wonders of the child support system would probably think “OK, but the courts would just straighten it out when the reservist gets back—certainly they wouldn’t punish him for something that happened because he was serving.” However, the federal Bradley Amendment prohibits judges from retroactively modifying child support beyond the date which an obligor has applied for a modification. Reservists can be mobilized with as little as one day’s notice. If a reservist didn’t have time or didn’t know he had to file for a downward modification, the arrearages stay, along with the interest and penalties charged on them.

When the arrearage reaches $5,000—a common occurrence during long deployments—the father can become a felon who can be incarcerated or subject to a barrage of harsh civil penalties, including seizure of driver's licenses, business licenses and passports.

In addition, reservists who return from long-deployments often find that their civilian earning capacity is now diminished. This is particularly true for the 6% of reservists who are self-employed, and whose businesses are often destroyed by their absence. Family law courts are notoriously unforgiving of fathers who suffer wage drops. Many if not most will have their former incomes imputed to them, meaning that their child support will not change despite their drop in income. Saddled with mounting arrearages, some reservists will return to fight a long battle to stay out of jail.

Some reservists have their child support deducted automatically from their pay. Once deployed these fathers may lose 60% or 70% of their income and incur huge debts or face home foreclosures.

To date Missouri is the only state to adequately address the issue. During the first Gulf War it passed a law requiring that reservists’ support obligations be automatically modified when they are called up for active duty. Other states, including California and Illinois, are currently considering legislation that would help reservists. However, tens of thousands of reservists were deployed before they could file for downward modifications. Only a repeal of the Bradley amendment—already widely seen as bad law within family law circles—can prevent them from facing years of debt, harassment, legal woes or even incarceration upon their return from active service.

Like many veterans, Gary says he was very naïve about the troubles military fathers face in family law.

“The failure of our leaders in Washington to protect military fathers is a national disgrace,” he says. “Reservist fathers shouldn’t be turned into deadbeats. And no father should ever, ever lose his son or daughter simply because he served his country.”

Men, Women and Work


One of the staple feminist claims heard every March during International Women's Day and Women's History Month is that "women do the work of the world." This myth was publicized by the United Nations during the 1970s ("Women constitute one half of the world's population [and] do two-thirds of the world's work") and reinforced in 1995 with the release of its "Human Development Report" and the presentation of the report at the UN International Women's Conference in Beijing. The report's claim that women do more work than men was reported widely and uncritically by the US media with headlines such as "It's Official: Women Do Work Harder" and "A Woman's Work is Never Done."

To judge who does "the work of the world" in a world of over six billion people is a gargantuan task, but let's begin by asking two questions:

1) Who works the most hours (inside or outside the home) in the average family unit worldwide?

2) Who does the most demanding and dangerous work?

The second question is much easier to answer than the first, so let's start there. According to the International Labor Organization, an estimated 1.1 million workers are killed in industrial accidents each year, exceeding the number killed from war, violence, road accidents and AIDS.

These accidents occur primarily in mining, logging, heavy agricultural labor, construction, fishing, heavy manufacturing and various other overwhelmingly male jobs. The ILO estimates that 600,000 lives would be saved every year if available safety practices were used. The ILO also estimates that there are approximately 250 million victims of occupational accidents and 160 million victims of occupational diseases each year. The ILO doesn't keep figures by gender, but in countries where such figures are available (such as South Africa, England, Australia and Canada), the fatalities and serious injuries are usually over 90 percent male.

The gender breakdowns in the U.S. are little different. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 125 million workplace injuries in the United States between 1976 and 1999. Nearly 100,000 American workers died from job-related injuries over the past decade and a half, 95% of them men. Of the 25 most dangerous jobs listed by the U.S. Department of Labor, all of them are between 90 percent and 100 percent male. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than three million workers a year are treated in hospital emergency rooms for occupational injuries and nearly 50 American workers are injured every minute of the 40-hour work week. On average, every working day 25 workers die, 24 of them male.

So there is no doubt that the most dangerous and demanding jobs are done by men, in most if not virtually every society, and that men shoulder the burden of dangerous labor in the U.S. Let's consider the other question: Who works the most hours (inside or outside the home) in the average family unit worldwide? It's a much harder question to answer but, as best as can be told, the average man is doing at least as much as the average woman is.

As men's issues author Warren Farrell explained in his 1999 book Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say, the U.N. report upon which most claims of "women work more" are based was deeply flawed. In fact, U.N. official Terry McKinley admitted in February, 1996 that the U.N. misrepresented the study in several important ways. For one, the information provided by the U.N. to the press only applied to countries where women were found to work more hours than men; the countries where men were found to work more hours than women were deliberately excluded.

Moreover, when the data provided by researchers in some countries (including the U.S.) did not fit the U.N.'s intention to show that women "do more," researchers were asked in a private communication to amend their studies. Researchers were asked to include women's voluntary community work as well as hobbies in order to increase women's perceived workload. Researchers were not asked to include these items or new ones in men's labor. As a study of men and women's labor, the U.N. findings are worthless.

Even if one could possibly do an effective study on how many hours the average man and woman worked inside and outside the home worldwide, a finding that women work more hours would not mean that women work "harder" or "more" because such a study would still not account for the more difficult and dangerous nature of men's work.

Feminists have made similar claims of "women do more" in relation to the division of labor in the United States. The idea of what Farrell calls the "second shift woman and the shiftless man" was brought into vogue in large part by UC Berkeley professor Arlie Hochschild's best-selling 1989 book The Second Shift. In it she wrote (and the media uncritically repeated) "women work an extra month of 24 hour days each year."

However, as Farrell notes, Hochschild arrived at her "women do more" conclusion through a variety of disreputable gimmicks. For one, she compared the housework burdens of full-time employed males with those of part-time employed females, portraying men working 50 hour weeks as lazy and selfish for not doing as much housework as their wives who were working a 20 hour week. Also, she claimed that men did no more housework in the late 1980s than in the pre-feminist era, but, with one minor exception, she used data on male housework from studies done in the pre-feminist era, rendering it worthless. In addition, she also defined "housework" to include chores usually done by women, ignoring many of the household tasks generally performed by men.

In reality, objective, scientifically credible studies have shown that American women are not working more or harder than men. For example, the U.N.'s survey on the United States showed that American men work three more hours a week on average than American women. The Journal of Economic Literature reports that the average man works five hours more, and a study released last year by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, the world's largest academic survey and research organization, put the disparity at three more male hours per week.

In addition, these surveys (both the serious ones and the feminist advocacy ones) count only hours worked. A man doing eight hours of dangerous construction work in the 100-degree heat is credited with no more "work" than a woman who works in an air-conditioned office or who, in the comfort and safety of her own home (and without a supervisor breathing down her neck), cooks breakfast, takes the kids to school, packs her husband's lunch and folds the laundry while chatting on the phone.

Nevertheless, as Farrell notes, negative references to men and housework litter our popular culture. "The Myth of Male Housework: For Women, Toil Looms From Sun to Sun" was a headline in one major publication, over a cartoon depicting a woman juggling (and struggling) with a baby, a roasted turkey, and a house pet, while her husband watches TV and "juggles" his beer and his potato chips. Other major publications have highlighted women's alleged burdens under headlines such as "For Women, Having It All May Mean Doing It All," and "The Trouble with Men," with one even commenting, "A woman's work is never done, a man is drunk from sun to sun."

Feminists are correct to be concerned about the plight of the women in the underdeveloped nations of the world. Their error is that they blame men. The enemy of most of the women of the world is not the man who works hard to provide for his wife and children, but instead the grinding poverty that wreaks devastation on everybody: men, women and children.

In Defense of a Flawed but Decent Russell Yates


"It's a shame that there's no law that can give Russell Yates his due," writes syndicated columnist Debra Saunders. "Russell Yates ought to be locked up instead of his wife," says writer Cindy Hasz. Creators Syndicate's Froma Harrop sneers that he probably "misses the obedient drudge who bore and raised his five children more than the five children." Harsh words for Russell Yates have come from many others, particularly former O. J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark.

What these and others forget is that it's hard to make the right decision when you don't have a lot of options. According to Andrea Yates' brother, Andrew Kennedy, Russell Yates "did his best....He trusted the doctors and he did everything they said to do. He made sure she took her medication."

Psychiatrist Mohammed Saeed took Yates off the drug Haldol on June 4. Russell Yates, worried about his wife, brought her back to Dr. Saeed on June 18. The doctor said he saw no sign of psychosis and sent her home.

Two days later, she killed their five children.

Instead of using 20-20 hindsight, let's look at the situation as it must have appeared to Russell Yates before June 20. Mental illness is difficult for untrained people to cope with and to comprehend. Dr. Saeed had indicated that he believed that Andrea Yates was getting better, and Andrea herself has testified that she told nobody, not even her husband, about the "voices in her head." While Russell surely had doubts about leaving the kids with her, he didn't have a lot of choices. He couldn't quit his job to care for the kids--somebody had to put food on the table. Ending the home-schooling, a violation of both of their beliefs, might have been a severe blow to his fragile wife's self-esteem, perhaps pushing her over the edge.

Instead, Russell made the one move he needed to make--he had his mother come in to watch the kids every day. He generally left for work at 9 am and his mother arrived at 10 am, and he thought he had the situation under control.

He also probably believed that the best thing to do was to try to keep their family life stable, to try to be cheerful and to make the kids happy, and to hope that the medications would work and that his wife would get better. He had seen Andrea spiral down after the birth of their fourth child, and then apparently become completely healthy again--exercising regularly and cheerfully being super-mom. He may have believed that much of what Andrea was going through early last year was simply post-pregnancy mood swings, and that she would get better if he was patient.

He also attributed much of his wife's distress to the death of her father in March of last year. And he no doubt was in some denial, as people who are trapped in difficult situations often are. As he walked out the door to go to work on June 20, should he really have expected that his wife was waiting for him to leave so she could kill their children?

The genuine mistakes Russell Yates made came earlier, when both he and Andrea decided to have a fifth child (perhaps because one or both of them wanted to have a girl), and when they decided upon home-schooling. Yet these decisions, which are now used against Russell, were mutual and were based upon the religious and moral beliefs of both Russell and Andrea. In fact, the testimony of Terry Arnold, a local merchant, indicates that Andrea Yates may have wanted a sixth child. Arnold testified that when he asked Andrea last year if they planned to have another child, a sudden wave of sadness washed over her.

"I felt like I had hit a sore subject," Arnold said. "There was a change in her demeanor...I thought she was going to cry."

A neighbor's report that Andrea routinely calls Rusty from jail and asks him to dutifully run errands for the prisoners indicates that Rusty was certainly not always in control of their relationship and the decisions they made.

Andrea's best friend claims that Russell didn't help out much around the house. It's hard to know how true this is, but we do know that Russell Yates was involved with his kids--he coached their sports teams, played basketball with them in the driveway regularly, selected and purchased some of their school materials, and was often seen around the neighborhood in the evenings as he walked with his family and pushed his youngest daughter in a stroller. He and his kids made lists of things they could do to cheer mommy up. And Russell alone shouldered the burden of supporting a wife and five children--a task certainly equal to the strain of being a housewife if home schooling is not in the equation.

Andrea Yates' defenders claim that she is not guilty of her crimes due to mental illness, and they may be correct. But the husband who has stood by his wife from the day of the tragedy, who has testified in her defense, and who has fought the public perception of her as a monster, deserves better than to be blamed for the murders and to be vilified as a cruel, domineering patriarch. Russell Yates is a flawed yet decent human being who tried to do what he could in a difficult and cloudy situation. Whether sane or insane, it is Andrea Yates, not Russell Yates, who killed their five children.

Colorado Arsonist Terry Barton's Smart Strategy--When in Trouble, Blame a Man


Terry Barton might not be a very good forest ranger, but she certainly is a good observer of contemporary social attitudes. Having committed a crime, the US Forest Service employee knows that the best way to arouse public sympathy and deflect attention away from what she has done is to blame a man. 

First she tried to pin the crime on the camper in the gold minivan. Luckily for this individual, who was facing the possibility of a stiff prison sentence, meticulous and ardent Forest Service investigators exposed Barton's claim as false.

Confronted with this evidence, Barton decided to switch male scapegoats, saying that she caused the blaze when she burned a heartbreaking letter from her estranged husband.

Remarkably, some people are buying it.

"It's her husband's fault! If he hadn't tried to mentally anguish her by sending her cruel letters, she wouldn't have burned it," wrote one Coloradoan in response to a newspaper editorial critical of Barton.

"Barton should be given leniency and help," wrote another.

"Don't take [Barton's] whole life away for one moment of despair," pleaded a third.

Those more credulous might be skeptical that an 18-year veteran of the Forest Service is incapable of burning a few sheets of paper without starting a forest fire which would ultimately destroy over 100,000 acres and lead to the deaths of several firefighters. Investigators now believe that there was no such letter and that Barton set the fire in order to put it out and make herself a hero.

Predictably, Terry Barton's estranged husband John is now coming under fire. Reportedly he felt that her career--which often required long periods away from home--was interfering with their family life and the welfare of the children. In modern speak, he was a chauvinist who wanted his wife at home and subservient. The fact that he may simply have wanted what was best for their children is little mentioned.

John was no slouch around the house either--according to reports, he took care of his daughters while Terry was away, and sent money from Arkansas where he had gone to find work. He has even put their house up as collateral for his wife's $600,000 bond so she can get out of jail.

John is also being accused of being emotionally abusive towards Terry, and talk show callers have noted ominously that "emotional abuse often indicates that there was physical abuse, too."

In reality, there is no evidence of physical abuse, and emotional abuse has become a catch-all phrase used by some unprincipled women in order to justify themselves legally or morally in whatever they do vis-a-vis men. A man can defend himself against a spurious charge of physical abuse, to some degree, by demanding physical evidence. But emotional abuse can be anything and everything--how can any man effectively counter this charge?

Is there a husband who has never yelled at his wife? Maybe, but he is as rare as a wife who has never yelled at her husband. Now everything John Barton has ever done or said is under a microscope, as we look for evidence that he was an abusive husband who drove his poor wife to do what she did.

For example, at Barton's bail hearing on Thursday Terry's friend Stephanie Howard, a Forest Service biologist, told prosecutors that John Barton is "indirectly" responsible for Terry's crime because he had arrived uninvited at their home the week before the fire and rejected Terry's request that he leave. In other words, John is emotionally abusive because he went to and then refused to leave his own home. The judge then released Terry on bond.

In reality, the evidence is greater that Terry, not John, was emotionally abusive. Terry put the lives of thousands of people at risk, and then attempted to frame an innocent man for it, knowing that he could go to prison as a result. In the context of a declining marriage, and with child custody issues looming, who knows what such a manipulative and unscrupulous person might have put her husband through?

In some observers' rush to excuse Terry and condemn John, it's a question few people are asking.

How to Bring Back Our Fathers


The largest factor in predicting whether a child will graduate high school, attend college, become involved in crime or drugs, or get pregnant before age 18 is the presence (or absence) of a father in the child's life. Studies show that this remains true even after adjustments for household income. Yet at the same time, we allow hundreds of thousands of fathers to be locked out of their children's lives by ex-spouses who ignore their kids' need for a dad, and by a family court system that is biased against fathers.

The divorced dad has endured more unwarranted criticism than perhaps any other group in our time. Isn't the divorced dad, we are told, a man who abandoned his family? A dead-beat dad? A child abuser?

Occasionally, yes. Usually, no.

Close to 70% of all divorces involving couples with children are initiated by the mother, not the father. Studies show that couples agree that the reasons for these divorces are usually not infidelity or abuse but instead a lack of "closeness" or of not feeling "loved and appreciated."

Most "deadbeat dads" are either poor, unemployed, or are denied access to their children. Among men who have had no employment problems in the past year, and have had access to their children, more than 80% pay their child support in full. Less than 5% don't pay at all, and fathers actually have a much better record of paying court-ordered child support than mothers do.

There are fathers who abuse their kids. However, 70% of confirmed cases of child abuse and 65% of parental murders of children are committed by mothers, not fathers, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Children are 88% more likely to be seriously injured from abuse or neglect by their mothers than by their fathers.

How can we get fathers back into their children's lives? There are five needed, long overdue reforms:

1) Enforce fathers' visitation rights. Three-quarters of divorced fathers surveyed maintain that their ex-spouses have substantially interfered with their visitation rights. A study of children of divorce found that 42% of children who lived solely with their mother reported that their mother tried to prevent them from seeing their fathers after the divorce. However, only 16% of children who lived solely with their father reported similar obstruction. In another study, 40% of divorced mothers admitted that they had interfered with their ex-husbands access or visitation, and that their motives were punitive in nature and not due to safety considerations. Yet the government spends $340 on enforcing child support for every $1 it spends on enforcing visitation rights. Prosecutions of fathers who violate child support mandates are common, whereas prosecutions of mothers who violate visitation orders are rare.

2) Make joint custody a reality instead of a meaningless scrap of paper. Many states have a joint legal custody norm, but in practice it means that the mother is issued physical custody and the father can only see his children a few days a month. Studies reveal that divorced mothers are five times as likely to be satisfied with custody arrangements as divorced fathers. It is imperative that joint custody means 50% physical time with each parent, or a time-sharing agreement negotiated between parents whom the court treats as equals.

3) Don't hold the father's breadwinner role against him. Men are generally expected to sacrifice time with their kids in order to be their family's main breadwinner. When divorcing couples go to family court the judge gives the children primarily to the mother because the father "hasn't nurtured them as much." Why not? Because he was earning the household income that made it possible for the mother to spend more time nurturing the children.

4) Crack down on "Move Away Parents"--custodial parents who violate court orders by moving their children away from their ex-spouses.

5) Penalize ex-spouses who make false accusations of child abuse, molestation, etc., during custody disputes. Many warring ex-spouses use false accusations as their "ace in the hole" in a custody battle. Studies have shown that in this context, 75% of child sexual abuse accusations are unfounded or unsubstantiated.

The man who abandons his children is a pariah in our society, as he should be. But if it's despicable for a father to abandon his children, is it not equally despicable for a mother to drive a father out of his children's lives?

Is Pay a Function of Gender Bias?


I used to make good money. I worked long hours, sought out opportunities and took advantage of them. Largely because of my efforts, my wife and I were able to buy a nice home with a big yard.

All that changed when, at my wife's urging, I gave up much of my career to be the manager of a household, specifically, to be the main caregiver for our baby daughter and young son. I cut back my work schedule, turned down job opportunities, closed my side business and took on the traditional female role of homemaker. I now earn just 30% of what I previously did. My wife's income, once considerably less than mine, has now soared past.

Many families with young children are in similar situations, except with more traditional gender roles: The husband works a 50-to 60-hour week, while his wife is at home, working part time or working full time at a convenient job close to home. The men's wages have soared, and the women's have plummeted. Even after their children are older, most of these women will never catch up.

The National Organization for Women supports Equal Pay Day, a day dedicated to highlighting pay discrimination against women who, we are told, earn only about 75% of what men make. What NOW doesn't recognize is that the pay gap has little to do with "discrimination" but is instead a product of the gender roles of the nation's mothers and fathers.

NOW gets 75% by comparing apples and oranges--adding up what the average full-time employed male and average full-time employed female earn, without accounting for the following:

Full-time employed males (whether fathers or not) on average work eight hours a week more than full-time employed females. According to the International Labor Organization, the average American father works 51 hours a week, whereas those mothers of young children who do work full time (themselves a minority) work a 41-hour week. Women earn 76% of what men do for working 84% (not 100%) as many hours.

Full-time employed females have, as a whole, 25% less job experience than their male counterparts. Most of this gap appears in older workers and, accordingly, the gender wage gap among older workers is far greater than that among younger workers, where recent studies indicate that it is often nonexistent. Older women earn less, in part, because they've lost years of career progress to child rearing and homemaking.

Of the 25 most dangerous jobs in the United States (according to the U.S. Department of Labor), all of them are overwhelmingly or exclusively male. Over 90% of American workplace deaths and serious injuries occur to men. It is not unfair in the least that dangerous jobs pay more than safe jobs at the same skill level.

If NOW were correct that women earn 75% of what men earn for the same job, why wouldn't American businesses hire all-female work forces, cut their labor costs by 25% and annihilate their competition?

And remember, we're only talking about wages, not spending or net worth. On those, American women come out at least even to and often ahead of American men.

Who gets the better deal: the modern mother or the modern father? I could make a long list of advantages and disadvantages for both. It depends upon the jobs and personalities of those involved.

Being at home with my young children has been the greatest experience of my life. Many stay-at-home mothers I know feel the same way. I feel sorry for my male breadwinner friends who miss out on so many of the joys of raising children. I remember the days when I'd work until 10 p.m., get home and carry my sleeping son around the house on my shoulder because I missed him so much. I have no desire to return to the demanding work schedule that most working fathers endure.

Leaving aside the mythical "wage gap" and the idea that family issues only negatively impact women and not men, NOW does have some good ideas for families. Making childcare more affordable would help both mothers and fathers, as would flextime, better health care benefits and more opportunities for family leave. Freeing up women to pursue their careers would take breadwinner pressure off men and allow them to spend more time with their children--a great benefit for families and society as a whole.

But please, stop claiming that women make less money than men because of "discrimination." And stop ignoring the contributions and sacrifices of men, who work the longest hours at the most demanding and dangerous jobs to provide for their wives and children.

New Survey Confirms Men Do Fair Share of Household Work


Men are doing at least as much household work as women, according to a new survey conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR), the world's largest academic survey and research organization.

The recently released study shows that women do an average of 27 hours of housework a week, compared to 16 hours a week for men. Balanced against this, however, is the study's less-publicized finding that the average man spends 14 hours a week more on the job than the average woman. Thus men's overall contribution to the household is actually slightly higher than women's.

In fact, studies conducted by the ISR and others have found that rough equality between the workloads shouldered by men and women has existed for at least four decades. Gender issues author Warren Farrell says that these findings belie the misconception that our era is that of "the second shift woman and the shiftless man."

As Farrell notes, negative references to men and housework litter our popular culture. "The Myth of Male Housework: For Women, Toil Looms From Sun to Sun" wrote one major publication, over a cartoon depicting a woman juggling (and struggling) with a baby, a roasted turkey, and a house pet, while her husband watches TV and "juggles" his beer and his potato chips. Other major publications have highlighted women's burdens under headlines such as "For Women, Having It All May Mean Doing It All," and "The Trouble with Men," with one even commenting, "A woman's work is never done, a man is drunk from sun to sun."

According to Farrell, the idea of the "second shift woman and the shiftless man" was brought into vogue in part by UC Berkeley professor Arlie Hochschild's best-selling 1989 book The Second Shift. In it she wrote (and much of the media uncritically repeated) that "women work an extra month of 24 hour days each year." But Hochschild's research and conclusions were deeply flawed. For the most part she compared the housework burdens of full-time employed males with those of part-time employed females, portraying men working 50 hour weeks as lazy and selfish for not doing as much housework as their wives who were working a 20 hour week.

Hochschild also claimed that men did no more housework in the late 1980s than in the pre-feminist era, but, with one minor exception, she used data on male housework from studies done in the pre-feminist era, rendering it worthless. In addition, the book also defined "housework" to include chores usually done by women, ignoring most of the household tasks generally done by men.

The "second shift" myth also stems from the idea that today both husband and wife work what is presumed to be a 40 hour week, but when both go home at five, the woman does housework and the man does little. Gloria Steinem, in fact, says that in today's economy men have one job, but women have two. In reality, while some couples' economic lives conform to the 40-40 model, the average full-time employed man works eight hours a week more than the full-time employed woman, women are four times as likely as men to work part-time, and women are much more likely than men to be full-time homemakers. Housework burdens naturally reflect this.

Feminists correctly note that, as a general rule, both men and women list housework as one of their least enjoyable tasks and, since women do more housework than men, this shifts the advantage to men. However, while people may not enjoy cooking or folding the laundry in and of themselves, they are usually much happier at home and in casual dress (and perhaps talking on the phone or watching TV while they work), than they are in a supervised and regimented work environment. Also, while housework may seem like drudgery compared to middle-class white collar jobs, it doesn't when compared to blue collar or "pink collar" work.

In addition, both the ISR survey and The Second Shift count only hours worked, without noting the special contributions of men who do dangerous and physically demanding work. Of the 25 most dangerous jobs listed by the US Department of Labor, men comprise at least 90% of the labor force in all of them. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, nearly 50 American workers are injured every minute of the 40-hour work week, and every day 17 die--16 of them male.

Despite the withering criticism men have endured, it is clear that men are doing their fair share in the home, and have been since before the feminist era.

Kuehl's Marriage License Bill Ignores Male Victims of Domestic Violence


Senate Bill 1618 provides for a $10 raise in the California marriage license fee. The purpose of the bill, which recently passed the Senate and is now in the Assembly, is to augment existing funding for domestic violence programs and to set aside extra funds for "underserved" populations of domestic violence victims.

The bill's sponsor, State Senator Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), explains that the underserved populations who are the bill's intended beneficiaries are abused women in rural areas and abused immigrant women who face linguistic and cultural barriers when seeking help.

These goals are admirable. However, they ignore the needs of our state's largest underserved population--male victims of domestic violence.

County domestic violence programs, which will receive and disburse the funds provided by SB 1618, have been indifferent at best towards male victims. For example, Los Angeles County funds two dozen shelters for abused women, but only one shelter accepts male victims, and it is in Lancaster, 80 miles from downtown Los Angeles. San Diego County has only one domestic violence shelter which is willing to consider housing a male victim, and abused men are often referred to homeless shelters--not suitable places for a victimized father to take his children.

According to the US Department of Justice's Report on the National Violence Against Women Survey, there are over 830,000 male victims of domestic violence every year in the United States. Numerous studies--many of them conducted by some of the earliest advocates for battered women--have repeatedly found that women are at least as likely as men to initiate and engage in domestic violence. These include the work of domestic violence researchers Richard Gelles, Murray Straus, and Susan Steinmetz, authors of Behind Closed Doors, the influential and ground-breaking study of domestic violence against women.

As Gelles noted in "The Missing Persons of Domestic Violence: Male Victims" (The Women's Quarterly, Fall 1999), male victims are largely unknown to the public in part because men are extremely hesitant to report their abuse to authorities or to seek help. Many often do not seek police intervention because they fear that their female partners will successfully accuse them of being the actual perpetrators.

Gelles also believes that male victims generally do not seek out shelters because of their children. He notes that "...battered men who flee their attackers find that the act of fleeing results in the men losing physical and even legal custody of their children...men who retain their children in order to try to protect them from abusive mothers often find themselves arrested for ‘child kidnaping.' "

Kuehl dismisses the existence of male victims, saying "the attention given to it is exaggerated. Studies with high numbers of male victims get them because they classify women who hit only in self-defense as abusers."

According to Gelles, however, the "self-defense" argument has been obsolete since 1986, when he and Straus revamped their studies to ask who initiated the violence, thereby screening out violence committed in self-defense. Those studies and others have continued to show equal numbers of male and female aggressors, and indicate that women often compensate for their smaller size by employing weapons and the element of surprise.

Marc Angelucci, chairman of the Los Angeles chapter of Stop Abuse for Everyone (SAFE), points out that Kuehl's bill, which was recently endorsed by the Los Angeles Domestic Violence Council, is discriminatory because "men pay half or more of those marriage license fees, and they're entitled to share in all of the services that come with them, including outreach, which barely exists for male victims."

Kuehl blames the lack of services for male victims of domestic violence on "the community of men" itself. She contends that just as the battered women's shelter movement began as a grass roots movement which later came to receive substantial government funding, services for men should come only when men create similar organizations. While Kuehl acknowledges that men as a whole have been very supportive of assistance for abused women, she says:

"What advocates for male victims of domestic violence want to do is to take money from a low-resourced community--women--and give it to services for a well-funded community--men. If men want services for abused men, they need to put it together themselves."

Kuehl's indifference understandably angers victims' advocates like Angelucci. He says:

"It's a pretty incredible attitude for a government official to take. It's as if a cop suspects that a crime is being committed next door and says ‘well, I'm not going to go looking for the victim or try to stop the crime, but if the victim wants to come to me for help, I'll consider looking into finding some.' Is this the way to combat a widespread and damaging social problem?"

Boys: The New Underclass in American Schools


I wait for my son as he stands in line after school to get his daily behavior report. The first grade students are fidgety in the line, which is probably why they are the "bad kids" who need the behavior reports to begin with. All 10 of these children have one thing in common--they're all boys.

Soon the little boys will wear the same sad faces that are on their behavior reports, next to the teacher's angry exclamation points. They will trudge home and await punishment, knowing, of course, that punishment is what they deserve. Maybe it will be an angry scolding, or a "now your friend can't come over this afternoon." Maybe it will be yard work, or loss of their new toy. There will be tears and wails, but after a while the tears and wails will stop as the boys resign themselves to their fate.

It's good that these little boys learn this lesson about themselves and school early, because, for many of them, school will never be any different. Boys at all levels are far more likely than girls to be disciplined, suspended, held back, or expelled. By high school the typical boy is a year and a half behind the typical girl in reading and writing, and is less likely to graduate high school, go to college, or graduate college than a typical girl. Boys are three times as likely to receive a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder as girls, four times as likely to commit suicide, and far more likely to fall victim to teen drug or alcohol abuse.

By every index, our schools are failing our boys. Yet little is being done about it, in part because of the societal misconception that schools favor boys, a misconception created by the American Association of University Women's (AAUW) 1992 report "How Schools Shortchange Girls." The report's claim of a "girl crisis" was widely publicized, the Ms. Foundation declared "Take Our Daughters to Work Day," and Congress passed the $360 million Gender Equity in Education Act.

According to Diane Ravitch, author and former US Department of Education official, "The AAUW report was completely wrong. What was so bizarre is that it came out right at the time that girls had just overtaken boys in almost every area ... it was like calling a wedding a funeral.... There were all these special programs put in place for girls, and no one paid any attention to boys."

Christina Hoff Sommers, author of The War Against Boys, notes that "The research commonly cited to support claims of male privilege [in schools]...is riddled with errors. Almost none of it has been published in peer-reviewed professional journals, and some of the data has mysteriously disappeared."

There are many dissidents within the educational establishment who saw through the illusory "girl crisis" and who have called attention to the plight of boys. Educational Consultant Joe Manthey, who filed a highly publicized gender discrimination lawsuit over "Take Our Daughters to Work Day" earlier this year, says:

"If there's anybody who needed special programs and special funding from Congress, it's boys, not girls. We need more programs for students with learning disabilities, and for retarded, emotionally disturbed, and schizophrenic students--most of whom are boys."

Michelle Ventimiglia, director of a Los Angeles day care center, says "our schools simply aren't made for boys. I see this every September when my students go into elementary school. Our schools are made for children who can sit still with their hands folded, who aren't distracted by a bug on the wall, who keep quiet and do what you tell them to do even if it is boring. Most girls do fine in this environment, but many boys don't.

"Children need physically connected activities, particularly boys. They learn best by doing. An early elementary school student can learn a ton of math and geometry skills, as well as problem solving and social skills, from LEGOs, building blocks, and wood working projects. Cooking projects are also very useful.

"Boys love these types of hands-on lessons and activities, but too often teachers find it easier to simply give them worksheets instead. And now, with so much time being devoted to testing and preparing for testing, teachers' repertoires are even more limited, which is bad for children, particularly boys."

Of course, as parents we suffer along with our children, and as our boys are punished we are punished, too. Every day as I pick my son up from school I hope for a good behavior report that can be celebrated with ice cream or a trip to the park. More often I face what I call the "boy parent dilemma"--when my son is "bad" do I punish him because he can't fit into a structure that clearly isn't suited to little boys? Or do I withhold punishment or censure and in so doing undercut the teacher's authority?

I've agonized over this question again and again, but I always decide that it is my duty to support the teacher. But I'll never forget the sadness of my little son in the back seat after school because I scolded him for his bad behavior report. Why did I scold him? Because I simply couldn't think of anything else to do.

Why Males Don't Go to College


As the percentage of males on our college campuses continues to decline, many observers are finally beginning to ask questions. Much of the discussion has focused on the fact that boys at all levels K-12 have fallen seriously behind their female counterparts, and how our schools are not meeting boys' needs. This discussion of males' educational problems—particularly the problems of low-income and minority males—is long overdue, and boys' sagging educational performance is one of the main reasons for the increasing disappearance of male students from our college campuses.

However, there is another, unacknowledged reason why some males don't go to college—rampant anti-male feminism has made college campuses a place where many males feel unwanted and unwelcome. To use a feminist term, our universities have become "hostile environments" for young men.

To illustrate, let's look at one campus—the University of California at Los Angeles, 1999-2001. Sensationalized lies about men—what dissident feminist Christina Hoff Sommers and others call "Hate Statistics"—were an integral part of the campus culture. The Women's Resource Center (later renamed the Center for Women and Men), the Clothesline Project, and others publicized previously discredited claims such as: "One in four college women has been the victim of rape or attempted rape" and "domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women aged 15 to 44."

Worse, such statistics were repeated ad infinitum and ad nauseam by the campus newspaper, the Daily Bruin , and also by both professors and students. The message behind the lies was clear—men are so powerful and despicable, and women are so helpless and victimized, that men had better not dare to complain about anything.

This hostile attitude towards males is manifest in the classroom as well. I recall, for example, my Latin American folklore class, taught by a woman whom we'll call Ms. Smith. Ms. Smith is a kind, gentle, elderly lady whose bigotry nevertheless rings loud and clear. The sometimes subtle, sometimes slap-in-the-face prejudice which males endured in her class is typical of what occurs in many modern university classes.

Early in the semester Ms. Smith informed the class that all folklore was widely believed to be a code of misogyny that was developed and employed by men to suppress women. Ms. Smith did say she considered this to be a slight exaggeration, yet whenever a folktale contained a negative portrayal of a woman, it was cited as evidence of the rampant misogyny in men's dark souls. What Ms. Smith never explained was why this "misogynistic" folklore contained far more negative portrayals of men than of women.

Ms. Smith also informed us that women largely invented folklore, because it was women who had the "long, tiresome, boring jobs" and thus the motivation to invent it. Unanswered were two questions. One, why would we say that folklore was misogynistic if women had in fact, largely invented it? Two, did we really imagine that the men of that era—or at least 98% of them—did not also have "long, tiresome, boring" jobs?

Most of the males sat in the back of Ms. Smith's class, an arrangement which started to feel more and more like the back of the bus. The females in front were fully engaged, enjoying the class and its anti-male tales. Not surprisingly, many of the males were disengaged, and seemed to be there simply to put in their time.

One day, after an hour or so discussing tale after tale where Ms. Smith concluded that the men involved were always wrong or evil or cruel or stupid and the women were always right and good and kind and smart, Ms. Smith began softly describing a soothing tale of a father and his daughter setting off through the woods to go to the big city. "The father....and his daughter....rode together... as they went through the beautiful Spanish countryside," Ms. Smith said softly. I sat back and closed my eyes. "They...were on their way to the big city....the daughter had never seen the city before.....she was happy that her father was taking her..." I imagined a special, loving, father-daughter bond. "…and then.....he rapes her."

Jolted, I sat up. A male in the back of the classroom pushed his heavy book off of the table and it made a loud, crashing sound. An accident? Or the only protest he could make?

I did sometimes protest in Ms. Smith's class and others, but a 6'2" male confronting a female educator about her bigotry, however politely, is quickly perceived as a sexist bully. In addition, tension and arguing make the days and semesters long and hard, and there were times when it was easier to tune out, as so many other males had done.

Part of the reason it is difficult and unpleasant to be a male college student today is that anti-male bigotry pops up by surprise all the time in the most unlikely places. For example, on my Portuguese final we were presented with some disputes and were expected to discuss possible solutions to them in Portuguese. A couple of the problems were between married couples, and in both situations there was a clear person who was right and a clear person who was wrong. The reader can guess the gender of both offenders without my assistance.

In answering one of them, about a husband who was oppressing his wife by not "doing his share" around the house, I explained that numerous studies have shown that, when all work—both housework and breadwinning—is considered, American men are doing at least as much in their households as women are. I also noted that I was unhappy with this negative portrayal of men.

To her credit, the professor graded me fairly and responded to my objection. She explained that my complaint was not valid because men's control of society versus women’s control is so vast that a man's complaints about anti-male prejudice paled in meaning. In other words, it's okay to say whatever you want about men, no matter how unfair, cruel, or inaccurate, because all the man-hate in the world could never amount to more than tugging on Superman's cape.

In the library after Ms. Smith’s class on the day the student dropped the book in protest, I pondered how sad and unfair it was that he and other young men had been branded, stigmatized, and marginalized in the institution which was supposed to enlighten them and set fire to their minds.

I thought of the feminist academics (female and male) who poured their derision upon these college men, knowing that their students could not effectively fight back. I thought of the timid male professors who were so content with their own careers that they were perfectly willing to allow 18 year-old boys to be beat up on rather than jeopardize their own comfort by speaking out. And I asked myself a question which hundreds of thousands of male college students often ask themselves:

"What am I even doing here?"

Title IX Lawsuits are Endangering Men's College Sports


In one of UCLA's proudest moments, UCLA-trained swimmers and gymnasts dominated the 1984 Summer Olympics. Half of the gold-medal winning men's gymnastic team were Bruins. Yet, despite producing 22 Olympic swimming competitors and dozens of world-class gymnasts, these UCLA men's teams were eliminated less than a decade later. In fact, over the past five years more than 350 men's collegiate athletic teams have been eliminated nationwide, and the number of men's gymnastics teams has fallen from 200 to just 21. What happened?

These athletic programs were not felled by mismanagement, drugs, or rules violations. They were destroyed by something far more dangerous than a triple full twist off the parallel bars or a reverse three and a half somersaults dive. They were destroyed by Title IX.

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 barred sex discrimination in any educational program or activity which receives federal funding. In the decades since, women's athletics have burgeoned in high schools and colleges. Title IX was and remains an important and laudable victory for the women's movement.

More recently, however, misguided feminist lawsuits and political lobbying have changed Title IX from a vehicle to open up opportunities for women to a scorched earth policy whereby the destruction of men's athletics has become an acceptable substitute for strengthening women's athletics.

Feminists have used an obscure, hastily prepared bureaucratic action--known now as the 1979 Policy Interpretation--to mandate that the number of athletes in college athletic programs reflect within a few percentage points the proportion of male and female students on campus. The problem is, as studies have shown, fewer women than men are interested in playing organized sports, even though the opportunity is available. Even in all-female colleges the number of women athletes fall considerably below that needed to satisfy Title IX requirements in co-ed colleges.

The fact that women now outnumber men in college 57%-43% nationwide makes it even harder for schools to achieve the numerical gender balance demanded by the 1979 Policy--an interpretation never reviewed or approved by Congress. Time and again the Federal Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has investigated schools and allowed them only two options to meet Title IX--create new women's teams for which there often are neither funds nor interested female athletes, or cut men's teams.

Thus women have gained a little but men have lost a lot. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), for every new women's athletics slot created between 1992 and 1997, 3.6 male athletes were dropped. During the same period, colleges added 5,800 female athletes--and cut 20,000 male athletes. Kimberly Schuld, director of the Independent Women's Forum's Title IX Play Fair! Project, calls this "clear, government-sanctioned sex discrimination."

Critics of modern Title IX point out that its equity calculations are misleading in part because they count college football's athletes and dollars without considering football's money-making ability. USC, for example, has been hit hard by feminist legal action based on its greater number of male athletes and higher men's athletic budget. What's not considered is that USC's men's teams--largely football--are responsible for over 99% of the near $20 million total revenue of the Athletic Department. At UCLA, football alone accounts for $15 million in revenue every year--over 40% of UCLA athletics' total. In fact, over 70% of Division I-A football programs turn a profit.

Thus schools are caught in a vise. Because schools need football's revenue yet must also equalize gender numbers, they are forced to cut men's non-revenue sports.

Todd R. Dickey, USC's general counsel, Schuld, and many others argue that football should simply be taken out of the gender equity equation because no other sport earns as much revenue, has such a large number of athletes or staff, and needs as much equipment.

"You can't spend as much on women's sports as you can on men's, because there is no women's equivalent for football," Dickey says.

Title IX's modern application has struck hardest at minority men. Lawsuits brought to balance the number of athletic scholarships awarded to men and women have decreased the number and value of men's scholarships, upon which minority men often rely to finance their educations. Black colleges and universities, where female students outnumber males 60%-40% and money is usually tight, have been particularly wounded by feminist lawsuits. And when Title IX forces schools to drop their football programs, as San Francisco State did in 1995, it is black athletes who are hurt disproportionately.

While modern Title IX has been devastating for male and particularly for minority male athletes, it has also hurt female athletics. By allowing the destruction of men's teams to substitute for increasing the number of women's teams, universities have been stripped of the incentive to build more and better female squads. A school that has six female teams and nine male teams may find it much easier to cut men's teams than to provide the new money and resources to create more women's teams.

At the same time, because a school's Title IX compliance is now judged largely on the basis of the number of athletes, if cutting men's teams isn't workable, then it's often better for a school to add a few new women's teams, even if the teams and athletes are marginal, than it is to improve the facilities and training of existing teams.

The situation cries out for a flexible athletics policy based on student interest levels instead of rigid proportionality. Title IX states "no person...shall, on the basis of sex...be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." Misguided women's advocates have used a bureaucratic obscurity to undermine these simple yet high-minded words, and turn Title IX from an instrument used to fight sex discrimination into a policy mandating it.

New Study Finds Myths, Misrepresentations In Women's Studies Textbooks


A new study by the Independent Women's Forum has concluded that Women's Studies textbooks "ignore facts in favor of myths," "mistake ideology for scholarship," and encourage students to "embrace aggrievement, not knowledge." The study, Lying in a Room of One's Own: How Women's Studies Textbooks Miseducate Students, examined the five most popular Women Studies' textbooks in the United States.

The study's author, scholar Christine Stolba, used the textbooks because she sought to examine academic feminism's mainstream, instead of its oft-criticized fringe. She divided her study into three main categories, "Errors of Interpretation," "Errors of Fact," and "Sins of Omission."

The "Errors of Interpretation" occur in large part because the textbooks construe every study, statistic, or piece of evidence to mean that women are miserable and oppressed, and that men are privileged oppressors. Among the "truths" that the textbooks tell us are: women are under siege from virtually all sectors of society; little has changed for women in the past three decades; believing that women have achieved equality is "modern sexism"; and most women are not naturally attracted to men but are the victims of "compulsory heterosexuality" maintained through (male) "social control."

The textbooks also depict motherhood as a "burden for women, something to be overcome" and portray women who choose to remain home with their young children as dupes who buy into oppressive traditional female roles. In addition, bad fathers are described as the rule rather than the exception, the prevalence of sexual abuse and molestation are wildly exaggerated, and students are told that fathers represent a "foreign male element" that mothers and daughters must often unite against.

Among the many "Errors of Fact" Stolba cites are the belief that the government has ignored women's health needs at the expense of men's, and that the gender wage gap is a direct result of discrimination.

The women's health claim was made famous in 1990 by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), who generated national headlines when she cited the fact that women-specific health research comprised only 14% of the budget of the National Institute of Health (NIH) and labeled it "blatant discrimination." However, only 6.5% of the NIH's budget went to male-specific research--the vast majority of the NIH's research was (and is) addressed to health issues affecting both sexes. Since 1990 the disparity favoring female-specific NIH research has grown even wider.

The claim that men are paid more than women for the same job has been refuted by studies by liberal, dissident feminist, and conservative organizations, all of whom have found that single men do not earn more than single women. The gender wage gap is caused by the career sacrifices that mothers make for their children, and the personal sacrifices fathers make (longer work weeks, more consecutive years of service, more hazardous jobs, etc.) in order to earn the money to support those children. Surveys which take these factors into consideration have shown that, for the same job, women earn within 2% of what men do.

In "Sins of Omission" Stolba notes that the textbooks airbrush all heroines to remove their flaws. For example, Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, is extolled, but her well-documented racism is not mentioned. Similarly, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is praised uncritically without noting her administration's corruption.

Powerful or heroic women who happened to hold conservative beliefs, such as Florence Nightingale, Golda Meir, and Margaret Thatcher, are either ignored or are portrayed as sellouts who "turned from other women." The power wielded by first ladies is praised in the wives of Democratic presidents and ignored in the wives of Republican presidents. Feminist dissidents, an increasingly numerous and vocal group, are dismissed briefly, if they are mentioned at all.

Alice Graves, a UCLA graduate familiar with Women's Studies, agrees with Stolba's depiction. She says:

"Much of what is taught in Women's Studies panders to us and insults our intelligence. I want to learn the truth about both women and men, the good and the bad. I want all women's voices to be heard, not just those who toe the party line. Do my professors believe that I can't be trusted to think for myself?"

Popular Women's Studies 101 Textbook: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics


Women are under siege and oppressed, while men have it easy. This is the unmistakable message of Margaret L. Andersen's Thinking About Women: Sociological Perspectives on Sex and Gender, one of America's most popular Women's Studies 101 textbooks.

The mischaracterizations and distortions begin in Chapter One on page one, where Andersen speaks briefly of the progress which women have made, but soon cautions the reader that "there's still a long way to go" for women to achieve equality. To support her point, she tells us:

1) "In the 1990s, women college graduates who worked full-time earned, on average, 70 percent of what men college graduates earned working full time";

2) "Each year five million women experience some form of violence, two-thirds of it committed by someone they know";

3) "Employed women" work 13 hours a week more than "employed men" on "household tasks."

All three of these statements are extremely misleading. Yes, full-time employed women do earn less money, on average, than full-time employed men do, but they also: work 400+ hours a year less than men do; work only a tenth as many overtime hours; have 25% less overall work experience; comprise only 5% of workplace fatalities (because they do not do the hazardous jobs which necessarily pay better); and are far less likely than men to work nights, weekends, have long commutes, or to travel for their jobs. Surveys which take these factors into consideration have shown that, for the same job, women earn within 2% of what men do.

The "five million women experience some form of violence" statistic is misleading because it is driven sharply upward by domestic violence studies which lump trivial acts which women do as often as men (such as swearing at or insulting your partner, slamming doors or stomping out of rooms, etc.) with serious violence. Whenever two-sex surveys of domestic violence are taken, women are shown to be just as likely to initiate and engage in spousal abuse as men, and roughly 75% of all violent crime victims are male.

Women may do an extra 13 hours a week of "household duties" but the average full-time employed man works eight hours a week more than the average full-time employed woman. Andersen's survey allows for the inclusion of people who are "employed" but who don't work full-time, and since most part-time workers are female, this pushes the disparity in hours worked between men and women in the survey even higher. Together with the fact that men spend more time commuting and work more physically strenuous jobs than women do, what the survey really tells us is that the overall labor of a household is, in fact, being divided evenly between men and women, a finding consistent with most research on the subject.

The book also spins myths about "deadbeat dads" (actually, over 80% of the men who have jobs and can see their children pay their child support in full), women's supposedly ignored health care needs (the government at every level spends more on women's health than men's, even though it is men who dominate in most diseases and it is women who live longer), and numerous others.

Andersen urges readers to notice women's role both in society and in everyday life--good advice, except that she instructs women to look only for female suffering and male privilege. For example, she counsels readers to look at the "bright lights shining in the night skyline" and see that they "represent thousands of women...who clean the corporate suites."

Fair enough, but what about the thousands of men who risked their safety and even their lives (including yours truly) to build those same skyscrapers? What about the men who pick up the trash, crawl through the sewers to make repairs, or who work on power lines 50 feet up in the air? In Andersen's book such men are as invisible as she imagines women to be.

Like most Women's Studies textbooks, materials, and lectures, Andersen's text ignores the growing number of strong, articulate female scholars, researchers, writers, activists, and leaders who call themselves "equity feminists" and support feminism's basic goals but oppose the rampant distortions and out and out man-hating of the established feminist movement. These include: Canadian Senator Anne Cools, a former shelter director and a pioneer of the battered women's movement who is now a fathers' rights advocate; author/activist Erin Pizzey, who set up the first battered women's shelter ever in England in 1971 and now advocates for abused men; Camille Paglia, the legendary author and cultural observer; author and ‘60s feminist icon Doris Lessing, who says that in modern culture men are "continually demeaned and insulted by women without a whimper of protest"; Cathy Young, co-founder of the Women's Freedom Network and author of Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve Equality, author and columnist Wendy McElroy, founder of Independent Feminists (ifeminists.com); Christina Hoff Sommers, author of Who Stole Feminism?, former Women's Studies professor Daphne Patai, author of Professing Feminism; crime journalist Patricia Pearson, author of When She Was Bad: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence; and countless othe

Instead, Andersen chooses to trot out the standard collection of cranks and hate-mongers such as Catherine MacKinnon (who wrote that under the conditions of our society, "all heterosexual sex is rape"), and Andrea Dworkin (who wrote "marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice").

Andersen also cites numerous discredited feminist researchers such as Diane Russell, who arrives at high numbers of female victims in her surveys by classifying consensual sex as rape and hugs and horseplay from male relatives as incest, and Carol Gilligan, whose baseless and unscientific research led in part to the myth that girls are silenced and oppressed in the classroom. Ms. Gilligan's scholarly reputation was permanently laid to rest by Christina Hoff Sommers, in her chapter "Gilligan's Island" from her book The War Against Boys.

American college students (male and female) need a balanced textbook which includes dissident feminist voices and which looks honestly at the many challenges women face as well as the many advantages they enjoy. Instead, they are saddled with factually-challenged propaganda tracts, which are allowed to exist because of PC intimidation mixed with an unspoken, condescending university atmosphere which says, "don't argue with the little ladies--you can't expect those gals who teach Women's Studies to keep their facts straight."

Father Care: The Other Child Care Option


The stay at home mom vs. working mom debate is raging again, following a report by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development that children in day care are more aggressive and hostile by the time they're in kindergarten than those in a mother's care. One could make a case for either side in the debate but let me instead suggest a third option--father care. There is plenty of research to support the idea, but I'll begin with my own research--my family.

Three years ago, at the birth of my daughter, we were a traditional family--I worked long hours, and my wife had left her job to be at home. My wife was unhappy at home and missed her career, and I was unhappy being away from my kids. My wife suggested that we switch roles. The idea had never occurred to me, but I decided to try it.

Our new roles worked better than I ever would have dreamed. My daughter and I have bonded as closely as any mother and child and have spent countless happy days together. Both family and strangers always comment about my daughter's radiant confidence and self-esteem, as well as her attachment to daddy. She is happy, well-adjusted, and strong-willed--and a product of father care.

Can fathers do the job? Research says yes. A Yale study found that infants living only with their fathers were two to six months ahead of other infants in personal and social skills, and that older babies in father-care exhibited similar advantages. Another survey found that boys in father-custody homes have higher self-esteem, are more mature, more independent, and less demanding than boys in mother-custody homes. A recent Danish study comparing toddlers in single mom and single dad homes found that the father care children had fewer temper tantrums, were less-sensitive to criticism, less fearful, less likely to feel lonely, and more likely to have high self-esteem. Fathers were included in the controversial new National Institute study but in such small numbers that the results were not statistically meaningful.

Can men be as nurturing as women? If given the chance, yes. Men, in general, aren't as nurturing as women not because of biology or testosterone but because it has never been men's role to be nurturing. Men's role has been to compete in the work world in order to provide for their families. The woman's role has been to nurture. Give a man the role of nurturer and he'll become nurturing. My wife often remarks upon how much calmer, patient and "centered" I've become since switching roles.

Are men more likely to lose patience with children and abuse them? Studies show that fathers are less likely than mothers to use physical punishments with their kids. According to the US Department of Justice, 70% of confirmed cases of child abuse and 65% of parental murders of children are committed by mothers, not fathers. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, adjusting for the greater number of single mothers, a custodial mother is five times as likely to murder her own children as a custodial father is. Children are 88% more likely to be seriously injured from abuse or neglect by their mothers than by their fathers. There's no reason to think that children are safer in the primary care of a mother than of a father.

Can men be convinced to do it? Given the proper adjustments, many can. The idea never occurs to most men--just as it never occurred to me--but if they think about the advantages--loving care for the kids and plenty of time to spend with them, no supervisor breathing down their necks, a temporary release from the 40 years of work without interruption that is the fate of most men--many men will come to embrace the idea. Sometimes when I get frustrated with housework I remember days when I'd work until 10 and come home and carry my sleeping son around the house on my shoulder because I missed him so much and I realize how lucky I am.

Stay-at-home dads will have to struggle with certain prejudices. For one, our society exalts female sacrifice in mothering and housework, yet when a guy actually says "OK, I'll do all that stuff--you go have your career" he's immediately derided as a slacker or a leech, as well as unmanly. Unfortunately, some women's advocates have helped to aggravate this situation by producing misleading studies specifically designed to portray stay-at-home dads as lazy.

Men will also have to approach the job in their own way--not as a poor copy of a stay-at-home mom, but as a dad. All baby-care products and rituals now revolve around women and men will need to make some changes. For example, in place of the standard changing table, which seems to be built for a woman who's about 4' 10", I built my own--one comfortable for a 6' 2" male, with shelves above it, instead of cabinets below it. My wife says she can't use it without a ladder, but that's not important because it's right for me and I'm usually the one who uses it. I keep us on a home-cooking only economy and to help myself I partially remodeled the kitchen, installing lots of ceiling racks and hooks to keep pots and pans up where I can get to them.

Can father care work economically? For some families, it clearly won't. But many couples find that having a stay-at-home parent is much more economical than a two-income family. The second income is lost but the one-income couple saves on day care, taxes, food, and a thousand other expenses that two-income couples rack up due to a lack of time or workday flexibility. Having me at home has saved us tens of thousands of dollars not only because I've used my "female" skills (child care, cooking) but also because I've used my "male" skills (carpentry, woodworking, etc.) to fix our "fixer-upper" house where another couple would have to pay contractors.

As author Warren Farrell notes, in the beginning of the feminist era we were often told that "the best man for the job is a woman," and sometimes it was true. In the current child care dilemma, sometimes the best "mother" for a child is a father.

Domestic Violence: A Two-Way Street


October is the seventh annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month, when activists and the media focus the nation's attention on violence against women. However, October's events only tell half the story. Why? Because the research on domestic violence overwhelmingly establishes that domestic assault is not a crime committed by men against women, but instead one committed by both men and women. By using weapons and the element of surprise, women are abusing their male partners as often as vice versa.

For example, veteran domestic violence researchers Richard Gelles, Murray Straus, and Susan Steinmetz, who were once hailed by the women's movement for their pioneering work on violence against women, have repeatedly found that women are just as likely as men to physically attack their spouses or partners.

Studies conducted by the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire in 1975, 1985, and 1992, found that abuse rates were equal between husbands and wives. In fact, the evidence suggests that abuse of wives by husbands is decreasing, while abuse of husbands by wives is increasing.

Cal State Long Beach professor Martin Fiebert has compiled and summarized 117 different studies with over 72,000 respondents that found that most domestic violence is mutual and, in the cases where there was only one abusive partner, that partner was as likely to be female as male.

Studies by researchers R.I. McNeeley and Coramae Richey Mann show that women are much more likely than men to use weapons and the element of surprise. These weapons often include guns, knives, boiling water, bricks, fireplace pokers and baseball bats.

Neither male nor female domestic violence can generally be dismissed as self-defense. According to Straus, for example, roughly 10 percent of women and 15 percent of men perpetuate partner abuse in self-defense. Dr. David Fontes, the director of Stop Abuse for Everyone (SAFE), has also found that only a small percentage of female abusers are acting in self-defense.

It is true, as crime statistics indicate, that women are more likely to suffer serious injury in domestic violence than men are. However, such statistics overstate the disparity because an abused woman is many times more likely to report abuse as an abused man. Many men hesitate to call the police because they assume, often correctly, that the police will automatically treat them as if they are the perpetrator.

Nor do husbands murder their wives significantly more than wives murder their husbands. A 1994 Department of Justice study analyzed 10,000 cases and found that women make up over 40 percent of those charged in familial murders. And because women who murder their husbands tend to use less detectable or traceable methods--such as poisoning (which are often ruled "heart attacks") and hiring others to do the killing (which usually aren't counted as "murders by wives" in official crime statistics), these murders are far less likely to be noticed than murders by men, which are usually committed with guns.

Mainstream feminist organizations, however, have steadfastly maintained that women are only victims of, but rarely perpetrators of, domestic violence. As Pearson points out, such organizations are not doing women any favors. By denying the existence of female batterers, abusive women are not getting the treatment and counseling services that they need. Worse, by allowing them to go unpunished, they are encouraged to believe that they can get away with their abuse indefinitely. This frequently results in escalating abuse of men (and children) and, sometimes, abuse of women when men finally strike back.

Pearson also notes that because feminists deny woman's capacity for violence, the serious problem of lesbian battery--which research clearly indicates is at least as common as heterosexual battery--has been swept under the rug. Sociology professor Claire Renzetti, author of Violent Betrayal: Partner Abuse in Lesbian Relationships, says that lesbian batterers "display a terrifying ingenuity in their selection of abuse tactics, frequently tailoring the abuse to the specific vulnerabilities of their partners."

The list of prominent feminist and female dissidents who are demanding acknowledgment of, and accountability from, female batterers is growing. They include: Canadian Senator Anne Cools, a former shelter director and a pioneer of the battered women's movement; author/activist Erin Pizzey, who set up the first battered women's shelter ever in England in 1971; Cathy Young, author of Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve Equality; Donna Laframboise of the Canadian National Post; author and columnist Wendy McElroy, founder of Independent Feminists and herself a former DV victim; Patricia Overberg and Carol Ensign, former and current directors of the Valley Oasis Shelter in Lancaster, California, one of the few domestic violence shelters in the country which accepts men; Christina Hoff Sommers, author of Who Stole Feminism?, which details how feminists obtain inflated domestic violence numbers by lumping "shouting" and "slamming doors" with real domestic abuse; former Women's Studies professor Daphne Patai, author of Professing Feminism; Pearson; Steinmetz; and Renzetti. Recently both the American Medical Association and the Center for Disease Control have issued statements acknowledging the need for attention to male victims of domestic violence.

Familial violence – by and against both men and women – is a serious problem in a violence-wracked America, but it is a problem for which both men

and women share responsibility. Over the past 30 years, feminist activists have justly called abusive men to account for their despicable actions. It's now time to do the same for abusive women.

Will Some Reservists' Homecoming Be a Jail Cell?


More than 100,000 reservists are currently stationed in Iraq, as well as 2,500 members of the Illinois National Guard. Many will remain on active duty for as long as 18 months. But will some Illinois fathers' homecoming be a jail cell?

It's difficult to believe, but the answer may be "yes."

It happened after the first Gulf War. Some of the more than 250,000 reservists called up returned saddled with large child support arrearages they were unable to pay. As interest and penalties on the overdue support piled up, many spent years trying to dig themselves out of debt, while often facing unremitting government harassment. Some lost their driver's licenses and business licenses. Others had their passports and bank accounts seized and their taxes intercepted. Some even faced jail.

Many reservists and guardsmen currently serving abroad are facing the same problem. Their child support obligations are based on their civilian pay, which is generally higher than active duty pay. When called up they are sometimes obligated to pay an impossibly high percentage of their income in child support.

For example, the active-duty pay of an Illinois National Guardsman who has served for five years and is an (E5) is $1,991 before taxes. If this guardsman is a divorced father of three whose civilian pay is $4,500 a month after taxes, his child support is generally about $1,450 a month--nearly three-quarters of his active-duty pay.

Normally when an obligor loses his job or suffers a pay cut he can go to court and request a downward modification. However, since guardsmen and reservists are sometimes mobilized with as little as one day's notice, few are able to obtain modifications before they leave. Worse, these soldiers cannot get relief when they return home because the federal Bradley amendment prevents judges from retroactively forgiving support.

Fortunately a workable solution to this problem was just introduced into the Illinois legislature by Senator Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) and Representative Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago). Senate Bill 2895 would require courts to modify the child support obligations of guardsmen and reservists stationed abroad by the same proportion that the soldier's military pay falls below his civilian pay. The modification would be retroactive to the date the soldiers were called up to active duty, and the obligor would have six months from the date of his discharge from active duty to file for the reduction.

Missouri passed legislation to address this problem shortly before the first Gulf War, and the legislation has been effective in protecting fathers.

The child support snare faced by many reservists and guardsmen represents an avoidable and morally indefensible breach of faith with fathers who serve. All of us can agree that fathers should do right by their children. SB 2895 will ensure that the child support system does right by fathers.

Male-Female Wage Gap Largely Reflects Male Sacrifice, not "Discrimination"


In her column "You've come a long way, maybe", Angela Walters writes "According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Women Bureau, women are paid 74 cents for every dollar that men make." According to former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich the current number is actually 76 percent, not 74 percent, but the better question is "Why do men make more money than women?"

The answer has little to do with discrimination.

To begin with, men work considerably more hours than women do. Men work 90 percent of the overtime hours in the United States and full-time employed males work, on average, eight hours a week (or over 400 hours a year) more than women do.

The "76 cents for every dollar" statistic is misleading because it creates the illusion that women are making 76 percent of men for the same number of hours worked. Women earn 76 percent of what men earn but for working roughly 84 percent (not 100 percent) of the hours that men work.

If we use wages based on an equal number of hours worked (rather than gross income) over half of the gender difference between men and women disappears.

So, going by wages for equal hours worked women are up to earning roughly 90 percent (76 percent divided by 84 percent) of what men earn. What else are we leaving out?

Plenty. Men earn more money than women because:

1) Men do the dangerous jobs. Every year between 6,000 and 10,000 people are killed in work related accidents in the United States - roughly 95 percent of them male (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).

Ten times that number die from occupational diseases, such as black lung disease and occupationally related lung cancers - again overwhelmingly male.

Over 6 million suffer work related injuries from broken limbs to bad backs to blindness - again overwhelmingly male ("Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect," Bureau of Labor Statistics).

While even working-class women are likely to work in safe, comfortable offices as secretaries and file clerks, men are working on roofs and sides of buildings, in sewers, in mines, in factories, on power poles, in the heat and in the cold, at night and on weekends.

Many of these jobs, such as construction worker, fireman, roofer, miner, welder, oil worker, forklift and crane operator, electrician, truck driver, etc., pay better specifically because there are clear hazards associated with them.

There is a straight progression along gender lines between safe jobs and hazardous jobs - the more hazardous it is, the more male it is (United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings).

2) Men are far more likely to work graveyard shifts, endure long commutes and working weekends, and to travel for their work.

3) Because men have been saddled with the breadwinner burden for longer than women, there is a large experience gap between them. Full-time employed females have, as a whole, 25 percent less job experience than their male counterparts, which is (of course) reflected in their wages (June O'Neill and Solomon Polacheck, "Why the Gender Gap in Wages Narrowed in the 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics 11, no. 1, Jan. 1993).

The majority of this gap appears in older workers and, accordingly, the wage gap among older workers is far greater than that among younger workers.

The 76 percent statistic is also distorted by the large number of 50 and 60 year-old males who, with 30 or 40 years of experience, are making higher wages. Many of their wives spent much of their lives working part-time or as full-time homemakers and thus make far less money, even though they, as a group, spend more money than their male counterparts.

4) Women entered the workplace in large numbers at a time when unions were weak. Thus the mostly male unions, largely formed 50 or 75 years ago, are generally more entrenched and stronger than the majority female unions.

5) Women often take years off (or work part-time) to take care of their young children. When women return to their full-time careers years later they are way behind men.

It is upon the birth of a family's first child that the wage gap between men and women really kicks in. The man, overwhelmed with bills, sets himself upon the task of supporting his newly enlarged family and the woman takes on the burden of primary care-giver to the children.

Because of the far-more constraining gender roles imposed upon men, taking years off to rear children is simply not an option, although studies have shown that many men (wistfully) long for just such an option.

So, accounting for all this, what wage gap, if any, is left?

Not much. According to surveys by the Independent Women's Forum and by the Cato Institute, when all of the above factors are considered, women earn over 98 percent of what men earn.

One of the problems is that American society does little to compensate women or make adjustments for the earning loss they take when they have children.

An example in university life is that women are often under pressure to "publish or perish" in the struggle for tenure at just the same time in their lives when their biological clock is putting them under pressure to have children.

This is not "discrimination" but it is insensitivity. Society could go a long way toward eliminating the gender wage gap by trying to institute measures to reduce the career damage done to women by child-rearing. In turn, by reducing the damage done to women's careers by child-rearing we could take some of the financial burden off of men and free them to do more child-rearing, which in turn would help women's careers.

Is the male role of breadwinner and primary wage-earner a privilege?

For successful men in safe jobs, perhaps it is. But for the majority of men it is not privilege at all, even if their wages are still somewhat higher than that of their female counterparts.

Interestingly, the founders of the National Organization for Women (NOW) saw the male breadwinner role as highly burdensome. The original NOW Statement of Purpose reads:

"We reject the current assumptions that a man must carry the sole burden of supporting himself, his wife, and family, and that a woman is automatically entitled to lifelong support by a man upon her marriage, or that marriage, home, and family are primarily woman's world and responsibility - hers to dominate - his to support."

And support men do, at the expense of their health, their safety, and sometimes their lives. Men earn more money than women because they make more sacrifices to make money, not because of "discrimination."

The Heart of Darkness: Parental Alienation Syndrome


The four year-old boy is jumping up and down with joy.

"Daddy! Daddy!"

Dad gets out of the car.

"Daddy's here! Daddy's here!"

The boy is behind a locked screen door. He tries to open it.

"Daddy's here! Mommy, look, daddy's here!"

Dad knows he shouldn't open the door. He waits for his ex-wife to open the door. She won't do it.

"This is my visitation time," dad says, waving a court document.

Mom still won't open the door. The boy is jumping up and down, saying "daddy, daddy" and tries to open the screen door.

Dad walks back to his car. The boy doesn't understand. He disappears inside the house.

The police arrive. Dad called them. He shows the officers his court documents. The officers go inside to investigate. They come out a few minutes later. The officer tells dad "your son says he doesn't want to see you. There's nothing I can do. You'll have to deal with it in the court. I can't make him go with you if he doesn't want to."

In ways large and small, millions of American children have been taught to hate their noncustodial parents. They, and the targeted parents, are victims of Parental Alienation Syndrome.

Victor is the target parent in a vicious alienation campaign which has deprived him of his two young daughters and the little son who called for his daddy from behind the locked screen door. Jayne A. Major, Ph.D. of Breakthrough Parenting has worked with Victor and other parents whose children are the victims of their ex-spouses' campaigns. Family law attorney Jeff Leving, author of Fathers' Rights: Hard-Hitting and Fair Advice for Every Father Involved in a Custody Dispute, has helped parents who are targets of parental alienation fight for their rights.

To learn more about Parental Alienation Syndrome, see Jayne's Parents Who Have Successfully Fought Parental Alienation Syndrome. Also, read or listen to Glenn's commentary on the Parental Alienation in the high profile LaMusga Move-Away Case, which is scheduled to be heard in the California Supreme Court next week. You can read the explosive, controversial on Glenn's web site. The commentary was delivered by Glenn during the November 16, 2003 broadcast of His Side with Glenn Sacks.

©2010, Glenn Sacks

Truth never damages a cause that is just. - Mohandas K. Gandhi

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