19 August 2013

Fall of Men *Eyeroll*

It is incredibly obvious that we live in an andrarchy. Men have a massive power differential over women. The humor of the following is a prime example of this fact:

Image from I Waste So Much Time, content from Saturday Night Live
We can look at every single president of the United States.

Or every Vice President of the United States. Or every Secretary General of the United Nations. Currently only three of the nine Supreme Court justices are women (the most in its history), and only one other woman has ever served on the Supreme Court. Congressional diversity is the highest it has ever been, and by highest for example only 81 of the 435 Representatives are women.

We see gender disparities all over the place, and they are very clear empirically. For example, women experience gender bias in STEM fields:

"Science faculty's subtle gender biases favor male students"
The gender gap certainly exists in wages, board positions, and CEO positions. This is particularly odd, because:
"Aside from fairness issues, gender pay discrimination is not economically healthy because companies are better off when they have more women in management roles. CNBC quotes a 2011 survey by Catalyst showing that company boards made up of 19 to 44 percent women achieved 26 percent more return on invested capital than those firms with no women board members. It also makes it difficult to recruit women to these high responsibility positions when they know they'll be paid less than their male counterparts." (The Gender Pay Gap: It Affects Us All)
Systematic sexism is real and alive. If men still aren't opening their eyes to the issue, then I'm going to have to pass them on to Greta Christina to give some examples of how men are hurt by the andrarchy and sexism. Some of her articles on the subject include: "How Sexism Hurts Men: 'Undateable'",  "How Sexism Hurts Men, Part 2: Why do I Care", and "5 Stupid, Unfair and Sexist Things Expected of Men."

Andarchy is alive.

Yet I see articles like "School has Become Too Hostile to Boys."

I think part of the article is well-taken, namely that zero-tolerance policies rarely make sense. But then there is this part:

"On the other hand, millions of boys are struggling academically. A large and growing male cohort is falling behind in grades and disengaged from school. College has never been more important to a young person’s life prospects, and today boys are far less likely than girls to pursue education beyond high school." ("School has Become Too Hostile to Boys")
My first reaction is to pull a page from Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
"...I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say when there are nine..." After all, as she notes, there have been nine men on the Supreme Court ("Ginsburg Wants to See All Female Supreme Court")
Yet in that same paragraph it get's even crazier, stating:
"As our schools become more risk averse, the gender gap favoring girls is threatening to become a chasm." ("School has Become Too Hostile to Boys")
Yes, there is a gender gap in education. Yet a gap at one level doesn't mean the gap persists throughout the entire system. Women may be higher achieving in primary, secondary, and even post-secondary education, but as I showed before that isn't translating into women gaining an advantage over men. As one report notes:
"In most science disciplines studied, the percentage of women among recent PhD recipients is much higher than their percentage among assistant professors, the typical rank of recently hired faculty. Even in disciplines where women outnumber men earning PhDs, the percentage of assistant professors who are White male is greater than females." (A National Analysis of Diversity in Science and Engineering Faculties at Research Universities)
Women essentially have to outperform men just to be considered equal to them. So even if women are outperforming men in school, that doesn't really change the male-centric system we live in. I also feel the need to point out that these are not biological, but cultural disparities.

I just don't get where I am suppose to feel sorry for men, or to even feel like men are getting left behind. There has been talk about the "Fall of Men," yet I kind of want somebody to explain why I should give this any credence? We live in a society that systematically oppressed women, and that systematic oppression is clear and empirical. I have a hard time seeing any disadvantage a man feels being the result of anything other than the andrarchy that favors said man in the first place (what I mean to say here is you may be able to give examples of men being disadvantaged or underrepresented in an area considered feminine and emasculating men who enter it, but that is still anti-female sexism at play). Anybody want to offer some thoughts?


  1. Just for a disclaimer, if this is particularly rambly or scatter-brained it probably has to do with me choosing to write this after having wrapped up moving...

  2. Hi,
    You have a great site here. I'm the artist that created those presidential portraits you've used in this post. Can you please remove that image? I'm trying to stop the spread of my artwork, as it's already been used without my permission a million times.
    Thank you,
    Kelly O'Connell