Women 's health. When women have a deficit, for example, they're underrepresented in engineering, massive redress programs are initiated but when men have the deficit, even the ultimate deficit--they die 5.3 years younger and live their last decade in worse physical and mental health--all we see is yet more focus on women's health. Countless nonprofits and government agencies address women's health, few address men's.
Violence against women. What about violence against men? The research clearly indicates that 25% to 45% of severe domestic violence is initiated by women. Yet Obama ignores that.
Economic security. In announcing the Council, Obama said, "Women still earn just 78 cents for every dollar men make." Few statistics are more misleading: As is well documented, for the same work and same level of expertise, women earn at least as much as men. But the Council, using such profoundly misleading statistics, will likely demand legislation hurting men further--raising women's pay but not men's. And in a tight economy, tight budgets will often mean that if women's pay must be raised, men's will be decreased.
Balance between work and family. The Council on Women and Girls will, for example, likely urge employers to provide paid family leave, which more women than men will use, thereby saddling men with the work those women leave behind.
If President Obama were to be fair, he would institute a Council on Men and Boys. Its mandates would include:
- Reducing the life-expectancy gap between men and women.
- Helping to ensure that men and women receive equal pay for truly equal work.
- Reducing domestic violence against men and women.
- Ensuring fairness to men and women in divorce and custody cases.
- Ensuring fairness to men and women in college admissions, hiring and promotion. (For example, among this year's college graduates, almost 60% will be women, only 40% men. Society didn't tolerate it when, decades ago, the situation was the reverse and society shouldn't tolerate it now.)
- Ensuring that the curriculum and the media doesn't unfairly demonize boys and men. Today, textbooks focus on women's accomplishments and men's evils. Boys are falling further and further behind girls in student achievement. Movies and television programs disproportionately portray women as smart and efficacious, men as boors, idiots, dishonest, and/or violent. Men have contributed mightily to society: from the transformative (inventing everything from refrigeration to penicillin to Google) to the mundane (from building our homes to policing our streets to digging our graves.)
Obama claims to be a president for all Americans. He needs to prove it.