Where's the White House Council on Men and Boys?Marybeth Hicks elaborates:
A council on men and boys would promote stable marriage as the best avenue to improve the lives and living conditions of America's women and families. A council on men and boys would address the crisis in American manhood that results in the scourge of infidelity, divorce, lack of commitment and fatherhood with multiple partners.Dr. Helen doesn't like the idea, or at least not Marybeth Hicks's version of it:
If Ms. Hicks wonders why men have no interest in a "stable marriage," or commitment, she need only look as far as her own dripping disdain for men and her lack of insight into a culture that holds men responsible, portrays women as victims, and then sets up a "council" to correct a problem that women spend over 30 years in the making. A council on women is about expanding their opportunities. A council on men is about controlling them.I don't buy that explanation for why men screw up society. Men have been screwing up society forever. It's not the result of a few decades of anti-male feminists.
But I want to get back to the thing that actually happened -- the "White House Council on Women and Girls." What I want to know is: why is this really necessary?
Unequal pay? Obama loves to say that women are paid only 78 cents on the dollars relative to men. It's not at all clear to me that women are paid unequally. But that's a complicated enough topic that I want to leave it for a whole other blog post. (If you have actual evidence on this question that controls for all the relevant variables, please let me know in the comments. I cannot emphasize that italicized part enough.)
I'm particularly wondering about the "girls" part. They pointedly chose to put "girls" in the title, not just "women." Why do we need a White House Council on girls rather than, say, boys? This is not a rhetorical question -- I'd be interested to see any answers in the comments.
Lorrie Moore wrote a New York Times op-ed last year that seems mostly outdated because it was about the Hillary Clinton campaign. But it had one insight that's not about the presidential race and is still very relevant:
The children who are suffering in this country, who are having trouble in school, and for whom the murder and suicide rates and economic dropout rates are high, are boys — especially boys of color, for whom the whole educational system, starting in kindergarten, often feels a form of exile, a system designed by and for white girls.
In the progressive Midwestern city where I live, the high school dropout rate for these alienated and written-off boys is alarmingly high. Some are even middle-class, but many are just hanging on, their families torn apart by harsh economics and a merciless criminal justice system. Why does it seem to be the Republicans who are more vocal about reforming our drug laws? Why has no one in the Democratic Party campaigned to have felons who have served their time made full citizens again? Their continued disenfranchisement is a foolhardy strike against these men and their families.
RELATED: "What are the disadvantages of being male?"
UPDATE: One of the commenters on my mom's post that links to this post makes a good point:
[T]he message here seems to be that no matter how bad things get for boys/men, well, they're men, so they can look after themselves.Another commenter has this ground-breaking idea:
Women, on the other hand, need a Presidential Council to make sure they're doing all right, even if by many metrics they are outperforming men.
I think I'd be vaguely insulted if I were a woman.
The White House Council on Women and Girls should be merged with the White House Council on Men and Boys to create the White House Council on People, the goal of which is to promote policies that help people. President Obama should head the Council, and its name can be shortened to the White House.