The White House Council on Men and Boys

For two years Warren Farrell has fought to create a White House Council on Men and Boys. He submitted his proposal to the White House following the creation of the White House Council on Women and Girls. However, Farrell’s proposal remains in limbo. In a recent interview Farrell explained the situation:

“Joshua Dubois, the White House director of Faith-based and Neighborhood initiatives, has said his office cannot take responsibility for moving this through,” said Farrell. “The reason he gave us was that he was focused on fulfilling what he was already assigned to do, which was to focus on fatherhood and marriage, proposals that Obama has suggested for funding as of last Fathers Day.”

Farrell’s proposal currently is sitting in Obama’s Chief of Staff William Daley’s office.

“They have acknowledged that they have received the proposal plus about 35 letters of endorsements from organizations such as the Boy Scouts,” Farrell said adding that the administration has been silent since.

To date, the White House has not moved on the proposal. According to Christina Hoff Sommers, the White House has not even agreed to a meeting to discuss the proposal. Farrell offered two explanations for the proposal’s limbo status: a busy administration and feminist opposition. As he explained: 

“At the very top of the administration there is a fair amount of feminist orientation and there are two feminist views. One is that the patriarchy has dominated the system, that men succeed at the expense of women, and that things done for boys and men would dilute the emphasis on women and girls. The second feminist view, more what I express in the proposal, is that we are all part of the same family boat,” said Farrell. “It appears that the feminists in the White House [fit the first view].”

Farrell is skeptical of the second possibility – that the administration is too busy to take up the issue.

“My objection to that answer is, the reason we have asked for a council is that it could be done by an executive order,” Farrell said. “It would not need to go through Congress. Second, it is very bipartisan. If there is anything that President Obama can do to give something to the Republicans – who are very pro-family – to to say, ‘I am pro-family too, here is somewhere we can both agree, we ought to be supporting everyone in the family.’”

The commission members represent a broad range of political views. The proposal is also backed by statistics showing the problems men and boys face. Support for this council could help those concerns, particularly issues like the high rate of suicide and the dropping academic achievements among males. Unfortunately, it seems that partisan politics may prevent the council’s creation. Given that there are few organizations and groups that address these issues, and fewer that have the funds to make significant impacts, many men and boys will not receive help.

Given the severity of the situation, it is unclear why feminists would oppose the council or seek to delay its creation. The explanation may lie in the bipartisan nature of the proposal and the proposal lacks any political slant. It does not conform to feminist doctrine, focusing instead on the specific needs of boys and men, and providing nonpartisan, male-centric solutions.

For the moment, the proposal will remain on William Daley’s desk.

20 thoughts on “The White House Council on Men and Boys

  1. Well there already IS a group who looks-out for men.

    It’s called THE WHOLE #%*@;£%ING WORLD!!!!!11!!!!

    I thought I should present the feminist side of the argument.

  2. This, everyone, is society`s dirty little secret right here.

    If men and boys are struggling, they don`t want to hear it, see it, or even deal with it.

    Shame on the white house for putting this on the backburner, shame on President Obama for kowtowing to pressure, and shame on america for showing its true colors mixed in with the red, white, and blue.

    Land of the free, home of the brave my butt.

  3. I think one needs to understand why women are ‘helped’ in the first place.

    Women couldn’t keep up in an even contest. Having ‘equality’ would be like pitching an Olympic team against the local little league. The whole point of the feminist campaign is to burden men, in the same way that champion racehorses are made to carry extra weight when running against less talented horses. This is the standard socialist mantra – hobble the strong so that the weak get a chance. Unfortunately, none of this can be said out in the open for fear of damaging feminine ‘self-esteem’, and because it gets the benefit of silence, the fundamental flaws in the argument do not get addressed (such as the many men who are not advantaged who get doubly trod on).

    Anyone who talks openly about helping men will be considered hostile to women’s advancement, and no politician who relies on the female vote will ever spend public money risking their support.

    Obama and Biden must be voted out and it must be seen to be because they alienated male voters before any of the current female favoritism gets abandoned.

  4. “Given the severity of the situation, it is unclear why feminists would oppose the council or seek to delay its creation.”

    Could you give me an example of a feminist group that does this? I haven’t seen one that stepped forward to help but I haven’t seen one oppose it, either.

  5. Could you give me an example of a feminist group that does this?

    I did not say any did. I just cannot find a reason why they would.

  6. Women couldn’t keep up in an even contest.

    That is a pretty sexist statement. While there are instances in which women could not compete on the same level as men, most of the time they can.

    This is the standard socialist mantra – hobble the strong so that the weak get a chance.

    But in this instance it is actually just hobbling the competition. Instead of creating equality, feminist policies create an imbalance that favors women. And as you noted, there are disadvantaged men who get walked on because no one wants to call the bias for what it is.

  7. That is a pretty sexist statement.

    The term sexism assumes the practical validity of the concept of gender equality but the latter is a concept that is purely religious and has no rational basis. Women only seem ‘equal’ in so far as men see them as equal and vice versa. If one argues for the separation of church and state, IMO one should also argue for the separation of the state from any value judgements regarding gender equality.

    “While there are instances in which women could not compete on the same level as men, most of the time they can.”

    I disagree with this. The illusion of female success is helped by the fact that men and boys tend to retreat from or not enter areas where the female percentage relative to males goes above a certain threshold. Further, the self esteem of boys is continually attacked while that of girls is heightened through various means.
    Leaving aside all sporting events, the wage gap is a reflection of female inability to match male earnings. The reason companies don’t disproportionately hire men, as they should, is because the EEOC will give them grief if they do.
    Society’s movers and shakers invariably have above average IQs and the male/female ratio increases exponentially for IQs north of 110 (see figure 1 in this paper). High IQ may be insufficient in and of itself for success but it is definitely necessary.

  8. “I did not say any did. I just cannot find a reason why they would.”

    The way it’s worded implies that some feminists are against the proposed Council.

  9. The way it’s worded implies that some feminists are against the proposed Council.

    Taken by itself, I suppose it could. In context to the rest of the piece, I think it implies an uncertainty about feminist intentions.

  10. The term sexism assumes the practical validity of the concept of gender equality but the latter is a concept that is purely religious and has no rational basis.

    I do understand what you mean by that statement.

    The illusion of female success is helped by the fact that men and boys tend to retreat from or not enter areas where the female percentage relative to males goes above a certain threshold.

    That may be true, however, that does not disprove that women can compete at the same level as men. It only shows that some men are not willing to compete against women.

    Leaving aside all sporting events, the wage gap is a reflection of female inability to match male earnings.

    Yes, but it too simplistic to chalk that difference up to women being unable to compete with men. There are numerous factors that go into the wage gap, including women’s willingness to compete on the same level as men.

  11. “the wage gap is a reflection of female inability to match male earnings”

    Does it not occur to you that the wage gap may be as a result of outdated sterotypes to do with the values of men and women in the workplace,leading to a lower percieved value of women and therefore less women getting promoted?

  12. Does it not occur to you that the wage gap may be as a result of outdated sterotypes to do with the values of men and women in the workplace,leading to a lower percieved value of women and therefore less women getting promoted?

    Yep, that is the standard line. Women are victims. Always victims.

  13. “Yep, that is the standard line. Women are victims. Always victims.”

    I did not say that women are always victims, neither do i think that. Sexism very clearly works both ways, but i think YOU should realise that women don’t just fabricate all gender discrimination out of thin air. I was giving what i believe to be a valid and more reasonable explanation, as opposed to the sexist one.

  14. Does it not occur to you that the wage gap may be as a result of outdated sterotypes to do with the values of men and women in the workplace,leading to a lower percieved value of women and therefore less women getting promoted?

    That does occur sometimes, however, it is not the only reason why women may make less than men. It depends on the job, the hours worked, salary negotiations, willingness to overtime, willingness to fight for promotions, and so on.

  15. Hi Sophia- I should preface this by saying that I like reading your posts.

    As it turns-out, a lot of economists have studied the wage gap and have reached conclusion that outdated stereotypes are not the primary cause (and they aren’t even a minor cause, either.) But I’d like to give you a few examples of how a ‘wage gap’ isn’t indicative of discrimination:

    1. When it comes to part-time work, there’s a wage-gap between men and women which favors women. (Is this an undervaluing of male part-time workers?)

    2. There’s an income gap between SELF-EMPLOYED women and self-employed men. (So if there’s no male boss around to discriminate, why would this happen?)

    One study (I can’t find the link to it this instant) has noticed a similar wage gap exists between straight women and lesbians, with the gap favoring lesbians. (Is straight women’s work-output is undervalued compared to that of lesbians?)

    Clearly, something else is going on:

    Click to access Gender%20Wage%20Gap%20Final%20Report.pdf

    If you’re interested, here’s a meta-analysis of 50 studies on the wage gap. The point which runs throughout is that when you compare apples to apples– comparable men and women– the wage gap vanishes almost entirely. The major differences between male workers and female workers has to do with women having fewer consecutive years in the workforce (many choose to have children), women tend to work work less overtime, tend not to major in technical fields, work less-risky jobs (95% of all on-the-job deaths are male), prefer more flexible hours and so on and so forth. All of these factors add-up to men earning more, on average.

    Now, instances of discrimination against women CAN exist… but the net effect is like that of a pea compared to a mountain. (And, by the way, workplace discrimination can go against men as well– you might want to go ask a male nurse about that if you get a chance.)

    But what I find most interesting of all, Sophia? The above information never seems to make a difference to a True Believer in women’s oppression. It’s as if a lot of people don’t WANT to know about the truth.

  16. “Taken by itself, I suppose it could. In context to the rest of the piece, I think it implies an uncertainty about feminist intentions.”

    Fair enough, but I thought it was an unnecessary shot at feminists. This is a minor issue, though. I agree with the idea of the Council and I hope we get one. Much of my graduate work was on suicide, and I’m a suicide survivor myself. This stuff is really important to me, and the way some (internet) feminists brush male suicide off really grates on me.

  17. Aych – I agree with you that there are many other factors which contribute to the wage gap, i just failed to mention them in my post.

    I must say that i also enjoy reading your posts, I see some MRAs that dismiss women’s problems without giving valid points, which you did not do.

    It can be expected that feminists would return the favor and in some ways I am somewhat unsurprised that there is a lack of much needed support for mens problems, most of which are very real. Instead MRA’s are often branded as ‘whiners’ or ‘woman haters’.

  18. Sophia: Well, yeah, there are situations in which women get the shit end of the stick. In fact, I’ve spent about 35 years on this earth hearing about these situations.

    Apparently, 35 years of listening to women’s complaints isn’t enough. I suppose what I really need is to listen to another 35 years’ worth of women’s complaints and forget about my own existence entirely.

  19. TS,

    I was trying to make the point that there is no rational basis but only a religious one for saying that gender equality is a ‘good’ thing. In order for one gender to be equal to another, they must be equal in every aspect which they clearly are not. A second related point is that there is no reason to say that gender equality is better than gender inequality.

    Sophia,

    My argument is that discrimination, in the aggregate, against women competing with men for work is justified based on pure economic motives i.e. women have always represented an inevitable proclivity to make choices that benefit themselves rather than the company. When companies or the government subsidize female lifestyle choices, they take money out of MALE pockets to do so. Many of those men do not want to subsidize said choices, particularly when women use those subsidies to gain leverage against other men when competing for jobs. Ergo, the current subsidy system uses the earnings of working men to discriminate against other men in favor of women entering the workforce.

    A woman is not pejoratively inferior because she earns less than a man as a result of her choices. Those choices have a critical societal importance. However, in a company’s eyes, they are unfavorable. The purpose of male earnings is primarily to provide for the women to whom they are obligated. A workforce without legislated equity has a higher economic value than one with such a policy.

    The feminist approaches to (a) belittle women who do not align their choices with those of men or to (b) garnish male earnings to compensate for female choices are essentially condescending and paternalistic to women because in one instance they tell women that the masculine ethic is superior and in the other that women need handouts from men in order to think more highly of themselves.

  20. Pingback: Top posts of 2011 | Toy Soldiers

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