Updated April 19, 2018
Author of Male Matters USA: Jerry A. Boggs
I have researched and written about gender issues since around 1978. I was a feminist. In 1980, I became a contributing editor of a feminist newsletter at my workplace. I wrote often about societal oppression of girls and women, with a particular emphasis on the sexes’ earnings differential, which I attributed fully to discrimination.
Many of the women at work loved me for my views. Many of the men shunned me. Some accused me, a newly divorced man at the time, of “trying to get dates.”
It all changed for me one day when I asked myself: Why am I putting in so much overtime at work and trying to move up in the ranks?
I had to admit it was partly because I saw it as a way of gaining the respect of my friends and of society in general. But mainly I was in fact trying to make myself attractive to women and get dates. I wanted to be able to truthfully say I pull in an impressive amount of money if a date asked me how much I make. More truth: I needed a lot of money to finance nights out with dates, as well as trips that would convince a date I was truly interested in her. I also sometimes felt I needed to spend a lot of money on nights out if I wanted a woman to choose me for a relationship over any competitor vowing for her time.
In time, it dawned on me that few women did all that (and most still don’t even today, more than three decades later). They generally picked jobs that demanded less and hence paid less. Far more men than women applied for management jobs and the jobs requiring specialized skills.
Little wonder there was and is a gender wage gap.
From then on, I began to examine gender issues one by one. The end result is probably best reflected in my “A Comprehensive Look at Gender Equality: The Doctrinaire Institute for Women’s Policy Research.”
I post news and views on gender issues as often as possible. On occasion I also post my own original commentaries, as well as short book and web site reviews, and other miscellaneous links and items pertaining to gender from the rarely heard “male” perspective.
At times I may re-edit or completely re-write a commentary if I develop new insights or need to correct lapses of logic or other errors made while in a state of less than total wakefulness. For me, there is no final draft!
Unfortunately, we unpaid free-lance bloggers, unlike employed journalists, do not have editors or writing coaches to polish our work to perfection. Fortunately, we bloggers do not have editors or writing coaches to censor what they think may offend women, especially the feminist employees waiting for them just outside their door.
I criticize in my blog much of what is put forth by radical, ideological feminists (as opposed to the truly egalitarian feminists who are concerned also about men’s burdens). But I believe these feminists have as much right to proffer their views as I do mine.
My larger complaint is with the mainstream media. When reporting on gender issues, most of the media seem to think only the feminist or female perspective warrants air time. After you have read some of my material, I hope you will recognize how unfair and censorious this is, and how opposed it is to the media’s own supposed principles of objectivity and balance. Most of all, I hope you realize how the media’s one-sidedness on gender issues subverts the very gender equality the media purportedly advocate.
For comments on the media’s political bias — and the revolt against it — see “And the Winner Is … Anyone but the Media.” If, as the commentary says, the media can be biased in the world of regular politics, they can certainly be biased, considering journalists’ perception of women as the “oppressed underdog,” in the world of gender politics, as a Washington Post article illustrates. See also the November 2012 PEW study “The Final Days of the Media Campaign 2012.”
As for feminism, I accept it and promote it when it means equal opportunity, rights, and responsibilities for both sexes. What I reject and oppose is many of the views of such feminist leaders as Gloria Steinem, Catharine MacKinnon, and Terry O’Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women. (See “Many Feminist Writers Confuse Feminism and Feminist Leaders.”)
Although these so-called feminists occasionally present sensible ideas, they all too often behave like misguided religious leaders (and religious fanatics) who interpret their religion to suit their extreme views and uphold it as superior to other religions. These women, and the men who mimic them, are not feminists. They are sexists in feminist clothing, especially when uttering such firebrand statements as this one by a Canadian feminist group: “The relative power of men compared to that of women is profoundly affected by sexist violence against women. Men have, and do use, this violence to get or keep control of women as a display of power.” (My blog shows how profoundly sexist and wrong this statement is. What would the feminist group say if I told it men commit far more violence against men than against women, and that there are more men who kill themselves than there are women killed by men. See my commentary “An Open Letter to the Senate Judiciary on the VAWA.”)
Here’s what I consider proof that when it comes to gender issues, most of the media engage in an antimale bias that is deliberate. (My proof is other than the “obvious” proof that a man’s side to a gender issue is almost always missing in a report; this could be blamed on the media’s “innocent” ignorance or laziness. For proof that the media can be politically biased, see “Even Harvard Finds The Media Biased.” For an example of a newspaper’s typical, jaw-dropping bias against men, see the report by the respected scholar Adam Jones, “The Globe and Males.” Says Jones, “It is an approach that would leave a reader of humane sensibilities aghast — if its targets had been female rather than male.” Warren Farrell says much the same about The New York Times.)
On March 7, 2010, CNN’s “Reliable Sources” reported this result of a survey by Pew Research Center: “72% agreed that most news sources are biased in their coverage.” (See also the June 19, 2014, Gallup report “Americans’ Confidence in News Media Remains Low.”) According to my many years’ experience as a gender research-writer, biased news sources are biased most often in their coverage of gender issues. See one example: “My ego is less bruised than my respect for network news.” For another: “Nova Scotia hitman case reinforces gender bias of Canadian courts”
Media journalists are researchers if nothing else. As such, they are trained to go to the farthest corner, to dig beneath the smallest rock, in their pursuit of facts and opinions to reflect a balanced view.
So if journalists desire the objectivity and balance they claim to uphold and which they have been trained to dig deep for, why don’t they do what I, as someone who has had no formal training in research, have done countless times when looking for a balance to something dispensed by, say, Gloria Steinem: do a quick and easy Google search on “men’s issues”? Do it yourself and see what you get. In just seconds, a journalist can find men’s “non-feminist” views, including scholarly views by prominent gender experts such as Warren Farrell, on virtually any gender issue. (NOTE: Don’t search on “men’s gender issues.” The word “gender” triggers “women’s issues;” that’s because most people, including those at Google, apparently think men have no gender issues — thanks to the mainstream media’s dogged resistance to a male view — and have come to perceive a gender issue as a women’s or a feminist issue.)
“I’ve often said that it’s the journalistic sins of omission that are more damning than the industry’s sins of commission.” -columnist Michelle Maukin
Thus, even the laziest, most ignorant journalists have no excuse for not providing a “male balance” in their gender stories. Their only barrier is an antimale bias.
That bias may lead one to believe that when journalists say, “The public has a right to know,” what they often mean is “The public has a right to know what we want them to know.”
“Across [The New York Times’] many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.” -Former New York Times public editor, Arthur Brisbane
Note: I often post commentaries by others whose views I don’t subscribe to 100 percent. While I typically agree with a writers’ main point, I may disagree with some or many of their ancillary points.