Quantcast

Nation Topics - Gender Issues | The Nation

Topic Page

Nation Topics - Gender Issues

Articles

News and Features

Why are white men so screwed up? If you can believe the polls, they
identify by a huge margin with George W. Bush as one of them. What gives
with these delusions of grandeur in which Joe Six-Pack puts himself in
the same boat with a pampered son of the super-rich? Did average white
males grow up in the lap of luxury and get to squander funds invested by
family friends in failing oil ventures? Can they fashion a well-greased
political career based solely on their fathers' names?

Obviously not, but what has traditionally bound white males to men
like Bush is that they, too, like to think of themselves as being
winners simply as a perk of birth. That way, if they also got poor
grades in college, they could still think of themselves as smart enough
to be president, when even the brightest women couldn't. Not that all
white males are actually winners, but they don't have to feel like
losers, since they can still feel superior to women and minorities.

But now, with equality growing between the sexes and even the
races, white males feel their privilege threatened by the prospect of an
even playing field. They blame this on the Democrats for pushing
affirmative action, which started to break up the old-boy network. So
they tend to vote for Republicans in large numbers, thinking that
progress can be held back and traditional values restored, meaning that
women will be put back in their place.

Such a reversal of white female fortunes would be a disaster for
white males, if they would only stop to think about it, but being white
males, they don't. The brute truth of the statistics on the boom in
American family prosperity is that it is based on females entering the
work force and obtaining better pay. Particularly white females, who
have been the main beneficiaries of efforts to make the job market a bit
less biased.

White men are inclined to think that a rise in women's pay means a
decline in males' standard of living. That's because white males have
not grasped the fact that women tend to intermarry--with men--meaning
that their incomes are shared with husbands and male offspring and even
fathers, whom they occasionally help support.

But beyond the economics of equal pay for equal work, there are
those other "women's issues," which the Democrats support and to which
men are indifferent, most significantly the issue of "choice." If males
would just ponder for a second how women get pregnant, they might not be
so quick to define abortion as a "women's issue."

Let's say that George W. gets to make good on his expressed desire
to pick U.S. Supreme Court justices in the mold of Anthony Scalia and
Clarence Thomas, who then overturn Roe vs. Wade. Where does that leave
men who have gotten women pregnant and decide they are not ready for
fatherhood? Well, in the bad old days, it left them accompanying fearful
women on a trip to Tijuana or some back-alley abortion mill in this
country, in the process not only betraying the health needs of a woman
they claimed to love but incurring legal risks as well.

It's perplexing how a host of other issues that would seem to
affect men equally with women got to be gender-defined in polls. Why are
women more pro-environment, pro-children and pro-health care, or more
concerned about saving Social Security? Is it that Darwinian nesting
thing? Women want the civilizing effect of government to protect the
vulnerable. Men see themselves as cowboys at war on the frontier in need
of personal arms and a strong cavalry at the fort to back them up.

Do men not know that if Social Security gets wrecked with this
privatization gamble Bush is hustling, they will be hurt? Even younger
men who might have to cut into their discretionary income to take care
of their aging parents. As for the environment, one has to assume men's
lungs are not gender-protected from the poisonous fumes that now make
Houston the pollution capital of the nation. Surely males can appreciate
the wonders of hunting and fishing in the pristine environment of Alaska
that is threatened by the Bush-Cheney team's promise to rape its energy
resources and turn it into another Texas.

If being pro-choice, pro-environment and in favor of the security
of older people makes Al Gore a wimp, shouldn't we men reexamine our
macho standards? Remember that limp cigarette in the mouth of the cowboy
in those anti-tobacco ads that link smoking with impotency? Macho men
are a dying breed.

Christina Hoff Summers is hot with righteous indignation on boys' behalf.

I still think third-party politics is mostly a crock, but then, so is two-party politics.

Since 1988, when it became available in France, American women have been waiting for mifepristone.

The women's liberation movement, as it was called in the sixties and seventies, was the largest social movement in the history of the United States--and probably in the world.

Michael Kimmel served as the Justice Department's expert witness on gender issues in the VMI and Citadel litigation.

In the end, after months of waffling, I violated my principles and went to the Million Mom March for gun control--make that "common-sense gun control." I've never liked maternalist politics: It r

The atrocities of the Afghan Taliban toward women have been widely reported in the Western press: women banned from work; forbidden to leave their homes unless shrouded in the burkha, a voluminou

After a century of repressing or deriding Woman as a symbol of beauty, high culture in the West has suddenly gone over.

Isn't it curious how often the policy disaster that is posited as the thing that will never happen takes place within minutes?

Blogs

A new guide for journalists argues that we get an inaccurate picture of reproductive health issues when we use language carelessly.

January 22, 2015

Despite promises of “zero tolerance” for sex crimes, new reforms and a report showing fewer incidences of assault, members of the military are still being raped, filmed while showering and discouraged from reporting.

December 5, 2014

Flexible scheduling is creating an on-call nightmare for working people.

October 15, 2014

A new report suggests that racial disparities in women’s health are aggravated by states’ refusal to expand Medicaid.

October 14, 2014

The state of California has adopted a new framework of consent for colleges and universities which will have widespread implications for prosecuting sexual assault.

October 14, 2014

VAWA has sparked real progress—but we can do more to ensure that survivors have stable jobs and housing.

September 12, 2014

A new law in Illinois is set to modernize the way bosses deal with pregnant employees.

August 27, 2014

Sexual assault is a persistent problem within police departments.

August 27, 2014

A new bill would let families on welfare afford this basic necessity. What’s wrong with that?

August 13, 2014

Jobs that demand constant social media interaction create different burdens for men and women.

August 12, 2014