The bulk of us in the middle of the bell curve of male perspectives and issues regarding family are being shouted down by the din from the echo chambers on the right and left. A polarized media spin which ignores the voices and opinions of men. Regardless of liberal or conservative it is a cacophony of moral busybodies advocating for the “rights” of women while holding men responsible to pay for the choices made by others. And unfortunately our perceptions and policies on men, father, boys, and families, are derived from the loud extreme ends and not from the needs, wants, and desires of men and boys in middle America as expressed by them.
Years back (2004) we at the Coalition of Fathers and Families NY, Inc. (FaFNY.org) complained to the Albany (NY) Times Union about sexual bias in reporting with them having more woman’s perspectives than men’s. Of course they denied it. So we did a content analysis over a 30 day period where we cut over 60 articles about women’s issues with none of them negative and 5 articles about men, 3 negative. We met with the editorial board, they again denied being biased and we then plunked the paper articles on the table in front of them in 2 piles. The long pregnant pause set over the room. This, we said, shows great sexual bias in reporting against men, a regurgitation of the NY Times bias against men.
“We don’t see it that way” said the mostly male editorial board, flat-out denial of the evidence before them. Perhaps our response to their continued head in the sand denial of bias was a little extreme when we gave them the “Pretty Pig Award” for 2004 as “You can put as much lipstick on a pig as you want but at the end of the day it’s still a … pig”. We even offered to provide little votive boxes with pink ribbons to the male editors so they could carry their testicles around with them and put them safely away while at work. It doesn’t hurt to burn a bridge that they won’t let you cross anyway.
One would have hoped over the next 10 plus years that social media and competing news outlets would have made things better, but it hasn’t. At best it is the same, perhaps even worse with truth second to belief. This past year I found the same NY Times regurgitation of anti male bias in the Schenectady (NY) Gazette online edition. I complained to the editorial board that they had more NY Times content than local news, mostly anti-male. I posted this opinion on their web-based comments section for each anti male article but when I didn’t even receive a form response to any of my inquiries I cancelled my subscription.
Over the past few days Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/02/07/better-sex-better-health-more-money-what-men-really-get-out-marriage.html#) Science Daily (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170207135943.htm#.WJ9qHLLgizs.facebook), and National Review (http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444746/marriage-benefits-men-financial-health-sex-divorce-caveat?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=wolfinger) have had pieces advising men to get married for their own good. This on the heels of a podcast by Prager University which resulted in an outpouring of negative “what planet are you on” responses by men. All the articles are based on one recent study by a pro marriage sociologist that marriage is good for men resulting in “more sex, better health, and more money”. Don’t be a selfish oaf going your own way they advise as there is obviously something wrong with men. We see the echo regurgitation in multiple outlets of the “marriage” party line, even in the face of push back from men who point out the 50% divorce rate, the vast majority filed by women, which results in the destruction of many men.
This on top of a January NY Post hit piece on men, “How to make deadbeat dads do more to help out” (http://nypost.com/2016/12/21/how-to-make-deadbeat-dads-do-more-to-help-out/). Even though the myth of the deadbeat dad was busted back in 1995 finding that the majority of men were beat dead, dead broke, and disenfranchised, they hold to the “deadbeat” label. Recent studies have shown that the bulk of unpaid child support is due to poverty on the part of men. Ironically the focus of the article is NOT how to get poor men out of poverty for their health and well-being, it is to try to get them to pay into federal coffers to reimburse for welfare and entitlement payments given to women. In this day and age of “gender” equality one does wonder why we don’t hold mothers accountable for financially providing for their children and have developed a social safety net for women and children only.
In 1975 we had a divorce rate in single digits as was the rate of homes with children absent a father. The echo chambers of right and left have pushed policies which caused a divorce rate of 50% and 40% of children living in homes absent a father. Contrary to the din which would lay the blame on men and fathers as “abusive deadbeats who forego marriage” the result is from the negative consequences for men. Over two-thirds of divorces are unilaterally filed by women against men, men lose custody of their children over 85% of the time, and they are then forced to pay for the children they aren’t allowed to raise. There are no family violence programs for male victims of family violence nor are there any financial social safety nets for men.
I have been a men, boy, father, and family activist now for over 20 years with organizations like FaFNY (http://www.fafny.org/), the National Coalition For Men (http://ncfm.org/), NY Men’s Action Network (http://www.nymensactionnetwork.org/), and Friends for the Protection of Men (https://www.facebook.com/groups/protectionformen/). Maybe it’s time you stopped telling us how to be men, fathers and families. Maybe it’s time you stopped turning a blind eye to our problems. And maybe it’s time you stopped turning a deaf ear to our issues. You could learn more with your mouth closed and your ears open. That is my “Dad” advice, direct to you from my father.