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Mens Rights = Equal Rights

October 18, 2009

Thanks to Marc A. for this extensive and well documented discussion of all issues.  Your hard work is greatly appreciated…

There’s nothing new about the need for men’s rights. Historically, both men and women were institutionally discriminated against based on gender roles. Men were discriminated against in parenting laws, child custody, military conscription, forced labor, criminal sentencing, domestic violence policies, rape laws, public health policies, genital integrity laws, and more. This paper examines these and issues in more detail below.


We often hear of gender disparities at the top of society (government, CEOs), but rarely do we hear about the disparities at the bottom. Men account for 80-99% of homeless adults, work-related deaths/injuries, prisoners, combat deaths/injuries, and suicide deaths, are much more likely than females to drop out, skip a grade or be placed in special education, and still die younger and have higher death rates than women for the ten leading causes of death.


The reason for the disparity at the top of society is that women have more options than men to be primary parents. A recent study funded by the U.S. Department of Labor found the pay gap is due to choices, not discrimination. 



The "pay gap" is only a snapshot of average yearly full time incomes. It does not account for overtime (90% male) or other factors like flexibility, shorter hours, physical risk, experience levels, etc.

Below is a partial summary of men’s rights issues followed by links to men’s rights movements worldwide.




Fathers have historically been denied equal parenting rights with mothers. The 19th Century “tender years” doctrine explicitly gave mothers presumed custody for children age 13 and younger. Even after being replaced by the “best interests of the child” doctrine, the tender years doctrine still thrived.

As late as 1971, the Minnesota State Bar Association’s handbook advised lawyers and judges that “except in very rare cases, the father should not have custody of the minor children. He is usually unqualified psychologically and emotionally.” Time Magazine, 11/11/03, “Father Makes Two,”,9171,1101011119-183968,…

Today, fathers usually ask for 50% custody while mothers ask for and usually get 80% custody, and fathers are relegated to visitors and must pay high child support with hardly any enforcement of their parenting time. The myth that fathers get custody when they ask for it 70% of the time has been repeatedly debunked. See Cynthia McNeeley, “Lagging Behind the Times, Parenthood, Custody and Gender Bias in the Family Court,”


Research overwhelmingly shows father involvement is a very important part of a child’s development, behavior and well-being.……


It also shows fathers are equal with mothers in nurturing instincts and capabilities.…


Research on joint custody laws in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany that controls for pre-existing levels of conflict strongly supports presumed joint physical custody.


Although we often hear about "deadbeat dads," maternal gatekeeping (maternal resistance to father involvement) is a significant contributing factor to the shortage of father involvement.


Most men would quit their jobs or lower their pay if their partner could support the family.


Dad’s are even stigmatized for taking parental leave or denied equal rights to take it.


An Urban Institute study entitled “What About the Dads?” found that CPS case workers attempted to contact fathers of children at risk in their mothers care only a little over half the time. That was true even though they knew the father’s identity in 86% of cases.


Fathers are also frequently subjected to false accusations and restraining order abuse in order to gain an advantage in divorce or custody. The California State Bar has expressed concern about the rising abuse of restraining orders in divorce.…





The American Journal of Public Health (5/03) has declared that men are in a “silent health crisis.”


Almost every chronic illness affects men more often than women. Men die younger and more often than women for the ten leading causes of death.


Men account for 80-90% of homeless adults, job deaths and suicide deaths. Men more often have mental disabilities but are less often treated. They are the majority of special education students and are more likely to skip a grade or drop out of high school.


But men’s health has been seriously neglected. There are 7 federal offices of women’s health and similar offices at every level of government but no offices of men’s health except in Georgia. Breast cancer gets by far the most funding of all cancers, and has been known as a “horde” of existing cancer funds. In fact, for decades the National Cancer Institute spent about four times more on breast cancer research than on prostate cancer research.


Men’s Health Magazine did an entire story on how all other sources, including the Department of Defense, have funded breast cancer at far higher and disproportionate rates compared to prostate cancer.


The claim that women were excluded from medical testing is not only antiquated (from the 60s) but is an exaggeration that has been refuted by experts such as Dr. Sally Satel. Historically, women participated in 95% of NIH clinical trials going back to the early 1970s and men were underrepresented in research on cancer, reproductive health and sex hormones. Today men represent about 37% of participants in NIH-funded research, and gender-specific budgets favor women by more than a 2:1 margin, according to this report by Men’s Health America.


See, Young, C., Satel, S., M.D., “The Myth of Gender Bias in Medicine”; Satel, S.: PC, M.D.:, “How Political Correctness is Corrupting Medicine.”




Recent research shows
men still get higher penalties than women.

Seattle Times, “State courts unfair to men, minorities, UW study suggests,”…


This correlates with prior studies that found men receive higher sentences than women for the same crime even when all other factors are equal (age, race, priors, family situation, etc.) and that “gender differences, favoring women, are more often found than race differences, favoring whites.” (Crime and Delinquency, 1989, v 35, pp 136-168.)


A study published in Justice Quarterly in 1986 found that, for the same felony, being male increased the chances of incarceration by 165% (being black increased the chance 19%).


The gender of the victim matters as well. A drunk driver will receive an average of a 3-year higher sentence for killing a female than for killing a male (compared to a 2-year higher sentence for killing a white instead of a black). (“Unconventional Wisdom,” Washington Post, Sept. 7, 2000.)


Researchers Edward Glaeser (Harvard) and Bruce Sacerdote (Dartmouth) examined 2,800 homicide cases randomly drawn from 33 urban counties by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and found killing a female instead of a male increased sentences by 40.6% (compared to 26.8% for killing a white instead of a black).




For years, the Forced Labour Convention of 1930 exempted “able-bodied males” between ages 18 and 45 from the ban on slavery and forced labor. See Article 11 at


We never hear of this in gender studies courses. And although the exemption was eventually eliminated, Article 2 still exempts prisoners and soldiers (90+% male).


Male slaves are frequently ignored by human rights laws and policies.


For example, male slaves in China have had trouble getting their slavemasters prosecuted because only women were protected from slavery.





No gender oppression is comparable in magnitude to the deaths of males in war, which includes forced conscription. Over 20 million male soldiers died in WWII alone, about 500,000 of them U.S. soldiers.  


Historically, a large percentage of men were drafted before they were old enough to even vote. The Vietnam Memorial has 58,000 male names and 8 female names. Males throughout the world are still forced to fight wars, even at ages as young as 6 in some countries. In the U.S. males must still register for the draft by age 18, including “only sons” and even disabled men if they can move about.


People who say “men make war” are the same ones who find it sexist to say men make science, medicine, etc., as women were restricted from participating and still did contribute in many ways. The same is true of war. Women leaders supported and declared wars, and women in the general population have supported wars at almost the same rate men have. E.g., 76% of women and 86% of men supported the U.S. military attack in Kuwait and Iraq during the Gulf War.


In his report, “War and Gender,” University of Massachusetts political scientist Joshua Goldstein documents how women have actively encouraged military adventurism, both in modern and indigenous societies, and that in the face of imminent conflict, women goad their men into combat. For example:


– During the American Revolutionary War, women were known to withhold sexual favors from reluctant fighters.

– During the American Civil War, Southern belles refused to accept suitors who did not take up arms.

– In World War I, British women organized the White Feather campaign in which they gave a white feather to men who refused to fight, as a sign of their unmanliness.

– Among the Bedouin, frenzied Rwala women bare their breasts and urge their men to war.

– Before the 1973 coup in Chile, women threw corn at soldiers to taunt them as “chickens.”

– During the era of the Soviet Gulag, female interrogators were just as ruthless as their male counterparts in extracting confessions.

– In the Rwanda genocide, Hutu women played a major role in killing Tutsi men:


“Women of every social category took part in the killings. … Some women killed with their own hands. … Women and girls in their teens joined the crowds that surrounded churches, hospitals and other places of refuge. Wielding machetes and nail-studded clubs, they excelled as “cheerleaders” of the genocide, ululating the killers into action.” African Rights report, Rwanda – Not So Innocent: When Women Become Killers, August 1995.)



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