Analysis: A Kinder, Gentler Turn to the Gender Wars?Posted: June 30, 2014 | |
Men and women need to discuss gender issues. One can’t hear what the other doesn’t say.
Those are the questions I was asking myself as I attended the First International Conference on Men’s Issues in Detroit last weekend. And, to be honest, I’m still not sure. But it’s certainly true that the discussion is expanding, and I’m enough of a believer in discussion and engagement to think that’s a good thing.
The first thing that struck me about the conference — both the speakers and the attendees — was how diverse the crowd was. (Full disclosure: I was there as a tag-along spouse while my wife spoke about her gender relations book, Men on Strike.) There were plenty of women there, which I suppose should be no surprise, as there are plenty of men at conferences on women’s issues. There’s even a women’s group called The Honey Badger Brigade that supports men’s rights.
[Glenn Reynolds‘ book The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself is available at Amazon]
There were also a lot of African-Americans — or, in the case of Canadian Sen. Anne Cools, African-Canadians. But it turns out, as we heard from speakers like Fred Jones, the victims of the gender war are disproportionately black, because black men are more likely to be jailed for failure to pay child support, or on charges of domestic violence.
Much of the talk revolved around domestic issues, which is to be expected, since that’s where the rubber meets the road on gender issues and the law. Paternity fraud activist Carnell Smith talked about how many men — and, often, boys — are tricked into paying child support for kids that aren’t even theirs. In most states, this obligation won’t be discharged even if DNA tests prove that the fraud victim isn’t the father, though legislation in Georgia and a few other states (pushed by Smith) has changed that….(read more)
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