Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Volume 20 | Issue 2 Article 9


Men and Boys and the Ethical Demand for Social


Samuel Vincent Jones

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Recommended Citation

Samuel Vincent Jones,Men and Boys and the Ethical Demand for Social Justice, 20 Wash. & Lee J. Civ. Rts. & Soc. Just. 507 (2014).

Available at: http://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/crsj/vol20/iss2/9


Men and Boys and the Ethical Demand for

Social Justice

Samuel Vincent Jones*

Table of Contents

I. Introduction ………………………………………………………………………. 507

II. Social Justice and the Neglect of Men and Boys ……………………. 511

A. Today’s Women and Girls ……………………………………………. 514

B. Today’s Men and Boys ………………………………………………… 516

III. Finding a Solution for the Neglect and Alienation of Males ……. 536

A. Causation …………………………………………………………………… 536

B. Solution ……………………………………………………………………… 540

IV. Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………….. 543

I. Introduction

A great weight of legal scholarship rests on the presupposition that

women are an underrepresented group in a patriarchal society, and that

current governmental policies do not permit women to completely avoid the

ill effects of discrimination and exploitation.1 Political discourse remains

* Visiting Professor, University of Florida Levin College of Law; Professor of Law,

The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois.

1. See e.g., Marisa Silenzi Cianciarulo, Batterers as Agents of the State: Challenging

the Public/Private Distinction in Intimate Partner Violence-Based Asylum Claims, 35 HARV.

J. L. & GENDER 117, 120–21 (2012) (asserting that the Obama administration should

promulgate policies that grant fleeing women of domestic violence political asylum and

refugee protection in the United States); Janet L. Dolgin & Katherine R. Dieterich, The

“Other” Within: Health Care Reform, Class, and the Politics of Reproduction, 35 SEATTLE

U. L. REV. 377, 378 (2012) (questioning whether the needs of a poor woman’s reproductive

health care are adequately provided for under the Affordable Care Act); Olympia Duhart,

PTSD and Women Warriors: Causes, Controls, and a Congressional Cure, 18 CARDOZO J.L.

& GENDER 327, 330, 339–40, 343 (2012) (calling for the Obama administration to end

combat exclusion policies that bar women from certain benefits in the United States

military); Jessica Riggin, Note, The Potential Impact of CEDAW Ratification on U.S.

Employment Discrimination Law: Lessons from Canada, 42 COLUM. HUM. RTS. L. REV. 541,

542 (2011) (explaining that the United States is one of seven countries that have failed to

ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women);

508 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

interspersed with proclamations about a thriving “war on women.”2

Feminist theorists convey the paradigmatic structure of American society as

one in which female oppression is a constitutive and intrinsic feature of

American culture.3

Implicit in the view that women and girls are victims of systematic

discrimination and oppression,4 is that men and boys are the “culprits.”5

Social constructs and contemporary legal discourse are so suffused with

claims that men and boys have denied women and girls equal opportunities

to succeed that this female-oppression-male-culprit paradigm is rarely

  1. 6 Pervasive and persistent in nature, proponents of the female-

Rebecca Tsosie, Indigenous Women and International Human Rights Law: The Challenges

of Colonialism, Cultural Survival, and Self-Determination, 15 UCLA INT’L L. & FOREIGN

AFF. 187, 189, 217–18 (2010) (asserting that the Obama administration must consider Native

American women’s rights within their respective cultural and historical contexts in

formulating appropriate contemporary human rights policy); Adrien K. Wing & Peter P.

Nadimi, Women’s Rights in the Muslim World and the Age of Obama, 20 TRANSNAT’L L. &

CONTEMP. PROBS. 431, 447–48 (2011) (arguing that the Obama administration should

improve foreign policy relative to Muslim women’s rights in education, labor, and politics).

2. See Terry O’Neill, On International Women’s Day, NOW Calls for End to the

“War on Women,” NOW (Mar. 08, 2011), http://now.org/press/03-11/03-08.html

(explaining the main theory behind the “war on women”).

3. See Catharine A. Mackinnon, Reflections on Sex Equality Under the Law, 100

Yale L.J. 1281, 1281–84 (1991) (asserting that to be female under American law is to be

subordinated and oppressed); Cheryl Hanna, The Price She Pays, 10 SEATTLE J. FOR SOC.

JUST. 815, 815 (2012) (claiming that the author’s female students “will be entering a maledominated

professional world where women often face barriers to partnership and other

career opportunities”); Janet Benshoof, U.S. Ratification of CEDAW: An Opportunity to

Radically Reframe the Right to Equality Accorded Women Under the U.S. Constitution, 35

N.Y.U. REV. L. & SOC. CHANGE 103, 104 (2011) (“[D]iscrimination against women is deeply

embedded in American law . . . .”); Ann M. Piccard, U.S. Ratification of CEDAW: From Bad

to Worse?, 28 LAW & INEQ. 119, 119 (2010) (“Discrimination against women flourishes in

the United States today.”); ANDREA DWORKIN, INTERCOURSE, 155 (1987) (“The slit between

[a female’s] legs . . . which means entry into her—intercourse—appears to be the key to

women’s lower human status”); NAOMI WOLF, THE BEAUTY MYTH: HOW IMAGES OF BEAUTY

ARE USED AGAINST WOMEN, 115 (2002) (“Women are under attack every day of our lives

from ‘unseen aggressors’ . . . . Almost all working women are clustered in twenty low-status

job categories; we do have an ‘invisible enemy’—institutional discrimination.”).

4. See Office of the Press Secretary, Remarks by the President at Signing of

Executive Order Creating the White House Council on Women and Girls, THE WHITE HOUSE

(Mar. 11, 2009), http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-signingexecutive-

order-creating-white-house-council-women-and-gi (quoting President Obama

describing the “inequalities [against women that] stubbornly persist in this country”).


BETRAYED WOMEN 41–42 (1994) (Claiming that feminist theorists have consistently

advanced a perspective of society based on all women being “victims,” and men being the


6. Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly posit that the belief that women remain


oppression-male-culprit paradigm advance a singular framework for the

distribution of goods and services that largely disregards male interests and

directs notions of right and wrong from an oppressed female-centered

perspective. The performative outcome of this culturally accepted brand of

reasoning is reflected in the enactment of numerous governmental policies

earmarked exclusively or predominantly for the benefit of women and girls

with the purported intent to dismantle a social hierarchy that supposedly

favors men and boys.7

Contrary to what female-oppression-male-culprit reasoning suggests,

men and boys also suffer from systematic neglect, discrimination, and

  1. 8 The notion that many males may be equally as oppressed as

victims of staunch discrimination is rarely challenged because the view is so embedded in

American culture:

According to feminists, women… have been oppressed for centuries. We’re told

not enough progress has been made and that society still hasn’t leveled the

playing field. This philosophy is so embedded in our culture that Americans

don’t question it. We don’t even label it “feminist” to think this way; it’s just

commonplace to believe women suffer discrimination . . . .

. . . In the meantime, buried beneath the surface lies the truth: American women

are the most fortunate human beings who have ever lived. No one has it better.

No one.



7. See infra notes 12–19 and accompanying text (discussing legislation and

accomplishments of the Obama administration designed to improve the quality of life for

women and girls). Although the terms, “men” and “women” as used in this Essay generally

refers to self-identified heterosexual and homosexual men and women, the author recognizes

that homosexual men may face unique forms of discrimination and neglect that may not be

addressed in this Essay.

8. See e.g., Nancy E. Dowd, What Men: The Essentialist Error of the ‘End of Men,’

93 B.U. L. Rev. 1205 (2013)(reasoning that Black males experience a subordinated

existence characterized by “oppression and violent victimization” that is “grounded in the

undermining of opportunity and harsh repression of Black boys”); Samuel Vincent Jones,

The Invisible Man: The Conscious Neglect of Men and Boys in the War on Human

Trafficking, 2010 UTAH L. REV. 1143, 1149–1158 (2010) (detailing episodes of male

oppression); see also Michael Matthews, The Untold Story of Military Sexual Assault, The

New York Times, A23 (Nov. 23, 2013) (observing that the majority of sexual assault victims

in the U.S. military are men); Christina Hoff Sommers, Schools Has Become Too Hostile

For Boys, Times, (Aug. 13, 2014) (stating that “across the country schools are policing and

punishing the distinctive, assertive sociability of boys”), available at

http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/19/school-has-become-too-hostile-to-boys/; Amy Norton,

Boys Have Higher Death Rates, Study Shows, Health Day, September 2, 2013, available at


172/boys-show-higher-death-rates-from-many-causes-679751.html (observing that boys are

more vulnerable to dying young than girls); NANCY LEVIT, THE GENDER LINE, 11-12 (1998)

510 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

some females and that many females may be equally as privileged as some

males, is culturally discomforting to admit, and largely anathema to

contemporary academic discourse. Therefore, we know very little about

male discrimination, oppression, and neglect.

This essay makes what some might consider a bold and novel

assertion. Relying on fact-based analysis of present day social conditions, it

argues that the female-oppression-male-culprit paradigm is antiquated and

injurious to both men and women. It claims that existing conceptions of

American society in which the vast majority of the nation’s men and boys

are victimless and empowered, and the core of the nation’s women and girls

are victims and disempowered, cannot be fundamentally or morally

justified.. It will demonstrate that today’s regimented imperative for

addressing gender discrimination and social injustice by allocating legal

rights and entitlements exclusively to women and girls, without

consideration of men and boys, degrades human dignity and reinforces

gender discrimination and social injustice.9 It explicates how the urgency

created by expanding economic woes and social afflictions affecting men

and boys, as well as women and girls, renders it necessary for today’s

political leaders to advance legislation that addresses the needs of all

Americans regardless of their gender.10 It claims that systemic abuse of the

government’s privilege to do otherwise has so obscured elements of gender

discrimination and social injustice relative to men, married women, and

mothers, that the survivability of the traditional American family appears

  1. 11

This essay does not seek to compare the welfare of women to that of

men, insinuate that the two groups are in competition, or claim that one

group is more deserving than the other group. Nor is it the intent of this

essay to propose a specific policy revision, or, more broadly, return men to

the position of absolute power that led to the generations-long repression of

(observing that some feminist scholars concede that males may be oppressed, but readily

dismiss or ignore it).

9. See generally The White House, Obama Administration Record for Women and

Girls, http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/womens_record_ 1.pdf (last visited

Oct. 23, 2013) (listing the accomplishments of the Obama administration in supporting

women and girls).

10. See discussion infra notes 37–55, 63–71 and accompanying text (discussing how

policies purportedly aimed at helping women and girls fail to address the needs of men and


11. See discussion infra Part II (discussing how legislative policies focusing on

improving the welfare of women and girls ignore the fact that men are also vulnerable to

exploitation, alienation, and systematic injustice).


women and disrespect for female dignity. Put succinctly, this essay is not a

challenge to the overall meritocracy of feminist jurisprudence or the

women’s movement. Rather, this essay is a contribution to the emerging

men’s movement, a philosophical incursion into our conceptual mapping

relative to social justice and male oppression.

This essay situates its discussion along a jurisprudential presupposition

that the advancement of women and girls is, and should remain, a

meritorious component of political government. The discussion is

presented in two parts. Part II highlights degrees to which men and boys

are vulnerable to exploitation, alienation, and systemic injustice—matters

that are also worthy of governmental attention, but widely neglected. In so

doing, it explores the manner by which the ignominy of male culture and

presumptions about female oppression facilitate discrimination against

males in education, employment, criminal justice administration, media,

and family planning; and infringe upon the liberty and expectation interest

of women who are in consortium with men and boys, such as married

women and mothers.12 Part III explores potential causes of and solutions to

cultural inclinations to neglect male oppression despite widespread

evidence of its occurrence. In doing so, it challenges contemporary notions

of fairness and conceptions about equality, and their influence on the

distribution of legal rights. It argues for a rights-distribution model to

addressing social injustice based on an abiding respect for human dignity

rather than notions of fairness.

II. Social Justice and the Neglect of Men and Boys

Few would reasonably deny that because the nation’s executive and

legislative agendas are funded primarily through taxes collected from both

women and men, national policymakers are legally and morally obligated to

advance laws and policies that respect the rights, privileges, and dignity of

all Americans, regardless of their gender. If one examines contemporary

approaches to curtailing gender discrimination and advancing social

justice,13 though, one can comfortably conclude that the nation’s massive

12. See discussion infra Part III.B (exploring potential solutions to cultural

inclinations to neglect male oppression despite widespread evidence of its occurrence).

13. See, e.g., The White House Council on Women and Girls, Keeping America’s

Women Moving Forward: The Key to an Economy Built to Last, THE WHITE HOUSE (Apr.

2012), http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/email-files/womens_report_final_for_

print.pdf (describing the Obama administration’s approach to improving quality of life for

women and girls).

512 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

economic and social justice initiatives have not only been inadequate in

their coverage, but have also contributed to the denial of rights and benefits

to men and boys (the gender minority), while elevating and bestowing

rights and benefits upon women and girls (the gender majority) in a manner

that harms both groups. This surprisingly unchallenged arrangement

indubitably establishes today’s executive branch of government as the

nation’s chief investor in gender discrimination.

To illustrate, in the past several years, the executive branch of the U.S.

government has amassed a significant record of accomplishments

specifically designed to improve the quality of life of women and girls,

while seemingly ignoring the nation’s troubled population of men and

  1. 14 It both established the Council on Women and Girls, which

streamlines federal grants, programs, and policies that address female

concerns; and promoted the White House Project, which focuses on

women’s job success.15 It advanced the Affordable Care Act16 and the Lilly

Ledbetter Fair Pay Act,17 and also funded the United States Department of

Labor Women’s Bureau18 and the Department of Human Services Office on

14. See id. (outlining the Obama administration’s work over the past three years to

promote gender equality for women, but providing no mention of equality for men).

15. See Exec. Order No. 13506, 74 Fed. Reg. 11,271 (Mar. 11, 2009) (establishing

The White House Counsel on Women and Girls); see also The White House, About the

Council on Women and Girls, www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/cwg/about (last

visited Oct. 31, 2013) (providing a general overview of the history and purpose of The

White House Council on Women and Girls); The White House Project: About Us, THE

WHITE HOUSE PROJECT, http://thewhitehouseproject.org/about-us/ (last visited Mar. 4, 2013).

The White House Project was recently shut down.

16. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act), Pub. L. No.

111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010) (codified at 26 U.S.C. § 5000A (Supp. IV 2011)). Although

the Affordable Care Act is facially gender-neutral, the executive branch touted it as “Health

Reform for American Women.” See The White House, The Affordable Care Act Gives

Women Greater Control over Their Own Health Care, http://www.whitehouse.gov/files/

documents/health_reform_for_women.pdf (last visited Oct. 24, 2013).

17. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-2, 123 Stat. 5

(2009) (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5 (Supp. III 2010) and scattered sections of 29

U.S.C.). Although the text of the Lilly Ledbetter Act is gender neutral, it is advanced and

promoted as a legislative tool designed to protect women. See, e.g., The White House. Civil

Rights, http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/civil-rights (last visited Oct. 31, 2013) (expressing

that the Act “empowers women to recover wages lost to discrimination”).

18. See Nat’l Women’s Law Ctr., President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget and

H.R. 1, the Continuing Resolution: A Tale of Two Visions (Feb. 18, 2011),


uing-resolution-tale-two-visions (“President Obama’s budget generally protects key

programs for women and girls.”).


Women’s Health.19 The White House hosted a forum on women and the

economy to discuss ways in which the executive branch could create

economic security and prosperity for women.20 A record number of women

were nominated for various positions within the federal judiciary, including

Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.21 The executive

branch subsidized the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against

Women and supported reauthorization of the Violence Against Women

  1. 22 Similarly, in response to claims that women are not receiving equal

access to higher education, the executive branch, via a policy directive

commonly referred to as the “Dear Colleague” letter, construed Title IX of

the Educational Amendments of 197223 to require colleges and universities

to resolve complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence within

approximately sixty days, using a preponderance-of-the-evidence

  1. 24

For some Americans, these efforts might appear impressive.25 For

other Americans, such as men, wives, or mothers, the most salient feature

19. Office on Women’s Health, About Us, U.S. DEP’T OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVS.,

www.womenshealth.gov/about-us/ (last visited Oct. 31, 2013).

20. See Office of the Press Sec’y, White House Hosts Forum on Women and the

Economy, THE WHITE HOUSE (Apr. 4, 2012), http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-pressoffice/

2012/04/04/white-house-hosts-forum-women-and-economy (detailing the speakers

and events planned for the night).

21. See Amanda Terkel, Obama Appoints Record Number of Women Judges to

Federal Bench, HUFFINGTON POST (Sept. 10, 2012, 6:24 PM), http://www.huffingtonpost.

com/2012/09/10/obama-women-judges-stephanie-rose_n_1792063.html (discussing

Obama’s selection of women judges); accord Obama Picks Elena Kagan for Supreme

Court, NBC NEWS (May 10, 2010, 5:53 PM), http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/


yaFA; Obama Nominates Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court, CNN POLITICS (May 26,

2009, 8:27 PM), http://articles.cnn.com/2009-05-26/politics/supreme.court_1_judge-dianewood-


22. See Lynn Rosenthal, Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, THE WHITE

HOUSE (Nov. 30, 2011, 1:22 PM), http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/11/30/

reauthorizing-violence-against-women-act (stating that while progress has been made on the

issue, violence against women is still a problem).

23. Educational Amendments of 1972, Pub. L. No. 92-318, tit. IX, 86 Stat. 235,

373-75 (codified as amended at 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688 (2006) and scattered sections of 29


24. See Office for Civil Rights, Dear Colleague Letter: Sexual Violence, U.S. DEP’T

OF EDUC. (Apr. 4, 2011), http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-

201104.pdf (expressing a desire to require colleges and universities to speed up the

investigative process of sexual assault inquiries).

25. See Shaila Dewan, In Weak Economy, an Opening to Court Votes of Single

Women, N.Y. TIMES (Aug. 7, 2012), http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/07/us/politics/inweak-


514 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

of today’s effort to quell social injustice appear to rest in the executive

branch’s enduring effort to praise women and girls as a group of

empowered and intelligent individuals alongside a ubiquitous and

unjustifiable attempt to regard them as America’s most economically needy

or socially disadvantaged.26 Although women and girls have historically

endured significant levels of suffering and discrimination, today’s

educational, professional, and wealth opportunities for women and girls

appear reasonably comparable to or greater than opportunities available to

men and boys.27

A. Todays Women and Girls

As some social theorists have observed, “because of affirmative

action, mandates about equal pay, equal educational opportunity, and the

like,” economic and social growth opportunities for women have vastly

improved and outpaced opportunities for men.28 For the first time in U.S.

history, women constitute the majority of citizens,29 voters in presidential

elections,30 and college students.31 Women hold more bachelors and

advanced degrees than men, and the number of male and female law and

medical students is essentially equal.32 Approximately half of middle-class

(stating that single women are more likely to support President Obama perhaps because they

believe he is more likely to protect women’s rights).

26. See Campbell Brown, Obama: Stop Condescending to Women, N.Y. TIMES (May

19, 2012), http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/20/opinion/sunday/obama-condescending-towomen.

html (stating that the President can sound paternalistic when he discusses the issues

facing women).

27. See Jennifer Homans, A Woman’s Place, N.Y. TIMES (Sept. 13, 2012),


html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 (reviewing HANNA ROSIN, THE END OF MEN (2012)).



29. See U.S. Census Bureau, USA Quick Facts, http://quickfacts.census.gov/

qfd/states/00000.html (last visited Jan. 20, 2013) (indicating that, according to the 2012

Census, women make up 50.8% of the U.S. population).

30. See Linda Hirshman, 16 Ways of Looking at a Female Voter, N.Y. TIMES (Feb. 3,

2008), http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/magazine/03womenvoters-t.html?pagewanted=

all (discussing women voters and the ways they affect election results).

31. See Daniel de Vise, More Women Than Men Got PhDs Last Year, WASH. POST

(Sept. 14, 2010), http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/

13/AR201009 1306555.html (finding that women now hold a nearly three to two majority in

undergraduate and graduate education).

32. See Women Pull Even by Degree But Despite Education Gains, They Lag Men in

Pay, CHI. TRIB., Apr. 21, 2010, available at 2010 WLNR 8210065 (“Women are now just as

likely as men to have completed college and to hold an advanced degree, part of an


wives are breadwinners,33 and women hold the majority of all jobs, with

more than half of them being managerial or professional jobs.34 In addition,

in 147 of the 150 major cities in the United States, single women without

children earn eigh percent to twenty percent more compensation than their

male counterparts,35 and some studies show that women account for more

than eighty-five percent of consumer spending.36 The purported genderwage

gap is now accepted among many as more of a political fiction than a

fact, as studies reveal that pay disparities between women and men are

predominantly the result of the gender-hour gap and personal choices rather

than gender discrimination.37 And, although more progress is needed, there

has been a demonstrative decrease in violence against women.38

accelerating trend of educational gains that have shielded women from recent job losses.”).

33. See Susan Gregory Thomas, When the Wife Has a Fatter Paycheck, WALL ST. J.

(updated July 27, 2012), available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000087239639044487

3204577537161203859878.html (discussing gender roles and the effects of the woman

making more than her husband on a modern marriage); see also Labor Force Statistics from

the Current Population Survey, BUREAU OF LABOR STAT. (Nov. 20, 2012),

http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/print.pl/cps/wives_earn_more.htm (reporting that the percentage

of wives who earn more than their husbands continues to increase).

34. See Hanna Rosin, The End of Men, THE ATLANTIC (July/Aug. 2010),

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/8135/ (noting that in

2010 women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history).

35. See Belinda Luscombe, Workplace Salaries: At Last, Women On Top, TIME (Sept.

1, 2010), http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,2015274,00.html (stating that

single young women in urban areas without children earn more than men); see also Carrie

Lukas, There Is No Male-Female Wage Gap, WALL ST. J. (Apr. 12, 2011),


(reporting that a “study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and

30 . . . found that women earned . . . 8% more than their male counterparts”).

36. See Andrea Learned, The Six Costliest Mistakes You Can Make in Marketing to

Women, INC.COM (Jan. 2, 2003), www.inc.com/articles/2003/01/25019.html (finding women

account for more than 85% of purchasing decisions); but see Carl Bialik, Who Makes the

Call at the Mall, Men or Women?, WALL ST. J. (Apr. 23, 2011),


(suggesting that research showing women are more likely to control household spending

decisions may be inaccurate).

37. See Kate Bolick, All the Single Ladies, THE ATLANTIC (Nov. 2011), http://

www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/all-the-single-ladies/308654/ (“In 2008,

women still earned just 77 cents to the male dollar—but that figure doesn’t account for the

difference in hours worked, or the fact that women tend to choose lower-paying fields like

nursing or education.”); Kay Hymowitz, Why Women Make Less Than Men, WALL ST. J.

(updated Apr. 26, 2012), available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405

270230359240457736188301 9414296.html; Carrie Lukas, supra note 35; Lisa Quast,

Debunking Myths Of Gender Equality: Are Personal Choices And Preferences What’s

Really Holding Women Back From Achieving Parity At Work?, FORBES.COM (Mar. 14,

2011), www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2011/03/14/debunking-myths-of-gender-equality516

20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

B. Todays Men and Boys

Meanwhile, as executive branch policies and initiatives purportedly

aimed at curtailing social injustice continue to be earmarked almost

exclusively for women and girls, America’s men and boys are suffering at

alarming levels and appear relegated to an enfeebled state. For example,

today men are more likely than women to become victims of crime;39 men

face substantially higher risks of violence,40 imprisonment,41 capital

punishment,42 murder,43 death from hate crimes,44 accidents,45 heart


at-work; Christina Hoff Sommers, Op-Ed., Fair Pay Isn’t Always Equal Pay, N.Y.

TIMES (Sept. 21, 2010), http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/22/opinion/22Sommers.html.

38. See Shannon Catalano et al., Female Victims of Violence, BUREAU OF JUST. STAT.,

2-3 (revised Oct. 23. 2009), available at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/fvv.pdf

(stating nonfatal partner violence against women decreased 53 percent and fatal intimate

partner violence against women decreased 34 percent between 1993 and 2008); see also

Jennifer L. Truman, Criminal Victimization, 2010, BUREAU OF JUST. STAT., tbl. 6 (Sept.

2011), http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv10.pdf (finding the rate of intimate partner

violence against women decreased from 2009 to 2010); see also STEPHEN BASKERVILLE,


(2007) (“‘Domestic Violence’ is now a vast industry, funded through numerous interlocking

government programs at the federal, state, and local levels and by private foundations and

transnational organizations. Yet there is little indication of any serious problem other than

what is connected with divorce and custody. ‘There is not an epidemic of domestic

violence,’ [remarks retired] Judge Milton Raphaelson.” (internal citations omitted)).

39. See Nat’l Inst. of Justice, Victims and Victimization, U.S. DEP’T OF JUST. (Sept. 20,

2010), http://www.nij.gov/topics/victims-victimization/welcome.htm (discussing the rising

number of men that are the victims of crime); Bruce Watson, A Hidden Crime: Domestic

Violence Against Men Is a Growing Problem, DAILY FIN. (Jan. 30, 2010), http://


probl (indicating, likewise, that crimes against men are on the rise).

40. See Nat’l Inst. of Justice, supra note 39 (discussing men being at higher risk of

violence than women).

41. See Todd D. Minton, Jail Inmates at Midyear 2011Statistical Tables, BUREAU

OF JUST. STAT. (Apr. 2012), http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/jim11st.pdf (discussing the

rise in imprisonment among males).

42. See Women and the Death Penalty, DEATH PENALTY INFO. CTR., http://

www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/women-and-death-penalty (last visited Jan. 10, 2013) (finding

that as of January 2013 women made up 2.02% of the death row population).

43. See Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008, BUREAU OF JUST. STAT.,

(Nov. 16, 2011), available at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/gender.cfm (last

visited Jan. 10, 2013) (indicating men are at higher risk of being murdered than women).

44. See Lynn Langton & Michael Planty, Hate Crime, 2003-2009, BUREAU OF JUST.

STAT., tbl. 9 (June 2011), http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/hc0309.pdfhttp://bjs

.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/hc0309.pdf (stating males experienced a higher rate of

violent hate crime victimizations than females).


disease,46 cancer,47 and suicide than women.48 Men also represent more

than ninety percent of the thousands of Americans that die each year in the

workplace,49 and held approximately seventy-five percent of the jobs that

were terminated during the most recent recession.50 Median wages for men

between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-four has decreased

approximately twenty-five percent, with one-third of them living at or

below the poverty line.51 In addition, single male homelessness52 and

suicide rates continue to be disproportionately high53—a catastrophe

underscored by the unusual number of professional male athlete suicides54

45. See Home Safety Fact Sheet, SAFE KIDS WORLDWIDE, http://www.safekids.org

/sites/default/files/documents/2013%20Home.pdf (illustrating men are also at higher risk of



http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm (last visited Jan. 28, 2013) (indicating men are at

higher risk for heart disease than women); Why do more men die from heart disease than

women?, SCIENCEBLOG.COM (Sept. 2001), http://scienceblog.com/community/older/


47. See Steven Reinberg, Study: More U.S. Men Die from Cancer than Women, USA

TODAY (July 13, 2011), http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/medical/health/medical/


(concluding more men die from cancer than women).

48. See Suicide in the U.S.: Statistics and Prevention, NAT’L INST. OF MENTAL

HEALTH, (last updated Sept. 27, 2010), http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/suicidein-

the-us-statistics-and-prevention/index.shtml (discussing suicide rates for men and


49. See Sara Saulcy, Occupational Fatalities in the U.S., WYO. DEPARTMENT OF EMP.,

RES. & PLAN. Vol. 42 No. 3 (2005), available at http://doe.state.wy.us/lmi/0305/a1.htm

(noting that men are more likely to die at work than women).

50. See Rosin, supra note 34 (“[T]he evidence is all around you. It can be found, most

immediately, in the wreckage of the Great Recession, in which three-quarters of the 8

million jobs lost were lost by men.”); see also Ed Stoddard, Blue Collar U.S. Males Lose

More Ground, REUTERS.COM (May 18, 2009), http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/05/18

/usa-unemployment-men-idUSN1450507420090518 (stating that the unemployment rate for

adult men was 9.4 percent versus 8.9 percent for all workers).

51. See Tiger, supra note 28, at 127 (noting that the median age for men in this age

group is decreasing).

52. See Who is Homeless?, NAT’L COAL. FOR THE HOMELESS (Aug. 2007),

http://www.nationalhomeless.org/publications/facts/Whois.pdf (discussing the increase in

homelessness among single males).

53. See Katie Drummond, Suicide Rate Greater Among Divorced Men, Research

Finds, AOL NEWS (Mar. 10, 2010), http://www.aolnews.com/2010/03/10/suicide-rategreater-

among-divorced-men-research-finds (noting suicicde rates are also higher among

single males).

54. See Doug Glanville, When an Athlete Dies, TIME (Jan. 3, 2012), http://ideas.time.


(stating that the suicide rate among major league ball players and ex-NFL players is

518 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

and the high number of suicides within the heavily male-populated military

veterans’ community.55 The number of military veteran suicides not only

exceeds the number of American combat fatalities,56 but is arguably linked

to an unemployment rate among military veterans greater than that of the

national average.57 Such dismal conditions have harmed not only

America’s men, but also the traditional American family and society at

  1. 58

Social theorists note that although there is a general reluctance in

American society to modulate the role that financial resources play in the

potential for American men to attract and marry American women, it has

proven to be a critical factor.59 As today’s men endure a substantial decline

in living conditions, many women are losing interest in marriage, thus

leaving the traditional American family in a compromised state.60

According to some social theorists, the nation’s “explosion of male

joblessness and . . . steep decline in men’s life prospects” have led women

“to embrace new ideas about romance and family” and in the process reject

“‘traditional’ marriage as society’s highest ideal.”61 The pervasive “I don’t

need a man” mindset subverts opportunities for men and women to explore

above the national average).

55. See Luis Martinez & Amy Bingham, U.S. Veterans: By the Numbers, ABC NEWS

(Nov. 11, 2011), http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-veterans-numbers/story?id=14928136#4

(stating that for every 100,000 of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans using VA healthcare, thirtyeight

committed suicide versus only 11.5 of every 100,000 for the general public); see also

Deborah Dupre, Veteran Suicides Exceed Combat Deaths: 18 Per Day, EXAMINER.COM

(May 29, 2011), http://www.examiner.com/human-rights-in-national/eighteen-vets-per-daycommit-

suicide (stating that 1,000 former soldiers attempt suicide every month).

56. See Faces of the Fallen, WASH. POST, http://apps.washingtonpost.com/

national/fallen/ (last visited Oct. 24, 2013) (reporting the current number of casualties from

the Iraq and Afghanistan wars at 6,748).

57. See Martinez & Bingham, supra note 55 (discussing suicide and unemployment

rates among male veterans).

58. See The Characteristics and Needs of Families Experiencing Homelessness, THE

NAT’L CTR. ON FAMILY HOMELESSNESS, 5–6, http://www.familyhomelessness.org

/media/306.pdf (last visited Jan. 28, 2013) (explaining the impact of homelessness on

families); Pierre Baume, Suicide: A Crisis for the Whole Family; Should Suicide Survivors

Be Managed Differently?, UNIV. OF HAW., 279-80, http://www.hawaii.edu/hivandaids/


cide%20Survivors.pdf (last visited Jan. 29, 2013).

59. See TIGER, supra note 28, at 128 (concluding that financial resources are a critical

factor in attracting mates).

60. See Bolick, supra note 37 (discussing a lack of interest in marriage among women,

thereby destabilizing the traditional American family).

61. Id.


their commonalities and rightfully consider how sharing results in

individual and collective success, as well as likely being harmful to

  1. 62 The shift in attitudes among American women, whereby they

“no longer plan for marriage” but “focus solely on their identities and

careers,” is fueled by an ideology that husbands and children will only hold

women back and prevent them from attaining or sustaining economic

prosperity and social freedom.63 Studies reveal that many American

women, with the fastest growing demographic group being Caucasian

middle-class women, are now choosing to have children outside of

marriage and raise them single-handedly rather than with a man, whom they

may perceive as more an economic burden than a benefit; while other

American women are simply choosing to opt out of their parental

responsibilities after they become a parent.64

Legitimate debate now exists as to whether the blame for today’s

record-low marriage rates, rising number of single-parent households, and

neglected population of underperforming children has been unfairly

ascribed to fathers (as some policymakers have suggested), as children from

single-parent households tend to be less successful.65 Social theorists

62. See Appelbaum, supra note 64 (positing that women are choosing to raise children

themselves because, in this economy, men are less successful and less attractive partners).

63. See VENKER, supra note 6, at 75 (explaining the new way of thought some women

have regarding marriage holding back their career pursuits).

64. See Binyamin Appelbaum, Study of Men’s Falling Income Cites Single Parents,

N.Y. TIMES (Mar. 20, 2013), available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/business/


(reporting that only “63 percent of children lived in a household with two parents in 2010,

down from 82 percent in 1970” and that women are choosing to be single mothers as men

have become less economically successful); Jason DeParle, Two Classes, Divided by ‘I Do,’

N.Y. TIMES (July 14, 2012), available at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/us/twoclasses-

in-america-divided-by-i-do.html (“Long concentrated among minorities, motherhood

outside marriage now varies by class about as much as it does by race. It is growing fastest

in the lower reaches of the white middle class.”); Jeanne Sager, Soldier’s Wife Gives Their

Baby Away & He’s Desperate to Get Her Back, THE STIR, (Dec. 4, 2012, 3:00 PM),

http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/147589/soldiers_wife_gives_their_baby (describing a wife

of an Army Sergeant who gives their newborn child up for adoption while he is stationed

away without his knowledge or consent); Ben Waldron, Woman Who Sent Adopted Son Back

to Russia Alone Must Pay Child Support, ABC NEWS (July 13, 2012, 7:02 PM), available at


alone-must-pay-child-support/ (reporting a woman put her adopted seven-year old

son on a plane to Russia alone after deciding she no longer wanted to be a parent to the


65. See Appelbaum, supra note 64 (reporting that, “women are choosing to raise

children by themselves, in turn often producing sons who are less successful and attractive

as partners”); Core Learnings, NAT’L CTR. ON FATHERS & FAMS., http://www.

ncoff.gse.upenn.edu/programs/core-learnings (last visited Oct. 13, 2013) (claiming that

520 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

suggest that the cause may be more appropriately linked to a female-driven

“hookup” culture.66 Often heralded as a healthy expression of sexual

freedom, the “hookup” era has seen a rise in teen births,67 sexually

transmitted infections,68 single parenthood,69 infidelity,70 depression and

although the research is scant, the presence of a father appears to be important to a child’s

development); Jason DeParle, Two Classes, Divided by ‘I Do,’ N.Y. TIMES (July 14, 2012),

available at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/us/two-classes-in-america-divided-by-ido.

html (reporting that “[a]cross Middle America, single motherhood has moved from an

anomaly to a norm with head-turning speed,” but children from single-parent households

“are more likely than similar children with married parents to experience childhood poverty,

act up in class, become teenage parents and drop out of school,” and that the “absence of a

father in the house makes it harder for children to climb the economic ladder.”); Obama’s

Father’s Day Speech Urges Black Fathers to Be More Engaged in Raising Their Children,

THE HUFFINGTON POST, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/15/obamas-fathers-dayspeech_


n_107220.html (last visited Oct. 13, 2013) (reporting on a speech in which

President Obama ascribed blame to African-American fathers for underperforming or

troubled children).

66. See Homans, supra note 27 (explaining, “If you thought today’s ‘hook-up’ culture

was run by young testosterone-charged men who want sex and no commitment, think

again. . . . [W]omen are often in charge and the primary beneficiaries….These women have

‘hearts of steel,’ and the hook-up culture gives them sex without getting in the way of

career-building.”); Kate Taylor, Sex On Campus: She Can Play That Game, Too, THE NEW

YORK TIMES, ST1, (July 14, 2013) (observing that “hooking up” is viewed as a “functional

strategy for today’s hard-charging and ambitious young women… to have enjoyable sex

lives while focusing most of their energy on academic and professional goals”), available at


html?pagewanted=all; .

67. See Belinda Luscombe, New Data: Teen Pregnancy, Abortion on the Rise, TIME

(Jan. 26, 2010), available at http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1956645,00.

htmlhttp://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1956645,00.html (reporting that while

teen pregnancy had been dropping since 1990, it took an upturn in 2006); Ryan Smith,

Realistic Baby Helps Combat Teen Pregnancy, THE MEADVILLE TRIB., Nov. 16, 2010,

available at 2010 WLNR 22904095 (noting the high rates of teen pregnancies in

Pennsylvania and reporting on an initiative to provide teenagers with a better understanding

of caring for newborns).

68. See Mary D. Fan, Decentralizing STD Surveillance: Toward Better Informed

Sexual Consent, 12 YALE J. HEALTH POL’Y, L. & ETHICS, 1, 23-24 (2012) (observing that

“college-aged youths, the demographic most active in the ‘hook up’ culture have been

dubbed the ‘epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic” and that “concurrent partnerships” and

the “online meet market” has facilitated an increase in sexually transmitted infections); see

also HIV Among Black Women 5 Times Higher Than Previously Thought: Study,

HUFFINGTON POST (Mar. 10, 2012), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/10/hiv-ratesamong-

black-women-higher-than-previously-thought_n_1336928.html (citing the Center for

Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 32 African-American women will be

diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime); CTRS. FOR DISEASE CONTROL & PREVENTION, Trends

in Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States: 2009 National Data for Gonorrhea,

Chlamydia and Syphilis (2009), http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats09/tables/trends-table.htm

(displaying a table with trends in 2009 of sexually transmitted diseases); Course Teaches


anxiety disorders among women,71 dehumanization of male sex partners,72

and a growing abortion rate in the United States that hovered at more than

Teenagers about the Dangers of Sex, THE DESERT SUN, Apr. 3, 2012, available at 2012

WLNR 7075547; Tibotec Therapeutics Launches GRACE Campaign for Women and People

of Color Living with HIV/AIDS, OBESITY, FITNESS & WELLNESS WEEK, Dec. 19, 2009,

available at 2009 WLNR 24936652 (describing the campaign to increase awareness of

HIV/AIDS affecting women and people of color); Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, Lautenberg,

Lee Introduce Bill to Expand Comprehensive Sex Education, FED. INFO. & NEWS DISPATCH,

INC. (Nov. 2, 2011), available at 2011 WLNR 22654565; CTRS. FOR DISEASE CONTROL &

PREVENTION, CDC Study Finds U.S. Herpes Remains High (Mar. 9, 2010),

http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/hsv2pressrelease.html (finding that nearly half of

African-American women are infected with herpes).

69. See Bryce Covert, The Rise and Downfall of the American Single Mother,

FORBES.COM (July 16, 2012), available at


(reporting that 41% of births occur outside of marriage).

70. See Kelly Campbell & David Wright, Marriage Today: Exploring the

Incongruence Between Americans’ Beliefs and Practices, 41 J. COMP. FAM. STUD. 329, 329–

30 (2010), available at 2010 WLNR 15572964 (noting the high rates of infidelity and

divorce in America); Barbara Marshall, When a Star Husband Strays, Should She Stay?,

PALM BEACH POST, Jan. 14, 2010, available at 2010 WLNR 880005 (discussing golf star

Tiger Woods’ infidelity).

71. See Emma Innis, Women Who Sleep Around At University Are More Likely to

Become Depressed, The Daily Mail, (Jan. 15, 2014) (discussing a study involving female

undergraduates that found that “Hook-up behaviour during college was positively correlated

with experiencing clinically significant depression), available at http://www.daily

mail.co.uk/health/article-2540009/Women-sleep-university-likely-depressed.html; Shaun

Dreisbach, Why Are Anxiety Disorders Among Women on the Rise? (Oct. 15, 2010),


among-women-rise (attributing rise in female anxiety disorders to a cultural shift

in which women value “money and status” more than “close relationships”); Stephanie

Rosenbloom, A Disconnect on Hooking Up, The New York Times, G1, (Mar. 1, 2007)

(discussing the claim that by hooking up, young women compromise their emotional healthy

and may be “rendering themselves incapable of forging stable, loving relationships”),

available at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/01/fashion/01hook.html?pagewanted=all&





r=0;), Mark Regnerus & Jeremy Uecker, Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans

Meet, Mate, and Think about Marrying, 139 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011)

(“When we examine simple connections between recent and lifetime sexual partnering,

frequency of sex, and a variety of emotional-health indicators—including depression scales,

self-reported episodic crying, life satisfaction, depression diagnoses, and current use of

prescription antidepressants—it quickly becomes apparent that having more numerous

sexual partners is associated with poorer emotional states in women.”).

72. See Jen Doll, The Summer of Objectification Has Apparently Begun, THE

ATLANTIC WIRE, June 25, 2012, available at http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/

2012/06/summer-objectification-has-apparently-begun/53897/ (providing several examples

522 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

1.2 million per year when the current administration first took office in

  1. 73

Although the neglect and alienation of men have become an

entrenched cultural phenomenon,74 social theorists are becoming more

astute. Knowing how near completely anti-male prejudice has been

obscured by antiquated, politically opportunistic expressions of male

dominance, many observers are beginning to reject the politics and fashion

of female-oppression–male-culprit reasoning in acknowledgment of

emerging, but underpublicized, male exonerating reports, which, for

example, make clear that men do not harm children more often than

women, pay court-ordered child support less than women, or instigate

domestic violence more than women.75 On the contrary, as some social

of sexual objectification of men); Jones, supra note 8, at 1180 n.237 (2010) (referencing an

incident in which a Duke University female student had casual sex with multiple male

students and surreptitiously posted a graphic, detailed report of her assessment of their

sexual prowess and physical attributes on the internet) .

73. See Abortion Statistics: United States Data and Trends, NAT’L RIGHT TO LIFE

EDUC. TRUST FUND, http://www.nrlc.org/uploads/factsheets/FS01AbortionintheUS.pdf (last

visited Oct. 19, 2013) (stating that U.S. abortion rate is roughly 1.2 million per year).

74. See Hanna Rosin, Male Decline Is No Myth, SLATE.COM (Oct. 2, 2012),



75. See BASKERVILLE, supra note 38 (that “women perpetrate domestic violence,

including severe violence, as much as men has been established by so many studies as to

require no further treatment here.”); DAVID BENATAR, THE SECOND SEXISM: DISCRIMINATION

AGAINST MEN AND BOYS 31 (2012) (recognizing that although the term domestic violence is

routinely characterized as the violence husbands or boyfriends inflict on wives or girlfriends,

many studies indicate that women instigate at least half of domestic violence and where a

“knife or gun” is used, the rate of women assaulting husbands actually increases); KATHLEEN


Moms Can Be Deadbeats Too, FOXNEWS.COM (Aug. 9, 2002), http://www.foxnews.

com/story/2002/08/09/moms-can-be-deadbeats-too/. The gendered characterization of

domestic violence is perpetuated by the media’s near-blackout on reporting incidents in

which women engage in violent conduct against one another, men, and children, or link the

violent conduct against men or women to mental illness. See Philip Caulfield, Ex-WNBA

Star Chamique Holdsclaw Arrested for Smashing Former Flame’s Car Windows, Firing

Gun into SUV, N.Y. DAILY NEWS (Nov. 16, 2012), http://www.nydailynews.

com/news/national/chamique-holdsclaw-arrested-article-1.1203127 (describing that incident

reporters linked conduct where WNBA player poured gasoline on her ex-lover’s car and

fired a gun at it and bashed the windows to depression, and was subsequently released on

$10,000 bail); Shanterrica Madden Sentenced to 29 Years In Prison, NEWSCHANNEL5.COM

(July 17, 2012), http://www.newschannel5.com/story/ 19041301/shanterrica-madden-to-besentenced-

tuesday (explaining how Tennessee circuit court Judge Don Ash sentenced

Shanterrica Madden for second-degree murder for stabbing her roommate, Middle

Tennessee State basketball player, Tina Stewart); WNBA Star Jantel Lavender Accused of

Smashing Boyfriend Adam Ashley’s Crotch, BLACKSPORTSONLINE.COM (Aug. 24, 2011),


theorists note, men have sacrificed greatly for the nation’s security;76

contributed significantly to America’s families;77 helped create labor-saving

inventions such as social media,78 computers, and wireless technologies;79

and even made advancements in contraception that make it possible for

women to pursue their aspirations inside or outside the home.80

Meanwhile, like their adult counterparts, America’s boys have become

victims of systemic neglect and mythologized or demonized notions of

masculinity, especially African-American young men, who are eighteen

times more likely than their Caucasian counterparts to become victims of


boyfriends-crotch/ (explaining how Adam Ashley obtained a temporary restraining order

against his former girlfriend, Los Angeles Sparks player Jantel Lavender, after she allegedly

kicked him in the groin and smashed his head against the wall). Neither the Lavender nor

the Madden incidents received national attention. Additionally, although the majority of

child murders are committed by women, these incidents are never characterized or treated as

domestic violence even though many incidents occur inside the home. See Mom Sentenced

to Life in Prison for Death of 4 year-old Daughter, KHOU.COM (Sept. 17, 2012),


170104376.html (telling the story of a mother who murdered her daughter);

Michael Winter, Mother Gets 99 Years for Beating Child, Gluing Hands, USA TODAY (Oct.

12, 2012), http://www.usatoday.com/story/ondeadline/2012/10/12/dallas-mother-prisonglued-

daughters-hands/1630409/ (reporting the story of a mother who abused her child);

Nakia Cooper, Women Sentenced to 80 Years for Day Care Fire that Killed 4 Children,

  1. COM (Nov. 20, 2012), http://www.kmov.com/home/Woman-sentenced-to-80-yearsfor-

day-care-fire-that-killed-4-children-180190231.html (reporting the story of a woman

who killed four children by setting fire to a daycare center).

76. See Statistics on Women in the Military, WOMEN IN MILITARY SERV. FOR AM.

MEMORIAL FOUND., INC., http://womensmemorial.org/PDFs/StatsonWIM.pdf (last modified

Nov. 30, 2011) (showing that women comprise 14.6 percent of our active duty military, thus

implying that men, at 85.4 percent, comprise the vast majority of those in military service).

77. See Oriel Sullivan & Scott Coltrane, Men’s Changing Contributions to Housework

& Childcare, COUNCIL ON CONTEMP. FAMS. (Apr. 25–26, 2008), http://www.contemporary


78. See Michael Simon, The Complete History of Social NetworkingCBBS to

Twitter, MACLIFE.COM (Dec. 14, 2009, 4:05 PM), http://www.maclife.com/article/

feature/complete_history_social_networking_cbbs_twitter (providing numerous examples of

contributions men have made to social media).

79. See, e.g., The Silicon Engine: A Timeline of Semiconductors in Computers,

COMPUTER HIST. MUSEUM, http://www.computerhistory.org/semiconductor/people.html (last

visited Oct. 22, 2012) (providing a vast alphabetical listing of people, primarily men, who

have contributed to the evolution of computers and wireless technologies).

80. See Alexandra Nikolchev, A Brief History of the Birth Control Pill, PBS.ORG (May

7, 2010), http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/a-brief-history-of-the-birth-controlpill/

480/ (noting the achievements of endocrinologist Gregory Pincus on the development of

the birth control pill). See generally PARKER, supra note 73, at 39–40 (discussing the role of

the birth control pill in allowing women to break from “the confines of home”).

524 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

  1. 81 In fact, African-American males between the ages of twelve

and twenty-four are victims of violent crimes at rates higher than females,

Hispanics, and Caucasians.82 Relative to education and employment,

African-American males have fewer opportunities than their female

counterparts and men and women in other ethnic communities.83 Relative

to opportunities to experience freedom, the same holds true: one in three

African-American males live under the supervision of the criminal justice

  1. 84 An estimated one in three African-American men will go to

prison during their lifetime, many due to selective or racially-biased

prosecution for marijuana use or engaging in behavior that is often

“romanticized” or excused when perpetrated by Caucasian men.85 There

are now more African-American males living under the control of the

81. Herbert L. White, Conference Tackles Violence Disparity, THE CHARLOTTE POST

(Mar. 22, 2012), www.thecharlottepost.com/index.php?src=news&refno=4498&category=

News (quoting Dr. David Jacobs, “[t]he overwhelming number of patients who come in with

gunshots are more than likely young African American males” and specifically discussing

the disparities in Charlotte).


(stating that African-American males between 12 years old and 24 years old are more likely

to be victims of violent crimes).

83. See TIGER, supra note 28, at 194–95 (positing that African-American males have

fewer opportunities than African-American females).

84. See Perry L. Moriearty & William Carson, Cognitive Warfare and Young Black

Males in America, 15 J. GENDER, RACE & JUST. 281, 282 (2012) (citing Marc Mauer &

Tracy Huling, The Sentencing Project, Young Black Americans and the Criminal Justice

System: Five Years Later (1995), available at http://www.sentencingproject.org/

doc/publications/rd_youngblack_ 5yrslater.pdf); see also Paul Butler, The White Fourth

Amendment, 43 TEX. TECH L. REV. 245, 250–54 (2010) (offering a powerful discussion

linking the mass incarceration of African-Americans to racial bigotry and prosecutorial

discretion); Sharon Dolovich, Teaching Prison Law, 62 J. LEGAL EDUC. 218, 226 (2012)

(offering potent remarks on the incarceration rates of African-American males).

85. Paul Butler, What Obama Must Say to African American Grads, Special to CNN

(May 18, 2013), available at http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/18/opinion/butler-obama-speechmorehouse/

(arguing that President Obama “can do much more than he has to disrupt the

flow of the one in three young black men who are headed to prison”); Ian Urbina, Blacks Are

Singled Out for Marijuana Arrests, Federal Data Suggests, N.Y. TIMES, June 3, 2013,

available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/04/us/marijuana-arrests-four-times-as-likelyfor-

blacks.html (“We found that in virtually every county in the country, police have wasted

taxpayer money enforcing marijuana laws in a racially biased manner.”); William

Glaberson, Unlikely Symbol in Death Debate: The Last Don; U.S. is Weighing Charges

Against Old Style Mafia Boss, N.Y. TIMES, Feb. 13, 2004, available at


charges-against-old-style.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm (“We have demonized

young Black men and young Hispanic men who engage in violent gang activity in a way that

we have not demonized—and arguably have romanticized—white men who engage in the

same conduct.”).


criminal justice system than were enslaved in 1850.86 The ill effects of

dehumanization and discrimination relative to African Americans males is

so abound that it would be nothing short of moral treason to deny that

African-American males are disproportionately profiled, arrested,

convicted, incarcerated, and sentenced more harshly than most, if not all

other demographic groups.87 As one commentator has already noted, “The

rate of involvement with the criminal justice system and incarceration

[among African-American males] rises to the level of emergency for black

communities and seriously undermines any claim of justice and equality of

our criminal justice system.”88

One of the most recent and vivid examples of this mode of social

injustice is accentuated in the class action suit, Floyd, et al. v. City of New

York, et al, wherein a federal judge ruled that the New York City Police

Department’s (“NYPD”) “stop-and-frisk” practices are unconstitutional.89

Judge Shira Scheindlin found that the NYPD adopted and employed a

“racial profiling” policy that targeted young African-American and

Hispanic males, the “overwhelmingly” majority of whom, were found to be

“innocent.”90 Acting with “deliberate indifference to constitutional

deprivations,” NYPD officials conducted over 4.4 million stops between

January 2004 and June 2012, with only 1.5 percent of those stops resulting

in a weapon being found and just six percent resulting in an arrest, which

effectively nullified any claim that the young men were targeted because

they found to be engaging in more crime or because that the policy made

the streets safer.91 In fact, the court noted that although the NYPD stopped

African-American males based on a lesser degree of “objectively founded

suspicion than whites,” 92 “whites are more likely to be found with weapons

or contraband” when stopped, but represented merely ten percent of the

citizens the NYPD stopped.93 The court also noted that African- Americans

86. See Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow, 9 OHIO ST. J. CRIM. L. 7, 9 (2011)

(discussing the large number of incarcerated African-Americans).

87. Gary Ford, The New Jim Crow: Male and Female, South and North, from Cradle

to Grave, Perception and Reality: Racial Disparity and Bias in America’s Criminal Justice

System, 11 RUTGERS RACE & L. REV. 323, 365 (2010).



89. See Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al, Opinion and order, case 1:08-cv-1034-

sas-hbp, doc. 373 (Aug. 12, 2013) (“floyd opinion”).

90. FLOYD OPINION, supra note 88 at 10, 12.

91. See id. at 6.

92. See id. at 7, 9.

93. See id. at 10, 13.

526 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

and Hispanics accounted for over eighty-three percent of those stopped and

were “more likely to be subjected to the use of force than whites.”94 The

court concluded that the statistical and anecdotal evidence showed,

unequivocally, that the NYPD violated the equal protection clause by

stopping the young men because of a “race-based suspicion.” 95

The NYPD’s ‘stop and frisk” practice, although purportedly designed

to curtail crime, at least debatably, bears witness to a conceptual need to

condition, control, and surveil the movement of African American males,

an approach notoriously epitomized in the post-Civil War Black codes that

were enacted to regulate the movement of newly freed slaves and relegate

them to subordination and poverty under the guise of protecting the public

  1. 96

Despite clear evidence that African-American males are not treated

equally under the criminal justice system, crime statistics relative to

African-American males are routinely sensationalized and used to reinforce

the false stereotype that African-American males are typically gang

members, drug kingpins, or more inclined to engage in violence and

criminal conduct.97 The current arrangement taints every interaction

between African-American males and others, arguably resulting in what has

been coined, a “black tax,” which burdens most African-American males,

by rendering them vulnerable to undeserved exploitation, neglect, and

fallacious notions of inferiority while bestowing corresponding social

entitlement upon non-African-American males.98 In short, no other group in

the United States appears more disadvantaged at birth than African-

American males.99

94. See id. at 10, 13.

95. See id. 14-16.


EVENTS FROM 1865 TO 1877, 43-45 (2003) (“In south Carolina, a former Confederate officer,

summing up the need for Black codes, said black freedom must be ‘limited, controlled, and

surrounded with such safeguards as will make change as slight as possible. . . . The general

interest of both the white man and the negro requires that he should be kept as . . . near to the

condition of slavery as possible, as far from the condition of the white man as practicable.”)



conversations about race, black crime statistics are ubiquitous).


OF BEING BLACK IN AMERICA, 13 (1997) ( The “Black Tax” is the price Black people pay in

their encounters with Whites (and some Blacks) because of Black stereotypes’).

99. See Brief of Amici Curiae Coalition of Black Male Achievement Initiatives in

Support of Respondents at 10, Fisher v. Univ. of Tex. at Austin, No. 11-345 (U.S. Aug. 13,

2012) (“From birth, young Black males face complex systemic barriers to opportunity. They


Nonetheless, when African-American males have a fair and balanced

opportunity to compete, they perform superbly.100 For example, in the U.S.

military, where there is a “relatively level playing field, black males

function as effectively as white and reveal no intrinsic difference from any

other group in their skill and reliability.”101 Outside the military, however,

African-American males are the “first victim[s] of the toxic socioeconomic


The mass derision and blame directed at young African-American

males, which relegates many of them to a perpetual state of fear, alienation,

and discrimination, is now beginning to ensnare America’s general

population of young men.103 For instance, the nation’s elementary school

system is systematically failing boys. Despite the fact that boys “score as

well as or better than girls on most standardized tests, . . . they are far less

likely to get good grades, take advanced classes or attend college.”104 A

recent study revealed that schoolteachers routinely give boys lower grades

than girls even when, unbeknownst to the teacher, the boys scored higher

on reading, math, and science tests.105 In short, the deficient grades that

teachers are giving boys do not match those students’ high test scores.106

This arrangement indicates that young boys are being academically

are more likely to live in the most disadvantaged environments in the nation, more likely to

begin life under the most difficult circumstances (i.e., grow up in poverty, suffer

disproportionate early childhood health disparities, be raised in single parent homes with

reduced resources), more likely to lack successful same-race/gender role models, and more

likely to be the victims of violence than any other group in the nation.”); Suzanne Gamboa,

High School Graduation Rate for Black Males Trails White Students, Huffington Post (Sept.

19, 2012), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/black-male-hs-graduation-_n_18964

90.html (stating that the 47 percent high school dropout rate among African-American males

is “not evidence of flaws of young men, but evidence of willful neglect by federal, state,

local elected policymakers and leaders.”).

100. See Baruti K. Kafele, Empowering Young Black Males, ASS’N FOR SUPERVISION

AND CURRICULUM DEV’T (Oct. 2012), http://www.ascd.org/publications/educationalleadership/



Males.aspx (discussing expansion of a program created by a high school principal in Essex

County, NJ which aims to empower young black men).

101. TIGER, supra note 28, at 194.

102. TIGER, supra note 28, at 194.

103. See PARKER, supra note 75, at 18–20 (discussing the impact of hostility toward

men on young men, generally).

104. Christina Hoff Sommers, Op-Ed, The Boys at the Back, N.Y. TIMES (Feb. 2, 2013,

2:00 PM), http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/02/the-boys-at-the-back/.

105. See id.

106. See id.

528 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

penalized simply for being boys. Additionally, in many regions, the

number of adult teachers having sexual relations with their boy students has

reached near-epidemic proportions.107 More than half of confiscated child

pornography depicts boys, not girls.108 The level of sex trafficking and

violence perpetrated against boys is becoming a surreptitious norm as

approximately half of all victims of sex trafficking are boys; 109a claim

made all the more potent by the shameful discoveries involving the

systematic rape of boys on The Pennsylvania State University campus.110

107. See Tim Padgett, Florida Epidemic: Teachers Sleeping with Students, TIME (May

30, 2009), http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1901762,00.html (discussing the

prevalence of cases involving Florida school teachers arrested for sexual misconduct with

underage students). But see Elizabeth Landau, Teacher-Student Sex ‘Never the Kids Fault.’

CNN (Mar. 12, 2010, 9:16 AM), http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/03/12/teacher. student

sex .scandal/index.html (discussing incidents involving female teachers having sex with their

male students).

108. See Jones, supra note 66, at 1149 (discussing the prevalence of boy sexual abuse).

109. Male Victims of Sex Trafficking, TOYSOLDIER.WORDPRESS.COM (Oct. 25, 2012),

http://toysoldier.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/male-victims-of-sex-trafficking/ (demonstrating

the culture of silence related to male sexual abuse); Sharadha Kalyanam, The Other Side of

Sexual Abuse: More Boy Victims, The Indian Express, (Oct 12, 2013), available at http://


2013/10/12/article1832399.ece#.UxX5yF6wc7A (stating that child sex abuse is at

least 10 percent more among boys than girls. The cases are just not reported, according to

activists”); Asma Al-Mohattwari, Most Child Rape Victims Are Boys, National Yemen,

available at http://nationalyemen.com/2013/03/10/most-child-rape-victims-are-boys/

(Discussing a 2012 security report issued by the Ministry of the Interior that revealed that

explained that of them majority of rape victims are “male children”); Jodie Gummow, 10

Counterintuitive Facts About Child Sex Trafficking, AlterNet, (Nov. 2, 2013), available at


trafficking (reporting that “Boys Make Up 50% of the Sex Trafficking Victims in the

U.S.”); John Jay College of Criminal Justice Center For Court Innovation, The Commercial

Sexual Exploitation of Children in New York City, Executive Summary, (Sept. 2008),

available at http://www.courtinnovation.org/sites/default/files/CSEC_NYC_Executive_

Summary.pdf (finding that at least 45% of the sexually victimized children are male and that

male victims exceed the number of female victims when “transgender” are counted as male

child); ECPAT USA, And Boys Too, http://ecpatusa.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/

08/AndBoysToo_FINAL_single-pages.pdf (reporting that a “John Jay College” study

“estimated that as high as 50% of the commercially sexually exploited children in the U.S.

are boys”); Katie Harris, An Underworld of Male Slaves Come to Light in the UK, TIME,

(Oct 17, 2013), http://world.time.com/2013/10/17/an-underground-world-of-male-slavescomes-

to-light-in-the-u-k/ (stating, “While slavery—or human trafficking—is often thought

of in terms of female victims of sexual exploitation, the statistics suggest that the gender

distribution is relatively even.”); Jones, supra note 8 at 1146 (stating, “boys are both more

likely than women and girls to become victims of human trafficking and far less likely to

receive legal protection.”).

110. See Louis Freeh,, Report of the Special Investigative Counsel Regarding the

Actions of The Pennsylvania State University Related to the Child Sexual Abuse Committed

by Gerald A. Sandusky, FREEH SPORKIN & SULLIVAN, LLP (July 12, 2012),


Lacking the benefit of the targeted legislation and policies that the

current administration affords their female counterparts, boy victims of

murder, assault, sexual or domestic violence, and similar crimes are

habitually ignored because of a culture of silence that permeates American

society with respect to crimes and discrimination against boys.111 Indeed,

law-abiding boys are often perceived as willing participants or perpetrators

of crimes and social injustices under circumstances in which girls would be

presumed innocent victims.112 In fact, several states force boy victims of

rape to pay child support for any offspring resulting from their own sexual

  1. 113 It comes as no surprise to many observers that of the

http://www.thefreehreportonpsu.com/REPORT_FINAL_071212.pdf (discussing the findings

of an independent report into the circumstances surrounding the actions of The Pennsylvania

State University related to child abuse committed by a former employee).

111. See generally ECPAT USA, And Boys Too, supra note 101 (discussing

discrepancies between the treatment of young male victims and young female victims and

the unique obstacles that plaque boy victims of sexual exploitation). In lieu of advancing

legislation and mandatory governmental requirements to address institutional problems that

have disproportionately and historically operated to oppress African American males, the

Executive branch advanced a privately funded, voluntary initiative, described as, My

Brother’s Keeper, to evaluate the unique needs of ethnic minority males. See Zachary

Goldfarb, President Obama to Launch Major New Effort to Help Minority Young Men, THE

WASHINGTON POST, http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/president-obama-to-launchmajor-


e03_story.html (discussing My Brother’s Keeper); see also, Terry Smith, Abetting Inequality

in Post Racial U.S., Philly.Com, available at http://articles.philly.com/2012-02-

02/news/31017099_1_black-children-president-obama-first-black-president, (Feb. 2, 2012)

(“The concern on Obama’s part appears to be that middle-of-the-road white voters will not

tolerate a black politician focusing on race”).

112. See generally Thomas Carroll, Gender and Juvenile Justice: New Courts,

Programs Address Needs of Girls, NAT’L CTR. FOR YOUTH LAW, http://www.youthlaw.


rograms_address_needs_of_girls/ (last visited Nov. 20, 2013) (explaining boys’ and girls’

differing reactions to trauma); see also Josh Fernandez, Skateboard Bachelor Party,

SACRAMENTO NEWS REV. (Sept. 30, 2010), available at http://www.newsreview.com/

sacramento/skateboard-bachelor-party/content?oid=1810692 (describing a situation in which

nearly an entire town started verbally abusing male skateboarders because of a false rape

allegation made by a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by a group of young

male skateboarders).

113. Ruth Jones, Inequality from Gender-Neutral Laws: Why Must Male Victims of

Statutory Rape Pay Child Support for Children Resulting from Their Victimization?, 36 GA.

L. REV. 411, 411, 413, 416 (2002); see also TIGER, supra note 28, at 23 (describing the 1996

case of Cnty. of San Luis Obispo v. Nathaniel J., 57 Cal. Rptr. 2d 843 (Cal Ct. App. 1996),

wherein the state sued a boy for welfare payments the state tendered to a thirty-four-year-old

woman who raped him when he was fifteen years old).

530 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

nearly “two thousand [annual] suicides among fifteen to nineteen-year-olds,

85 percent are boys.”114

These realities raise serious questions about the executive branch’s

funding of numerous programs designed exclusively for women and girls

while rejecting male-oriented or gender-neutral programs,115 such as its

denial of a grant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to

provide care to victims of human trafficking simply because the church

does not offer abortion services.116 Perhaps more questionable is the

executive branch’s apparent tacit consent to the tradition of “bacha bazi”

boy dancing in Afghanistan, which involves the widespread selling and

rape of young boys—a human rights calamity that has garnered great

concern from the United Nations.117

While the widespread alienation of and violence perpetrated against

young men sufficiently justify including young men, particularly young

men of color, in the textual and substantive components of today’s

governmental initiatives to quell gender discrimination and social injustice,

the executive branch remains silent on this issue. In the meantime, the

114. DOWD, supra note, at 41–42.

115. See, e.g., Obama Administration Record for Women and Girls, supra note 9

(listing the accomplishments of the Obama administration in supporting women and girls).

116. See Emily P. Walker, HHS Under Fire for Denying Grant to Catholic Group,

ABC NEWS (Dec. 4, 2011), http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/hhs-fire-denying-grantcatholic-

group/story?id=15076483 (stating that although the Catholic Group earned the

highest rank of the four grantees who applied, HHS did not award them a grant).

117. See Ernesto Londoño, Afghanistan Sees Rise in ‘Dancing Boys Exploitation,’

WASH. POST (Apr. 4, 2012), http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/afganistansdancing-

boys-are-invisible-victims/2012/04/04/gIQAyreSwS_story.html (noting that

although the State Department discussed the issue in a recent human rights report, “foreign

powers in Afghanistan have refrained from drawing attention to the issue”); see also John

Nova Lomax, WikiLeaks: Texas Company Helped Pimp Little Boys to Stoned Afghan Cops,

HOUS. PRESS (Dec. 7, 2010), http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2010/12/

wikileaks_texas_company_helped.php (asserting that according to a WikiLeaks report, an

American company is involved in the bacha bazi controversy). Washington Post reporter

Londoño states:

A growing number of Afghan children are being coerced into a life of

sexual abuse. The practice of wealthy or prominent Afghans exploiting

underage boys as sexual partners who are often dressed up as women to

dance at gatherings is on the rise in post-Taliban Afghanistan, according

to Afghan human rights researchers, Western officials and men who

participate in the abuse. “Like it or not, there was better rule of law

under the Taliban,” said Dee Brillenburg Wurth, a child-protection

expert at the U.N. mission in Afghanistan, who has sought to persuade

the government to address the problem.

Londoño, supra.


nation’s disproportionately low percentage of young men on college

campuses continues unabated, with very little alarm from the political

  1. 118 Long believed to be a problem unique to the African-

American community,119 the disproportionately low percentage of young

men graduating from or attending college, and the consequential

economically depressed culture that such a social phenomenon produces, is

now a critical concern for many Americans, including marriage-minded

  1. 120

Not only is education one of the most important functions of

government, it is the principal instrument for awakening cultural values and

preparing for professional life.121 It is doubtful that any citizen can be

expected to succeed in today’s competitive and global economy without

sound investments in advanced education. Yet, the nation’s educational

system continues to ignore or alienate boys, who suffer from:

lower grades, a higher rate of being held back a grade, a higher dropout

rate, lower test scores, more frequent behavior problems, a

disproportionate representation in the pool of students labeled learning

disabled and emotionally disturbed, a higher rate of suspension, a higher

rate of suicide, a greater likelihood of inflicting or being victimized by

physical violence, and being less likely to attend college.122

Indeed, for every three women who will graduate with a bachelor’s

degree, two men will graduate, as male student enrollment continues an

118. David R. Francis, Why Do Women Outnumber Men in College?, THE NAT’L

BUREAU OF ECON. RESEARCH, http://www.nber.org/digest/jan07/w12139.html (last visited

Oct. 18, 2012).

119. See Statistics on African-American Males: Facts and Sources, Current Plight of

Black Men & Boys in America, THE MOREHOUSE MALE INITIATIVE, http://morehousemale

initiative.com/?page_id=178 (last visited Nov. 20, 2013) (citing a study positing that “[j]ust

22% of Black males who began at a four-year college graduated within six years”).

120. See Homans, supra note 27; Alex Williams, The New Math on Campus, N.Y.

TIMES (Feb. 5, 2010), www.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/fashion/07campus.htmlwww.nytimes.

com/2010/02/07/fashion/07campus.html; John O’Rourke, YouSpeak: When Women

Outnumber Men, BU TODAY (Feb. 14, 2011), www.bu.edu/today/2011/youspeak-whenwomen-

outnumber-men; see also Bolick, supra note 37:

Given the crisis in gender it has suffered through for the past half century, the

African American population might as well be a separate nation. An astonishing

70 percent of black women are unmarried, and they are more than twice as

likely as white women to remain that way. Those black women who do marry

are more likely than any other group of women to ‘marry down.’ . . . Across all

income levels, black men have dropped far behind black women professionally

and educationally; women with college degrees outnumber men 2-to-1.

121. Brown v. Bd. of Educ., 347 U.S. 483, 493 (1954).

122. DOWD, supra note, at 76.

532 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

unabated downward spiral.123 Some social theorists attribute the lack of

gender-diverse enrollment and graduation rates on college campuses to a

well-entrenched, systemic anti-male bias that permeates many public and

private educational institutions.124 Indeed, renowned incidents at McNeese

State University,125 Brown University,126 UC Davis,127 Penn State

123. See Catherine New, Income Gap Closing: Women on Pace to Outearn Men,

HUFFINGTON POST (Mar. 21, 2012, 12:31 PM), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

2012/03/21/income-gap-women-make-more-men_n_1368328.html (discussing a recent rise

in women’s salaries); As Gender Roles Change, Are Men Out of Step?, CBS NEWS (June 17,

2012, 9:51 AM), http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-57454755/as-gender-roleschange-

are-men-out-of-step/; Miles Groth, Are Colleges Not Welcoming Young Men,

Psychology Today, (Aug. 21, 2013), available at http://www.psychologytoday.com/

blog/boys-men/201308/are-colleges-not-welcoming-young-men (stating that the “rate of

[college] attendance of males in overall proportion to females is now about 37% in the


124. See Jedediah Bila, Academia and Young Men: The Interview Some ‘Feminists’

Won’t Want You to Read, ASS’N OF MATURE AM. CITIZENS (Apr. 30, 2012),


(interviewing Dr. Miles Groth, psychology professor at Wagner College and founding

editor of an online journal focusing on issues facing men and boys nationwide); see

generally PARKER, supra note 75, at 31; see SOMMERS supra note 5, at 50–51 (criticizing the

feminist movement); VENKER, supra note 5, at 17–19 (discussing the climate created by

feminism at institutions of higher education); Groth, supra note 115 (explaining that “the

environment has changed on campuses and men feel less welcome on many—perhaps

most—college campuses”); Kenneth B. Nunn, Diversity As a Dead End, 35 PEPP. L. REV.

705, 728 (2008) (“According to three sociologists who have studied the occurrence of racial

incidents on college campuses, ‘U.S. colleges and universities are frequently permeated with

much subtle, covert, and blatant racism.’”).

125. See Jones, supra note 66, at 1176 n.212 (describing the arrest of a young male

McNeese State University student for sexual assault who was jailed for thirty days before his

accuser admitted that she fabricated the entire allegation); see also Michael David Smith,

School District Sues Brian Banks’ Accuser over False Rape Claim, NBC SPORTS (Apr. 13,

2013, 7:40 AM), http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/04/13/school-board-sues-brianbanks-

accuser-over-false-rape-claim/ (reporting on The Long Beach School District’s suit to

recover a $750,000 settlement from Wanetta Gibson, a women who falsely accused

linebacker Brian Banks of rape, causing him to spend years in jail); Associated Press

Reporter, Liberal Student Activist Threatened Herself with Rape in Facebook Hoax to

Frame Conservatives, MAIL ONLINE (May 1, 2013), available at http://www.dailymail.co.


frame-conservatives.html, (reporting on a University of Wyoming student that

anonymously posting sexually intimidating language targeted towards herself on her own

Facebook page in order to be convince people that she was a victim); Andres Jauregui,

Morgan Triplett, UCSB Student, Hired Man to Beat Her, Then Filed Rape Report with

Police: D.A., THE HUFFINGTON POST (Apr. 4, 2013, 1:43 PM), http://www.huffingtonpost.

com/2013/04/02/morgan-triplett-hired-man-filed-rape-report_n_2998803.html (reporting on

a female University of California Santa Barbara student charged with filing a false rape

report after reportedly soliciting via craigslist.com two men to beat her in exchange for sex).

126. See Andrew Mytelka, Settlement Reached in Brown U. Lawsuit over Student Said


University,128 Vermont Law School,129 and other institutions across the

nation,130 confirm male vulnerability to a particularly virulent brand of

exploitation and gender discrimination that operates to deny young men

equal access to education and freedom.131 The psychological and emotional

to Be Falsely Accused of Rape, CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUC. (Dec. 21, 2011),


accused-of-rape/39337 (discussing an incident where a male student was falsely

accused of rape and sued the University).

127. See Kristin Jones, A Curious Anomaly at UC Davis, CTR. FOR PUB. INTEGRITY

(Mar. 12, 2011, 2:36 PM), http://www.publicintegrity.org/2009/12/03/2752/curiousanomaly-

uc-davis (noting an investigation of UC Davis after an audit revealed that it

submitted false reports of sexual assault and that it had received repeated federal grants from

the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, which was intended, in

part, to increase institutional reporting of sexual assaults).

128. See Kevin T. Mulhearn, Penn State Seemed More Interested in Protecting

School’s Brand than Jerry Sandusky’s Victims, N.Y. DAILY NEWS (July 12, 2012, 11:55

PM), http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/i-team/penn-state-interested-protecting-schoolbrand-

jerry-sandusky-victims-article-1.1113524 (highlighting that Penn State University

officials acted in a fashion that demonstrated they were more concerned with protecting the

Penn State brand than saving boy victims of repeated sexual abuse).

129. See Christina Hoff Sommers, In Making Campuses Safe for Women, a Travesty of

Justice for Men, AM. ENTER. INST. (June 5, 2011), www.aei.org/article/society-andculture/


(reporting that after a male law student was charged with rape under highly questionable

circumstances and subsequently cleared of the charges after maintaining his complete

innocence, the Vermont Law School refused to release his transcripts and threatened to bring

new charges after he filed a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress against the

Vermont Law School and the accuser).

130. See Harvey Silvergate, Yes Means YesExcept on Campus, WALL ST. J., (July 15,

2011), available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405270230367870457644

0014119968294.html (reporting that the University of North Dakota suspended Caleb

Warner from school for three years and refused him a rehearing despite his claim that a

sexual encounter between him and a female student was consensual and an official police

investigation finding that revealed clear evidence that the female student lied about the

reported rape and refused to respond to a warrant issued for her arrest for filing a false police


131. See Katie Roiphe, The Morning After: Sex, Fear, And Feminism on Campus, 96–

98 (1993) (discussing the impact of gender discrimination on males); See, e.g., Tamar

Lewin, Black Students Face More Discipline, Data Suggests, N.Y. TIMES (Mar. 6, 2012),


shows.html (providing an example of how young men are denied equal educational

opportunities); see also Alex Rued, Guilty Until Proven Innocent: How Misinformation Is

Influencing College Sexual Assault Policies, THE COLLEGE CONSERVATIVE (Jan. 12, 2012),


mation-is-influencing-colleges-sexual-assault-policies/ (stating that Ms. Rued points out that

“inflammatory data exaggerating the plight of women [relative to alleged sexual assault on

campuses] continues to dominate media reports . . . [and drive] draconian action” against

male students and that data typically found in “rape pamphlets” and on “college websites” is

534 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

impact of these contemporary forms of gender discrimination has generated

widespread distrust for some academic institutions, which many perceive as

anti-male in nature. Hence, both male and female students are beginning to

lose interest in some educational experiences.132

Their reaction is not without merit. The nation’s schools have become

“major institutional problem[s] for boys’ self-esteem,” primarily because

“curriculum[s] [are] more closely linked to girls’ developmental

capabilities,” to the detriment of boys.133 It cannot reasonably be denied that

like many recently advanced executive policies and initiatives, today’s

colleges are saturated with numerous courses and programs specifically

labeled for young women, without any offering of corresponding courses

and programs tailored for their young men.134 Some may argue that the

womenspecific focus on college campuses represents an attempt to meet

the needs of the female majority or, perhaps, to correct the effects of past

  1. 135 Nevertheless, few would deny that there is something

misleading or without any evidentiary basis. Rued cites a Purdue University study that found

the rate of false rape claims to be “41 percent,” a National Institute of Justice study that

found the rate of false rape claims to hover at “25 percent,” and notes that the authors of

Until Proven Innocent place the rate of false rape claims between “9 and 50 percent.”); see

also Anna Rittgers, Sometimes, Women Lie About Rape, THE WASHINGTON TIMES (Sept. 7,

2011), available at http://www.washington times.com/news/2011/sep/7/sometimes-womenlie-

about-rape/?page=all (describing “campus judiciary proceedings” of sexual assault cases

as “Kangaroo proceedings” and noting that “innocent men wrongly convicted [of sexual

assault under the new standard] . . . could suffer expulsion, damage to their reputation,

disqualification for jobs and even criminal prosecution,” while women who make “false

allegations are rarely punished.”); see also National Coalition for Men, False Accusations,

(Jan. 11, 2009), available at http://ncfm.org/2009/01/issues/false-accusations/ (citing

Charles P. McDowell, Ph.D., False Allegations, Forensic Science Digest, (publication of the

U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations), Vol. 11, No. 4 p.64 (Dec. 1985), (finding

“about one-forth of rape accusers recanted just before taking a lie detector test or after failing

one. Further research found 60% of the accusations were false. The most common reasons

given for making false accusations were spite or revenge, feelings of guilt or shame, or to

cover up an affair”)).

132. See Bill Costello, Where the Education Gap Is Leading America, MAKING MINDS

MATTER (Oct. 17, 2009), http://makingmindsmatter.com/2009/10/17/where-the-educationgender-

gap-is-leading-america (“It turns out that when the gender ratio on campus tips

decidedly toward women, both men and women become less attracted to that campus. Men

don’t want to enroll in what is perceived as a women’s college, and women want men

around to date.”).

133. Dowd, supra note, at 41.

134. See, e.g., Women’s and Gender Studies Home: Women’s and Gender Studies

Courses, BOSTON COLLEGE, http://www.bc.edu/content/bc/schools/cas/ws/spring_courses.

html (last visited Oct. 18, 2012) (showing an example of women’s studies college


135. See Interview by Scott Jaschik with Alice E. Ginsberg, The Evolution of American


intuitively incongruent about an institutional practice that purports to

empower the innocent majority (young women) while simultaneously

discriminating against the innocent minority (young men) in a way that

recreates the calamitous past practices of discrimination that the institution

purportedly wants to correct. The abundance of women-labeled programs

on numerous college campuses across the nation136 represents the first time

in American history when a growing number of government-funded

educational programs have been specifically earmarked for the empowered,

numeric majority group (women) with the approval of the executive branch,

while enrollment amongst the disempowered numeric minority group (men)

dissipates at an alarming rate.137

The lack of male-oriented educational programs and courses is

suggestive, if not illustrative, of an abiding refusal of college legislators and

administrators to respect human dignity and enforce civil rights laws and

Title IX in a gender-neutral manner.138 Furthermore, it is debilitating to

both male and female students. At a minimum, it suggests, quite

erroneously, that: (1) human dignity is not intrinsic to all Americans, but is

merely a product of political or institutional design; (2) male culture,

prosperity, and values are inferior or subordinate to those of females; and

(3) female students remain so socially or economically disadvantaged that

they are in need of special attention or preferences, in a way that male

students are not, if they are to compete.

Many find these realities particularly unacceptable given the steady

drop in science, technology, engineering, and math concentrations among

American students, which some view as a national security crisis.139

Women’s Studies, INSIDE HIGHER ED (Mar. 27, 2009), http://www.insidehighered.


(stating that “one of the primary goals of . . . women’s studies is equality with men . . .”).

136. See, e.g., Undergrad Degree Programs, PENN STATE UNIV. BULL.,

http://bulletins.psu. edu/undergrad/courses/W/WMNST/ (last visited Oct. 18, 2012)

(showing an abundance of women-labeled programs).

137. See Daniel Borzelleca, The Male-Female Ratio in College, FORBES (Feb. 16,

2012), http://www.forbes.com/sites/ccap/2012/02/16/the-male-female-ratio-in-college/

(finding that “females outnumbered their male counterparts for the first time in the late

1970’s, and they have steadily increased their numerical value ever since”).

138. See William H. Glover, Jr., Gender Participation Issues Related to SportsTitle

IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, LEXIS HUB (Mar. 25, 2011), available at



the-education-amendments-of-1972.aspx (showing that Title IX is not enforced equally

between men and women).

139. See Decline in Math and Science Education Imperils U.S., HOMELAND SECURITY

536 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

III. Finding a Solution for the Neglect and Alienation of Males

A. Causation

When one considers the degree of social policy enactments and

manner in which men and boys are excluded without apparent objection

from the general public, one is left with a near-inescapable supposition that

neglect and alienation of males are either desired or socially acceptable,

although the basis for the neglect and alienation appears vague or

imprecise. Indeed, a number of reasons might explain the phenomenon.

One might reason that the exclusion of men and boys from executive

branch policies and programs aimed at promoting social justice and

quelling gender discrimination is simply an unintended consequence of a

U.S. president whose self-proclaimed single-mother upbringing compels

him to over-identify with matriarchal ideologies and reject patriarchal

  1. 140 One could also reason that today’s circumstance is merely a

result of a chief executive’s masterful plan to satisfy one of its largest

political base: single women.141 Though reasonable, neither explanation

adequately addresses why the general public might accept or remain

indifferent to male neglect. This facet of the problem might explain why

some social theorists view the cause as cultural rather than political in

  1. 142

For instance, Christina Hoff Sommers attributes the cause of male

neglect and alienation to “a feminism of resentment that rationalizes and

fosters a wholesale rancor,” based on the belief that all women are

NEWS WIRE (Apr. 30, 2008), www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/decline-math-andscience-

education-imperils-us (stating that “the decline in the number of graduates in

mathematics and engineering has become as steady as it is worrisome”).

140. See Kevin Diaz, Campaigns Fight for Women’s Vote, STARTRIBUNE (Sept. 25,

2012), http://www.startribune.com/news/?id=171077551 (recognizing that Michelle Obama

frequently reflects on her husband’s single mother upbringing).

141. See JoNel Aleccia, Women’s Support Proves Key in Battlegrounds, MSNBC (Nov.

5, 2008, 12:15 AM), http://www.nbcnews.com/id/27524699/#.Unw3IEJy4wc (discussing

how President Obama won the presidential election by garnering the majority of the women

vote, consisting mostly of single, childless women); see also Gender Gap Evident in the

2008 Election: Women, Unlike Men, Show Clear Preference for Obama over McCain, CTR.

FOR AM. WOMEN AND POL. (Nov. 5, 2008), http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/

press_room/news/documents/PressRelease_11-05-08_women svote.pdf. (Although Barack

Obama won the majority of women voters during the 2008 presidential election, which

consisted of 68 percent of Latinas and 96 percent of African-Americans, only 46 percent of

his votes came from Caucasian women).

142. See SOMMERS, supra note 5, at 41–42.


“victim[s]” and men are the “culprit[s].”143 Kathleen Parker attributes the

cause of male neglect to “a culture that too often embraces the notion that

men are to blame for all of life’s ills” and that “[m]ales as a group . . . are

bad by virtue of their DNA.”144 Parker reasons that “[i]n the process of

fashioning a more female-friendly world, we’ve created a culture that is

hostile toward males [and] contemptuous of masculinity.”145 David Benatar

attributes the male neglect problem to a culturally accepted belief that

males are less valuable to society than females.146 To illustrate the merits of

his position, Benatar points to the legal conscription of men into combat;

how men were required to register for Selective Service while women were

exempt; and the traditional response to natural or manmade catastrophe,

wherein men are the first to be sacrificed or put at risk in favor of “women

and children first,” which he argues is an indication that the preservation of

adult female lives takes priority over the preservation of adult male lives.147

Lionel Tiger makes a similar assertion, arguing that “[m]ale behavior itself

is treated as intrinsically questionable if not outright pathological.”148 In

illustrating his point, Tiger points to the fact that men are frequently

diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and are

decisively more likely to be diagnosed as needing “special education.”149

Tiger also notes a societal trend toward viewing single-sex educational

institutions for women as important for self-esteem and professional

advancement, whereas single-sex education for men (for example, “military

academies”) is perceived as “producing degraded behavior.”150

143. See id.

144. PARKER, supra note 75, at vii.

145. See PARKER, supra note 75, at vii–viii (attributing much of the cause to the fact

that “in film and music, men are variously portrayed as dolts, bullies, brutes, deadbeats,

rapists, sexual predators, and wife beaters” and that women, as a group, are attracted to such

depictions); One Boyfriend, Hardly Used . . ., THE AGE (Aug. 9, 2003), http://www.

theage.com.au/articles/2003/08/06/1060145716188.html (stating, for instance, that the

scriptwriter from one of the most successful television shows, Sex and the City, advises

women viewers to pass on boyfriends after they have finished with them, and describing the

discarded men as “man-me-downs”).

146. BENATAR, supra note 75, at 79.

147. BENATAR, supra note 75, at 79.

148. TIGER, supra note 28, at 180.

149. TIGER, supra note 28, at 181; see also DOWD, supra note, at 41 (“[B]oys’ activity

level also makes them more likely to ‘look [like] ADHD’ . . . [and that] history is full of

great men who were notable misfits in the school environment.” (internal citations omitted)).

150. TIGER, supra note 28, at 181; see also Subodh Varma, No Benefits from Separate

Schooling for Boys and Girls, The Times of India (Feb. 3, 2014), http://timesofindia.


20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

Robert Bly, in his influential work, Iron John: A Book about Men,

attributes some of the cause of male neglect to male resentment of men.151

Bly asserts that many men harbor a deep-rooted distrust of other men,

which Bly links to a specific identity many men adopt after being forced to

act as “soul companion[s]” to their mothers at a young age—an experience

that compels men to over-identify with matriarchal identity and view

themselves as “white knight[s] for womankind.”152 In short, Bly points to a

connection between an adult male’s self-identity as a “man” and his ability

to protect women from what he perceives to be a threat—other men.153

Susan Faludi, in her significant work, Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American

Man, ascribes much of America’s growing alienation from and

dehumanization of men to a feminist media, which, she reasons, routinely

depicts men as culprits and masculinity as dysfunctional.154 Few can

reasonably deny that American media, which systematically highlights and

sensationalizes the best traits in women and the worst traits in men, is a

contributing cause of male dehumanization.155 Despite the alarming

number of men who die from violence, companies routinely use television

commercials that mock violence against men to market their products.156

More than 80 percent of media descriptions of males are negative.157 The

American media’s preoccupation with sensationalizing or overreporting

male deviance, particularly that of African-Americans, while

Study/articleshow/29809408.cms (discussing a recent study by the American Psychological

Association that covered over “1.6 million students” and concluded that “separate schools

for boys and girls gives no benefit compared to coed schools”).


152. Id.

153. Id.


perennial ed. 2000).

155. See Jones, supra note 66, at 1173 (stating that “the media’s negative perception of

men in general provides a strong basis for concern”).

156. See Be a Man: Macho Advertising Promotes Hyper-Masculine Behavior, Study

Finds, HUFFINGTON POST (May 8, 2013, 5:08 PM), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

2013/05/07/be-a-man-macho-hypermasculine-advertising_n_3230402.html (showing that

advertisements in male magazine promote violence as an essential characteristic of


157. See Jones, supra note 8 (citing facts showing that only 20 percent of

representations of men in the media are positive); see also PAUL NATHANSON & KATHERINE


CULTURE 143 (2001) (“Watching the brutality of male characters night after night on primetime

television has a therapeutic value for many women. It provides a psychologically

satisfying explanation for the cause of suffering. More than that, it provides a culturally

acceptable source for suffering and evil.”).


simultaneously underreporting female criminal conduct,158 is an emblematic

result of female-oppression-male-culprit reasoning, wherein males are cast

as victimizers and women as victims, even under circumstances in which

the male is clearly the victim.159 Whether the reluctance to report or

describe female deviant behavior stems equally from concern over being

perceived as misogynistic, or fear of losing television viewership, the

commercial media’s constant portrayal of males as criminals, cheaters, or

victimizers of women harms the collective good because it pressures the

allocation of government resources160 to protect only women and girls,

thereby allowing a substantial degree of harm to men and boys to go

unabated or undetected.161 Consequently, public servants such as clergy

staff, school teachers, social workers, law enforcement officers, politicians,

and even judges, who otherwise would play a decisive role in combating

gender discrimination, are left uninformed regarding the full spectrum of

criminal behavior, discrimination, and false blame levied against men and

  1. 162

158. See Jones, supra note 8, at 1173 (“[M]odern media portrays Latino males as poor,

uneducated, lazy, and violent, and African-American males as criminals, delinquents, perfect

entertainers and athletes, irresponsible, lazy, overbearing, or devoted sidekicks.” (citing

Jamie Pehl, Latinos in the U.S. Media (May 12, 2004), available at http://www.teaching

literature.org/teachingliterature/pdf/multi/latinos_media_pehl.pdf); Ardis C. Martin,

Television Media as a Potential Negative Factor in the Racial Identity Development of

African American Youth, 32 Acad. Psychiatry 338, 340 (July 1, 2008) available at


159. See Brenda Smith, Uncomfortable Places, Close Spaces: Female Correctional

Workers’ Sexual Interactions with Men and Boys in Custody, 59 UCLA L. REV. 1690, 1713–

14 (2012) (pointing out that although female correctional officers commit the majority of

sexual assaults upon males in correctional facilities, correctional authorities display a

reluctance to cast them as victimizers).

160. See generally Tatum Wilcox, Media Influence on Politics and Government,

HELIUM (Dec. 12, 2007), http://www.helium.com/items/745081-media-influence-on-politicsand-

government (explaining how the media influences political campaigns, government

officials, and state affairs).

161. See Adam Voiland, The ‘Silent Phenomenon’ of Male Sexual Abuse, U.S. NEWS &

WORLD REPORTS (Sept. 8, 2008), http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/onmen/

2008/09/08/the-silent-phenomenon-of-male-sexual-abuse (positing that because

American culture assumes that sexual abuse only happens to women, many men are sexually

abused, but the abuse goes unreported).

162. See, e.g., Marci Hamilton, Is Penn State the Catholic Church?, THE HUFFINGTON

POST (Nov. 8, 2011, 4:35 PM), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marci-hamilton/is-pennstate-

the-catholi_b_1082595.html (discussing how young men were victimized in both

educational and religious settings and further victimized by the institutional leaders’

concealment of the scandal).

540 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

B. Solution

Regardless of which theory of causation one subscribes to, if the

nation is to achieve genuine gender equality and social justice for all

citizens, it is incumbent upon all Americans, particularly those from

historically oppressed groups, not to let contempt for the past acts of their

oppressor turn them into oppressors.163 Martin Luther King, Jr., once noted

that deeply rooted in American culture is a conviction that every person has

dignity and self-worth.164 He observed that the duty to respect the dignity

and worth of human personality is not only expressed in the Hebraic-

Christian texts, but is also solidly enunciated in the nation’s Declaration of

  1. 165 Social injustice stands in sharp contrast to the principle to

respect human dignity. In highlighting the degree to which respect for

human dignity should guide conduct, King cited the claims of Immanuel

Kant, who argued that “all men must be treated as ends and never as mere

means” to an end.166 The duty to respect human dignity and to recognize a

person’s right to his or her own purpose is the basis of Immanuel Kant’s

means-end principle.167 Kant stood firmly against treating people as merely

means to an end as if they were objects with predetermined purposes rather

than autonomous beings.168 He argued that people should be free to pursue

their own aspirations,169 and (as this author has noted) that a person’s worth

should not be “influenced by feelings, impulses, heredity, social rank, or the

advantages that one’s individual talents one might procure.”170 Kant

believed that a person could recognize another’s worth only by maintaining

163. See MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., The Most Durable Power, in A TESTAMENT OF


Washington ed., 1986) (“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”) [hereinafter MARTIN

LUTHER KING, JR.]; see also Viktor Frankl, MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING, 112 (Washington

Square Press, 1984) (reasoning that some people cannot “escape the influences of brutality”

they have suffered and often feel they have a license to abuse others and feel their brutality

or abuse of others is justified by “their own terrible experiences”).

164. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., supra note 163, at 118–19.

165. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., supra note 163, at 118–19.

166. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., supra note 163, at 119.


ENLIGHTENMENT? 53–54 (Lewis White Black trans., 1990).

168. Id. at 52–53.


1991) (stating that a person is subject only to laws he gives to himself).

170. Samuel V. Jones, The Ethics of Letting Civilians Die in Afghanistan: The False

Dichotomy Between Hobbesian and Kantian Rescue Paradigms, 59 DEPAUL L. REV. 899,

931 (2010).


an overriding concern for the welfare of another person and accepting him

or her as an equal member in the human race, rather than viewing a person

through the prism of gender or social identity.171

The proclamations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Immanuel Kant

regarding human dignity have historically held strong appeal to the personal

ethos of American society and provided a sound jurisprudential basis for

curtailing social injustice against group discrimination.172 To illustrate,

consider the efforts of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to end

race and religious-based textual exclusions decades ago:

[O]ne of the League’s aims was to put a stop to the poisoning of the

social environment by published declarations of racial and religious

exclusion. When the ADL campaigned for legislation preventing stores

and hotels from refusing to do business with Jews, it was not just the

discrimination they wanted to counter, it was [also] the signage:

“Christians only.” What concerned the ADL was the danger that anti-

Semitic signage would become an established feature of the landscape

and that Jews would have to lead their lives in a community whose

public aspect was permanently disfigured in this way.

Singly or together, these reputational attacks amount to assaults upon

the dignity of the persons affected—dignity, in the sense of these

persons’ basic social standing, of the basis of their recognition as social

equals, and of their status as bearers of human rights and constitutional

  1. 173

As noted earlier, a group’s human dignity can be offended simply by

“associating group membership with prohibition or exclusion” in a manner

that operates to degrade the people who are excluded from a certain benefit

or right, such as “No blacks allowed.”174 Just as it was and remains morally

and legally appropriate to question public declarations of racial and

religious exclusions in an effort to end affronts to human dignity, it is

equally appropriate to question the public declarations of gender exclusions

to end affronts to human dignity.

Few would deny that if the executive branch of the U.S. government or

today’s institutions of higher learning were to establish explicitly male-only

171. Id.

172. See, e.g., Samuel Vincent Jones, Letter to the Editor, A ‘Teachable Moment’ on

Marginalized Male Victims, N.Y. TIMES (Feb. 20, 2012), http://www.nytimes.com/


(highlighting the social importance of respecting human dignity in American culture).

173. Jeremy Waldron, Dignity and Defamation: The Visibility of Hate, 123 HARV. L.

REV. 1596, 1610 (2010) (emphasis added).

174. Id.

542 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

focused programs using publicly declared gender exclusions, (e.g., courses

titled Men and the Law; or programs or offices titled, Council on Men and

Boys, Men’s Bureau, Office on Men’s Health; or host a White House

Forum on Men and the Economy) without offering similar programs for

women, such initiatives would, at a minimum, rightly be considered an

affront to the dignity of women. Yet, despite the dismal life conditions

facing men today, many government policies, social justice initiatives, and

institutions of higher learning employ programs that publicly exclude

males, using nearly the same textual language that operated to exclude

groups based on religious or racial grounds.175 This arrangement highlights

the dangers of distributing legal rights and entitlements between men and

women based on perceived notions of fairness. Because notions of fairness

are often susceptible to being influenced by antiquated notions of male

dominance, bigotry or self-seeking political agendas, reliance on notions of

fairness is questionable.176

Human dignity provides a safer tool for political government and

educational institutions toto attain and maintain social justice. Of course,

human dignity “is a complex idea, with philosophical as well as political

and legal resonances . . . [it] is not just a Kantian philosophical conception

of the immeasurable worth of humans considered as moral agents,” but

rather a matter of “one’s status as a member of society in good standing.”177

As such, the duty to respect human dignity “generates demands for

recognition and treatment . . . that should be nourished and maintained by

society and the law.”178

There are a myriad of means by which policymakers can and should

recognize and respect human dignity. First, policymakers should respect

the freedom and welfare of all citizens by allocating benefits and burdens in

a fashion that treats every citizen equally as ends and not as a mere means

to an end.179 This requires that policymakers extend to men and boys the

same considerations and opportunities to succeed that they implicitly and

175. See Nancy Levit, Feminism for Men: Legal Ideology and the Construction of

Maleness, 43 UCLA L. REV. 1037, 1042, 1105, 1115 (1996) (arguing that the role of

masculinity in supporting feminism must be considered).

176. See id. at 1042–43 (explaining that the equal treatment theory viewed men as the

“benchmark, the norm” for notions of fairness).

177. Waldron, supra note 173, at 1611–12.

178. Waldron, supra note 173, at 1612.

179. See C.E. HARRIS, JR., APPLYING MORAL THEORIES 172 (2d ed. 1992); THOMAS E.


(explaining Kant’s moral theory as a wholehearted commitment to goodwill).


expressly provide to women and girls.180 In so doing, policymakers must

respect the conditions necessary for men and boys to exercise their moral

autonomy by refraining from interrupting male freedom and their ability to

set their own goals and preserve their own welfare.181 Put succinctly,

governmental and institutional policies should: (1) endeavor to protect men

and boys from murder, physical violence, and accidental deaths just as

strongly as they aim to protect women and girls from such calamities; (2)

promote and facilitate the right of men and boys to achieve economic

prosperity, education, and financial security, just as much as they support

the right of women and girls to do so; and (3) make provisions for the

health, safety, and general welfare of men and boys, including veterans, the

disabled, the sick, and the homeless, just as they provide such services for

women and girls.182 The claim is not that the human rights and private

interests of women and girls should not remain governmental priorities—

indeed, they should. Rather, the claim is that by addressing the needs and

private interests of men and boys in concert with that of women and girls,

policymakers improve the quality of life and respect the dignity of both

IV. Conclusion

Despite noble and notable gains relative to women and girls, the

festering sore of social injustice and gender inequality continues to be a

dreadful burden for many of the nation’s most devoted citizens.183 Suicide,

depression, homelessness, violent death, poor health care, incarceration,

unemployment, underemployment, poor education, and weak job prospects

are alarming problems for today’s men and boys, and put the traditional

American family in an imperiled state. If the nation is to be a country in

which the dignity of every person is respected regardless of his or her

gender or social status, American citizens must condemn policies that

neglect and exploit men and boys just as vehemently as we applaud

initiatives to end discrimination and oppression against women and girls.

180. See Ernest J. Weinrib, Law as a Kantian Idea of Reason, 87 COLUM. L. REV. 472,

491 (1987) (positing that the presence of an external authority reinforces upon an actor the

“external requirements of practical reason”).

181. See, e.g., HARRIS, supra note 179, at 162 (explaining that for a person to be a

moral agent, he needs to be able to control his behavior and set and achieve his own goals).

182. See HARRIS, supra note 179, at 173.

183. See supra discussion Part II.

544 20 WASH. & LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 507 (2014)

Granted, notions about gender and social equality and how they should

be measured, perceived, or attained are not monolithic. While many

Americans (perhaps more single-oriented individuals) continue to voice

concern over perceived female oppression and clamor for more genderexclusive

mandates,184 others (namely, those who are more family-oriented)

remain decidedly concerned about the dignity of men, women, boys, and

girls, and long for more gender-inclusive policies.185 While the two

philosophical positions may not be truly antithetical in all respects, existing

antinomies between them cannot be ignored. Regardless of which position

one most philosophically aligns with, we all must adhere to and pursue

policies that compel an abiding recognition of and respect for the dignity of

all citizens if gender and social equality is ever to be attained. If the nation

continues to succumb to a platform that ignores the needs of men and boys,

and by extension, that of wives and mothers, rather than one that addresses

the needs of all Americans, the moral authority, economic might, and

national security of the United States will become compromised, perhaps

184. See, e.g., Alicia C. Carra, Creating Law and Policy with Women’s Voices:

Feminism in Action, 39 U. BALT. L.F. 181, 187 (2009) (discussing ways in which the law

should be applied to empower all women).

185. See Cape Sociology, Feminist Theories of the Family, FEATURED CAPE SOC. RES.,

http://www.capesociology.org/feminist-theories-family-54.html (last visited Jan. 25, 2013).

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