White House's New Gender Policy Council Excludes Boys and Men
And sticks its head in the sand about some of our most serious problems
There are currently seven federal offices of women's health in the United States.
There are zero federal offices of men’s health.
The Biden administration recently announced plans to form a “gender policy council” but there’s a catch—boys and men are excluded. Perhaps a better way to convey how bonkers this is to say that HALF the population will be left out, by design.
All of our sons, excluded.
All dads, excluded.
All gay men, excluded.
Even transgender men, excluded.
I am hard pressed to come up with any explanation for why a gender policy council, if it’s going to exist, would exclude all males.
The life expectancy of a man in the United States is five years shorter than for a woman.
81 percent of Americans between the ages of 10 and 24 who die by suicide in this country are male.
70 percent of people who die by opioid overdose are male.
Boys are the primary victims of community and gang violence and youth homicide and are more likely to be victims of fatal child abuse.
Boys account for 80 percent of suspensions and expulsions in pre-school and 70 percent of suspensions and expulsions in K-12. These numbers are most disproportionate for black boys.
Two thirds of students in special education are male. Black boys are more likely than any other group to be placed in special education.
Only 15 percent of black boys in 8th grade can read and write proficiently. That number is 42 percent for white 8th grade boys. Both numbers are sobering but the first one is a five-alarm fire.
Four times as many boys as girls are diagnosed with autism.
Boys are three times more likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis.
Boys earn 70 percent of Ds and Fs and drop out of high school at higher rates.
63 percent of Pell grants go to girls. That is $6.2 billion more in yearly funding for women than men in undergraduate programs.
Over 90 percent of on-the-job deaths in this country happen to men.
Men have also been dying from COVID at higher rates.
Remarkably, the White House does not seem to care about any of this. Or if they do care, they are too afraid of the political backlash they think will inevitably come if they broaden their focus to include boys and men. How sad is that?
Putting aside the cowardice it takes to be unwilling to admit, out loud, that boys and men also need and deserve support and investment, these trends are unsustainable. We do ourselves a huge disservice when we turn the complex realities facing males and females into some kind of contest. Humanity requires us to care about in word and deed.
I am not saying that males should take the place of females on Biden’s gender policy council—I am simply requesting that they not be excluded.
Is that really too much to ask?