If you were to ask me if I believed that the war on terror was a concept that plagued society, I’d say, “You bet.” The same question but with the war on drugs? “Most definitely.” But a war on men? I don’t buy it.
After U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) made headlines for calling to expel all students accused of sexual assault, whether or not the accusations are found true, Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors, published a column stating that Polis’ sweeping idea was further proof of a supposed ever- increasing war on men.
In the grand scheme of things, Polis’ idea to expel anyone accused of sexual assault, innocent or guilty, would create more problems than solutions. Yet, his idea is a result of a never-ending labyrinth of sexual assault prevention and punishment on college campuses across the world. But for Reynolds, who is a University of Tennessee law professor, to say that Polis, a white man, is contributing to a cultural war on men, might be more insane that expelling potentially innocent people.
Reynolds is not the first person to claim that there is a war on men. Of course, there are the right-wing zanies who publish political manifestos on their misogynistic blogospheres about how men are at the heels of society and need to resume their rightful place on top. However, the chilling fact is that a well-versed and respected female scholar and author also published an opinion on Fox News saying that men have become the depreciated sex.
Suzanne Venker, who has written a few books on marriage and family and how culture affects the two, argues in her 2012 column that the sexual revolution and feminism have changed women for the worse in the eyes of modern men, but that depends on who is looking. While Reynolds’ opinion cites ideas like Polis’ that prevent men from due process and add to the so-called war on men, Venker claims the growth of women in job and education statistics has caused a shift in a cultural paradigm that has hurt gender relations and the foundations of the world.
Reynolds’ idea of the war on men stems from the “underrepresentation” of men in university diversity bureaucracies, which Reynolds claims seek to fight against men and completely disregard the goals of the Title IX anti-discrimination law. Yes, Reynolds is statistically right that men don’t play a large role in groups that promote diversity and sexual assault awareness, but how does that help his argument against the war on men? Because it doesn’t. The numbers crunched by the National Association of Scholars further show that men still aren’t grasping the sinister presence of sexual assault.
Polis’ idea is ludicrous and potentially dangerous for both the criminal justice system and university disciplinary systems nationwide. Yet, it speaks to something larger and much more sinister — that this idea comes from the mouth of a white male. Yes, it does essentially eliminate due process to a potentially innocent party, seriously violating the Constitution and essential beliefs of what it means to be an American. However, it makes one wonder how society got to a point where one person wants to make sweeping changes in the name of justice, despite its threat to the rights of an American, while another claims that the sweeping change is aiding and abetting a war on men.
Is there a war on simple rights? Quite possibly. But a war on men? I don’t think so.
Originally published on 9/15/2015 in The Diamondback