Have you ever wondered how erroneous and misleading ideas are spread and maintained in our culture? Look no farther than a social work graduate textbook that errs by telling only a part of the truth. For more on the misandry in social work go here meninsocialwork.org
There is a popular text used in social work graduate schools titled American Social Welfare Policy: A Pluralistic Approach. It is meant to be an introduction to social policy in the US and give students a beginning idea of the state of our social welfare system. The parts I have read seem to be a tool of indoctrination that offers students a very one-sided view of issues. It pushes a liberal feminist agenda that is presumed to be gospel. Perhaps what it leaves out is more important than what it includes. Let’s look a little closer at that.
Yes, the book hammers away at the popular meme that poverty is the biggest problem facing our culture today with the idea that racism is a major factor in creating poverty. What does it leave out? The book ignores the issue of fatherlessness even though this issue has been revealed as foundational and at the root of poverty. If you don’t know, the research has shown significant father involvement seems to be a greater factor in many problem areas than poverty or better schools. In other words poor children with significant father involvement do better on numerous factors than wealthier children without dads. Getting fathers back into the home should be our #1 priority but sadly that is not even on the radar in this book. They simply don’t mention it.
The book quotes a nearly 20-year-old research study by Sara McClanahan about single motherhood but completely ignores the 2013 blockbuster paper by the same author that summarized the research on fatherlessness in the 2000’s. The paper astoundingly shows that fatherlessness is the #1 factor in so many of the social problems we face. This book was published in 2014 so this 2013 journal article was available at the time of publication as were the 60+ research studies the paper summarized. The title of the McClanahan article is “The Causal Effects of Father Absence” and reviews the numerous studies that lead one to see the causative nature of fatherlessness. That’s right, CAUSATIVE.
This is unheard of in social science research that typically relies on strong correlations. This is different. This research says fatherlessness causes the problems. This is huge, especially for social workers whose profession played a strong role in removing fathers from their homes. Starting in the 1960’s welfare payments were dependent on men not being present in the home. Yes, social workers were a party in enforcing that hateful policy. Fast forward to the 21st century when social workers are all too often taking the feminist stance and working in and condoning a biased family court system that favors mothers as caretakers after divorce which decreases the likelihood of father involvement. This is just another way to remove fathers from the home through no fault of their own. Shared parenting is the simple solution if we could only get beyond lawyers, feminists, and social workers who stand in opposition. This book, by ignoring the important role of fatherlessness is neglecting an important side of the story that these graduate students need to hear and discuss. That side of the story is simply omitted.
Perhaps the worst of the one sidedness is in the book’s chapter on discrimination with the portrayal of women as having been oppressed. The book places women in the same boat as blacks and gays. Now wait a minute. Blacks and gays have both faced a great deal of difficulties and hardships due to their skin color or sexual orientation. The book is putting women in the same boat? Um, nowhere near the same. Women have faced discrimination not due to being hated, but more often due to their rigid sex role which saw them as pure and worthy of protection. Traditionally women have been placed on a pedestal, not oppressed.
Try this on for size: “It’s as American as blacks and apple pie!” That doesn’t seem to work so well does it? Okay, how about “It’s as American as gays and apple pie!” Oooops, again, not so hot. Those two really don’t fit. How bout this “It’s as American as mom and apple pie!” Oh yeah! That is just right. Now tell me, why would a country oppress the ones who are the positive symbols of the country and are held up as beloved cultural icons?
American soldiers in Europe during WWII when asked what they missed were most likely to say mom and apple pie. That is apparently where this saying originated. It’s obvious that moms were beloved and held in very high esteem. When people use the phrase “As American as mom and apple pie” they mean to claim that both mom and apple pie are unassailable and universally beloved and agreed upon. No one would disparage moms and very few would disparage apple pie.
So the question boils down to why would a country oppress the very people it held up as their beloved heroes? Of course, the answer is they wouldn’t.
And it was because women were held in such high esteem that radical feminists were able to make the bogus claims to be “oppressed” and get away with it. No one would question mom. She was trusted and believed. This charade, which I think qualifies as the biggest lie of the 20th century, was not pushed by most women, it was pushed by a radical group of women who shoved on us the exaggerations of women’s oppression. Of course the worst of this fabrication was the blaming of men as being the ones who intentionally kept women down.
The claims of women being kept out of the workplace, banking, education etc., had some reality to it. Women have faced discrimination in our culture. It’s just not for the reasons the radicals portray. Men had striven for decades to allow women to be at home with the kids and not be sullied by what they considered to be the coarse nature of money, the workplace, or politics. They wanted women to avoid the coarse nature of those things and fulfill their biological imperative of having and loving their own children. The men were willing to sacrifice their own efforts in order to insure that happening. This was not meant as a way to keep women down, or restrict their opportunities. At this time most women liked the idea of having, raising, and loving their children and were grateful that the men took on the burden of providing the income and keeping them safe. I for one would love to have had someone take on the burden of creating income in order for me to stay at home full time with my children. My wife and I both worked part time in the 1980’s and some of the 1990’s to insure that one of us was at home with the kids at all times. We both sacrificed our careers in order to make this happen. I found that time to be the most joy filled and fulfilling time of my life. What a joy to have that uninterrupted time with those I love? It’s not hard to assume that women have traditionally felt the same sorts of joy. How much bitterness and ungratefulness would it take to transform this gift and label it oppression? Then blame men, the very people that had sacrificed to make that happen?
This “oppression” nonsense was thrust on a gullible population that would do anything they could to help women/moms. Imagine for just a second that fathers were to make similar claims. Just imagine men saying “We are oppressed!” Pretty funny eh? Dads were not, and are not in such an unassailable and lofty position as women. Would they be believed? No, they would be laughed at. But our country, like all western countries, jumps to gynocentric attention when women claim they are being tied to the tracks. People respond to help women. Just have a look at what congress has done for women over the last 50 years.
This book sports a 40-page chapter on discrimination. The largest section in the chapter describes discrimination faced by women. It’s almost 11 pages in length. In comparison gays got 4 pages and blacks got 5 pages. Since this book will likely be read by mostly white women I suppose they are playing to their readership.
The section on discrimination faced by women starts off with a sub-section on violence against women. It quotes a number from a research study that 1.5 million American women were victims of domestic violence. Here’s a great example of the book’s one-sidedness. What’s the important other side that they don’t tell you? It’s that the exact same study, the one the book quoted that claimed there were 1.5 million American women were victims of domestic violence, also found that 835,000 men were victims of domestic violence over the same period of time. But they didn’t say a thing about the men who were victims! By only printing the female number and not mentioning the men it leaves the reader thinking that this problem must be confined to women. We have known for decades that this is false, that men are a significant number of the victims of domestic violence but the media, academia, and the water cooler all fail to recognize this fact.
This is typical of this book and specifically this chapter. They are only telling one side of a very complicated story and by doing so leading the reader to false conclusions. This omitting important information and leaving a one sided approach is not new to feminism. The early domestic violence activists did just that. One woman, Ellen Pence, the founder of the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, and author of an important early book on domestic violence said the following about her efforts in helping with domestic violence:
In many ways, we turned a blind eye to many women’s use of violence, their drug use and alcoholism, and their often harsh and violent treatment of their own children.
Why would Pence and her cohorts deny women’s violence and men’s victimhood? Why would they turn away from a woman’s violence towards her children? Good question but one likely answer is that getting funding for helpless women being beaten by burly men was much easier than trying to get funding for a crazed female beating her children or knifing her husband as he slept. If you mention men as victims it ruins the argument that men are the problem. When there is an innocent woman tied to the tracks legislators jump to attention. A man similarly tied? Not so much. People don’t care and the money is not there.
So we see the same pattern of simply ignoring the violence of women and the victimhood of men. Pence was one of thousands of people using this same technique. This left us with a cultural sense that domestic violence was only strong and abusive men beating innocent and defenseless women. This erroneous idea took form in 1994 when the US passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that focused on women who were victims and men who were perpetrators. If you have the idea in your mind that women are the only victims you now know that you have been hoodwinked and this graduate textbook simply keeps pushing the lies.
Another section discusses abortion and women’s reproductive rights. It talks about a woman’s right to choose and frets over whether she may lose those rights. What it does not discuss is the fact that women do indeed have choice but men have none. If the woman wants an abortion she can decide unilaterally to do so. If she wants the abortion and he does not, he is out of luck. He has no rights, no choice and just has to deal with it. Her body her choice, his child, her choice. Again, the book tells only one side of the story. The woman’s side.
There is a large section about the wage gap. This is stunningly ridiculous. The wage gap has been refuted by science for years. They know that the gap is a function of her choice of jobs and preferring employment that is not hazardous, dangerous or highly strenuous and that she is looking for flexible hours. This tends to lead her to jobs that pay less. Her choice. This is worse than telling one side. Pushing the erroneous idea of a wage gap is making up a narrative that is simply wrong and having been disproven by science repeatedly. I suppose the narrative they are trying to create is more important than the truth. The book fails in telling both sides of the story. This error is a little more excusable since present day politicians continue to mouth this disproven idea in order to be re-elected and appear to be friendly to women.
There is another large section on female genital mutilation. Legislation was passed years ago outlawing all forms of female genital mutilation even those that are based on religious or cultural norms. They are all forbidden and outlawed. Some of the conversations are on women around the world who might face such genital mutilation. The side of the story they fail to tell is that male genital mutilation is the fourth most popular surgical procedure in the United States. Little infant boys are strapped down, against their will and a significant part of their penis is amputated usually just days after they are born often without anesthesia. I have heard nurses say that the little boys scream and keep screaming, sometimes for days. Many
uninformed people think this is just a little snip. Not so. The amount of skin amputated equals about the area of a post card once the man’s body matures. Even more people think this procedure is medically helpful. Wrong. The medical profession has sung this song before telling us incorrectly that male circumcision will help prevent, syphilis, epilepsy, spinal paralysis, bedwetting, eye problems, deafness, dumbness, tuberculosis, penile cancer, cervical cancer, and now HIV. The US is one of the few countries left that encourages this barbaric practice. This is a horribly painful procedure that is done to more than a million boys each year in the US and no one seems to know or to care. This book is only worried about one side. The women. It turns its back on the pain of these little boys.
I hope you are starting to see that both men and women are facing hardship and discrimination due to their sex roles. In fact, in some ways the female hardship seems mild compared to the males. Remember those young men, the soldiers who said they missed mom and apple pie? Nearly a half million of those young men died in WWII and they died due to their sex role that said they were the ones to go and fight. Why? Because they had a penis.
This book is a glaring example of how false narratives are spread and maintained. Do women have troubles? Of course. But I hope you can see now that men also have significant difficulties and these are ignored by professionals that claim to have compassion for all. It is obvious that they don’t and that they are only interested in one side of the story. The definition of bigotry is to only be interested in one group or your own group. I will let you be the judge how that may play out in social work today.
If you are a social work student or social worker, please complain today to your schools and let them know you won’t tolerate only hearing one side of the story. If you don’t, you will simply get the same narrative over and over again.
For more on the misandry in social work go here meninsocialwork.org
Tom Golden is the author or three books, Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing, The Way Men Heal, and Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons: UnderStanding the Unique World of Boys. Tom was the creator of the youtube channel Men Are Good and served as the vice chairman of the Maryland Commission for Men’s Health. He has been a therapist in private practice for over 30 years.