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NCFM Mr. Manners: A Tale of Two Political Appointments

November 9, 2022
By

unbalanced scales of justice

In George Orwell’s novel “Animal Farm”, phrases are slightly altered to change meanings to mean very different things than originally intended. For instance, the phrase “all animals are equal” was rephrased to “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

This has its parallel with the mainstream media discussing hiring practices. I am not implying it is entirely intentional on their part. Still, I would contend that in many instances where we once heard the phrase “most qualified”, the words have over time been altered to “equally qualified”, then to “qualified”.

I will look at the consequences of this change, examining two Biden nominations and how they apply to gender politics. Those being Ketanji Brown Jackson, who will soon be a member of the Supreme Court, and Vice President Kamala Harris.

It is taken as a point of fact by most of the mainstream media that women being underrepresented in political office gives men more political power. This ignores the fact that more women vote than men. Furthermore, more women are late deciders in who they vote for, meaning those running for office need to win more female voters than male.

However, it is not true as feminists consistently contend and express through the media, that men and women are necessarily political adversaries. In fact, families regardless of gender have much more shared interests than people of the same sex. This is expressed in voting patterns. Families in the present, and even over generations, have more similar voting patterns than members of the same sex. The bias against men is much more due to the consistent misinformation presented to the public regarding issues of gender which influences how people vote.

Certainly, female office holders have had more clout than men expressing their views regarding anti-male misinformation. Take for example the first conference of the now defunct organization, “The Women’s Freedom Network”, some years back. The keynote speaker Christina Hoff Sommers was discussing an education bill that was based on the inaccurate notion that girls were doing worse in school than boys. She noted that two out of the hundred Senators in the male-dominated Senate wanted to look more into the bill. Who were they? Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Senator Nancy Kassebaum. Clearly, challenging the bill by men was dangerous waters male officeholders feared treading.

Who is the most influential political officer holder in the history of men’s issues in North America? In my opinion, it would be former Canadian Senator Anne Cools, the first black female Senator to be elected on the continent. Her advocacy for men is the reason you probably haven’t heard of her as a female pioneer in politics.

Things though have changed. There is an expectation created by the media that women taking political office are going to give greater attention to women’s issues, actually meaning issues focused on by feminists. Still, women willing to advocate for fairness for men have more clout than males. One justification journalists have for slanting data is the perceived lack of political power women have. Having more women in political office means it gives less justification to distort data to support bogus feminist claims.

Ketanji Brown Jackson

Advocates for a female black Supreme Court appointee noted that until recently, no black women would even be considered for such a position. Opponents of a race and gender-based appointment pointed out how limiting of possible candidates narrows such selections too much.

Opinions though are not uninfluenced by self-interest. I personally had nothing to lose from the elimination of all worthy non-black females who desired to be on the Supreme Court. Taking that into consideration, I would still contend that eliminating all non-black women for the position is a fairly benign form of discrimination.

For one thing, those not considered due to race and sex weren’t lied to. They knew from the start they would not be considered to be part of the Supreme Court. More pertinent regarding Supreme Court nominations, the rarely accurate term “qualified” has some merit in this instance. Supreme Court nominations are political. In recent times and no doubt at least in the near future, candidates are selected in hopes they will make certain rulings. Obviously, the one viewed as most important is that regarding abortion.

Historically, it does not confirm with the facts that male judges will favor men. In fact, the opposite is more accurate. Even before feminist ideology went mainstream, male judges admitted to both conscious and unconscious bias in favor of women accused of crimes.  In R. F. Doyle’s 1976 book “The Rape of the Male” (1976, Poor Richard’s Press), Doyle cited a number of conscious and unconscious biases that discriminated against men regarding the criminal justice system. As far as men on the bench, Doyle quoted a male prosecutor who observed: “male judges don’t want to send a girl to jail. They figure only a guy can take it” (ibid. page 128). Imagine using this same reasoning regarding race to give longer sentences to black defendants.

The Roe v. Wade decision is an interesting example of a ruling made by an all-male Supreme Court. The court ruled seven to two in favor of women having a constitutional right to an abortion. In fact, most constitutional scholars believe it to be wrongly decided, including many who believe abortion should be legal. The ruling gave men no rights regarding a man’s potential child. Would an all-female Supreme Court have felt comfortable making such a decision, due to fear of being accused of anti-male bias?

Of course, the actual qualifications to be on the court entail someone with the ability to interpret and draw conclusions regarding constitutional law in a fair and honest way. Much of it is subjective enough that I think the term “best qualified” doesn’t generally apply. Taking political consideration into account, Ms. Jackson appears to be as good as we can expect to have. Regarding men though, there is a major issue, regardless of how fair and insightful Ms. Jackson turns out to be. Because of the slanted way men’s issues are portrayed by the media, she almost surely has a distorted view of these topics. While some Senators are no doubt familiar with such matters, it is in their political self-interest to ignore them.

(So let’s pretend there was a Senator willing to take on such issues. Maybe we would have questioning such as below.)

Female Senator XX: Ms. Jackson, as you know, politicians have to do things that are not entirely ethical in order to become President. In that regard, I would like to ask about two things done by the man that nominated you, President Joe Biden. The first being the Violence Against Women Act authored by Mr. Biden.

Men are more likely to be victim of crimes, get longer sentences, and are more likely to be victims of severe domestic violence. Yet for instance, unlike domestic violence centers for women, such facilities for men are close to non-existent. Considering VAWA is based largely on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, how can this be considered equal and therefore constitutional?

Another issue Mr. Biden was involved with was how charges of sexual assault in colleges were to be handled, which was passed during the Obama Presidency. Joe Biden was instrumental in getting it approved. Mr. Biden is advocating reinstating these draconian policies, which were changed during the Trump Administration.

Even the words used regarding the law illustrated the anti-male bias in such matters. As you surely are aware, women accusing men of sexual assault are commonly referred to as victims when discussed by the media. This makes it more difficult for jurors to come into such cases with the required presumption of innocence.

Regarding the rules put in dealing with sexual assault, the Education Department, which implemented the college policies during the Obama Administration, took this wording a step further, referring to the accuser as a survivor (George Will: Colleges become the victims of Progressivism, Washington Post). If that was not a red flag that the rules would be unjust, what would be?

Currently though, the rules revising these former policies remain intact.* A  Washington Post editorial noted that some of the changes from the Obama policy were warranted (What Betsy DeVos’s new Title IX changes get right — and wrong). Let me ask about one that they found problematic, since what the media has a problem with is the most likely to be revised. The Post was against the ability of the accused to be allowed to cross-examine the accuser. This is despite the fact that as they observed: “The examinations would be done by the parties’ advisers, and personal confrontation between the parties would not be allowed.” They were concerned “that this requirement would discourage survivors of sexual assault from coming forward.” Ms. Jackson, could in fact this current policy actually violate the gender equality guarantee of the Title IX rights for the accused? Please look at the observations made in my PowerPoint presentation below.

  • What about the greater chance of false accusations, if the accused (read man) cannot question the accuser? Isn’t it, for instance, easier to lie when you don’t have to look a person in the eye, let alone answer their questions?
  • Yes, college students tend to be younger than many accusers of crimes. However, so are the accused. Couldn’t innocent men be more likely not to plead their case when they realize they are not given the normal rights of those accused of crimes? Aren’t women supposed to be more mature at college ages than men and thus, plausibly better able to deal with more fair-minded rules?
  • The recent subway shooting in New York reminded me of the previous New York train shooting in 1993 committed by Colin Ferguson. In that case, he served as his own lawyer and questioned people that we knew were actual victims, because some had bullet holes from his gun. Of course, survivors (literally accurate in this case), had to testify, even if they were college-aged.
  • While we hear that false rape allegations are rare, the data tells us otherwise. For instance, former feminist hero Eugene Kanin’s peer-reviewed study found 41% of women charging rape admitted that they made false charges (http://www.mediaradar.org/mcdowell_kanin_credible.php). Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the years studied, 1978 to 1987, precede the time when women civilly sued in rape cases, thus meaning women now have more reason to lie about being assaulted, than the time of when the study took place?

Obviously, this is just a small part of what needs to be a long discussion. I look forward to the hours of questions about this topic by the Senators that is required to examine such issues adequately.

Kamala Harris

During his Presidential run, Joe Biden announced that if elected, he would select a female as his Vice President. Circumstances such as the media focusing on the great support for Biden by black women, made it pretty much inevitable that the Vice-Presidential selection would be black.

I don’t think there is any aspect of the news that the press takes more seriously than the Presidential election. That being both in the primaries and the general election. Their stated goal is to try to give information to the public, so people can make their best choice in who to vote for.

Yet paradoxically, this is not true of Presidential appointments, despite the fact that the most important aspect of being Vice President is that the individual may end up taking over the Presidency. That the person be as close to the best person to inherit the Presidency was particularly significant in 2020, with Biden being the oldest elected President in history.

Of course, the candidate’s first task is being elected. Even in the best of circumstances choosing someone close to being the best qualified is a difficult task. First, the choice has been limited to selecting someone from their own political party. While a neglected point, it shouldn’t be, in that it eliminates more than half of possible choices.

The candidate has to be vetted for anything that might turn off potential voters. That includes opinions, conflicts of interest, controversial statements and capability with the President’s philosophy, among other things. Being limited to a specific race and gender certainly limited Biden’s choices more.

What made Harris stand out as a choice in my opinion, in comparison to other black women who plausibly could have been better presidents if the situation arose?  Harris was both the only female black Senator and the only black woman running in the primaries. Senators and governors are the most likely to be selected as running mates.  As far as senators and governors, the last Democratic non-governor or senator to be president was Johnson. That being Andrew Johnson, who took over after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Johnson later became the first President to be impeached. Using this data, if Biden selected anyone other than Harris as his running mate, it would have opened him up to more criticism that his selection was not based on merit.

In the primaries, Harris harshly criticized Biden about his history of being against mandated busing as a means to desegregate schools, something which was pointed out when Harris was picked as Biden’s Vice-Presidential choice. Harsh criticism by an eventual Vice-Presidential selection was not unique to this most recent election. Eventual Vice President George H. W. Bush called Ronald Reagan’s economic plan “voodoo economics”. In that case unlike Harris, while Bush was easily beaten by Reagan, he was the only candidate besides Reagan to win electoral votes.

For the great majority of high-profile job appointees the word “qualified” is a misnomer. These are far from trivial appointments. Objective measures should be used as much as possible to reach such decisions. Whatever sex, race, age, etc., it should not be part of the selection. Journalists need to be reminded that sometimes the most qualified woman for a position is a man.

*By the time this is published, things may have changed significantly.

 

NCFM Mr. Manners: A Tale of Two Political Appointments

 

national coalition for men

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