Has the pendulum swung too far?
We are constantly urged to make greater efforts to improve the lot of women and minorities. Yet it seems fairer at this point in American history to make greater efforts to improve the situation for white males.
I can hear you laughing. After all, most CEOs and political leaders are white males. But when you leave that top 0.1%, things look different.
I have career counseled almost 2,000 people, and unless they’re stars, my white male clients have a tougher time getting hired than do my female and minority clients.
We accept as gospel the widely-reported statistic that women earn 77 cents on the dollar. Fact is, according to research in progress by Dr. Warren Farrell, when all variables are controlled for: for example, actual hours worked, experience, work hazards, commute distance, and performance evaluations, for the same work, women earn more than men.
Yet white males continue to see more and more efforts to help everyone except white males:
Employers often practice reverse discrimination, if only because they fear the EEOC will count noses. And when there’s a downsizing, employers resist firing women and minorities, knowing that many of them would file a wrongful termination suit. They have special legal protections; white males do not.
If minorities or women receive less pay or are so-called underrepresented in a particular profession, for example, in the boardroom, women’s groups insist it’s mainly because of sexism, that white males have essentially erected a glass ceiling through which they allow pitifully few women to seep. Privately, however, even many ardent feminists recognize that the main reason for the low percentage of females in senior positions is that more women would rather balance work and family than work the long hours it takes to rise to the top.
Of course, the media give millions of dollars of free exposure to the sexism argument, for example, unquestioningly promulgating the misleading “women earn 77 cents on the dollar” statistic yet give virtually no exposure to opposing views.
And if men are underrepresented, for example, as they are in colleges — colleges are now 59% women, 41% men — you barely hear a peep about it in the media. Professional baseball, football, and basketball are dominated by minorities. Ever hear the media decry the underrepresentation of white males?
Most seriously, men die seven years younger than women, yet there’s no call for more spending on men’s health. Where are all those advocates who scream when women and minorities get the short end of the stick? They’re still calling for more medical studies on women. Every day, it seems, there’s another walk or run for breast cancer. When was the last time you heard of a run for heart attack, the main cause of early death among men? The Oakland A’s, a team watched mainly by men, have a breast cancer day. They don’t have a prostate cancer day or heart attack day. Meanwhile, there are more than four widows for every widower.
The rule seems to be: discriminate — as long as the ones being discriminated against are white males.
So, next time you hear a plea to support women and minorities, you might save just a little kindness for the no-longer so privileged white male.
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