Men and Boys and the Ethical Demand for Social Justice, 20 Wash. & Lee J. Civil Rts. & Soc. Just. 507 (2014)
This essay makes what some might consider a bold and novel assertion. Relying on fact-based analysis of present day social conditions, it argues that the female-oppression-male-culprit paradigm is antiquated and injurious to both men and women. It claims that existing conceptions of American society in which the vast majority of the nation's men and boys are victimless and empowered, and the core of the nation's women and girls are victims and disempowered, cannot be fundamentally or morally justified. It will demonstrate that today's regimented imperative for addressing gender discrimination and social injustice by allocating legal rights and entitlements exclusively to women and girls, without consideration of men and boys, degrades human dignity and reinforces gender discrimination and social injustice. It explicates how the urgency created by expanding economic woes and social afflictions affecting men and boys, as well as women and girls, renders it necessary for today's political leaders to advance legislation that addresses the needs of all Americans regardless of their gender. It claims that systemic abuse of the government's privilege to do otherwise has so obscured elements of gender discrimination and social injustice relative to men, married women, and mothers, that the survivability of the traditional American family appears compromised.
This essay does not seek to compare the welfare of women to that of men, insinuate that the two groups are in competition, or claim that one group is more deserving than the other group. Nor is it the intent of this essay to propose a specific policy revision, or, more broadly, return men to the position of absolute power that led to the generations-long repression of women and disrespect for female dignity. Put succinctly, this essay is not a challenge to the overall meritocracy of feminist jurisprudence or the women's movement. Rather, this essay is a contribution to the emerging men's movement, a philosophical incursion into our conceptual mapping relative to social justice and male oppression.
This essay situates its discussion along a jurisprudential presupposition that the advancement of women and girls is, and should remain, a meritorious component of political government. The discussion is presented in two parts. Part II highlights degrees to which men and boys are vulnerable to exploitation, alienation, and systemic injustice-matters that are also worthy of governmental attention, but widely neglected. In so doing, it explores the manner by which the ignominy of male culture and presumptions about female oppression facilitate discrimination against males in education, employment, criminal justice administration, media, and family planning; and infringe upon the liberty and expectation interest of women who are in consortium with men and boys, such as married women and mothers. Part III explores potential causes of and solutions to cultural inclinations to neglect male oppression despite widespread evidence of its occurrence. In doing so, it challenges contemporary notions of fairness and conceptions about equality, and their influence on the distribution of legal rights. It argues for a rights-distribution model to addressing social injustice based on an abiding respect for human dignity rather than notions of fairness.
Samuel Vincent Jones, Men and Boys and the Ethical Demand for Social Justice, 20 Wash. & Lee J. Civil Rts. & Soc. Just. 507 (2014)
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