Installment 10. If Men Have All the Power How Come Women Make the Rules?

A righteously sad, angry, and defiant little book, serialized on Medium

Jack Kammer, MSW, MBA
6 min readFeb 14, 2024

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Front cover of If Men Have All the Power How Come Women Make the Rules
Cover design by Lou Peddicord

Double Standards

Spin Control gives rise to double standards: seeing something as good or acceptable if it involves females and seeing the same thing as bad or intolerable if it involves us. There are probably hundreds or thousands of double standards operating against men and boys.

“In a classic study in the field of gender research, John and Sandra Cundry videotaped… a nine-month-old infant… They played the ten-minute tape for 204 male and female adults… Some were told the baby was male, others… were told it was female. The adult subjects saw the crying ‘girl’ baby as frightened, but when they thought they were watching a boy, they described ‘him’ as angry.”

— therapist Terrence Real in his 1997 book I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression

“Boys are more likely to be scolded and reprimanded in classrooms, even when the observed conduct and behavior of boys and girls does not differ.”

— Myra and David Sadker, “Report Card #1” The Mid-Atlantic Center for Sex Equity, American University

“Feminine behaviour is the model; it is the standard by which all children’s behaviour is judged… During one assembly, the headmistress of this primary school asked the children: ‘What does the colour blue make you think of?’ A little girl who answered ‘flowers’ was praised. A boy who enthusiastically answered ‘Chelsea’ [an English football/soccer team whose color is blue]… was given a pained look and told to think again… Maleness, apparently, is stigmatised everywhere.”

— Alexander Wade, a teacher in training, in The Spectator (UK), September 2, 2000

  • If a woman ends a marriage, she is putting an end to a stifling and oppressive relationship. If a man ends a marriage, he is abandoning his family. If a woman decides not to marry someone, it is her choice for making her life as happy as she can. If a man decides not to marry someone, he is a “womanizer” or “afraid of commitment.”

Double Standards of Acceptable Media Behavior

“I personally am livid… Have you considered castration as an option?”

— NBC co-anchor Katie Couric to a bride who was left standing at the altar
“The Today Show,” November 25, 1997

It is difficult to imagine that a male co-host on national TV would even think of making a similar “joke” about a woman, but it is easy to imagine what would have happened to him if he did, isn’t it?

“I think Hillary [Clinton] is a total babe, and I’d be happy to row her boat, if you know what I mean, just to thank her for all she has done with health care…

“Are you out of your mind, Tony? That’s unbelievably crude. You can’t say that.”

“Why not? Nina Burleigh, a former Time magazine White House reporter wrote in Mirabella, ‘If [President Clinton] had asked me to continue… back in his room… I would have been happy to go there and see what happened.’ Later, in an interview with the Washington Post, Burleigh declared, ‘I’d be happy to give him [oral sex] just to thank him for keeping abortion legal.’”

— Tony Kornheiser, Washington Post, July 12, 1998

  • What do you call the story of a spouse who has hot sex with a stranger while the other spouse is dutifully out of town with the kids? Well, that depends. If the cheating spouse is a man, it’s another woeful tale of men’s selfishness and irresponsibility. If the cheating spouse is a woman, it’s The Bridges of Madison County, a best-selling “romance,” hugely popular among women.

Yes, I’m controlling you, Johnny,
but it’s only to fill my emotional void.

Why do teachers become sex offenders? If they’re female it’s because they are “trying to get attention and fill an emotional void.” But if they’re male it’s because they are “interested in the sex and the control.”

— derived from the Baltimore Sun, June 10, 2001

Yes, I stole, and I’m so unselfish I stole for
children I don’t even have.

In a 1997 Research Study called “Understanding the Sentencing of Women,” the British Home Office found that many magistrates distinguished between “troubled” and “troublesome” defendants, and typically applied the first label to women. Some magistrates acknowledged holding the belief that women who stole did so only to feed their children, while men who committed the same crime did so for “selfish” reasons. The study found that some magistrates even applied this sexist double standard to women who had no children and to men who did indeed have children to feed.

— derived from an article by John Waters, Irish Times, April 30, 2001

Is it because Justice is always portrayed as a woman?

Canterbury University Ph.D. student Samantha Jeffries studied 388 criminal court cases in New Zealand, with 194 males and 194 females committing serious drug, property and violence crimes between 1990 and 1997. She found that even controlling for all other factors such as criminal history, the sex of the defendant had a significant impact on his or her sentence. She found that when the defendant was female the judge searched for an explanation and an excuse to explain away the behavior. Jeffries said she believes that judges still have difficulty believing that women do bad things. “When we’re faced with a female who has committed a crime,” she said, “it’s unbelievable to us. We look for excuses. It goes right back to ‘girls are made of sugar and spice and boys of slugs and snails and puppy dog tails’.”

— derived from the Sunday Star Times, Auckland, New Zealand, June 10, 2001

The standard for boy behavior toward girls

“You may never ever hit a girl, no matter what, not even in self-defense and if you ever do we’ll thrash you to within an inch of your life to teach you a lesson about violence!”

The standard for girl behavior toward boys

“Did you really slug him? Wow, you go girl!”

In 1995, Disney Studios made “Tom and Huck,” a movie based on Mark Twain’s beloved novels about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Disney added two scenes that have no basis in the original literature and therefore raise ugly questions about the spirit of our own peculiar era.

Here, Becky Thatcher, with no justification whatsoever, pushes Tom from a bridge into a stream.

Becky Thatcher pushing Tom Sawyer off a bridge and then smiling about it
from “Tom and Huck” by Disney Studios. Presented here under the author’s assertion of Fair Use: transformative purpose for social commentary

And here is Becky slugging Tom after he falls through the ceiling of the church during what was thought to be his funeral. The display of violence by a female against a male was entirely gratuitous, without justification or motivation. Becky certainly suffered no consequences for her behavior.

Becky Thatcher slugging Tom Sawyer to his jaw.
from “Tom and Huck” by Disney Studios. Presented here under the author’s assertion of Fair Use: transformative purpose for social commentary

Disney figured these scenes would be such crowd-pleasers that it put both of them in the movie’s preview trailer.

Originally published at https://mensturn.substack.com.

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Jack Kammer, MSW, MBA

Jack is a masculist, a fair counterpart to feminists. Since 1983 he has worked in radio, print, video and in-person to address sexism against men and boys.