The Forgotten Importance of Taking Men’s Issues Seriously

The men and boys of the world face a surprisingly long list of challenges and stigmas standing before them that nobody seems willing to discuss. Allow me to be the one who breaks this silence.

The+Forgotten+Importance+of+Taking+Men%27s+Issues+Seriously

Andy Campagna, Staff Writer

In our world today, there are a massive series of problems and inequities in our society that are being drastically overlooked. These are issues that directly affect half of the world’s population, and yet still go under the radar for a multitude of reasons. Excuses, if you ask me. Many of these reasons are due to misconceptions or misinformation on the subject. Many don’t know what the problems even are, or that the problems even exist. I feel it is my duty and my personal obligation to be the voice of reason, so to shed light on a cause I feel very strongly about, allow me to explain the issues that affect men and boys and why we need to solve them.

Before I go in-depth with this article, I’d like to put up a little disclaimer. This is NOT my way of saying that women’s issues don’t matter, as they most certainly do. However, men’s issues are as important a discussion to bring up, but they have minimal traction in any corner of the globe today and even the mere mention of these topics is shut down almost immediately. Seeing as how we’re in the midst of both No-Shave November and Movember (which are more or less the same thing) and International Men’s Day (November 19th) is just days away from this writing, there really is no better time to bring this up than right now.

With that being said, let’s begin with what’s what. Men face a large variety of issues from the cradle to the grave, many of which are unique to men and boys. I could go on and on about each individual issue, however, I can only talk about so much and some of these issues are rather difficult subjects, some of which include assault and violence, cancer research and treatment, inequality in war and combat, homelessness, casualties and inequality in the workplace, mental health, and many more.

Like I said, many of these are quite heavy and graphic topics, making this the wrong platform to discuss them. With that being said, I’ll focus more closely on the easier subjects at hand. These are problems that either aren’t being discussed at all or are completely silenced in the few instances where they are. Fortunately, though, there’s been a gradual uptick in the discussion around them in recent years, and more and more voices join the discussion every single day, including many women, like Karen Straughan and Janice Fiamengo, who take it upon themselves to speak about men’s issues.

Did you know that the whole point of growing out your facial hair during the month of November, whether it’s a beard or a mustache, is to raise awareness of these issues, particularly prostate cancer? This is important because prostate cancer is both the most common and the second deadliest cancer among men in the United States, as well as the second most common overall, yet is barely in the top five for funding. In fact, research for prostate cancer receives less than half of the funding that breast cancer research does.

Another thing that affects men is parental custody, which, as discovered by Dr. Warren Farrell, affects boys as well. In our current system, parental custody hearing for divorce cases are very heavily skewed in favor of women. Men, more often than not, will lose primary or even complete custody of their children. With that being said, research conducted by Dr. Farrell (which he summarized brilliantly in a TED Talk) concluded that a boy’s academic performance drops significantly in the absence of their father, a scenario very likely to happen with these odds.

While on the topic of legal battles is the last male issue I’m going to discuss, which is inequality in the courts. Sometimes called the ‘sentencing gap’ it shows quite clearly that men and women are treated very differently when being tried for basically the same crime. For starters, women are twice as likely to avoid jail time as men are, and on top of that, men receive 63% longer prison sentences than women. This divide is roughly 6x greater than that of the unequal treatment of blacks and whites in a court of law.

Those are only three issues that hang over the heads of men and boys today. There are many more, but they all are practically ignored by our society, to the point where even the mere mention of them is considered wrong, bigoted and sexist. These issues, like I stated earlier, need to be focused on, not because women’s issues don’t matter, but because these issues are plentiful and aren’t getting the attention they need and deserve. However, with a little bit of discussion, we can shed some light on these topics and hopefully come to a solution. All we need is for these issues to garner more attention.