Top Boys and Men's Stories of 2021
by Mark Sutton
Sunday, January 9, 2022
2021 will be a year that may be best remembered for the continuation of the COVID pandemic, the first operational private flight in space by Space X, and the boom of cryptocurrencies and NFTs. In addition, we saw a lot of interesting developments and stories in the realm of male advocacy. These ranged from positive stories of male-supportive movements, to discouraging anti-male sentiment and policies.
At GIBM, we launched the Boys and Mens’ Well-Being Index (BAM Index), and the GIBM Boys and Mens’ Calendar. The BAM Index features data on the well-being of boys and men, and showcases data from our state reports for California, Colorado, other states and national data. The Calendar, which is importable and embeddable into your personal calendar, features notable designated days, weeks, and months dedicated to boys and men, such as International Men’s Day on Nov. 19 and important events. The BAM Index and the Calendar are free resources created by GIBM for the public benefit.
GIBM also included top news stories on boys and men’s issues for 2021, organized according to GIBM’s 6 Pillars of Male Well-Being.
The Wall Street Journal covered the crisis of males in education. There were a few examples of male issues being covered by mainstream media, and one was a prominent WSJ article about the lack of men in college. “A Generation of American Men Give Up on College: ‘I Just Feel Lost’’’ by Douglas Belkin appeared on Sept. 26, 2021. (Note: article is paywalled.) Erudera College News (non-paywalled) reported data from the National Student Clearinghouse that in the US, only 40.5% of current college students are male, and 59.5% are female.
Mark Perry and others filed numerous successful Title IX complaints of anti-male bias. He describes his work in his blog Carpe Diem at the American Enterprise Institute. Complaints have been filed against female-only scholarships and programs from organizations receiving federal funding which are in violation of Title IX. More info can be found at the Title IX For All database.
Meanwhile, Catherine Lhamon - who as head of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights was widely criticized for the treatment of students accused of Title IX-related offenses - was confirmed to her old position, this time under the Biden administration. Title IX for All has a good write-up.
Dr. Vermelle Greene, Executive Directive of The Boys Initiative who has been a tireless advocate for boys and education, appeared on Dr. Drew to discuss the issues of boys underperformance in education, with a particular emphasis on black boys.
Fatherhood, Families, and Relationships
Jordan Pederson Interview with Dr. Warren Farrell. The Four Dos and Don'ts of Divorce | Warren Farrell | The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast - S4: E:41
Actor Greg Ellis of Pirates of the Caribbean fame penned a book about family courts, started a nonprofit to improve the family court system. “The Respondent: Exposing the Cartel of Family Law” includes an introduction by Johnny Depp, who has been languishing in an agonizing divorce, and a forward by Alec Baldwin, who after writing his own book several years ago about the family court system, has plenty of opinions as well.
Ellis’s nonprofit, Children Parents United, seeks to share information and improve the way the family law system is run in the United States.
Jamaican lawmaker Heroy Clarke put forward a mandatory paternity testing bill, in a country with exceptionally high numbers of paternity fraud, at least 20% by some estimates.
Canadian man Michael Latner is forced to pay support to ex-girlfriend, despite the fact they were never married, never lived together, and do not have children. According to the judgement, Latner must pay his ex $CAD 50,000 per month in perpetuity.
Jobs, Careers, and Financial Health
The unemployment rate for men again rose above that for women, despite the opposite happening at the beginning of the COVID crisis.
Men Lost more Jobs from 2020 to 2021 according to GIBM analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics Data.
Male Narrative in the Public Discourse
President Biden created a “Gender Policy Council” that only supports female issues. The stated purpose of the organization and subsequent action is to help women and girls only. Dr. Warren Farrell, who chairs the Coalition for a White House Council on Boys and Men, spoke about the Gender Policy Council's in many national interviews, including this one.
Gender neutral selective service in the U.S. was in the spotlight. The Supreme court declined to hear a lawsuit on the issue, citing pending legislation in Congress; early drafts of the legislation included adding women, but were ultimately pulled. The National Coalition for Men (NCFM) has a great year-end write-up of the case, which included its teaming up with the ACLU.
A Forbes article suggested more observance of International Men’s Day back in 2019, but there is still little adoption. Google did not showcase a doodle for it as they do for International Women’s Day, and the UN merely retweeted an offensive tweet that it had sent out the year before. It seems that despite increased nonprofit support, very few, if any, jurisdictions recognize International Men’s Day, which is celebrated annually on November 19.
California is spending $12 Million over 2 years (2020-2022) for Commission on the Status of Women Girls, with nothing commensurate for men and boys. This disparity persists despite the poorer outcomes outlined in GIBM’s California Report.
ICMI held a virtual men’s issues conference. The 2021 International Conference on Men’s Issues was one of a number of conferences highlighting the growing importance and recognition of men’s issues. Videos are still available at the site.
Colorado Coalition for Boys and Men launched. Activists in Colorado have launched a new coalition to support legislation in that state, with data provided by GIBM in the Colorado State Report on Boys and Men.
The UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Issues Affecting Men and Boys was founded and subsequently released a report “‘A Boy Today’: The world into which a boy today in the UK is growing up.” This group is chaired by Mark Jenkinson MP (Workington) and it’s mission is “To raise awareness of disadvantages and poor outcomes faced by men and boys in education, mental and physical health and law; to influence attitudes, role models, policy and legislation that will lead to positive differences to their well-being and lives.”
Physical and Mental Health
A mass shooting was potentially prevented after a young man read Warren Farrell’s Boy Crisis book. A reader, named Jose, of The Boys Crisis book reached out to the author and said how Dr. Farrell's book potentially saved countless lives.
Men were more likely to die of COVID-19, and life expectancy in the U.S. dropped 2.1 years for men, 1.5 years for women. Since neither of these got much coverage, they could be called the non-stories of the year. The life expectancy story got some media coverage, but the male aspect to it was not highlighted. In March, San Francisco published data that 65% of COVID-19 deaths at that time were male.
Opioid Deaths hit all-time high. Fueled by both the COVID pandemic and an influx of cheap drugs, particularly fentanyl, opioids deaths, the majority of which are male, reached an all-time high.
In Toronto, Canada, the Canadian Centre for Men and Families opened the First Family Shelter for Men and Children in April 2021.
The Coalition to End Domestic Violence formed an international group on DV called Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance (DAVIA), currently consisting of 19 organizations from 8 countries.
U.S. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri spoke out on the crisis of masculinity in American men. Hawley, a conservative, made his remarks at the National Conservatism Conference in Florida. It was a rare time when men’s issues were brought to the forefront on the national level.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government, sensing a masculinity crisis of its own, proposed teaching masculinity to boys.
Dr. Shanna Swan published her book “Count Down”on how male sperm counts have declined by 50% since 1973, with no end in sight. Inspired by the work of Dr. Swan, GIBM declared that going forward, every June 30th shall be known as International Sperm Count Decline Awareness Day.
Criminal Justice and Court Systems
Several lawsuits by men who were actively discriminated against due to their gender were successful. Five men in UK who were formerly employed by an advertising firm have successfully received compensation; while two employees won a discrimination lawsuit on the basis of sex, three others settled out of court, all for an undisclosed amount.
In North Carolina, David Duvall was awarded $10 million for being fired for being a “white male” and replaced with two female staffers at the nonprofit Novant Health.
There were a number of men freed from prison in 2021 who had been falsely incarcerated for many years. After 51 years in prison, 37 of them in solitary confinement, Arthur ‘Cetewayo’ Johnson was released, his conviction vacated. It is believed that his forced confession was politically motivated due to his participation in black liberation movement activities. In 2020, another person confessed to the crime, exonerating Mr. Johnson completely.
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