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NOW attacks CBS for caring about boys' problems
On October 20, CBS's 60 Minutes reported that boys are
falling dangerously behind girls in schools nationwide.
Quoting a debunked study that led to preferential
treatment for girls in the first place, NOW urges
feminists to make "demands" of CBS, including the
retirement of Andy Rooney who will not apologist for
"sexist" remarks. (10/25/02)
From the NOW web site:
Action Needed: Demand that CBS and 60 Minutes Provide Responsible
Reporting and Commentary
What's up with the folks at 60 Minutes? Has the show been taken over
by the Fox News Channel? Is its management completely dominated by
old white men quaking in their boots because they fear women are
taking over the world? And what's with Leslie Stahl? Surely, having
worked in the "old boys club" world of network news for years, she
should know better.
On Sunday, Oct. 20, CBS's 60 Minutes was watched by more that 14
million viewers (according to Nielsen estimates). These viewers
witnessed co-host Stahl's woefully unbalanced report that boys are
falling dangerously behind girls in schools nationwide. The report
used inflammatory language, scare tactics and shaky evidence of a
Not bothering to offer any alternate explanation as to why college
campuses are "now nearly 60 percent female, with women earning
170,000 more bachelor degrees each year than men," the piece fixated
on the theory that feminists and their "gender bias industry" are at
fault. Didn't it occur to anyone that women -- who are still
underrepresented in traditionally male occupations like plumbing,
electrician, carpentry, etc. -- might need a college degree in order
to get a job with decent pay, benefits and opportunities for
promotion? Or did that obvious explanation just not fit the
producers' preconceived agenda?
Stahl interviewed four educators who supported the theory that boys
are being pushed aside because of the "special attention" paid to
girls, and made it obvious that she couldn't agree more. When one
interviewee, Dr. Michael Thompson, warned that "at the present trend,
the last man to get his bachelor's degree will do so in 2068," Stahl
replied: "Even if that never happens, the trend is ominous."
Throughout the report, Stahl encouraged interview subjects like ultra-
conservative Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise
Institute, as in this exchange:
Stahl: "Sommers says the efforts on behalf of girls turned into what
she calls a war against boys. When you say 'war,' you suggest that
they're out there to hurt boys."
Sommers: "They have hurt boys, because the AAUW, for example, did not
only ignore boys' problems, they tried to cover them up."
In reality, the highly respected AAUW [American Association of
University Women] has published leading research studies on
educational equality for girls and women. But instead of giving the
AAUW a fair opportunity to rebut Sommers' attack, Stahl treated
Jacqueline Woods, AAUW President, to a combative session in which she
interrupted Woods repeatedly while offering no hard data to back up
her charges against the organization's work.
Stahl also repeated Sommers' accusation that women teachers favor
girls over boys, even allowing Sommers to speak for these teachers,
claiming they punish boys for being boys because they see boys'
behavior as "an expression of toxic masculinity."
Franklin Goodman, a high school teacher and coach, also got away with
promoting this ancient stereotype: "If we're going to dissect a frog,
no, girls don't want to do that."
In the final exchange of the segment, Dr. Thompson appeared to get
slightly off the feminist-bashing track, conceding that regardless of
how boys perform in school, they still go out into the world and make
more money than girls.
Stahl kindly nudged him back on track with this: "There's going to be
a cold shower when we realize that women are completely dominating
the numbers in medical school . . . law school, business school . . .
because what you're saying isn't going to be true."
Closing out this edition of 60 Minutes, Andy Rooney revisited
comments he made on a sports show about women reporters not belonging
on the sidelines of football games. He refused to apologize for his
comments and would only acknowledge he would have been better off not
having made them! Rooney said: "I am not sexist, and it is a mystery
to me why so many women are less satisfied being women, than men are
satisfied being men. I find it unbecoming when they try to be like
men, too, on the sidelines or anywhere else."
Write to the executives at 60 Minutes and CBS and demand that they
provide a follow-up segment that offers alternative viewpoints and
hard data on the issue of boys supposedly "falling behind" at school.
Please also suggest that Andy Rooney and his outdated opinions may be
long overdue for retirement. Connect to our media action center to
send your letter.
Ummm better yet guys...Lets us send a note to 60 Minutes thanking
them for this program.
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JUNE is Domestic Violence Against Men Awareness Month