Are whites better leaders? Are straight men more efficient than gay men? Are these kinds of questions similar? U.S. News magazine had an aritcle on the superiority of female leaders. Much of it has to do with the stereotype that women are more "holistic" and "web thinkers" than men, which like many stereotypes can contain a grain of truth but should not be reinforced due to the potential misuse of the stereotype - such as in making sweeping generalizations about the superority of one gender, race, etc. over another. The article is a perfect example of this.

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Ed Bartlett from the Men's Health America list submitted this report from the Surgeon General on Youth Violence. As we know, youth violence generally means male youth violence, but this report successfully addressed this issue without stereotyping boys or stigmatizing them. It includes a list of myths about youth violence that I'd like everyone to read. Despite the way the media portrays it, we are not on the verge of an explosion of school violence - so let's calm the hysteria before young boys are systematically monitored for "potential" violent tendencies (but give treatment to those who have been violent).

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This letter to the editor of the Oklahoman is great to see - the writer doing a point-by-point refutation of many myths about fathers, including "Fathers abandon families," "Dads don't want custody," and "Dads do not pay child support," among others. I like to see people speaking out in their local media on this - we need to encourage it as much as possible.

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Len Miskulin, who has been hunger striking for over a month to protest the family court system that has barred him from seeing his children, has apparently had another major stumbling block to his cause. I have been unable to confirm the source of a press release that is circulating by e-mail, but it states that a media gag order has been issued by a British court, forbidding the use of Len's name or personal information in reports on his hunger strike. Effectively, it is undermining the media's ability to report on his case or to exercise free speech. This makes his cause all the more urgent - please visit Len's web site for updates or info on what's going on.

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In this example, we can conclude with a resounding YES. In an "Ask Our Experts Column" from the femail web site, expert Sandra Davis gives this advice to a woman concerned about losing her children if she divorces her husband: "You will not lose your children by moving out. A court would be sympathetic to your reasons for leaving. Its view is 'mother is best' and your husband would have a hard job convincing them otherwise." While the reasons this woman wants to leave her marriage are valid, the response clearly indicates that despite the circumstances, it is widely believed that courts are biased in favor of mothers. I just thought this would be a useful reference as a "sign of the times."

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I received an anonymous submission to this story reported by CBSNews. It is about trying to prevent the negative impact of divorce on children, and the way that seems to be having the best effect is the assumption of joint custody. In fact, in states such as West Virginia which have laws making joint custody the default ruling in divorce settlements, both the rate of divorce and the rate of "deadbeat dads" is dropping significantly. Not to mention the positive benefits of maintaining children's contact with their fathers.

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Not PC submitted some excerpts from the article, How exams are fixed in favour of girls from The Spectator: "Girls are doing better than boys in exams, but that does not mean that they are brighter, says Madsen Pirie. What has happened is that exams have been feminised - and so has the country...Only five years ago, men gained 1,800 more first-class honours degrees than women. The number of women with firsts has trebled in a decade, with women now leading the field in 12 of the 17 subject areas, including medicine, law and business. Partly, they gain more of the firsts because there are more of them. They make up 55 per cent of the university population, and gain more of all qualifications. There is, nonetheless, a clear trend running through education...Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves what sort of society we are producing if we feminise the entry qualification into its leadership positions. Will it still produce penicillin and hovercraft? Or will it just produce civil servants?"

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I received a feature submission from Claude Saint-Jarre, a Canadian environmentalist and father, who wrote an in-depth essay on the idea of "ecomasculism." Since his paper is quite long, I've divided it up into two sections. Click "Read More" below to read part one, and I hope to post part two on this site in a few weeks. Claude has a tremendous wealth of knowledge about ecology and I'm sure would welcome any questions or feedback from readers. He's also been working to create fatherhood groups based on ecoliteracy, and so if this idea interests you, please drop him a line.

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ABCNews posted a transcript of an interview/chat session with Jed Diamond, who has written on the topic of midlife changes in men, sometimes referred to as "male menopause." The Men's Health Network is mentioned in the interview, and it's an interesting discussion on the physical and psychological changes that men go through in middle age.

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In some very disturbing news, police in Britain have been given permission to keep DNA samples and fingerprints of people involved in crime investigations and who were not convicted. Previously, the samples had to be destroyed if the person was innocent. IHF (now AngryHarry) submitted this UK telegraph article. The systematic collection of DNA samples from the population will undoubtedly change the way law enforcement is done, and this is one step closer to a police state where authorities can know with certainty if you've been somewhere or touched something.

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ZDNET printed this story about the wage gap in the Information Technology (IT) field. According to the article, women's salaries equal men's when they first enter the industry, but as men and women gain experience, the wage gap widens. But the author indicates the fallacies of the study, saying "It is impossible to say why male techies earn more than their female counterparts as both groups gain experience; statisticians did not inquire about the potential salary drag of extended maternity leaves, salary negotiating skills, job tenure or alternative compensation such as stock options."

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Jim Gard writes "My divorce has been extremely bitter costing thousands of dollars, great amounts of time from work, and constant attempts of alienation on the mother's part. The bottom line is, enjoy your kids and stay neutral concerning any Mom comments. Your children will appreciate it. For all of the Dads who need something different to do with their daughters during an extended vacation, please visit my web site at this link. My two daughters, ages 10 and 4 and I traveled the nation by train. We did the same over Christmas, this time heading up the east coast." Thanks for the submission, Jim - I enjoy posting information such as this which is definitely of interest to fathers. I'm sure young boys would also enjoy trips like this as well.

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Adam has organized a new activism project, especially for those from the UK. The largest bookstore in Britain is called Foyles and it has only two shelves of men's studies books compared to the 25-40 shelves devoted to women's studies, and that's including "lesbian studies" and subtopics of women's issues. So I'd like to start a campaign to enlarge the men's section to the same size. That means trying to convince the store to carry every major men's studies book that exists. Check out our Activism Projects page for a suggested letter format and info on how to participate.

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An Anonymous Reader sent in this link to a superb opinion article by Raymond Saulnier. Saulnier works with a battered men's help line in Maine and wrote an article on the unaddressed problem of battered men, and how almost no one is talking about the recent Jonesboro murder in terms of domestic violence. From the article: "If a battered man approaches a battered women's agency for emergency housing, he will be referred to a homeless shelter...Advocates for male victims are few and far between. This mirrors the plight of the battered women a generation ago."

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Earlier we had reported on the illegal imprisonment of Steve Blake, the president of the Minnesota chapter of R-KIDS. He had begun a hunger strike on December 23. I just received an e-mail from Scott Booth, who has informed me that Steve is no longer on a hunger strike, but he is still in jail, and they are working on getting him out. Scott told me that if there is anything else that can be done, I will be notified. Keep an eye on this site for further details.

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