Rebecca Hagelin

Don Imus could have saved himself a lot of trouble.

Instead of insulting the superstar black women's basketball players at Rutgers University, he should have told his listeners that white males are idiots who do nothing but drink beer, ogle women and scratch themselves. That way, rather than hearing himself rightly denounced for his rude, discriminatory remarks, he would have heard … nothing.

Seriously, is there any group you can attack with more impunity than males --particularly white males?

Here's how I put it during a recent appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor":

"Our boys are being abused by the media in a different way ... All you have to do is turn on the TV for 30 minutes and tell me how men and dads are portrayed -- as ignorant and stupid and lazy. The white, Anglo-Saxon male, the young teenage guy, is probably the most discriminated against kid on the face of the earth right now."

Although my comments on the subject were brief, this simple observation about how badly today's males are treated garnered a huge reaction. E-mail poured in. Viewer after viewer thanked me for defending just about the only group it's "PC" to diss. (Another frequent target: conservative Christians.)

A typical reaction from one father was this: "Thank you for your courage. It touches my heart to hear someone speak on our behalf."

I obviously touched a raw nerve. Viewers felt strongly enough to leave their TV sets, log on to their computers and search for my e-mail address to share their feelings.

A college student wrote: "You are absolutely right that men are being portrayed as idiots on TV. It's sad in my college (which is largely female-dominated) how poor of a rap men get. Granted, some men deserve what they get, and I have nothing against women, but for young men like me who are trying to uphold the values of chivalry, it can be very degrading."

Another viewer, a self-described "fed-up father of three boys," said he was "delighted to hear someone echo my longstanding observation that fathers these days are almost universally ridiculed by the media. It's been years since I've seen a humorous TV commercial where the joke is on the woman, for example."

How can this be? For one thing, there's a lot of money to be made from portraying males so contemptuously. One of the best videos I've ever seen, the Merchants of Cool (produced by PBS) carefully documents why the modern media robs young males of their dignity. As I note in my book, Home Invasion, the marketing industry, led by MTV, deliberately cultivates a grotesque male image known as a "mook" -- their definition of modern teen boys:

"They are wilder and bolder and ruder and cruder than the average teen boy, but they are designed to keep our sons hyper and addicted to watching the aberrant behavior so that ever more ads can be pushed their way. They are the obnoxious pro wrestlers, the death-defying stars of the Jackass TV show, and the guys on MTV's Spring Break specials belching and dancing crazily with scantily clad women they met ten minutes earlier."

Sadly, the tentacles of radical feminist thought are poisoning the image of groups of males in different ways. If you watch a few commercials or sit-coms, you'll see that dads are sloppy dolts who are always the last to know anything. Where's the outrage? If you listen to the often foul and violent rap and hip-hop music of today, you'll hear that young black and Hispanic men are hate-filled, selfish bigots who degrade women for fun. Where's the outrage? If you're a father-to-be, your preborn baby can be legally killed without your knowledge, much less your consent. For crying out loud, where is the outrage?

Speaking of outrageous, consider what's happening in collegiate sports: reverse discrimination through Title IX, courtesy of radical feminist power and the U.S. government. Ostensibly, Title IX was designed to end sports "discrimination" against girls. In practice, it's less about opening doors for girls and more about slamming them for boys.

Title IX dictates strict quotas for schools that accept federal aid. If "too many" boys are interested in playing sports and "not enough" girls want to play, there's only one way to achieve your quota: Tell some boys to hit the road.

The ugly reality of this new discrimination against our nation's young men hit my family in the gut this year. Our son Nick, a high-school senior, has put countless hours into his track team for four years now. One of his top college choices was James Madison University in Virginia, which has a terrific design program and a super men's track and field team. We recently heard a silly rumor that in order to comply with Title IX, the men's team will be cut after this school year. In disbelief we called the school, only to hear an exasperated official tell us that men's fencing, wrestling, track teams, swimming and other sports will, in fact, soon be a memory. They've all been axed.

"What about all the boys who have been working hard for years so they can participate in college sports?" I asked.

"There's very little for them. Everyone on campus is upset -- the teachers, coaches, the students. No one wants this to happen," was the reply.

If that doesn't make you shake your head in dismay, try searching for college scholarships. There are scholarships for every minority group you can think of: scholarships for various races, scholarships for gays and lesbians, even scholarships for nudists. But I couldn't find a single scholarship exclusively for "white, Anglo-Saxon, straight males." Nada.

The truth is, your "average white boy" in America is a pretty decent human being. Yes, various minority groups have been treated poorly in our nation's history. Yes, women haven't always been recognized and valued as equals. But guess what? It ain't my son's fault, and he shouldn't be treated as if it is.

There are consequences when we, as a society, tolerate the constant images of males of any race as knuckle-dragging Neanderthals. When the media portrays fathers and grown men as sots, we rob our boys of the role models they need -- of the role models we all need. When we allow the feminists to "punish" boys by denying them opportunities, we degrade the virtues of hard work and equality.

Yes, the free-market system should be holding Don Imus accountable for the way he degraded an accomplished group of minority women. I also think it's time for a little civility across the board. What do you think? Please e-mail your thoughts to me through my Web site, www.HomeInvasion.org. I'll post comments on the site in the coming days and weeks and make sure they are passed on to media outlets.

In the meantime, please go out of your way to validate the value of the decent fathers, husbands and young men in your life. I think you'll be surprised, as I was, to find out how much they long for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.


Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
 
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