Guest Blogger: Justin Dean – Equity in the Face of the Law
Justin Dean is a student blogging for the Show Me Justice Film Festival. Justin is a senior studying Digital Media production at UCM. He is not a fan of mainstream hyper-partisan narratives, but enjoys nuanced conversations and coming to understand both sides of any debate.
In any social justice conversations there are three common talking points that come up:
1) women are oppressed
2) non-whites are oppressed
3) white men have it good
While there are certainly instances of the first two, that last one is at best a gross oversimplification and at worst an example of “the deep state” brainwashing the “NPCs.”
All jokes aside, there are some issues that simply affect men more than women. And no, supporting men’s issues doesn’t mean you are anti-women or can’t support women’s issues too; there is PLENTY of love to go around! I would like to clarify again here that I am in no way diminishing women’s rights or the rights of any other social class (in fact I staunchly oppose the deconstruction of society into social classes altogether) but if we must divide issues by race and gender, we must divide equally.
The largest systemic oppression that men face is the distribution of justice in the courts. Professor Sonja Starr of the University of Michigan School of Law found in a 2012 study that, controlling for arrest offense, criminal history, and more, men in US federal charges face double the rate of conviction and 63% longer sentences than their women counterparts. This is a six times larger disparity than the racial disparities that she found in an earlier study. This means that if a white woman, with three priors, is caught with $10,000 worth of weed (~37 grams), and a white man with the same history does the same, all else being equal with the only distinguishing factor being their biological sex, the woman may face and eight month sentence and $5,000 fine, while the man may face and additional 5 months and $3,000. Like most statistics, these numbers are an average and not a blanket statement, but the disparity is jaw-dropping, and so many people in America want to sweep this under the rug because “white men have it so good.”
Another stunning example of judicial disparity against men is in custody battles. In situations where a man and woman with a child divorce or separate and go to court to fight for custody of their child, 79% of cases end in the woman receiving sole custody, whereas 13% end in joint custody and only 7% end in the man having sole custody. These numbers are from Canada because I couldn’t find the hard numbers for the USA, but our cultures are so greatly similar and the family values which influence our courts are nearly indistinguishable. The Canadians go on to state that 87% of divorces end with the child living solely with their mother, while 3% live with their mother mostly and their father partly. I grew up in that 3%, and it was hard. But I would never go back and change it so that I stayed with my mother only. Nor am I saying that all, or even most of the time kids should stay with their fathers. But surely in more than 20% of divorce cases the child is not better off without their father in their life. Every child deserves both a mother and a father, regardless of how rough that situation is to manage.
I highly recommend that everyone watch ‘The Red Pill” by my personal hero, Cassie Jaye. The documentary follows Cassie on her feminist journey into the world of Men’s Rights Activists and she comes out of it with some astounding stories.
When considering the injustices of the world, don’t forget about the unspoken ones.