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By: Dean Tong
June 6, 2009

We have seen literally scores of men’s rights groups pop up globally over the past 40 years. From MEN International to the National Organization for Men to the National Coalition for Free Men, most of these well-intentioned and well-meaning groups were not organized, funded well enough, or politically backed to compete with the rise of the feminists and the National Organization for Women. That said, it is important for everyone – men, women, and children – to ascertain the significance of The Men’s Movement and that men are not just “paychecks and biological necessities.”

We have heard of The Promise Keepers and of the 1995 Million Man March. Even Mel Feit from the National Center for Men recently appeared against feminist love Gloria Allred on Dr. Phil. Now, a brand new college born group from the University of Chicago called Men in Power has surfaced. And the president of the advocacy group, Steve Saltarelli, has just been interviewedon National Public Radio.

Saltarelli’s group is the first men’s group at the University of Chicago compared with nine women’s advocacy groups at the same. Men in Power was started to raise awareness of men, professionally speaking. Saltarelli, who desires to become an attorney, believes men need help with respect to the fields of medicine, law and business. He wants to bring in speakers to address these issues and garner media attention, too. According to Mark Perry, an economist at the University of Michigan in Flint, in April, the national unemployment rate for men was 10 percent compared 7.6 percent for women. In addition, he said women hold three out of every four jobs in health care and education. As a still licensed laboratory medical technologist who worked in hospitals for twenty-odd years, I can tell you firsthand women outnumbered men in the labs big time. And Perry said future employment for men is an issue, too, because since 1981 women hold more bachelor’s and master’s degrees than men do.

Perhaps, what Mr. Saltarelli has yet to encounter, are the strident ideological views and divisive forces of opposing feminists. I hope he doesn’t succumb to the catch phrase, “If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen.” I, for one, will be rooting for him and hope his idea flourishes and metastasizes like cancer nationwide. Other universities should follow suit and create men’s groups on campuses, nationally. Men need men. Women need men. And children need men to look up to.

Surely, some of these U. Of Chicago Men in Power guys will become dads, too, and Saltarelli may consider forming Fathers in Power. The latter would become far more controversial since they would be dealing with issues such as child abuse, child custody and child support. For example, try telling a radical feminist a recent national study of child abuse reports/investigations found that seventy five percent of the same were unfounded or false. Or, try telling her that women first file for divorce and mothers obtain child custody 85 percent of the time.

My advice to Saltarelli and his colleagues – Stay focused and stay strong. Read Dr. Warren Farrell’s book – The Myth of Male Power and Dick Doyle’s book – Save the Males. Do not contest ideology with ideology, but with facts and empirical data. Connect with experts who teach and publish in men’s studies. You may suggest to collection and development decision makers at your library to stock a few men’s rights books and articles. I presented at the U. Of Chicago a few years ago alongside Michael McCormick from the American Coalition for Fathers and Children. Saltarelli might even query prominent Chicago attorney Jeffery Leving to speak to his organization. After all, Father’s Day is right around the corner.