Most of you in North America will have noticed that “Adventist World” now comes to you folded inside a thin wrapper of pages entitled “Adventist Journey: Inspiration and Information for North America.” The masthead of this new publication lists Kimberly Luste Maran as the editor and Bill Knott as executive editor. The union presidents within the NAD are listed as “consultants.”
The principal article in the most recent “Journey” is about a meeting of Adventist women in leadership positions in the church, and is entitled, “Connect, Share, Encourage.” Because Adventist women need a lot of encouragement, or so we are to assume. Each of the women at the meeting were asked to compose a few paragraphs of advice to their younger selves, presumably not preparatory to climbing into a time machine, but rather for the benefit of other Adventist women planning, at the dawn of their careers, to pursue leadership positions in the SDA Church.
Up first is Sandra Roberts, the out-of-policy president of the Southeastern California Conference, who allows that she has difficulty separating what is intrinsically difficult in her job from what is difficult for her—or is being maliciously made difficult for her?—because she is a woman:
Whether you’re male or female, leadership is rough work. Sometimes I have a hard time separating what are simply difficult leadership challenges and what results because of gender. I deeply value conversations like the one today because I can get stuck in my own world trying to figure this out.
I say she is “out-of-policy” because current denominational working policy specifies that conference presidents must be ordained ministers, and—as has been thrice affirmed in General Conference Session—the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not ordain women. But the publishers of “Journey” well know that the world church is not politically able to enforce those three votes—as witness the fiasco at Annual Council last fall—so they are free to fête Sandra Roberts to their hearts’ content.
The NAD’s relentless rebellion against voted church policy has become old news, and tedious. Dan Jackson and his merry band of union presidents will continue their rebellion, and will continue to descend in the esteem of those who believe (1) that GC session votes should be complied with, and/or (2) that the Bible’s clear teaching on male headship in the church must be heeded. So, let’s leave that where it lies.
Let us instead focus on the general business of promoting feminism and female empowerment. News flash to the publishers of “Journey”: it is not 1972. In the Year of Our Lord 2018 it is not women who need to be empowered, affirmed, encouraged, and generally promoted in the North American Division, but men. Men in North America are being crushed.
A quick look at the numbers shows that something ominous is happening to American men:
- The average American man will die five years before the average American woman.
- Men are more than twice as likely to become alcoholics or to die in a drug overdose.
- 77% of all suicides are men, and suicides are up 43% since 1997.
- More girls than boys graduate from high school (about 72% of girls graduate, whereas about 65% of boys graduate—the gap is 5% among whites, 9% among Hispanics and 11% among blacks).
- Considerably more girls than boys go on to college. In 1970, male collegians outnumbered females by 58% to 42%; but girls began to outnumber boys around 1980, and today the ratio of male to females has been nearly reversed, at 43% male to 57% female.
- Women outnumber men in graduate school by 58% to 42% in master’s degree programs and 51% to 49% in Ph.D. and other doctoral programs. Females now constitute a majority of new enrollees in both medical school and law school and eventually will comprise the majority in both professions.
- Between 1979 and 2010 men with a high school education saw their real income (adjusted for inflation) drop about 20%. High school-educated women’s real income rose during this time. The de-industrialization caused by global trade agreements disproportionately hurt working-class men, not women.
- There are now 7 million working age men in America who do not work, who are not looking for work, who have simply dropped out of the labor force.
- Half of these 7 million men are on pain medication. It is a cliché that men tend to abuse illegal drugs whereas women tend to abuse prescription medications, but the opioid crisis which killed 60,000 last year and hundreds of thousands in this century is killing men at the rate of 27 a day versus 18 women a day.
- Fewer men get married than did a few decades ago, and fewer stay married.
- Young adult men are now more likely to live with a parent than with a wife or girlfriend.
- Single women buy their own homes at more than twice the rate of young men.
- More women than men have driver’s licenses.
- It is often said that women earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn, but that is a garbage statistic derived by comparing all income across all professions and jobs. When you compare men and women with the same education working the same jobs, there is NO earnings gap. The census bureau tells us that single women in their 20s in metropolitan areas earn 8% more than similarly situated young men. An earning gap in favor of men only emerges as a function of child-bearing, because new mothers typically work less while new fathers work more.
- Most managers in the workplace are now women.
- Women are scoring higher on IQ tests than men.
- 70% of American men are now overweight or obese, and half of young men so out of shape that they fail the army’s entrance physical.
Perhaps most alarmingly, men are becoming less masculine. Sperm counts are down 60% since the 1970s. There has also been a decline in testosterone levels; One study found that the average 40-year-old man has 30% less testosterone than a typical 40-year-old man 30 years ago. Lower testosterone levels in men are associated with depression, lethargy, weight gain, and decreased cognitive ability.
If you don't want to read all of the above statistics, you can listen to Tucker tell it:
In her 2013 book, “The End of Men (and the Rise of Women)” Hanna Rosin notes that “Today, by almost every measure, women are no longer gaining on men: They have pulled decisively ahead.”
All this will no doubt come as news to the publishers of “Adventist Journey,” who seem to be mentally living in 1972, pioneering women’s rights, fighting the evil patriarchy, and sticking it to the man.
I guess one could try to rip away the four pages of the “Journey,” and toss them in the circular file, but such violent action would risk un-binding “Adventist World,” which still has some worthwhile content.