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Tom Purcell: What about the war on men?

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Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, 5:05 p.m.

Lots of people are talking about the “war on women” these days, but what about the war on men?

The war on men? This is going to be good.

Look, if you ask me, this “war on women” thing is mostly just a difference of opinion. Some people think the government should pass more laws to give women special workplace rights or force faith-based employers to include coverage for contraception and other reproductive matters in their health insurance policies for employees.

OK, fair enough.

Well, just because other people don't want the government telling organizations what they must or must not do doesn't mean they are against women. It means they don't like the idea of government establishing more laws and mandates to right every wrong, perceived or otherwise.

So you're saying the “war on women” crowd thinks it is being victimized and wants the government to intervene, whereas the “leave us alone” crowd prefers individual freedom and wants the government to butt out. But what does this have to do with the supposed “war on women”?

Well, if we men adopted a victimization mindset, we could complain about lots of things. Here's one: During our bad economic spell, many states helped close their budget shortfalls with high taxes on beer! It's well-known that men consume way more beer than women, so aren't such taxes sexist?

Where is the ACLU when you need it?

And did you know Medicare no longer covers Viagra? That's going to have a terrible impact on my relationship with the wife during my retirement years.

How so?

If the wife knows I have a stash of those pills, she'll spend way more time at the mall, ensuring peace and quiet for both of us. But there are plenty of other areas where we men are victims.

Go on.

Have you noticed that when you're out at an event, women go to the bathroom together, but men never do? I think it's because the women's rooms are bigger and, depending on the joint, have cushy lounge chairs or couches. The government should mandate equal bathroom rights for men.

You want the government to do that?

Sure. If we men had more space, we'd go to the bathroom together, too. We could talk about things, such as good prostate health, that will improve our well-being and decrease medical costs. The government should like that, now that it's running our health care.

As odd as it sounds, you make some sense.

But the biggest area where men are being targeted is by female state legislators. You wouldn't believe some of the anti-male laws they're trying to pass.

You are right about that. Angered by some state laws that require women to get various tests before they make reproductive decisions, such as abortion, some female politicians have been striking back. I read about it on

That's right. One Virginia state senator tried to pass an amendment to a bill that “would require men to undergo a rectal exam and cardiac stress test before being treated for erectile dysfunction.”

That doesn't sound very pleasant.

Look, my point isn't that complicated. Just because people want the government to butt out of their personal lives, it doesn't mean they're against women.

Sounds reasonable to me.

Besides, isn't it a little contradictory to demand that the government stay out of your private matters while also demanding that it make religious organizations pay for your contraception? Shouldn't people and religious organizations in America have the freedom to follow their own beliefs?

And the beer tax?

That's an egregious example of the never-ending war on men!

Tom Purcell, a freelance writer, lives in Library. Visit him on the web at E-mail him at:

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