It is no coincidence that as our country progresses, American society increases in love, compassion, and support toward gender minorities. Nevertheless, some gender minorities continue to face hardships at the hands of bigots who act based on ignorant opinions. The United States Criminal Justice System—which seems to promote anything but justice—has successfully targeted one particular gender minority. According to a 2010 census, males represent merely 49.2% of the United States’ total population. However, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, males comprise an astounding 93.3% of the 2017 prison population. Indeed, men have an incarceration rate fourteen times higher than that of women.
To those who would challenge the male gender’s status as a minority, let us visit the two factors which define the term. Oxford University Press’s North American dictionary classifies a group as a minority if it is the smaller part, and especially if it comprises less than half of the whole. As previously mentioned, the male gender represents 49.2% of the total population and is therefore indisputably a gender minority.
How does American society respond to this mass incarceration of an outnumbered minority? Some ignorant bigots deny that the Criminal Justice System is systematically sexist; instead, they claim that the incarceration statistics make sense. These bigots are known to cite meaningless statistics about how men commit 86% of violent crime and therefore deserve similarly high incarceration rates. This does not make any sense. As previously mentioned, men represent only 49.2% of the American population; so how could they commit a majority of violent crime? According to a Wall Street Journal article published in 2009, the average American commits “three felonies a day.” Although bigots might discount the Wall Street Journal as “fake news,” I will take the side of scholars and accept the information the journal presents. With the understanding that every American commits exactly “three felonies a day,” men would commit 49.2% of felonies. So, unless imprisonment for misdemeanors alone explains the monstrous disparity in incarceration, there must be another explanation. That explanation is: men are stereotyped into prison. Indeed, the stereotype that men are criminals is self-fulfilling. Because police officers see so many men in prison, their implicit biases lead them to arrest men unjustly. Sometimes a man is imprisoned for no crime, but more often he is imprisoned for one of a woman’s three daily felonies.
Operating under the disproven assumption that men commit more crime than women, many bigots offer pseudo-solutions to the male gender’s problems. The bigots at the Brookings Institute, for instance, claim that people can avoid poverty and crime by finishing high school, getting a full-time job, and waiting until age twenty-one to get married and have children. It’s very obvious that the Brookings Institute employs women, because they clearly don’t understand man’s plight. How can men do these things with the injustice of 176,000 imprisoned men looming over their heads? Indeed, there are only two actual solutions to the incarceration disparity. First, we could release men from prison until they represent exactly 49.2% of inmates. Considering there are currently 12,650 women in prison, this would entail the release of 163,985 male prisoners. The second and most inclusive solution would be to arrest enough American citizens of each gender so that the 176,000 imprisoned men represent 49.2% of inmates in America. This would mean arresting an additional 169,073 women, and arresting or releasing the appropriate amounts for all other genders.
Economist Thomas Sowell, a member of the male gender who is therefore qualified to speak about man’s plight, details this solution in his book The Quest for Cosmic Justice. In it, he concludes that equality cannot truly be achieved until we see absolute equality of outcome. For this reason, every believer in social justice must vow to partake in the “quest for cosmic justice.” I have done my part by writing this article, but what will you do? Whatever your plan of attack, we must continue to strive as a society until we achieve equal outcome for all—the only assurance of equal treatment and opportunity.
This article was written by Drew Sneed. Click here to see more of Drew’s work.