Biden Orders Creation of Gender Policy Council (explainer)

President Joe Biden has formally created a gender policy council within the White House as part of two executive orders he signed Monday to mark International Women’s Day.

In a statement, Biden said: “In our nation, as in all nations, women have fought for justice, shattered barriers, built and sustained economies, carried communities through times of crisis, and served with dignity and resolve. Too often, they have done so while being denied the freedom, full participation, and equal opportunity all women are due.”

The council will include a staff of four, three of whom will hold the title of special assistant to the president.

The council’s mandate is to work across the federal government’s domestic and foreign policy to fight discrimination and bias, boost economic security, increase access to health care, and advance general equality through diplomacy, trade and defense.

“Today, the global crises we now face have made abundantly clear both the contributions of women and the challenges facing women,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in remarks to the European Parliament. “If we build a world that works for women, our nations will all be safer, stronger and more prosperous.”

The second order asks the Department of Education to re-examine the Trump administration’s policies and rule-making on Title IX, the 1972 law which governs the way sex-based discrimination in schools is handled. The goal, one of the officials said, is to ensure students have an education “free of sexual violence.”

The Trump administration also scrapped key Obama-era policies and put forward their rules which, among other items, said transgender students couldn’t use the bathroom consistent with their own gender identities. Biden’s executive order instructs the agency to make sure all policies related to Title IX are consistent with the ethos of the Biden-Harris administration, the official added.

“President Biden knows we need a government-wide focus on uplifting the rights of all women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, restoring America as a champion for gender equity,” said one of the officials.

The Obama administration had a White House Council on Women and Girls. The new gender council reflects the idea, one official said, that gender discrimination can happen to people of all genders.

Breitbart reports:

The co-author of The Boy Crisis says the Biden-Harris administration’s plan for a White House Gender Policy Council is both “sexist and racist.”

San Francisco-based Dr. Warren Farrell, who touts he is “the only man ever elected three times” to the National Organization for Women’s board of directors, is challenging President Joe Biden with the question: “How can the Gender Policy Council eliminate sexism by perpetuating sexism?”

Farrell, who earned a Ph.D. in political science with an emphasis on Constitutional Law, also questions how a Gender Policy Council can claim to address racial injustice without addressing the “male” half of the phrase “black male?”

The speaker and author, who co-wrote The Boy Crisis with John Gray, challenged the administration after Biden and Kamala Harris announced, the day before the inauguration, a plan to create a council to advance gender equality. In its “Agenda for Women,” Biden’s campaign also promised to form a White House Council on Gender Equality.

According to the Hill, the Biden transition team said the goal of the White House Gender Policy Council is part of the effort to build the “nation back better.”

The council is expected to be co-chaired by Jennifer Klein, chief strategy and policy officer at TIME’S UP, and Julissa Reynoso, assistant to the president and chief of staff to First Lady Jill Biden.

“Too many women are struggling to make ends meet and support their families, and too many are lying awake at night worried about their children’s economic future,” Biden said in the announcement about the Gender Policy Council. “This was true before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the current global public health crisis has made these burdens infinitely heavier for women all over this country.”

“The work of this council is going to be critical to ensuring we build our nation back better by getting closer to equality for women and to the full inclusion of women in our economy and our society,” he added.

“All Americans deserve a fair shot to get ahead, including women whose voices have not always been heard,” Harris also said in the announcement, according to the Hill. “I look forward to working with these deeply knowledgeable and experienced public servants to address the challenges facing women and girls, and build a nation that is more equal and just.”

Farrell said in comments to Breitbart News, however, that, in the past, the “dominant force” so often labeled by feminists as “patriarchy” was actually “survival.”

“To survive, women raised children; men raised money,” he explained. “Women risked their lives in childbirth; men risked their lives in war.”

“Neither sex had rights or privileges; both sexes had responsibilities and obligations,” Farrell continued. “In developed societies’ middle classes, when survival became less all-controlling, we began focusing on women’s right to be whoever they wanted to be.”

He explained that “the next evolutionary shift” must be a “focus on creating a parallel flexibility for boys and men: recognizing that some of our sons will feel fulfilled and are needed as provider-protectors (e.g., warriors, firefighters); others will feel more fulfilled and needed as nurturer-connectors (as full-time dads; elementary school teachers; nurses; social workers).”

“In the past, we used what I call ‘social bribes’ like calling boys heroes if they became a Navy Seal in that generation’s war,” Farrell said. “Women fell in love with the Officer and the Gentleman, not the Private and the Pacifist. Lois Lane would ignore Clark Kent until she discovered he was Superman.”

Farrell’s research, however, led him to discover more than 50 developmental areas in which boys and men are falling behind girls and women.

In addition, black males have been shot by police 24 times more often than black females.

“It is disingenuous to say Black Lives Matter if our gender policies ignore the single biggest solution to better Black lives: re-engaging Black fathers,” Farrell also said in a press statement. “Caring exclusively about racial injustice for black females exacerbates racial injustice with sexism.”

“Flexible roles for our future require re-examining the social bribes we use to restrict both sexes,” he remarked to Breitbart News. “We’ve done a good job of doing that with women even as feminism has become toxic by honing victimhood as a fine art and calling equally-restricted males the privileged oppressors.”

In April 2019, Farrell observed in an op-ed at USA Today that the “boy crisis” is “particularly egregious in America.”

“The crisis is more than economic,” he wrote. “It is multifaceted, with each facet magnifying the others.”

He pointed out that 60 percent of students who perform below the baseline level of proficiency in international assessments in core subject areas are boys.

Additionally, he noted:

Boys’ suicide rate goes from only slightly more than girls before age 15 to three times that of girls’ between 15 and 19, to 4 1/2 times that of girls between 20 and 24. Mass shootersprisoners and Islamic State terrorism recruits are at least 90% male

Boys are continually confronted with claims their “masculinity is toxic,” he wrote, “that the future is female; that dads are but bumbling fools or deadbeats.”

With more children being raised without fathers, boys are suffering from “dad-deprivation,” Farrell said.

“Aggregately, this leads to my predicting that the biggest gap between boys who are successful and unsuccessful in the future will be the gap between those who are dad-enriched versus dad-deprived,” he observed.

The solution to the “boy crisis,” Farrell wrote, is “dad-involvement.”