The National Organization for Men Opposes Harvard President's Censure

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A leading men's organization decries yesterday's vote of no confidence in Harvard President Lawrence Summers. The National Organization for Men opposes that new double-standard: one can, with minimal substantiation, make negative generalizations about men but all statements about women must be positive or you risk your career. That new double standard is exemplified by the reactions to Summers' statement about women in science.

A new double standard unfairly hurts men.

Harvard President Lawrence Summers opined that innate differences may partly explain the lack of women in science. Significant research supports his hypothesis, yet yesterday, Harvard's 672-member Faculty of Arts and Sciences issued Summers a career-devastating vote of lack of confidence.

In contrast, men are routinely denigrated with far less supporting evidence, yet the accuser suffers no reprisals. For example, last week, Steven Knipp, on the front page of the Insight section of the March 6 San Francisco Chronicle, wrote, "Women are just plain better human beings than men." Not even a letter to the editor was published in protest.

National Organization for Men (NOM) co-president Warren Farrell said, “Harvard’s action reflects a new double standard: Nearly any negative statement, no matter how unsubstantiated, can be made about men, but only positive statements can be made about women. Just imagine what would have occurred if Summers asserted that 'Men are just plain better human beings than women.'

NOM co-president Marty Nemko added. "This is more than an issue of censorship or free speech. It is also about fairness to men. NOM strongly supports Lawrence Summers on this issue and NOM’s leaders welcome the opportunity to debate it."


Co-president, Dr. Warren Farrell, is the only man ever to have been elected three times to the board of the National Organization for Women in New York City. The author of the best-sellers The Myth of Male Power and the newly published, Why Men Earn More. (Amacom, 2005), Farrell, in 2003, ran for the Democratic nomination for California governor and was selected by the Financial Times as one of the world's top 100 thought leaders. He has appeared on over 1,000 TV and radio shows. He can be reached at 760-753-5000. His writings are at

Co-president Dr. Marty Nemko holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and subsequently taught there. He hosts a popular NPR-San Francisco show that frequently discusses gender issues as does his newspaper column, which appears in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle. He appears often in the broadcast and print media, including twice a day on CNN Headline News’ Comcast Local Edition in San Francisco. He can be reached at 510-655-2777. His columns are at

The National Organization for Men advocates for the fair treatment of men and women in academia, the workplace, the media, and public policy.


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