- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Last week, President Obama signed an executive order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. He did so with a speech in which he praised the perseverance and pluck of his own single mother, the grandmother who ultimately raised him, and especially his wife, whom he credited for her exceptional skill as mother to their two daughters.

Under the direction of his longtime political pal Valerie Jarrett, Mr. Obama has added membership on this council to the already daunting list of tasks of every Cabinet-level appointee. He says the council’s job will be to ensure that the feminist agenda saturates public policy on all levels.

The president gathered the A-listers of feminism to celebrate his announcement, including the leaders of the National Organization for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Emily’s List. Others who work to advance the cause of women and girls (but not abortion rights), were not in attendance. Probably an oversight.

The folks who did attend seemed thrilled that a special White House council had been created to advance feminist ideas. I doubt it’s going to do much good for women and girls.

If Mr. Obama wanted to actually do something significant for American’s women and girls, he would have created instead a White House Council on Men and Boys.

Just imagine the estrogen-induced response to something so sexist as a council chartered to address the concerns of one gender over another. Oh, wait. That’s what this is.

But anyway, his is a council to address the issues of women and girls, so of course it is entirely fair.

Actually, I’m the mother of three girls, and I happen to think Mr. Obama’s new council won’t win the battle of the sexes. That’s because the best thing anyone can do for American women and girls is to encourage men and boys to “man up.”

A council on men and boys would promote stable marriage as the best avenue to improve the lives and living conditions of America’s women and families. A council on men and boys would address the crisis in American manhood that results in the scourge of infidelity, divorce, lack of commitment and fatherhood with multiple partners.

A council on men and boys would seek to eliminate the objectification of women in the media. It would battle our hypersexual culture by fighting against the “hook-up” mentality that defines the way in which young men view young women. And most importantly, it would stamp out the violence against women that emanates from men’s widespread exposure and growing addiction to pornography.

Such a council would work to train a new generation of boys to become real men, who honor and uphold women as equals in the workplace, the community and the home - not because the government regulates such an attitude, but because it’s right.

A council on men and boys also would address the underlying problems that create “women’s issues” such as child care, inadequate pay and domestic violence. These aren’t “women’s issues,” but issues related to the systemic collapse of the American family.

Believe me, I’m not man-bashing. Rather, I think the feminist agenda is a false promise. A council on women and girls that seeks to infuse feminism across the government propels us further from real solutions. Our government just isn’t man enough to fix what’s wrong.

• Visit Marybeth Hicks at www.marybethhicks.com.