Joe Manthey, Petaluma’s outspoken advocate for males
Charming and well-versed in his subject, Joe Manthey introduces himself as a “male advocate,” one who strongly believes that, “a lot of what the feminist movement said was not true.”
To strengthen his argument, Joe talks about the tasks performed by men and women when we lived in caves.
“Men were the hunters,” he says. “Women prepared the food and raised the children. Biology is not destiny. It’s proclivity.”
A fifth generation Petaluman, Joe’s mother and father were school teachers who established a division of powers in their own home.
He remembers his parents as a male/female team who complimented each other.
“My father was a great cook,” he says. “My mother wasn’t, so she would clean up.”
He goes on to point out the numerous volunteer positions his mother held in the community.
“She did a lot more than the dishes,” he says.
Like his father, Joe is also an accomplished cook, and he sees that as validation of his core beliefs.
“We need to distinguish between a generalization and a stereotype,” he says. “We must educate ourselves to the neuro/biological differences between men and women, and celebrate those differences.”
Living here most of his life, Joe notes a tangible generational shift.
“Petaluma used to be more conservative, but as older people leave, people with children move in and they are much more liberal.”
He sees 1993 as a major sea change.
“That’s when women became the majority of the Petaluma City Council,” he points out. “Back then, people said, because women were in charge, there would be much more cooperation. I wrote an op-ed letter at the time pointing out there is no evidence that women are morally superior to men.”
Joe has, in the past, willingly shared his opinions at meetings of the City Council, Board of Supervisors and other groups, though he says he does not speak at meetings anymore.
“They wouldn’t put me on the agenda with my proposal to create a Commission on the Status of Men,” he says, “so I showed up with a delegation of 20 speakers for the open comments.”
Upset that the Ms. Foundation’s Take Your Daughter To Work Day excluded boys, Joe filed a lawsuit against the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in District Court arguing that public agencies cannot sponsor events that exclude participation based on sex.
Says Joe, “We made our point, and the event became Take Your Children to Work Day.”
A former substitute teacher at several elementary schools, Joe is very concerned by what he has seen.
“Public education has become feminized to a fault and is hurting our boys,” he suggests. “I’ve even had a School Board member tell me that ‘boys are stupid.’”
Health Services is another area of concern to Joe.
He claims that men and boys in Petaluma are under-served by the health care profession, which he says is mostly run by women.
Another of Joe’s goals is to “massage the listeners’ ears” so that he, or she, is in “a better space” after listening to his “In the Groove” blues music program on Wednesday afternoons, on Petaluma community access radio KPCA-FM.
(Contact Gil Mansergh at email@example.com.)