The last few months month has seen further progress in ensuring there are more services for male victims of domestic abuse, however, the justice establishment (and part of the media) still do not take their plight seriously or treat them as equals.
On top of this, there is some very good research from the excellent Men's Advisory Project in Northern Ireland who looked at the experiences of male victims they had supported. They like others (Abused Men in Scotland and the ManKind Initiative) do not subscribe to the nonsense anti-male view that domestic abuse is a crime against a gender. Those that believe it is a gendered crime purposely do not want male victims to be supported.
However, while progress is made on that front the judiciary remain in a contemptible state of denial. Not helped by the stereotyping by the media.
Then a week or so ago, we had Judge Millford calling Dennis Long, a man who snapped after 30 years of domestic abuse and killed his wife, 'weak'. This was then picked up by the media who ran with the story that he was hen-pecked - when he had been hot repeatedly with an ornamental poker! There is an article on the ManKind Initiative website outlining the issue and is very well worth a read.
Judge Sir Nicholas Wall President of the Family Division gave a speech to Resolution, the family law legal service. The first part of the speech (from 8 onwards) looks at domestic abuse and he unbelievably says:
"In my experience, physical domestic abuse is largely a male problem. There are, of course, women who physically abuse their partners and their children, but they are, in my experience, the minority. This is not a politically correct opinion. The politically correct view is that domestic violence affects both sexes and is perpetrated by both. So, of course, it is, but male violence is, in my experience, more common. Moreover, in my experience, men are notoriously unwilling to admit to being the perpetrators of domestic abuse. Furthermore, it seems to me that if men embrace the comfortable doctrine that domestic abuse affects people of both genders, that is but a short step away from doing nothing about it."
This is unbelievable and chimes with the establishment view. Justice Wall has not got a clue how offensive his comments are to those male victims who suffer in silence. To say that it is politically correct view is Orwellian double speak, when the Government's own figures show one in three victims are male and that new services are springing up all the time because there is a need.
How will men feel comfortable in coming forward if these are the views of judges and of course if you are a male victim who comes before Justice Wall, he has already placed it on record that he thinks you are a liar.
While grassroots services are springing up all the time, the judiciary are holding progress back. They do not believe in equal justice when they think some victims (female) are more equal than other victims (male).
A few months ago Yvette Cooper, one of Labour anti-male emissaries, launched an amazingly economically illiterate rant against the Budget and here we go again as she is big news in the Guardian, who of course slavishly lap it all up.
Without having to repeat so much before but firstly where were the politicians defending and speaking out for men who were the big losers in the recession and redundancies affecting the private sector. They were nowhere to be found.
In fact, a great point about the anti-male hypocrisy of politicians and others who speak out about how the budget and Comprehensive Spending Review was made in the Guardian article about the Fawcett Society.
In the comments section, someone said why so-called equality campaigners are not complaining against the decision to stop a grant to Sheffield Forgemasters even though that will cost men's jobs. Nothing from Cooper, Flint or Harman.
Secondly, job cuts that affect women also affect the men in their lives as they do not live in isolation.
And this undermines Yvette Cooper. She says using House of Commons research that women are hit harder from the cuts because 70% of tax credits are paid to mothers as is 94% of child benefit. Of course, if the mother has a son - he suffers as well. And of course if the mother has a partner/husband sharing her life then he suffers as well. Just because the mother receives the money, doesn't mean he doesn'nt suffer as well.
The fact that this stuff gets airtime without being questioned shows how the media just print it without a challenge or thought. Yvette Cooper's claims are laughable, they do not stack up and shows the feminst seperatist movement in all its red-clawed hatred of men all dressed up in the name of equality.
Divorce and family rights has been in the news this week with the move to compulsory mediation, however, it was strikingly the pre-nuptial agreement issue that brought the issue of gender discrimination to the fore in my mind.
This week the Supreme Court upheld that the prenuptial agreement between heiress Katrin Radmacher and her ex-husband Nicolas Granatino stood.
While Radmacher was being hailed as a feminist (see end of article) icon because it will benefit women, there was interesting commentary on Wednesday's Today Programme (07.51) from Andrew Newbury, who said that courts were less sympathetic towards men in a diovorce situation.
And you have to remember the John Cleese case which was clearly anti-male to get a gist of what he was saying. Baroness Deech set out the unfairness against men.
The issue that is concerning is the fact that whether the Supreme Court would have come to the same decision if it was a woman trying to tear up a pre-nuptial arrangement in the same situation.
In the Independent article it is highlighted that Lord Phillips of the Supreme Court said that pre-nuptials could be torn up, while Baroness Hale suggested that this law 'change' would be unfair against the poorly partner - 'invariably, but not always, a "she'". This is a get out clause being put forward by Philips.
I have grave doubts they would have come to the same conclusion therefore if the genders in this case had been reversed.
In addition, and this blog like so many others will be now on high alert for any hint of sexism in the application of pre-nuptial agreements. If a woman in the same situation as Granatino is treated more favourably than he was, then it will prove sexism is rife in the British Court system.
Amongst the voluminous coverage, announcements and suchlike from yesterday's Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) was the announcement that the state pension age for men and women would be equalised at 66 from 2020, rather than 66 for men from 2016 (as previously suggested by the Coalition Government in Opposition and in power) and 66 for women in 2020 as had been suggested in June's Budget. Equalisation at 65 will take place in November 2018.
This was an increase from the last Government's plans to make the state pension age 66 in 2024 and 65 for both genders in 2020 (are you still following?).
It was due to the sterling work of Parity that we have equalisation at all otherwise the five year sexist gap would still be with us in the future rather than just today.
There are a number of important issues here.
Firstly, this site raised the issue that the move (as did Parity again) would be sexist against men and it looks as though the Government has also realised that if it went ahead it would be subject to legal challenge by increasing the gap between men and women's retirement age from five years to six. Sites like this help raise these issues because anyone researching it would have read the post.
Secondly, when a move like this which has greater implications for women than men, draws all the anti-male sexists out of the woodwork.
Anti-male in that they never complained about the blatant discrimination that has meant men have a retirement age five years shorter than women (even though men lives are shorter) for decades and they never publicly complained when it was mooted that male retirement age should be brought forward to 66 in 2016 without any commensurate change to a women's retirement age.
Step forward our friend Ceri Goddard at the Fawcett Society for a particularly frenzied rant about this and also other issues raised the CSR. The recession, of which the budget cuts are a symptom, decimated male employment in the private sector but not a peep from Goddard about that even though it would have affected wives, partners, daughters etc. A theme we have picked up before. Honestly, if you were a man in Fawcett Towers when George Osborne was speaking yesterday you'd have to run to the hills!
Others came out of the woodwork as well, who glibly 'accepted' that previous plans were more harmful to men as this statement by the Saga Group shows.
Dr Ros Altmann, the director general then astoundingly has the nerve to let fly by stating that "Women ar bearing the brunt of the changes. Pension policy always seems to be made by men for men. Women are being sent a simple message - keep on working. That's what the Government's announcement means."
Since 1948, state pension has been paid to women at 60 and men at 65, it is only in 2018 that this injustice against men will be rectified, some 70 years later. And Altmann says pension policy is always against women. Unbelievable. I wonder what the male members of Saga think of her 'balanced' statement.
A good look at this and other issues about the effect on the genders was produced by Mark Easton of the BBC.
Firstly, it has taken a while but the howls of protest about getting of the Women's National Commission are starting. 30 organisations in the Guardian article above have written to the Government including our friends at the Fawcett Society (who incidentally were described on the BBC this week as a charity campaigning for gender equality - not if you are a man they're not!!) and Jackie Ashley in this laugh out loud Guardian article. Honestly, she says this Government does not care about women!
Secondly, the Government has said it would in the list that the Government would ensure direct Ministerial engagement with women and women's organisations. What about men and men's organisations?
Overall, it is a brave and correct move by the Coalition Government especially as they will be subjected to continual moans by the women's lobby who believe women should have more rights than men. Whilst there is concern about whether the discussions with women's organisations will be driven underground and the lack of commitment to talk to men's organisations, at least there is now equality. No Government of any color or shade has ever put in place a Men's National Commission.
Now to abolish the Minister for Women (unless there is a Minister for Men).
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission this week tried to justify its existence by publishing it Triennial Review on How Fair is Britain . The document itself is huge but there are a number of areas that are worth considering. Firstly, does it really look at make issues, secondly what statistics are available on men, what issues the media itself highlighted and lastly, what it plans to do to support men and end male discrimination.
The tone of the document is still overtly pro-women. Not just because it concentrates it equality agenda on issues that primarily affect women but also continues to ignore male equivalent issues - the discrimination by omission problem.
The Executive Summary shows this clearly for example. The section on Life starts on the great news that women are living longer but the life expectancy gap between men and women merits a cursory sentence.
On domestic violence it mentions that women form an ethnic background or who are disabled are more likely to under-report of they are a victim. There is no mention that men ar twice as likely not to tell anyone than a women (Home Office figures) and of course whilst it says that 73% of incidents are likely to take place against women, it does not mention at all the fact that why is there therefore not 27% of services aimed at male victims (there is probably about 1%).
On the issue of education, cursory mention is made of boy's under-performance. Such is the Commission's worldview fixated on women, that it mentions that girls outperform boys at every level of education and that 59% go to university. If it had a neutral view, it would lead with boys under-perform girls and fewer go to university.
The report reveals that 40% of women are employed in the public sector as opposed to 15% of men and therefore is concerned that cuts in the public sector will harm women more than men. What about the cuts in the private sector, not a peep from the women-first Equalities and Human Rights Commission.
It is all about tone and it can be clear that women come first.
A regular reader has helpfully pulled out other significant figures affecting men (not mentioned above) which highlight where public policy attention needs to be focused:
Three times as many men as women commit suicide, and rates are particularly high for younger men aged 25-44.
Women live around four years longer than men but the gap has been shrinking and is expected to shrink further over time.
Almost all people killed at work are men: only four fatalities (out of 129) at work in 2008/09 were women.
Women experience over three-quarters of domestic violence and sexual assault, and encounter more extreme forms than do men.
Around 1 in 10 people in England, Scotland and Wales report potential mental health problems. Women are more likely to report potential problems, but under-reporting may mean that levels of mental health problems for men are higher than they appear.
Men are more likely to be overweight than women however, among Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black African populations, women are less likely to be of normal/healthy weight than men (data available for England only).
Boys, pupils from some ethnic minority groups, and those eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) are performing less well as early as age 5.
The relationship between ethnicity, literacy and numeracy is very strong and specific cases extremely negative; for example, being Black and male appears to have a greater impact on levels of numeracy than having a learning disability.
What is always fascinating on a report like this is to look at how different media react and led with different points on the research. It gives a clear flavour of the thinking at these organisations. Obviously the media could have been fed certain lines of thinking but there is not much of that on the press release the Commission issued.
Page 40 of the Executive Summary lists 15 action points, only one could be aimed at men. Although this is significant as it is on education, it still shows there is scant interest in helping men on the closing the health gap, the problems in the family court, the suicide gap, the employment gap and all the other issues where men are affected more than women.
This report relegates men to second class citizens and only mentions them when it it has no option.
The Men's Health Forum this month responded to Government's White paper on Equity and Excellence.
It makes the case clearly that the NHS can no longer fail to take into account the needs of men and if it does it is in breach of the Government's equalities legislation. The paper also brings up the issue on making GP surgeries have men-friendly opening hours.
As in yesterday's post, supporters of men and male equality seem to have gained renewed confidence in putting the case forward that equality also includes men. The previous government either ignored them or had the subliminal axeman waiting to cut their budgets (if they received government funding) if they attacked the government.
Also a regular reader pointed out that the NHS in the North West are conducting a survey about why men do not go into nursing. It is featured on the Men's Health Forum website. Please fill it in.