There are a number of ways that men and boys are discriminated against - ranging from direct discrimination (often dressed up as positive discrimination for women and girls) which is overt or the most covert form of sexism - discrimination by omission. This is where men and boys and/or the issues they face are 'left out'.
This can be on purpose such as where the Equalities and Human Rights Commission purposely forget inequality for men and boys also falls under their remit or where there is another form of institutional discrimination where men and boys are literally forgotten about. This is still discrimination of course and often it is difficult to figure out what form each case of 'discrimination by ommission' is.
Anyhow, here is another example.
When the coalition government was formed - one of their key overarching strategies was the Big Society. There has been much argument as to what that is but essentially it is about civil society and people volunteering.
Now if I was a man or woman wanting to volunteer for a charity that supports men and/or boys such as one of improving literacy, or a dad's group or one helping men with depression or cancer I might go to the national volunteering website which allows you to search for volunteering opportunities near to where you live.
I would therefore go to Do It, run by Youthnet, and describes itself as "the UK's premier website for volunteering and giving time, offering a searchable database of more than a million opportunities to volunteer." Youthnet has also been awarded a big grant to use social media more.
So there am I on the Do It website and I go to the subject drop-down menu and yes I can see 'women' but where is the drop down menu for 'men'?
Er, there isn't one.
So while you may look at youth for any boy's charities, and you may look under gay or BME which would feature some male or boys charities, 'men' itself is not included but 'women' is.
It is just another example of thr everyday discrimination that men and boys face. If you want to volunteer to help a men's group unless it is for a group for gay men, BME men or boys (by using 'youth') there is not a menu for you, but if you want to volunteer for a women's group there is a menu for you. That's equality for you in 2012.
Posted by Skimmington