Thank you to everyone who has supported the site (despite the sometime intermittent service) and this year (the seventh year it has been going), the site had 83,000 page views and 160 published pieces.
Thanks to everyone who contributed either in submitting articles or in commenting upon them. I have also updated some of the groups on the left hand side of this page - please remember to send over any that are missing.
In terms of what progress has been made in male equality and ending male discrimination, this year can again be seen as two steps forward one step back. The gain has mainly due to the efforts of individuals and groups taking up the mantle of male equality through organising themselves and not relying on politicians or other groups to do it for them. As we know, institutional sexism remains rife in Britain, so the welcome realisation is that we cannot rely on those same institutions for help.
In terms of the positives on particular issues, there have been some.
Family Law reform is moving forward with the concept of shared parenting being the accepted direction of travel (Parliamentary Briefing and subsequent announcement). This was despite the Norgrove Report denigrating shared parenting - though the fact Norgrove remains Chair of the Family Justice Review Board is surely untenable.
Boys Education remains the truth that dare not say its name. While boys continue to lag behind girls, the public policy silence remains deafening, despite some starting to publicly recognise it as a concern. The one glimmer of light is that the government is to bring back O-Level type examinations (one of the first big topics this site set out) however this will not be until 2017 (in terms of first exams), so that means 30 years of destruction has befallen the education of boys by bringing in an examination system wholly unacceptable to the way boys learn. The problems facing boys was eloquently laid out in this report and can be seen feeding through into pay.
The re-introduction of O-levels though is more down to Gove's desire for rigour rather than an acceptance that the education establishment has got it wrong for three decades and left generations of boys behind.
Women rejecting discrimination and excuses - we know that modern-day radical feminists that dominate the BBC, the Guardian, the senior parts of the civil service/academia/publc sector, the media and politics (including their "White Knight's") are out of touch with the thoughts and needs of modern women. Especially those who actually like men and want their fathers, brothers, sons, husbands, boyfriends etc to succeed. Research at the beginning of the year showed this as did this report at the end of the year.
Three issues that were never 'seen' as affecting men have also started to be recognised - human trafficking, forced marriage/honour violence and circumcision (and here). The latter has really taken off with the German court verdict and the manslaughter of a baby in the North West.
Lastly, this was the year that male equality issues started to enter the mainstream. In addition, to the above issues and groups working within them, the 'movement' started to mature. We saw the fruits of sensible campaigning by father's groups, Mike Buchanan's work at the Campaign for Merit in Business challenging the status quo leading to Select Committee appearances and even campaigns against the NSPCC succeeding. We have also seen campaigns against Virgin in Australia.
The National Conference for Men and Boys continues to grow, as does International Men's Day in the UK and also the celebration of Fathers on Father's Day. This maturity can be seen against the growing desperation of anti-male feminist groups trying to keep their requests for discrimination against men and special treatment on the political agenda.
On the negative side, we saw the continuing clamour for quotas and the ending of meritocracy over boardoom appointments gathering pace, however, while the governmet refused to accept EU legislation, there remains the social stigmatisation of companies if they do not comply with an 'unofficial quota'. Some have given in.
Mike Buchanan's campaign for Merit in Business has stood up to the argument mainly I think from a biological determinist sense, while this site's approach is mainly that quotas etc are discriminatory in blocking men because of their gender not talent and are against the fundamental tenets of equality.
Other areas that continue to be ignored are the male suicide rate, men's health especially on continual delays on a national screening programme, male victims of domestic abuse, male homelessness, male unemployment and the general demonisation of men by society, the media and groups such as the Fawcett Society, the Guardian and the government. We still have mobile phone sites defaming men's rights websites. There is still no Minister for Men, the most visible expression of anti-male equality (15 years).
What I am hoping for 2013, is that the growing maturity of the male equality sector continues with new sensible groups being created (only where there is a gap) or men and women joining existing ones.
There needs to be the celebratory groups such as International Men's Day and Father's Day, conferences, campaigns on particular issues, practical goups (like CALM, FNF, ManKind Initiative, Centre for Separated Families etc) providing practical on the ground solutions and also probably a more political group (not necessarily political party).
The growing desperation of anti-male feminist groups like the Fawcett Society will be called into question mainly by women who are rejecting their hatred of the men they share their lives with.
This is what I would like to see so that come this time next year - we are starting to see equality for men, and the barriers that prevent them enjoying equality being further dismantled.
Posted by Skimmington
PS Forgot about this article