When we look back in some year’s time when it is fully recognised that equality applies to men too, I think all of us involved in the quest for equality for men will look at this week as being
There are a number for reasons for this – men were talked about, it opened the door, and men are walking through it by taking matters in their own hands.
Firstly, there has been the fact that a mainstream party (Labour) are starting to talk about a men’s narrative, even though it is Labour (the party of Harriett Harman, Vera Baird, Yvette Cooper, Margaret Moran, Angela/Maria Eagle, Caroline Flint and others who actively hate men) who have brought in anti-male legislation (encouragement to Cafcass to be biased against fathers) and practices (Minister for Women but no Minister for Men – 16 years and counting...).
So this week, the fact that both Jon Cruddas MP (Labour: Barking and Dagenham) spoke at the IPPR think tank’s meeting in Manchester about Childhood and Family Issues. A key part of Labour’s policy work is to “Valuing a father's family role as highly as his working role; helping men play a larger part in looking after the home and the upbringing of their children”
“The Conservatives have dominated debate about the family with their stereotype of a feckless underclass of absent fathers. They've concentrated on demonising a small minority and ignored the majority. Many fathers have two basic priorities; their family, and work to improve the lives of their children. And many feel that the Conservatives have failed them on both counts. No support
for fathers, and no jobs.”
Don’t anyone ever forget what Cameron said about Fathers on Father’s Day.
Then on Thursday, Dianne Abbott MP, a Labour MP who certainly has not been a friend
of men, talks about men and the cause of masculinity. Albeit her speech was terribly flawed and stereotypical (a male identity Fight Club masculinity crisis fuelled by Viagra and Jack
Daniels which was statistically demolished by Ally Fogg)
Some quotes were:
“I believe we need to say loudly and clearly, that there is a powerful role for fathers. The truth is that just as loving fathers are a benefit to children, so loving families are a benefit to men. And that the ‘left’ must reclaim the debate about families.
“Our men have little movement politics to speak of. Many British men have no authentic
While it was welcome that she spoke about these issues it was through the wrong lens.
In that, it was based on that men are the problem and that the problems they face have not been down to (radical) feminism or the fact the government policy (so often an expression of anti-male feminism) has purposely ignored problems that affect men.
It is no good for Abbott and others to complain about falling educational attainment when this and previous governments have chosen to ignore it – the same on suicide, depression, unemployment, men’s health etc. She identifies the problem but is unwilling to look at what causes them or why there have been deliberate attempts (either overt or covert – discrimination by omission) not to do anything about them. All of the problems she highlighted that affected men, were framed as if they were caused by men – a feminist outlook rather than a neutral outlook. It was still based on the age-old premise that men are the problem.
But at least men are being talked about...
Opening the Door
As ever, it takes someone to open the door to allow an initial chink of light, and then there are people ready to step in.
Leading writers in the men’s equality movement, Glen Poole and Ally Fogg, took that opportunity.
Gen had two articles published (one in the Guardian and another in the News Statesman) and Ally was featured on the free thought website, both talking about the issues raised this week and also Glen talking about the barriers (including the problem there is for feminism) men face.
In addition to the open challenges made by Glen and Ally, a range of other commentators jumped in to support Glen and Ally’s premise or to argue against Abbot’s stereotypes.
Other commentators include Max Wind-Cowie, Ian Jack, Tony Parsons, Jake Wallis Simons (Abbot gave a “has given a horrendously matronising and ham-fisted speech entitled "Britain's crisis
of masculinity.”), Amol Rajan, The Huffington Post, Heartfield, Belinda Brown, After Nyne and Tony
Of course no one was naive enough to think it would be all one way, and the more people start to talk about male inequality, the more likely anti-male feminists (male and female) will fight back – they have careers in male-bashing to hang onto, remmeber. Laurie Penney (who said Glen Poole’s article was based on the tackling the evils of feminism – probably the most laughable and desperate comment ever published in the Guardian), Suzanne Moore and Matt Hill who believes feminism is the answer.
Walking through it
Glen Poole sent an email around this week outlining a number of events where the growing men and boys sector are “doing it for themselves”.
There is no point complaining about the need for equality for men or ending discrimination against them or that people ignore the problems men and boys face nelss people are doing something positive and practical about it. The email is set out at the end.
In addition, Mike Buchanan held his first meeting for his Justice for Men and Boys (and the women who love them) political party in Bedford.
Again, rather than being passive, it is about being active and controlling the agenda and changing society’s views and providing solutions.
Labour have raised the issued, starting the debate – others have taken it forward and given it a wider airing – but more importantly others are providing solutions. A pivotal week - a week to remember
Posted by Skimmington
Notice for people helping men and boys....This is a short email update to make sure you know about three events for people like you who are committed to improving the lives of men and boys in the UK:
This year’s Third National Conference for Men and Boys is taking place in September over five days covering issues like health, mental health, fatherhood, education, male mentoring, criminal justice, social care, religion, personal development, building the men and boys sector and much, much
To find out about the UK’s Third National Conference for Men and Boys in September and book
your early bird tickets click here now
This year’s Men’s Health Week takes place during June and Helping Men will be marking the week by hosting its Helping Men Get Help workshop in Brighton on Wednesday 12th June. This one-day course is designed for people like you who may want to develop their ability to help more men and boys to
access or engage with the services and projects you run
To find out how you can come and take part in the Helping Men Get Help workshop in June and buy a half-price ticket today click here now
Finally a reminder that International Men’s Day takes place on Tuesday 19th November and is a great platform who you to promote the work you do with men and boys, or to help you connect more men
and boys to your work
The theme of this year’s International Men’s Day is Keeping Men and Boys Safe and you can use the
day to promote any theme you want as long as it’s helping to improve the lives of men and boys in the UK.To find out more about International Men’s Day in November click here now