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Tuesday, 06 July 2010

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Jon

Note: I sent the below to Radio 4 and also a copy, with covering note, to Lynne Franks. Nothing back yet.


"Good evening,

I've been listening to PM on a four hour drive, and have spent the last 3 hours of the journey fuming about some of the comments on PM.

You had a kind of 'promo' for 'Men's Hour', a Radio 5 Live production which is due to be aired soon.
Now, when promoting a show like Women's Hour, one might expect to hear an outspoken feminist talking about inequality to women and women's issues. Imagine my surprise then, when to promote and discuss Men's Hour, you bring on an outspoken feminist talking about inequality to women and women's issues.

Now, Lynne Franks doesn't seem to think Men's Hour could have much to talk about. No, Lynne? How about:

The inequalities against men in the divorce and custody courts.
The pensions that women get years before men despite having a greater life expectancy.
The fact that we have a "Minister for Women and Equality" (Yes, I know it sounds like a sick joke)
The fact that the previous government, VERY recently, was seriously discussing NOT jailing women for most crimes, while men would be jailed, effectively creating a two-tier justice system.
The fact that thousands more men die in the service of their country than women do.
The fact that men routinely do more dangerous and difficult jobs than women, with little or no recognition.
More recently, the British Airways rule that treats all men as potential child molestors, reseating the child if sat next to a male but not a female.
The fact that suicide rates amongst males are significantly higher than amongst women.
The fact that the most common victims of assault are men.

Now, I don't know about you, but I find all of those EXTREMELY important issues that affect many men, and are worth discussing. Tim Samuels, regretfully, did an extremely poor job of defending his show, but frankly, he shouldn't have to. Women's Hour wouldn't have to.

Finally, her argument that women are not getting enough coverage in the media is ludicrous in the extreme. The very fact that Women's Hour has been part of the R4 schedule 'since the dawn of time' should tell you that. A significant percentage of shows are aimed directly at women, and I am surprised that Lynne hasn't picked up on this.

Please in future pick your guests more carefully, as this was an extremely poor choice of commentator. There are PLENTY of men's rights activists and experts you could have asked, but I guess that wouldn't have got across the feminist agenda sufficiently? I have no problem accepting there are inequalities towards women, even today, but Lynne Franks should accept that there is also significant discrimination against men, and that YES, men have 'issues' too.

Kind regards
Jon"

Groan

Well done Jon. I too wrote complaining about the trivialisation of the idea in the programme. Good point about the choice of interviewee. It shows the continued bias that sees all gender issues as only feminist issues. One of the great successes of the feminist movement in the chattering classes. Keep writing to the beeb dear readers.

Jon

Thanks Groan. I was initially quite heartened when they mentioned Men's Hour, only to have the whole thing ridiculed by a feminist, using lies. Unbelievable. Well, they will get an email from me every time they pull something like this. It's got to the point that I don't care if anybody there thinks I'm some kind of k00k. If they get an increasing response, what'll they do? Can't be everbody is a k00k.

John Kimble

Excellent stuff Jon.

Radio 4 have an appalling track record in terms of attitudes to men, even by BBC standards.

Every single decent piece on BBC radio has always been on the more modern stations usually Radio 5, or occasionally Radio 1, or 1xtra.

TBH I don't have a problem with the programme having a more humorous twist, as long as there is a serious underlying commitment to equality and exposing misandry. The various forms of discrimination against men and the hypocrisy of those causing it is so ridiculous that it would in fact be rather comical if the results weren't so serious. Humour is more of a male characteristic and sometimes comedy can be a hugely effective tool, just look at Fathers 4 Justice.

BTW if anyone want to see more Radio 4 misandry is is a piece from yesterday:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00swmgz/Today_08_07_2010/

Got to 1 hour 48 mins for "thought" for the day. Basically men are stupid and useless and failing at school and that's good - on the other hand they abuse women and are basically evil. (I found this on the biased-bbc blog)

Jon

Nice find, John. This typifies the media attitude towards men. For example, we hear a lot about the 'gender wage gap' and how we might reduce this. The basic argument is that there are no significant differences between men and women that could justify the supposed difference.

But how often does this argument get applied to the penal system? If men and women are basically the same, why is 90% of the prison population male? Not only does this question never get asked, but to rub salt into the wound we have the Howard League for Penal Reform advocating the non-incarceration of women! (The equivalent of banning women from working to address the 'gender pay gap').

You just couldn't make it up.

Bob

Nice one Jon. Good luck with Radio 5 Live though, all they've had on for years is constant misandrous drivel.

This is reminiscent of the "Coalition for Men and Boys" which seemed like it might be a good thing at first, but turned out to be a feminist run men-bashing organisation masquerading as a men's rights group.

There has been a new tactic of setting-up so called men's groups and programmes which are fronts for anti-male discrimination.

Jon

Got a response from Roger Sawyer from Radio 4 PM:

Dear ..,

The key is that we were not, in fact, promoting the programme. We tend not to do that and if we were doing it, we would not have cast the item as a discussion.

The whole point of the slot was to discuss whether there was a need for a programme such as Men's Hour. You may well disagree with our treatment of the subject, which is fair enough, but the line we took was perfectly legitimate.

I also disagree that Lynne Franks was a poor choice of commentator - quite the opposite. She had trenchant views, which she put forcefully and coherently. It's up to the listeners to decide whether they agree with her. You clearly do not. Admittedly, she did dominate some parts of the discussion and we should perhaps have done something to allow Tim Samuels to speak a bit more. Although Eddie did interject on a couple of occasions.

However, I think Tim Samuels did rather well. He was clear and measured in all he had to say and put up a good defence of the programme as a place where men could talk about issues they might not usually air. He also succintly took Lynne Franks to task for belittling an attempt to encourage men to be more upfront about their emotions, saying he thought she would have approved of that.

It wasn't a perfect discussion and it was somewhat curtailed by timing problems, but it did raise and air some of the salient issues. Yes, you may disagree vehemently with what Lynne Franks was saying, but that does not mean her comments and presence were not legitimate.

Yours sincerely,

Roger Sawyer
Deputy Editor
PM/Broadcasting House/The World At One/The World This Weekend/iPM

Bob

Good stuff Jon. That sounds a bit like the BBC replies I got regarding their lax treatment of men's deaths with respect women's deaths in the news.

So does that mean we can get our lion's share of the time on a Women's Hour programme? In fact does that mean that we can go on and argue that there is no need for Women's Hour?

Lynne Franks certainly had trenchant views, which she put forcefully and coherently. But the fact remains that simply because she is forceful and coherent doesn't make are a good choice to discuss the needs of men today and the need for Men's Hour. In fact if she is an equalitarian she should be arguing that there should be by default a Men's Hour AND a Women's Hour!

..and as for "Admittedly, she did dominate some parts of the discussion and we should perhaps have done something to allow Tim Samuels to speak a bit more. Although Eddie did interject on a couple of occasions."....thanks for a look-in in the Men's Hour discussion.

Perhaps you should write back and say the very fact that the issues were so charged and the points of view so entrenched and diametrically opposed that that highlights the need for a Men's Hour.

Oh and yes perhaps next time they should allow the MEN who are there an EQUAL chance to discuss MEN's HOUR and not let the discussion be dominated by a feminist and clearly misandrous women.

As well as of course if they run a Women's Hour we can have Men's Rights representatives on to give their equal share of opinion too !!

So, will there be a next time and a Men's Hour, or was that it?

Bob

My goof, I see there is series of 6 programmes. Do they state that they are not really running Men's Hour but "A discussion to see if we need Men's Hour"?

From

www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/jul/01/bbc-mens-hour-radio-5-live

Mr Sawyer should get in touch with the Guardian immediately as they seem to think there actually is a Men's Hour and have no mention of this just being a discussion as to where there should even be one.

Perhaps he should also explain why there is also slot called "Token Woman", this name is a disgrace and will surely be used against the show, but I am sure whoever made this name up is aware of that.

All-in-all though, if we can get a Men's Hour of any kind its for the better, then even if they start off benign, in time they will be under pressure to deal with the real and very serious issues facing men today.

Jon

I agree, Bob. It needs to take off first and then maybe they will make the show more serious and relevant to the needs of men. Have to say I am getting sick of the media questioning the need for this... where are the men's support societies, etc?

Jordan Retro 10

Whatever we do, we should think twice, then things will be better than past. As the proverb says: all things are difficult before they are easy.

Andrew

I missed the 18th July mens hour show, and have noticed that it is 'not available to listen again'. Womans hour is. Oh BBC why is that? Does the BBC NOT want more men to catch the show? It's as if the BBC is actually wishing the show were not there.

Jon

Hi Andrew, you can listen to the show here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00t330p if you are in the uk.

Jon

OOh, a BIG update here from me. Ryan Dilley of the BBC contact me by email regarding my original email above, and finally gave me a call this evening to discuss a 'men's issues' edition of iPM, playing tonight on Radio 4. Ryan said he used my letter as the basis and 'seed' for the show - it probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't emailed in! So it just goes to show it really is worthwhile to make a fuss, and be a squeaky wheel.

Jon

Whoops, on checking I think it may be on tomorrow evening (Saturday 7th August).

Harrytoo

Having not caught the show, I can only go by the reaction of the comments. It seems to me that Lynne Franks might have been a good choice for the programme 'because' she is so misandric, perhaps the more so the better. Only the right people need to hear it. Those men & women that are starting to become aware of just how misandric our society has become. To all involving themselves in the fight against misandry, whatever your input, keep up the good work. Even those men that are still blind to misandry need this fight fought, before men becme even more second classed citizens in their own countries.

Harrytoo

I just read the rest of your blog through the misandry review site. Seems I spoke to soon, all the BBC did was further misandry. Can't say I'm surprised all you see on tv and guess hear on the radio are females and gynocentric males. Still, if anything this proves the need to continue. Men need to start pointing this out in our daily lives, try to keep it restrained. I've experienced some funny looks when you approach this subject with passion. Point out the obvious, men are logical.

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