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Are men discriminated against?

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker made two references at image yesterday’s sex trafficking conference expressing surprise at the zero media coverage following the launch of a new organisation called the Men’s Coalition.

It aims to advise government and other policy makers on designing policies and services that take account of the specific needs and experiences of men in a wide range of areas, including violence, crime, parenting, relationships, health, work and education.

It also seeks to identify “how masculinities and men’s experiences” should inform and enable government and other agencies to develop a collaborative approach to gender equality.

Having read this far, you are probably wondering, like me, what exactly this means, and whether men really feel discriminated against?

Members of the Coalition include the Men’s Health Forum, Respect, Fatherhood Institute, Men’s Advice Line, Relate, the Research Unit on Men and Masculinities at Bradford University, NCH and the White Ribbon Campaign. It is also supported by the Home Office and the Government Equalities Office.

The Coalition’s core principles outline how “the specific needs and experiences of men and boys are not well understood or taken into account in the development of public policy or professional practice across a wide range of areas”.

It believes that “men and boys should not be discriminated against, stereotyped or overlooked in the development of policy and practice, that men and boys, and women and girls, should be explicitly included in the development of policy and practice.”

Excuse me, but I thought opportunity was already available in our democratic system, this is what I do not understand. And are men being discriminated against in policy making decisions?

And what do these two statements mean about their intentions:

“To promote the understanding of how the social construction of masculinities functions within a range of diverse social and cultural contexts.

“To promote effective mechanisms for government and other agencies to engage with men and boys and develop gender-sensitive policies.

I have no idea how much money, if any, the government has spent on supporting this Coalition. The reason for the lack of media interest could be because the Coalition serves no real purpose, that facilities and processes already exist to achieve its aims.

Government should be inspiring and helping our men at an earlier stage in their lives so they leave school with skills that carry them through life, they should focus on helping them to achieve better results at school and raise awareness about specific male health concerns that could be cutting their life short.

Come on guys, there isn’t a Women’s Coalition along the same lines as far as I know, and women are certainly discriminated against in many more ways than men.

But maybe men think differently, so tell me guys, do we need a Men’s Coalition, do you feel discriminated against?


25 Comments

  1. Philipa, I do not condone differences in pay when men and women are performing the same job.

    Differences in pay between the sexes can be explained by willingness to travel further for greater pay, males tend to be more prepared to negotiate a higher starting salary and the undoubted reduction in pay following career breaks and a greater willingness for females to work part-time which tends to be lower grade and lower paid work.

    The whole point of raising low rape conviction rates was that you dismissed my perceived discrimination against men who appear more likely to be found guilty of murdering their partner compared to women who are more likely to be found guilty of manslaughter for the same offence.

    Married women were allowed to pay an extra stamp to build up their pension rights in the past. Complaints are coming from those women who were not far-sighted enough to buy them!
    I agree with your other points that marriage should be rewarded by the state.

  2. Steven_L

    There is also a big gender pay gap in the porn industry favouring women. I’ve always wanted to be a pornstar, but apparently there are so many other men that want to be it pays a pittance.

  3. Snafu – um, one point at a time..

    1. Ah you qualify your point with “if they merit it” and that’s so vague I cannot argue with it, all I can say is that two people, equally qualified/experienced, doing the same job should get the same pay regardless of gender, race etc. eg. two research engineers. However, I don’t stretch that point to where the sexes obviously differ – I would generally prefer to be carried out of a burning building by a 200lb fireman than a 200lb firewoman, even though it’s quite possible for the woman to be fitter. Generally men are stronger than women and laws have to cope with generalities not exceptions.

    2. I AM troubled by the low conviction for rape but that does not mean I am niave enough to think it impossible for a woman to lie out of spite. The whole business of rape is dreadful and many women cope with the ordeal by keeping quiet. It lets a rapist free to strike again but that’s just how some women cope.

    3. Because they do work in the home and that should be recognised. The role of ‘housewife’ has diminished such that one women wrote “I want to be with my children, though these days that’s almost embarassing to admit”. What I’m saying here Snafu, is that marriage and family life isn’t supported enough by the State. Couples, perhaps only married couples (thoughts?) should be allowed to buy extra stamp to build up a wifes pension rights but that would have to be offset by looking at the whole picture of taxes for married vs co-habiting couples. As I understand it the co-habiting couples are better off and that seems… wrong to me.

    4. No not at all, just speak as I find; that has been my experience.

  4. Philipa, I have no issues with one group earning more than another if they merit it.

    It’s good to know that you are not troubled by the low conviction rate for rape as “courts do take into account all the circumstances”!

    If it’s right that women get lower car insurance than men as they are lower risk drivers, why shouldn’t women get lower pensions if they have paid less income tax over the years!?!

    Are you gender profiling when you talk about dangerous young male drivers!?!

  5. I think men do get discriminated against in some instances but this organisation sounds like it could do with some help from the Campaign for Plain English!

  6. Snafu – are these ‘overworked’ men the ones who can have babies? no. You cannot understand (unless you are female and have experienced it) what childbirth can do to a womans body and you cannot know how tiring it is, mentally and physically, to be mother/wife/wage earner. There are fantastic husbands and fathers out there but generally speaking there are so few men who, when a child is sick, drop everything at work to rush to care for the child. This ‘descrimination’ if you like, is what restricts a womans career and employment options and prospects. How CAN a mother work far from home, who is going to care for the child is it falls or gets sick? That’s not convenience that’s just common sense and being a parent. A man is not expected to leave work, although I know some who do. The problem here is that being a mother isn’t valued enough in our society.

    “What about the single, childless women who earn more than their male counterparts on average!?” – that’s against the law and I would disagree with it, just as I would the other way around.

    “Do divorce laws in the UK discriminate against men or women?” – neither.

    “The educational point was that boys prefer practical lessons, chemical, physical and biological dissections to merely reading about them in books… ” – but so do girls Snafu, so do girls; you are gender profiling and getting it wrong. Girls respond just as much to such stimulation as boys but perhpas when they can’t do what they want they are more accepting and don’t get aggresive? On the whole, probably, but I’ve known some pretty stroppy madams!

    Snafu, I wouldn’t like to comment further on the insurance thing as I don’t know much about why the companies make the decisions they do, all I know is that, in my experience, males tend to drive faster and more dangerously than females. Young males also generally tend towards faster cars. I can’t bring to mind one female who has put my life in danger on the road but when it comes to males, there’s a list – that’s why I said ‘go figure’. Sadly I don’t think higher insurance premiums would change the behaviour of such males, I wish it would. Sadly if premiums are too high the lads might just buy a motorbike and increase risk of death. I suppose the upside is that they are mostly risking their own life (and any passengers) – you can kill fewer innocents with a motorbike. As grim a study as it may be, in the end these facts count.

  7. Oh jake.

    So many points..where to start?

    but you are so very insulting I don’t think i’ll waste my time.

  8. While I should desperately like not to be unduly cynical about this, as some good things could be done, having looked at the websites of the groups involved, this looks far less likely to be concerned with male gender equality than it will be to try to breed and condition us into being this government’s sort of men.

    Interesting to see how many of them have direct support and funding from central and local government.

    More social conditioning. Probably be a notifiable offence not to be a member soon.

  9. Oh Philipa.

    So many points..where to start?

    Your simplistic take on education: Its not about reading and learning, the problem is most school learning is coursework focused with the goal to parrot an accepted narrative back to the examiner. More male traits (though NOT in any way exclusively male) such as goal seeking, understanding and proposition of theory are excluded – to the detriment of all. Teaching methodology is targeted at girls rather than boys.

    You are right that car insurance is a business. Given an opportunity to charge far higher premiums to men (young mainly) and make a higher profit margin AND have it as socially acceptable practice, why would they not?

    Yes the male accident rate is higher – but the premium deviation is greater than the risk profile. The margin of difference between increased risk and the cost charged is biggest in the UK. The Association of British Insurers always refuses to explain or discuss specific figures – or comment on the many items of research.

    Lets avoid your very tired cliché about housework and focus again on mens health: Men with prostate cancer or risk of prostate issues WILL DIE because of a lack of screening or priority NHS treatment in far greater numbers than women with breast or cervical cancer. Perhaps if you had relatives (you actually cared about) who had been through this you would not be so flippant.

  10. Philipa, women have more accidents than men on average but as these accidents are at lower speeds on average, the damage caused and the cost of repair is a lot lower, hence the lower premiums. The whole point was to discuss discrimination… What part of cheaper car insurance for women is not discrimination!?!

    Are these overworked women the ones who can work part-time, take nine months off for the maternity pay not available to men, don’t want to work too far from home and therefore sacrifice pay for convenience? What about the single, childless women who earn more than their male counterparts on average!?!

    Are employers more likely to think carefully before sacking male or female employees!?! Which group is more likely to bring a sexual discrimination case!?!

    Do divorce laws in the UK discriminate against men or women!?! I’d far rather sacrifice my career to stay at home and enjoy raising my children than get stressed working long hours!

    PS The educational point was that boys prefer practical lessons, chemical, physical and biological dissections to merely reading about them in books…

  11. Snafu – education isn’t ‘designed’ for girls and ALL children should “focus on reading and learning” – that’s kinda the point!

    It is not “easier to sack males at work rather than females” and it far easier to promote men rather than females! Also, I have suffered sexual harrasment at every mixed gender workplace, as have other women, yet have never heard a man complain of being harrassed.

    If men die a couple of years earlier than men it’s not for want of trying from the overworked and under paid females who now work full time and STILL do most of the housework and home organisation. Balance that with the females who have worked at home keeping house, husband and raising children only to find they have, until recently, NO PENSION AT ALL and have to go cap in hand to their husband for sanitary protection (if he is still alive).

    Car insurance is cheaper for women than men because women tend to have fewer accidents – insurance companies run a business, go figure.

    “When was the last time women were arrested for kerb crawling trying to find male prostitutes?”? I don’t know sweetie, when was the last time that happened? I take it you are being ironic but just in case anyone took you seriously, is that really a problem in society?

    “women appear to be far more likely to be found guilty of manslaughter when they kill their partners than the other way around” but then the courts do take into account all the circumstances! Some utterly selfish bastard has just got away with murdering his own children to spite his wife.

    Hillary Clinton? You want the female population of the UK to be responsible for the voting choices of another country? Honey you need a nap, real bad..

  12. Of course men are discrimated against! Education is designed primarily for girls rather than boys in mind with a focus on reading and learning rather than through practical experimentation.

    It is far easier to sack males at work rather than females, how many men can claim they were the victims of sexual discrimination prompting payouts of £100ks!?!

    Men tend to die a couple of years earlier than women but this does not prompt increased pension payments for men!

    Car insurance is cheaper for women than men.

    When was the last time women were arrested for kerb crawling trying to find male prostitutes!?!

    Men are also discrimanted against in court, women appear to be far more likely to be found guilty of manslaughter when they kill their partners than the other way around…

    It’s acceptable for Hillary Clinton to get 70% of the female vote, if a male candidate got 70% of the male vote, they’d be accused of sexism!

  13. In TV shows men are usually stupid and women clever, expecially Kids TV – so far as there is any.. Can you give me any tips on ow to get published in Take a Break magazine?

  14. It’s all bollocks!

    I think Steven_L’s point about male primary school teachers a good one though and I agree with Alan that ‘Positive discrimination is as wrong as negative discrimination, because they are exactly the same thing’ – I hate the ‘Blair babes’ thing and the, what was it? Camerons tarts or some such. Best person for the job I say and if that is a middle class White Anglo-Saxon Protestant male then that’s just fine with me. I think women wanted equal opportunity not to be patronised.

  15. Steven_L

    My GP’s surgery organised a ‘men’s health evening’ a few months ago where they did blood pressure checks etc.

    The response what phenomenal, with queues stretching from the local leisure centre door all the way down the street.

    I think the biggest area where men are under-represented (not discriminated against, there is a difference) is in primary school teaching. I’ve heard a lot of young mothers complain that their young sons female teachers don’t seem to understand that ‘boys will be boys’.

    As for a ‘men’s coalition’ I wouldn’t want to fund it with my taxes, nor would I want to fund any sort f ‘womens rights’ or ‘black this that and the other’ groups.

    White, black, male, female – we all need a tax cut.

  16. The problem with special pleading for groups is that it makes victims of us all – begging an all mighty government to correct ‘the injustice’.

    Its a way get a group to behave and think like victims and owe the allegiance to the socialist state.

    Well the whole point of being male is never to admit to being a victim and not to leave yourself in some one else’s power. It part of the reason we don’t talk about feelings and emotions much – that’s just handing out the ammunition to your rivals, enemies and opponents.

    Men are despised by society. ( The earlier commentator makes a correct point about TV adverts ). Father’s are optional, men are discriminated against in the political system and in the public sector. Boys have the education heavily damaged by a female centric education system and we die first of diseases that a small fraction of the money lavished on female diseases would cure far more of us. We die about 5 years earlier and are the major victims of violent crime.

    But we don’t complain ( except just now – oops ) as it not what men do as it admits weakness.

    We used to rely on women figuring this out and humouring us.

  17. Actually, I found Jake’s comment quite thought-provoking. But the idea of a male coalition sounds a bit vague woolly.

    And I agree that there are not enough male teachers as role models in primary schools. And even many (most?) Cub/Scout Packs are run by women these days.

  18. I think there are certainly examples of male discrimination but a coalition to advise the government. I hope they are not funded by the taxpayer.
    I’ll be back to read the comments from the males!
    Mind you Jean Luc’s comment is quite valid as this is a trend in the advertising field.

  19. ““To promote the understanding of how the social construction of masculinities functions within a range of diverse social and cultural contexts”

    Uh?

  20. billy barnett

    Michael Manning – what a sanctimonius wanker.

    And as for “Government should be inspiring and helping our men at an earlier stage in their lives so they leave school with skills that carry them through life, they should focus on helping them to achieve better results at school and raise awareness about specific male health concerns that could be cutting their life short” – My arse they should. Government should fuck off and stop blighting all our lives. Call yourself a Tory?

  21. whilst all such talking shops are pointless you miss the point: Men do suffer state based discrimination.

    Mens health issues (like prostate cancer) recive far less support, promotion and research cash than Breast Cancer; Mental health service male users (post GP stage) recieve only 56% of the cash on direct and supporting services than female service users with the same or similar issues.

    Research out this week (times site?)shows boys are several times more likely to told off than girls for bad behaviour – yet the study shows similar levels of behaviour in both sexes: just that (mainly female primary) teachers find boys more difficult to deal with.. setting a pattern of mistrust and disinterest in some boys -leading to exclusion and crime later on.

    Educational attainment and social exculsion of boys (black boys in particular) who exibit more traditional male patterns costs society a huge amount of money in the long term.

    Even some of my more lefty female friends in social services/justice say excessive feminisation in schools now causes far broader social problems than the lack of expectation and stereotyping of women did in the 50’s and 60’s.

    Prehaps more thought in your posts and less writing as if pitching for a few hundered words in ‘take a break’ magazine?

  22. Oh, Ellee this is too funny. In my mind it is women who are forever discriminated against and it is arrogant sexist men who give the rest of us who do care sincerely a bad rap. Good post!

  23. Men are discriminated against because
    1. at work we get unequal pay (more) for equal work.
    2. at home we get equal pay (none) for unequal work (less)

    We’re mad as hell and are not going to take it any more.

  24. Men are certainly discriminated in tv adverts. They are shown to look foolish while the woman seems smart. It is never the other way around.

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  1. Daily Propaganda » Are men discriminated against? - [...] A rather thought provoking post has appeared over on Ellee’s blog. She asks if men are discriminated against, citing the…

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