“On the morning of June 14, 2016, I found myself surrounded by 5,000 women as part of the first day of the first United State of Women Summit convened by The White House at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The #StateofWomen movement brought together activists from all 50 US states and from around the world.”
Firstly let’s just point out that no, there is no corresponding government-supported ‘United State of Men Summit’. Just as there is no corresponding ‘White House Council for Men and Boys’, etc etc. Because? Because? Patriarchy?
“I was honored to attend this historic assembly particularly as there were probably only a few dozen men invited, excluding the secret service detail and support services.”
So, only a small number of mostly elite men were allowed in, and by invitation only. And this muppet felt “honoured” to be at such a forum? What? In contrast I have yet to hear of a conference on men’s issues at which the entry of women was restricted on such a basis. And if there were one, can you imagine the select few female attendees – assuming you could convince them to attend in the first place – subsequently describing themselves as “honoured”? LOL
Oh, you’re the man, Leszek! And pray tell how much mutual respect and support have you had from your feminist colleagues in relation to that endeavour? Because the typical reaction I encounter is one of disgust and annoyance, along the lines of “oh, it’s men’s day every day of the year!”
“At the end of the summit, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey deliberated about what message the present men should leave with. They both decided, with total agreement from the audience: BE BETTER AT EVERTHING!Be better husbands, be better fathers, be better employers! They all agreed that involving boys and men is critical for the well-being of girls and women in the near and distant future.”
We should all be better at everything Leszek, but we find ourselves in a time where men are held responsible for all things bad whilst women are held accountable for very little indeed. ‘Demonise’ and ‘white-wash’ are the two respective terms that spring to mind.
I would have thought that ‘gender equality’, which is what feminism is mean to be all about, would assert an equal responsibility on women to be better wives, better mothers, better employers, etc. But I’m not seeing any pressure being brought to bear in that regard. And certainly not in your simpering offering.
Turning finally to the question posed in Leszek’s article, the answer is that men are delighted to have women attend conferences learning about and discussing men’s issues. The implied suggestion that men might react otherwise is both sexist and condescending. And indeed many women do attend such events, and their participation is warmly welcomed.
Unfortunately the situation with feminists is somewhat different. Leszek, I suggest you google search for accounts of what has happened when conferences or other forums have convened in Canada or the U.S to discuss men’s issues. As far as the involvement of feminists is concerned, this generally takes the form of disruptive protests including actions such as bomb threats and pulling fire alarms. And this often after attempts to have the function cancelled have failed.
Such is the level of interest in, and respect for, men’s issues shown by the feminist lobby. Society as a whole suffers as a result of their lingering ignorance and bias in relation to the relevant issues, such as are addressed elsewhere in this blog.
Here are some other posts in my blog that are relevant to this issue:
Some time ago I came across an item in ‘Inside Man‘, a rather good UK publication that focused on men’s issues. In its September 2014 edition it featured an article entitled Nine out of ten people pictured in charity posters are women. (Sadly the web site no longer exists, although the article is still available via web.archive.org).
The article informed us that charities are loathe to use pictures of men in their posters and advertising campaigns because of an empathy gap that exists in the community. Pictures of poor men just don’t elicit anywhere near the same amount of sympathy as do pictures of poor women.
“So what does this tell us about public attitudes towards men, women, boys and girls? Big charities aren’t stupid. They know what sells. The top 1,000 charities in the UK raise £11.5 billion every year in voluntary donations. Charity is big, BIG business and big business knows that all of us, men and women, are collectively more tolerant of the harm that happens to men and boys. If you want to raise money, you’ve more chance of doing it if you tell people women and girls are suffering.
And what message does this send to men and boys? That we are less valued by society, that we are not cared for as much as women, that we are not as vulnerable, that we don’t need the help of others, that we are tough and strong and should “man up” and get on with our lives and not expect help when we face problems in life. Is it any wonder that men are less likely to access help and support when they need it, when the constant message that we give to men and boys collectively is that we don’t need and don’t deserve help and support from others?”
I included a link to this article in tweets I sent to organisations such as ‘Plan International’, in response to various gender-biased campaigns they promoted online.
One example was a campaign that focused on providing clean drinking water for women and girls (google on ‘clean water for women’ for many examples of similar campaigns). Clean water for poor men and boys? Not so important it would seem, though I doubt that’s because they are sitting in deck chairs quaffing Moet.
There have been other campaigns related to the effects of global warming, for example. Apparently problems such as global warming have a greater affect women/girls, with men/boys protected by way of some kind of force-field.
Oh, and if we needed a reminder as to how little a male life is considered to be worth, who could forget #BringBackOurGirls?
And then today I came across a reddit mensrights discussion thread on this same theme. It’s entitled:
“Our new four-year Strategic Partnership Framework with Australia and the commitment of AU$31.2 million to core resources are vital to UN Women’s ability to support gender equality and women’s empowerment” (19 June 2022) Source: A tweet from UN Women
Stronger partnerships with women in Southeast Asia (1 April 2022) ‘Women Together’ is $300 million program to “focus on building women’s economic empowerment, increasing women’s leadership in regional peace and stability and realise women’s and girl’s rights with a focus on violence prevention”
Russian soldiers are committing a genocide against boys & men in Ukraine. This has been picked up by the media, but they are avoiding saying the gender. They’re just “civilians” or “bodies”. Twitter thread (4 April 2022)
The silence about this (re: military draft) gender inequality is greatest from countries that profess to have a feminist foreign policy (Source) Certainly nothing has been said by any Australian politician or government agency.
“The Ambassador for Women and Girls raises the importance of addressing sexual and gender-based violence, increasing economic opportunities for women, promoting women’s leadership, the critical importance of promoting positive social norms and the rights of girls.”
A selection of foreign aid organisations that fail to address the welfare needs of men
See globalgoals.org and their twitter stream (@TheGlobalGoals) for many examples of sexist statements and programs
See GirlRising and their twitter stream (@GirlRising) for more of the same
See ActionAid and their twitter stream (@ActionAid) for more of the same. Note the section called ‘The Facts’ contained debunked factoids – except Point 3 (violence) which if true is also true for men, who face far more violence overall)
World Vision article prepared by news.com.au entitled ‘Why gender equality is about basic rights‘ only to then launch into a discussion of why (only) girls need help, and ignoring the fact that poor boys face the same challenges as poor girls, e.g. forced to work young, forced to marry young, genital mutilation, etc.
The article concludes with “All children can be vulnerable, and girls face particularly harsh realities because of their gender. That’s why World Vision has started a movement to sponsor 1000 girls by International Day of the Girl. You can join us now and help a girl in poverty live free of fear. Sponsor a girl today.” (September 2019)
“The federal government has unveiled what it is calling “Canada’s first feminist international-assistance policy,” with plans to eventually ensure that at least 95 per cent of the country’s foreign aid helps improve the lives of women and girls”
“Despite cries that gender is as much about men as it is about women, most project proposals or documents referring to gender will mention women, but little about men. If they do talk about men, they do so in terms of their relations with and respect for women.”
“A gender equality perspective in humanitarian assistance takes into account that:
• Crises affect women, girls, boys and men differently; • Existing power inequalities between women and men exacerbates during crisis; • Women, girls, men and boys have different needs and different coping mechanisms; • Women, girls, men and boys have different opportunities to benefit from support; and • Women and girls are an important resource in designing and delivering humanitarian assistance.”
Sounds almost fair. But in terms of outputs this model is imbued with gynocentric bias, which manifests itself via a plethora of programs aimed at women/girls. There are few/no programs directed at men/boys, this being rationalised through the belief that they can cope better/are less affected/that supporting them may worsen the problem, etc.
“Women must believe that their safety and rights are worth defending – even when the odds feel stacked against them for involvement in sex work. Clients and police need these messages too. We must create an environment that tells women they do not deserve to be abused, that someone cares about their safety and well-being. We are invigorated, inspired, and challenged to transform a world that perpetrates violence and blames victims to one in which freedom, safety, health and human rights prevail for all.”
Presumably written by the author without a hint of irony. Female victims matter, male ones don’t. No mention in the write-up of this project about the violence experienced by male and transgender sex-workers … why? Could the answer be ‘Gynocentrism manifested by way of feminist bias’?
Read down to see “By the end of 2015, the three West African countries most affected by Ebola – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – had a total of 8,703 cases of the virus in women compared to 8,333 in men. But the sex tally of those infected does not reveal the social impact of the disease on local populations.”
“… The research by Lara Stemple at the University of California doesn’t only show that male sexual violence is a component of wars all over the world, it also suggests that international aid organisations are failing male victims. Her study cites a review of 4,076 NGOs that have addressed wartime sexual violence. Only 3% of them mentioned the experience of men in their literature. “Typically,” Stemple says, “as a passing reference.””