Way back at the start of my career I was responsible for coordinating the undertaking of a major social survey. It was a face-to-face survey using randomly selected households across an area of the city. It asked people a wide range of questions about their leisure pursuits and many related issues. It covered the whole range of leisure activities from solo and/or passive and/or indoor pursuits to team sports and various outdoor activities. I designed the questionnaire in conjunction with staff from an internationally-recognised market research company.
The results of the survey were very interesting indeed. One of the most striking, and unanticipated findings was the huge degree of difference along gender lines, but not in terms of participation rates in specific activities, in terms of participation in anything. There were very few activities in which girls/women participated more than boys/men, and many in which they rarely/never participated. I remember thinking “what on earth are they doing with their time?” And no, this disparity could not readily be put down to obvious factors like a lack of facilities for women/girls.
Now many years later I know that there are many other areas of life, in which men are much more actively involved than women. I know there are contributing factors applying to some women in some situations, for e.g. many women are more involved in child rearing than are men. Feminists will no doubt point to further unseen patriarchal forces at work that, they say, prevent or discourage the participation of women in many fields. Whatever. For the purpose of this post I won’t delve into minutiae. And i’m not judging either men or women on the basis of this situation. Let’s just run with the simple premise that, overall, men do more of most things.
If men are doing more of most things then it follows that men are probably doing more bad things (including relatively benign things that feminists think of as being bad). And they are doing most of these things in the public gaze. This includes everything from driving more, being elected to government more, starting and running companies more, fighting more, etc.
The fact that men are doing more ‘bad’ things makes them an easy target for demonisation. It attracts a swathe of criticism in and of its own right. Women are also doing all of the same things but to a correspondingly lesser extent, so can more easily be portrayed as ‘better’ persons.
Today I came across an old article that took it one step further. It was in that tedious and censorious pro-feminist rag, ‘The Guardian‘.
In this article men are doing more of a good thing, but are still being castigated for doing so. Because if men are more actively involved then it can only be because women are being excluded, or men are going behind their back, etc. Feminist logic 101.
The article is called ‘Why are so many white men trying to save the planet without the rest of us?‘ (8 May 2014) and here is the related reddit mensrights discussion thread
This author – again, in the Guardian – says that men leave more comments in online fora … and this is mens fault? silencing/oppressing women? He even suggests that women are using male names online for “protection” – huh!? When surveys show that men attract more online harassment/trolling than do women? There is some serious denial going on here.
What can I say? I’ll come back later when I’ve cooled down a bit, and tell you
Promoted Comment: What have men ever done for society? (29 August 2015) Reddit mensrights discussion thread
Pray men never take a day off (18 September 2013)