Steve Moxon goes to Parliament


From the C of E we drift over to the Houses of Parliament in all their Victorian Gothic splendor. What’s going on there? An influential committee is taking advice on women from Steve Moxon. Victoria would be proud – she hated feminists.

Women are biologically unfit to rise to the top in business, according a self-described academic speaking before an influential parliamentary committee.

Steve Moxon, author of ‘The Woman Racket’, appeared at the business select committee on Wednesday as part of an inquiry into “women in the workplace”.

A  self-described academic? What’s that? Self-description isn’t what determines who is an academic. It’s more external and objective than that.

Moxon, ranked one of the ten most powerful people in ‘men’s rights’ by website ‘theantifeminist’, was dropped as a UKIP candidate in local elections for expressing sympathy with Norwegian mass-killer Anders Breivik on his blog earlier this year, and has also described claims against Jimmy Savile as “hysteria”.

Just the right sort of person to tell an influential parliamentary committee what’s what when it comes to women in the workplace. Or to put it another way, huh? What were they listening to him for?

Giving evidence to the committee he said males were in a “dominant hierarchy” from toddlerhood.

“You can pretend that the sexes are all the same but if you go looking … females form what is generally dubbed a personal network,” he said.

“There’s no surprise that women have difficulty in the work place, not only do they have difficulty but they don’t want to be there in the first place!” he said.

He then claimed that the gender pay gap should be bigger, telling MPs “there must be referencing for it to be as small as it is.”

It’s an outrage.

In his written submission to the inquiry, Moxon suggests women may not even want “to climb the workplace hierarchy”, adding that the push toward gender equality risked producing discrimination “against men.”

Ah yes, I’ve been seeing people claim that lately – that feminism doesn’t want equality, it wants discrimination against men. I think that comes from men who think it’s discriminatory to expect men to do an equal share of housework.

 

Comments

  1. says

    WTF is going on in the poll?

    Should Steve Moxon have been invited to give evidence on women in business?

    Must be some MRAs voting it up? Ok so it is not a majority but 35% of ppl think he should be giving ‘evidence’ to a parliamentary committee? A range of views is important… Well yeah if they are informed by anything other than total detachment from reality!

    Giving evidence to the committee he said males were in a “dominant hierarchy” from toddlerhood.

    As the father of a sometimes belligerent 3 yr old girl this is bullshit. She has a hierarchy in her group of friends already and as the ‘dominant’ one (Called bossy as she is a girl!) she directs the play at the moment.

  2. says

    Hahahahaha, exactly.

    I Googled. I can’t find a shred of support for the claim that Moxon is an academic. He was a civil servant on immigration, and he got kicked out for being such a nativist goon.

  3. chrislawson says

    Some of the people voting in favour of Moxon giving evidence will be MRAs and some may be those who think naively that parliament should listen to “all sides”, no matter how outrageous or stupid some of those sides are.

  4. callistacat says

    Why is it suprising that he agrees with someone like Norwegian mass-killer Anders Breivik? Breivik was very anti-Islam but also anti-feminist and believed after they’re saved from FGM and honor killings, muslim women and the rest of womankind should get back in the kitchen and shut up. Like a few atheists I can think of.

  5. says

    In the early 70’s there was a South African visiting professor at Oxford. There is no doubt he was, and still is, a brilliant mathematician but he was a hard-core racist (maybe his views have changed – I don’t know.) He was quite shocked to find there were black students at Oxford, and black postgrads to boot. His opinion was that black people should not be allowed to study at a university because they are “intellectually incapable” of it. My answer to him was that this was that this was empirically false because these students had satisfied the entrance requirements. In a fair society such arbitrary rules are simply unnecessary and so someone advocating them is implicitly admitting the society is unfair. If black people were really incapable of studying at university then, given a fair society, they wouldn’t.

    Starting in the mid 60’s various anti-discrimination laws were passed in the UK. At the time the two main objections were that they instituted anti-white discrimination, and (shock horror) this could be the start of a slippery slope which could lead to outlawing sex discrimination. My attitude at the time was that I hoped it was the start of a slippery slope that ended up going even farther than that. I used say so publicly, at one time incurring the wrath of Mark Bonham Carter, a prominent campaigner for racial equality, who thought that “people like me” were undermining the cause. He also thought that gender inequality was a fundamentally different issue to racial inequality and had some convoluted argument as to why this was the case. I can’t remember much of it but I can remember being completely underwhelmed by it and I am not sure he believed it himself. But that’s politicians for you!

    If it were really true that women were incapable of rising to the top in business (which I don’t believe for a moment, and incidentally, the onus of proof is on those who believe it to be true) then they wouldn’t – there wouldn’t be any need to stop them. On the other hand if you find that statistically significantly fewer women than men do in fact rise to the top then this is prima facie evidence that some sort of discrimination is going on. This needs investigating and putting right. It escapes me how doing so could possibly be described as “discrimination against men.”

    Whenever people argue against equality they seem to come out with the same (or similar) tired old arguments, but in the long run they don’t win. This is true of Moxon, an academic in the same way that I’m an astronaut.

  6. Maureen Brian says

    I like that, Bernard, but you have prompted me to nostalgia – of which I generally disapprove!

    A decade earlier, I had spent many a Sunday afternoon sitting literally at the feet – large Victorian drawing room, average amount of furniture – of Arnold Kettle in Leeds while ever African writer or thinker of note eventually dropped by. Start with Ngugi wa Thiong’o and carry on from there!

    Had I not been a naive and gormless teenager, I might have had the sense to keep a note.

    Yet at the same time just about everyone outside that little bubble of arts and social sciences at a particular northern university was instructing me to believe, without evidence, things which were wholly negative about more than half the human race.

    Moxon is in the wrong century, he has picked the wrong fight. I am left, though, to wonder why on earth the Select Committee invited him. That last is beyond me.

  7. Amy Clare says

    The biggest LOL is where they say “We are conducting an evidence-based inquiry.” As shown by the Leeds SitP debacle, evidence isn’t exactly Moxon’s strong point. He can’t even produce any evidence that he is an academic.

    The whole ‘we want a range of views’ thing is reminiscent of LSitP actually. Why is it fine and balanced and good debate to give the time of day to raving misogynists? I don’t get it.

    He didn’t just call the Jimmy Savile investigation ‘hysteria’ by the way. That was probably the mildest thing he said about it – he posted a diatribe on Sheffield Skeptics (since deleted) about how what Savile did was just normal male sexuality and once girls undergo puberty they are ready for sex. It’s still on his blog. If you can stomach reading it.

    Also, in the ultimate irony, he continually says he has no free speech.

  8. Matt Penfold says

    Moxon is in the wrong century, he has picked the wrong fight. I am left, though, to wonder why on earth the Select Committee invited him. That last is beyond me.

    Maybe they wanted some light relief.

  9. says

    Maureen Brian says:

    A decade earlier, I had spent many a Sunday afternoon sitting literally at the feet – large Victorian drawing room, average amount of furniture – of Arnold Kettle in Leeds while ever African writer or thinker of note eventually dropped by. Start with Ngugi wa Thiong’o and carry on from there!

    Had I not been a naive and gormless teenager, I might have had the sense to keep a note.

    Ah! The number times I’ve regretted taking notes. In fact I wish I had Tony Benn’s talent for keeping a diary!

  10. Lyanna says

    My philosophical, dispassionate reaction to this is that it’s part of the inevitable last death throes of patriarchy: men desperately kicking and screaming as they’re pried away from their special privileges.

    My primal reaction: HULK SMASH! HULK SHOW YOU WHO IS DOMINANT! PUNY FAKE ACADEMIC!

  11. h. hanson says

    I was really hoping that that these attitudes were becoming a thing of the past. But this week I had a client say something stupid about women ministers and his wife said something horrible about black men and sex when were discussing Herman
    Cain. I am really there just to shoe their horses and I have no idea what to say to them. Before the election someone else told me she was voting for the man that was born in this country. I did break my rule of not getting drawn into these conversations and told her to go ahead and vote for Romney but a to least have a reason with some evidence behind it. Then she said she just votes the way her husband does. My jaw just dropped.
    I assume that people think I must approve of such comments. Why else would they say things that are so dreadful?

  12. says

    He then claimed that the gender pay gap should be bigger, telling MPs “there must be referencing for it to be as small as it is.”

    Yes, men only making 10% more than women would be misandry, wouldn’t it?

  13. Claire says

    Steve Moxon is a member of my local SITP group, and the main reason I haven’t attended in some time. I understand he has attended a good few meetings.

    He used to post lots of screeds on the associated Facebook page, getting into big arguments with the other members of the group – well, I say arguments, it was all very one sided as he never listened to what anyone else said- until he was finally banned from posting there at the end of October. He hasn’t been banned from the events however. To be fair to the organisers, this would be a lot more difficult to do even if they wanted to, and they have said if he caused any problems he would be asked to leave (as would anyone).

  14. Claire says

    Yes, he tried to do a talk at ours too, but a few of us asked the organisers to drop it and eventually he was disinvited (I told them I wouldn’t feel welcome at a group that would let him speak unopposed and uncriticised). I think it was the same one he was planning for Leeds.

  15. says

    That’s exactly what happened about the Leeds one – several women (one a friend of mine who told me about it, so I did a post) pointed out that this didn’t make them feel welcome.

    [bangs head on desk]

    Jeez, guys, you think you could refrain from inviting doodz to talk about how women are inferior? Unless you actually want to drive all the women away?

  16. says

    Wow – he did a blog post about it.

    http://stevemoxon.blogspot.com/2011/09/political-correctness-talk-sheffield.html

    PC bigots have a handy way of playing into your hands, don’t they?

    A few (who don’t identify themselves or their ‘arguments’, of course) have lobbied Dale Williams of Sheffield Skeptics-in-the-Pub to be highly un-sceptical and to pull my talk on ‘Political Correctness’ scheduled for January 16, thereby showing in as clear a way as possible the great need for discussion of this topic, and the absence of free-speech at a forum specifically set up to facilitate the challenge to hegemonic positions with reasoned argument (and, in my case, peer-reviewed science data and multiple converging lines of evidence across disciplines).
    As is often pointed out, the only free-speech worthy of the name is that which may ‘offend’ a common or majority stance. Everyone is in favour of speech that doesn’t ‘offend’, so it’s only in respect of that which ‘offends’ where free-speech is at issue.
    If Dale doesn’t come to see his ironic error, then the talk will go ahead elsewhere, with the helpful publicity this amusing debacle provides.
    Those interested can contact me at stevemoxon3@talktalk.net.

    Here is the blurb for my talk from the Sheffield Skeptics-in-the-Pub website …..

    ‘Political correctness’ – PC – can accurately be considered the new fascism (as will be fully explained).
    Contrary to its tenets, it’s the ordinary person, the Average Joe, we are prejudiced towards, and who indeed is disadvantaged and ‘oppressed'; not women, ethnic minorities and gays.

    That last bit is classic – note how only men are persons, while women, ethnic minorities and gays are some other kind of thing.

  17. Claire says

    Wow, I had not seen the blog post! I like how once again we are accused of being “unskeptical” for not wishing to listen to his pseudo-academic hate filled dreck. But as a definite non person on at least two grounds according to his criteria, I doubt he cares what I think.

  18. Dan says

    The unofficial transcript of Moxon’s “evidence” is available here:
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmbis/uc754-i/uc75401.htm

    He actually describes himself there as: “a nonaffiliated, completely independent crossdisciplinary researcher into the biological roots of human sociology”. Which is a longwinded way of saying, “I’m not really an academic.”

    He’s there with some other people with dubious views on gender and biology. So the committee obviously felt that they needed to hear from such people in order to produce a final report that had considered all points of view, even rubbish or probably rubbish ones. I don’t think it’s a cause for panic, as parliament regularly takes evidence from people who talk rubbish. They’ll get about a line in the final report.

  19. says

    Heh. Yes I’m a completely independent crossdisciplinary researcher too, by which I mean I read the odd book now and then. I sure never style myself an academic though! Any more than I style myself a neurosurgeon or a chemical engineer or a meteorologist.

  20. ik says

    “I know – that’s the mantra. Feminism is ideology!! It’s the opposite of skepticism!!!”
    Unfortunately this is often true, but anybody who focusses on this fact too much probably needs to get the beam out of their eye.

    Wait, so he says that its *bad* that women form personal relationships with other women in the workplace? WTF

  21. john thames says

    Women complain about discrimination against them in the job market but do not complain about discrimination against men in divorce court or the military. As for Mr. Hurley’s comment that unequal male and female representation in the corporate hierarchy is prima facie proof of discrimination, that is nonsense. By the same logic, unequal custody for fathers is proof of discrimination. Women spend less time pursuing careers and more time keeping house and raising children. Therefore, they don’t get as far in the corporate world.

    Basically, Moxon is coorrect. Men should have all the jobs; women should have all the babies.

  22. says

    john thames said:

    Women complain about discrimination against them in the job market but do not complain about discrimination against men in divorce court or the military.

    You can’t really generalise like this. One thing I learned when I was a trade union case officer is that it’s very difficult to tell what particular people will find acceptable and what they will or will not complain about. However I was often more struck by how little women complained about discrimination against then than how much. That’s personal recollection, I didn’t keep any notes or other evidence to back it up.

    As for Mr. Hurley’s comment that unequal male and female representation in the corporate hierarchy is prima facie proof of discrimination, that is nonsense.

    Your paraphrase of what I said is indeed nonsense and suggests you didn’t understand what I was saying so here’s a little lesson for you:

    The Latin phrase “prima facie” is usually translated into English at “at first sight” although “at first examination” would be a more literal translation. However its use in English is as an adjectival phrase qualifying nouns such as “evidence” to indicate that, although it may be very strong evidence for the conclusion reached, it does not in itself constitute a proof. So there can be no such thing as a prima facie proof.

    By the same logic, unequal custody for fathers is proof of discrimination.

    This is not the same logic at all. I was talking about evidence not proof.

    Women spend less time pursuing careers and more time keeping house and raising children. Therefore, they don’t get as far in the corporate world.

    The generalisation is again illegitimate, women live all sorts of different lives and, incidentally, so do men. In the late 70’s I became a single parent; I won’t bore you with the details but it was at a time when it was difficult to get a decent job at all let alone one that fitted in with looking after my kids. So, like many women, I have a gap in my CV where, as you would put it, I was keeping house and raising children. Did this handicap me in the job market? If it did I wasn’t aware of it. In any case such things become less and less relevant as time goes by. So to me it seems rather silly to say that the reason women don’t get as far as men in the corporate world is because they “.. spend less time pursuing careers and more time keeping house and raising children.”

    Basically, Moxon is coorrect. Men should have all the jobs; women should have all the babies.

    Well now, Mr Thames. As far as I know women do have all the babies but I suspect you didn’t mean the phrase to be taken literally. But what interests me is the force of the word “should” in your comment. Are you saying that the sort of society you would prefer to live in would be one in which there were only “jobs for the boys?” If so, you might find Saudi Arabia to your liking or you might consider living on a desert island all by yourself or, even better, you could invite all your mates along too. In fact, if I could afford it, I would happily pay your air fare.

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