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Oct 23 2013

One final exchange with Mike Buchanan

So I thought I’d said about as much as I wanted to say to Mike Buchanan of Justice for Men and Boys.

Then I received an email. Since in my last thread I’d publicly stated that if Mike were to offer one of his public challenges to me I would probably  file it in the bin, Mike didn’t issue a challenge. Instead he issued a “request.” And he’d gone to all the trouble of typing it up into a letter on headed notepaper and printing it to  a pdf and everything. 

I should have just filed it, as promised. But I couldn’t resist. My reply is below. After this, I promise, I shall move on to more interesting matters.

_______________________

Dear Mike,

Every day I read things that are not true. Our newspapers are full of things that are not true. Our politicians say things that are not true. People write me letters and emails telling me things that are not true.

For example, your letter to me, after a preamble and quoting my words at length, begins:

‘We live in an era when the EU has announced its intention to introduce legislation to ban anti-feminist speech, a matter not mentioned by any major news outlet in the UK to the best of my knowledge.’

The reason this has not been mentioned in any major new outlet is because it is not true. It is not just slightly  factually mistaken, it is palpably, unequivocally 100% false. The EU has made no such announcement. The EU does not have the legal power to prescribe domestic law on areas such as hate speech to nation states, even if it wanted to – and there is no evidence that it does
want to.

What the article on A Voice For Men describes is a document prepared by an NGO called the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation - which has no authority whatsoever  – who have submitted it to the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee (which itself has no meaningful authority whatsoever) and if you read the actual document, it amounts to suggestions to nation states as to what laws they might want to pass against hate speech. I can find no evidence that the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee plans to do anything with it. You really shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet, you know.

You go on to say:

‘You must surely be aware of how feminist-friendly the British media are.’

No. I am not. The Guardian is certainly very feminist-friendly, as is the Independent. They have, between them, fewer than 300,000 daily circulation. The Daily Mail and the Sun between them have around 4 million. The Evening Standard, the Telegraph, the Star, the Express and the Times have another two and a half million or so between them. For every column with a vaguely feminist tint by Suzanne Moore or even Janet Street Porter, there are the dozens of columns by Richard Littlejohn, Melanie Phillips, James Delingpole, Peter Oborne etc etc etc.

This does not begin to address the point that the great bulk of news coverage - on issues such as family policy, female celebrities, coverage of crime, coverage of economic and political matters in the vast majority of British media is not what anyone could call feminist friendly.

You ask, ‘Is it not one of the duties of the media to challenge prominent figures who make ‘unequivocally, demonstrably false claims?’

Yes, it should be. And the more important the claim, and prominent the figure, the more important it is that they are challenged. When we look at the downright falsehoods uttered almost daily by Iain Duncan Smith about benefits claimants, by Michael Gove about schools; the utter falsehoods about the EU that regularly appear on the front pages of the Mail and the Express; about immigration and asylum seekers by the Sun and the Star, we should all be deeply concerned. These lies and falsehoods have a major and damaging impact on our political culture and democracy, and in some cases create real and often horrific hardship for vulnerable individuals.

In comparison to the above, whether or not the (with all due respect to her) almost entirely obscure and powerless feminist Caroline Criado-Perez is accurate in what she says about the impacts of women on the boards of companies strikes me as almost entirely trivial.

Quite a large proportion of my output as a writer is devoted to challenging or correcting falsehoods and mistakes on issues of gender that circulate in the media. Those include falsehoods and mistakes propagated by feminists,  by men’s rights activists, and by those such as Hanna Rosin who float somewhere between. I actively support and champion projects such as fullfact.org which are devoted full time to correcting the innumerable mistakes and falsehoods in the political and media realm. I don’t need any prompts, challenges or ‘requests’ to challenge any specific writers or campaigners, I have a whole media smorgasbord to choose from on any given day of the week if  I so choose.

I certainly don’t need advice to pick out feminists as being uniquely dishonest or untrustworthy. When compared to the shameless mendacity and full-blown propaganda of the corporate right wing media, feminist activists and journalists are, frankly, small beer. To single out feminists would be to imply that feminists are uniquely guilty of dishonesty or inaccuracy and that would be, ironically enough, both dishonest and inaccurate.

So the answer to your request is no. In the meantime, if you are really concerned about truth and accuracy, you might want to consider issuing one of your ‘public challenges’ (or indeed ‘requests’) to A Voice for Men to demand that they delete their entirely false claim that the EU intends to introduce legislation to ban anti-feminist speech.

You are very welcome to publish both your letter to me and this response, should you have the decency.  In the meantime, I don’t intend to continue our correspondence in any serious way. I find that in order to have a sensible conversation with you, I have to spend a good few minutes correcting the innumerable mistakes and falsehoods in everything you write, and to be honest, I have more important things to do with my time.

All the best

Ally

 

84 comments

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  1. 1
    John Austin

    Nice slapdown (although as an aside it still bugs me a bit that the left wing press is as dishonest on some issues as the right wing press on others. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but I guess it may be a bit naive to hold the Guardian to higher standards of journalistic integrity on gender issues than the Murdoch / Barclays / Mail newspapers and Fox on virtually everything bar the football results).

  2. 2
    B-Lar

    This was delightful, but I don’t think Mike is capable of examining his prejudices honestly.

    Reading his comments in previous posts gave me the feeling that he has too much invested in his favourite narrative. Also, like any good politician, he attempts to score points with gloss because he knows that most people never actually bother to get at the content.

  3. 3
    carnation

    @ Ally

    I have a certain fondness for Mike Buchanan, he is an effective mra because he is.disarmingly polite.

    In your opinion, what motivates him?

  4. 4
    Ally Fogg

    You’d have to ask him, carnation. I’m sure he’ll be along in a minute, like Candyman.

    But my impression is that Mike has something of a yearning for the Britain of about 1958, before pop music and progressive ideas came along and ruined everything.

  5. 5
    summerblues

    Thanks for the link to fullfact. If you happen to come across something like that for the US would you mind linking it here, too?

    Researching now, for me, is much easier and also time consuming and difficult.

    Linking over facts, different opinions, more information that sheds new light on a particular situation: only if I can handle getting yelled at. Folks hold onto their opinions and biases with both hands (and sometimes teeth). They don’t want to be wrong, they don’t want to hear/read it. (shrug) All I can do is keep talking, keep linking. If I reach one person, I’ve done my job.

    OT: HuffPo has an article about the sexual abuse that both Corey Haim and Corey Feldman suffered in Hollywood when they were kids.

  6. 6
    Raging Bee

    What motivates Mikey? The desire for constant attention, of any sort, regardless of the cost, or who pays it. Oh, and he wants us all to know he’s writing a book that’s gonna be packed full of the same bullshit allegations we saw in his comments here — something about the “economic emasculation” of men all over the planet and how laws in some European countries requiring women on corporate boards are such a huge part of this problem. Should be good a for a laugh or two…

  7. 7
    Ally Fogg

    Summberblues

    Yeah, I saw that story about the Coreys elsewhere.

    Can’t help wondering if the kind of revelations that have ripped through British TV & entertainment world in recent years is due to explode big time in LA sooner or later.

  8. 8
    The Beautiful Void

    @3 carnation:

    In your opinion, what motivates him?

    Hatred of everyone who is even slightly different from him, and fear that one day he may be forced to acknowledge that they are human too. While he might be polite and articulate, the fact that he’s both a misogynist and a UKIP supporter makes it difficult to conclude anything positive whatsoever about the man.

    Anyone whose solution to the world’s problems is to instinctively look for someone weaker than themselves to bully, is someone I’m ashamed to share a gender with.

  9. 9
    karmakin

    What motivates this sort of thing? Well…IMO there’s one main reason.

    The rapid destruction of the middle class. Which by the way, Raging Bee, is in no way shape or form “funny” (Unless you’re a Koch brother I guess). Now I don’t think in any way that Mike has anything regarding a solution for it, except for the idea of turning back the clock (Protip: Not something we can actually do. Technology, both computers and managerial techniques have a lot to do with the death of the middle class), but considering the gender roles in our society, emotionally this falls extremely heavily on men, as traditionally for most men their only worth was as a money earner.

    Furthermore, there really hasn’t been any sort of concerted cultural effort in any way shape or form to eliminate the “keeping up with the Jonses” hierarchy. I’d actually argue that other than religion, this is the patriarchy in our society.

    As I said in the last thread…I don’t think that simple identity politics is the answer to any of these issues. They’re too complex and far too wicked. Change is going to have to be wide-ranging…and especially when we’re talking about cultural change, we’re all going to have to change.

  10. 10
    Raging Bee

    karmakin: I don’t consider the destruction fo the middle-class funny; I was referring to Mikey’s book trying to blame feminism for it. (I’m guessing the working title of said book is something like “Women: The New Jews.” Look for it on Amazon soon! Or just wait till it ends up in remainders and used-book stores.)

  11. 11
    JT

    Raging Be………no JT, fight the dark side………..Whew. Triggers, ya just never know when they are going to pop up. ;)

  12. 12
    Mike Buchanan

    Ally, in your last email to me (which I published, with your permission) you challenged a position AVfM and J4MB had made with respect to the EU planning to legislate to ban anti-feminist speech. It turns out your challenge was sound. AVfM has in consequence issued a public retraction on the matter (link below) and J4MB will do likewise tomorrow (we’ve already ‘pulled’ pieces on the matter).

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/allbulletins/avfm-issues-retraction/

    Will you now publicly challenge prominent feminists (and their collaborators) who’ve been found to be making demonstrably false statements in the media for 40+ years? I’m not aware of a prominent feminist ever retracting even one demonstrably false statement in that period. Our own recent public challenges relate to the tiniest fraction of these statements made by Janet Street-Porter, Kat Banyard, Caroline Criado-Perez…

    Best wishes,

    Mike Buchanan

    JUSTICE FOR MEN & BOYS
    (and the women who love them)

    http://j4mb.org.uk

  13. 13
    Mike Buchanan

    @ ragingbee

    “What motivates Mikey? The desire for constant attention, of any sort, regardless of the cost, or who pays it. Oh, and he wants us all to know he’s writing a book that’s gonna be packed full of the same bullshit allegations we saw in his comments here — something about the “economic emasculation” of men all over the planet and how laws in some European countries requiring women on corporate boards are such a huge part of this problem. Should be good a for a laugh or two…”

    It’s nice to hear from you again. Having already written three books about feminism in the modern era, I’m not currently writing another. What gave you the idea that I might be?

  14. 14
    Tamen

    Raging Bee @10

    It is kind of ironic that I were to encounter a book titled “Women: The New Jews” I would assume it was a feminist book. This because it’s similar to the somewhat controversial Lennon/Yoko song Woman is the N*gger of the world – a phrase some white feminists used as a slogan in the New York Slutwalk in 2011. In fact “Women – ‘the new n*gger’” is an exact phrase used by black feminist Florynce Kennedy in a speech in 1972. The Chicago Women’s Liberation Union’s Heather Booth used the phrase when speaking about women’s rights to high school students in 1970 – pre-dating the Yoko/Lennon song.

    Appropriation of the word “n*gger” seem to be very popular ranging from “Misogynists is the new n*gger” to “Straight white women is the new n*gger” and so on and on.

  15. 15
    bugmaster

    Who cares about what motivates Mike Buchanan ? Are we his psychiatrists, or something ? Either the stuff he says is true or (as in this case) it isn’t. The claims he makes are falsifiable. There’s no need to poison the well by ascribing all kinds of nefarious motivations to him, when we’ve got actual facts. We’re atheists and skeptics, not politicians running for re-election.

  16. 16
    Lucy

    What motivates Mike and everyone else is that they believe they are right. Few have the humility to recognise that we don’t know enough to be right about much. But humility is a trait that develops the more you learn.

    Mike comes from a business consulting background, his view of the world is a practical one. His personality most likely favours identifying deviations from an established model or methodology. His knowledge will most likely not include much from the fields of anthropology, social science, social history, behavioural theory, philosophy, theology or gender theory. His social circle will most likely echoes his own view, knowledge and personality.

    So basically he and you are speaking different languages.

    What he no doubt sees is businesses that, as far as he is concerned, have through a process of natural evolution, arrived at a successful merit-based model, then women wanted to join the workforce, can’t cut it and now they want to change that naturally, working model; social and economic chaos and harm for men and children ensuing. He sees no need to change the working model; he doesn’t even really see the existing working model. What others see is something different. I, for example, do see the existing model, I see it very very starkly because it doesn’t fit me. I see an economic model that was socially engineered to use women as an unpaid and disenfranchised resource and led to a hyper-masculinised society with a biased measure of merit, causing untold harm to women, children and men, which is now in the very early stages of being dismantled and rebuilt along fairer and hopefully, eventually more healthy lines.

  17. 17
    Mike Buchanan

    @ bugmaster (15)

    “The claims he makes are falsifiable.”

    Which claims are you referring to? I invite you to point them out to me. Anyone can challenge my claims, or those of J4MB. I care not a jot about the sources of such challenges. The truth is the truth. And if the challenge is a sound one, we’ll retract the claim. We’ve had our consultation document online for maybe 6+ months now, and the only challenging of something we presented as evidence (to the best of my memory) came from Ally, when he made a good point concerning the evidence base regarding the impact of unwanted pregnancies and elective abortions on women’s mental health. We modified the document accordingly, and attributed the modification to Ally in the document. He questioned our public challenge of Nick Baveystock, director general of the Institution of Civil Engineering, and we modified that piece too.

    The simple truth is that enemies of J4MB misrepresent us with monotonous regularity. And when our enemies have to misrepresent us in order to criticise us, they have the problem, not us.

    So if we’re prepared to retract demonstrably false statements, why is it that feminists (and their collaborators) never do? And why do the media never (or almost never) challenge them to retract THEIR demonstrably false statements?

  18. 18
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Lucy (16)

    “His knowledge will most likely not include much from the fields of anthropology, social science, social history, behavioural theory, philosophy, theology or gender theory.”

    Not true, as you’d know if you were familiar with my books on feminism and my cheery critique of marriage, ‘The Fraud of the Rings’.

    “His social circle will most likely echoes his own view, knowledge and personality.”

    Nothing could be further from the truth. With reference to business, you say:

    “He sees no need to change the working model; he doesn’t even really see the existing working model. What others see is something different. I, for example, do see the existing model, I see it very very starkly because it doesn’t fit me.”

    A perfect example of how business should twist itself in knots to suit women, regardless of the impact on corporate performance, rather than women adapt to how business works (as men have always had to).

    I have repeated ad nauseam our evidence base showing that when businesses increase the proportion of women on boards, whether by quotas, the threat of them, or voluntarily, their financial performance declines. Do you believe this to be a price worth paying to advance women into the boardroom? Only one person has ever answered ‘yes’ to that question, a male feminist. Next Tuesday I’ll be going with some supporters to Cambridge University to put that question to Dr Jude Browne, a Director of Gender Studies. We’ve publicly challenged her on the matter and in recent days the tickets (free) have been shifting like hot cakes, as we reported last night http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/update-our-public-challenge-of-dr-jude-browne-director-of-gender-studies-cambridge-university/

  19. 19
    Ally Fogg

    Mike Buchanan [12]

    Will you now publicly challenge prominent feminists (and their collaborators) who’ve been found to be making demonstrably false statements in the media for 40+ years? I’m not aware of a prominent feminist ever retracting even one demonstrably false statement in that period. Our own recent public challenges relate to the tiniest fraction of these statements made by Janet Street-Porter, Kat Banyard, Caroline Criado-Perez…

    Oh bloody hell Mike, you really do not get it do you? The answer is No.

    Why is the answer No?

    Firstly, because I have absolutely no interest in the question of whether or not having women on boards of companies improves corporate performance or not. I don’t care. They could pass a law to say companies need at least three woodlice on their board and my hunch is it wouldn’t make the tiniest bit of difference to me or to anyone or anything I care about. On the list of things I care about this ranks approximately Number Nowhere.

    I do not know enough about the research to know for sure whether Caroline Criado-Perez and Janet Street-Porter are right to say that it is good for business, or you are right to say that it isn’t, to be perfectly honest I don’t care enough to be bothered to find out. But frankly, given your track record on making factual claims, I’m rather more inclined to believe them than I am to believe you. I’d be more inclined to believe Bozo the Clown after a double dose of mescaline than I would to believe you.

    Why on earth would I take your word for anything? Over the past week or two I have demonstrated pretty comprehensively that you are either unwilling or unable to do the most basic fact-checking on your own statements. I have shown pretty comprehensively that you either do not read or do not understand the academic papers you cite. I’ve shown pretty comprehensively that you are embarrassingly credulous in accepting any piece of apparent evidence that seems to validate your prejudices, however blatantly ludicrous it might be. I’ve pointed out howler after howler after howler, and every time you bounce back up like a Weeble, as if you can just make one more correction and continue with your credibility intact, apparently oblivious to the extent to which you have been left looking like a complete idiot, and apparently still confused as to why mainstream media don’t take you seriously.

    Next, I’m not sure how I can express this in a way you understand, because you seem to struggle with it, but I am not your dancing fucking monkey! You do not get to dictate my interests, you do not get to choose what topics, what other writers or issues I engage with, and you do not rally me to the causes of your ridiculous public challenges.

    I did not correct you on the EU’s non-existent plan to make anti-feminism illegal because I cared so much about the reputation of the E bloody U. I corrected you because you approached me and shoved it under my nose.

    I did not tear apart your reactionary, dangerous and misogynistic manifesto because I feared the threat it poses to civilisation. I tore it apart because you repeatedly and persistently badgered me, on twitter, in comments and by personal email to provide you with feedback on it, even after I had told you explicitly that I had no wish to do so.

    I did not point out that your interpretation of an important paper on mental health and abortion was entirely upside down and inside out until you appeared in the comments of my blog making claims about abortion that were entirely contradicted by a paper that you were yourself citing on your own website!

    I did not point out that your challenge to Nick Baveystock contained a whopping great falsehood until you were on my blog using him as an example of the media peddling falsehoods!

    Now, this come as a great surprise to you, but neither Caroline Criado-Perez, Kat Banyard nor Janet Street-Porter has been persistently bugging me personally of late, they haven’t been demanding my attention, my engagement or my action. They haven’t been emailing me and expecting me to hop when they whistle or leaving three hundred comments on my blog with links to their own websites and campaigns.

    When they do, then I might feel motivated to look closely at what they say, and if I feel they are talking out of their arses I might tell them so. But until then, no I have no interest in the accuracy of their claims and no interest in that specific subject matter.

    Have I made myself suitably clear now, Mike?

  20. 20
    Lucy

    “Not true, as you’d know if you were familiar with my books on feminism and my cheery critique of marriage, ‘The Fraud of the Rings’.”

    I’m afraid I cannot bring myself to read a book that uses the misogynist trope of the witch, a propaganda legacy of the systematic eradication of female religion from Europe which involved the imprisoning and murder of countless women and the roll out of the patriarchy to end all patriarchies (except for the others) as the cover image on a book about undermining women’s agency. It’s grossly offensive. It would be like putting a picture of a hook-nosed, blood-libel Jew on the front of a book about a Semitic conspiracy. And the fact that you would consider this a bit of a light hearted joke tells me a great deal about how much you know about history, anthropology and the other subjects I listed.

    “A perfect example of how business should twist itself in knots to suit women, regardless of the impact on corporate performance, rather than women adapt to how business works (as men have always had to).”

    Well why shouldn’t it suit women? We’re here, we exist.

    Why do we have businesses, Mike: for us to serve or to serve us?

    I’m sure men adapt somewhat to business models, but even you have to admit that they have much less adapting to do than women do. Businesses didn’t get the way they are by serendipity, they were designed. By men. Do you think it’s a coincidence that professional and domestic spheres are segregated? By long commutes? That the hours are as they are. That they have hierarchies and award systems? That the infrastructure is as it is? That they have the cultures they have? That merit is defined as it is?

  21. 21
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ally (19)

    Thanks you for the clarifications.

    Have a nice day.

  22. 22
    Mike Buchanan

    @ :Lucy (20)

    The image on the cover of ‘Feminism: the ugly truth’ isn’t a witch, it’s a waxwork model of a vampire, a fictional character. I picked it to represent the evil and ugly ideology that is gender feminism. The book makes this perfectly clear. So the whole of your first paragraph is based upon misrepresentation.

    The feminisation of business will lead to the consequences it has in numerous parts of the state, most notably the NHS and education – increasing levels of mediocrity, inefficiency and ineffectiveness. The difference is that the private sector is the only wealth generating sector, and directly or indirectly creates all the employment, pays for everything the state does etc. So when the privates sector collapses under the weight of social engineering exercises such as this, we’ll be living in caves again, and feminists still won’t understand what went wrong.

    I notice you haven’t answered the simple question I asked:

    “I have repeated ad nauseam our evidence base showing that when businesses increase the proportion of women on boards, whether by quotas, the threat of them, or voluntarily, their financial performance declines. Do you believe this to be a price worth paying to advance women into the boardroom?”

  23. 23
    Lucy

    And another thing

    Of course businesses are going to be less productive once they can no longer rely on women’s domestic unpaid labour for their male workers (domestic chores, secretarial support, child care, taxi service, accountant, etc), but instead have to design working practises which take account of women being part of their workforce and men and women having to make other arrangements for these services.

    No doubt if women had wangled it so that men provided all their support services for nothing, while they busied themselves designing the public sphere and keeping men out of it, they’d be worried about a risk of drop of productivity too if men turned up demanding equipment be designed to fit them, etc.

    The risk of a reduction in productivity is the argument used by every business manager faced with demands for better worker rights. Abolition of slavery, sweat shop labour, child labour, unequal pay, minimum wage, Of course it’s less expensive not to subsidise employee pensions, training, not to fund crèches but instead use women to men’s child caring for free. Let alone if we didn’t have maternity or paternity leave and asked people to be celebrate or on hormone drugs rather than reproduce. But frankly all that would reveal is that businesses have so far been subsidised by the state previously.

  24. 24
    Lucy

    “The feminisation of business will lead to the consequences it has in numerous parts of the state, most notably the NHS and education – increasing levels of mediocrity, inefficiency and ineffectiveness. ”

    No, you’re confusing the state with women. The masculinised areas of the state are equally mediocre (MOD, police, foreign office). They’re equally riven by over-spending, career protection, poor results, cancelled projects. The difference is that until very recently they were such nepotistic, closed shops that these abuses and failings never saw the light of day in the press. The introduction of women into their workforce brings the disinfectant of new eyes, new networks and exposure, it’s no coincidence that we’ve had revelation after revelation in recent decades,.

  25. 25
    lelapaletute

    @Ally 19: Wow. That was beautiful. Truly Nick Griffin-level delusions of grandeur going on here I think.

  26. 26
    Mike Buchanan

    @ lelapaletute (25)

    Do you not think it significant that Ally can find time to post lengthy attacks on me, but not to check out the evidence base concerning the impact of increasing female representation in boardrooms? It would take a fraction of the time that he’s devoted to attacking me. Not one proponent of ‘more women in boardrooms’ has cited even one longitudinal study in support of their position in the past 18 months.

    My hunch is Ally knows our evidence in this area is watertight, so how does he get round the problem? By saying he has no interest in the matter. Priceless. Doubtless no other Guardian journalists have any interest in the matter either. I’m starting to see why the paper has the circulation figures it has. It’s the #1 newspaper read by executives at the BBC, I understand.

  27. 27
    lelapaletute

    @Mike

    Do you not think it significant that Ally can find time to post lengthy attacks on me, but not to check out the evidence base concerning the impact of increasing female representation in boardrooms? It would take a fraction of the time that he’s devoted to attacking me.

    Errr, Mike, I’m not being funny here, but I think it is this belief that one can thoroughly assess and distil all the conflicting evidence pertaining to such a complex issue and form a solid conclusion, in the time it takes to dash off a pithy blog post, that is causing you to expose yourself to ridicule on such a depressingly regular basis. How about taking a bit more time over your research in future before shouting the anti-feminist gospel from the digital rooftops, eh?

  28. 28
    lelapaletute

    Also, this:

    the only challenging of something we presented as evidence (to the best of my memory) came from Ally, when he made a good point concerning the evidence base regarding the impact of unwanted pregnancies and elective abortions on women’s mental health. We modified the document accordingly

    is spectacularly disingenuous. your ‘modification’ consists of signposting to Ally’s points highlighting your mendacious statement in the middle of said mendacious statement:

    However, there is no evidence to support the thesis that abortion reduces the risk to mental health of women with an unwanted pregnancy – although we refer you to some comments on this issue by Ally Fogg, a Guardian journalist, at the end of this section – and some evidence to suggest that abortion increases the risk to mental health, so medical practitioners who authorise abortions on mental health risk grounds are doing so in the knowledge that there’s no body of research to support their authorisations.

    and then after repeating his remarks verbatim, conclude thusly:

    While Ally makes some valid points, our view is that the life of an unborn child has considerable value, and our proposal accordingly remains unchanged.

    Which I think can be safely translated to “we don’t give a damn about women’s mental health and never did, this policy was not about that (although we are still trying to pretend it is at issue by obfuscating the criticism of that pretended view) – basically, we think unborn foetuses are more important than living women, like every other dogmatic pro-life group, nyah nyah nyah nyah.” This is hardly accepting criticism and modifying policy accordingly.

  29. 29
    Mike Buchanan

    @ lalapaletute (27)

    Firstly, I’ve run Campaign for Merit in Business since May 2012, I’ve engaged with two parliamentary inquiries, had articles published by the Institute of Economic Affairs, given a well-received presentation there, been interviewed on the BBC TV show ‘Daily Politics’, been interviewed on BBC radio and LBC numerous times, engaged with numerous academics, and done a great deal more besides. I honestly don’t know how it would be possible to ‘take a bit more time over my research’. Let me distil our key thesis into a few lines:

    1. The only indications of a causal link between increasing female representation on boards could come from longitudinal studies.
    2. All the longitudinal studies of which I’m aware show that when female representation on boards is increased, financial performance declines. This is true regardless of the mechanism by which that representation is increased.
    3. No longitudinal studies show an improved financial performance resulting from more women being appointed to boards, or even no impact on financial performance.
    4. Studies purporting to show a link to improved financial performance show only correlations, and every such study makes it perfectly clear that correlations aren’t evidence of causation, and don’t even imply it. Proponents regularly cite these studies while conveniently (and shamelessly) omitting the point about correlations and causation.

    In short, no ‘conflicting evidence’ exists. Whether you, Ally, or the Easter Bunny have any interest in this fact is neither here nor there, but the fact exists nonetheless. The corporate sector will decline if it doesn’t stop this insane direction of travel, which I guess would be good news for socialists. This way to the revolution.

  30. 30
    Mike Buchanan

    @ lelapaletute

    We don’t say that foetuses are MORE important than women, only that they have considerable value.

    It’s one thing to process criticism, it’s another to change your policies as a result. We think the foetus has considerable value, and Ally doesn’t. How can the two possibly be reconciled? So we did the next best thing and pointed to Ally’s fair point about the evidence base. As a result of Ally’s criticism, people reading our document will know there’s a nuance of which few people are aware.

    Where we think it reasonable to change our policies, we shall. If the ‘Guardian’ changed its narratives in response to the views of a huge number of people in the UK, what remained would probably be the sports and arts sections.

  31. 31
    Ally Fogg

    Lela (27)

    I’m not being funny here, but I think it is this belief that one can thoroughly assess and distil all the conflicting evidence pertaining to such a complex issue and form a solid conclusion, in the time it takes to dash off a pithy blog post, that is causing you to expose yourself to ridicule on such a depressingly regular basis.

    Thank you. This is very true and a large part of the issue. It probably took me about 20 minutes to bash out that little rant above. I generally find it takes me about that long to read and digest just one academic paper in a field where I have a degree of expertise. In a topic like business studies and economics, in which I have little academic grounding, it would take me a lot longer. To get a grasp of the consensus of debate, taking into accounts the arguments being made on both sides and evaluating them, would probably take me several days.

    But there’s a much more important point – I don’t want to. The evidence base for the representation of women on boards is not a topic of the faintest interest, and to repeat what I though was a fairly crystal clear message to Mike I Am Not Your Dancing Fucking Monkey

    If I want to spend some time replying to a comment on my blog, from Mike or anyone else, it is my time to devote. If I want to spend that time working or writing something else, that is my choice. If I want to spend it sitting with my thumb up my arse whistling Papa Was A Rolling Stone, that is also my choice.

  32. 32
    Copyleft

    Ally, your response is one grounded in emotion rather than logic and facts–you admit it’s a ‘rant.’ Do you think that’s convincing or productive to anyone but people who already share your hatred of Mike Buchanan (i.e., fanatics)?

  33. 33
    karmakin

    ….

    Who the hell cares?

    I’m dead serious on this. This argument, about corporate boardrooms is stupid. It’s SUCH a waste of energy. Who cares if companies are less productive? Quite frankly, productivity is the ENEMY at this point. Less profit? Great!

    But I don’t care about it from the other side either. The notion that putting women on boards of directors will have any sort of effect on the way the company runs is sexist, gender essentialist nonsense (I’d assume that they’d be yet another money-crunching MBA robot). I don’t care from the perspective of the women themselves, as quite frankly, they’re such a small number and already the most powerful of the powerful.

    To me, this is piddling about what wine to drink while Rome is burning.

  34. 34
    JT

    @Mike

    Im thinking you need to chill and have a massage. For that matter, I think Ally needs one now also. :)

  35. 35
    Mike Buchanan

    @ JT

    “I’m thinking you need to chill and have a massage.”

    Now that’s a sterling suggestion, but Petronella’s away visiting her parents for a few days. What to do? I know… there are ladies advertising massage services in the local paper, and some do home visits, which is nice of them. I’ll call one of them. I wonder if they can provide references in advance?

  36. 36
    JT

    @Mike

    Ah Mike, and this is one of your problems. You see things from a limited perspective. As a Registered Massage Therapist I wasnt suggesting what you are thinking.

  37. 37
    Mike Buchanan

    @ JT

    Thanks. So you’d recommend I ensure they’re registered therapists first? Makes sense I suppose. How might I check up their qualifications aren’t bogus? Is there a central register online or something?

  38. 38
    jemima2013

    Perfectly put :D

  39. 39
    Dee Emarr

    The feminisation of business will lead to the consequences it has in numerous parts of the state, most notably the NHS and education – increasing levels of mediocrity, inefficiency and ineffectiveness. The difference is that the private sector is the only wealth generating sector, and directly or indirectly creates all the employment, pays for everything the state does etc. So when the privates sector collapses under the weight of social engineering exercises such as this, we’ll be living in caves again, and feminists still won’t understand what went wrong.

    Wow. This shows a startling lack of economic knowledge. Have you ever heard of the “government as consumer” fallacy? Look it up. The state generates exactly as much wealth as the private sector does: exactly none. People generate wealth, and people consume wealth. The market and the state do not. The services of a security guard contribute to the real wealth of the nation, regardless of whether he works in the public sector and you call him a police officer, or he works in the private sector, and you call him a rent-a-cop. It doesn’t matter who pays their salary.

    The market and the state do not produce or consume wealth. They are simply the mechanisms by which people organize their spending and their consumption. In its economic capacity, the state is how we collectively organize our spending. The state is not a parasite that is at risk of killing the golden goose. Specific policy decisions can have adverse or beneficial effects on the economy, but taxes and social programs do not, by definition, have adverse effects on the economy. They must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  40. 40
    JT

    @Mike

    I would imagine if you wanted a professional massage you wouldnt be checking the newspapers for it. Just like I imagine you wouldnt be checking the newspaper for a doctor.

  41. 41
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Dee (39)

    Thank you. Does this explain the success of socialist economies compared with free-market economies? Wait, hold on… The economic rise of China in recent years would be due to…? The collapse of the Soviet Union would be due to…? No, I guess I’m not smart enough to understand the ‘government as consumer’ fallacy. Doubtless hordes of taxpayer-funded Leftie academics do haha.

  42. 42
    carnation

    @ Ally Fogg

    You have ruined the listening pleasure of what previously was a favourite song of mine.

    Thumbs down.

    PS thumbs up (soundtrack optional) for the cracking column re saunas. Wonder what the masses here would make of it? One of the few areas whete policy is impacted by moral ideology vs pragmatism.

  43. 43
    Dee Emarr

    @ Mike 41

    What did I just say? They have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. I did NOT that all social programs are harmless. And I most certainly did not say that socialism as opposed to capitalism is beneficial, necessarily. I am talking about social programs WITHIN a capitalist economy. I am not defending Soviet communism or Chinese communism or anything of that nature.

    What I did say, is that when you talk about wealth only being produced in the private sector, you are dead wrong.
    Don’t put words in my mouth. You seem to be displaying just as much reading comprehension ineptitude as has been commented on above.

    Criticism of your ignorance of economics is not the same thing as an endorsement of all socialist policies or of communism. (And for the record, I picked up the term “government is consumer” fallacy from an economic centrist).

    I am NOT saying that capitalism is all bad, or that socialism is all good, or even that socialism can exist as a viable economic system without capitalism. What I AM saying is that individual policy decisions have to be made on an individual basis. They are not categorically beneficial or detrimental to the economy just because they add to the public sector.

  44. 44
    Mike Buchanan

    Dee 43

    “What I AM saying is that individual policy decisions have to be made on an individual basis.”

    Thank you. I understand what you’re saying, though I’m not an economist – although a presentation I gave to a capacity audience at the IEA last year was well-received at the IEA. But then they’re not Keynesians, of course.

    I agree re making policy decisions on an individual basis. The problem is, that’s not how policy is made in the areas I’m interested in, mostly gender-related. To take an obvious example, we return to increasing female representation on boards if only because the evidence base there is very clear-cut. Neither the government nor big business (nor academics, economists, journalists…) challenge our evidence base showing that the result of this policy direction will be corporate financial decline, yet they follow it anyway. Now WHY do they do that? Well, I think we all know the reasons. Legislation and a number of economic factors drives women into more paid employment than they’d want given the choice, and big business ‘benefits’ from more labour at a lower unit cost, and from more demand. The state benefits by a bigger tax hike. As always, the citizen exists to support a bloated public sector. That’s the prime direction of support, even under the current coalition. The nuclear family and children in particular are the key victims of this policy direction.

  45. 45
    bugmaster

    @Mike Buchanan #17:

    By “falsifiable“, I meant just that: “capable of being shown as false based on available evidence”. For example, the claim “the sky is usually blue” is falsifiable, but happens to be true. Contrast this with a claim like, “I have a totally undetectable pink unicorn in my garage”, which is entirely unfalsifiable, since the unicorn is undetectable a priori, and therefore we could never collect any evidence for its existence.

    Some of the stuff you say makes sense; some of it is very likely to be true; but a lot of it is also likely to be false, based on the evidence we have. See Ally’s and others’ comments for specific examples. My point was that your (or any person’s, really) claims and the evidence are already enough, we don’t need to delve deep into your psyche or whatever. Inventing all kinds of crazy motivations for one’s political opponents is, at its core, nothing more than an ad hominem attack.

    That said though, you do have this tendency to slip into sensationalist hyperbole, which does serve to undermine your credibility. For example, stuff like this:

    So when the privates sector collapses under the weight of social engineering exercises such as this, we’ll be living in caves again, and feminists still won’t understand what went wrong.

    Really, in caves ? Will we forget how to make fire, too ? Come on now.

  46. 46
    ildi

    2. All the longitudinal studies of which I’m aware show that when female representation on boards is increased, financial performance declines. This is true regardless of the mechanism by which that representation is increased.
    3. No longitudinal studies show an improved financial performance resulting from more women being appointed to boards, or even no impact on financial performance.

    Maybe you should check Google scholar again. I think you missed quite a few studies. I looked at your list, and it is sadly cherry-picked.

    4. Studies purporting to show a link to improved financial performance show only correlations, and every such study makes it perfectly clear that correlations aren’t evidence of causation, and don’t even imply it.

    This also applies to your studies under 2.

  47. 47
    Mike Buchanan

    @ ildi

    “Maybe you should check Google scholar again. I think you missed quite a few studies. I looked at your list, and it is sadly cherry-picked.”

    Thank you. I’ve spent probably 3,000+ hours on this matter since May 2012. I invite you to point me to even one longitudinal study (I repeat, LONGITUDINAL STUDY) which shows a link between increased female representation on boards, and improved financial performance. Nobody has ever done so, so good luck trying to be the first to do so.

    “This also applies to your studies under 2.”

    You appear not to understand the nature of longitudinal studies. I invite you to challenge anything about the longitudinal studies we cite.

  48. 48
    ildi

    Dobbin, F., & Jung, J. (2010). Corporate board gender diversity and stock performance: The competence gap or institutional investor bias. NCL Rev., 89, 809.

    INTRODUCTION
    Women have been gaining ground on corporate boards. They held 14.8% of Fortune 500 seats in 2007.1
    Yet the effect of women on corporate performance is a matter of some debate. Studies using data at one or two points in time find that gender diversity on boards is associated with higher stock values and greater profitability. However, studies using panel data over a number of years, which explore the effects of adding women to boards, generally show no effects3or negative effects.4This suggests that the association between board diversity and performance identified in cross-sectional studies is spurious—a consequence perhaps of the fact that successful firms appoint women to their boards.5

    Scholars have assumed that if board diversity affects corporate performance, it is through its influence on group processes in the boardroom. Thus they draw on theories from social psychology about groups.6On the positive side, gender and racial diversity may operate as occupational diversity does in small groups, enabling groups to come to better decisions and to come to them more quickly.7On the negative side, gender and racial diversity have been found to increase conflict in small groups, and this may inhibit their decision-making capacity.8

    We explore another mechanism linking board diversity to firm performance. For certain performance outcomes, notably stock price, what goes on in board meetings may be of less importance than what goes on in the equities markets. Boards themselves are attuned to their effects on stock price, and, in the appointment of CEOs, they think long and hard about the signals they want to send to markets.9If stock markets react to the appointment of new CEOs, we argue, they may likewise react to the appointment of board members.10A study of directors, managers, shareholders, and regulators revealed a widespread belief that board appointments are used to send signals to shareholders and others.11A recent study using British data suggested that women on corporate boards have adverse effects on subjectively established measures of corporate performance, such as stock price, which is established through the behavior of stock market participants, but not on objectively established measures, such as profitability, which is established using accounting standards.12Our argument builds on that line of thinking. Bias may shape the stock market performance of firms, but it is less likely to shape their profitability.

    Our research represents a significant departure, then, from most previous research on board diversity, profitability, and stock performance. We explore how the institutional investor community influences board diversity and stock price. First, we posit that boards are attentive to the demands of institutional investors for greater board diversity. Second, we expect that, paradoxically, investor decision making is influenced by gender bias and that the typical investor will reduce holdings in firms that appoint female directors. Third, we suggest that accountability apprehension will mediate this process, such that visible blockholding institutional fund managers (who hold at least five percent of the stock of a company) and public pension fund managers (who as a group pressed for board diversity) will be less likely to act on gender bias. The behavior of major investors, we suggest, is more likely to be scrutinized by other players in the stock market.

    We examine whether board appointments are influenced by institutional investors and whether appointments in turn influence investors. We model these processes by observing year-to-year changes in board diversity, on the one hand, and in corporate performance and institutional investor holdings, on the other, building on the rigorous longitudinal studies that explore whether changes in board diversity lead to changes in performance.13We use panel data on more than 400 large U.S. firms for the period 1997 to 2006. To test the hypothesis that institutional investor behavior has promoted board diversity, we examine the effects of shareholder proposals for board diversity spearheaded by institutional investors. Several studies suggest that institutional investors can be effective at shaping corporate social behavior.14To test the hypothesis that board diversity activates gender bias on the part of institutional investors, we look at the effects of diversity on stock price and on institutional investor holdings. We rule out the possibility that female directors influence investor holdings by altering board performance and profitability, showing that board diversity has no effect on profits. Finally, to test the hypothesis that accountability apprehension mediates the effect of gender bias on investor behavior, we examine whether blockholding institutional investors and public pension funds are less likely to reduce their holdings in firms that appoint female directors. Both kinds of investors are susceptible to public accountability: blockholders because of the magnitude of their positions in firms, and public pension funds because they were vocal proponents of board diversity.15

    In this Article, we begin by reviewing social psychological research on group composition and performance that has inspired much of the research on board diversity and performance. In the second section, we discuss previous research findings and detail methodological flaws that may explain the divergence in the results from cross-sectional and panel studies. We then turn to our own theories. We predict that pressure from institutional investors, through shareholder proposals, encourages firms to appoint female board members. But we predict that bias among institutional investors depresses the share prices of firms that appoint female directors without producing a corresponding negative effect on profits. In the data analysis, we follow 432 major U.S. corporations between 1997 and 2006 to examine the effects of shareholder proposals on board diversity and, in turn, the effects of changes in board gender diversity on both share price and profitability. The findings support our central predictions. In the conclusion we discuss further research that could help us to better understand the relationships between boards, profits, and stock price, and we call for institutional investors to scrutinize their own behavior in the face of increasing board diversity.

    Smith, N., Smith, V., & Verner, M. (2006). Do women in top management affect firm performance? A panel study of 2,500 Danish firms. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 55(7), 569-593.

    Abstract: Purpose – This paper aims to examine the relationship between management diversity and firm performance in the case of women in top executive jobs and on boards of directors. Corporate governance literature argues that board diversity is potentially positively related to firm performance. This hypothesis is tested in the paper.

    Design/methodology/approach – In this paper with the use of data for the 2,500 largest Danish firms observed during the period 1993-2001 various statistical models for firm performance are specified and estimated. The main focus in the models is the estimated relationship between the proportion of women in top management (CEOs and on boards of directors) and firm performance.

    Findings – The results in this paper show that the proportion of women in top management jobs tends to have positive effects on firm performance, even after controlling for numerous characteristics of the firm and direction of causality. The results show that the positive effects of women in top management strongly depend on the qualifications of female top managers.

    Originality/value – This paper provides solid statistical evidence of the effects of women in top management on firm performance. The use of a large sample and the panel nature of the data set make it possible to properly control for direction of causality and, furthermore, much firm and individual information is included to estimate genuine effects of women in top management.

    Erhardt, N. L., Werbel, J. D., & Shrader, C. B. (2003). Board of director diversity and firm financial performance. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 11(2), 102-111.

    Abstract
    This study examines the relationship between demographic diversity on boards of directors with firm financial performance. This relationship is examined using 1993 and 1998 financial performance data (return on asset and investment) and the percentage of women and minorities on boards of directors for 127 large US companies. Correlation and regression analyses indicate board diversity is positively associated with these financial indicators of firm performance. Implications for both strategic human resource management and future research are discussed.

  49. 49
    Lurkatron 3000

    I don’t know if this is a big ask, and I am not trying to derail the conversation.

    There is this one thing that always bugs me in conversations like this. I myself am horrible at seeing the kind of broad pictures needed, to discover something like when and where a news item came from. How do you, Ally, get a broad understanding of something like how the various newspapers, and the various columnists, tend to write in relation to feminist issues – do you read alot of newspapers on a daily basis?

    This isn’t some slick questioning to find out whether you really know what you know, I just honestly don’t understand how I could get the kind of perspective you seem to have. I mean, I think I might be able to, with many hours put into the effort, get some crude understanding of the writing tendencies, of a couple of journalists, in maybe a single newspaper. What’s your process for coming to this understanding?

    Hope this isn’t too much of an ask, and if it is, I am sorry – you don’t have to respond at all :)

  50. 50
    Mike Buchanan

    @ ildi (48)

    Thanks for pointing to these reports. We’ll check them out and comment in due course.

  51. 51
    Ally Fogg

    Lurkatron3000

    Not a big ask at all, although quite a difficult answer!

    The short answer is yes, I’m a professional journalist and communicator so I spend an awful lot of time reading newspapers etc, mostly online, and quite a lot of books too. I’ve also been doing this for about 20 years and I did academic research for 6 years before that, so I’ve absorbed quite a lot of info over the years. I also follow a lot of academic social science updates in things that interest me, so I get quite a lot of info from there.

    After a while you kind of develop a sense of where stuff is coming from, what is credible and what isn’t, and I’m also pretty fast at zipping across stuff and filtering out the crap, but it is hard to express it as a formula. You just kind of develop a nose for stuff. Sorry I can’t be more specific!

  52. 52
    Lurkatron 3000

    Many thanks for an unexpectedly speedy response!

    I think that satisfies my question very well. It sounds very taxing to my mind, but perhaps it’s just a routine that builds up thanks to interest. Again, thanks very much for elaborating :)

  53. 53
    summerblues

    OT again:

    I found this documentary interesting: “Girl 27″. It only has a rating of 6.1 on IMDB, criticisms seem to be about the filmmaker himself. It’s about a 1937 rape and cover up. The filmmaker found the girl (a grandma by the time of her death in 2003) and got her to talk a bit.

  54. 54
    ildi

    Mike: there are plenty more where those came from, but there wasn’t enough detail in the abstracts to evaluate methodology and/or results and you have to pay for the article itself. I found these spending just a couple of hours searching and using the first keywords that came to mind. If I was going to write a white paper on the topic, I would pay for the relevant articles (those that support AND go against my hypothesis) .

    Also, I used to conduct research back in a previous life before I changed careers, so I know what I’ve forgotten and what I don’t know. It is overly simplistic to say that only longitudinal studies show causation, and that they always indicate causation and that cross-sectional studies cannot.

  55. 55
    lelapaletute

    @ildi 54:

    If I was going to write a white paper on the topic, I would pay for the relevant articles (those that support AND go against my hypothesis).

    Thanks for this, it’s a very important point. I’ve done a couple of research degrees, which, of course, involved reading the research of a lot of other people, or the theses they had propounded from their own literature review of others’ research. It’s amazing how often people with a pre-concieved ideology seem to imagine it is sufficient to find several not-completely-discredited sources which support that pre-concieved ideiology, whilst COMPLETELY DISREGARDING anything material that contradicts it, and calling that ‘thorough research’. If anything, you need to read the works that conflict with your theory more thoroughly than those which concur, to ensure that your argument covers all these conflicts. Otherwise, you will tend to get caught out when required to defend your position.

  56. 56
    lelapaletute

    Having said that, I think this sort of behaviour is a lot easier to get away with in non-science subjects; some of the so called methodology that can be gotten away with in my fields would be howled out the lab by any scientist.

  57. 57
    Mike Buchanan

    @ ildi (54) lela (55)

    “If I was going to write a white paper on the topic, I would pay for the relevant articles (those that support AND go against my hypothesis).”

    That’s a fair point, but this is the first time anyone has pointed us to articles which MIGHT show a causal link between more women on boards and an improvement in performance, or no impact.

    There are many academic proponents of ‘more women on boards’, as well as others, e.g. the army of civil servants working on ‘equality and ‘diversity’ initiatives at DBIS, EHRC etc… who could shut down Campaign for Merit in Business today if they could demonstrate the existence of an evidence base showing a causal link with improved performance, comparable with our evidence base. The resources at their fingertips – in terms of people and money – at their fingertips are ENORMOUS compared to ours, so why haven’t they done so?

    The leading academic proponent of more women on boards is Prof Susan Vinnicombe, who founded the Cranfield Intnl Centre for Women Leaders in 1999 and runs it to this day. We’ve been relentless in our challenging of proponents of artificial measures (e.g. quotas, or the threat of them) to increase female representation on boards. I have a simple question for you. Why wouldn’t these people take 10 minutes out of their day to prove to us, and others, that a strong evidence base exists comparable with our evidence base?

    Prof Vinnicombe indirectly answered that question in a response to a question put by a peer in a House of Lords inquiry, in July 2012:

    http://c4mb.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/a-remarkable-statement-by-a-leading-proponent-of-improved-gender-diversity-in-the-boardroom/

    The key extract is here:

    “… there has been quite a push in the past – indeed, we ourselves have engaged in such research – to look at the relationship between having women on corporate boards and financial performance. We do not subscribe to this research. We have shared it with chairmen and they do not think that it makes sense. We agree that it does not make sense. You cannot correlate two or three women on a massive corporate board with a return on investment, return on equity, turnover or profits. We have dropped such research in the past five years and I am pleased to say that Catalyst, which claims to have done a ground-breaking study on this in the US, officially dropped this line of argument last September.”

    Not a week goes by in which I don’t receive an email from someone citing Catalyst reports as evidence of a positive causal link, although those very same studies make it perfectly clear they’re reporting correlations and not causation.

    @ lela

    “It’s amazing how often people with a pre-concieved ideology seem to imagine it is sufficient to find several not-completely-discredited sources which support that pre-concieved ideiology, whilst COMPLETELY DISREGARDING anything material that contradicts it, and calling that ‘thorough research’.”

    “…several not-completely-discredited sources…” Are you referring to the five longitudinal studies we cite? If so, you have to be joking. Nobody has come within a country mile of discrediting ANY of them at all, never mind ‘not completely’, to the best of my knowledge. If you know better, please let me know.

    “…whilst COMPLETELY DISREGARDING anything material that contradicts it…”

    Since May 2012 we’ve challenged hundreds of proponents of ‘more women on boards’ to supply any such material – i.e. longitudinal studies – and nothing has ever been forthcoming until now. We’re going to review the studies ildi just submitted. But the idea that we’ve gone in for any ‘complete disregarding’ is a gross misrepresentation of the truth. However, I’ve become used to being misrepresented, and C4MB is going to press on until and unless our evidence base is discredited, or an equally substantive evidence base is presented which shows more women on boards leads to enhanced corporate performance.

    If the evidence eventually turns out to be mixed, the big question remains. Why should we take just one group of people (women) and go to a great deal of trouble to advance them, when the same isn’t done for other ‘under-represented’ groups on corporate boards. Why are there not campaigns for major corporate boards to have more black people, Welsh people, one-legged people, people with red hair…? Short one-legged Welsh people would surely single-handedly double the profitability of major companies. On a more serious note, these groups of people aren’t utterly shameless, nor able to bend politicians and senior business people around their little fingers.

  58. 58
    ildi

    Since May 2012 we’ve challenged hundreds of proponents of ‘more women on boards’ to supply any such material – i.e. longitudinal studies – and nothing has ever been forthcoming until now.

    The point you seem to be missing is if you knew what you were doing these studies would be jumping out at you. I recommend learning the basics of how to interpret social science research first, maybe that would help (hint: you don’t evaluate individual studies in a vacuum).

    Why should we take just one group of people (women) and go to a great deal of trouble to advance them, when the same isn’t done for other ‘under-represented’ groups on corporate boards. Why are there not campaigns for major corporate boards to have more black people… [translation of the rest of the paragrah: I hate it when women achieve positions of power]

    Let’s see, there’s the Alliance for Board Diversity, the Minority Business Roundtable, Diversity Executive… Google is your friend.

  59. 59
    lelapaletute

    @Mike:

    That’s a fair point, but this is the first time anyone has pointed us to articles which MIGHT show a causal link between more women on boards and an improvement in performance, or no impact.

    The thing about research is, you don’t just find the bits of evidence you like, assume a position on the basis of them, and wait for other people to point out evidence to you which undermines that position. It’s not the business of other people to complete your research for you. You’re supposed to go out and look for it yourself.

    There are many academic proponents of ‘more women on boards’, as well as others, e.g. the army of civil servants working on ‘equality and ‘diversity’ initiatives at DBIS, EHRC etc… who could shut down Campaign for Merit in Business today if they could demonstrate the existence of an evidence base showing a causal link with improved performance, comparable with our evidence base. The resources at their fingertips – in terms of people and money – at their fingertips are ENORMOUS compared to ours, so why haven’t they done so?

    [...]

    We’ve been relentless in our challenging of proponents of artificial measures (e.g. quotas, or the threat of them) to increase female representation on boards. I have a simple question for you. Why wouldn’t these people take 10 minutes out of their day to prove to us, and others, that a strong evidence base exists comparable with our evidence base?

    I’m going to take a wild guess and say because they’re not interested in ‘shutting down’ your campaign, because you are not supported by a sufficient number of people to pose any kind of consideration to them.

    “…several not-completely-discredited sources…” Are you referring to the five longitudinal studies we cite?

    No, actually, I wasn’t. As you could see if you had read what I wrote. I was discussing research and academic theses I had come across in the course of my own two research degrees. As these were about the interactions of transexuals with radical feminism, and library services respectively, your 5 longitudinal studies did not fall within my purview.

    If the evidence eventually turns out to be mixed, the big question remains. Why should we take just one group of people (women) and go to a great deal of trouble to advance them, when the same isn’t done for other ‘under-represented’ groups on corporate boards. Why are there not campaigns for major corporate boards to have more black people, Welsh people, one-legged people, people with red hair…?

    Actually, there are a lot of schemes promoting social mobility and better corporate representation of minorities of all sorts; the firm I work for engages with several of these schemes. Plenty of middle class white men don’t like them either. I guess these campaigns don’t get quite as much press because they are promoting the cause of, well, minorities, not half the population of the country, so the middle class white men in authority don’t feel quite so threatened by them.

    Short one-legged Welsh people would surely single-handedly double the profitability of major companies

    Ahahaha. Got any good ‘black, disabled lesbian’ jokes as well Mike? I’m sure they go down a storm at the IEA.

    On a more serious note, these groups of people aren’t utterly shameless, nor able to bend politicians and senior business people around their little fingers.

    I know, I know, bloody women eh, with their manipulative, womanly wiles, callously using their magic powers to victimise the most powerful men on the planet, forcing them to be accessories to their hell-bent quest to put us all back in the caves. Tch.

  60. 60
    Mike Buchanan

    @ lela

    Too pushed for time to post a detailed comment about your last piece, but I see you mention the villains of the piece, ‘middle-class white men’. Wow. Class hatred, racism and sexism in so short a phrase. Did you not think to add another classic, ageism, as in ‘middle-aged’? Presumably middle-class white men need not apply for jobs with your company?

  61. 61
    lelapaletute

    Too pushed for time to post a detailed comment about your last piece, but I see you mention the villains of the piece, ‘middle-class white men’. Wow. Class hatred, racism and sexism in so short a phrase. Did you not think to add another classic, ageism, as in ‘middle-aged’? Presumably middle-class white men need not apply for jobs with your company?

    I never said they were the villains of any ‘piece’. I noted that the positions of power in politics and business are overwhelmingly dominated by this demographic, and that the majority of the resistance to campaigns for greater diversity tend to be from this demographic, presumably because they feel their own demographic’s dominance is being challenged. I specifically said ‘a lot of middle class white men don’t like [diversity programmes not to do with gender] either’, not just ‘middle class white men’; and that it was the ‘middle class white men in authority’ (again, note, not ‘all middle class white men’) who did not feel as threatened by these other diversity programmes as they do by those focussed on women. So try though you might, I’m afraid you can’t have me on class hatred, racism or sexism. Mainly because I’m guilty of none of them.

    Middle class white men (middle-aged too, now you mention it) make up the overwhelming majority of the senior staff at my place of work. I hardly think another would have any trouble getting in. Nor would he if I ran the company and had the opportunity to exercise my non-existent class-hatred, racism, sexism and ageism at will, provided he was the best person for the job.

    Have you noticed that you seem to assume I approve of and support quotas for women simply because I am one, and unlike you, don’t think women in positions of authority will lead to the end of civilisation as we know it? You’ve never actually asked where I stand on the issue, you just assume because I don’t agree with you I must be part of the feminist axis of quota-mandating evil…

  62. 62
    Mike Buchanan

    @ lela

    “I noted that the positions of power in politics and business are overwhelmingly dominated by this demographic, and that the majority of the resistance to campaigns for greater diversity tend to be from this demographic, presumably because they feel their own demographic’s dominance is being challenged.”

    After working in senior positions in business for 30+ years (1979 – 2010) I can assure you ‘this demographic’ hasn’t the SLIGHTEST sense of group identity. To believe otherwise is to project collectivist notions of group identity. In stark contrast to the baseless glass ceiling conspiracy theory, ‘this demographic’ promoted markedly more women than men beyond the level which their competences and work ethic merited, in order to ‘improve’ gender diversity at senior levels. The results were often not encouraging – breakdowns, substance abuse… The most talented woman I ever encountered in my own line of work quit her senior-level career with a global logistics company in her 40s to buy a small upmarket lingerie shop, with a little help from her rich husband. That was 10 years ago, and she’s very happy with her life.

    We recently posted a piece about Michel Landel, global CEO of a French multinational, Sodexo. He’s a director of Catalyst, the influential New York-based feminist organisation fighting for higher female representation on boards:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/michel-landel-ceo-of-sodexo-is-a-director-of-catalyst-inc-a-feminist-campaigning-organisation-no-seriously-he-is/

    To be fair, I guess his annual remuneration of £2.7 million puts him a bit above ‘middle-class’.

    So what’s the pattern here? Men in positions of power hand over power to women on a plate, and those women use that power to discriminate against men, and specifically ‘white middle-class middle-aged men’. Yeah, that makes sense. Can’t see how that might turn out badly.

    What resistance to campaigns for greater diversity exists, in ‘this demographic’ or any other? I’m not aware of one. J4MB and C4MB don’t object to more diversity on the grounds of merit. I couldn’t care less if 100% of FTSE100 directors were women, if they reached those positions on the grounds of merit. But the entire point of gender quotas, or the threat of them, is to advance women further than their competence and work ethic would otherwise take them. Here’s a little clue. The overwhelming majority of female directors in the FTSE100 are appointed as non-executive directors. Now why might that be?

    Margaret Thatcher became prime minister in 1979 – 34 years ago – on the grounds of merit, and led the Conservatives to two more election victories, so clearly the British public thought she had merit. Maybe one day another female politician will emerge with as much merit, and a similar work ethic. Can’t think of any likely contenders at the moment, to be honest… but maybe I haven’t done enough research on the matter.

    Let’s look at the bottom line shall we? It’s a damned sight easier for women to advance through gender initiatives than through hard work and merit.

  63. 63
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ally

    A quick note to let you know that AVfM has modified the piece on the EU’s aim to ban anti-feminist speech (link below) and have accordingly published it. It’s important to read the introductory paragraph by Dean Esmay.

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/suggested-reading/eu-to-ban-anti-feminist-speech/

  64. 64
    Ally Fogg

    Mike – (63)

    A quick glance and it is still utterly riddled with errors.

    Even the title is an out-and-out lie. “EU aims to ban anti-feminist speech”

    There’s not an iota of a reason to believe the E.U aims to do any such thing.

  65. 65
    doublereed

    Wow, I had no idea AVfM were so libertarian. And of course, by “libertarian,” I mean “far-right nutjobs.” But I guess that’s why the SPLC talked about them. Seriously, that screed is full of the same kind of nonsense as the Patriot Movement or Ron Paul or Paul Ryan. Yikes.

  66. 66
    Mike Buchanan

    AVfM have discredited the SPLC myth so often it honestly gives me a migraine even to mention the fact. Dean Esmay comprehensively blasted the SPLC myth out of the water on one of Ally’s earlier blogs, and I’m not going to take time out to track it down. Left-wing narratives are so immune to discrediting, it truly beggars belief. When you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes a truth for many people. But not for people who are alert to the lies. And the number of those people rises with every day that passes. The tide of history is turning against the left. About… damned… time.

    Have a nice day.

  67. 67
    JT

    The tide of history is turning against the left. About… damned… time.(Mike)

    And here you go again, showing your true colours. Fucking Politics. Funny thing is, in a roundabout way you might even help some boys in the end. But certainly not because you actually cared.

  68. 68
    Mike Buchanan

    @ JT

    “And here you go again, showing your true colours. Fucking Politics. Funny thing is, in a roundabout way you might even help some boys in the end. But certainly not because you actually cared.”

    Thank you. I struggle to believe we’ll ever see men’s and boys’ interests getting onto the political ‘radar’ until and unless politicians start to fear losing seats if they carry on as they are. Most of the assaults on men and boys have come from the Left, and I see no reason not to point out that blindingly obvious fact. I lead a political party, albeit a recently-founded one, do you really expect me not to raise ‘f***ing politics’? I work full-time on my campaigns and earn not a penny in doing so – indeed I put money from my pensions into funding the campaigns – and you doubt that I ‘care’? Trust me, I do, and so do the party’ supporters and donors. Many of them are left-of-centre, and some have reservations about my political leanings, but they believe that what J4MB is trying to do transcends the left-right political divide. Nobody on the Left has so far bothered to set up a men’s rights party. If and when they do they’ll get J4MB’s full support, as I’ve said on many occasions.

    I repeat my point that none of the last three Labour administrations (1997 – 2010) did anything remotely along the lines of the proposals in Ally’s manifesto. The Tories under Cameron have been no better, which is why we’re targeting Tory marginal seats in 2015. The party hasn’t to date supported marriage or the nuclear family any more than Labour did, though doubtless they’ll throw the traditionalists a bone at some point nearer to the general election.

    We will have no reservations at later elections in targeting the most anti-male party, whether on the left or right, because only then MIGHT we get men’s and boys’ human rights onto political agendas.

  69. 69
    carnation

    @ Mike Buchanan 66

    Good morning Mike, I trust that you are well.

    I was wondering if you’d like to join me in condemning the following sexist statements:

    “if only it had been Lehman sisters”

    ““our current gender zeitgeist is one that has promoted and enabled such a degree of female narcissism and entitlement that it has now produced two generations of women that are for the most part, shallow, self-serving wastes of human existence—parasites—semi-human black holes that suck resources and goodwill out of men and squander them on the mindless pursuit of vanity.”

  70. 70
    Mike Buchanan

    @ carnation

    Good morning. I’m well thanks, you too, I hope?

    I’m against all forms of sexism, so I’m not going to spend my time commenting on individual sexist comments, whether they’re anti-male or anti-female. I’ve used up my annual time allotment for engaging with feminists in the past couple of weeks in responding to Ally’s blog posts, and the people who have commented.

    I would remind you of the book written in the late 1960s by the feminist who shot and very nearly killed Andy Warhol. Valerie Solanas’s book ‘The SCUM Manifesto’ – SCUM being the acronym for ‘Society for Cutting Up Men’ – remains in print 45+ years after it was published and from memory it’s been translated into over 10 languages. There are no anti-women books with anything approaching that level of sustained commercial success. One or two people have suggested I use Google more for searching out materials. I invite people to do the same with respect to this book, and see what support it has.

  71. 71
    carnation

    @ Mike Buchanan

    I am very well, thank you.

    Ah, the SCUM manifesto… I’ve never read it, so perhaps shouldn’t comment, but it’s rather amusing that the only people who view it as an *actual* manifesto are those that need to convince themselves of the inherent evil of “feminism” (as they misunderstand it).

    Mien Kampf, for example, has sold millions of copies, but whilst being an actual manifesto, isn’t consumed as such by many readers. The same with The Turner Diaries (I have read that), the “bible of the far right.” People like to be shocked and outraged. MRAs need the SCUM Manifesto like RadFems need avfm – convince themselves of their need to exist, and enjoy the camaraderie and (false) sense of accomplishment at “fighting” an imaginary and ineffectual enemy.

    The avfm blog has thousands of visitors (the reason the fellows over there belive they are “winning” amusingly), I would guess the vast majority are rubbernecking, not actually taking the “theory” within terribly seriously.

    Offtopic, but I was driving through Scotland on business recently and chanced upon this place – please do follow the link, I think it will make you smile and possibly grant you a photo opportunity:

    http://www.j4m8.com/

  72. 72
    Dani Wells

    There’s a very good point, a fundamental one, that I’m not sure has been thoroughly talked about. It was mentioned in the studies that oppose Mike’s 5 studies. Oh, and I was also a paid researcher in the social sciences so I will double what others have said about knowing the research that doesn’t support your position.

    It seems to me that Mike taunts women’s business groups to come up with some ‘answer’ to his mere 5 studies, as if it’s their job and not his. This doesn’t surprise me though considering the character he’s displayed here and on the other post by Ally.

    I think there’s way too many confounding variables and the biggest one was in the study lila posted. The fact that we still live in a time where women are seen as not being able to do a better job than men imho is critical. If investors get nervous because women, no matter how many or in whatever position, are on boards then it totally makes sense that this would make it look like the business wasn’t doing well.

    It just makes sense to me to have women on boards. We make up half the population and we have what’s called ‘spending power.’ Our demographic SHOULD be represented. But of course, Mike thinks women are lesser beings and says he doesn’t mind if the promotion is ‘merited’ which to me means ‘if a bunch of older white guys think so.’

    Within a patriarchal structure where white hetero men are making up the majority of power in these businesses, it’s no wonder that the structure is inflexible to women being there and it’s not as if she can’t DO the job. It will take time to accommodate the differing needs of women. Workspace has to be healthy for all. Not just older white het men.

    Mike says he saw women ‘on pills’ and doing badly. Have you ever thought the work environment was a patriarchal nightmare for these women? Geez.

  73. 73
    Mike Buchanan

    @ carnation

    Thanks. You make some fair points, but to be honest I’ve not only not read The Turner Diaries, I haven’t even heard of the book, and don’t recall anyone ever mentioning it on AVfM or elsewhere. There are plenty of MHRAs who are left-of-centre, by the way.

    Thanks for the link to the obvious site to relocate our HQ to.

  74. 74
    carnation

    @ Mike Buchanan

    Oh, I wasn’t implying that MRAs were adherents to the Turner Diaries, or Mien Kampf, the point I was making is that controversial writings will be consumed mainly by people out of interest or a desire to be shocked, not to take political leadership from.

    Also, I haven’t seen a single feminist, let alone feminist movement, suggest that the SCUM manifesto should be taken seriously. Avfm claimed that some Swedes created and published a video calling for murder a la SCUM manifesto, but the claim was and is so breathtakingly stupid that I’m astonished anyone took it seriously.

  75. 75
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Dani

    “If investors get nervous because women, no matter how many or in whatever position, are on boards then it totally makes sense that this would make it look like the business wasn’t doing well.”

    It totally does NOT make sense. Are you suggesting that investors make companies who take on female directors perform badly?

    “It just makes sense to me to have women on boards. We make up half the population…”

    Here we go again. Maybe the English football team should alternate between having five and six female players? Maybe women should take up half the jobs in lines of work which kill and injure so many men? 126 of 128 people who dies in work-related incidents in the UK last year were men. It’s always the same pattern. Women want to be advantaged into well-paid low-risk lines of work.

    In the business context ‘half the population’ might start to make sense as an argument if as many women as men were ‘work-centred’ as men. But they’re not. Catherine Hakim’s Preference Theory. Can’t be bothered to put up yet another link to it.

  76. 76
    Mike Buchanan

    @ carnation (74)

    “Oh, I wasn’t implying that MRAs were adherents to the Turner Diaries, or Mien Kampf, the point I was making is that controversial writings will be consumed mainly by people out of interest or a desire to be shocked, not to take political leadership from.”

    A fair point, well made, but what drives this ‘interest or a desire to be shocked’, if not misandry? And what explains the lack of an equivalent commercially successful anti-female book, other than that men don’t have that interest and desire? I know feminists see misogyny everywhere, but I think it’s overwhelmingly a projection with no basis in reality.

    I don’t say misogyny doesn’t exist, but I can assure you it’s a rare phenomenon among MHRAs and non-MHRAs alike. Indeed a number of people have commented to me their surprise that even when men are treated appallingly by a woman or women, their antipathy afterwards is towards that woman or those women, not towards women in general. It’s true even of Ian McNicoll, who I had the honour of meeting at a Conference recently. He was a survivor (just) of the most brutal DV:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/ian-mcnicoll-we-salute-you/

    By contrast, my experience has been that many women – and the most vociferous feminists in particular – are deeply driven by misandry, often because of their experience of an individual man or men (often fathers or partners). Feminism gives them the mechanism to attack men in general. The absence of a male equivalent to feminism – which isn’t going to change, in my view – means men have no way to attack women in general, even if they wanted to (and with rare exceptions, they don’t).

    It’s intriguing to witness feminists concluding from the fact that men (with few exceptions) won’t collaborate in the way women naturally do to fight for their collective interests, that the MHRM will not succeed. They’re wrong, and that will become more evident with each passing year. This movement is gathering pace and it can’t be stopped now.

  77. 77
    freja

    I don’t say this enough because it’s always more tempting to respond when you disagree, but great job Ally, here and in general. And great job everyone else debunking Mike on this too :-)

  78. 78
    ildi

    And what explains the lack of an equivalent commercially successful anti-female book,…

    You think a “pamphlet which has become one of the longest surviving perennials of anarchist publishing” was commercially successful? I’m interested in seeing your numbers on that one. In any event, I would guess the Bible is many times more commercially successful even though most of the copies seem to be given away.

  79. 79
    Ellesar

    I have seen ‘feminisation’ used here (by Buchanan) as if it is synonymous with feminism. Not so. Whether society has been feminised or not, and whether this is a good thing or not, it is NOT the same thing as feminism. There are many many women who have power and influence in our society who are not feminists.

    When I see this conflation (and it is common) it further convinces me that someone like Buchanan is simply a misogynist – that if he could have a world where women just looked pretty, had sex with him, gave him a nice meal and looked after the children in a suitable dutiful and submissive way he would be happy. However, even non feminist women tend to want more out of life than being whore, mother and wife, so I guess Buchanan and those of his ilk should just content themselves with a stack of Doris Day dvd’s!

  80. 80
    Ellesar

    In response to Post 70:

    The Holy Bible – Old Testament primarily

  81. 81
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ellesar (79)

    “I have seen ‘feminisation’ used here (by Buchanan) as if it is synonymous with feminism. Not so.”

    I’ve never done that, and I’m sorry if you think I have. Whether you genuinely think I have, or you’re just misrepresenting me in order to criticise me, I have no way of knowing, and little interest in finding out. When I talk of feminisation it’s almost invariably with respect to the increasing proportion of women in certain lines of work in the public sector (most notably education and the NHS) which has inexorably driven down standards and driven up the amount of taxes needed to keep up even the illusion of well-run organisations.

    “When I see this conflation (and it is common) it further convinces me that someone like Buchanan is simply a misogynist…”

    Given that I’ve just explained I don’t conflate the two terms, are you less convinced? The charge of misogyny is one which makes me (and every other MHRA of my acquaintance) either yawn or laugh these days. It’s used by people unable and/or unwilling to engage in rational debate. It’s a shaming tactic designed to stop men voicing opinions about gender-related matters. Now for the good news. It’s becoming an increasingly ineffective weapon against men, and in the past 40+ years feminists haven’t come up with an alternative with anything like the same power. And that’s why, for all their whining and screeching and manipulating of institutions, feminists are on the wrong side of history. I recommend the following YouTube channel of around 80 videos, ‘Women Against Feminism’:

    http://www.youtube.com/WomanAgainstFeminism

    Feminists and their male collaborators are rapidly losing control of online narratives. In time they’ll inevitably lose control of narratives in the mass media as well. Can’t wait.

  82. 82
    carnation

    @ Mike Buchanan

    Using your own rationale, the continuing sales of Mein Kampf are driven by a widespread, yet undocumented or acted upon, desire to establish a greater Germanic Europe homeland for the sole purpose of preserving and seeing the Aryan race. Similarly, the continuing popularity of the film The Exorcist would be driven by Catholic or Satanic adherents wanting to see their inner spiritual battles acted out.

    I’m afraid that your point is easily disputed and dismissed.

    As to the existence of commercially successful anti-woman (broad definition, thematic or gory depictions of women being tortured/victimised) cultural artefacts:

    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2010/jun/03/women-violence-killer-inside-me-feminism

    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2012/09/watching_fatal_attraction_25_years_later.html

    Mad Men

    American Psycho

    Arguably some/most pornography

    The bible

    Deep Throat

    The list goes on and on, and, of course, each inclusion could lead to. Debate. But what is absolutely without doubt is that the interest in the SCUM manifesto is not driven by misandry.

    “It’s intriguing to witness feminists concluding from the fact that men (with few exceptions) won’t collaborate in the way women naturally do to fight for their collective interests, that the MHRM will not succeed. They’re wrong, and that will become more evident with each passing year. This movement is gathering pace and it can’t be stopped now.”

    As much as you want this to be true, Mike, it isn’t. The movement isn’t a movement, it’s a collection of disparate bloggers engaging in no activism whatsoever. you will not get your deposit back in any constituency that your party stands in. The rally in Canada was an embarrassment. The only publicity your “movement” gets is bad publicity. You and Tom Martin are the most visible MRAs in the UK. Tom Martin is so ridiculous that I’m not sure he isn’t playing some kind of complicated joke on people. With all due respect, your party is doomed to failure.

    I do hope, however, that you’re having a lovely weekend.

  83. 83
    Mike Buchanan

    @ carnation

    I’m having a lovely weekend, thank you for asking. You too, I hope?

    “Using your own rationale, the continuing sales of Mein Kampf are driven by a widespread, yet undocumented or acted upon, desire to establish a greater Germanic Europe homeland for the sole purpose of preserving and seeing the Aryan race.”

    This doesn’t use my rationale. I presume the continued sales of Mein Kampf (whatever they are) are driven by a wish to better understand a man of considerable historical importance, albeit a deeply evil man. Whatever one might think of Valerie Solanas, she’s clearly not a person of considerable historical importance. So what might explain the continuing sales of ‘The SCUM manifesto’, when no comparable anti-female equivalent exists, even online (to the best of my knowledge)? By ‘comparable’ I mean a book which is commercially available, decade after decade. If interest in TSM isn’t driven by misandry, what IS it driven by?

    Pornography? Oh dear. I’m fairly sure the throat in ‘Deep Throat’ belonged to an actress who profited handsomely from appearing in the film. People who make pornographic videos aren’t short of women willing to perform in them. I once read an interview of a porn video producer who said she rejected maybe 2,000+ women for every woman who appeared in her videos. Now why wouldn’t those 2,000+ women try to carve out careers in… oh, I don’t know… engineering, instead? Doubtless the patriarchs (white, middle-class, middle-aged, obviously) shred the application forms of women wishing to embark on engineering careers? Er, no:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/our-public-challenge-to-nick-baveystock-director-general-of-the-institution-of-civil-engineers/

    “The movement isn’t a movement, it’s a collection of disparate bloggers engaging in no activism whatsoever.”

    It pains me to admit that for many years there’s been some truth in this statement, but the times they are a changin’, as I believe an American chap once said. History tells us that human rights movements burn slowly for a long time, then suddenly explode into the public consciousness. I see no reason why the MHRM should be any different. The only question is when that explosion might happen. With that in mind, I invite you to join a number of my party’s supporters (and donors) – men and women – in Cambridge, along with myself, next Tuesday evening:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/update-our-public-challenge-of-dr-jude-browne-director-of-gender-studies-cambridge-university/

  84. 84
    Dani Wells

    Ok, let’s try this again.

    Women on boards make investors nervous, they pull out. This makes it look like the business is doing bad b/c of women when in reality it’s a bunch of het privileged white guys who don’t want a woman in there. I’m not a professor of economics but it seems a fair criticism.

    Business is still a patriarchal model in many cases. This model isn’t exactly welcoming to women. You say you see women taking pills and I’m suggesting that the atmosphere in these businesses isn’t adapted for women’s presence. Which again might be why businesses do worse with women on boards. Has nothing to do with the quality of work of the women but the environment isn’t welcoming.

    Oh and football and sports are not the same as running a business. I don’t know why you would even compare the two unless you don’t think women are bright enough to be in business which it seems like you’re hell bent on ‘proving.’

    Oh and as far as women being in dangerous jobs, there you go again insisting that women aren’t there and aren’t taking part. Unless they’re forced in there by quotas well then we shouldn’t have quotas in business! It DOES matter in business when you’re serving that demographic: marketing and research. I don’t know how many miners who are marketing their product to the general public. Don’t be deliberately obtuse here Mike.

    And one more time, many women who have entered these dangerous occupations organize to make them less dangerous by educating men they don’t have to do the ‘macho’ thing and make stupid decisions on the job, by starting unions, etc. Thank you feminism.

    Then you say this little gem:
    “It’s becoming an increasingly ineffective weapon against men, and in the past 40+ years feminists haven’t come up with an alternative with anything like the same power. And that’s why, for all their whining and screeching and manipulating of institutions, feminists are on the wrong side of history. I recommend the following YouTube channel of around 80 videos, ‘Women Against Feminism”

    We realize that misogynist men don’t care when they’re called out on their woman hatred. We’re doing it because well, if the word fits. Telling us that feminists whine and screech, well, just more misogyny. Feminism has actually created a better world and I realize with your traditionalist bent you may want them out of the boardroom and back into the kitchen barefoot and pregnant but it’s not going to happen.

    That channel on Youtube is a laughingstock. I don’t know why a few women who hate women’s equality really should matter. There have always been a few women who want traditionalism like you do and who reject the goal of equality.

    Then you say this:
    “Whatever one might think of Valerie Solanas, she’s clearly not a person of considerable historical importance. So what might explain the continuing sales of ‘The SCUM manifesto’, when no comparable anti-female equivalent exists, even online (to the best of my knowledge)? By ‘comparable’ I mean a book which is commercially available, decade after decade. If interest in TSM isn’t driven by misandry, what IS it driven by? ”

    Valerie Solanas isn’t as well known as Hitler but you would think she was by all the MRA’s regurgitating quotes and then applying them to all feminists. The continuing sales of the SCUM manifesto? You do realize you can read it for free online right? In fact, there’s a popular torrent made by MRA’s where you can instantly d/l it. The interest is more than likely driven by the MRM which then in turn gets others to look at it.

    I don’t really have an issue with SCUM. I think it’s just a futuristic tale that’s equally hard on both sexes. I don’t know why you guys think this defines feminism but it’s quite silly to hear MRA’s say it.

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