This Boy Can’t – Need, fairness and the funding of education


Cast your minds back a moment, to the ancient days of 2014 and 2015. If you’re living in England you will probably remember the TV adverts, the billboards, the posters on the sides of bus shelters, boldly proclaiming that THIS GIRL CAN.

The campaign was the work of Sport England, a quango funded through the Department of Culture Media and Sport with money from the treasury and the National Lottery. It didn’t come cheap, at £10 million or thereabouts, but by all accounts it was highly successful.

This Girl Can had its critics, of course. Some commentators argued that using the word ‘girl’ was demeaning and suggested that the campaign was overly sexualised and objectified its participants. The complaints, however, were about the delivery, not the intent. The statistics are clear and concerning – far too few women are engaged in sport and fitness activities and everyone agrees that something should be done.

Compare this campaign to the one which ran around the same time, imploring us to READ LIKE A MAN. This campaign, targeted at teenage boys and young adult men, was motivated by concerns about the plummeting literacy attainment among our boys. The campaign championed the benefits of reading for pleasure, showing boys being taken off on wild adventures beyond the stars, discovering new wonders of the world and losing themselves in diverse fiction and non-fiction more vibrant than any videogame.

It is possible that the Read Like A Man campaign passed you by, because I will confess I just made it up. It never happened. Admittedly a handful of charities like the National Literacy Trust and the Fatherhood Institute run schemes to encourage fathers to read to their sons, but they do so on close to zero budget. Neither the DCMS nor the Department of Education fund any schemes specifically targeted at boys. There is no national Read Like A Man campaign or anything like it.

I bring up the contrast because this morning in the Guardian, Laura McInerney, who doubles as editor of Schools Week, is fretful. She has noticed that proposed new schools’ funding formulas would be weighted so that schools with greater spending needs would get slightly more money. This could throw up some odd consequences. One is that schools in the affluent south of England need to pay their teachers more as they have higher living costs so, perversely perhaps, schools in wealthier areas might get more money. This doesn’t seem to bother McInerney, however. What concerns her is that because boys are significantly underperforming relative to girls at all levels of academic achievement, schools with more boys (particularly single sex boys schools) will get a financial boost.

To be clear, this is not a deliberate affirmative action scheme. It is an inadvertent consequence of a gender-neutral system that prioritises needs. It just so happens that those with the greatest educational needs are more likely to be boys. However McInerney is worried because this might eventually lead to, well, as far as I can tell her only concern is that it just might lead to boys doing a little bit better.

In trying to justify her gut feeling that this simply cannot be right, she comes up with several arguments. One is this:

If boys are doing worse in tests when younger, at least some are later catching up, and when it comes to society at large the continued inequalities across top jobs suggests women’s exam achievements are still apparently not enough.

I’m not going to waste many pixels on this because the counter-arguments are so obvious. Firstly, those currently occupying top jobs were mostly educated in the 1970s and 80s, so their success has little relevance to current educational policies. Secondly, those men in the top jobs are, with very few exceptions, from privileged backgrounds, privately schooled and entirely remote from the experiences of the boys likely to benefit from a needs-based funding system.

Continuing that theme, the second argument she pulls out is that this year more boys than girls were accepted to Oxford.  Again, we need to ask ourselves just how relevant this is to anything, bearing in mind the pond from which that particular university fishes its students.  But even allowing for that, clicking through to the source it emerges that while last year nationally girls were 35% more likely than boys to attend university, at Oxford only 47% of new admissions were girls, 53% boys.  McInerney is arguing against a needs based funding system for around 10 million children because Oxford is (literally) about two hundred kids short of symmetry.

The only other argument McInerney presents is the most bizarre, and it brings us back full circle.

Although it is true that girls outperform boys in tests, there are many other areas where their participation isn’t equal. Take sport. Only about 30% of school-aged girls play sport once a week, compared with 40% of boys – and that number diminishes as they get older. By age 14, it is estimated just 10% of girls are playing enough sport to stay healthy. Is there a premium for low sport participation? No, there is not. “

The relatively low participation of girls in sport and fitness activities is a genuine problem, a real concern. Large amounts of public and quasi-public funding are already dedicated to highlighting and alleviating the problem but I would unreservedly welcome efforts to do more. If someone were to suggest that the schools funding formula be tweaked to allow for greater spending to encourage our daughters to spend more time in the gym, the pool or the sports hall I would cheer wholeheartedly.

Meanwhile the academic underachievement of boys is a genuine problem and a real concern. Pretty much zero public and quasi-public spending is already dedicated to highlighting and alleviating the problem. As the DoE admitted last year “The Department does not fund any initiatives that just focus on addressing boys’ underachievement”.

It is enormously depressing that even a token nod towards fairness is met with resistance and pushback from at least one of Britain’s most influential educationalists. Laura McInerney’s article doesn’t really make much sense. But it does at least show what we are up against.

Comments

  1. Thil says

    if I understand this McInerney’s argument seems to be something along the lines of “not helping boys do better at school is a way of mitigating the natural advantages they have in patriarchal system”?

  2. 123454321 says

    That Guardian article by Jessica Francome-Webb is the usual shit-filled feminist tripe we’ve all become accustomed to over the last few decades, designed to convince everyone that women, even when they are being helped, are still objectified at the behest of evil men. They whine relentlessly, claiming innocence, powerlessness and ultimate subjugation as they are supposedly subjected to the perverse and degrading male gaze. When in actual fact it’s simply down to the fact that typical feminist authors such as the aforementioned are nothing more than self-confessed, controlling, jealous, manipulative individuals who literally can’t stand the thought of other attractive women operating and competing within the same hemisphere because it (in their head) compromises their own sexual position in society. Emotions of pure jealousy and control which, strangely, for some unknown reason, doesn’t appear to manifest on the opening premiere of Magic Mike when these same feminist manipulators turn up in their droves as they lose their voices, get sore palms and scream and clap their way through the male torso stripping scenes, then afterwards celebrate victory via their blogs and column sections as they pathetically try to defend the situation as being ‘different’. How strange! How hypocritical! How childish! Wake up everyone, this is bad for society in so many ways.

    You keep talking about ‘fairness’ Ally. Like I’ve said before, there’s no such thing as fairness in life, it’s all about negotiation. You want a better position, you’re gonna have to fight for it, shout out loud, make demands, garner masses of support. Anyone seen the latest BT advert where the women slaps the guy for absolutely no fucking reason, and gets away with it without consequence? It would be ‘fair’ to have an advert depict a similar scenario with a role reversal, wouldn’t it, but it’s not going to happen, because historically, feminists (male and female) have successfully negotiated the unacceptability of the position with respect to women, whilst the other side has failed miserably to claim the same protection for men and boys. And people still think t’s only women and girls who are vulnerable in today’s world!! Will these people be happy when their Son gets slapped by his girlfriend in public for absolutely no reason! No wonder men and boys can’t get any respect from society, let alone funding. Wake the fuck up everyone. Respect, decency and funding for EVERYONE is what’s needed so STOP listening to the feminist indoctrination agenda because it’s an old-fashioned, out of tune 45 record that very few people want to dance to anymore!

    http://home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/internet/ryan-reynolds-stars-in-new-bt-advert-11364013285136

  3. Thil says

    She slapped him because part of the joke of the advert was that Reynolds is a crazy Hollywood guy and he presumably did something to provoke the act off screen then forgot, he was kind of doing a similar thing to his Deadpool character.

    It’s like having a woman slap Peter Griffin or Dr House, you don’t need to see them do something wrong to figure out they probably provoked the act.

  4. 123454321 says

    “She slapped him because part of the joke of the advert was that Reynolds is a crazy Hollywood guy and he presumably did something to provoke the act off screen then forgot, he was kind of doing a similar thing to his Deadpool character.
    It’s like having a woman slap Peter Griffin or Dr House, you don’t need to see them do something wrong to figure out they probably provoked the act.”

    Would a nine year old apply the same logic and come to the same conclusion? On daytime/primetime TV, too!
    Would the same logic being applied to a role reversal be considered appropriate at this time of day? I think not!
    Disgraceful DOUBLE STANDARDS penetrating our society, ignored by hypocritical feminists, often supported using various arrays of excuse-laden defence mechanisms designed to push men even further down the shit pile.

    I’m telling you, until we sort out the loose ends and the shards of glass littering society that paint men in this light, what chance have we got when it comes to garnering support/finances to support DM against men, or even their failing education as as written about in Ally’s blog!

    Most people seem to have this all the wrong way around. Geez, guys, start with the foundations if you want to support a proper social structure. Look at respect and decency first, start caring about men and boys, deconstruct privilege misalignments that are easy to deconstruct using a bit of common sense, and then work upwards from there. The marketing companies putting out this type of shit, as well as ASA, should be fucking ashamed of themselves.

  5. Marduk says

    McInnery’s timing is doubly bad given this also just came out which follows up on the “End of cycle”:
    http://www.hepi.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Boys-to-Men.pdf

    “But the evidence is compelling. Boys are performing worse than girls across primary, secondary and higher education, not to mention apprenticeships, and the situation is getting worse. On current trends, the gap between rich and poor will be eclipsed by the gap between males and females within a decade.”

    There seems to be a weird conflict going on in government over this. BIS think its a problem and have instructed HE they think its a problem, the DfE seems to be almost positively resisting caring about it and didn’t even mention boys in their last report on educational equalities (they went with geographical regions instead).

    I think if you read it from that position, applying a little “inside baseball”, what the Chief Executive of UCAS might be saying about feminisation of education could be read as a covert swipe at the institutional culture in the DfE.

    A wider issue in this might be that “equalities” is a career destination for graduate feminists. Nothing wrong with this in itself, its a topic they have invested in, but the problem seems to be they haven’t twigged yet that what their jobs require them to do has slowly lost alignment with their personal interests and prejudices. White working class men are now the lowest performing ethnic minority in the country; I’m not saying there is malice at work, it just doesn’t fit into any of their paradigms. I doubt they’d even know where to start if they did care about it.

  6. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    “White working class men are now the lowest performing ethnic minority in the country; I’m not saying there is malice at work, it just doesn’t fit into any of their paradigms. I doubt they’d even know where to start if they did care about it.”

    At the risk of stating the obvious, isn’t a major, major problem that the white working class were once-upon-a-time supported by the Labour movements? They no longer exist in any meaningful way, and the decline of industry hasn’t so much “feminised” society as removed the need for physical masculinity from it (broadly speaking).

    There are no shortage of agenda driven trash looking to capitalise on white, working-class, male disfranchisement, none of whom really care about the cohort in question; they just hate on and “other” another group and exploit latent fears and frustrations.

    Massive government funding, state intervention and imagination is needed to reverse this decline. It won’t happen under a Tory govt, it might under a Corbyn administration.

    The rise of the right is a tragedy for the great majority of the UK.

  7. Groan says

    It is indeed indicative of a serious problem within those supposedly charged with delivering the best education they can to enable all children to flourish. I don’t doubt this is a tough objective with many differences on the how . However it seems pretty basic that reading is one of the cornerstones of delivering an education. So it really is perverse, and really malicious do deliberately want to ignore the issue. This strand comes through in the GEA http://www.genderandeducation.com/resources/contexts/feminism/ with the same view that somehow boys simply don’t count because men educated in the 1970s run some big businesses. Have a read.

  8. Thil says

    123454321

    “Would a nine year old apply the same logic and come to the same conclusion?”

    I would have been able to come to this conclusion at 9. Maybe some hypothetical stupid 9 year old wouldn’t be able to, but I don’t think it’s the media’s responsibility to protect stupid 9 year olds from themselves.

    “Would the same logic being applied to a role reversal be considered appropriate at this time of day? I think not!”

    I think I’m not sure until such a controversy actually arises and I can judge the situation

  9. 123454321 says

    Thil

    So you’d be happy to support a role reversal? – man slaps woman for no apparent reason, unless you are “in the know” and can therefore ascertain the cryptic reasoning?

    Have you any idea how much subliminal damage that these pitiful excuses, which effectively lead to a lack of concern for men (not least lack of corrective action), are causing?

    You really want to support the apparently unprovoked slapping of someone in an advertisement? Seriously?

    By the way, I’d be on here like a shot with exactly the same message if I saw a man slapping a woman without reason or consequence in an advertisement….but there aren’t any, which is good – for women and girls, that is!

  10. 123454321 says

    Thil: “you don’t need to see them do something wrong to figure out they probably provoked the act.”

    Oh, ok, so a slap can be deemed ok in an advert, as long as the victim is male, as a measure against “doing something wrong”?

    I thought that a slap (physical contact designed to cause harm) was classed as ‘physical violence’ and was prohibited unless used in defence against opposing threat of ‘violence’.

    You’re justifying that a girl can slap her boyfriend when he “does something wrong”.

    Just how long shall we, as a society, keep promoting these concepts via our TV sets while knowing at the same time that many girls on the, say, first/third/twelfth?? slap get smack-punched in the face with a fist the size of a rugby ball, placing them squarely and firmly in a hospital bed for two weeks!!!

    How much longer, Thil?

  11. Paul says

    For a long time now the under achievement of boys has been viewed as being less deserving of attention than any under-achievement of girls.So for instance we hear a lot of discussion about the need for more to be done to get girls interested in sciences -where boys still perform better than girls- but little or nothing about most other subjects where the reverse is true.And amongst some feminists the under-achievement of boys is seen as being intrinsically linked with male shortcomings-ie the boys need to be more like girls.Whereas any under-achievement of girls is blamed on men, boys ,patriachy etc.

    Blaming feminists for this sexist double -standard is lazy thinking because those who have the power to change this are still mainly men who don’t identify as being feminists..And i’m sure plenty of women are also extremely concerned about the under-achievement of boys and the need for something to be done about it.Yet we’re living in a time where the needs of men and boys in this country are seen as being secondary to the needs of women and girls .And where boys are growing up in an environment where males are routinely either demonised or ridiculed.Additionally there has been some research which suggests that from an early age boys have internalized the idea that girls are better than they are.

    I’m not sure of the best way forward for this but without any research to back it up i’m increasingly coming to the conclusion that a combination of male chivalry and male indifference is the biggest obstacle to seriously challenging those whose primary concern is with the needs of women and girls in this country and even when that acts to the detriment of men and boys.

  12. Marduk says

    7.

    I meant feminised in a literal sense, the gender balance in teaching has collapsed. This was the case previously in infant and junior schools, but secondary education has gone the same way now. It is the domain of females, it has been feminised.

    I think the government and the state needs to serve everyone, not just those who voted for it or who, according to abstract standards of how much they act like white middle class ladies, “deserve” it.

    There is a danger of a sort of essentialism here, you are associating redundant masculinity with a group of a people and saying this is causal with regard to their standing society. Much like one could associate femininity with another group in society who can’t possibly be doctors, firefighters, managers or lawyers (or vote) because of their femininity. There are no fainting couches in operating theatres even if there is needlework to be done.

  13. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    “There is a danger of a sort of essentialism here, you are associating redundant masculinity with a group of a people and saying this is causal with regard to their standing society.”

    Yes, I am saying that, and I don’t see anything wrong with saying that. There was nothing short of an assault on a way of life and a major sector of employment. Those worst hit were men, particularly men whose identity was tightly woven into the work ethic. Essentially, a substantial number of men, doing masculine jobs and possessing masculine identities were made redundant. Broadly speaking, this generation and their offspring have suffered a catastrophic crisis. For better or worse, (and IMO these communities were far more positive than negative), a political administration devastated a patriarchal bedrock and left nothing behind.

    What commentators on this blog choose not to see is that it wasn’t feminists that did this, it was the forces of rampant capitalism. And what those pseudo-male advocates choose not to acknowledge or understand, is that to even start talking about how best to reverse this terminal decline affecting a huge number of males is to acknowledge right-wing political failure and left-wing political promise.

    I don’t think what I am saying is controversial.

  14. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    Further to my previous point, I’d absolutely encourage positive discrimination to ensure gender balance in schools of teachers, and welcome an urgent initiative to get more men into primary schools. Once again, to even start talking about this is to acknowledge right-wing political failure and left-wing political promise.

  15. WineE.M. says

    Ha ha, this is good:

    http://mra-uk.co.uk/?p=906

    To quote:

    “The EHRC have spent nearly five times more in the last two years encouraging women and minorities into rugby and cricket than they have spent on all men’s issues in six years.”

    I guess we shouldn’t expect any major spending on boys’ education initiatives from the EHRC in the near future, anyway.

  16. Lucythoughts says

    #14 Carnation
    I agree with you on this. Identity politics has only flourished so well, and in some places grown a bit perniciously, because of an absence of proper party politics, which is due to the total political consensus around the neoliberal economic model. Thatcher may have started it, but it took the labour party to hand over a complete victory and it happened at the expense of their own core supporters who are now politically homeless. People need more than just to live in a country which generates profits, they need to have work which affords some stability and some pride; and that shouldn’t be too much to ask. There is a desperate need to rebalance the economy; you get no browny points for bragging about how many jobs have been created when they are all crappy, insecure, low paying service industry jobs where staff are just an easily exploitable and expendable resource.
    For my part, I would say if you want to improve the educational standards of boys, the place to start is to get them making things. They don’t like handwriting? Get them making and labelling technical drawings. Get them reading the manuals and designing their own projects and then let them build what they’ve designed (and who knows, if that was part of the school curriculum it might go a lot further to getting more girls into engineering than an whole battery of wonderful role models and initiatives. Hell, it might even get more men back into teaching too).
    For a long time now education has been topped-downed by a class of people who held practical work in contempt. We have an education system that believes that the definition of a transitive verb is essential knowledge but how to wire a plug isn’t. In fact, it’s better for the economy if you pay an electrician to do it for you, or just throw the damn appliance away and buy a new one. Working class men were never just people who lugged heavy stuff; they were people who used their skills and knowledge to create something useful. There has been a discussion in the other thread about male identity, and it has been focussed on resilience and risk taking, fair enough, but what about utility? Isn’t that a masculine identity trait too? Isn’t that the fundamental role that was cut out from under them?

  17. That Guy says

    Hi Ally, Thanks for this post.

    Articles like this are frustrating, though the author has responded BTL to elaborate on her reasoning-

    essentially, because some boys outperform girls, giving special attention to all boys “bakes in further inequalities” and refers to the escape hatch at the bottom of her article, basically, fund those with the highest need, and if they happen to be boys, then so be it.

    I can kind of understand where she’s coming from, but by the same token, I am fat and lazy, and eat far too many donner kebabs. It is unlikely that I outperformed Jessica Ennis-Hill or any number of top female athletes at school. Children are individuals, who sit on a node of the spiderweb intersections of race, gender, class, creed, sexuality and so on. As in your gender inclusveness post, her article seems to be missing out on the cultural influences that dissuade boys (particularly white working class ones) from reading, and education in general.

    Without acknowledging these influences on these boys, it’s unlikely that the problem will ever be effectively solved, even if we approach things from a gender-blind needs-based system she proposes.

    We see success in this approach when tackling getting women and girls in sport and fitness, STEM, and other fields, so it is frustrating that this is considered ‘off the table’ when it comes to education in boys.

    That being said, I’d like to echo Paul on this, I don’t think that the major problem (with tackling men’s issues in general) here is capital F Feminists, though articles like this are working, I think the problem is that masculinity as a whole is a self-perpetuating cycle, “caring about others is a ‘woman thing’ and as a Man, why would I care about other men? This offends my masculine sensibilities of independence and breadwinner”

  18. That Guy says

    #17 Lucythoughts

    Agree with you and Carnation on the damage to masculine identity (and people in general) by neoliberal profit chasing- but I find your proposals for getting boys into education a little dodgy.

    What you describe already happens, I do outreach activities based on this, and technology classes are also aready a Thing. This is my day job actually. and incidentally, my field is overwhelmingly male. The problem is that this stimulates children who are already inclined towards “utility*” and a little bookish to begin with. It does not do much for the usually less well off boys who are already “too cool for school`”. I’d wager I am not the only one who knows a few boys who deliberately flubbed exams so as not to get made fun of by their friends for getting high marks.

    The concept of education as a whole needs to be detoxified, and while vocatinal skills re a great idea, I don’t want a system created where working class boys feel the only subjects they are “allowed” to succeed in are plumbing, or woodworking or car repair. This just masks the problem.

  19. That Guy says

    Apology for post chaining-

    *utility

    I already find this iffy, masculine utility means a very particular set of skills. I’ve had to wire a plug say, once a month, but I need to cook and prepare food a few times a day. One of these skills was taught by my male science teacher, and the other by my female home economics teacher. If I had to give up one of these skills I know which one I’d pick.

  20. Carnation says

    @ LucyThoughts

    “For my part, I would say if you want to improve the educational standards of boys, the place to start is to get them making things. They don’t like handwriting? Get them making and labelling technical drawings. Get them reading the manuals and designing their own projects and then let them build what they’ve designed (and who knows, if that was part of the school curriculum it might go a lot further to getting more girls into engineering than an whole battery of wonderful role models and initiatives. Hell, it might even get more men back into teaching too).”

    I couldn’t agree more. I hope you don’t mind me mansplaining that what you’re suggesting, and I’m supporting, is basically a return to a rather parochial/patriarchal framework (men doing traditional technical jobs via vocational training), but quite frankly, given the scale of the problems we are facing, the revolution can wait.

    “There has been a discussion in the other thread about male identity, and it has been focussed on resilience and risk taking, fair enough, but what about utility? Isn’t that a masculine identity trait too? Isn’t that the fundamental role that was cut out from under them?”

    A thousand times yes – for all those that bleat about the “misandry” surrounding the term toxic masculinity, there are thankfully those that understand the spectrum of masculinities. Deconstructing gender identity is a luxury afforded to a relatively privileged few, and until somebody finds a way to effectively nurture boys into coming to terms with their gender role in a devastated landscape, the kindest, most economically advantageous and most humane approach is to literally give them the tools, via teaching and jobs, to lead a productive and useful life. As its most positive, masculinity can be the bedrock of a healthy, functioning society. Unfortunately, it’s imploding under the weight of external forces, and the suicide figures stab home the urgency of the crisis. It is criminal to ignore it.

  21. H.E. Pennypacker says

    @Carntion 14

    What commentators on this blog choose not to see is that it wasn’t feminists that did this, it was the forces of rampant capitalism. And what those pseudo-male advocates choose not to acknowledge or understand, is that to even start talking about how best to reverse this terminal decline affecting a huge number of males is to acknowledge right-wing political failure and left-wing political promise.

    I completely agree that there was a neoliberal assault on the working class that has led to many of men’s problems not a feminist conspiracy. But feminism, and identity politics more generally, have definitely played a role, mostly in driving a wedge between huge sections of the working class and elite leftists. Extremely large proportions of the white working class, especially the “underclass” we’re talking about here like to say things that aren’t politically correct*. I think a large part of the problem is that anti-racist or feminist campaigners continue to feel like their views are not the views of the establishment when largely they are. The republican top brass find Trump just as crass and offensive as democrats.

    You end up with this hollowed version of “the left” that’s close to “the right” on the economy and foreign policy, but you make up for this by making damn-well sure that nobody ever says anything mean about women or minorities. So the Guardian goes far “left” on issues of identity, but is centre right on almost everything else. So Trump is Hitler reborn because he says stupid things about these protected identities (which is exactly why the uneducated proles like him), but Obama is a great statesman according to the “left-wing” Guardian despite his insistence on tearing the Middle East apart and starting a war with Russia. We should vote for Hillary “We can, we saw, he died” Clinton because she’s a woman.

    I’m not blaming this on anti-racism or feminism, they’re both great and important things overall, this is more a case of capitalism’s ability to recycle everything aimed at its destruction, it’s just a bit tiresome when people think they are sticking it to the man rather than propping up the system.

    *In my experience, people often don’t even have particularly racist or sexist in their beliefs, they just hate the people considered their “betters” telling them how bad and uneducated they are for using the wrong word.

  22. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 14

    What commentators on this blog choose not to see is that it wasn’t feminists that did this, it was the forces of rampant capitalism. And what those pseudo-male advocates choose not to acknowledge or understand, is that to even start talking about how best to reverse this terminal decline affecting a huge number of males is to acknowledge right-wing political failure and left-wing political promise.

    I don’t think what I am saying is controversial

    On the contrary, parts of this is highly controversial.

    It is clearly true that many of the disadvantages that have happened to men come from changes in the world of work and society in general, and have nothing to do with feminism. And some of those changes have hit women as well as men. It is also true that we urgently need some new ideas for how to make society better to live in for men (and also for women). But your words imply that these negative changes happened because of capitalism rather than just under capitalism; that there is a non-capitalist alternative that will make life much better for people overall; that current progressives know the right way to get there; and for good measure that all the problems are gender neutral so that there is no need to define separate male interests or push back against feminism. And those are mere unsupported assumptions.

    Changes to the world of work include losing the need for (much) physical strength; losing the large, hierarchical industrial workplaces to automation, computerisation, and globalised supply chains; losing the solidarity and cohesion that came with those jobs; losing long-term employment; globalisation that puts each worker in competition with the poor people of rural China, and better educated and motivated immigrants from Eastern Europe. These changes have hit men harder because their identity is so much more tied up in work, and because they were the ones doing the manufacturing. On the home front there is the great increases in helpful technology – from disposable nappies to microwaves – that mean you no longer need a multi-person household to live decently and bring up a family. Which has greatly reduced the incentive for people to get married and find a way to keep getting along. Which again hits men worse because women can get children on their own (given a sperm donor) and are used to rely on groups of friends instead of on their spouse. The point is: would those thing have been any different under a non-capitalist system (assuming anyone can tell me how one would look?). Even if Margaret Thatcher had been strangled in the cradle and Arthur Scargill had been in government, I somehow doubt that Britain would still be home to hundreds of thousands of well-paid miners and shipwrights.

    As for the current progressives?!? Left-wing parties across the western world have found no good answer, except to run capitalism-lite and spend more on welfare. The US Democrats are the party of well-educated knowledge workers, ethnic minorities and identity politics (that is one reason so many vote for Trump). Metropolitan Labour is not dissimilar. Blair was all about cultivating the City of London and stealthily use the taxes generated to give more money to welfare and the NHS. Comrade Corbyn has recently said that Labour will make big promises that solve the big problems and will deliver what they promise. But he has yet to suggest anything specific that would actually do that. Which is why the debate concentrates on the things he has said: Cosying up to Hamas, spending billions on nuclear submarines without warheads, and refusing to sing the National Anthem. A bit underwhelming, one might say.

    There is a crying need for new ideas, lest we are left to the imagination and social conscience of shallow tacticians like George Osborne. But might I suggest that more progressives concentrate on lighting some little lights, instead of just polishing their moral superiority and cursing the Tories and Capitalists for bringing the darkness?

    Cacthup on the rest of the debate later.

  23. Carnation says

    @ GJganger

    Just briefly:

    “The point is: would those thing have been any different under a non-capitalist system (assuming anyone can tell me how one would look?). Even if Margaret Thatcher had been strangled in the cradle and Arthur Scargill had been in government, I somehow doubt that Britain would still be home to hundreds of thousands of well-paid miners and shipwrights.”

    As I have said elsewhere on this blog, straight JMK economic initiatives, govt building projects, there is an acute housing shortage and a chronic male un/under-employment problem. The govt should fund a comprehensive and massive house building project. I also think there’s a strong case for govt funded factories and plants, build police-cars, make uniforms for the army, do anything, but do it in areas of now historical unemployment – the loss will surely be negated by the SROI on alleviating all of the problems that poverty heads onto the state.

    I’m not touting for communisn, I’m saying that this brand of capitalism has failed too many people to be sustainable.

  24. H.E. Pennypacker says

    @Gjenganger

    I think it entirely depends on what you mean by capitalism which is an area of some debate. But broadly, we can certainly say that many of the changes that have negatively impacted men have been because of capitalism. For example, your examples:

    Changes to the world of work include losing the need for (much) physical strength; losing the large, hierarchical industrial workplaces to automation, computerisation, and globalised supply chains; losing the solidarity and cohesion that came with those jobs; losing long-term employment; globalisation that puts each worker in competition with the poor people of rural China, and better educated and motivated immigrants from Eastern Europe. “

    I think there’s a strong case to be made that all of these changes came about because economic growth was prioritised over the people who would lose their jobs. That’s capitalism: increasing efficiency, the never-sated need to produce more, to make more money, and damn the social costs. You end up with government ministers talking about how damaging some humanitarian crisis is because it will have a negative effect on the economy.

  25. Adiabat says

    Paul (12):

    Blaming feminists for this sexist double -standard is lazy thinking because those who have the power to change this are still mainly men who don’t identify as being feminists

    I’d argue that your argument is lazy thinking (which does genuinely surprise me as I usually appreciate your comments on here). Firstly, the person who is leading the change to the funding formula is a woman, Nicky Morgan, who is the Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities (but the sex of the people in power is a red herring anyway, and has nothing to do with the issue).

    The only ones I’ve seen criticise this change in the funding formula, a change that will benefit boys through its targeting of low attainment, are feminists and the reasons seem to be specifically because the gender neutral, need-based approach may benefit boys more than girls.

    I don’t see why it’s “lazy thinking” to blame feminists for a double-standard that feminists alone seem to hold and propagate. Literally no-one else of any other, or no, ideology has complained that these changes may benefit boys. Those in power aren’t displaying this double-standard because they are proposing a gender neutral, need-based, approach. They are doing the right thing, and their only obstacle so far is from feminists.

    Secondly, those ‘with power to change this’ aren’t some all-knowing, all-powerful entity that are simply choosing not to solve problems in society such as the underachievement of boys in school, or lack of DV support for men. They’re just people who aren’t experts in these issues doing what they think is best. They get the additional information they need on a topic from various sources, including pundits, “academics” (which for equality issues typically means a feminist using bogus methodology and theory), media outlets like the Guardian (a newspaper with ridiculously low circulation figures relative to the amount of influence it has), and also through consultation. In this case, the link to the consultation is here: https://consult.education.gov.uk/funding-policy-unit/schools-national-funding-formula/supporting_documents/Schools_NFF_consultation.pdf.

    Special Interest Groups that provide bogus advice (including those informed by double-standards) through consultation are as much to blame for the resulting policy as those in power who take that advice in good faith. Doubly so if that advice is suggesting a U-turn on a gender-neutral proposal everyone seems to agree with, as that advice can be linked to the change in policy. This has happened before wrt shared parenting proposals and feedback from groups like the Fawcett Society and NOW ‘in consultation’.

    Right now we don’t know who provided feedback on this consultation or the nature of that feedback, as the consultation period only ended recently. We will have to wait for the publication of the feedback, and whether Laura McInerney’s illogic makes an appearance. With luck (from a feminist pov), Laura McInerney and the Guardian are the only ones who have complained about this, and no prominent feminist group has made similar complaints.

  26. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    So in other words, feminists haven’t affected the policy (or polity) but you’re still getting your panties in a twist because feminism is evil and hates men and has infiltrated the government and Reddit told me to and Trump is Daddy and I love Milo, and he’s gay, and wow that changes everything, and I attend a terrible gym.

    Stay class, Prince.

  27. Adiabat says

    Carnation (27): No, that isn’t an accurate summary of my post. You’re only making yourself look silly, as usual.

  28. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    It is, Prince, it is. And an accurate summary of your theoretical underpinning, such as it exists.

    Anyway, pop on over to the open thread if you’d like toe continue, quite serious discussion is taking place here.

    Good lad, Prince xx

  29. Adiabat says

    Carnation (29): Only in your delusional little world. The truth is that you can’t win a straight-up debate and you keep being shown for a fool, so you have to invent this persona for me all of which you refuse to provide support for.

    For example, I’ve never said that “feminism” is evil, please can you cite where I did, or even a post where this is a reasonable extrapolation? I’ve even said before that I’d much rather feminism was reformed than go away completely, but these kind of comments get ignored because they don’t fit into your fantasy world where you’re ‘bravely arguing against MRA’s and Trump supporters’.

    In #14 you whine that “commentators on this blog choose not to see is that it wasn’t feminists that did this” yet no-one has ever said it did. You’re arguing against caricatures invented in your head, and when anyone corrects you regarding their actual opinions you either don’t respond or refuse to believe them. And every time you do this you just look more and more unhinged.

    quite serious discussion is taking place here.

    I wouldn’t class vague decades old far left boilerplate a ‘quite serious discussion’. But fine, please can you explain just how many houses you want the government to build in this “comprehensive and massive house building project” and how much it will cost? Also explain how it would be paid for and how you plan to get round EU government procurement legislation? Or would you avoid procurement completely and do it directly?

    And I know you look down on work such as building, and have probably never done such a job in your life, but you can’t just round up 100 guys off the street and expect them to be capable of building houses. Would you insist in NVQ’s for the masses of people you’ll provide jobs for, many of whom didn’t see the point of school? Even basic builders require GSCE’s in Maths and English, not to mention the certificates required for welding, scaffolding, hazardous waste removal. How would you address the increased need in gas engineers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters etc who can take years to train up, and how will you pay the massively inflated wages caused by simple supply and demand? I know you think it’s all beneath you but building houses isn’t mindless unskilled work.

    Since you’ll necessarily have to draw upon less and less capable workers to fill enough jobs for this great project to have an impact how do you intend to pay for workers comp for the inevitable accidents, as well as increased insurance premiums (if you can get liability insurance at all to cover all these unskilled workers on a builders site)?

    But please just call me names and recycle some more unthoughtout bollocks from the eighties and nineties. Viva la revolution! amirite comrade?

  30. H.E. Pennypacker says

    @Adiabat

    “decades old far left boilerplate”, that’s an unusual name for the post-war consensus.

  31. Adiabat says

    I should also point out that a government setting up government-run factories that will compete with other EU states industries is against EU legislation. I also believe you are a supporter of Remain if I remember correctly.

    I’ll also point out that Marduk has already informed you of this legislation in a previous thread.

    But way to go sticking to the old boilerplate while incorporating the newer far left beliefs you are told to hold in a way that totally doesn’t create any contradictions! You’re a star.

    Do you ever have an original thought?

  32. Adiabat says

    H.E. Pennypacker (31):

    that’s an unusual name for the post-war consensus

    That was mainly a post-war phenomenon, rooted in shortages that built up during the conflict. Much of it done with US loans iirc. Also, do you know that most of the houses built during that period break EU rules for new houses? Meaning that a new social-housing project would be much more expensive. It’s partly why it’s important to ask for how much this will cost (about £100 billion for half a million homes fyi, more if it’s run as some sort of work scheme as suggested above) and where the money will come from.*

    I actually support a massive building project; it’ll lower the cost of housing, thereby reduce rent and ultimately help the worst off in society. But even despite the cost government built housing alsorisks breaking EU competition law so it has to be privately led, or follow procurement legislation. FWIW the right are also wrong that the issue is zoning. My understanding from builders is that they want to build but there are hundreds of thousands of homes stuck in planning permission due to bureaucracy. And a lot of the issues is local opposition to building and the number of appeals and counter-appeals. If we ditch a lot of this legislation, it’ll not only stimulate the market but also encourage more building due to increased profits on small homes (but it’ll piss off voters opposed to new housing NIMBY– especially Tory voters. And even then some of that bureaucracy is there for a reason). Currently small homes aren’t profitable to build, and builders have to follow legislation forcing them to build some for every larger home (rightly so, but there’s better ways to encourage builders to build).

    Despite all this I maintain that “state-built houses” and “state-run factories” is fairly old boilerplate and simply repeating it without taking into considering the EU and current situation is a bit silly.

    * Not trying to turn this into an EU debate; just pointing out the contradiction in policy here.

  33. StillGjenganger says

    @ LucyThoughts, H.E.P. Carnation, Adiabat, et al.

    I quite agree that recent developments in society have been harmful to men (it is just that when somebody says that this has been ’caused by capitalism’ I take that to mean that we have to move to something different from capitalism, not that we might need a slightly modified version).

    But (without being rude about it) I have to say that Adiabat has a point here: Much as your various ideas sound like common sense, it is not obvious how to make them actually work with the society, technology, and international situation we have at the moment. That is why no left-of-centre party in the western world has come up with a good proposal: it is just very hard. Self-reliance and import substitution, or for that matter nationalised factories, have not been uniform successes across the world – that is a major reason why not many countries do them. If you start making things for government use in state factories or by domestic suppliers only, you need to deal with a number of questions: Will the companies remain efficient over time? Will the goods cost five times more to make than you could have got them for from China? Will your companies be banned from selling to other governments and nations as a tit-for-tat protectionist measure? Will the UK be excluded from the EU and various trading pacts? How do you manage helping your own citizens when citizens of poorer EU nations can move in freely, or do you close the borders, with what consequences that has?

    On teaching boys to do technical things and be useful, I am all for it, but again there are these questions: Do these qualifications lead to jobs, a salary, independence? Jobs where, doing what? Are they necessary and useful skills in a world where a few spare parts might well cost more than a replacement, and where any actual blueeprint is a CAD design done by a specialist elsewhere? If not, it might all be seen as a make-work. Can we provide all these boys with a credible path to a role and a valued place in society? And if not, what can schools realistically offer them?

    We do urgently need some new answers to all the new problems we are having. And part of it has to be things that conservatives may be unlikely to do, like dealing with inequality and tax avoidance. But for all that Corbyn is a decent man and all, it is just not the case that we have a crew of progressives waiting around with the right answers (or even marginally likely answers) in their pockets.

  34. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    Oh dear… Daddy & Milo would be proud *but* here in the real world, you just made an arse out of yourself.

    “EU government procurement legislation”

    “EU Govt” is an oxymoron. There is EU procurement rules, and UK Govt procurement rules. The UK Govt funds and undertakes massive building programs, the EU part *funds* some building projects through it’s Regional Development programme. What I am proposing is basically massively escalating the building of “council houses” but via central rather than local authority.

    You simply do not understand EU legislation, but I suspect that you have a tiny bit of knowledge, no doubt gleaned from some laughably stupid Eurosceptic Reddit source.

    “And I know you look down on work such as building, and have probably never done such a job in your life”

    No, I haven’t done “such a job in my life” but rather unfortunately for you, I have actually been involved in the funding and executing of projects that literally do what we are talking about – not ” just round up 100 guys off the street and expect them to be capable of building houses” but getting builders to renovate buildings and train unemployed people to be able to do the same. We have a word for that – apprenticeships

    “Would you insist in NVQ’s for the masses of people you’ll provide jobs for, many of whom didn’t see the point of school”

    The point of a lot of vocational training is that it is precisely for those who “didn’t see the point of school” – I would consider it a necessity that they passed their relevant trades skills test, CSCS test etc

    “Even basic builders require GSCE’s in Maths and English”

    Bullshit. They need to be able to read and write and understand figues.

    “not to mention the certificates required for welding, scaffolding, hazardous waste removal”

    Yes, all of which require college accreditation, which happens now-a-days and under this plan would happen in far greater numbers.

    “How would you address the increased need in gas engineers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters etc who can take years to train up, and how will you pay the massively inflated wages caused by simple supply and demand?”

    If takes up to four years, including a large amount “on the job” to train fully in these trades. I’d address the increased need gratefully as evidence that the plan was working and rejoice in the new found sense of purpose and vocational pride that many young men would have. Of course, the large numbers of unemployed tradesmen around at the moment would be quite capable of training a new generation.

    “I know you think it’s all beneath you but building houses isn’t mindless unskilled work.”

    You and your entire political framework is beneath me. The building trade isn’t. It’s not for me, but then again, neither is IT, or working out in a gym that’s a rung below the local municipality facility.

  35. Lucythoughts says

    That Guy; Carnation; Gjenganger; etc
    Don’t apologise for mansplaining Carnation, in fact it made me realise that I had under-splained 😉

    To be clearer, I am not talking about steering working class boys into vocational training, (I think that already happens), I am talking about breaking down the artificial barriers between technical education and “real” education, starting in primary school. Right now they don’t do much of anything that isn’t measured on their SATS. By the time boys are offered technical courses (at what 14? 16?) they have already internalised the idea that school is boring and a waste of time and they, themselves, are thick anyway. They have made their own arrangements for getting their self esteem needs met elsewhere and it’s too bloody late to reengage them.
    I see it like this: many boys see schoolwork as boring and pointless, what do we do about it? In our PR driven culture the only suggestions I’ve heard are to use male role-models and shiny ad campaigns to persuade them that they are mistaken, it is actually interesting and relevant. Or, a radical suggestion, we could actually take steps to make it interesting and relevant. I gave the example of technical drawing versus handwriting for a reason (maybe this was lost): technical drawing requires precise penmanship and lettering which is very clear and legible so that anyone can follow your plans. It is possible to practise all the basic skills of reading, writing and maths while doing something that you have some ownership of and which engages your problem solving faculties. I consider developing those skills in primary school aged children, boys and girls, to be killing several birds with one stone. Technical education shouldn’t be the poor man’s education; it should be a fundamental part of everyone’s education. It is at the core of engineering and innovation, which we need to harness and invested in if we are to rebalance our economy and broaden the base of employment and industry in this country.

    Briefly on the economy, I would think that borrowing to invest in infrastructure, including housing, judicious nurturing of what is a promising high tech sector and a total overhaul and reinvestment in technical education would be the places to start.

  36. Paul says

    @26 Adiabat

    The point i was trying to make was that whilst i profoundly disagree with some feminists on certain issues and accept they have some input in policy making and controlling the narrative with regard to these issues-eg domestic violence-it’s too easy to simply blame feminists for that.

    I’m reminded of a programme i once saw where the veteran campaigner Erin Pizzey said that when she was fighting for funding for services for victims of dv she found men were happy to provide funding for women and children but had no interest in providing services for male victims.And i think even today there’s still a real problem with men who hold positions of power and influence showing little or no interest in issues that specifically affect men and boys.

    Ideally funding for services specifically for women and girls shouldn’t be affected by the need for more funding for services specifically for men and boys.Feminists however may still provide formidable obstacles if/when their narrative is challenged -eg with regard to domestic violence- by those fighting for funding for male victims and their children.But ultimately men are still well represented amongst the decision makers who decide where funding goes.And if they’re showing a bias in favour of feminists and their perspective we can’t simply blame feminists for that.

    It’s late and i’m knackered but i hope you’ll now have a better understanding of where i stand.

  37. That Guy says

    #36 LucyThoughts

    You’re after my own heart. IMO, technical education should be something that happens much earlier, and with more hands-on approaches. The reality of these kind of jobs is not really prepared for by teaching to the exam (as often happens for various reasons)- in fact I’ve found that the teaching and examination that focuses on rigid “right” or “wrong” ways to do things throws up barriers later on as students become wary of doing things the “wrong” way.

    So in that respect, I totally agree. +1000,00 points. Doubleplusgood. I am your best friend. Is it necessarily the best way to approach the problem of underachievement in working class white boys? I’m not sure. It’ll certainly be a huge boon, but I think there’s something a little more fundamental going on. There’s been bags and bags of initiatives to get kids into science and tech, with varying success, but still it’s boys at the poorer end of the spectrum that benefit least. You are probably correct, that part of the reason that this happens is because it’s too late- (When I was at primary school not a million years go, we had introductory technology stuff at P3, or 6-7 years, with more emphasis from 11yrs old onwards).

    The bigger issue IMO is the bigger influences on children, and that’s not the school, because fuck school, right? It’s parents, friends, and other peers. There needs to be a little more effort tackling the roots of negative attitudes to schooling and boys, so that means fathers who didn’t get much benefit from the education system that that doesn’t need to be the case for their sons, aunts and female family friends that boys aren’t boisterous and uncontrollable monsters who go to school to be caged and nothing more, and other school-age boys that education, reading and learning isn’t an act of feminine submission to “the man” (who in schools, especially primary, is usually a female teacher).

    How is this done? Fucked if I know. Probably a combined arms approach, showing what these things do for your child as well as/by introducing more technical education to early schooling (not to knock softer subjects, but technical initiatives like raspberry Pi stuff, electronics for children, simple science experiments, building cars, robots or whatever have immediate quantifiable and demonstrable results), great for kids, parents see it’s a “””useful””” thing, like you said, one stone, many birds.

  38. Marduk says

    Carnation, agree/disagree.

    I think you are overstating the role of masculinity but you are right about the scale of the shock inflicted on industrial towns. Key for me is that the posh people who run the Graun and similar actually don’t seem to understand that the ‘working class’ (as opposed to the underclass) are, or were, fairly wealthy people. The starting salary at Tata was 30k for example, before over-time. They also don’t understand how a paypacket works vs. a salary and what a commitment to night shifts, over-time and hazard pay can deliver. And these jobs, rightly or wrongly, had a strong tendency towards being hereditary.

    Class is not about money, its about attitudes.

    Point is, how much respect for education do you think there was in my industrial town before Thatcher got her claws in? None and it was transmitted inter-generationally and they were too slow to get the memo. I’m telling you this as someone who at the age of 11 was walking back from the library and a friend’s father made a point of coming to an emergency stop by the side of the road just to shout abuse at me (my friends never had a problem with it incidentally, just their parents). Don’t get the idea I was wearing a tweed suit or something, I was wearing a shell suit and a baseball cap like everyone else. He was driving a top of the range Rover and was proud to tell anyone he’d failed all his exams at school. Possibly some insecurity being displayed there but you can sort of see his point as well, if only the world continued to work the way it had worked for him and his father.

    Yes, they got fucked over. No, I don’t like seeing my home town die and turn into nothing but drug addicts, tattoo parlours and pawn brokers. But in many ways I think a sense of grievance or promising something is going to come back is not the solution. But having said that, I don’t know what is either, something to do with retraining being actually available and whatever it is you need to do to make people resilient. They really aren’t, they’ve given up because they can’t have what they once had. I don’t think they are saints like Guardianistas do and I don’t think they are losers like Telegraph readers do, its more complicated than that. They need to help themselves and nobody can do it for them but they don’t know how is the best I can articulate it.

  39. Carnation says

    @ marduk

    I don’t disagree with much of what you wrote, except for this:

    “Class is not about money, its about attitudes.”

    I’d not *just* about money, but money plays a huge part. There are middle class oiks and working class bon vivants. But to be born into a post-industrial town is to be born into a world of exceptionally limited and grim choices – what I am proposing is opening that up.

    “But in many ways I think a sense of grievance or promising something is going to come back is not the solution. But having said that, I don’t know what is either… They really aren’t, they’ve given up because they can’t have what they once had. I don’t think they are saints like Guardianistas do and I don’t think they are losers like Telegraph readers do”

    Quite frankly, the miners were most likely social conservatives and traditionalists that I wouldn’t have had much time for, but it’s still a developing underclass that needs help and I can’t think of a better way to do it. Retraining for jobs that don’t exist will make things worse – jobs need invented, basically. Labour and the Tories won’t do it because of ideology.

  40. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    I think that one doesn’t need to get carried away – it’s a simple fact that work and utility are parts of the human, western identity, and that it’s more pronounced in males. Coupled with the masculine tendency to stoicism and you’ve got a horrendous double whammy.

    When I was at uni, I’d have been far less sympathetic, and basically have felt they should re-train, move away etc, but it just simply isn’t going to happen for a very significant number of people.

    Incidentally, humanitarianism is the main reason I propose what I do, but in simple economic terms, I’m fairly confident it would make sense in terms of SROI.

  41. Marduk says

    43.
    I don’t disagree but why isn’t it? There is an answer and this is what I mean about attitudes (I don’t mean “good” or “bad”, I mean values and so on) vs. money.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_capital

    If there is one thing the middle class lie to the back teeth about its the efforts they go to to inculcate appropriate culture. This is all in the knowing what to do and how to go about doing it. When one person has this and one person doesn’t, “equal opportunities” are a lie.

  42. Lucythoughts says

    #43 Marduk
    You’re on to something here. The middle classes rely heavily on cultural capital to get things done but I think in the industrial communities the more important factor was Social Capital. It was membership of the community that supplied benefits, whether that was a guaranteed job when you left school (making school itself a bit pointless) or the social support of your neighbours and extended family. When local industry collapsed that social capital became valueless; it lost its centre of gravity. People are still deeply attached to the concept of community, so they can’t imagine moving away, but membership of the community no longer provides valuable skills or opportunities. It’s a grim situation. If there was one thing that the middle classes gave up on it was any meaningful community; perhaps that is what they exchanged for their cultural capital.

  43. Danny Gibbs says

    To be clear, this is not a deliberate affirmative action scheme. It is an inadvertent consequence of a gender-neutral system that prioritises needs. It just so happens that those with the greatest educational needs are more likely to be boys. However McInerney is worried because this might eventually lead to, well, as far as I can tell her only concern is that it just might lead to boys doing a little bit better.
    So I wonder. Is she worried about this in a neutral sense (as in she doesn’t want ANY group to get too far ahead of another) or is this gender specific (as in she only wants to make sure boys don’t get ahead of girls).

    If boys are doing worse in tests when younger, at least some are later catching up, and when it comes to society at large the continued inequalities across top jobs suggests women’s exam achievements are still apparently not enough.
    So helping boys is depending on making sure we help girls first?

    The relatively low participation of girls in sport and fitness activities is a genuine problem, a real concern. Large amounts of public and quasi-public funding are already dedicated to highlighting and alleviating the problem but I would unreservedly welcome efforts to do more. If someone were to suggest that the schools funding formula be tweaked to allow for greater spending to encourage our daughters to spend more time in the gym, the pool or the sports hall I would cheer wholeheartedly.
    And if this were swap I think we would see a very different reaction. If this were concern for helping girls with their performance in school and someone brought up the mental health of boys as a counter point it would be called derailing aka “wut abot teh menz”. So why is it valid here? As far as I can tell no one is trying to stop girls from getting into sports or even bringing it up. So why is she?

    A popular response to people asking about when International Men’s Day is to say, “Its Nov 19. And if you cared about men beyond trying to use them to silence concern for women you would know that.” Well I think the same applies here. If she were so worried about the athletic performance of girls beyond trying to use it to silence concern for boys she might be onto something.

    It is enormously depressing that even a token nod towards fairness is met with resistance and pushback from at least one of Britain’s most influential educationalists. Laura McInerney’s article doesn’t really make much sense. But it does at least show what we are up against.
    Yep. This is the kind of attitude that crops up every Nov. 19 in a flurry of articles whining about how there shouldn’t be an International Men’s Day, by the same people who will throw up a middle finger (literally and figuratively) at anyone that questions the existence of International Women’s Day.

  44. Lucy. says

    “On average, girls spend five and a half hours per week doing homework while boys spend a little less than four and a half hours. Researchers suggest that doing homework set by teachers is linked to better performance in maths, reading and science. Boys, it appears, spend more of their free time in the virtual world; they are 17% more likely to play collaborative online games than girls every day. ”

    “They also use the internet more.”
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/03/economist-explains-3

    “Boys tend to over-estimate their academic abilities. Girls generally underestimate their abilities and work harder to compensate.”

    “Boys tend to act first and think later. Girls like to think before they act and they are slower at becoming involved in practical activities than boys. ”

    “Boys interrupt more frequently and answer more often, even when they do not know the answer. Girls talk less in class and in groups but they are more likely to ask for help. ”

    http://www.journeytoexcellence.org.uk/resourcesandcpd/research/summaries/rsgenderineducation.asp

    I do hope women aren’t going to be expected to fund thee affirmative action initiatives to make school boys less disruptive, over-confident and lazy.

    After all, we need all our money. Those Tesco pink razors for playing sport in front of school boys don’t pay for themselves.

  45. Lucy. says

    6969696

    “Anyone seen the latest BT advert where the women slaps the guy for absolutely no fucking reason?”

    Unlikely.

    “and gets away with it without consequence? It would be ‘fair’ to have an advert depict a similar scenario with a role reversal, wouldn’t it, ”

    No. That would be unfair.

  46. Lucy. says

    “need-based, approach”

    Yeah the need to get off the friggin Internet, today their room and do their homework.

  47. Lucy. says

    696969

    “And people still think t’s only women and girls who are vulnerable in today’s world!! Will these people be happy when their Son gets slapped by his girlfriend in public for absolutely no reason! No wonder men and boys can’t get any respect from society, let alone funding. ”

    You do realise that the man and the woman in the BT advert aren’t real?

    That they are actor pretending and not really doing what was depicted?

    Exactly like porn ‘actresses’, I mean actresses, they consented and were paid and therefore weren’t harmed and the billions of BT adverts depicting fake women pretending to slap fake men don’t affect society or culture.

    So you can fap to it with a clear conscience.

  48. StillGjenganger says

    @Lucy

    Come on Lucy, you are better than that. It is perfectly obvious that the problem with the BT ad is not the protection of the actors, but the message that hitting men is a fine and innocent thing to do, that women are encouraged to imitate. Much as people keep complaining that saying bad things about women, making sexist jokes, and what not, is encouraging (nay, causing) men to behave badly towards them.

    As for boys being too lazy to learn. Maybe. Just like, maybe, the reason that women are so severly undrerepresented among film directors, board members, great scientists, and what have you, is that they do not have the will or determination or interest to do what is required to get there. Pick whichevver side you wnat, but do try to be consistent. Anythiing else is dishonest.

  49. That Guy says

    Lucy, Did you read Ally’s followup comment to your virtually identical comment on the Gender Inclusiveness thread?

    Lucy
    “poor, white, British girls are the lowest performing major ethnic group.”
    You have misunderstood that sentence. The original is here
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmeduc/142/142.pdf
    It says:
    “Free school meals data supports this view. Although white FSM-eligible boys are the lowest performing group overall in terms of the proportion achieving the key stage 4 benchmark,
    white FSM girls are the lowest-achieving group of girls.”
    In other words, the line you quote means “poor, white, British girls are the lowest performing major ethnic group amongst girls.”
    The latest statistics show that girls on free school meals (all ethnicities) are 52% more likely to go to university than boys on free school meals. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/our-education-system-must-stop-ignoring-its-bias-against-boys/
    There are a plethora of educational initiatives from foundation years to university to encourage boys’ achievement. My friend works on a project for central government doing precisely this.
    You should have no problem linking to a source or reference. And then perhaps you can explain why last year, in freedom of information response, the Dept of Education said:
    “The Department does not fund any initiatives that just focus on addressing boys’ underachievement”.

  50. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    That’s a very interesting question, and it’s one that the answer to which is in a constant state of flux. Pupils at academy schools, for example, have a disproportionate number of the offspring of teachers – they have the necessary skills to get their children in. They’re at the (very) lower rung of the middle class, but very aspirational and know how to play the game.

    I’m university educated, have a household income (according to The Guardian) comfortably within the top 10% of earnersin the country, but I don’t feel middle class. I don’t really think I’ve got a lot of autonomy or choice, compared to solidly M/C stereotypes, and would, for example, worry about financial security for my children (as and when they arrive).

    But in terms of cultural capital, I’ve got a fair degree of it.

  51. Adiabat says

    Carnation (35):

    “EU Govt” is an oxymoron.

    Which should’ve been a clue that you were reading it wrong (the lack of capitalisation should’ve been a clue as well), but then you aren’t reading to understand and have a discussion; you’re reading to find something to (misguidedly) attack me with. EU ‘government procurement’ legislation (not ‘EU government’ proc. leg. and has nothing to do with EU funding regional development) is not an oxymoron: it refers to EU directives which affects member states’ public procurement of works and services if the tender is for works over a certain value (around 5 million Euros for a new house building project). The award of public contracts by member states has to comply with the principles of the EU treaty, including the freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services which guarantee the mobility of businesses and professionals within the EU. Translation: you can’t tell them where to be based or who to hire (or train up).

    Specifically, in this case, this hinders the government insisting that such a building project be used as a way to help “British working class masculinity” i.e. the government can’t stop the companies it tenders contracts to (which can be EU companies – not just British) from hiring existing EU labour instead of engaging in expensive training schemes for the British unemployed working class. You can tell them where to build but not that they have to use local labour. This effectively means that the untold billions in British taxpayer investment could be solving another country’s “masculinity crisis”. So much for that ROI.

    Unless of course it doesn’t go through procurement and it’s all done ‘in-house’. Please tell me that’s your plan because that gets even more interesting.

    I have actually been involved in the funding and executing of projects that literally do what we are talking about

    No you haven’t, because there hasn’t been such a “grand building project” of this nature anywhere in the UK for a very long time. At best you’ve likely worked on a smaller scale renovation of existing council house stock, with a relatively (to this proposed project) tiny budget to employ a few builders and run a few apprenticeships. Work on existing property is exempt from the directive I outline above, so that’s likely why you’re ignorant of it. You obviously have no concept what a project of the size you’re proposing involves, or what legislation stands in your way in your suggestions. I know this because you think you can just build government-run factories and won’t be stopped by the EU: You’re ignorant of the complexities of what you’re proposing.

    Anyway, let’s ignore the problems mentioned above and pretend it’s not doomed from the start. You’ve avoided the most important questions I asked: how many houses do you want the government to build in this “comprehensive and massive house building project” and how much it will cost? Surely you know, being such an expert?

    To help you answer: The current plan is to build 275,000 houses before 2020, with the costs mostly being taken on by building associations through raising private investment. This isn’t for social housing but regular housing, a proportion of which must be built for various schemes aimed at people with lower income. I think this should be expanded, with costly red tape removed as much as possible. We could add about another 150,000 houses per year if we do this, if estimates from housing associations are to be believed (I expect the real figure to be lower tbh. They’re probably inflating it for political aims). You plan to (replace? supplement?) this building with how many council houses? There are 1.7 million people on the housing register; do you intend to build 1.7 million houses? What is the cost of building these houses?

    Do you intend to purchase all of the land currently owned by companies so you can build your social housing? What is the cost of purchasing this land (which will be at a premium the second you announce the project)?

    At least we’re getting somewhere because you’ve answered some of my questions: we now know you’ll insist on all the proper training, certification, and you intend to put “some” people through 4 year courses (I’ll also assume you’ll have a literacy and numeracy test at the interview stage, since you’re opposed to asking for GCSE’s like most employers do). Good, otherwise you might as well spend your budget on all the lawsuits. Now, how many people will you have to train and how much will that cost, on top of the basic cost of building the houses? How many are likely to pass?

    Next, you think that there are “large numbers of unemployed tradesmen around” to do the training of this next generation, completely unaware that even with the current scale of building employers are struggling to recruit trained staff (many left for other industries during the last financial crisis). Expect a wage premium as you’ll have to pay a massively inflated amount to hire the people you need, which the issues that comes with. The fact that you claim you’ll be happy with this situation shows how unconnected to “the real world” you actually are.

    And, finally, considering that the scale of building needs to be high to meet the needs of this ‘grand project’ and have the effect you want, and the need is currently 1.7 million houses, how long do you think this project will run for? 5 or 10 years? 15 max? And what do all these thousands (tens? hundreds of thousands?) of working class people you trained up do when the government money gets diverted to more important issues, as it inevitably will when the housing problem is resolved? You can only build so many stadiums, and then these people will be unemployed and unable to find work elsewhere. You’re faced with the exact same “masculinity crises” 15 years down the line, an entirely new generation on the dole with their ‘masculinity’ attacked by pundits.

    Your plans are expensive, short-sighted and will not have the impact you want.

  52. Adiabat says

    Paul (37): Thanks for the clarification. I agree there is little interest in helping men by the public and in government, but I’ll also say that there isn’t outright antipathy either. Even your average person on the street doesn’t object to services to men, and their basic sense of fairness means they’ll support it even if they have no interest in it.

    That lack of interest is cultural. However, I don’t believe that antipathy to gender-neutral policies that may help men more is cultural. Only one group routinely produces people who object when a proposed gender-neutral policy may benefit men more than women. That’s a sub-cultural issue for that group only, not wider society. (However I will concede that there may be wider cultural norms that encourage people to join that group, and adopt its norms, depending on how meta you want to go.)

    To help me understand your other position about blame a bit more, as I still may not understand, and narrow it down to basic principles: Would you say tobacco or oil (or any) lobbyists have no blame if they successfully get their way, because ultimately it’s the government that decides?

    Do activists have any responsibility for the consequences of their activism? If not, then why are anti-vaxxers, global warming deniers, anti-gun control activists vilified? Why are they blamed when a shooting, or a measle outbreak, occurs? And to reverse it: why do we praise activists who achieve something good if it was the government who ultimately decided? As an example: why is the gay lobby praised for winning equal rights to marriage, when it was David Cameron (of all people) who ultimately made it happen? Shouldn’t the government get all the praise if it gets all the blame on other issues?

    Personally I think activists have a responsibility, and that increases the more influence they have. This responsibility confers both blame and credit when they get their way. I also believe that government has a responsibility to ensure it’s getting sound advice and are also to blame, so I don’t blame activists completely, but I don’t think we can absolve them either. I think it’s valid, and not lazy, to blame and criticise both these groups for any changes that they are working towards.

  53. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    Yawn… Can’t be bothered to read your entire breakdown, but I’ll cherrypick a few examples of your sadcase mistakes.

    “No you haven’t, because there hasn’t been such a “grand building project” of this nature anywhere in the UK for a very long time.”

    Yes, that’s probably why I didn’t use the word “grand” – please try to pay attention, mmkay?

    ” I know this because you think you can just build government-run factories and won’t be stopped by the EU: You’re ignorant of the complexities of what you’re proposing.”

    No, you’re informed by right-wing, imbecilic propaganda, most likely gleaned from Eurosceptic sub-Reddits. Quick riposte to you: Remploy Factories. The Government can, and until very recently, did own factories.

    “Specifically, in this case, this hinders the government insisting that such a building project be used as a way to help “British working class masculinity”

    You are hinting at, but unable to intelligently discuss, State Aid, EU polity designed to reduce advantage between member states. Funding training programmes are almost always exempt from this (Google FJF, for a very obvious example).

    “The current plan is to build 275,000 houses before 2020, with the costs mostly being taken on by building associations through raising private investment.”

    Eh, and then recouped? Building houses is immensely profitable, otherwise there would be no point in building houses. Jeez…

    “Do you intend to purchase all of the land currently owned by companies so you can build your social housing? What is the cost of purchasing this land (which will be at a premium the second you announce the project)?”

    I’m fairly sure the local, regional and national governments own fairly large tracts of land already. Or could work in partnership with Housing Associations that do. Or could expand already existing airports/seaports/harbours/National Trust properties.

    “And what do all these thousands (tens? hundreds of thousands?) of working class people you trained up do when the government money gets diverted to more important issues, as it inevitably will when the housing problem is resolved? You can only build so many stadiums, and then these people will be unemployed and unable to find work elsewhere. You’re faced with the exact same “masculinity crises” 15 years down the line, an entirely new generation on the dole with their ‘masculinity’ attacked by pundits.”

    Google FDR New Deal – whilst there was immediate reduction in unemployment, it did rise. However, in the circumstances that we’re talking about, the scale is much smaller and a primary purpose to the projects would be to introduce the world or work and provide exportable skills.

    10/10 for effort and Googling, 3/10 for actualy ability to rebuff.

    As always, Prince, it’s a pleasure xxxx

  54. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation

    Adiabats point seems very convincing – the kind of massive, govenrment-led industrial programme you are talking about looks quite likely to be unfeasible, either to pay for or to push through the legal and political obstacles. Just to remind you, some of the New Deal ideas got scotched by the US Supreme Court too, and there is probalby more legal traps around now than there were in the thirties. It would be very interesting if you could give some good reasons why and how it would work, but without some detailed arguments I, for one, would tend to dismiss those ideas as dreaming. And where are they, those arguments?

    You know, you would be more interesting to read if you spent more energy on the argument and less energy on showing your contempt for the people you are talking to.

  55. Paul says

    @ 55 Adiabat

    Thanks for your reply.

    You may remember the furore in some quarters which followed after Jess Phillips -sitting on a parliamentary committee -responded in a rather crass manner to the guy who was asking for parliamentary time to be allocated to the discussion of issues relating to men and boys on International Mens Day. But what about the men on that committee? Indeed what about the men who still make up the majority of members of parliament ? Why aren’t they fighting more vigorously on behalf of men and boys ?

    Any feminist in this country who believes that every day is mens day is talking out of his/her arse.For most men don’t have any real power ,most men and women are pretty inter-dependent on each other albeit in varying degrees and most men don’t use their physical superiority to abuse women.So why aren’t those men,who hold the majority of positions of real power and influence in our country challenging those feminists who have a vested interest in casting women in the role of victim/martyr ?

    Masculine chivalry,in my opinion ,has the capacity to treat women as childlike innocent creatures but it can also allow women to get away with a certain amount as well..For chivalrous men don’t want to be seen upsetting the ladies-gawd bless ’em.And because the majority of women aren’t abusive chivalrous men tend to have little or no empathy with men ,lesbian women and children who suffer at the hands of abusive women.Because they want to believe that women are the gentler sex,the nicer sex,the morally superior sex .And they -along with many feminists-can’t take seriously the idea that women can and do wield a lot of maternal.sexual and emotional power in society.And that in families and communities where there’s a culture of hyper-masculinity and/or violence and abuse the women can and do play their part in encouraging and particpating in it.And that they can be just as abusive as the men -the only difference being they’re significantly less likely than men to actually kill or seriously injure anyone.However they can make up for that by using the violence and aggression of their menfolk to do their dirty work for them.In fact here in London there’ve been many cases of people-usually men-who’ve been either killed or seriously injured as a result of violence between men which has been actively instigated by women.

    Men are fully responsible for their actions irrespective of the influence of women.But men are also the products of their upbringing which women play a key role in.In fact i’d like a lot more research to be done on any link between matriachy and machismo.However given the inter-dependence that exists between the sexes it seems facile ,to me anyway,simply blaming men when things go wrong which some-and i stress some- feminists are guilty of doing.However men ,in my opinion,should learn to be much more effectively assertive with women including feminists who thus far seem to have the upper hand with regard to controlling the narrative and influencing policy making on any issue related to gender.For why should the decent fair-minded majority of women be expected to do it for them ? So as an example when Jess Phillips started shooting her mouth off with her stereotypical feminist platitudes why didn’t any of the men on that committee challenge her ? You can’t simply can’t blame feminists for their failure to respond.

  56. Paul says

    ps If it wasn’t clear i’m not seeking to negate from the inequalities and other gender specific problems which can disproportionately impact on the lives of women in our society.And i’m not seeking to negate from the role of men in maintaining the current status quo which can adversely impact on the lives of men and women alike.

  57. 123454321 says

    Paul, I’m glad to see you’re back on track and quite frankly that truly appalling representation from Jess Phillips you just linked to back there clearly demonstrates the point you made earlier about feminists being excluded from blame wasn’t entirely accurate. I’m very careful not to attribute all feminists as being ‘women’ because clearly there are plenty of male feminists in operation desperately trying to overshadow men’s issues whilst driving their own female-friendly agendas/narratives in the hope that they look good – useless fuckwit losers who probably can’t get a shag. I listened to a radio phone-in debate yesterday regarding the Muirfield decision and there were a lot of male callers supporting the right for women to become members of a private men-only club, despite the fact that there are lots of female only golf clubs that no one appears to challenge. The usual case of whining and jealous, controlling behaviour coming from some women, and on the other side, white-knight behaviour coming from men who haven’t got a fucking clue what they’re talking about and can’t possibly undo a lifetime of feminist indoctrination using the two brain cells they have, or desperately want to look good in front of their female counterparts as they attempt to use and abuse every male that steps in their way. In any case, the women can play for freaking free and from what I’ve heard, most of the wives don’t want to become members so it’s the usual external interference and Government/BBC jumping on the bandwagon to make men look like controlling, sexist, chauvinistic shits but portray women as the victims. Not once have I heard any reports about the number of ladies only gold clubs. So, I’m making the point that the word ‘feminist’ doesn’t only apply to women, there are plenty of male white-knights in operation too. However, getting back to Jess Phillips, her sneering reaction to men’s issues such as suicide is typical of the way many feminists openly choose, not only to ignore male-specific issues, but to actively fight them – a feminist in true fighting glory – that’s our clueless, insensitive, man-hating Jess showing us the true colours of feminism – yeah, you go girl!

    Lucy #48 “No. That would be unfair.”

    Oh Lucy, oh Lucy, how can you possibly type a long, coherent and logical sentence like that when you’re so full of shit? Care to explain why a role reversal wouldn’t be ‘fair’? Try a more convincing argument than Thil’s.

  58. Carnation says

    @ Paul, 123454321

    Whilst not supporting the attitude or actions of Jess Philips, the fact that the Tory MP interested in men’s rights is none other than Philip Davies really says something about the calibre of right-wing crank and reactionary oddball attracted to anti-feminism, under the guise of men’s rights (see also, George Galloway).

  59. 123454321 says

    Carnation, Once again, you manage to write precisely 51 words which when brought together, say precisely fuck all.

    I pulled Jess up for her appalling, so-called ‘professional’ behaviour, and it appears for once (I think) that you agree – wheyey!
    So why don’t you explain exactly which part of Philip’s speech/proposal you don’t agree with, and why?
    Then tell me why a man can be slapped in the face in a advert but a woman can’t.
    Then tell me what you think of the Muirfield attacks by the BBC and people like Nicola Sturgeon?

    And then we’ll be able to judge from your answers and learn why boys are denied the same, special funding as girls during their years of education – i.e. people with biased, gender-defined beliefs such as yours demonstrably stand in the way of progress.

  60. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    “Carnation, Once again, you manage to write precisely 51 words which when brought together, say precisely fuck all.”

    Actually, I think it’s extremely clear what I’m saying. I’ll reiterate for you. The cause of anti-feminism and/or “men’s rights” attracts a disproportionate number of exceptionally low calibre individuals, usually with a reactionary axe to grind. The result of this is that these individuals are easily, and sensibly, dismissed frequently. A sad consequence of this, and acknowledging that even a stopped clock is correct twice a day, is that initiatives to support men are drowned out by the nutbars.

    Google Philip Davies, do a quick rationale for what he’s done for men against what he’s done that could damage men, then tell me if you think he’s a sound advocate.

    I have no idea why you posed those irrelevant questions to me and, as ever, won’t have my commentary on this site directed by you. But tell you what, all being fair, answer the question I posed to you, then re-pose me another question.

  61. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation
    If a Tory MP is making a good point and Jess Philips is being a A-hole in return, it logically makes no difference for the discussion who the Tory MP is, or how often he is wrong. Why bring it up, unless you are trying to derail something?

  62. StillGjenganger says

    @123454321

    Oh Lucy, oh Lucy, how can you possibly type a long, coherent and logical sentence like that when you’re so full of shit?

    What goes around comes around. Do you actually like this level of discussion?

  63. Carnation says

    @ StillGjenganger

    It’s relevant because it’s very questionable whether the Tory MP in questions gives two hoots about men, given his track record in Parliament, if they are private tenants, for example, or vulnerable to taking out payday loans, or disabled.

    You see, it’s relevant because it seems he is *against* legislation that helps people, and *for* big business.

    So why is a man like this attracted to anti-feminism/”men’s rights”? And should he be welcome?

    And I didn’t bring this up, remember, others did.

    This whole thing stinks like the far right’s sudden interest in women’s rights and gay rights. Political opportunism, and a chance to “look tough” against the supposed forces of “political correctness.”

  64. Paul says

    @ 123454321

    Paul, I’m glad to see you’re back on track

    To be honest i don’t think i’ve ever been off track.For the original point i was making was that feminists can’t be blamed if men who hold positions of power won’t challenge them if/when they pursue agendas which are detrimental to men and boys.And when they’re given funding to pursue those agendas.

    There are some really influential feminists in the media,the academic world and politics.And there’re some pretty formidable feminist lobbying groups.But the majority of those who hold real power are men.So they really have to bear a significant amount of the responsiblity for the discrimination that males can and do experience in areas like health,education,domestic violence and parenting.

    I’m sure you and i share some of the same disadin for those feminists who have a vested interested in portarying the myth that women in this country are primarily victims/martyrs/paragons of virtue etc etc .And share the same disdain for those feminists who have had some success in controlling the narrative on issues such as domestic violence.But ultimately i think we’re living in cloud cuckoo if we think those feminists are ever going to change because they never will.Therefore i think men-with their female supporters- have got to up the ante in lobbying those with power and influence to ensure the inequalities that men and boys can face are addressed .That inevitably will put us on a collision course with some feminists but let’s not kid ourselves these feminists have more power and influence than they actually have.

  65. 123454321 says

    Carnation #63 “…..is that initiatives to support men are drowned out by the nutbars.”

    Oh, really, so what exactly are these ‘initiatives’ you speak of that specifically support men?

    “Google Philip Davies, do a quick rationale for what he’s done for men against what he’s done that could damage men, then tell me if you think he’s a sound advocate.”

    Err, no thanks, no need to google him as I know plenty well enough that he’s a very sound advocate for men and their issues. You point me to a link demonstrating why he isn’t. You can’t.

    “But tell you what, all being fair, answer the question I posed to you, then re-pose me another question.”

    Okaaayyy, so you refuse to answer the questions (AGAIN) then expect me to answer yours (which I have) and then ask me to pose another (less difficult?) question as a bargaining offer. Alrighty. The think is, Carnation, I knew anyway that you wouldn’t answer my questions because it would mean you’d have to give up a life’s worth of feminist dogma whereby you can’t possibly be seen to admit that a) it’s not ok for a woman to slap a man for no apparent reason, particularly in an advert shown at primetime viewing times by children, and b) you could never be caught admitting that the Muirfield critics are nothing short of pathetic white-knights and whinny women who are hypocritical, jealous and controlling morons desperate to stop men from enjoying their own space even when it’s a privately owned club that MEN funded, designed, built, maintain and manage themselves and also the fact that women have plenty of women-only golf clubs besides. But no, you won’t dare comment on it, will you Carnation? Just knew you wouldn’t answer the question.

  66. 123454321 says

    “What goes around comes around. Do you actually like this level of discussion?”

    StillG – No, but considering the despicable level of hatred and contempt for men and boys that Lucy demonstrates on this site, my responses are fully in line with the same gutter datum level, and fully deserved. Lucy came back with a petulant, childish answer in response to my question relating to the BT advert role reversal by saying “that would be unfair” but she has no intention of explaining her reasoning, predominantly because she HAS no reason and merely wants to perpetuate the myth, using no logic whatsoever, that only women and girls can be victims, no matter what. The danger is, of course, that young people buy into this shit and believe it simply because they hear it so many times. Keep repeating how unfair life is, Lucy, on women and girls, making sure none of the limelight falls on men and boys (unless it’s relating to wrongdoing, of course) and you’re onto a winner with attracting young, new feminist recruits who will be the next generation of marketing directors supporting domestic violence against men in the next wave of ‘cutting edge’ adverts. Bravo!

  67. 123454321 says

    “It’s relevant because it’s very questionable whether the Tory MP in questions gives two hoots about men,

    What a complete load of bollocks. And you justify your statement (sorry, misguided opinion) by subcategorising men into disabled, private tenants and even those who take out payday loans? Are there not disabled women, female tenants, and women who take out payday loans?

    Philip Davies talks openly and specifically, on behalf of men, about the lack of recognition for men’s issues and he addresses myths and submits factual supporting evidence at Government level, and you attack his strategy using subcategorisation tactics. Nice.

  68. 123454321 says

    Paul, I agree with everything that you say.

    When have I ever said that feminists can’t be men? In actual fact, I have often said that men need to wake up and smell the coffee if we are to make a better world for men, boys, women and girls.

  69. Paul says

    @ 71 123454321

    When have I ever said that feminists can’t be men?

    I think maybe our wires have got crossed-easy to happen online.

    I never accused you of saying feminists were only women.And i’m not sure the majority of the men i was referring to who hold most of the reins of power in this country identify themselves as feminists. What i was trying to get across was that those men who hold most of the reins of power have allowed feminists to set the agenda in certain spheres even when it’s to the detriment of men and boys.

  70. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    “And you justify your statement (sorry, misguided opinion) by subcategorising men into disabled, private tenants and even those who take out payday loans? Are there not disabled women, female tenants, and women who take out payday loans?”

    No, I didn’t sub-categorise. And I didn’t say that Davies supports legislation that specifically targets men, but it does target *people*, whilst defending the interests of the business class. So he has literally single-handedly blocked legislation that would enable and support private tenants, but he has done nothing effective to “help men.”

    “Philip Davies talks openly and specifically, on behalf of men, about the lack of recognition for men’s issues and he addresses myths and submits factual supporting evidence at Government level”

    No, he attempted to, but his reputation as a right-wing renegade left him open to mocking, scorn and derision, and left him bereft of support, except from other reactionaries (including the odious DUP) and his obsession with the evils of “political correctness” places him squarely out on the fringes – where the issue of men’s rights will remain, so long as it attracts such low calibre individuals.

  71. StillGjenganger says

    @123454321 69
    I can see your reasoning, but I still think you will get better discussions overall if you just turn the other cheek and engage only with the sensible bits. If nothing else the exchange of insults gets cut short as soon as one side stops contributing.

    On another point, Lucy is very different from most modern feminists. She is certainly much more consistent and intellectually honest than e.g. Jessica Valenti. Sure, Lucy has some nasty anti-man opinions and she stops answering once the questions get too probing. But basically she is an honest female supremacist. She does not play mind games and pretend that women can only be victims and men can only be predators, she simply thinks that women should have their own world where they decide and develop their own nature, and men are left outside the door.

    To Lucy: That is how I see you. If you disagree with my mansplaining, please correct me.

  72. 123454321 says

    “But basically she is an honest female supremacist.”

    Wonderfully put, StillG, wonderfully put. But would you be comfortable defending a racist, for example, by calling them out as “an honest white, racist”, even if they were consistent and intellectually honest with their views?

    It seems female supremacy goes unchallenged by too many people, including men (and women) in power, as Paul says.

  73. 123454321 says

    Carnation
    If not Philip Davies, who exactly would you like to stand up and represent men’s issues? Names please?
    What would the proposed agenda consist of?
    Are there priorities arguments/points of consideration?
    Are there any men’s issues (things you hear raised by men on the internet, for example) that you consider shouldn’t be raised?
    What method of communication should be employed?
    What type of material/factual evidence should be made available/submitted?
    Who would be the preferred target audience?
    Proposals for venue/location?
    Timing considerations?
    Do you have any other helpful, strategic inputs prior to delivery?

    Just interested. After all, it’s fine for you to criticise, but what’s your preferred alternative, dude, and can you tug some strings and pull something off fairly quickly, with greater influence than Philip Davies? Cuz if you can, I’m all ears. And if you could suggest someone who Jess Phillips wouldn’t derogatorily sneer at during the presentation, or interrupt to make pointless comments like “there are more men in this room so we don’t need to talk about men’s issues until we get equal representation” or “every day is men’s day so no need for International men’s day”, then all the better!

  74. StillGjenganger says

    @12354321 75

    But would you be comfortable defending a racist, for example, by calling them out as “an honest white, racist”, even if they were consistent and intellectually honest with their views?

    Can’t see why not. I would draw the line at nazis, and some racists would fall foul of that limit too. But for the rest, I might fight people, politically. If it came to that I might try to have them interned or shot, like they might do with me if the situation ws reversed. But that does not prevent me from either respecting them or debating with them.

  75. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    How about an MP who actually has a track record of favouring people over the interests of businesses? How about someone who actually has the cross-party respect to get more than the usual right-wing suspects to sign a motion against “political correctness” rather than for men?

    How about Caroline Lucas? Proven track record in human rights. Ken Clarke? Progressive in criminal justice legislation. Andy Burnham? Championed the case of the Hillsborough 96.

    The wider point I’m making, and that you are completely oblivious to, is that thus far, the wretched cause of anti-feminism has only managed to attract a tiny number of wretched, perpetually outraged, right-wing reactionaries. This is the main reason why the issue of “men’s rights” has gotten absolutely nowhere, and will continue to get nowhere.

    The people attracted to the cause taint the issues – to the detriment of vulnerable boys.

    That you cannot see this makes you part of the problem.

  76. Carnation says

    ‘ StillGJ

    Adiabat’s arguments *seem* convincing because he’s gone to the Brexit subReddit and has regurgitated a few choice phrases that make it look like he knows what he’s talking about – he doesn’t.

    A perfunctory Google search shows that dozens of billions of pounds are earmarked for major UK govt building projects. Passing understanding of the Third Sector allows one the understanding required to realise that expanding existing apprenticeship/work-placement schemes would not be difficult. For those interested, Google FJF. What Adiabat is *trying* to hint at is more State Aid than Procurement legislation. But because he’s only got his info from Brexit sources, he doesn’t realise the elasticity allowed for training schemes.

    Adiabat is nothing but a right-wing, Reddit cliché – lots of bluster, zero substance.

  77. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnatio 79

    First of all, I am interested in possible alternative economic policies, not in evaluating the IQ of Adiabat. Therefore I do not give a shit where he got his arguments from. They are pretty convincing no matter who came up with them.originally (and he was at a minimum smart enough to recognise that). You do not think I am a deep and original thinker who came up with all mine from scratch, do you? On prior probability Adiabat sounds rather more plausible than your claim that it is all no-brainer easy and free from problem. It does not help that you thereby imply that anyone who does not follow your obvious and eminently workable policies (which includes all the governments of the westerrr world, more or less) must of necessity be either nasty or stupid, Of course you might be right when you say that you have the necessary knowlegde and understanding to say authoritatively that these are the right policies to follow – and that anyone who disagrees with you does not know what he is talking about. But, regrettably, I am not going to take your word for it.

  78. Carnation says

    @ StillJG

    The problem with Adiabat is that he is blinkered, and relies on kneejerk stupidity, as many right-wingers do. So he is susceptible to “EU stop soverign governments” arguments. In reality, it just doesn’t stack up.

    The Tory and New Labour Govts wouldn’t embark on this scheme for ideological reasons – it smeels too much like socialism. It’s really that simple.

    This is one of the reasons why it’s quite obvious that right-wingers have no interest in improving the lot of vulnerable or marginalised men.

  79. 123454321 says

    Carnation: “How about Caroline Lucas? Proven track record in human rights.”

    hahahahaha, you’re too funny. You mean that feminist MP who campaigned for lads’ mags to be banned just because she was so fraught with uncontrollable jealousy and couldn’t cope with the fact that men should be allowed to look at and enjoy other beautiful women – women who actually wanted to do the job, consented and got paid for what they do best? You mean THE same Caroline Lucas who supported the ‘no more page 3’ campaign by turning up to a Westminster Commons debate in a T-shirt with the ‘ban page 3’ slogan on written across it? You mean THE same ‘humanist’ Caroline Lucas who doesn’t seem interested in campaigning against the torrent of magazines sexualising men and UNDERAGE boys that we see stacked amongst the shelves of Tesco for the titillation of women and girls? THE same Caroline Lucas that allows wresting toys and magazines to be sold in children’s toy shops and WHSmiths, for example? – you know, the same type of merchandise you find on the side of a child’s lunch box that actively supports the glorification of violence and encourages boys to smack the crap out of each other using professional moves that can result in fatal injuries?

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=92804
    http://amarillo.com/stories/1999/07/01/new_kills.shtml#.V04FfIS4_BI
    http://www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/child-safety/accidents-to-children/ (look under bravado halfway down)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3027436/
    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/06/despite_warnings_from_professi.html

    and hundreds more links out there if you search.

    Are we talking about the same Caroline Lucas here? Presumably not, as the one I know is only interested in preventing men from looking at female nipples while completely ignoring the welfare of men and boys when it comes to far more serious matters involving direct violence. You have a lot to learn, Carny, you really do, time to move out of the training pants and move to the Y fronts. Life is far more serious than female nipple censorship and I really don’t think our Caroline is up to it.

  80. 123454321 says

    Andy Burnham – errm, not exactly successful – less majority than 2001, self-confessed feminist. Not doing it for me, Carny. oh, hang on, wait a minute, he does support men….but only if they’re gay!

  81. 123454321 says

    “…the main reason why the issue of “men’s rights” has gotten absolutely nowhere, and will continue to get nowhere.”

    Nonsense, and besides, you’re missing a crucial point. Ever heard the old story about the hare and the tortoise? See how the tortoise won, not because he was the fastest, but because the hare was dumb and stupid. Feminism has damaged itself far too much to recuperate successfully, what with it’s bigoted, nonsensical, selfish, superiority behaviour. Don’t brag about feminism’s short-lived, supposedly lightning pace, for slow and steady will win the race!

  82. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    “Don’t brag about feminism’s short-lived, supposedly lightning pace, for slow and steady will win the race!”

    Well, I didn’t “brag” or indeed even mention feminism. You did, because you’re obsessed with your misunderstanding of it.

    If you think the men’s movement is progressing, let alone at a “slow and steady pace”, you are simply delusional.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] Along the same lines we are told that “the Commission is funding a £450,000 major new initiative to boost participation levels in cricket.  The joint scheme with the English Cricket Board (ECB) will encourage more women, girls, and black and ethnic minority people to take up the sport, as well as improving disabled access at cricket grounds“. Indeed, in 2015/16 the EHRC has already paid the England & Wales Cricket Board £269,355. I have scant interest in sport myself, so forgive my ignorance if I have this wrong. But people from India or Pakistan or of West Indian extraction hardly need any encouragement to play cricket, do they? And as for women, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport has already funded the campaign This Girl Can (also encouraging more women to play sports) to the tune of around £10M. […]

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