I HATE MEN (allegedly)

Actually I quite like them. They are very useful. I am married to one and he has been put to work cleaning the house as I type…But I have discovered that these men types are not all as loveable as him upstairs:

I came across a rather unpleasant cluster of websites today whose focus is on the divers ways in which women and feminism are evil / destructive / conspiring with the communists to bring about the apocalypse etc…Your run of the mill women-hating rot? Well, they made me shudder.

Starting at what men are saying about women which is wholly and unapologetically misogynist (perhaps its not considered rude in Oz), I follow blogroll links to the UK based end of men (which includes the very measured claim that feminism destroys not just the family but also destroys whole populations – see ‘why feminism is a fraud’ Nov 8 and the About page which develops the argument from feminists=men-haters to a government conspiracy to global depopulation enslavement and (dun dun DUUUN) THE END OF MANKIND! Crikey. This blog also expresses some incredulity at the suggestion that a father who punched two social workers (one heavily pregnant and one holding his four month old baby) before snatching his child and going on the run (the baby was under a care order) should get a prison sentence. Clearly he should have got a pat on the back and a lollipop for the kid.), and fembot hunter (‘Applying logic, facts and accountability to the mindless droning of the feminist hate movement’ – apparently) and ukmensaid (which purports to demystify the UK law around divorce and children and tells you what lawyers won’t – (lawyers won’t tell you it because much of it is simply inaccurate and mis-states the law or misinterprets data. For example I’m unlikely to write an article on a piece of legislation that doesn’t exist viz ‘Children Act 1991’).

I had to give up trawling through these in the end, the few links above are just my personal favourites. And of course many of these sites link into the more acceptable face of father’s / men’s rights, such as fathers4justice / realfathers4justice (and probably realrealrealfathers4realjustice) etc. (everything’s relative). I think the scariest thing is the idea that men in the process of relationship breakdown who are struggling to understand what is happening to their family and why, and who are looking for explanations will find themselves surrounded by a wealth of sources like these all of which espouse the view that we (that’s women) are out to get special treatment and that the state or the family justice system is out to ensure that this happens. I mean, they have big words in them and everything so they must be right.

So, by way of example uk mens aid suggests here that the reason why the vast majority of divorces are granted to women (about 80%) is a grand conspiracy by the courts (not sanctioned by Parliament I might add – tskk) to deprive the man ‘of his home, his children and his money’ (my emphasis). The reality is that its far more likely to be because it is women who are in the most vulnerable position financially after a separation (childcare responsibilities curtail their earning capacity and they are often left in the matrimonial home with no means to pay the mortgage) and this means that they need to get on with the divorce quickly so that they can sort out the financial situation before the house is repossessed. Often men, feeling there is no incentive to get on with the divorce or the division of assets dilly dally whilst the mortgage company threatens repo. And what uk mens aid omits to mention is that the question of WHO gets the divorce has no bearing AT ALL on how the money is divided.

If this is the kind of information available to men, and the mindset with which men approach the family courts system then their perception of their experience may well be distorted by the kind of suggestions made on these sites – coming from this angle everything that the courts / lawyers do no doubt looks like proof of the argument that the system is biased against them. And the problem with this is that if you approach the system with a chip that big it can obscure your view of what is really happening.

So on the one hand the fathers / mens movement is complaining of the adversarial / confrontational nature of the family courts system and yet discussion boards and blogs are full of the rhetoric of war and hatred, pumping up men who are at a difficult stage in their lives to do battle with this injustice rather than agree with anything the women might say for fear of being branded a namby pamby metrosexual or feminised new man (these are apparently the actual creation of man-hating feminists – a bit like how Nation of Islam think white men were the freaky creation of a mad scientist? Oh…I digress).

I’m all for injustices being exposed and righted, but to suggest – as these sites collectively do – that everything is an example of some sinister and systematic anti-male ideology and to place the arrangements for resolving disputes about the breakdown of family relationships at the centre of this conspiracy, so that every court case is approached as a battle ground, is to encourage father’s and husbands to miss the point. Relationship breakdown involves real individual children with their own individual personalities and needs, and real individual adults with their own individual quirks and strengths and weaknesses. And real pain – hatred may be a byproduct but it should not be the fuel for or purpose of the exercise.

So anyway, now I really have to go and help my entirely equal other half with the cleaning. Or he might get paranoid.

Postscript 16 Nov: Charon QC’s post yesterday has revealed another gem of an anti-women website (see section on feminism in particular).

12 thoughts on “I HATE MEN (allegedly)

  1. Not all areas of life are dominated by men. I am a librarian and here in the states (U.S) nearly 80% of its professionals are women. Women can be just as easily power abusive as men. I find that when people are discussing the old boys club I am puzzled. This was certainly true of my father’s generation, but things have changed.

    The video on the link above seems to be more about how crazy “speed dating” is. Please don’t pass yourself off as liking men when you clearly are extremely defensive. Sometimes is just a personality conflict and not US VS THEM.

  2. Thanks for your post David,

    You are right that not all areas of life are dominated by men – the field in which I work (family law) is heavily populated by women (although the legal profession / the bar as a whole remains male dominated at the top, with broad equality of numbers at entry level). And you are right that there are some crazy power hungry ladees out there. Both genders have the capacity for that characteristic. Perhaps in the world of the US librarian the old boys network doesn’t exist but it sure as hell does in my world.

    I don’t have your video link but I’m not sure what speed dating has to do with anything on this post. Maybe its fun, maybe its nuts – never done it. Never likely to.

    I’m not sure why you say I am defensive or why you suggest that there may be a personality conflict – I have not posted about individual men, merely about material on men’s rights websites. All of us are individuals and what happens on a societal level does not make me prejudge individual men OR women. Women can be sexist and men can be feminist. I would defend criticism of the hate filled material that I have referred to in this post which supports rigid and gendered roles for men and women that I do not subscribe to, and which in my view demeans both men and women.

  3. ”by way of example uk mens aid suggests here that the reason why the vast majority of divorces are granted to women (about 80%) is a grand conspiracy by the courts (not sanctioned by Parliament I might add – tskk)”
    [b]Feminists say the glass ceiling is a conspiracy by men. What are your thoughts on this?[/b]

  4. the term ‘conspiracy’ suggests a conscious and deliberate effort by individuals to bring about a particular state of affairs. Discrimination is usually more complex and subtle than that, and often not conscious at all. The glass ceiling remains in some areas precisely because of its invisibility – it requires a proactive approach to break through it but probably only complacency / latency in order to remain in existence. And in my experience there are many women as well as men who are complacent about achieving real equality. People find it hard to see the bigger picture when things are going ok for them as an individual – we’re all guilty of that.

    Sure there are some men out there who take deliberate steps to block the advancement of women, but I’d say they are in the minority, and largely its a failure to understand difference or to have insight into the gendered way we see the world that creates or perpetuates inequality.

    And of course in some industries its as hard for men to progress along with the women as it is for women to progress in the traditionally male dominated niches.

  5. Nevermind the fact that I’ve never heard anyone suggest biased courts are a conspiracy, but don’t you think it could be due to discrimination?

  6. F4J is run for profit not to seriously challenge or change the family justice system.

    FNF is funded by the DfES which is the same Government department which is responsible for how the family courts operate.

    If you want to know what happened to the only real family law reform project we have seen in the UK over the last 30 years click here:

    http://www.mensaid.com/flr.htm

  7. whilst i’m not going to get into a comparison of the various fathers / mens groups, who funds them and which is more valid, I have included this comment so readers can go and see for themselves.

  8. Perhaps there is a wider issue here that the whole debate, on both sides it must be said, lacks much intellectual vigour. Whereas in the US there are academics such as Daniel Amneus or Stephen Baskerville (whose recent book I wholeheartedly recommend) writing intelligently about the issue, in Britain the debate is dominated by ordinary fathers desperately trying to make sense of what has happened to them, and often getting things very wrong. The argument from the lawyers – which is usually to deny that there is a problem – is similarly inadequate. David Mortimer is undoubtedly an exception to this rule as is the remarkable Ivor Catt, who I believe is currently gravely ill.

    What we believe about conspiracies (this government couldn’t run a conspiracy if it wanted to), the malign influence of feminism, or the role of judges in changing the law in a way which benefits lawyers, needs to be debated. So does the question of to what extent the state should intrude into the family, and to what extent it should replace the traditional role of fathers.

    (And for the record F4J does not make a profit, far from it)

    • Nick Langford said; “ordinary fathers desperately trying to make sense of what has happened to them”. Old stagers like me find each generation of excluded fathers busily rediscovering the wheel. I am glad he recommends Amneus and Baskerville. I suggest that the higher quality of analysis in the USA is nearly all due to Baskerville.
      The trouble is, the “ordinary fathers” don’t do enough reading to learn what we have already found out. Further, there is a real need for all fathers to read literature by radical feminists, which massively influences the courts and our other institutions.
      Baskerville seems to be making inroads into the media in the USA. In England, excluded fathers are more or less totally shut out of the media. – Ivor Catt

  9. The debate certainly doesn’t lack vigour, but I suspect you meant to say it lacks rigour.

  10. My concern is if the Tender years theory is still going to be applied in the family courts? what difference will it actually make to change the wording of the children’s act?

    The European Court of Human Rights took the view that the German government had gone too far and found in favour of the father. ‘Tender Years Theory’ effectively prevents children from having a family life with their fathers.

    [….I’ve edited this for two reasons. 1 It was quite ridiculously long. 2 last time I commented on maternal deprivation I got sued, as perhaps you are aware judging from the links in your comment. So you’ll forgive me if I don’t bother this time. Lucy]

  11. When are family court judges going to start referring cases of perjury’ to the police given the Lord Chief Justices ruling?

    “If a judge considers that the Police should pursue an investigation in respect of the commission of perjury by a witness or a party at a trail, the judge must make this clear in his judgment and make the necessary order so as to require the court to send the papers in the case to the Police or the appropriate authorities. If the judge does not make such a direction in the course of his judgment, then the Police can assume that there is no case of perjury to be investigated. However, should relevant evidence come to light, the aggrieved party may return to court to place the fact before a judge and/or appeal. It will then be open to that judge to give the aforementioned direction if appropriate”

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