On 23 Sep 2014 BBC3 TV aired a live programme ‘Free Speech Live’ which debated “Do we live in a sexist country?” (referring to the UK), here.
To any neutral observer with a functioning brain the answer became abundantly clear in the opening minutes. This featured a pre-recorded film of women – only women – complaining about anti-female sexism. Leave aside any debate about the merits or otherwise of what they said. The fact that only women were asked for their opinion is an absolute clincher: the BBC is a sexist organisation. It is impossible to conclude otherwise if they stage a debate on sexism and allow only one side to speak.
This opening set the scene for what was to follow. Consider the panel – which consisted of four people: three outright feminists (two women and one man, respectively Laura Bates, Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood, and a so-called comedian, Omar Hamdi) together with Angela Epstein, who might fairly be regarded as neutral (a self-declared non-feminist, but not an anti-feminist). Biased? Great God, it is testament to the BBC’s hoodwinking of the public that they can get away with something so blatant. A fair panel might have had two feminists and two outright, full-on MRA/anti-feminists. Or one of each and two people like Angela Epstein. Roll on the day.
This appalling excuse for a debate on sexism failed even to allow men’s issues onto the agenda. Sexism was presented solely as a woman’s issue. We heard the usual stuff about cat calling, unwanted touching, etc. And, yes, bad stuff – really bad stuff – does happen to women – but the relentless one-way narrative just will not wash anymore, Laura Bates. Bad stuff happens to men too – and you are part of it. How can you have a debate on sexism when even the possibility of the existence of men’s human rights issues is not mentioned? Even the good Angela Epstein, though she did her best to restore some degree of sanity, did not raise the key issues. Let me remind you what they are…
- Educational disadvantage of boys,
- Lack of recognition of, or assistance for, male victims of partner abuse.
- Men’s shorter life expectancy.
- Substantially less research funding on men-only diseases compared with women-only diseases.
- Male suicide rates,
- Men’s lack of paternity rights,
- Endemic paternity fraud,
- Some parents (mothers) are more equal than others (fathers) – gross gender bias of the family courts,
- Hypersensitivity to male-on-female sexual assault,
- Yet sexual assault of males by females remains largely unrecognised,
- Grossly inequitable treatment of men and women in the criminal justice system,
- “Pay gap” myths hide the truths of the spend gap, the work gap and the parenting gap,
- Men are 96% of workplace fatalities and injuries,
- Nasty, dirty, dangerous jobs are almost always done by men – no sign that feminists want substantive equality there,
- Men are more likely to be the victims of violence than women – despite the constant exhortations that we should “end violence against women”.
- 90% of the homeless are men.
- 99% of war deaths and casualties are men.
- Female genital mutilation is illegal and universally reviled. Male genital mutilation is regarded as perfectly acceptable;
- Female suffering is newsworthy, male suffering is not (e.g., Boko Haram – how many people know that their main activity is killing boys?).
- There is a lack of action on under-representation of men in certain professions, contrasting with the huge focus on assisting women into areas where they are under-represented.
- Male-only organisations have systematically been obliged to accept females, whilst the reverse is not true.
- Universal denigration of men; misandry.
Now the point is this: even if you are not an MRA and do not believe the above are substantive issues, there is obviously a prima facie case to be addressed. There is simply no excuse whatsoever for failing to even acknowledge that men’s issues exist. Yet this is what the BBC does – and not just once, as in this programme, but repeatedly, habitually – and one has to conclude, deliberately.
This is equality?
Such is the success of the feminist movement in re-writing history that we had one young man tell us that “people died to get women the vote”. Strictly he was correct, but for entirely the wrong reason. The only suffragette who died for the cause was Emily Davison, and it was probably a result of stupidity in her case, rather than deliberate martyrdom, as she failed to appreciate that a racehorse at full gallop was unlikely to stop. But people did indeed die to get women the vote – nearly a million of them – all men. The primary purpose of the 1918 Representation of the People Act was to enfranchise all men of 21 years and over, regardless of class or wealth, as recognition of men’s sacrifice in World War 1. Women then got the vote essentially by default because it had been the disenfranchisement of working class men which had been the political barrier to enfranchising women, as explained fully here (see also Herbert Purdy on the history of women’s suffrage). So, the vote for women was indeed bought with lives – men’s lives – but you will not hear this from the feminists. Votes for women in the UK owes more to the Kaiser than to the Pankhursts.
My despair deepened when one man, incredibly a primary school teacher, argued that Angela Epstein had been incorrect to claim that much about personal preferences were innate, biologically legislated tendencies. He claimed that scientific studies showed this to be untrue. Really? What scientific studies are those? I think Simon Baron Cohen and Steven Pinker would like to hear about them, because their representation of the scientific position is precisely that much behaviour, and especially gender orientation, is innate. Read “The Essential Difference”, read “The Blank Slate”. Best of all, view this Norwegian documentary by Harald Eia and Ole Martin Ihle which trashes the feminist position on socially constructed gender roles in highly amusing fashion.
This comment was left by one woman viewer of the programme (Lana Voreskova): “OK bored with this now. A TV programme which purports to have a “debate” about “sexist culture” – A panel consisting of three feminists and one non-feminist who is rarely allowed to speak anyway. Angela did her best and remained calm but she had little chance of not being drowned out by all the mindless hysterical howling.” And she added, “47% percent of female university students have been sexually groped. Ha ha ha. Listen Laura – 100% of university students, male and female, have been sexually groped. Waiting for your next ground-breaking discovery – 98% of cats have chased a mouse.” Quite. My despair lifts a little – thank you, Lana.
But finally – and most importantly – the ray of hope. Three young men made valiant attempts to present the men’s rights perspective. It was not their fault that they were surrounded by a hostile audience, with a hostile panel and a hostile TV company within a hostile society. Well done, those lads! If any of you read this – I salute you.