News Briefing March 2019

News Item:

  • International Men’s Day
  • The International Conference on Men’s Issues (ICMI 2018)
  • The Draft Domestic Abuse Bill
  • Double Standards Being Recognized
  • Top Issues of Male Inequality
  • ‘Poor White Boys’ are Falling Behind in Education, Says Social Mobility Expert
  • ‘The Lost Boys of the North East’: Why do the Region’s Young Men Trail Further Behind Girls at School?
  • Working Class Youngsters Still ‘Struggle for Success’
  • T a c k l i n g t h e E d u c a t i o n a l U n d e r a c h i e v em e n t o f B o y s a n d Y o u n g M e n
  • If we Believe in True Equality we Must Help Boys, Says Martin Daubney
  • Half of Universities Have Fewer Than 5% Poor White Students

INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY:

If it is true that “a week is a long time in politics”, then in gender politics a couple of years is a lifetime. Attending the last International Men’s Day events in central London on November 18th, I couldn’t help remembering the pitifully
inadequate event (or rather non-event) in 2016 when I joined Mike Buchanan and half a dozen others for a brief gathering with placards in a rainy Parliament Square. Even the ever indefatigable Mike, founder of the political party J4MB, couldn’t prevent the whole thing from being a bit of an embarrassment.

Fast forward to 2018 and it’s unrecognisable. Partly because it was held on a Sunday, whereas in 2016 it was on a weekday. Literally hundreds took part in a triumphant day-long extravaganza, celebrating the achievements of males in the teeth of decades of misandry and militant feminism. It was good to see so many ladies in attendance! We started off in Trafalgar Square before marching to the Strand where speeches were made outside the Royal Court of Justice.

This was a symbolic protest against the shameless injustices of the Family Court with its institutional bias against fathers. After an hour we set off again with a dignified procession along the Embankment. Unlike the miserable weather in Parliament Square 2 years before, this time the sun was blazing down as we again assembled opposite the mother of parliaments.

And this time we made our presence felt, attracting a lot of sympathetic interest among passersby. Next stop was Soho, where a venue above a pub in Wardour Street. was packed out to see a very impressive line-up of speakers, mostly serious but also a couple of original and inventive comedians who incredibly managed to extract laughs from the rather depressing subject of gender politics and injustice.

These speeches are now thankfully on YouTube under “Messages for Men” and I urge you to watch. Overall an extremely professional and impressive evening. The organisers deserve special credit and in particular the magnificent Elizabeth Hobson whose passion for gender equality and fairness knows no bounds and who has recently joined J4MB as Communications Director.

THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MEN’S ISSUES (ICMI 2018):

The fourth International Conference on Men’s Issues (ICMI 2018) took place in London at the Excel Centre from 20-22nd July 2018 (originally it was to be held at Birmingham football ground but this fell through). This followed on from the 2014 (US), 2016 (UK), 2017 (Australia) conferences. It was organised, as before, by the UK party ‘Justice 4 Men and Boys’ (J4MB).

Nineteen speakers from many different countries gave speeches over three days to a conference of roughly over a hundred international delegates. They spoke on a wide variety of issues that will all be familiar to anyone concerned with men and boys’ rights and the discrimination/issues they face – for example domestic violence against men and the institutional and social prejudices they encounter; unequal child custody for fathers after separation; unequal prison sentencing that disadvantages men/privileges women; lack of appreciation of men and their demonization; misandry in general: many other related topics.

Further information on the conference can be found at the website: http://icmi2018.icmi.info/ or via a link from the J4MB website: https://j4mb.org.uk. The conference was also filmed thereby preserving the excellent speeches for everyone to watch. To view go to YouTube and simply type in ‘icmi 2018’ or follow the links from the J4MB website again. Previous conference speeches are also online and can be found in the same way.

The next International Conference on Men’s Issues (ICMI 2019) will be held later this year in Chicago, August 16-18 2019. It should be an excellent event. For those who can’t make it at least it will be recorded again to be viewed online as before.

There was a general feeling among delegates that there is a gradual, growing awareness of our issues and that people are speaking out. More and more people online are speaking their mind and adding their voice. However, there is probably still a long way to go before this subject becomes mainstream and it becomes politically fashionable to talk about the issues, discrimination and demonisation affecting men and boys.

THE DRAFT DOMESTIC ABUSE BILL:

The above was published on 21st January 2019 and will be transforming response to this crime and ensuring the millions of victims across the country receive the support they need and perpetrators are targeted.

Key facts: Measures will include:

  • The first ever statutory definition of Domestic Abuse to recognise that abuse is not just
    physical, but can take many different forms – including psychological, physical, sexual, economic and emotional;
  • Establishing the office of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner to stand up for victims, monitor the provision of domestic
    abuse services, and hold the government to account;
  • Better support for victims when in court and new protection orders to force perpetrators to attend rehabilitation
    programmes where substance abuse is a factor in abuse;
  • Banning the cross examination of victims in the family court by litigants in person;
  • A suite of non-legislative action including further work to support children affected by domestic abuse and additional
    funding for disabled, elderly, male, and LGBTQ victims of domestic abuse.

It is estimated that around two million adults experience domestic abuse each year, almost 6 per cent of all adults. We know, from the harrowing experiences of these victims and their families, that there is still more to do to stamp out this life-shattering crime and the Domestic Abuse Bill will lead the way in bringing about the changes needed to achieve this.

DOUBLE STANDARDS BEING RECOGNISED:

In The Metro newspaper of 21st January 2019 there was a piece entitled: Sex assault soldier ‘let off because she’s female’ (p11). The paper revealed that ‘A female soldier who rubbed her body against a male colleague and tried to kiss him has been disciplined for sex assault. Trooper Corrie-Alice Holmes, 25, a private in the Household Cavalry, molested a younger soldier on guard duty near Windsor Castle after a night out’.

It said that ‘A source at Combermere Barracks, Windsor, told the Mail on Sunday: “The male soldier was lying on a bed in the guard room.

She leant over him, placing her arms either side of his head, basically pinning him down. He asked her to leave him alone but she carried on. They then went outside and she was seen rubbing herself against him and trying to kiss him. He called out “Help me!” Eventually the guard
commander pulled her away”.

The paper said that the regiment’s leaders ‘warned that she would be kicked out if there was any further misconduct’. It also said that ‘outraged male colleagues tipped off the military police because they thought she had been let off too lightly. They claimed any male soldier who did the same to a female colleague would have been sent to military prison and booted out of the service’. As an example, the year before, a private groped a female officer in a nightclub when they were both drunk, was jailed for nine months and dismissed by a military court.

This case highlights a disturbing but all too common gender double standard. However, there are also some encouraging signs here. Firstly that the male colleagues understood this and that they complained (it is often hard for men to speak out, for fear of being laughed at or being labelled unchivalrous). Secondly, that this was reported as such – the media recognised that this was unfair and the whole tone of the article was to that effect. This can only be a welcome development.

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