Discrimination Against Men – February 2009

A recent dissertation, inspected at the University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland, shows that Finnish men face gender
discrimination both in working life and outside of it. The study examined a total of 800 complaints addressed to the
Finnish ombudsman for equality during the years 1997 to 2004 and also a number of statistics concerning the gender equality situation. The study revealed that in 33 per cent of the cases, the discrimination was targeted against male employees, customers, or citizens. In many contexts, men were in the majority as targets of discrimination.

“In the female-dominated social services and healthcare organizations, the probability of male employees facing gender discrimination at work seems to be 3 to 9 times higher than that of their female colleagues,” notes Malmi.

“If we read carefully the Universal Declaration of Human Rights we notice that such laws are in violation of human rights, as they put one gender in a disadvantaged status compared to the other.”

Theoretically the research builds on administrative sciences, women’s studies, discourse analysis, and memetics. The study presents a general theory of the origins and manifestations of gender discrimination. According to the theory, male-dominated organizations, networks, and discourses tend to discriminate against women, while female dominated organizations, networks, and discourses are far more likely to discriminate against men than against women. The theory also predicts that discourses and theories based on the female point of view are likely to be ’equality blind’ towards the problems of men – in a similar fashion as the androcentric sciences tend to be incapable of presenting women and femininity in a fair and egalitarian fashion.

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