An Anti-Feminist Party Is Entering Itself In The General Election. Here Are The Worst Bits Of Its Manifesto
The Debrief: The party's views on abortion, women in government, lesbians and female CEOs are a joy (ferocious sarcasm alert)...
Finally there's a party we can get on board with - the Justice For Men And Boys Party aims to 'make feminism a dirty word', and was founded by Mike Buchanan - an ex-business consultant for the Tories. That first bit was sarcasm, by the way
Aside from giving out regular 'Lying Feminist Of The Month' awards to female journalists (we really want to bag one of these), the party's website includes links to articles like '13 Reasons Women Lie About Being Raped' and '10 Reasons False Rape Allegations Are Common', and they aim to bag three seats in the Nottingham area during this year's election. Which will, rather fittingly, include unseating Gloria de Piero, the Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities.
But what's Mike's deal? Well, he quit the Tories in 2009 after David Cameron backed all-women shortlists, and went onto write some books about how much he hates feminism, including: Feminism: The Ugly Truth, The Glass Ceiling Delusion, and David Cameron – The Heir to Harman?
'Feminism is a hatred, and it should be a badge of shame,' he told Buzzfeed. 'To call yourself a feminist should be no more acceptable than calling yourself a bigot or a sexist or a fascist. It is a deeply vile, corrupting ideology and the idea it’s a benign movement about gender equality is dangerous nonsense. We hear a lot about misogyny, which is actually very rare, but a hatred of men is very commonplace. As far as the state is concerned, males are pretty much subhuman and they’ll do anything they can to destroy men’s lives.'
Oh, and he doesn't believe the glass ceiling exists in terms of employment. Actually, lets just get to grips with their 80-page general election manifesto and pick out the best parts (if by 'best' you mean 'anger-inducing').
Abortions should be pretty much illegal
'In an age when contraception has long been readily available and highly reliable, women should be held morally accountable for the children they conceive,' the manifesto reads, before going on to proclaim that the state should make abortions illegal unless there are medical grounds for termination. If in power, the Party would also halve the time a woman can get an abortion after conception and if you're thinking of going abroad to have one, then you'll be breaking the law: 'It should be a criminal offence for a British woman to have an abortion outside the UK more than 13 weeks after conception, on grounds other than reducing the risk of injury to her physical health'.
Lesbians and single women shouldn't be allowed to have kids
The party's belief that the state shouldn't be encouraging fatherless families by continuing to give money to 'sperm banks for single women and lesbians' is totally bizarre. And scary. So, lesbians and single women shouldn't be able to have kids then? Cool, guys. Real cool.
Girls and women shouldn't be encouraged to go into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects
The thinking is that girls don't want do these sorts of subjects, so why should they be encouraged to take the jobs away from the boys who do? Obviously the manifesto doesn't discuss how men have had a ridiculous head start, considering women have been actively discouraged from doing STEM jobs for decades, and that the result of having no female influence in the tech and science world is that those industries will continue to make products in a male-focussed way. Imagine what the world would be like if it were 50-50? We agree that 'Boys and girls, and in turn young men and women, should be free to choose whatever subjects they wish to study, without being subjected to politically-motivated influences or tempted with politically motivated incentives', but there's more at play here than women just not really wanting to be engineers and scientists. We live in a culture that, until frighteningly recently, viewed women as ornaments who were great to have around the house - no wonder it's taking some time for the tide to change.
All boys schools should be encouraged
Due to an apparent gender bias, where an increase of female teachers has - according to statistics the Party has found - negatively affected boys' performance in school, the Party would like to bring back all boys schools. 'A study conducted by researchers at the London School of Economics found that boys have realised female teachers award lower grades to boys than to girls, they’re demotivated by this, and don’t work as hard', the manifesto reads. Well yes, probably get rid of all female teachers then - as we all know how accurate one study is when applied across the entire population. And while it stipulates that all boys schools will be encouraged in the communities that want them, anyone who has dated a guy from an all-boys school will know that it's definitely not the best option for raising mentally healthy boys with a respect for women. If anyone wants further details on this, just drop me an email or something.
Governments should stop pushing for female candidates
One of the most hilarious parts of the manifesto is the way it attempts to spin initiatives to get more women into government as unfair to men. 'Positive discrimination in the form of all-women shortlists (AWS) has been used by the Labour party to increase the proportion of female PPCs – and in turn the proportion of female MPs – since 1997. Positive discrimination, which increases the proportion of politicians drawn from one or more specific groups, must inevitably be anti-meritocratic,' it reads. You know what's also anti-meritocratic? Everyone who is currently in government, because there are only 25% serving ministers who are female and pretty much every MP went to one of five schools. The female-skewed initiatives are just trying to correct prejudice that has been occuring since Parliament was formed. We'd agree with a government that was focussed solely on merit, but that would include getting rid of everyone already there and starting again with a 50-50 gender split of seats. Until that happens, we need to get as many women in as it takes to make sure 50% of the population are, y'know, represented. Obviously.
Women should not be appointed to senior positions
They keep quoting that men become 'whole of life' workers, whereas women prefer more flexible hours and a better work-life balance, and using it to prove why women aren't capable of leading in the workforce. Interesting, then, that they also talk about the ridiculously high suicide rate in men - as well as the problem with male depression, and yet they don't pause to consider the link between these two things. A work-life balance isn't laziness, it's better for companies if the person at the top doesn't explode from stress. 'The government should cease forcing companies to increase the proportion of women on their boards,' it reads - using the excuse that women should be rising to the top by merit. Again, it ignores the fact that there is clear sexual discrimination in the workplace, with fully qualified women way less likely to be hired in senior positions thanks to the boys club mentality of many huge corporations. It doesn't justify an argument, so we'll leave it there.
While the Party's full name is Justice For Men And Boys (And The Women Who Love Them), this is not a government for women. Or equality. It's a government that seeks to establish men as the ruling sex, under the guise of misguided meritocracy. Saying that women should be CEOs, and in government, and in male-dominated industries of their own volition, and that programmes designed to encourage this are wrong is missing the entre point: women were not allowed to do these jobs until terrifyingly recently. Women do not get the same employment opportunities as men. Women do not even get paid the same amount as men. Flexible working, having a kid, all of these things do not affect a woman's ability to do her job - just as long working hours in an office (rather than at home) aren't necessarily a marker of success.
Just as there are those who call themselves feminists and quite patently take things too far into misandry, this is the perfect example of a group who have taken things too far into misogyny. Yeah, men should be equal to women - and they should have the same access to kids after divorce, should have their domestic abuse complaints treated the same - but equality means addressing a balance that's, in areas such as employment and government especially, severely out of whack. Any Party who doesn't realise this deserves absolutely no seats. And if anyone votes for them, then they're definitely not voting for equality.
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