The Good News
All this talk of #EveryDayDirectSexDiscrimination may be making you feeling a bit depressed but before you think about ringing a 24 hour helpline (10 to 5pm, excluding lunch if you’re a man) I should mention that EYE is supremely optimistic about the future and believe in years to come we will look back and see that 2015 has been a landmark year in the eternal struggle for equity and harmony between the sexes.
We may have witnessed some jaw dropping examples of #EveryDayDirectSexDiscrimination that would make Mad Men blush but in fairness I truly think we’ve reached a tipping point. Decent fair minded men and women have fought inequality for years and encouragingly some of the most effective advocates speaking up for men are actually women.
Modern feminists have damaged the brand so much that we started the year witnessing the majority of Time Magazine readers voting to ban the word from the dictionary (before feminist demanded that it was banned as an option) and in December over 10,000 opted for cancer over feminism in a tounge in cheek but deliberately provocative seasonal survey.
Throughout history the vast majority of men and woman have shared, cared, loved and lived together in relative harmony and this year was no different. Times are changing and it was encouraging to see that Northumbria Police quickly taking on board criticism about gender stereotyping in their domestic violence campaign. Their Police and Crime Commissioner may not have followed suit but then she is a member of the Labour Party.
Despite the best efforts of Jess Phillips, The Independent and the Guardian International Men’s Day was a major positive success story, both in the mainstream and social media where it trended throughout the day. EYE even did my bit to dispel the myth that every day is International Men’s Day.
Bahar Mustafa did everyone a favour by resigning under a cloud of bullying allegations and even if the BBC were still struggling to get their facts right Tim Hunt’s sorry tale had a happy ending thanks mainly to the commendable efforts of a number of female journalists and scientists.
Hilariously even Jess Phillips ended the year taking the hump after she found herself trending on Twitter because the internet decided to take her literally when she appeared to issue a death threat to her dear leader via you tube.
Just so we can get the record straight, and by that I don’t mean literally getting a record and unbending it, so let’s start again. I want to be clear and transparent, by which I of course do not mean that I wish literally for people to be able to see through me… let’s try again.
I want to spell out, I (space ) D I D (space) N O T (space) T H R E A T E N (space) T O (space) K I L L (space) J E R E M Y (space) C O R B Y N (stop).
In concluding this reflection on a crazy year I thought I’d offer a bit of advice for anyone thinking about putting their head above the parapet and pursuing a career in politics, or for that matter even bothering to turn up to vote for these chancers.
Just in case you’re thinking of joining or supporting the Women’s Equality Party please bear in mind that you will most likely risk taking votes away from the mainstream party most aligned with their aims. Northern Ireland’s short lived Woman’s Coalition experiment is a good example of this, with the 2% of votes they took during the critical post good Friday agreement elections largely coming from people who would have otherwise voted for the only established non-sectarian party.
Relatively soon after the single issue woman’s party imploded after their leader(s) secured well paid employment outside of politics, meanwhile the Alliance Party (who don’t support quotas) went on to spectacularly take the First Minister’s seat in 2010 returning a female MP to parliament.
The Woman’s Coalition only got their feet under the table for the famous talks that lead to the Good Friday agreement because the powers that be rigged a once only undemocratic quota system for the sole purpose of ensuring that men with guns (and no political mandate) got into the talks. The stated purpose of the party was to encourage more women involved in politics but none of their membership emerged into the mainstream. Meanwhile in the year 2015 the DUP, who aren’t exactly renowned for their progressive politics (just ask the LGBT community) unanimously elected a woman as party leader (and First Minister) based solely on her leadership qualities and track record within the party….
It’s 2016 not 1916. EYE for one is really happy about that fact.