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Why Man Doesn’t Fight for Equal Rights

‘We live in a matriarchy which encourages men to consider themselves patriarchs.’
- Esther Vilar

From the day we, men, were born, we have been conditioned by women for our role in life: providing, competing, putting others first - and always feeling guilty towards women! We consider them our victims when we open doors for them, when we pay for their dinner, and when we bring our money home to them.

Depending on how well we fulfil their expectations, we may see ourselves as winners or losers, as successes or failures, as partners or oppressors; but never, never as victims! Being a victim, as we have learnt, is a monopoly of the female sex.

In the past centuries, women have fought for equal rights - for themselves, that is. But granting women the same rights as men doesn’t mean equality: this term also covers equal rights for men, and equal obligations for women.

- The average life expectancy of men is 65 years; those who make it retire at 65 (soon to be 68 to make sure the majority doesn't get there). Women have a life expectancy of 70 years and retire at 58 (that’s if they work, of course).

- In most countries male enslavement (‘conscription’) is still practised. Women now have the right to kill and die for the interests of their government, but no one would dare to force them into the army.

- In separation and divorce cases it is an automatism that the woman gets the children and the man has to pay - which makes sense because he has to work, anyway, and wouldn’t have time for the children. (It is a common belief that the mother's care is always better for the development of the child, as in Anders Behring Breivik's case.)

- In most countries, a quota law ensures that - in case of equal qualifications - a female applicant has to get the job if more than 50% of the employees are male. No such law is in place for men.

- In an emergency, we automatically chant ‘Women and children first!’ (They even place themselves before children!!!) - What makes a man’s life less valuable than a woman’s?

- When meeting a woman for dinner, it goes without saying that we pay for both.

- 80% of all income is earned by men, and 80% of all income is spent by women.

- Women have fought their way into every men’s club and organisation, and are now able to enforce their membership by law. Would you dare demanding access to a women’s group?

- A lot of venues organise ‘ladies’ nights’ - similar events for gentlemen would be illegal.

- Rather than judging risks individually, car insurance companies are allowed to discriminate against men because statistically women are safer drivers. This means that the most responsible male driver still pays considerably more than the most lunatic woman. If, in a reverse situation, the insurance companies charged women more for being a higher risk, their offices would be vandalised by thousands of furious termagants, and they’d lose in courts all over the world. (I wonder, if statistics would prove that black Catholics, vaccinated fishermen, transvestites who don’t play an instrument or ex-convicts over 6’2“ are safer drivers than the average, would they pay lower premiums as well?)

The issue of male equality has never been raised, apart from Esther Vilar (who has been receiving murder threats ever since) and a few sitcoms who got away with it because they ridiculed the whole idea.
In ‘Married with Children’, Al Bundy has enough and founds NO MA’AM (‘National Organization of Men Against Amazonian Masterhood’). With his mates, he bursts into the chauvinist anti-male talk show ‘The Masculine Feminist’ and kidnaps the host Jerry Springer (fair juice to the man for playing himself). Of course he is released by the cops under Marcy, but as NO MA’AM are depicted as a confused bunch of brainless sexists without concept, no viewer would relate to them.
In ‘Friends’, Rachel employs a male nanny, against the wishes of Ross (‘What kind of job is that for a man - a nanny? I mean, it’s like if a woman wanted to be a...’ - ‘Yes? Yes?’). But the character is not realistic - he is portrayed as a complete sissy who is crying all the time, so that nobody would take him seriously.

Every minority group is desperate to make themselves heard and fight for their rights - except us! We have been indoctrinated with the idea that we can’t be victims and that all the discrimination against us goes with the territory. We are the stronger sex, we’re taught, and that’s why we can carry our burden. But is a slave who stands up against his master (or mistress) not stronger than the one who is picking cotton all day?

Well, I’ll make the start: I am a victim of sexual discrimination - I'm a qualified childcare worker, and until 2007 I was unable to find employment in my vocation on grounds of my gender! Usually I was being turned down under the pretext of lacking job experience (only to find out they employed less qualified and experienced females), but on one occasion I actually have been told that I didn’t get the job because of my gender - yet, as this was between the interviewer and myself, there were no witnesses to make it a case for the equality officer.
In the meantime I have four years of work experience, but many creches advertising childcare positions still ignore my applications (namely Cuddles'n Care and Kids Lane in Sligo, Tir na nOg in Collooney, Little Angels in Calry and Saints and Scholars in Strandhill - ironically, many of these advertise as ‘equal opportunity employers’).
Out of the dire need for men in childcare in Ireland (with only 1% of males, mainly in Dublin and Cork, childcare in Ireland is the profession with the most significant gender misrepresentation in the Western world), the Men in Childcare Network was set up in 2004, and most of the main newspapers in Ireland have had articles on the topic. However, all of them make it sound like the problem is getting males interested in childcare, which is not correct. The problem is getting childcare providers to comply with equality legislation.
(Here many feminised stereotypists butt in with the child abuse theme - but the Sisters of Mercy, the Daughters of Charity, the Sisters of Our Lady etc. are certainly not male child abusers! And the fact that in non-Catholic countries the employment of men in childcare is the norm whereas institutional child abuse seems restricted to Catholic countries indicates that the problem lies elsewhere.)

(National Childcare Census Report 1999)

By the way, the following poem won a Special Commendation in Poetry Life 2001 and a Commended Award in the Margaret Reid Contest for Traditional Verse 2006; I don’t know who the judges were, but they must have been female. (No man would have had the guts!)

Address of Apology

We’re sorry we’ve been too busy working,
inventing, designing, producing, promoting,
selling or repairing dish washers, washing machines,
tumble and hair dryers, microwaves and disposable nappies
in order to assuage your terrible lot,

We’re sorry we’ve been too busy creating
the fashions that find your approval,
the kissproof lipstick and the tearproof mascara,
the one-night dye and the reddest nail polish,

We’re sorry we’ve been too busy with our careers,
trying to catch up with your material needs,
bullying each other on the way to the top
in professions that we detest and despise
but that we perform until our dying year,

We’re sorry we’ve been too busy writing,
staging and broadcasting the soaps you like
to keep you entertained from dawn till sunset,

We’re sorry we’ve been too busy mowing the lawn,
digging the weeds and fixing the car,
mending the pipes and laying the carpet,
painting the walls and carrying home your shopping,
we’re sorry we’ve been too busy killing and dying
in the wars of the nations, attempting to secure
and to enhance the lifestyle you’re used to,

We’re sorry we’ve been too busy making the money you spend
to take part in your struggle against male domination.

© 6245+6248 RT (2004+2007 CE), updated 6254 RT (2013 CE) by Frank L. Ludwig