Dominic Raab and his arrogant, one-sided, hypocritical anti-feminist attack…

Dominic Raab created quite a stir yesterday, with his one-sided arrogant critique of feminism as a ‘bigotry’ attack on men. Now, I don’t know what his background reading is for such a claim, but if I was to guess it seems like it was a stash of Daily Mail columns. The majority of feminists support equality for all sexes, and recognise areas where rights need improving for men as well as women. Personally, I have recognised that domestic violence against men is an under-reported phenomenon – something that I admit caused controversy amongst feminist readers.

Essentially, I would like to address some of Raab’s points with brief counter arguments:

  • The coalition’s and Raab’s emphasis upon flexible working is supported by most feminists. Whilst he claims that it is separate from the equality ‘agenda’, it is actually very much embedded within it. However, note that when today, in a follow-up interview, asked whether he would take longer than 2 weeks paternity leave if he had kids with his wife, his response is rather startling given his criticism of feminism:

Would he take time off to look after his children if he and his wife Erika, who works in marketing for a major IT company, decide to have them?

“There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll take paternity leave if we’re blessed with children,” he says. “We would certainly sit down and work out how to achieve the best work/life balance.”

But while he is enthusiastic about taking off two weeks’ paternity leave, he is less committal about taking a longer period, say six months. “I’m not sure what my constituents would say about that,” he laughs.

When I point out that female MPs face exactly that dilemma on maternity leave – and then childcare – he concedes that he feels sorry for them. “I’m hugely sympathetic. There are a number of female MPs who find the hours in this place really tough,” he says.

Says it all, doesn’t it.

  • He claims that the gender pay gap isn’t as bad as they make out, which paradoxically supports the assertion that the gap has been reduced by equality measures and feminist campaigning. He also ignores the infective nature of laws such as the Equality Act (1970). Why he should qualm about women and men (yes, men too) arguing that women being paid less than men for doing the same job is sexist, is beyond me.
  • The lower pay gap between younger men and women is partly because women are less likely to engage in a career whereas men are more likely to see their earnings progress from the base rate as they get older. Many women take time out of work for children, for example, and so whilst their income at a young age may look relatively high, it often does not rise.
  • His argument that the gender pay gap is partly to do with the fact that more women work in comparison to other countries ignores the high number of women working in poor conditioned insecure lower paid part-time work. This should be noted when he argues “men work longer hours, enjoy their jobs less, commute further and are more likely to get the sack”; alongside his neglect of non-paid labour, housework, caring for children/elderly, voluntary work that women are more likely to do.
  • His assertion that women living longer than men equates to discrimination baffles me, especially as he fails to really elaborate on why. I am rather unsure on what he wants women to do; commit suicide to equalise the numbers? Furthermore, women who live longer have many negative associated factors; they are more likely to suffer from illnesses (especially mental illnesses), more likely to be in poverty, especially if they gave up a career to look after kids, for example. Therefore, they are often dependent on a state pension, which is mainly inadequate; these problems are especially acute if they are a widow or single, given many women’s reliance upon men for an income.
  • I agree that there are problems with women sometimes being able to restrict a father from their child/children. But these are often minority cases, after all the Tories brought in CSA mainly to make sure that men remained financially tied to their child (note the financial!)
  • If I remember correctly, Harriet Harman was criticised from all sides for saying that if women had been in charge of the banks then the crisis wouldn’t have happened. She has been consistently attacked by the mainstream, often with her appearance and the ‘ugly feminist’ stereotype brought in – something The Sun used so forcefully against Clare Short. Therefore, arguing that her comments were ignored is wrong. Also, in ways she was stating a fact that there are barely any women in the top banking positions, and so de facto men were crucial to causing the banking crisis!
  • He wants to end gender warfare, whist firing a shot. Hypocritical at best.

Whilst Andy Gray’s comments are sexist, Raab and others are wrong to equate his sacking to a sexist charge. Gray has a court case filed against Murdoch, he pissed Murdoch off and so Murdoch is getting his own back by leaking unseen footage (from Christmas!) Let’s remember, Murdoch is the owner of a newspaper with a page 3 spread; whilst I would never advocate for banning pornographic images, equating boobs to news is a new low and nor should everyone be subjected to it. This is exactly what Clare Short argued, but was crucified by the Murdoch press for. The sheer sexist, racist and all the other offences of Fox News, also owned by Murdoch, is a further illustration of how not bothered Murdoch is of Gray’s offensive comments.

Raab needs to engage in feminist debates instead of casting us off as ‘bigots’. There are many men who also fight for feminist causes as feminism is about equality for women and men; not a reversal of the current oppression. Things are beginning to change, but only through equality; Raab’s objections are nothing but inadequate in-factual rubbish.

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12 thoughts on “Dominic Raab and his arrogant, one-sided, hypocritical anti-feminist attack…

    • Great stuff, thanks for highlighting that. So typical of The Sun; illustrates that Murdoch and his empire don’t give two damns about sexism; more about who’s filing law suits against them!

  1. “Why he should qualm about women and men arguing that women being paid less than men for doing the same job is sexist, is beyond me.”

    Sexism has nothing to do with women being paid less for the same job (if this is true, where is your evidence?). Not all men earn the same amount for doing the same job. (Do they cry about wage equality?) How do I know this? Because many job salaries are dependant on how you sell yourself to the company through negotiation. Men, it seems, are better at this. Some moreso than others. Women hate competing with men. (All the while claiming they are our equals) Which is why they instigate so many “equality” laws. Like the one in Norway requiring 40% of all boardroom members to be female..

    Thinking logically. If women were actually paid less for doing exactly the same job purely because they were female then it would take a male employer with an ounce of nous two seconds to realise something wonderful. That being that he could undercut his chauvinistic competitors by hiring women as the majority and use the money he saves on wages to undercut his prices and therefore drive his competitors out of business.

    “The lower pay gap between younger men and women is partly because women are less likely to engage in a career whereas men are more likely to see their earnings progress from the base rate as they get older. Many women take time out of work for children, for example, and so whilst their income at a young age may look relatively high, it often does not rise”

    Ludicrous. If anything young women should be earning LESS than men. In what universe do companies pay women more with the mindset that they will soon depart them to raise a family? LOGICALLY they would be paid less as they are a BAD INVESTMENT for their employers. Men are the ones who should be earning more from the outset as the companies see them as an investment for the future.

    Your (unsupported) claim is akin to saying people on short term contracts (such as Christmas contracts) are paid more than the long term workers due to the fact they will soon depart the job. While the long term workers have the chance to progress and see their earnings increase. Does this happen in the real world? No.

    You are day dreaming my friend…

    “His argument that the gender pay gap is partly to do with the fact that more women work in comparison to other countries ignores the high number of women working in poor conditioned insecure lower paid part-time work. This should be noted when he argues “men work longer hours, enjoy their jobs less, commute further and are more likely to get the sack”; alongside his neglect of non-paid labour, housework, caring for children/elderly, voluntary work that women are more likely to do.”

    Why is it that when a man tries to highlight the plight of men you must constantly drag the focus on women? Men account for 93% of on the job deaths. And I am sure that if I could find the statistic for on the job injuries the percentages would be similar.

    I can see how things like “facts” and “statistics” really trouble you. It must be hard to accept the REALITY that men work longer hours, enjoy their jobs less, are killed more often (when has a feminist ever argued for women to account for 50% of on the job deaths I wonder..) and are more likely to be sacked.

    “his neglect of non-paid labour, housework, caring for children/elderly, voluntary work that women are more likely to do.”

    I think you’ll find it is women who NEGLECT the non-paid labour and housework that men do. Such as this study showed:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/relationships/7426359/Mens-hard-work-in-the-home-is-ignored-by-women-study-finds.html

    The reason a woman may or may not do more (you provided no evidence..) is because they do not work as much as men so of course have more time available to do so. Do you expect men (who work longer hours) to also contribute to 50% of the housework??

    Many women volunteer because they are BORED. Boredom is a LUXURY most men do not have.

    “His assertion that women living longer than men equates to discrimination baffles me, especially as he fails to really elaborate on why. I am rather unsure on what he wants women to do; commit suicide to equalise the numbers? Furthermore, women who live longer have many negative associated factors; they are more likely to suffer from illnesses (especially mental illnesses), more likely to be in poverty, especially if they gave up a career to look after kids, for example. Therefore, they are often dependent on a state pension, which is mainly inadequate; these problems are especially acute if they are a widow or single, given many women’s reliance upon men for an income.”

    God. You are forever shifting the focus from men to women. OK. Women living longer. How is this discrimination? How about the FACT that the government spends much, much more money on women’s cancers than men’s?

    Read this article published in the Guardian:

    “People suffering from a range of cancers are getting second-class treatment because the breast cancer lobby has swallowed up the vast majority of available expertise and funding.

    Cancer experts have warned that the breast cancer lobby is now so powerful it is distorting research spending, treatment and facilities at the expense of those suffering from other cancers.

    Lung cancer kills almost three times as many people each year as breast cancer, which also kills fewer people than colon cancer. However, there are more than 25 charities dedicated to breast cancer, compared with five for prostate, three for colon and just one for lung cancer.

    ‘Breast cancer research has moved forward much faster than the others because of the breast cancer lobby, which is very powerful,’ said Ian Gibson MP, chairman of the House of Commons’ all-party group on cancer.

    ‘The treatment has been skewed by the lobbying, there is no doubt about that. Breast cancer sufferers get better treatment in terms of bed spaces, facilities and doctors and nurses’

    Britain has 3,000 specialist breast cancer nurses, but just 200 for lung cancer, 300 for bowel cancer and only one for prostate cancer. Waiting times between referral and diagnosis are just two weeks for breast cancer – but three months for prostate cancer.

    The first drug authorised by the new National Institute of Clinical Excellence was the breast cancer drug taxane. There are screening programmes for both breast cancer and cervical cancer, but not for the others.

    In 1996, the Government spent £5 million on breast cancer research and just £76,000 on prostate cancer”

    God, Im getting bored now. Im supposed to FEEL SORRY for women who have outlived men. Im sorry. I always believed it was better to be than not to be. Those poor women. They have lost their cash cow, I mean workhorse, sorry I mean husband (he had the cheek to die..) and now they struggle on with LIFE while their husband rots in the ground. They are the ones hard done by indeed…. I cant be bothered to go on with that. You are beyond help.

    “I agree that there are problems with women sometimes being able to restrict a father from their child/children. But these are often minority cases,”

    Minority? Where are your statistics on this? There is growing public anger over the treatment of men in the court systems. When Bob Geldof went to his own custody hearing a court clerk told him not to tell the court that he loved his children. Why? According to the clerk the court found it “extreme” when men articulated their love for their children.

    Something to think about:

    -Men account for 90% of the homeless
    -Homeless men are 40 times more likely to die than the general public
    -Men commit suicide 4 times as often as women do
    -According to the American Journal of Public Health (May 2007) women are the perpetrators of domestic abuse 70% of the time.
    – A University of Central Lancashire research group undertook a study of 100 British and American studies into domestic violence and concluded that women are more likely than men to initiate violence in their relationships. And also that women are more likely to be aggressive more frequently.
    -The California State University psychology department conducted an analysis of 249 scholarly investigations, 194 empirical studies and 55 reviews regarding domestic violence. The aggregate of all studies was over 250,000 people. The conclusion. Women are as physically aggressive or more physically aggressive in relationships as men.
    – A man is killed by his wife/girlfriend every 3 weeks in the UK
    – Men account for 93% of on the job deaths
    – Men are three times as likely as women to be murdered
    – Men are twice as likely as women to be mugged or killed
    – In NZ (so Im sure the same is true here) men are twice as likely as women to be injured at work
    – In Australia (so again, im sure it is no different here) Dr. Macnamara, affiliated with the University of Western Sydney, studied more than 2000 articles and TV stories about men, over the span of a year. His research demonstrates, starkly, that men are commonly represented as insensitive, stupid, or incompetent.

    etc etc. Im sure I could go on but Im bored. But, please say how i have neglected how “women suffer because blah blah blah, boo hoo”

  2. Millions of men are cheering Dominic Raab on – just as black people cheer on someone who speaks for them, or gays cheer someone who champions their issues, or Tunisians take to the streets.

    You may not be able to understand the depth of feeling if you aren’t one of these groups – but if you ever thrilled listening to feminists, you know the sensation. No matter what you believe, the conviction of men is unmistakable.

    • The point is, men are ignoring the fact that many feminists (and many I know are men) don’t hate men or go out to undermine the problems they face. As I mentioned in the blog, I have raised concerns about domestic violence being not taken seriously against men and that just isn’t right.

      Women have had a history of oppression, and men have often had the power. I don’t think anyone who looks back in history can deny that. But men organising and sticking up for their own rights, I don’t have a problem with – as long as they recognise that feminists aren’t all about hating them.

      • “men are ignoring the fact that many feminists (and many I know are men) don’t hate men or go out to undermine the problems they face.”

        But far more feminists are. There is substantial opposition to any attempt to tend to men’s issues, and I submit Kristina Schroeder as example. being labeled as hopeless and unqualified for an interview where she stated she disagreed with some core statements of feminism, and that boys and men have issues that need addressing, and so opened a department for boys and men in her ministry.

  3. Pingback: Feminism isn’t about man-hating… « My Political Ramblings

  4. “Dominic Raab created quite a stir yesterday, with his one-sided arrogant critique of feminism as a ‘bigotry’ attack on men. Now, I don’t know what his background reading is for such a claim”

    well, here’s a possible clue…

    “Personally, I have recognised that domestic violence against men is an under-reported phenomenon – something that I admit caused controversy amongst feminist readers.”

    If Acknowledging male victimization is causing controversy amongst feminists, it’s reasonable to say they are perpetuating a bigoted attack on men by perpetuating male victimization.

    • Calling feminists bigots and telling them to go away is hardly going to make the movement receptive to your concerns? Men have no comparison movement, you haven’t had the same level of oppression women have experienced throughout life. Engage with feminist debates instead of just complaining, as inaction will get you nowhere.

      • we shouldn’t need to make them receptive to our concerns, they’ve been claiming to be about equality (and therefor receptive) for 40 years, AND have gotten many men to go along with the movement for that very reason. But when given the opportunity to prove it, they present opposition instead? No, doesn’t work like that. If you claim to be for something, but then immediately oppose it when it isn’t specifically benefiting you, you will get called for what you are.

        As for the men having a comparable movement, many of us thought feminism was that movement, but we were duped. And now a new movement is building, but it is getting intense opposition from feminists (feminists had to deal with people afraid of changing the status quo, but it wasn’t an organized movement that resisted). it doesn’t matter what feminists have gone through, men were part of the feminist movement under the impression it was for equality for all, and the fact that feminists are now creating opposition when men try to address some of their inequities shows feminists (not women, like you pretend when claiming it will fuel the gender war) as the bigot’s they are.

        And I engage with feminists quite regularly, as do many other men. It is rare that one will admit that men have inequities that need addressing. I usually get a sarcastic “but think of the menz” or some such dismissal. I have asked feminists why my concern that there is not a men’s minister in government, despite there being one for women (and this applies to virtually every western nation out there), doesn’t display an inequity, and I always get the typical tripe “because government is made up of mostly men”. Of course, the fact all those men are required to be gender neutral, that they are for the people, ALL people, is ignored. And if they aren’t, they get a severe backlash, such as Raab here is getting, or Kristina Schroeder.

  5. “Men have no comparison movement, you haven’t had the same level of oppression women have experienced throughout life.”

    I suggest you get out the car next time you visit northern France. There are burial sites there by the hundreds. All men. Millions of them.

    And that’s just boys whipped off the streets, stuffed into uniforms and pushed in front of cannons against their will. Visit Wales to see all the men dead of black-lung, or killed in collapsed mines. Try Newfoundland for all the men lost at sea fishing. Then there are all the great railroads of the world, and the Panama and Suez canals: – the cemeteries of men cut down in their prime are everywhere.

    These are the “great careers” that men kept all to themselves while poor women were being oppressed into safety.

    You’re quite right. Men haven’t experienced the same kind of oppression as women. We know what the word actually means.

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