Feminism, Quotas and Why Men Need to Man Up

Whining. It’s something that bugs me a lot. People who find all manner of excuses for why they are not getting what they want. We live in an age where if you even have a robust conversation with someone they immediately accuse you of being threatening or intimidating. I remember when there was a lot of debate about men getting in touch with their feelings. I remember people praising Paul Gascoigne for crying after England lost in Italia ’90. Now, I’m all for people having a few feelings but somewhere along the way something has gone very wrong.

I am horrified to have to say it but my fellow men are fast becoming the biggest whiners of all. Gone are the days of tough guys and tough talk, actions and decisiveness. Replaced with equivocation, excuses and blaming various plots for scuppering them. It makes me blush with shame. We are supposed to be big boys now but we spend more time whimpering and snivelling about how things are unfair rather then getting on with what we should be doing.

Yesterday on the radio I heard a man discussing the Council of Europe and its proposal on Domestic Violence against Women. He actually made a very good point that domestic violence occurs against men too. Fair enough. So was he starting a campaign to ensure that after ratification the protections would be extended to men? Was he proposing a new law going even further than the Council of Europe? No. Apparently, he wants us not to ratify the Council of Europe proposal at all. Why? Because it was designed by ‘radical feminists’. He never pointed to a single thing that was wrong with the law apart from the fact that it applied to women and therefore was in his opinion anti -man. I have had it to the back teeth with this gibberish. There is no way we as men can say we don’t have a voice. The majority of governments and boardrooms, courtrooms and security forces are male dominated. It is not like any of us blokes are not encouraged to share our views. Any alien listening in to the radio programme would be forgiven for thinking that us guys were a small minority, oppressed by these dangerous radical feminists who force their laws and opinions upon us and we are powerless to do anything about it. Oh it’s all so unfair.

Let’s face it guys. We are big enough and bold enough to stand up for ourselves and when we want something we are well capable of getting it. The only time this wishy washy ‘feminists are bullying us’ argument is trotted out is when there isn’t actually a proper counter argument for getting our way. Other than that we have the voice and resources to be fearless and face any debate. However, when faced with wrongs we commit, when faced with historical evidence or when faced with the need to change something that just suits us we start crying that we are forced into it.

There are other areas too. Politics is a tough business or at least it used to be. In theory if I don’t win a nomination for a party, whatever the reason, I should be tough enough to bide my time. Think about it. If you get a nomination over me then you have to win the election. If you win then perhaps I was wrong unless you turn out to be a very poor TD. If you lose the election or are a poor TD then my chance comes again. Big boys know this. However, if u win the election and turn out to be a brilliant TD then I won’t get my chance. In this case it’s not my desire for justice that drives me but my desire for my own self advancement that has been scuppered.

Men are moaning up and down the country about gender quotas rather than growing up and getting on with it. If female candidates turn out to be as inferior as the men make out then surely their turn won’t be long coming around again. So why are they moaning? Well it’s the fear that if I don’t get to run now I may never get to run. It’s my turn. I’m getting old. The woman might win the seat, do a good job and hold on to it and then I am rightly goosed. Where are all the real men? The ones who put their party and their society and country first? The patriots? Why do we seem beset with scores of snivelling self advancing puppets moaning and whining about not getting their turn because the big bad women are going to have 30% (yes only 30%) of the candidates.

It is time for men to grow up. We are meant to be strong. Perhaps I’m a bit of a dinosaur but I don’t cry. I’m not even in touch with my inner feelings. What I am not prepared to do is wallow in self pity about how I don’t have a voice. If what you do is truly wrong Ill let you know fairly quickly and you won’t be oppressing me anytime soon. I am no feminist; I am no new age man. In fact I am often accused of sexism, ageism and every other ism at some point. When it happens I strive to rectify it but only based on facts. I am not here to advance the cause of women as they are more than capable of doing that themselves but I cannot throw out facts and block women just because there is on old system that suits me personally a little better.

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  • Jane2

    It’s surprising they didn’t call it just “Domestic Violence” or “Spousal Abuse” or some such thing that’s more gender-neutral.

  • hugh mccloy

    As a victim of the family courts and lobbying this area for years, this is a multi million pound business that uses men and children to gain as much ££ as it can.

    Ever wondered why emotional abuse of stopping a father from seeing his kid, for NO reason, is not classed as domestic abuse ?

    You are right men need to man up, everything is against them if they are the victim. I recall being asked what I wanted during the court case for my daughter, every time i said – to be treated the same as her mother, how radical an idea is that?

  • crydiego – banned for playing the man not the ball … and particuarly offensively.

  • Pete

    What a rubbish article.

    Quotas are unfair. It is entirely legitimate to “moan” about something that is clearly discriminatory.

  • npww

    Pete the current system is biased against women. That is unfair. Men don’t have to fairly compete for posts because they are given preference over women. That is unfair, undemocratic, unwise and unproductive. We need a fix for discriminatory practices that keep women out of politics and decision making roles. Quotas work. They are one piece of a comprehensive set of measures that are proven to rebalance the system and remove the structural barriers that limit opportunities for women. Quotas work. Quotas work. Quotas work. The current system doesn’t.

  • npww

    Mick, David, Johnny and Brian – you can’t have this discussion in a male echo chamber. Two articles about gender quotas written by men?? It is time to rethink your editorial team! You advocate change but fail to lead the way.

  • Johnny Fallon

    hey there NPWW don’t be shy, happy to accept an article at any stage. I am always looking for volunteers I can only publish what comes my way…

  • npww

    Shy? I don’t think so. Let me know when you adopt a gender inclusive editorial policy and bring women into the editorial team. That will signal you are serious about diversity and inclusion. The all-male editorial team is a strong deterrent.

  • David McCann

    Hi there,

    Can I just point out that we have never rejected an article from any feminist/womens groups. To say we are doing so because we are rejecting articles/not asking for them is I am sorry simply not true.There is a problem of women writing about politics in general and we have made to date 6 appeals this year alone for more female writers.

    All we can do is make appeals and then it’s up to others to engage with the platform.

  • chromecommando

    Guy writes a long post complaining (and doing nothing more) about guys complaining and doing nothing about their issues. Are you actually in the belief that people haven’t been trying to do exactly what you are claiming they haven’t, which is to speak up and do something about it. Probably you don’t see nor understand it because all you’re doing is projecting the very same things you accuse others off of. The irony.

    Don’t get me wrong, I agree that doing is how things get done but here is a thousand dollar question: Why aren’t you doing anything to make change happen? I already am so hopefully you’ll reach that point as well instead of merely ” whining ” as you’ve yourself put it.

  • Greenflag 2

    Some of us long for the good old days (not I said the scribbler) when men were men, women were women, and in rural areas the sheep were terrified 🙂 If some of us really want to return to those days all you gotta do is go EAST young man and when you come to sandy parts and deserts and oil wells or colder taiga there you will find men who are still men in the good old way that Europeans and Americans considered normal in the 18th /19th centuries . But hurry the times they are a changin there too ‘

    Born complainin -live whinin and destined to die disappointed -thats men’s lot these days I tell ye . And its not over yet . Having elected seven or eight old fart white mguys to do nothin for the country 1968 – 2008 Americans then elect a decent black dude to clean up the mess – but its such a mess that it’s beyond even his abilities so now what do they do ?- Yep they’re gonna elect a female member of the opposite sex I think , Apparently they’ve figured out that anything Thatcher and Merkel can do – Hillary can do better . And in comparison to the achievements of the long retinue of old white farts both Thatcher and Merkel are considered real achievers . Whether Iron Lady or Mother of the Nation don’t matter .

    And theres poor old Higgins kinda hintin he might stand for a second term as Irish President now being assailed on all sides re his one term only Presidency before the last election . He doesn’t understand that both Mrs Robinson and Mrs McAleese basically made that a woman’s job .

    Next they’ll want a woman Pope 😉

  • Turgon

    npww it is not merely the editorial team which is problematic. The comments section is overwhelmingly male. A few months ago when a new (unionist as it happens) woman came on she was subjected to pretty appalling abuse much of it misogynist and I am afraid she left shortly thereafter.

    The narrowing of the editorial team and the comments section has been going on in terms of both gender and political opinion for several years now. Mick has tried but thus far the situation has been getting worse not better.

    I think some (not Mick to be fair) fail to see just how narrow and internally convergent the site has become. It has become increasingly consensual rather than plural.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Domestic violence would include parent-child, child-parent violence too. Problems I would imagine to be quite similar.

  • Kevin Breslin

    My main problem with quotas would be situations were there is lack of challenge, competition or qualification, this doesn’t help any candidate that wins.

    Emma Pengelly didn’t even contest as much as a selection convention and now she’ll be thrown in at the deep end. There is also the small matter of arguably discriminating against a woman in Ruth Patterson because it’s better for the party.

    Letting a woman contest a seat isn’t some victory for all women, in politics all (female) human life is there. A victory for a female politician is when she is judged on her achievements rather than fulfilling a statistical requirement.

  • npww

    David, that isn’t all you can do. I am a feminist writer who has submitted an article that Mick didn’t approve for publication. He didn’t reject it outright, but his feedback caused me to withdraw the article and walk away. My experience as a writer and reader has not been good. The all male editorial team is just one dimension of the problem. If you want to enlist women you need to change the culture of this site.