The ridiculous annual International Women’s Day shindig reminded me that a rewrite of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949) is overdue.
Today that designation would be better applied to men, excepting perhaps those male honorary feminist types who inhabit the BBC and the Bank of England, and hobnob with successful gravy train politicians such as Nick Clegg and George Osborne.
For those men who can afford to be feminists, life’s fine. For the majority of men it is another matter.
In the period since de Beauvoir wrote her tome, they have witnessed a total change in their circumstances. The scales have tipped against them economically, socially and legally. Much of the evidence set out here draws on Belinda Brown’s work.
The ‘gender pay gap’ myth that women bellyache about obscures the following realities of men lives:
· They make up the vast majority of those working in the gig economy and are increasingly present in other poorly paid sectors.
· The annual growth in earnings of working fathers over the last twenty years is 0.3 per cent on average, compared with mothers’ earnings which is more than 2 per cent a year.
· By the age of 30 men are earning twelve and a half thousand pounds less than their fathers did.
· The number of hours that men work has been trending down, reflecting the increase in men’s part-time employment which has quadrupled. Women by contrast are increasingly likely to work full-time.
Discrimination against boys and young men in the education system suggests that these employment statistics can only get worse.
Boys lag behind girls at all levels of education with the exception of the higher reaches of mathematics, physics and computing. In terms of academic achievement there has never been a better time to be born a girl and never a worse time to be born a boy.
The most up-to-date figures show that:
· At Key Stage 2 (11 years old) the attainment gap between boys and girls is six percentage points.
· At GCSE level, the gap between girls and boys for five A*-C grades, including English and maths, is nine percentage points in England and more than seven in the other three home nations.
· Annually 30,000 fewer boys than girls are becoming apprentices.
· Between the ages of 22 and 29, young men earn less per hour on average than women, in both full-time and part-time roles.
Since last year:
· Women are more than a third more likely to go to university; the gap between the sexes has reached record levels.
· About 30,000 more women than men were set to start degree courses last autumn (2017).
In the law and medicine, the bias has swung dramatically towards women:
· In 2016-17, 12,060 (67.5 per cent) of UK undergraduates accepted to study law were female and 5,795 (32.5 per cent) were male.
· In 2016, 3,904 (61.5 per cent) of qualifying solicitors were female and 2,442 (38.5 per cent) were male.
· In 2017, most doctors in training were female (58 per cent). Of GPs under the age of 50, 62 per cent were female.
To understand this massive swing in favour of women – most of whom will never in their lifetime put in the hours of work that men do – and the extent of the discrimination against men, you have to understand how feminised education has become and how negatively it has impacted on boys’ education.
At one end of the education system, feminists are in charge of funding bodies busy maximising women’s access to valued resources. At the other, they are in charge of child-care practices which are particularly insensitive to boys’ developmental and attachment needs.
The further down the social scale you go, the more badly affected and disadvantaged boys are, and the more they are impacted by fatherlessness – another problem that seems not to feature on a feminist agenda which marginalises men socially as well as economically.
Uneducated and with few job prospects, the chances of boys ending up in the criminal justice system are of course higher. There, they are more likely than women to receive immediate custodial sentences for their crimes.
Education and occupation are the key predictors of life span. That men die younger than women in every single age group comes as no surprise, though they are not biologically programmed to do so.
The plight of men could not be better exemplified by the numbers of homeless men on the street. They make up the vast majority of drug and alcohol deaths; are more likely to die of cancer, heart disease and be victims of homicide.
Nor should it come as a surprise then that they more likely to commit suicide, or that the suicide gap has widened and is now the leading cause of death of men in all age bands below 50 years of age.
To understand this fully, we need to look at the differential impact on men of divorce and (lack of) access to their children, and then at the impact of fatherlessness on their sons, and what American author Warren Farrell has described as an evolving boy crisis.
Today it is not women in the West who are dominated, abused and whose behaviour is circumscribed, it is men. The feminist determination to subjugate them shows no signs of letting up. The #MeToo witch-hunt has had the controlling effect desired – which is to ‘shame’ men into silence and to leave them guilty until proved innocent.
There are tiny signs of rebellion. Recently Quentin Letts, Matthew Parris and Rod Liddle have piped up in protest at the sisterhood’s takeover of the airwaves. But this is far from enough.
Good men and women have to fight back if we don’t want to be condemned to the crazy and unpleasant feminist dystopia that is fast becoming reality.