The UK general election takes place on the 6th of May. Generally speaking, my interest in party politics is piqued only when it coincides with gender politics issues, and consequently, even though I’m 34 years old, this will be the first time I have voted. I’m going to vote for the centre right Conservative Party, the major opposition to the incumbent left wing Labour Party. I’d like to tell you a bit about my reasoning, both in terms of my decision to participate as a voter for the first time and why I think that the Conservative Party offers the best deal for men and for equality between the sexes in general.
You’ll have a rough idea of what society is like in the UK if you’re familiar with the social conditions in any first world country. Gender politics in the UK is feminism, a female oriented philosophy. Women occupy the greatest range of roles, both in life and in the workplace. There are many important occupations, such as those connected with child care, social work and welfare, in which almost no men have any involvement. In roles in which women are less well represented, their interests are well represented due to feminist lobbying, and programmes exist to increase female participation.
Men work the longest hours, have few legal entitlements to obtain employment contracts similar to those of women and do most of the dangerous jobs, and yet all employment law is heavily biased towards improving things for women. Men are majority of victims in all crime, particularly violent crime. Women do better at every level of education and more women than men attend University. As you might expect, men have scant rights towards their children.
I believe that there is almost no chance of any improvement in these areas if the Labour government stay in power. If anything, it’s going to get a lot worse for men if the Labour Party remain in power.
To increase the appeal of the party to women voters, the Labour party employs a system called all women shortlists. Under this system, the central party office forces the local party in some regions to select candidates from a pre-approved list consisting only of women. Local people are often furious when a female candidate has been “parachuted in in this way, as that candidate often has no connection to the region of the country that she is supposed to represent. Even amongst those who support arguments against the sanctity of the free market, very few would tolerate interference in free elections like this.
Two male politicians, who had hoped to run in an election, challenged this, and an industrial tribunal agreed that the Labour Party had broken sex discrimination laws. Don’t worry though, when the Labour Party were successfully elected in 1997, they simply added an exception to the sex discrimination laws that legalised positive sexual discrimination in the case of parliamentary candidate selections.
The policy of all women shortlists is a good example of what’s wrong with the Labour party and why they are not a party that will ever do anything to improve the lives of British men. A lot of people reading this might hold left wing political attitudes, but the Labour party are a far left party, and when the far left talk about equal opportunities they really mean equal outcomes. Painting over the rust, micro management and constant interference are always favoured rather than the difficult process of bringing about real changes.
Advocates of egalitarian gender politics like myself agree that males and females should be equally represented in Parliament. One barrier is that the working conditions of MPs are difficult as they involve continual movement between the capital and their home constituency, making it a difficult career path for some women. I can’t see how any woman who looks after the kids while her loyal husband goes off to work every day can ever adapt to those working conditions. Improvements in a typical man’s life are needed to allow create more female MPs. Wherever affirmative action is forced onto organisations that employ more men, equal action should be enforced against organisations that employ few men. Men and women should have equal custody rights towards their children, and married women should participate in winning bread on a level equal to men. Men should be able to insist upon equal employment agreements to ensure that they too have a decent work-life balance. Measures such as these would free up more women to get involved politics by making society as a whole more equal. But policies such as these, in the current climate, are vote loosers, and every politician knows it.
Harriet Harman is a senior politician in the UK cabinet and she serves as a good example of what the Labour Party stand for. Unlike some of her cronies, such as former home secretary Jacqui ‘jackboots’ Smith, she was initially elected, fairly, before the introduction of all women shortlists. Her name is ironic because, in the eyes of most people involved in men’s rights causes in the UK, she causes a lot of harm to men. Some would go further and describe her as a caricature of a ’70s-style, man hating feminist. On every issue, be it family law, electoral procedure, employment law, the rights of women to kill their husbands, or snide, inappropriate remarks about men, she’s a feminist hard-liner.
Guess what she’s in charge of in the government? I’m not making this up, she’s in charge of equality. She holds the (sexistly entitled) post of Minister for Equality and Women, a position for which it would be hard to think of anyone less well suited to. If you’re wondering how she uses her position, try to imagine what would happen if the leader of the Ku Klux Klan were put in charge of racial equality.
As well as being in charge of equality, she is also the deputy leader of the party. In politics she’s known not only for her feminist convictions, but also for her level of ambition. The prime minister, Gordon Brown, is currently suffering from a historically low level of popularity in the polls, and he’s had to survive a few leadership challenges and plots since he took over from Tony Blair in 2008. Even if Labour are able to maintain their power in this election, it seems unlikely that he’d remain the leader for very long.
At this point, I think you can probably guess where this is going. As Harman is the deputy leader at the moment, there is a strong possibility that she could become the first man-hating prime minister of Britain. Because of her famously biased views, she’s unsuited to the position, but she’s also laughably unsuitable for the position that she current occupies. If this happens, British men face a change from a life that is often unfair, to a nightmare.
She once mused on the prospect of her becoming prime minister and commented that it should not happen because there wouldn’t be enough airports in Britain for all of the men to leave. Naturally, if she made remarks like this about any other group, such as Jewish people, non-whites, gay people or women, it would bring about a swift end to her political career.
There are probably some within the labour party who recognise the unfairness of giving someone like Harman so much power, but those people have not spoken out against her. There’s no getting way from it, a political party that tolerates someone like Harman will never be a friend to men. For me, on its own, the Harman situation would be a sufficient reason to vote against the Labour Party.
As I said at the beginning, I’ve never closely followed party politics, and the Conservative party are far from perfect. In this election, they have chosen a leader, David Cameron, who plays things strictly from the centre of politics, a break from traditional Conservative values. He hasn’t said much about helping men or anything specific about stemming the tide of political correctness in government. However, the party that he represents is a right of centre party and this means less direct interference in people’s lives and less political correctness. As men are never a group favoured by protective measures, I believe that this will lead to a better deal for men and a chance for genuine progress in men’s issues.
A freelance writer, Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender. He’s had articles published in various magazines and websites. See his website to hear more about his continuing adventures.