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To ask is there a group who has not had to fight for rights

(33 Posts)
ICanSeeTheSun Sun 10-Aug-14 01:50:39

Ok slightly drunk as DH is home very early and is getting up with DC.

I am watching a film called The Butler which is about the civil rights movement, I have also seen Mary Poppins in a new light with the mother protesting about women rights. There have been men who have had to fight for equal rights to their children.

There is still people in this world who have to still get treated as a person.

So my question is is there a group out there who has not had to fight

nooka Sun 10-Aug-14 01:55:45

Well white middle class able bodied straight men in countries like the UK really haven't had to fight for much as they've had most of the power.

trufflesnout Sun 10-Aug-14 01:56:41

Came on here to say white men too grin

ShyGirl1001 Sun 10-Aug-14 02:04:11

Rich white men

Lally112 Sun 10-Aug-14 02:08:36

Really? Because my white, middle class, able bodied, straight, educated boyfriend had to fight to marry his lower class, pregnant, 16 year old, former care kid girlfriend. He fought like hell, and lost, but eloped and did it anyway, and is still snoring his head off next to me in bed after a horrendous 15 hour shift to provide for his (still) wife and now 4 kids.

Don't be so bloody judgey, everyone has had a fight of some size and importance on their hands.

Canyouforgiveher Sun 10-Aug-14 02:14:40

white land-owning men. They are the norm. Everyone else has had to fight for a say. And you'd still be better off for many centuries being a white, non-landowning man than a woman of any property status.

For a long time men didn't even have to worry about custody of their children - that was automatically theirs too no matter what they did. The current laws about custody/guardianship are not framed to favour women (as the 19th century laws automatically granting guardianship to fathers were framed to explicitly favour men) but are framed to favour the best interests of the child which is very different.

Ask any white male would he rather go through history in any other guise - black male/white female/whatever and it will become apparent to them how much the establishment and status quo has always favoured them - and in many ways still does.

Being male is the best bit of the phrase by the way - black men - mostly emancipated slaves got the vote long before white women in the US. So a person who was regarded as a commodity the year previously was now regarded as fit to vote. But women - educated, integrated into society, married to and raising the thought-leaders and politicians and decision-makers - were still not. Tells a lot I always thought about attitudes to women. There was a black president elected in the US before a female president. Being white is the icing on the cake - being male is the thing that gets you places.

I wouldn't want not to be female. I feel very hopeful about my opportunities and my daughters'. But no point pretending the world is constructed differently to the way it is.

CKDexterHaven Sun 10-Aug-14 02:18:31

There isn't a law preventing middle-class men from marrying working class women, so that isn't really a human or civil rights issue.

Also it's only very recently that women had any rights over their children in the matter of a divorce. It's also a myth about men not having rights to their children after a divorce.

Gennz Sun 10-Aug-14 02:19:07

As a class of people, white men, definitely.

Lally your DH may have had to fight for something on a personal level but I doubt he has faced any discrimination on the basis of the "category" he falls into.

My DH is white, male, from an affluent middle class family, went to a v prestigious grammar school, good university, has worked at high calibre firms - he has never faced any discrimination in his life and would be the first to admit it. Luckily he is intelligent & empathetic and realises his life experience is not typical for everyone.

Gennz Sun 10-Aug-14 02:20:09

Sorry I should have said white middle class men. Class is less of an issue where I come from but I can imagine white working class men have been discriminated against in the UK.

ICanSeeTheSun Sun 10-Aug-14 02:30:55

Interesting answers.

I'm not on about a personal level where someone may miss out on a family matter such as estate.

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 10-Aug-14 03:03:05

And you'd still be better off for many centuries being a white, non-landowning man than a woman of any property status

That is not correct. Universal suffrage was introduced in the UK in 1928, prior to 1918 women did not have the vote but nor did many men who failed the property qualifications. However a white non-landowning man would not be better off than a property owning woman ,certainly not in Scotland where one can see from old title deeds/marriage trusts and the like that women owning property in their own right was by no means unheard of. The text below is from a research paper

"England not acquire a land registry until 1862, so we cannot quantify women’s ownership of land in the seventeenth century, but it is possible to do this for both Scotland and Ireland. In 1617 a General Register of Saisines, to record all land transfers in Scotland, was established.

In the early seventeenth century women formed just over 40 per cent of all the principals whose transactions were recorded in the General Register; in the majority of these they were joint principals with a man, usually a husband or son. By the 1690s the proportion of women joint principals had fallen slightly to 37 per cent with around a similar volume of transactions. In around 25 per cent of cases the women seems to have been a sole principal. There was an increase, over the period, in the number of transactions involving women as joint principals with other women, though the sample may be too small for this to be statistically significant."

hollowhallows Sun 10-Aug-14 03:04:18

Yup, white men, especially those from comfortable backgrounds.

MorphineDreams Sun 10-Aug-14 03:06:38


hollowhallows Sun 10-Aug-14 03:07:50

African American men having the right to vote before White American women hardly meant anything when you consider who they had to choose from at the polling stations. White American women still wielded far more power in society than African American men. The fact that an African American man could be lynched simply for looking at a white American woman shows this. The story of Emmett Till says it all.

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 10-Aug-14 03:16:12

hollow I agree. Rich white women, especially unmarried or widows were in a far better position in Europe and America than poor white and poor black men.

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 10-Aug-14 03:17:20

Or indeed black men of any income.

GarlicAugustus Sun 10-Aug-14 03:29:41

Universal suffrage was introduced in the UK in 1928, prior to 1918 women did not have the vote but nor did many men who failed the property qualifications. However a white non-landowning man would not be better off than a property owning woman

Until 1870, married women could not own property even if they owned it before marriage. After the Married Women's Property Act, women were still considered mentally incapable of managing finances and could not have a bank account or buy property without her husband's written permission. If a married woman was liable for income tax, her husband had to declare her income. These restrictions persisted until the 1970s or later.

Your white non-landowning man did not give up all rights to his money, his body and his children when he married. Your wealthy white woman did. Her husband could (and often did) declare her insane if she was sexually non-compliant or he just got fed up of her, having her committed to an abusive asylum for the rest of her life. If she didn't marry, she still needed a man to be answerable for her - if no male family member was available, she'd have to go into service and become an inferior part of another man's family. Your poor white man had a hard life, for sure, but he did exist as a legal person.

YY re non-white people, hollow.

Fit & healthy white men have never had to fight for rights like people who aren't fit/healthy/white/men. Fit, healthy, white men with above-average incomes haven't had to fight much for any of their rights since the middle ages. Rich white men have never had to fight for any rights, even if they aren't fit or healthy.

Welcome to patriarchy smile

MorphineDreams Sun 10-Aug-14 03:35:06

The Irish Slave trade? Thousands of white men sold into slavery. Not the only example.

Brabra Sun 10-Aug-14 03:49:58

Lally, I don't think you really understood the question!

Eastpoint Sun 10-Aug-14 03:54:50

Physically strong large white men, in any era a large man has less to struggle over as size/strength is always valued.

Cailleach Sun 10-Aug-14 04:33:08

"white men"...are you kidding me?! For centuries in Europe your average white man was a just a slave:

Dear me...!

Brabra Sun 10-Aug-14 05:15:36

I think your link highlights what other people have said.
Affluent white men.

sashh Sun 10-Aug-14 05:32:45


So which laws prevented your dh from marrying you?

Was he carted off to Jail and accused of rape as he would have been if he was black in apartheid SA? Was he lynched?

Did he have to fight to be allowed to attend school to get that education?

Or is he being paid less for his 15 hour shift than others doing the same work?

How about getting to that shift? Was he allowed to use public transport? Is he allowed to own a car?

Your dh may have had to struggle as an individual but he has not been part of a group having to fight for basic rights, the fact that he could still chose to marry you without it being illegal shows that.

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 10-Aug-14 12:02:23

Garlic you are quoting English law. I referred to Scotland. It's quite clear from historic title deeds and trust papers that rich white women in Scotland owned and held on to land.

GarlicAugustus Sun 10-Aug-14 12:07:46

Fine, Phaedra. I'm not about to bone up on the finer points of feminism with particular reference to Scottish history. Are you intending to demonstrate that Scots women have never had to fight for their rights, or what exactly?

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