A Minister for Men and Boys?

(31 Posts)
PhilipBrett Tue 12-Feb-19 19:21:49


This may seem like a strange subject to broach on a website whose readers are probably mostly female but I have been encouraged by the fact that the most enthusiastic support I have received so far has come from women. I guess when things go wrong for the men in the family it is usually the women who are left to pick up the pieces.
Over the last couple of years there has been a lot of focus on issues facing women and girls. As a man with a wife and two daughters, I think this is great and we should all continue to give our full support here.
When things are discussed, openly and honestly, attitudes can be changed and solutions found. There are a lot of issues facing men and boys which, I think, need pushing up the agenda. Many of these issues are inter-related and we really need someone to take overall charge of policy and take a holistic approach to these problems.
It is difficult to think of anything more fundamental than taking one’s own life or having to sleep without a roof over your head but how often are we told that these things affect men so much more – particularly young men?
Early years education is so important and it is vital that boys have positive role models then so that they can learn that it is OK to be caring, it is OK to read books and there is more to life than football and aggression. My own primary school teacher, Mr Corbett, is definitely one of the two men, together with my dad, who shaped me as I grew from being a boy into a man.
Education is so important and there is a proven negative correlation between it and violence.
If you are reading this you are probably familiar with the process of signing such petitions. It only takes a few moments. I feel very strongly about this so please sign up and help spread the word. As I said, I have two daughters and I want the very best for them but one day I might have grandsons and I would like the best for them too, as I am sure you would for yours.

OP’s posts: |
Bayleyf Tue 12-Feb-19 19:28:17

Lovely idea about more male teachers. Have you written to the education sec about it with your sweet tale of Mr Cobbett?

I'll happily throw my weight behind a Minister for Men as soon as structural sexism gets sorted out. But right now, y'know, priorities.

BIWI Tue 12-Feb-19 19:31:11

Hmm. I think suicide rates amongst men are shocking, and definitely something needs to be done about that as well as homelessness - in general.

But otherwise? No. Sorry. There's more need to sort things out so that women are treated fairly and have equal opportunities with men. Oh, and that we tackle that pesky problem of domestic violence and rape.

If you are reading this you are probably familiar with the process of signing such petitions. It only takes a few moments

And thank you for the mansplaining.

FriedaTheBreeder Tue 12-Feb-19 19:35:18

How about an equalities minister who looks across the piste at inequalities and looks at ways to address them? Why one for women, one for men... should be have one for each race too? I’m all for addressing structural inequalities but I’m not for a proliferation of ministers fighting their own corners.

exwhyzed Tue 12-Feb-19 19:36:55

I get really annoyed by the ' whatabout the menz' that often comes up whenever International women's day/ women's officers stuff comes up but actually I don't think it would be such a bad thing for there to be a men and boys minister.

Women have traditionally had a 'special case' because of the things men and boys do to them. Having a minister specifically looking at addressing male violence, male suicide and toxic masculinity could only be a good thing.

I genuinely think offering incentives for men to increase their take up of parental leave would do wonders all round. I firmly believe that men's ignorance about being primary careers for small children is where a significant proportion of inequality and contempt for women comes from.

Meandmetoo Tue 12-Feb-19 19:41:38

"*I guess when things go wrong for the men in the family* it is usually the women who are left to pick up the pieces"

What do you mean by this part of this sentence?

ssd Tue 12-Feb-19 19:45:08

I'd happily support a petition for men and boys


ssd Tue 12-Feb-19 19:47:46

But op you will soon see the patronising crap men always get on mn with the posts about mansplaining etc etc, it isn't possible to have a genuine discussion on mn anymore where men or boys are concerned

Bayleyf Tue 12-Feb-19 19:51:06

Having a minister specifically looking at addressing male violence, male suicide and toxic masculinity could only be a good thing.

Totally agree. But everything I know about men and power suggests to me that a minister for men wouldn't do this.

FWIW I do think that the government equalities office it too skewed to looking at women's issues, not other forms of inequality (in particular it seems to have forgotten about race).

BIWI Tue 12-Feb-19 20:13:26

Oh dear, @ssd. Are you a menz supporter then?

Do you not see how there was mansplaining going on in the OP?

BIWI Tue 12-Feb-19 20:15:38

I agree with you @FriedaheBreeder, that there should be an equalities minister, that deals with inequalities suffered by both men and women. It shouldn't be a competition - notwithstanding that women have a long way to go before they genuinely do have equality compared with men.

ssd Tue 12-Feb-19 20:34:24

Don't patronise me BIWI

BIWI Tue 12-Feb-19 21:03:44

Not patronising you. Just wanting to know what your perspective is and therefore why you've posted as you have.

Charley50 Tue 12-Feb-19 21:09:25

I do think men should get together to talk about the problem of male violence.

ssd Tue 12-Feb-19 22:08:52

Ok then. I have 2 boys who I've raised to be decent caring men. I'm beyond proud of them. I've got a husband the same as the boys. I see an awful lot of talking down to men here on mn, or worse. I hate these made up words like mansplaining or menz, designed to denigrate men in the way women have been denigrated for years. And it makes us furious, and rather than being equal to men and being treated fairly, it seems to me we want to put men down and ridicule them, as if us doing it to them is ok now. I see this an awful lot on mn. I also know there are some utter bastards out there who go out of their way to make women live in misery. I have no time for these men and I dont know the answer with them. But it feels a lot on mn that all men are classed as either bastards or as near to bastards as possible. And that makes me angry, for every decent man or boy out there, living their lives and not doing any harm. I'm all for womens equality, but not an equality that sees women as better then men, rather than men being better than women. We should strive to live together and respect each other and try to drive out sexism on either side.

Hope this makes sense.

ssd Tue 12-Feb-19 22:18:38

You could spend all day picking apart the opening post. You could find fault with anything if you look hard enough. I dont know how many times the op spent drafting his post, but however many times he wrote it, every single version would have offended someone on here and it feels like thats mainly because it was written by a man. And because it was written by a man we get the old cliches like thanks for mansplaining written as patronisingly as fuck. And that pisses me off. Its like on mn where someone starts a thread about benefits and it doesnt take long before someone comes along with the goats and the plasma tellys comments.

Its a cliche and its boring.

I dont care how the op is written, I'm not pulling apart every line because I'm listening to what he is saying, not trying to pull him apart because he's a man and I can because I'm dead smart. I think a minister for men and boys is long overdue and I think on mn some posters need to grow up.

ssd Tue 12-Feb-19 22:25:56

mind you, its not just a man being patronised here, its me too, a woman who didnt automatically toe the party line and diss the men daring to post here

*BIWI Tue 12-Feb-19 20:13:26

Oh dear, @ssd. Are you a menz supporter then?

Do you not see how there was mansplaining going on in the OP?*

thanks for pointing out this to me BIWI, you see I'm too thick to spot the mansplaining clearly going on, just as well I've got another women to put me down with the oh dear comment

BIWI Tue 12-Feb-19 22:33:55

@ssd I, too, have two boys. Also very decent, caring men. And a husband who is also a great man.

One of my sons suffers from anxiety and depression. He is also gay.

Lots of reasons to be concerned about him, as well as the other men in my family.

But whatever their situation, they still have a massive privilege, being both white and male.

That's not to dismiss the issues that men face - especially (as I said in my post) those of suicide and homelessness.

I don't want to 'ridicule men' as you put it. Although I do think that statements like If you are reading this you are probably familiar with the process of signing such petitions. It only takes a few moments. are worth of ridicule, because they are so patronising - which is what mansplaining is all about. Men telling women how easy something is.

I don't dismiss all men as bastards, and there was nothing in my post to suggest that. I do, though, believe that women suffer far more than men do. And therefore the response 'what about the men' (which 'menz' is recognised shorthand for) is always worth calling out.

ssd Tue 12-Feb-19 23:13:16

I don't think him saying it only takes a moment to sign a petition mansplaining. I don't read that as him telling the little women how long it takes us to sign something. I can't see why you responding to me with the condescending tone of Oh dear @ssd isn't patronising and him saying it only takes a minute to sign a petition online is. Guess we'll need to disagree on that one.
I know women are treated badly, I am one. But treating men badly to make us feel equal doesn't cut it with me. And to me jumping on their every word and sneering at them is treating them badly.

BIWI Tue 12-Feb-19 23:18:02

Where did I say we should treat men badly? confused

ssd Tue 12-Feb-19 23:48:05

You didn't say that. But whenever I see the terms mansplaining or menz being trotted out, to me that's treating men as badly as women hate being treated. And you did it again to me without even realising it when you explained to me what mansplaining is about and what menz means. I know what they both mean. I see them used to condensed to males when they post here, which is ironic as I know you think he's cendescending to you.

ssd Tue 12-Feb-19 23:49:55

Autocorrect gone mad there but I hope you get the jist of what I mean.

ssd Tue 12-Feb-19 23:56:35

We'll probably need to agree to disagree on this BIWI. I know you're a respected poster and I've nothing to gripe at you about.

I just hate mansplaining and menz. As I said before it's the same shit as goats and plasma tellys. It takes away from a good conversation by putting someone down, subtely and with a sneer. And I hate that.

PhilipBrett Sat 16-Feb-19 07:46:08

Thanks to those who have signed the petition and for all your posts. I agree, it shouldn’t be a competition; much better that we all work together to improve outcomes for everyone. I also think it is better to think of people as individuals rather than lump them together by gender, race, creed or sexual orientation.
I would happily support any petition calling for a single Equalities Minister with an Equalities Committee composed of 50% women and 50% men with a good mix of ethnicity. Anyone wanna start one? (I won’t mention how easy it is 😊).
Re. the so-called mansplaining – I had already sent a number of emails to groups of my male friends and used exactly the same words so I really don’t think it is worth getting so upset about this.

OP’s posts: |
OhWhatFuckeryIsThisNow Sat 16-Feb-19 08:02:24

How about the government actually supports mental health provision for everyone, but especially young people, rather than cutting funding?

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