Unlucky

13 reasons it’s unlucky to be a man

When your life is committed to helping the world work for everyone – men and boys included – it’s easy to forget that most people don’t see the inequality and discrimination that men and boys face on a daily basis.

So to help us spread the word about the desperate need to help men and boys live longer, happier, healthier lives we are developing a list of  THE THIRTEEN WAYS THE WORLD DOESN’T WORK FOR MEN AND BOYS. We welcome your feeback on the first draft of this document which we will be developing over the coming weeks and months.

1. LIFE EXPECTANCY

From the moment they are born, boys all over the world are destined to live shorter lives, most notably boys in Swaziland who, at 31 years, have a life expectancy 56 years shorter than girls born in Japan who will live to 87.

In the City of Brighton & Hove in England, boys from the poorest neighbourhoods die THIRTEEN YEARS SOONER than girls from the richest areas and yet women’s projects still receive THIRTEEN TIMES MORE FUNDING THAN MEN’S PROJECTS

Amazingly, girls in Iraq (71.3), India (72.6) and Indonesia (73.4) now live longer than a boy born in East Brighton (70.9 years).

2. EDUCATION

Boys now underperform girls at every stage of education, are less likely to attend university and FOUR TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE PERMANENTLY EXCLUDED FROM SCHOOL – an issue which is particularly troublesome for boys as 90% of boys aged 15-18 in prison were excluded from school (compared with 40% of girls) and excluded boys and girls are 19 times more likely to commit suicide.

Interestingly, while boys make up 80% of excluded pupils the Coalition Government only highlights the higher rate of exclusions of African Caribbean boys ignoring the plight of poor white boys failing in schools.

3. EMPLOYMENT

In general men do more paid work than women. They work longer hours, take less time off sick, throw less sickies and when they are out of work, men are three times more likely to be on Job Seekers Allowance and looking for work.

Men are 50% more likely to work full-time, three times more likely to be self-employed and when they have children, mums are four times more likely  to not be working than dads. Overall 79% of UK men work compared to 70% of women.

At the same time, research shows that men do more than their fair share of household and domestic chores. Amongst young people not in education, employment and training (NEETS), young men are twice as likely to be a NEET with no identifiable barrier to education, employment and training.

And while men on average are pulling their weight at home and putting more hours in at work, women (20%) are twice as likely to be economically inactive and are more likely to be being taken care of financially by a partner, an ex partner or the state. In contrast, when you consider who is economically inactive, men are three times more likely to be actively looking for work (ie on Job Seekers Allowance).

4. SOCIAL DIVIDE

There has been a great deal of focus on the need for the UK workforce to reflect the diversity of the population it serves in recent years. The logic is that the public sector cannot be effective in helping the communities it serves if it does not reflect the diversity of those communities.

As a result we have seen positive action to recruit more people from across the six equalities groups – ethnicity, sexuality, disability, religions, age and gender.

But when it comes to gender, while more men than women work and are looking for work the gender focus in the public sector where men are massively under-represented has been placed firmly on women.

Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of education, health and social care staff are female – while the majority of people who do badly in education, die young and end up in care are men and boys.

The logic of the diversity argument which suggests that a public sector that is under-representative of one group (in this case men) – is less capable of serving men and boys, seems to be borne out in this case.

This is a particularly worrying state of affairs for boys who are far less likely than girls to grow up around same sex role models and mentors. One in four children now grow up in fatherless families and are nine times more likely to commit crimes than children living with their mum and dad.

In addition, 98% of childcare workers are women, one in four primary schools have no male teachers and boys under 12 are seven times more likely to be taught by a woman teacher than a male teacher. Within this context, boys grow into men with low male social capital.

According to the Office for National Statistics General Household Survey, 2000/01, a person with low social capital is typically male and will be poorly edudcated, under 30, single, unemployed or on a low income and living in rented accommodation in a deprived neighbourhood

It seems the lack of male role models in families and communities is helping produce a lost generation of young men with worrying impacts with recent research showing that Fatherless boys are three times more likely to be suicidal and boys without a male role model are three times more likely to be depressed.

And according to the Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC), while a third of boys growing up with lone mothers have less than 1 hour a day of contact with a man, two-thirds of single mums say they would welcome a man being involved in the care and development of their young children.

5. WORK LIFE CHOICES

There is a growing acceptance that men have a narrower selection of work life choices than women, driven by emerging research challenging conventional thinking on the gender pay gap which challenges conventional thinking on the pay gap championed in the Equal Pay: Where Next? report promoted by The Equality and Human Rights CommissionThe Fawcett SocietyThe TUC and Unison.

New research in the US suggests that the pay gap is a healthy sign that women have more opportunities to choose family-friendly, flexible jobs.

It’s important to note that male graduates are now 50% more likely to be unemployedwomen now earn more than men in the UK in their twenties and that the big difference in men and women’s average earnings kicks in when they become parents and prioritise their children with one parent (usually mum) working less while the other parent (usually dad) works more.

Research from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission in the UK  reveals that 53% of fathers and 52% of mothers with children under 1 year old say dads spend too little time with their children.

The same research shows that dads are twice as likely as mums to feel that they spend too little time with their children.

Meanwhile, a new report called Work Life Balance: Working For Fathers? report by the charity Working Families and Dr Caroline Gatrell at Lancaster University supports the theory that being the main breadwinner is no fun for men with 82% of fathers saying they want to spend more time with their families.

6. VIOLENCE

Men and boys are twice as likely to be victims of violence than women and girls. Internationally two thirds of the 1.6 million people who die violent deaths every year are men and boys – and yet the United Nations PR coverage on violent deaths fails to mention that men are the biggest victims and its subsequent poster campaign on ending violent deaths  men – who are two thirds of victims –  by choosing 4 images of women and just two of a man. (NB: Since we first highlighted this issue in January 2011, WHO has updated the two pages referenced above to include men, though the primary focus of the poster campaign is still on violence against women – August 2011)

Locally the situation is the same with the British Crime Survey for 2001 revealing that twice as many young men in Brighton & Hove experience violence as any other group but there being no international campaign to stop violence against men and boys.

Locally (as well as nationally) there is stubborn resistance to acknowledging and dealing with the fact that 40% of domestic violence victims are male, part of the problem being that the issue is still tackled strategically within the national Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy.

Locally, while there is a well established service for female victims and an officer dedicated to supporting LGBT victims, there is no service for male victims and an “intelligent commissioning” review of services conducted in 2010 saw 53 women invited to take part in focus groups but no men – no straight men, no GBT men, no BME men, no disabled men, no old men, no young men, no boys, no male perpetrators, no male victims, no men in mutually violent relationships – just women.

It is perhaps not surprising than 41% of male tell no-one about the abuse they experience and are twice as likely to keep it to themselves as women.

This one-side approach to the issue has been picked elsewhere in the world by campaigns such as the excellent 1 in 3 domestic violence campaign in Australia.

The fact that men are the majority of all violence victims is often overlooked. In 2008/2009 in the UK 71% of murder victims were male. Men are also three times more likely to be be killed by a stranger.

Despite this the worrying trend in early intervention work has been to focus on changing boys attitude towards violence against women and girls when research on attitudes of young people towards domestic violence shows that girls and more tolerant of violence against men and boys – being 11x more likely  to say it is okay for a woman to hit her partner for nagging or arguing (when compared to their attitude to men hitting women for the same reason)

Sadly, boys seem to growing up with an attitude that it’s ok for them to be hit by their partner – being 15x more likely than girls to think it is okay for their partner to hit him if he was nagging or wouldn’t stop arguing.

Meanwhile, the focus on early intervention work in schools remains on addressing boys and girls attitudes to violence against women and girls – and is not equally addressing our societal tolerance of violence against men and boys.

7. AVOIDABLE DEATH

Men are more likely to die from all manner of avoidable deaths being three times more likely to commit suicide, being more likely to be suffering with a serious undiagnosed illness and accounting for over 95% of employees who killed at work every year.

More men are killed at work (more than 3 a week 2007/2008) than women killed at home in domestic violence incidents (less than 2 a week) – and this doesn’t include the hundreds of predominantly male workers in the armed forces killed in conflicts such as Afghanistan.

Young men are particularly vulnerable with teenage boys and young men age 15-24 in England & Wales are two and a half times as likely to die young than women and girls of the same age according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundations Poverty Site.

One hundred UK men die every month in a car accident – accounting for 71% of all victims.

More than fifty 15-24 year olds die young in England & Wales every week and the majority (71.5%) are boys and men – according to the statistics on premature male death.

8. FATHERS’ RIGHTS

The lack of fathers’ rights in the UK and Internationally has a broad range of impacts but is perhaps seen most starkly in the fact that according to the UK Fatherhood Institute’s family fairness index just 1 in 9 UK dads having the opportunity to continue sharing the parenting of their children after separation (compared to 1 in 3 dads in Sweden).

Around 15% of fathers are not living with partner when their child is born (Kiernan, K. (2003) Unmarried parenthood: new insights from the Millennium Cohort Study. Population Trends)

Children living apart from their dads in lone parent families are twice as likely to live in poverty than children living with both parents –  though the risk of poverty is reduced seven-to-eight-fold when mum is working full time.

There is a widespread failure of services to engage with of non-resident fathers – for example 31% of the non-resident fathers who have contact with their children go into their schools, compared with 75% of fathers who live at home (Nord et al, 1998) – and this  may be contributing to school failure in this group.

According to the DWP what happens then is around a third (33%) of children have contact with their non-resident parent at least once a week, a third (35%) see dad less than once a week and a third (32%) have no contact at all.

Interestingly, children in lone parent families and nearly twice as likely to see their real dad regularly than children in step families seeing their non-resident parent on a more regular basis than re-partnered couple families (35% on a weekly basis compared to 18%), although the proportions that never saw their non-resident parent were similar (32% against 30% respectively).

In 2010 Harry Benson, of the Bristol Community Family Trust, undertook analysis of cenusus data  using census data and found that 60 per cent of families remain intact until their children are 15 – 97 per cent of these are married.

The broad impacts of Fatherlessness in all areas of life were highlighted by the Think Tank Civitas in a 2002 report called Experiments In Living: The Fatherless Family – and the costs of Fatherlessness are now thought to be as high as £100bn and have been linked to youth offending with children with separated parents nine times more likely to commit crime.

9. MENTAL HEALTH

The UK’s mental health charity Mind has described the lack of national mental health strategy for men in the UK – when there is a strategy in place for women and children – a major health inequality . Meanwhile, while men and women experience depression in equal numbers, women are twice as likely to be diagnosed for depression as men.

The experience of mentally ill men in prison is also a major concern with the Government’s jails watchdog recently warning that mentally ill men are being kept in conditions as bad as “Victorian lunatic asylums”.

10. DRINK AND DRUGS

In the absence of good access to mental health support men appear to self medicate and are twice as likely to be problem drinkers. Men in Brighton & Hove are also four times as likely to die of a drug related death with the city being Britain’s drug death capital with one death per week in 2009.

11. SEXUAL HEALTH

A report by The Men’s Health Forum revealed that the National Chlamydia Screening Programme screened fourteen times more women as men — yet it is known that men and women carry the chlamydia infection in equal numbers and that most women are infected by sexual contact with men.

Our national attitudes on sex have led us to suspect that all men are potential paedophiles and sex criminals with British Airways refusing to allow children to sit next to men incase they abuse the child and a Labour MP for Bristol calling for every man in her city to be DNA tested to find the killer of Joanna Yeates, when it turned out the suspected killer live next door.

Men and boys are also victims of men and women’s sexual abuse – an issue we highlight in our blog post Six Top Sex Abuse Taboos We Must Smash.

As a result of these taboos female victims of rape are twice as likely to report as male victims and the potential number of victims of female sexual remain unheard and unhelped was hinted at when the television programme This Morning opened up a hotline for callers to talk about abuse by women. In the course of one day, they had over 1000 telephone calls. Ninety per cent of the callers had never told anyone about their abuse.

Anyone who is challenged by this important taboo should read Dr Michele Eliot’s 7 page report on women who sexually abuse children here and this article tackling the notion that it’s ok for women to have sex with underage boys in the wake of a case of a mother and daughter abusing a teenage family member in the US.

12. CANCER

Men are more likely to die of cancers, less likely to be screened and more likely to be living with  undiagnosed cancer. Men are 1.5 times more likely to have undiagnosed bowel cancer for example and this failure to diagnose men is repeated across other health problems such as men being twice as likely to have undiagnosed diabetes.

Organisations like Cancer Research UK, spend four times more money on women’s cancer than men’s cancer – and yet its own research shows that showing that when you factor out sex-specific cancers men are 60 per cent more likely to get  cancer than women, and 70 per cent more likely to die from it

According to Prostate Cancer Charity’s research on male cancer inequalities, men with prostate cancer consistently report a significantly worse patient experience than people with other common cancers.

• Fewer men with prostate cancer receive information on side effects or how their treatment had gone

• Fewer men fully understood the explanation of how their treatment had gone

• Fewer men have a named nurse in charge of their care

• Fewer men were given information about self-help groups

• More men were likely to have to wait longer for their treatment

13. OLD AGE

Until recently in the UK men and women’s retirement age was not equal – with women retiring 5 years younger than men despite living longer – cause championed by the UK charity for equal rights for men – Parity

While the retirement age has been equalised, men are still twice as likely to be working over 60 and have a shorter life expectancy. Older men also experience a retirement gap – having 7 years less than women on average to enjoy their retirement.

When you look at all the people over 65 in the UK today, twice as many of the women will still be alive at 100.

According to research by Age Concern – now Age UK – there is an increasing body of research evidence pointing out that the specific needs of older men are largely ignored in current services for older people,

The research shows that older men are more likely than older women to be excluded from wider social relationships, especially men who are divorced or never married.

Divorced and never married men are particularly susceptible to social isolation, poor health, risk behaviours (e.g. smoking and drinking) and material disadvantage than married older men.

 

About Glen Poole

Glen Poole was the PR Director for Fathers 4 Justice in the UK and instrumental in putting the campaign for Fathers' Rights in the national and international headlines. He has since shifted his focus from Fathers Rights campaigning to transfomring public services for men and boys focusing on key issues like fatherhood, men's health, male suicide, boys' education, male mentoring, rites of passage and violence against men and boys

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  • knightrunner

    A truly great article. When someone looks at me funny for talking about men’s rights I will point to this article.

  • Skeptic

    Thank you very much Glen.
    You present a stunning body of research which should encourage open minded folks to consider the merits of the Men’s Rights Movement, indeed prick their consciences enough to become active as an MRA.

  • .ProleScum.

    Glen Poole? On AVfM? This is immense.

    Thank you for this piece Glen, and for everything you do for British men.

    Much respect.

  • by_the_sword

    Thank you Glen. I now have more arrows in my quiver.

  • Paul Elam
    • http://truthjusticeca.wordpress.com/ Denis

      That was like so last week and it was even posted on reddit. Unfortunately, many british FRAs don’t agree that the govs changes are going to make much difference other than just window dressing.

      In Canada, we’re still in a holding pattern with a majority government that put equal shared parenting on their platform but has neglected to make it a party bill for like 9 years now.

      • Paul Elam

        Oh, “so last week”? LOL!

    • Stu

      Allow me to play the cynical skeptic and prophet of doom that I always am lol. This is pretty much like John Howard’s shared parenting act here in Oz. The feminists threw a big fat hissy fit that never ended trying to over rule those laws. The laws are still on the books technically, but have been rendered null and void by new draconian dv laws, which override any presumption of shared care by a simple accusation of dv. So I expect that UK feminists will be mounting a similar campaign of demonizing which results in virtually any man being able to be branded an abuser.

      • Paul Elam

        No doubt the route of cynic, skeptic, profit of doom is the right way to go in our business, but don’t underestimate the significance of the fact that they are even entertaining these laws. Sooner or later they will have to pass one with some teeth in it…

        Then we get to deal with the bastards that won’t enforce it.

      • Tawil

        Stu,

        UK politicians and legal experts advocating for the new father-freindly legislation in the UK are well versed in the Australian experiment- they know exactly what the feminists did by wheeling out the violence card to nullify shared parenting laws. I wager they will use different wording to the Aus laws to try and pre empt the feminist backlash.

        Keep in mind we havn’t seen the results of how the new Aus DV laws work in custody situations… it may be that they actually work against women, an unforseen outcome much as we saw with the “primary aggressor arrest” policies around the world which are leading to huge numbers of females legitimately arrested as primary aggressor. The trick methinks is to educate all males going through a custody dispute to claim any violence perpetrated by their female partner (there is usually some “violence” according to the new definitions- eg. she talked meanly to you, controlled you, intimidated you, hit you etc) because she will be encouraged to do same by all her support teams even if violence didn’t occur… this unfortunately is the only way men can protect themselves against default DV claims by women and ensure they can remain in their children’s lives. After 5 years of this circus legal reviews of the process will occur showing that the whole DV one-up-manship is completely flawed and ineffective, and the laws of evidence will be (possibly) tightened. Society only learns in hindsight from feminist meddling.

        • Stu

          Primary aggressor laws working against women, the first I’ve heard of it. The whole point of those laws was to make the man the scapegoat even where the woman was violent an the man was not. Woman bashes mans head in while he sleeps, yeah but he is bigger, stronger, and earns more money, and has more power in the world because he’s a man, so he is the primary aggressor. It comes down to who is the most capable of controlling, and violence…..not who uses it.

          Feminists here in Oz already have the next round of draconian extensions for dv laws drawn up. In that load of shit…..laws will be sex specific…meaning…things it is against the law for men will not be against the law for women to do. As it is, that is the defacto law anyway, because everything women do is ignored…..this will just make that the legitimate legal response.

          Can anyone really see a country where politicians entertain proposals to close all female prisons and have no custodial sentences for any crime…..for woman….actually making and enforcing shared parenting laws. I figure we have to go through several transitional stages before we get to that stage.

          • Tawil

            Yep i’ve read a number of accounts about it…. and feminists are livid about it because THEY helped design the law to catch men…. and the number of women being nabbed under it has surprised them. Naturally it still works against men and we are the primary losers from primary aggressor laws, but the police are smarter than we realize with this process, and they know a violent women (sometimes, at least) when they see one. Feminists are mounting campaigns to try and ammend primary aggressor laws because presently surprising numbers of women are being cuffed are, they think, too high. The feminists reckon the police are discriminating against women unfairly in these instances, so feminists are lobbying to “re-train” police to better identify the primary aggressor.

            I see no reason why men in Aus can’t use the new definition of family violence to their advantage.

    • kiwihelen

      Afraid to say I will watch this and hope the changes amount to more than window dressing.
      In NZ there is presumed 50:50 custody and my beloved and I were hopeful he could remain a major influence in his daughters’ lives. 2.5 bitter years later the courts are enabling his ex on her campaign to erase him from his girls’ care. ‘Best interest of the child’ translates to ‘least paperwork for us’…and the Lawyer for Children in their case is the colour of a blueberry after consuming so many blue pills. He remains with shared custody of younger child only because she is a clever wee soul who gets her much needed quiet time at her Dads home. Miss 15 has been alienated because Mom tells her Daddy is abusive…and the courts don’t give a rats arse about the truth of Mom’s neglect.

  • Rper1959

    Thank you Glen for “ruining” my weekend plans, now I will have to read the links from your article and spend time reposting and linking this article to as many contacts and forums as I can. But it will be a labor of love, this information succinctly stated needs to be disseminated far and wide. A brilliant summation!

    • Tawil

      My weekend too, hadn’t seen this one before…. is a veritable treasure trove of facts which, collected in one article, give an irrefutable picture of society’s neglect of males. Glen’s website looks loaded with this kind of stuff, so there’s some more reading to add to the pile: http://brightonmanplan.wordpress.com/

      With revolutionaries like Glen, Paul and many others spearheading a new global wave of men’s advocacy -a more sophisticated, networked and inclusive wave than in the past- we have reason to feel very optimistic about the future -as evidenced by the new fathers’ rights legislation being proposed in the UK. High praise for the heavy lifters who are making the world work better for men and boys.

  • Primal

    But unlucky women got front page coverage in today’s NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/us/elite-women-put-a-new-spin-on-work-life-debate.html While men worry about work-related mortality, women whine about work/family balance. Poor things.

    • BioCan

      The NYTimes should always leave a small warning below any gender studies or feminist article that they publish.

      Warning: may increase risk of hypertension, aneurysm, stroke, headache, nausea, migraine, or hair loss.

  • http://forsakeneagle.blogspot.com/ ForsakenEagle

    Great contribution, Mr. Poole. It’s great to see this movement continually growing and gaining public traction. The myths need to be dispelled and the issues men and boys uniquely face brought to mainstream attention. Thank you for the great article.

  • AntZ

    I can’t believe how badly we have let down our sons. Every boy is born into feminist bondage, and it is only going to get worse. Men’s lives are short, brutal, and filled with pain and neglect.

    This is our darkest hour. Where the fuck are women? Where is the female army, fighting by our side? For 5000 years men spilled sweat, tears, and blood to protect women. Not men face our doom completely alone.

    • kiwihelen

      One or two of us are here alongside you. The men’s health issues are a big bugbear of mine, and I am gearing up to start a debate locally about us taking diabetes screening out into the community. Our figures for men accessing their over 40s health check are terrible and I think community screening is one answer.
      I’m also insisting in new staff contracts including the clause we can insist on out of core hours working for 7.5 hours per month-I run two out of hours clinics on my roster and most of the slots are taken by men. I have no problem starting seeing patients at 07:30 once a month and working to 20:00 once a month…
      Getting more male practitioners is more difficult but if their applications meet our criteria we interview. I argued for our first appointment of a male practitioner on gender grounds when it came down to two candidates and will continue to do so while we remain without gender equity.

      • limeywestlake

        I am so glad to have you here alongside us sister.

        @ AntZ – the in-built female gender preference means that they are largely not going to give a f*** about the welfare of men and boys. They are ‘little Eichmanns.”
        This is our fight. We are men enough. We can not only fight this fight but we can win.
        We have reason and social justice in our tool kits.With these, how can we lose?

    • DruidV

      Nevertheless, we men are still required (by law now) to feel bad for teh wimminz.

      Red pill anyone?

  • andybob

    Mr Poole delivers an indispensible resource for MRAs everywhere. This article is packed with enough relevant ammunition to blast smug feminists to smithereens. A brilliant and much appreciated contribution, sir.

  • amido

    I know the author of this article – Glen Poole – via Facebook. What I find surprising about his writing appearing on avoiceformen.com is that he is actually very dismissive of MRAs – at one time saying they were all misogynists and homophobes – and is quick to criticize the MRM as being pointless, ineffectivive, and not actually doing anything to help men, whilst at the same time singing the praises of feminists, who, according to him, do more to help men than MRAs.

    Here is one of his derogatory statements about MRAs, which he made in a Men’s Rights Facebook group: –

    “The reason MRAs don’t want to form [real world] groups is they see how nutty other MRAs occur to people and don’t want to be associated with a bunch of nutty gender terrorists – so they either walk away or they fight on their own (terrified of being found out)”

    Obviously, given his views, he refuses to call himself an MRA.

    Since his writing has appeared on avoiceformen.com – probably the most visited MRA site on the Web – I have asked him if he has changed his views about MRAs and the MRM, but he has refused to reply.

    Glen Poole has a pro-feminist agenda of his own, that is not aligned with the wider MRM, and should be viewed with some degree of suspicion.

    • http://www.avoiceformen.com Dr. F

      Amido,

      Geese you’re acting like a donk, (sigh) Your post, nasty as can be don’t you think ?

      Let’s say for the time being you’re right and Glen Poole is a rat-bag, so fucking what ? He has written a great article that stands on it’s own with wonderful information that we can refer to. He has helped us and I have a suspicion he is not getting paid any money for it either.

      Then you waltz in here, the god of Mercury on a tall horse with your important message for all the land to hear, and the message is supposed to do what ?

      You got the scoop on the author and we are gasping and clucking our tongues and the article magically dissolves into useless pixels on the bottom of our monitors.

      Yep, that’s right everyone, the article is rubbish because the author is no bloody good in your eyes.

      Signed:
      You Suck.

  • BioCan

    A refreshing piece. Thanks a lot for this article, Mr. Poole. Discourse is important in most cases, but at the end of the day the facts are essential. I always look for the facts and statistics to refute the illogical claims made by feminists. Indeed, the purity in this movement is derived from the facts as social justice arises out of a need to push back against an opponent that seeks to strip us of our rights. But, the facts are what solidify the righteousness of this justice. It is a clear message that many of us can begin to understand and appreciate why this community exists. As a result of that, the feminists throw fits of anger and resort to smear tactics that only make them look worse. This is an argument that has to be won on intellectual grounds.