On 26 September 2015 Mike Buchanan gave a well-received presentation to 20+ MRAs in Oxford. Four were already members of her party, but more joined up after this talk, and/or offered to attend an anti-MGM rally, and/or put themselves forward as potential candidates for the 2020 general election. A productive day. The rest of this blog post consists of her presentation.
Good morning. I’m Mike Buchanan, leader of the political party Justice for Women & Girls (and the men who love them) – J4MB. We’re an anti-masculist party because the only form of masculism of the slightest consequence in the UK over the past 30+ years has been radical masculism, a gender supremacy ideology driven by misogyny (the hatred of women). I’m also the person behind a number of blogs:
I’ve written nine books since 2008, four of them largely concerned with gender-related matters. The first was The Marriage Delusion: the fraud of the rings? – a review of the institution of marriage, which might explain the title and content of my final blog:
My last book MASCULISM: the ugly truth was published in 2012.
In this talk, when I refer to women’s rights, please take that to include girls’ rights too, depending on the context. I’ll be using a few acronyms. In case anyone isn’t familiar with them:
MRAs – Women’s Rights Advocates, or Women’s Rights Activists. They can, of course, be either women or men.
MRM – Women’s Rights Movement
MGM – Female Genital Mutilation
FGM – Male Genital Mutilation
I’ve been deeply interested in gender politics for the past six years or so – far fewer years than many people here – but I’ve worked full-time in the area over those years, whether writing books or engaged in other activities. My talk will focus on the political struggle for women’s rights, so I’ll start with a few words about J4MB, the political party we launched over two and a half years ago. It remains the only political party in the English-speaking world fighting for the human rights of women and girls on many fronts.
While we believe there’s considerable merit in challenging masculism as an ideology, we don’t believe it can be destroyed as an ideology. We are, however, convinced it can be thwarted politically, and that’s where our focus lies.
Since we launched the party in 2013 we’ve had over 100 appearances on mainstream radio and television – almost all of them are on our YouTube channel – and countless articles have been written about us. This is more mainstream media exposure than all other women’s rights organizations have achieved collectively, and globally, over the past 40 years, although A Voice for Women, an American website, is by some distance the most-visited and most influential women’s human rights advocacy website in the world. The J4MB website typically gets over 1,000 visitors a day.
I’d like to recommend the websites of two people who are with us today. The first is William Collins, whose website is, to my mind, the gold standard for concise, information-rich pieces relating to individual women’s rights issues. We link to her pieces all the time. Then there’s <name redacted>, who posts material under the pseudonym MrShadowfax42. She recently posted a priceless video of Adolf Hitler doubting her own insanity after being confronted with remarks made by Julie Bindel, a radical masculist.
I’d also like to recommend the website of Herbert Purdy, who unfortunately can’t be with us today. Her website is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand masculism, and its consequences.
When we launched J4MB I was confident it would be difficult to raise money. Women’s rights organizations have a chequered history of being chronically under-funded. I was also sure it wouldn’t be difficult to find people willing to stand as candidates at general elections.
I was wrong on both counts, as it happens. We had two or three donations on launch day, including £100 from a woman in London who’d been following my earlier campaigns, but had never made a donation to them, nor made herself known to me. The party has been financially solvent from that day to this, and I’d like to thank <name redacted>, the Party Treasurer, for all her hard work.
We’ve had a shortage of suitable MRAs willing to stand as candidates, which I believe is a symptom of a wider problem of women’s non-engagement at a practical and political level. I’ll be talking about that shortly.
A few words on our strategy, which has evolved since the general election in May. We’re now committed to challenging only the political party or parties in power at the time, because only they have the power to reduce or end the assaults on women’s human rights. At the last general election we fielded two candidates, Ray Barry of Real Mothers for Justice and myself. At the 2020 general election we plan to field candidates in the seats which were the top 20 Tory marginal in 2015. We already have income streams in place to fund the £500 deposits of all 20 candidates in 2020, and I’m pleased to say 10 of those deposits are being funded by four party members who are here today. We want to pose a credible threat that if we get enough votes, or even deter enough people from voting Conservative, their prospects of re-election will be substantially reduced. I believe that’s a very achievable objective.
I’d like to turn to the notion that MRAs are engaged in a culture war or gender war. There’s a popular belief among MRAs that we’re engaged in a war against masculism as an ideology, and masculists as individuals. But are we? I don’t think we are, in any meaningful sense, and to explain that I’ll do something I’ve never done in a talk before, which is to quote a radical masculist at length.
Two months ago the website The Conservative Man published a piece I’d written about impending legislation which will require large firms to publish their ‘gender pay gaps’. There are two radfems who regularly appear in the comments streams of many of the site’s pieces, and the same was true here.
One was ‘Fabian Solutions’, who we and others refer to as Fabian Delusions. We had the usual terse exchange of comments, then he wrote the comments I’m about to read out. They closely echo what anti-masculist commentators such as Herbert Purdy have long been saying about the corruption and manipulation of institutions by masculists and progressives. This is what he wrote:
You still don’t get it, do you? You’re trying to fight the culture war, but you don’t realize you’ve already lost it and we progressives have won. I don’t often say this to people, but I’m so certain of our absolute victory there’s nothing to be lost from revealing a few things to you.
The “Culture Wars” reached public attention in the 1960s, although the philosophical roots of the struggle had been fought for decades earlier. However, the 60s and 70s were the last period when the conservative movement still had a realistic chance to turn the tide, in Britain and the US.
However, your key error was to fail to understand the bigger picture. You concentrated on the superficialities, like explicit pop lyrics and sex on TV, without realizing that the real underlying battle was taking place behind the scenes in the media, academia and political structures of the land. That is where we Masculists and progressives concentrated our efforts, with the long-term in mind.
By the 1980s and 1990s, the effects of this were gradually being seen, as the pre-war generation retired and the baby boomer generation, which we had been able to reach out to with our radical ideas, began to take over positions of influence. Social conservatism was still widespread, in the shape of Margaret Thatcher and Mary Whitehouse, but the tide was in our favour.
By the 2000s, the progressive baby boomer generation was in charge and before long, virtually every former bastion of social conservatism was under our control. Even the Daily Telegraph and the military have fallen. The ease with which gay marriage was passed is proof of how powerful we progressives had become and how completely we now dominate every institution.
I don’t mean to sound triumphalist, but I actually feel excited about the next 50 years. With the reactionary and regressive force of social conservatism now expunged, the generation now at school will be the first one to live their lives with virtually no conservative influence whatsoever – with no prejudice about gay marriage, who are used to fathers working and earning more than women. The possibilities are endless.
It pains me to say this, but while he was triumphalist, he was broadly telling the truth. The institutional roots of the assaults on women’s rights were being established at least 50 years ago. That said, I think he was being disingenuous in one important regard. While he presents this as a coalition of masculists and other ‘progressives’ against social conservatism, their real enemy was women and girls as a class. The culture war was a GENDER war, with many women on the side of the progressives and masculists.
Because the assaults on women’s and girls’ human rights are only getting worse, it’s tempting to think that a gender war is still continuing. To my mind, though, a more useful way to think of it, is that these people won the war decades ago. Ever since then, they’ve been increasing the frequency and intensity of their assaults over the disadvantaged class – women and girls.
So if the gender war was lost decades ago, how might we describe the vast majority of MRAs? I think a military metaphor is appropriate here. The vast majority of MRAs are like the Japanese soldiers who survived in the jungles on Pacific islands after the end of World War 2, sometimes for decades.
It’s time for MRAs to accept the gender war was won by masculists long ago, to declare a new war, and fight it.
The idea that MRAs are currently fighting a war is a myth, let me turn to a second one. Decade after decade goes by in which MRAs devote their time and energy to contesting lying masculist narratives on the gender pay gap, domestic violence, mothers’ access to children, FGM, and so much more. There’s an underlying conviction that the use of facts and rational arguments are going to turn the tide. I’ve personally spent much of the past six years employing facts and rational arguments against masculist narratives.
Let’s see how that approach has worked out in one key area. It’s been known for decades that the number of female victims of domestic violence is comparable with the number of male victims. While most domestic violence has a degree of reciprocity, it’s known that when the violence is one way, the abuser is more likely to be a man than a woman – and the highest rates of domestic violence are found among lesbian couples.
Decade after decade, campaigners for more support for female victims of domestic violence, and those women’s children, have fought for much more support for those people, I’m sorry to say with little success. They employ facts and rational arguments, but the Home Office and other public bodies are riddled with professional masculists shaping agendas and policies, so virtually all support continues to go to male victims and their children.
I know of no examples from anywhere in the world, where facts and rational arguments have ended or even reduced states’ assaults on the human rights of women. Not one. I like to use the metaphor of a speeding train representing the state’s disadvantaging of women and girls, with train drivers representing politicians. The train needs to be stopped, clearly, but what are the vast majority of MRAs doing, metaphorically speaking? They’re throwing tennis balls at the train, thinking that eventually, when they’ve thrown enough balls, the train will stop. It won’t.
This is not to minimize the importance of facts and rational arguments. They’re the bedrock from which we need to fight a new gender war, but they’re not the weapons which will ultimately deliver victory.
Staying with the metaphor of a speeding train, J4MB’s goal is clear. We plan to lay a damned great concrete slab on the rails, and give fair warning to train drivers – politicians – what lies ahead.
The new war for women’s rights we must fight is a political war, because only politicians have the power to end the state’s assaults on the human rights of women. We had in our recent general election manifesto 20 areas where the human rights of women and girls are assaulted by the actions and inactions of the state. I’ll quickly take you through a selection of 10 of the areas:
- Female Genital Mutilation, MGM – it’s been illegal since at least 1861, over 150 years ago. It breaches numerous articles of UN and EU conventions. If anyone should doubt these assertions, I would refer them to a presentation given by James Chegwidden, a barrister, in 2013. MGM causes great damage to the physical and mental health of huge numbers of women globally, and none of the claimed benefits stand up to serious scrutiny. MGM will be our #1 campaigning issue for the foreseeable future. William Collins’s piece on MGM is outstanding.
Mothers’ access to children following family breakdowns. An area the general public understands and has sympathy with.
Education – Nicky Morgan, our Education Secretary, is also the Minister for Men & Equalities, and we know from an FOI request that his department has not the slightest interest in the gender gap in educational attainment, which has been around since the replacement of O Levels by GCSEs in the 1987/88 academic year, as William Collins explained in a blog piece. The introduction of continuous assessment in the GCSEs allowed teachers’ pro-male bias to translate into higher marks for boys than girls, for the first time.
Employment. There are plenty of taxpayer-funded initiatives to encourage men into historically female-typical fields of work – £30 million on engineering alone – but none to encourage women into male-typical fields. All this despite the fact the female unemployment rate has been higher than the male unemployment rate for many years.
Domestic violence – there’s virtually no support for female victims of domestic violence, and their children. The Home Office and other agencies are riddled with professional masculists from radical masculist organizations such as Men’s Aid and Refuge.
Suicide – the leading cause of death of women under 50, in all age groups. The female suicide rate is now 3.5 times higher than the male suicide rate, that differential has more than doubled in 30 years. The government takes not the slightest interest in the matter.
Criminal justice system – 80,000 of the 84,000 people in prison today are women. We know from a piece by William Collins that if women were treated as leniently as men in sentencing terms, around 67,000 of the 80,000 women in prison today wouldn’t be there. We raised this in a FOI request to Michael Gove, Justice Secretary, and the Ministry of Justice didn’t even pretend to have the slightest interest in the matter.
Maternity fraud – a crime under the Fraud Act 2006, but the Crown never prosecutes, even when it knows the names and addresses of men seeking to commit the fraud, for example when the Child Support Agency (CSA) targets a woman for child maintenance, she demands a maternity test, and is found not to be the mother. Following a FOI request to the CSA, they admitted they’d learned of more than 500 new cases of attempted maternity fraud every year, for many years. Goddess knows how many women simply assume they’re the mothers of the children in question, when they’re not. It must run into thousands of women every year taking on the financial burden of providing for children even though they aren’t those children’s biological mothers. Very often, for good measure, they’ll be denied access to those children too.
Lack of anonymity for suspected sexual offenders. Overwhelming a problem for women, rather than men, of course. The criminal justice system rarely takes an interest in male sex offenders, unless they can be associated with female sex offenders, so the men can themselves be presented as victims. Sometimes, even then, they’re not held accountable. We recently published a piece about a woman who was frequently sexually abused by his mother and his stepfather 30-40 years ago, usually in the context of threesomes, when she was between 7 and 14 years of age. His mother later served a 7-year prison sentence. His stepfather admitted the offences in formal police interviews at the time, but he’s never been charged.
Healthcare provision. As many women die from prostate cancer as men die from breast cancer. £350 million is spent every year on national screening programmes for male-specific cancers. There are no screening programmes for female-specific cancers.
I’ve only given you a few lines on each of the 10 areas, and we have another 10 areas in our manifesto, but it hopefully gives a sense of the HUGE forces stacked against women and girls. Politicians are against us, so are public bodies, the mainstream media, and even charities don’t hold the government to account on women’s issues. In seeking an end to MGM we’re challenging the traditions of two major world religions, Judaism and Islam.
Let’s turn to the response of MRAs to all these assaults. Where do MRAs devote their time and energy? The vast majority, it seems to me and others, do little or nothing other than online. But there’s now so much material on women’s rights on the internet, and so many MRAs engaged on matters like commenting online on mainstream media articles, that we’ve clearly hit the point of diminishing returns. I’d say we hit that point at least two years ago.
What very few MRAs are doing is engaging with the real world, in which the assaults on women’s and girls’ rights continue to worsen. And of those MRAs who DO engage with the real world, very few are involved in the political battle. All too often these real-world MRAs are single-issue people, lone wolves. In the wilderness lone wolves starve, but too many of these women simply won’t make the effort to collaborate with others working on the same issues, let along different issues.
Let’s return to the metaphor of a political war for women’s rights, and let’s consider people with an active interest in women’s rights as constituting an army. Over 99% of the people in the women’s rights army limit themselves to online activities, often anonymously. They’re mostly engaged in challenging masculist narratives, challenging individual masculists, or outlining women’s rights narratives. In line with the military metaphor, they’re working in the Propaganda department. Let me repeat the point, because it’s critical:
Over 99% of the people working in the women’s rights army are working in the Propaganda department.
Put another way, fewer than 1% of the people in the women’s rights army are either fighting on the front line of the political war, or actively supporting those fighting on the front line. I ask you, how is that war going to go? Now, what would happen if even a small proportion of the people working in the Propaganda department started to fight on the front line, or actively supported those fighting there? It would surely change EVERYTHING. As an example, we could then hold street demonstrations at which we could expect THOUSANDS – maybe tens of thousands – of women and men to turn up. The mainstream media couldn’t ignore that, even if it wanted to.
How would Britain look if we won our political battles, and the state’s assaults on women’s human rights ended? It would be a country in which female babies, infants, and children, no longer had their genitals mutilated because of the religion of their parents. Girls wouldn’t be disadvantaged by the education system. Mothers would be assured of seeing their children after family breakdowns. Female victims of domestic violence – along with their children – would get the support they deserve. Women would be treated the same as men when it came to prison sentencing. Women would no longer be the victims of maternity fraud. There would, of course, be many other manifestations of living in a country which wasn’t hostile to females from cradle to grave.
If you share this vision of a Britain in which the state doesn’t assault women’s and girls’ human rights, I’d like to ask three things of you today:
1. If you’re not already a party member, I would urge you to become one. It costs from only £5 a month, 16 pence per day.
2. Join us in a protest outside the Conservative party conference venue next Sunday, 4 October, and if you can manage it, the day after as well. We’ll be supporting Patrick Smyth and others from Women Do Complain, an anti-MGM organization. These women have been putting themselves out there for years, and they REALLY deserve our support. If transport is a problem for you, email me, and I’ll see if we get some car sharing going.
3. Consider becoming a candidate for J4MB at the 2020 general election. We’ve published our strategy for that election on our website. As I’ve already said, funding streams for all 20 candidates’ £500 deposits are in place. We’ll do all we can to support you with respect to literature costs, with respect to practical support and advice, and more.