• theglassblindspot

Problems


Music:

Opening sequence: Weathers - Problems

dSK - Alone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUxBN-Ks7dQ

Akria the Don - Illuminati Gang Signs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm3Rn9Dl1og


Visuals / Inspiration:

Mouthy Buddah: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hflGmLVFFkk

South Park / Parliament Channel / Equalities Office / CNN


Notes & Citations below.




Every day is International Men’s day


On the 27th October 2016 the UK Conservative’s Government’s Minister for Equalities was asked why her Office had no plans to acknowledge International Men’s Day an annual campaign designed to celebrate the contribution of men and boys and help highlight some of challenges they can face throughout their lifetime.


Her response was to sidestep the question by proposing that ‘women could be forgiven for thinking that every day is International Men’s Day’


Caroline Dinenage’s dismissive and diversionary response, echoed rhetoric employed twelve months earlier by a member of the Parliamentary oversight committee for the Government’s Equalities Office.


On that occasion Labour MP Jess Phillips reacted to a proposal to mark IMD in Parliament with “flippancy, palpable anger’ and ‘unbridled ridicule,’ attempting to first block the event entirely and when this failed she continued to undermine the notion of parliamentary initiative to discuss significant gendered inequality of outcomes from the pages of the Independent.

When less than a third of UK parliamentarians are currently female, the concept of addressing disadvantage or issues predominately impacting on men and boys may very well seem counter intuitive to some.


But in an era when Government Ministers are often very publicly admonished for perceived slights and clumsy language directed at female colleagues, it does seem significant that elected Members of Parliament from across the political divide (with a shared responsibility for matters of equality no less) should feel so comfortable evoking such starkly gendered rhetoric to undermine the very notion of setting aside one day in the year to champion causes specific to men.


Many people in public life still follow the somewhat eccentric, some might say archaic, example set by two highly paid equality champions but inevitably the general public are becoming increasingly aware that inequality between the sexes is no laughing matter and nor is it something exclusively experienced by women and girls.

And crucially, that the action, so obviously needed to address the challenges and often very gendered inequalities encountered throughout the lifetime of a boy must happen in parallel and in partnership with actions needed to address the significant challenges that will be experienced by girls.


Because every day is not IMD’s day for every man and boy as many fathers and mothers will sadly know, on average, in the UK every day is the last day for thirteen men and boys tragically lost to suicide.


Meanwhile rising levels of educational under-attainment is by now probably the other most commonly and comfortably acknowledged gendered inequality on the male side of the fence.


Indeed the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) recently estimated that if current trends continue a girl born in post Brexit UK will be 75% more likely to go to university than a boy.

The Director of HEPI pointed to a collective blind spot on the underachievement of young men which he described as ‘a national scandal’.


And yet such reality is entirely consistent with global trends and policymakers in many OECD countries have become particularly concerned about the prospect of a growing underclass of under educated men with teenage boys 50% more likely than girls to fail to achieve basic proficiency in maths, reading and science.


My name is Brian and the glass blind spot is a term I have developed to describe the phenomenon where people consciously or unconsciously ignore information relevant to a discussion about equality and human rights because it would distract or detract from their preferred narrative.


We all have our own personal perspectives and prejudices but a glass blind spot is so big that a fucking elephant could hide in it.


And in my hso, the highly statistically significant trends relevant to boys and the implications they have for generations of women and men in Great Britain and beyond is by arguably the biggest collective blind spot hidden within the complex spectrum of equality matters today.


Education and mental well being may very well be the two most widely acknowledged male inequalities but there are many others.


Because just like many women, many men become some of the most marginalized, disadvantaged and desperate people in society.


95% our prison population are men, as are 88% of rough sleepers, and men are more likely to experience premature death at every stage of life.


It is becoming increasingly acknowledged that boys and men can and do experience gendered inequalities throughout their lifetime – and yet the concept of ‘Men’s issues’ or (whisper it) ‘men’s rights’ are still all too easily ridiculed, or dismissed as being somehow anti-women.


Meanwhile conversely as a society we also seem to be nurturing an ever increasing general problem with men.


And the purpose of this series is to attempt to unpick this very particular paradox.

A wise man once said that the best way to eat an elephant is one small chunk at a time and in similar fashion - Week by week, chunk by chunk PwM aims to point a finger at different challenging and often complex problems that people have with men that combine to create one massive elephant that should be the concern of anyone committed to the notion of championing equality and human rights for all.


Problems such as pathologising perceptions and problematic projections of privilege, power and patriarchy. Problems like conscious and unconscious prejudice that can have significant implications for politics, public policy and how the state spends taxes that have been predominately prised from the wages of men.


Starting with the notion of Male Privilege, each short video will consider a particular problematic perspective and will be accompanied by open source show notes with links to relevant citations and additional resources so that viewers can dig deeper, read further and ultimately make their own mind about how best to overcome our shared PwM.

Probably the most pressing problem that some people will have with such a project is the instinctual concern that it might somehow detract or distract from important work undertaken to address disadvantages experienced predominately by women and girls.

This is an entirely legitimate concern and one that will be addressed.


Human rights for all is not an exhaustive, or mutually exclusive matter and consequently the rights and fates of both sexes are inevitably inextricably linked.


The concerns of Men and women are complimentary, they are a shared experience and it is as unrealistic to set them in competition as it is to think it’s possible to poison half a well.

The vast majority of the world’s billionaires may very well be pale, stale and male

But such rhetoric oversimplifies a complex situation, denies the reality of many men, whose experiences straddle practically every intersection of every possible personal characteristic and consequently any concept of equality becomes meaningless without them.


Just by way of example life expectancy of a poor man in the UK can be 17 years lower than an affluent woman ; Disabled men experience domestic violence at similar rates to non-disabled women; Male children are also more likely to have a disability and approximately 80% of people who undergo gender reassignment in the UK were identified as male at birth.

Black UK men are twice as likely to get prostate cancer than other men and the worst level of educational under-attainment is experienced by white working class boys experience persistent


Real equality can only be reached when there is cooperation and complementary development between men and women which is based on mutual respect and understanding.


Men’s issues are women’s issues and vice-versa.


PwM aims to consider some of the complex reasons why even high profile gender equality champions and public servants can be dismissive and even openly hostile towards initiatives focusing on challenges faced by men and boys.


The primary purpose of this project is to consider the available evidence of gender stereotyping and prejudicial attitudes towards men and boys.


By highlighting them we hope to encourage a greater emphasis on the need to challenge and counter them and to remove systemic barriers can create massive problems for anyone involved in the vital work of addressing the very real problems faced by men and especially boys in this complex and changing 21st century world.

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