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Men, wake up: The gender matrix has you

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I have something to tell you. I don’t think you’re going to like it. But I’m going to tell you anyway because it’s the truth. I want you to take the red pill.

As men we’re told we have all the power, that it’s our needs that are met and our voices that get heard. Compared to women, we are a privileged class, we have no right to complain.

It all seems so obvious — simple common sense for any right-minded, decent person. But what if the world is not flat? What if there is another reality to men’s lives that we’ve been taught not to see?

I can already feel you bristle at the heresy, but please stay with me — I didn’t say it would be easy, but I promise you it will be worth it.


The knee-jerk assumption is that men in our society have it easy in comparison to women, but how do we know that’s true? How do we define that privilege? Because if you take a long, steady look at the facts, men’s lives suddenly don’t look so comfortable after all.

If you’re reading this, you already know men kill themselves three to four times as often as women, but tell most people that fact and they will look at you in disbelief. Yet, if the genders were reversed, there wouldn’t be anyone in the country who hadn’t heard about it.

This grim-but-hidden detail is only one of many in which men quietly find themselves the disadvantaged gender. Here are a few others, but remember, all I’m offering you is the truth.

  • Between 80% and 90% of those who sleep rough are men.
  • Men are 70% more likely to get cancers that affect both men and women.
  • The vast majority of victims of street violence are men.
  • Women have a right to a year’s maternity leave, paternity leave is two weeks.
  • If a couple splits up, family courts effectively treat fathers as the less-important parent.
  • On average in the UK, men’s life expectancy is 77, women’s is 81.
  • Despite this, women can currently claim the state pension five years earlier than men.
  • More men than women abuse drugs and alcohol.
  • The dirtiest, most-dangerous jobs are done by men.
  • Boys do less well than girls at every level of education.
  • Military law requires only men to fight on the front line.
  • Of nearly 350 British soldiers killed in Afghanistan, only one has been a woman.

Wait, calm down, hear me out. I already know what you’re going to say. But what about all the bad things women have to put up with? What about the pay gap? What about domestic violence and rape?

But you’re missing my point. This isn’t, as some would have you believe, a zero-sum game. Just because I’m saying bad things happen to men, it doesn’t mean I’m saying bad things don’t happen to women.

Dirt floor

What I’m trying to tell you is that if we are going to be concerned about women crashing into the glass ceiling, we must have equal concern for the men buried beneath the dirt floor. As it stands, we don’t even notice they are there.

And it’s by no means certain the total burden carried by women is any heavier than the weight shouldered by men. Take another look at that list. Every item on it goes to the core of a man’s existence. Would you swap 13% extra pay – the Office of National Statistics figure — for four years of your life?

And if you’re about to say women have faced centuries of oppression and now it’s just time for men to take their turn, I really think you should have a little sit down and a re-think.

How many years of this new sexism would even the scales? Should boys and men who have never been oppressors, be subject to abuses of power in favour of girls and women who were never oppressed?

Maybe it’s crass to weigh injustice against injustice like so much meat at a butcher’s shop. But one thing is true: women are allowed to be angry about the injustices they face and men are not.

There are columnists in every newspaper, a whole hour every week day on Radio 4, ranks of feminist lobby groups demanding to be heard and a special minister at the heart of government – the Minister for Women – who makes sure that they are.

On the other hand, men who complain are either emasculated for whingeing – told to take it ‘like a man’ — or shamed as bullies – shouted down as sexist pigs trying to oppose female empowerment.

But men do have real concerns that demand to be addressed. They face injustices they have a right to be angry about. It’s time to stand up. It’s time to tell the machine we are coming to tear it apart.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

9 Responses to this article

  1. great article! May stir up some comment though.

    joe2 16th November 2010 at 11:26 pm
  2. Hi – FANTASTIC ARTICLE. Please check out’ Representing men’ on facebook for similat stuff – it would be good if you could join and contribute.

    Nwestman7 21st November 2010 at 4:06 pm
  3. Dan – it would be good to hear from you in person, please contact me. Regards, Nwestman7

    Nwestman7 21st November 2010 at 4:10 pm
  4. I agree with everything you have written, and I am a woman, I think there is a lack of acceptance towards men who suffer, simply because they are male. things need to change, there is no doubt about that. question is can there be equality either way?

    Jess 16th June 2011 at 12:14 pm
  5. Great article! Things are astir, as I am suing the gender studies department of The London School of Economics for its sexist curricula, which chooses to ignore the inequalities men face, whilst blaming men for the inequalities women face. Go to www dot sexismbusters dot org where you can find the press links, and help support the equality cause.

    Tom Martin 8th September 2011 at 9:23 pm
  6. Hurrah! In the end I got a web site from where I be able to
    truly obtain helpful information regarding my study and

    UFC 145 LIVE STREAM 19th April 2012 at 10:12 pm
  7. Society today is much more geared towards woman’s pleasure, even poor and ugly women have the opportunity to lead quite exciting lives in comparison to most men. Men who do well in our modern day society are act like sociopaths, and women respond accordingly as if it’s positive. It’s a disappointing planet, that’s all I have to say. The negative are celebrating themselves, and since the majority is threatened by a nice person’s supremacy, I’m treated as less. Oh well right, what are we to do? Someone’s going to die right? Somethings gotta give.

    Lord Profit the God 18th August 2012 at 3:27 pm
  8. Perhaps rather than pitch men vs women and try to make it a “whose worse off” argument we should stand together to address the injustices in the world that BOTH men and women face in different and both equally relevant forms.
    Whether we be man or woman what we share is that we are all humans…we all deserve equal and fair treatment.

    woman who believes in equal rights for men and women 3rd April 2013 at 4:40 pm

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