A Tory MP (who else?), here in the UK, has hit out at the ‘obnoxious bigotry’ of feminists and has insisted that men are getting a raw deal in many areas of life in the UK. Dominic Raab has waded into the equality debate by describing feminists as bigots and saying that ‘flagrant discrimination’ against men is being ignored.
The Tory backbencher’s provocative statements have come amid controversy over the cost of implementing the former Labour …
… government’s Equality Act. In an article for the PoliticsHome website, Raab said he was in favour of ‘consistent equality’ between the sexes. But he also insisted that:
‘We are blind to some of the most flagrant discrimination – against men. From the cradle to the grave, men are getting a raw deal. Men work longer hours, die earlier, but retire later than women… Meanwhile, young boys are educationally disadvantages compared to girls, and divorced or separated fathers are systematically ignored by the courts.’
Another gem from Raab’s article is this:
‘There is also more subtle sexism. Men caused the banking crisis. Can you imagine the outrage if such trite generalisations were made about women, or other minorities? Feminists are now amongst the most obnoxious bigots.’
Raab also called for a ‘consistent approach to equality’ and for a ‘ditching’ of ‘outdated gender warfare.’ Predictably, Raab’s comments have sparked anger from women MPs. Labour’s deputy leader, Harriet Harman, said:
‘Whilst women still earn 20% less than men, domestic violence claims the lives of women every week and women bear the brunt of poverty in the developing world, the feminism is not bigotry – it is just a demand for equality and human rights.’
Quite right, I think. Raab has scored a total own-goal in terms of explicitly showing how out-of-touch the Tories are in terms of issues of importance to people in the UK. The comments are in no way female or family-friendly and Raab has rightly faced criticism (as well as some support) for his comments.
In my mind, though they may not have been perfect (no governments are), the equality and diversity agenda that was put in place by the previous Labour government has been hugely important here in the UK. In terms of levelling the playing field and creating opportunities for millions of people in the workplace, Labour undoubtedly did good things. Personally I’d like the new Coalition Government to ensure that they build upon the success of these Labour policies – and I really don’t appreciate Tory MPs who have led a privileged life spouting this type of unresearched crap in the press.