A new British men’s human rights activism group was launched recently, HEqual http://hequal.wordpress.com. One of their early posts concerns the bias (financial and otherwise) of Cancer Research UK (CRUK) towards female-specific cancers, although more than twice as many men as women contract gender-specific cancers. Working with others, HEqual have been instrumental in persuading CRUK to add a link on its website to ‘male cancers’, where previously it only had a link to ‘female cancers’. The story:
It’s a welcome step in the right direction. We like the vigorous and practical tone of HEqual’s rhetoric, and we wish the group every success. From their ‘About’ page:
What is HEqual?
HEqual represents a new brand of equality activism. We’re politically neutral, egalitarian, independent, and above all else determined to get results. While gender feminist activism concerns itself with making men sitting down to go to the toilet, critiques their seating posture on public transport and seeks to remove Winston Churchill from banknotes, we’ll be tackling the other minor equality issues that appear to have slipped their minds.
It’s clear that egalitarians are winning the arguments when it comes to gender issues. Whether it be harmful unmeritocratic quotas, child genital mutilation, female sentencing discounts or sexist domestic violence service provision, we are winning the arguments hands down. Just read the most popular comments for news articles on such issues, views that were quite novel and subject to silencing in the past are now widely accepted amongst the public, if not by the ruling elite.
What are your objectives?
The prime concern of HEqual is to get results and to see real change towards equality. There are plenty of groups out there still winning the arguments which is vitally important work. However, these discussions are not enough, we need to see real change come about as a result of winning these arguments. We aim to bring about that change week after week, small step by small step.
What’s going to happen?
HEqual will be challenging sexism and getting results. Our prime concern is misandry and discrimination by the state or supported by the state, such as by groups in receipt of government funding. After all, the worst kind of sexism is the type you are forced to fund yourself. Using that same logic, then large corporations are also fair game too.
It’s heartening to see that large corporations will be ‘fair game’ for HEqual, given the work that our associated organisation Campaign for Merit in Business http://c4mb.wordpress.com has carried out in this area. We’ll happily collaborate with them in this and other areas.
Around a third of FTSE100 chairmen are members of The 30% Club, an organisation with the sole objective of driving up the proportion of women on major corporate boards, regardless of the relative numbers of men and women well qualified for these roles, and regardless of the negative impact on corporate financial performance that numerous studies would lead us to expect.
The clearest evidence we have of the shortage of board-ready women is that virtually all FTSE100 female directors appointed in the last two years, since the threat of legislated gender quotas in The Davies Report (2011), have something in common with virtually all the existing ones. They’ve been appointed as non-executive directors.
Around the world senior businessmen and senior businesswomen are collaborating with feminist organisations to advantage women at the expense of men in the senior reaches of their companies. We recently highlighted the case of Michel Landel, the (male) CEO of the French multinational Sodexo. He’s a director of Catalyst, a New York-based feminist organisation campaigning internationally to increase female representation on major corporate boards. Our piece on this story: