The 26 January edition of The Independent on Sunday contained a 46-page supplement, The Men’s Issue. Given how left-leaning and feminist-friendly the paper is, I wasn’t optimistic about the content. In the event, it was far worse than I could have imagined. The tone for the supplement was set by the first words in the first article, by Tom Hodgkinson, editor of The Idler:
Like many men, I am a lazy, good-for-nothing, selfish, forgetful, patronising, sex-obsessed bastard who drinks too much. Or so my wife points out. It’s strange that I have ended up like this. I tried not to. I really did.
The full article:
I skimmed through the supplement and couldn’t find a single sentence about the major problems faced by men and boys in Britain today. Nothing on denial of fathers’ access to children, nothing on male victims of domestic abuse, nothing on disadvantaging in the education system and the workplace, nothing on the persistently high male suicide rate, nothing on… well, anything, really.
The few references to feminism were supportive or at best uncritical. An example from the interview with a rich Leftie musician, Billy Bragg:
We can learn a lot from the debates that are going on around feminism, if only for insights.
Most of the supplement’s content was written by women. It included:
‘My wish is to serve you’: A dominatrix reveals her clients’ most intimate fantasies.
Ellen Jones – four-page interview of Joaquin Phoenix.
Lisa Markwell – restaurant review.
Kate Jacobs – four-page article on house decorating.
Louise Saunders – half-page article on relationships.
A full-page advert seeking support for ‘the 500,000 women living with and beyond breast cancer’, http://breastcanceraware.org.uk.
A full-page advert for a British Heart Foundation campaign, featuring a large photograph of the face of ‘Lee Mears, 34, ex-England Rugby player, heart disease survivor’… wearing garish red lipstick.
Bill Granger – three-page article on cooking.
What would men who read The Men’s Issue learn about the problems facing millions of men and boys in Britain today, their causes, and possible solutions? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.