Karen Straughan on generalisations about women (and men)

One of the recurring frustrations faced by MHRAs is the pat response that ‘you can’t make generalisations about men and women’. This makes debate all but impossible. If you try to explain the reasons why few women wish to become engineers, you’ll be told that there are surely some AMAZING female engineers, and all they need is some role models and incentives (e.g. the £22,750 sponsorships available only to female to Brunel engineering postgraduate students) and in time there will be as many female engineers as male engineers. It’s never considered relevant that only a minority of female engineering graduates become engineers – they tend to prefer more cushy, better-paid lines of work, nearer home – and of the women who do go into engineering as a career, the vast majority who have children will quit the profession. Meanwhile the life chances of men who’d have made long careers in engineering – perhaps thereby supporting partners and children – have been dashed.

The government has earmarked £30 million to encourage (i.e. bribe with taxpayers’ money) more women into engineering. I recently read a government report on suicide, published in January 2014 – Preventing suicide in England: One year on. First annual report on the cross-government outcomes strategy to save lives. It relates the statistics about male suicide, and describes six research projects in which £1.5 million are being invested. Not one of the six projects was specifically concerned with the male suicide rate, now 3.5 times higher than the female suicide rate. The government is investing 20 times more money in persuading women to become engineers, than it’s spending on researching suicide.

The £30 million ‘investment’ will result in more female engineers and fewer male engineers. The male unemployment rate has long been higher than the female unemployment rate, and unemployment is known to be a major driver of suicide among men (but not women). So the government is spending £30 million on an initiative to push women into lines of work they don’t want to enter, at the same time driving up male unemployment and therefore male suicide.

Suicide is the #1 cause of death of men below the age of 50, and the suicide rate is particularly high among young men.

I’ve digressed again. AVfM has just published an excellent piece by Karen Straughan (GirlWritesWhat) on the topic of gender generalisations. As always, Karen nails the subject. Enjoy.

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • Generalisations aren’t always wrong. Just because it’s a generalisation doesn’t make it inaccurate. You can’t make generalisations about men and women but you can draw conclusions concerning probability based upon objective analysis of facts and data. (And actually you CAN make generalisations but those generalisations just have a formal statistical expression about probability.) Many of those in the MRM (men and women alike) confuse generalisation and scientific conclusion. if objective analysis of facts and data show that eighty-percent of women in a population have defrauded an innocent man without provocation and for profit and/or political expedience and those reporting the results or conclusions have no corruptible motive for the report (sex, ego, politics, money), then it’s a practical and legitimate conclusion. Concluding that eighty-percent of women have defrauded an innocent man and that there is a probability approximating eighty-percent that a woman will defraud a man (depending upon and adjusted for other parameters and variables) is not unreasonable. It may or may not be a generalisation but it’s a reasonable conclusion none-the-less. Many people in and out of the MRM will interpret this conclusion incorrectly, dismiss it as a generalisation and attack someone like myself for it just because it’s politically incorrect. NAWALT but eighty-percent are. It’s a scientific conclusion based upon years of rigorous data collection and fact checking and anaylsis. Just because it’s not popular or doesn’t support any political or profiteering agenda doesn’t make it wrong.

  • GWW excellent as usual. Your digression good points. To which I ‘d add that there have been literally decades of similar programmes to get more women into engineering. So not only is it a waste of time it is a waste of money ( the definition of madness doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results). Money that could better used as you say on preventing men and women taking their own lives