BBC Radio 4: Glass Half Full – Gender equality is within reach

My thanks to a much-loved relative of the female persuasion, who text messaged me at 8:38 this evening with this:

Radio 4 right now – preference theory and gender equality – great woman saying what you say all the time.

I only read the message 30 minutes ago, and quickly discovered that she was referring to the programme Glass Half Full, the episode is, ‘Gender equality is within reach’. It’s on iPlayer (only available to long-suffering BBC licence payers) here, and starts at 2:02.

The description on iPlayer, with names in bold text:

Is ingrained negativity preventing us from seeing that full gender equality is just around the corner?

In a debate recorded in front of an audience at the Women of the World festival at the Southbank Centre, Fi Glover examines the thoughts of pessimists and optimists. She asks not only what they think about gender equality, but also how their views are informed by their contrasting mindsets. Where does their optimism or pessimism come from?

We have made extraordinary strides towards gender equality – the pay gap is shrinking, female representation in parliament and in business is growing and, all over the world, legislation is coming into force that safeguards women’s rights. These are the views of optimist and best-selling sociologist Dr Michael Kimmel. [feminist]

On the other hand, violence against women is on the rise in the UK, men still dominate politics and the judiciary and there are still more CEOs called John leading FTSE 100 companies than women! [Nurse, please bring my headache pills.] Historian Hannah Dawson brings us back down to earth.

Three expert witnesses are called to give evidence – MP Harriet Harman [feminist], best-selling Turkish author Elif Shafak [feminist], and sociologist Catherine Hakim. 

[Why is Hakim not accorded the ‘Dr.’ title accorded to Michael Kimmel? Why are all three ‘expert witnesses’ women? Why is the only man to speak – Kimmel – a feminist? The feminist and anti-male bias here is extraordinary, even by BBC standards.]

The pessimist and the optimist cross-examine the witnesses and, to conclude, the audience votes. Is the glass half empty or half full?

A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.

The ‘great woman’ of my text message was of course Dr Catherine Hakim, the renowned sociologist and developer of Preference Theory (2000), in which she showed that while four in seven British men are work-centred, only one in four British women is. The implications of this finding are enormous and far-reaching, and Polonium 210 to feminists. They are accordingly utterly ignored by the government, and very rarely mentioned on the BBC (or indeed, anywhere in the mainstream media).

Not only is Dr Hakim considerably outnumbered by feminist opponents, she is the last to be given the opportunity to speak, at 31:51, about two-thirds of the way through the programme. But she puts in a predictably impressive performance.

If you’d like us to put this programme on our YouTube channel for posterity, please email me (

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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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  • Groan

    Fascinating. The question is “Is ingrained negativity preventing us from seeing that full gender equality is just around the corner?” As always they don’t actually answer it however the programme demonstrates that the answer is “yes” . For the feminists (Dr. Hakim has also referred to herself as feminist) are divided with one branch determined that being the same is the goal while others that having the same opportunities is the goal. In essence this is Dr. Hakim’s position that choices are different and that’s fine while the others think choices should result in the same. I’m always fascinated by such stuff because so many assumptions are made about “men” yet no evidence presented. At one point they wobbled on about girls and young women not being told how they could find fulfilment in careers. it struck me how stupid that is because when those questions have been posed to men one finds a small group of men dedicated to the career for its own sake but most either regard it as interesting and a means to achieve other things (home, children ,comfortable retirement nice holidays) or,of course, most have a “job” and do overtime not through some delight in toil but to earn money to get on with “life”.
    I thought it rich that Hattie Harman thought the “left” had concentrated on class too much, well as a minor aristocrat she would think that! But it sums up the current political feminists It really is all about them and people the same as them, and somehow making their choices “normal” rather than exceptional. For as Hakim points out although men fighting to make CEOs are a minority of men its a tiny minority of women. Reminds me of that cartoon about female literature students banging on about STEM for “women” yet each year the females crowd onto the Lit info desk and a few geeky lads are over at the STEM desk. Should one physically make “feminism in Literture students” do Physics under guard?

  • Peter L

    Well, I suppose it was kind of predictable – it was all about careers for women and having the same number of women as men in politics. This artificial meddling on numbers is simply social Marxist engineering.
    Provided there is equality of opportunity, we have a very good chance of everything settling in the right way.
    What if women and men were different biologically (they are) – they would make different choices, and hence they would surely end up doing very different things – this seems to have escaped our Marxist friends.
    Thought that Hakim really was very, very good. Could do with a few more just like her.

  • Marat

    Mike is there any chance you can put this on your Youtube channel please?

    If I have to actually visit the BBC website to listen to this, I think I’ll need a trigger warning and a safe space.

    Or at least a bucket to be sick in.

    • Mike Buchanan

      Planning to. Going through IT upgrade.

  • jb

    I found it very difficult to listen to without actually exploding. Doctor Michael Kimmel said something about how it is so recent that women got equality. Well what the hell does that mean? How on earth could there possibly be any sort of equality in the modern sense in a world without reliable contraception, or domestic appliances? Somebody equated equality with men “Making the sandwiches” Why not equate it with women going up on the roof and mending the broken tiles .When equal pay was mentioned no one seemed to acknowledge that in the past women have undercut mens wages and caused male unemployment. In short there were so many unchallenged assumptions that the intellectual basis of what was said was non existent.

  • ac05jn

    Gender equality within reach? you mean satanic witch doctors are going to start butchering baby girls’ genitals without anesthesia now?