Our thanks to Nigel for this. He writes:
I suppose this case could be regarded as frivolous, there are probably few men who have considered baby sitting as a supplementary income. In similar circumstances, with three young children, I managed to find an additional job related to my main job. However the case does highlight a number of areas of continued discrimination against males and fathers.
The first is of course the presumption that men, even fathers, are inherently unsafe to be with children. And second, whereas we are constantly told to presume women must have the “very skilful” “work” done looking after children values as much as paid work experience, yet a father’s efforts are unrecognised. Of course it’s all too common for any male to be under a constant suspicion as potentially an abuser in any form of childcare or even education and there is still no equality in accessing leave for caring for children, benefits or in family court proceedings.
It is a small challenge to the increasing demonisation of men and fathers, which continues to make all forms of childcare and teaching more and more “female dominated” (even the logic of feminism should mean they support such cases in order to get males far more involved in caring in order to “free” women from the burden of caring for children, but as we know the supposed burden is firmly held on to as leverage).
And so we have a man doing all the right things; involved father, financially supporting his children, valuing his caring skills and believing in gender equality, gets told to piss off by a new “modern” company. A small victory demonstrating that the actual law, rather than what is assumed, prohibits direct discrimination on the basis of sex. Although we know in reality he, and any other male wanting to be employed looking after children, or even look after his own, faces a shed load of direct and indirect discrimination.
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