Friday, February 3, 2012

Men Overboard

It is with regret that I must announce the resignation of the CEO of the National Men's Council of Ireland (NMCI), with immediate effect, in protest at the drastic cut in NMCI's funding by the Department of Justice. As the outgoing CEO, Sean McKay, explained:
"It is my personal view that the Government has shown scant regard for men's rights and my resignation is a personal protest against this indifference. I wish the NMCI well in these difficult times for the organisation.”
...okay, it's a joke. Back here on planet Earth there is no NMCI, and why should there be? After all, men are just another minority group like so many others - surely they can't all have government funded bodies advocating on their behalf? There is though a representative group for the majority group in society - women - whose CEO did indeed resign over cuts to their funding.

But maybe we need an NMCI, especially when you read the latest CSO report on Women and Men in Ireland 2011. Among its findings:
  • Over half of women aged between 25 and 35 have a third-level qualification compared with less than four out of ten men.
  • The early school leavers rate among women aged 18-24 in 2010 was 8.4%, which was much lower than the male rate of 12.6%.
  • Women are more likely to have a third-level qualification, with over half (53%) of women aged 25-34 having a third-level qualification compared with nearly four out of ten men (39%) in this age group.
  • Men worked an average of 39.4 hours a week in 2011 compared with 30.6 for women and married men worked longer hours than married women, with nearly half (44.5%) of married men working for 40 hours or more a week compared with only 14.7% of married women.
  • The unemployment rate for men in Ireland has increased over the last two years to stand at 17.5% in 2011, while the unemployment rate for women has risen over the last two years to 10.4% in 2011.
  • For the 20-24 age group, about a third of men and just over a fifth of women were unemployed in 2011.
  • Ireland had 98 men per 100 women in the population in 2011. For the 85+ group, there are 47 men per 100 women in Ireland.
  • Emigration rose steeply between 2006 and 2011 to about 38,700 males and 37,800 females, resulting in a net outflow leaving the country in 2011 of 18,600 males and 15,500 females.
  • Men are more likely to be admitted to psychiatric hospitals for schizophrenia and alcoholic disorders while women are more likely to be admitted for depression.
  • The Education and Health sectors employed the highest proportions of women in 2010 with women accounting for more than 4 out of 5 people at work in the Health sector and nearly three quarters of those in Education. The sectors with the highest proportions of men in 2010 were Construction, Agriculture and Transport. In primary education, 85% of teachers are women. And in second-level education, 63% of teachers are women.
  • Women’s income in 2009 was around 73% of men’s income. After adjusting for the longer hours worked by men, women’s hourly earnings were around 94% of men’s.
  • The proportion of men at risk of poverty in 2010, after pensions and social transfers, was 15%, just above the rate of 14% for women. At risk of poverty rates were considerably lower for those in employment, at 10% for men and 5% for women.
  • There were 12,487 persons committed to prison under sentence in 2010, of whom seven in eight were male. 

Irish men (like men everywhere) are more likely to be failed by the education system, unemployed, in poverty, imprisoned, forced to emigrate, to commit suicide and to die younger. But apparently there's no need for a National Men's Council of Ireland...

Ah but: what about the lack of women in the Dáil? Men make up the majority of politicians after all. What about the lack of women on corporate boards? Men make up the majority of company directors after all. What about... and so on and on. Feminists never use the word 'some'. Some men are politicians, some men are on company boards. It's funny how the lack of women in prisons, on dole queues and in dangerous manual occupations doesn't get the same attention. The many, many men at the bottom of the social, economic and political pyramids are invisible apparently. But of course, feminist ideologues only look upwards at imaginary 'glass ceilings', ignoring the real 'glass cellar' at their feet. The lust for power can do that to you I guess.

But this constant denigration of men in the mass media - and in everyday reality - has its price. And not just in terms of men's health and economic prospects. As the tragedy of the Costa Concordia and the behaviour of passengers and crew reminds us, a civilization that treats men as a disposable, contemptible minority isn't destined to remain a civilization for very much longer.

I hope Sean changes his mind...

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