Should religious circumcision be banned?

(Daily Telegraph)

Earlier this week, a top Family Division judge suggested that young children should not be circumcised until they are old enough to make the decision for themselves.

The Hon. Mrs Justice Roberts made the assertion during a landmark case in which a Muslim father and non-Muslim mother disagreed over whether or not their sons, aged four and six, should be circumcised in accordance with the Islamic faith.

A third of males in the world have been circumcised, many if not most were cut during their infancy and childhood. But there is little if any of the outrage about this, in contrast to FGM.

The father, a 36-year old Algerian man, told both his ex-partner and the court that circumcision went to the very core of his identity as a Muslim. He said that “circumcision has both a religious and a social importance which overrides any slight risk which the procedure carries.”

Justice Roberts, who refused to make a circumcision order after analysing both arguments, said: “First and foremost, this is a once and for all, irreversible procedure. There is no guarantee that these boys will wish to continue to observe the Muslim faith with the devotion demonstrated by their father although that may very well be their choice.

“They are still very young and there is no way of anticipating at this stage how the different influences in their respective parental homes will shape and guide their development over the coming years,” she continued, “and there are risks, albeit small, associated with the surgery regardless of the expertise with which the operation is performed.”

Read full article here.

Mindful Self-Acceptance? Bad Idea According to Ancient Chinese Philosophers!

Just came across this brilliant video from the folks at Big Think on the idea of Mindful Self Acceptance. Check out the description and the video below:

“Asian philosophies have proven extremely influential in the United States, but are they being interpreted correctly? Frequently not, says Harvard China historian Michael Puett, who focuses on two main ideas in this video: one transported relatively recently to the United States, and another that sheds new light on the so-called naturalistic fallacy.”

Toronto’s Ryerson University Student Union denies men’s group application

Guest article by SomeOne

While this should come at no surprise due to the Left’s stranglehold over our universities, an outrage has been ongoing at Toronto’s Ryerson university for the past two years.  Back in November, a group of students wanting to create the Ryerson Men’s Issues Awareness Society saw its application denied by the student union. The university’s Feminist Collective, not surprisingly, has been quick to denounce this group, claiming that the organisation makes students feel “unsafe”.

Men’s issues group taking Ryerson University’s student’s union to court

Of course, what this really means is that the Feminists over at Ryerson feel that anyone challenging their view of women being oppressed weaklings in need of perpetual rescue by the State and its institutions should be denied the right to speak.

Why is the student union agreeing with the Feminist collective?  Well because of its affiliation with the Canadian Association For Equality (CAFE), which is, according to them, associated with anti-feminist groups.  The union is worried that this men’s group would not acknowledge the “systemic privilege” of men in society (without, of course, providing examples) and as such, has denied its application for a 2nd year in a row.

This isn’t the first time university student associations have pushed for men’s rights groups to be outright banned. Queen’s University as well as the University of Toronto have had to deal with similar issues in recent years, from protesting speeches by prominent figures in the men’s rights movement or pushing for bans on men’s rights groups on campus.

However this has caused a response from the Ryerson Men’s Issues Awareness Society, who are now suing the student union for violating the Charter of Rights, which guarantees freedom of speech and association.

I certainly hope that for once, justice will prevail and the hateful shrews in the university’s student union will be forced to accept the application of the MIAS.

I won’t hold my breath, however…

Quebec’s Queen of Feminism seeks to destroy Men

Guest article by SomeOne:

Before I begin, I would like to recommend that readers who do not speak French make use of a translation program if they wish to hunt footnotes, as the sources to this article are all in that language.  This may happen often with my pieces on this site as I live in the province of Québec, which is predominantly French-speaking. 

Lise Payette - Playing hard and fast with the facts to support institutionalised mysandry
Lise Payette – Playing hard and fast with the facts to support institutionalised mysandry

On February 7th, on the French-language channel of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s program “Tout le monde en parle” (trans: Everyone’s talking about it), feminist activist and the first “Women’s Condition” minister in Quebec’s National Assembly (1976-1981) Lise Payette was invited to speak about a “Women’s summit” she is organising in order to promote women’ rights.  Along with this event, she also wrote a manifesto, including several demands towards the provincial government. 

Quotas for Women in Politics

Most of the points in this manifesto are simply to ensure that women are favored over men in any and all affairs of state, such as demanding that the provincial legislature be gender-neutral and therefore, that 50% of all elected representatives be women.  When the host was still reading this part of her manifesto, she began clapping slowly, inciting the studio audience who remained quiet to begin clapping.  They eventually did, but not as enthusiastically as they could have.  When told this “looked good on paper” but wouldn’t be feasible given that parties do not choose who ends up being elected, she said that parties could ensure that all of the “easy victory” ridings for each party be represented by women, leaving the other, more difficult seats, for men to fight over.  Not only that, but she also demands that the public financing of political parties (which is an entirely different issue I’d like to tackle later on) be reflected by the number of women elected to office.  

False use of statistics to support ‘Gender Pay Gap’ (as usual)

To top it all off, she then claimed that the female cabinet ministers in the newly elected federal government were paid less than the men are, therefore claiming there is a wage gap based on sex, which is a blatant manipulation of facts.  The women involved (five in total) were given less responsibilities than other ministers and therefore, have less “bonus wages” than others.  Under Canada’s parliamentary rules, all members of parliament get a basic salary of 167,000$ a year.  Cabinet ministers are automatically given a yearly bonus of 80,100$, plus a car allowance of 2000$.  Other responsibilities give them additional bonuses, such as an MP or minister being appointed Chief Government Whip who would get a bonus of 30,000$ a year.  Ministers of State, who have less responsibilities, are paid 60,000$ on top of their MP salary.  These five women happen to be Ministers of State and therefore, are paid accordingly, as are the males who occupy that position.  As an example, Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, is getting the same basic pay as Stéphane Dion, who is Minister of Foreign Affairs.  The hosts, however, made no mention of that and accepted her claims as fact.  In short, however, there is no gender-based pay gap in Parliament, as there is no pay gap in the private sector, as the simple fact that men are not the victims of rampant unemployment demonstrates.

All men are responsible for the crimes of a minority! – how very liberal!

Later on, the subject changed to more recent news, as several young girls living in a Laval community centre due to family issues had fled the place, likely recruited by gangs to become prostitutes.  She then put the blame on all men, saying that men must learn that women’s bodies are not a “buffet” and to not exploit them.  I found this rather insulting as I do not exploit women and I did not need to be taught about that.  What an extreme minority of male criminals do is not a trait inherent to men as a whole.  However, Ms. Payette does not seem to want to hear it, as when a news commentator replied with this precise argument the following day in the province’s most popular newspaper, she responded some days later in the same publication that it was fathers who ended up paying for the services of the underage girls who end up being “recruited” by gang pimps and that her vengefulness wasn’t as bad as what “men” make women and girls endure, once again accusing all men of being abusive and claiming that “the power of men is a heavy burden to bear.”

I must say I think her discourse to be rather archaic.  This is not the 1950’s, an era where women had reason to fight for equal rights.  What is more disturbing, however, is that the mass media is spreading hateful rhetoric like hers as if it was undisputed fact and that women are still being oppressed to this day.  Women like Lise Payette obviously have no wish for equality between the sexes, something which has been achieved today.  Nay, I submit that Ms. Payette and her ilk throughout the Western world would like nothing more than the total subjugation of men, a reversal of roles from a hundred years ago, as it were. 

When gender equality really means female privilege

In the end, gender neutrality in politics is nothing but an attempt to use the State to put women on a pedestal so they receive preferential treatment over men.  The pay gap is a complete lie, easily refuted by simply looking at the male unemployment rate and the choice men and women make for their career…and while the problem of gangs manipulating vulnerable and naive girls into prostitution with the lure of easy money is indeed serious, it is not by “teaching men not to rape” that it will be solved.

Society would be better off if women such as her would simply wake up from their delusions and would look at the facts, rather than feminist dogma.

Men’s Rights Activists are Cave Dwelling Idiots says GQ Magazine

GQ magazine recently published a poorly-crafted hatchet job on Men’s Rights Activists. The irony of what is meant to be a Men’s magazine attacking people who advocate for men’s rights doesn’t need pointing out. But it is important to respond to the points this article raises.

Rupert Myers is the author of a recent poorly-crafted hatchet job on Men's Rights Activists in GQ magazine
Rupert Myers is the author of a recent poorly-crafted hatchet job on Men’s Rights Activists in GQ magazine

Now I am not a Men’s Rights Activist, but I am a man, and I am interested in how the rights of men are discussed in the public sphere. The BBC’s Reggie Yates-fronted documentary “Extreme UK:Men at War” was probably the first time that millions of British people knew that there was anything on the lines of a Men’s Rights Movement. The blurb of the documentary tells us:

Reggie meets the angry young British men who think feminism has gone too far – and some of the women who have felt their wrath on an internet tailor-made for anti-feminism and trolls. He meets young guys espousing men’s rights at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park and the underground movement of male separatists of MGTOW (or Men Going Their Own Way). Reggie also encounters infamous self-styled pick-up artist Roosh V, who dishes out advice on how to have more sex with women – but doesn’t seem to like them very much.”

The BBC and Reggie Yates' recent documentary probably introduced millions of people to the idea of Men's Rights Activists
The BBC and Reggie Yates’ recent documentary probably introduced millions of people to the idea of Men’s Rights Activists

To be fair to the BBC and Reggie, they never pretended that this documentary was going to be a serious look at the Men’s Rights Movement. But it’s failure to in any way explore the valid issues that were being raised was still quite startling. It helped me to see that in public discourse in the UK, the whole idea of Men’s Rights is still a fringe idea. The Media seem to find the idea that men have various legitimate concerns relating to our treatment in the eyes of the law laughable. Rupert Myers’ article by GQ Magazine taps right into this sentiment.

Myers’ article begins with the following statement: “There is a new, global group dedicated to undermining significant social change. They wear the mask of an online avatar and use technology to harass, threaten and silence their targets. Their cause? To prevent steps towards the equality of men and women. They are the “Men’s Rights Activists“”

From this opening paragraph, Myers lumps all men’s rights activists and advocates into the same category of angry, misogynist, aggressive Neanderthals who hate women and hate progress. In this video, I go through the article and pick apart each point that Myers raises. In doing so, I present counter-points to bring out some of the wide range of issues which men’s rights activists are doing a fantastic job in bringing to public attention.

The ‘reverse gender gap’ in UK Universities

Recent figures give more evidence of a ‘reverse gender gap’ with a distinct class character in UK education. According to the new figures reported in The Daily Mail:

Young female students are now over a third more likely to start a degree course than their male counterparts, while those from poorer backgrounds are more than 50% more likely to enter university…

Ucas chief Mary Curnock Cook said: “We have previously highlighted the unacceptably large and widening gap between entry rates for men and women and this year shows young men, and especially young white men, falling even further behind.”

The 'reverse gender gap' is UK education is growing, with working class white boys and men hit especially hard.
The ‘reverse gender gap’ is UK education is growing, with working class white boys and men hit especially hard.

These figures are the latest addition to the growing evidence of a ‘reverse gender gap’ in UK education. Men, and especially white working class men are being failed by the system when it comes to education. It mirrors the situation in school achievement where white working class boys. The Equality and Human Rights Commission recently released a report showing that:

Just 28.3 per cent of white boys who were eligible for free school meals achieved five GCSEs at grade A to C.

Of all the ethnic groups studied, the achievement gap between white boys from poor backgrounds and those from middle-class households was the biggest. The national average for white boys achieving five A to C grades at GCSE was 59.1 per cent.”

The report added that “Being poor now has a far more negative impact on the education of white children than it does for any other ethnic group.

“Poor white boys suffer higher rates of exclusion from school and achieve the lowest academic results, making them less likely to enter higher education and therefore more likely to end up in lower-paid, insecure jobs.

Milo Yinnopoulos is an expert in deconstructing feminist myths

Milo Yiannopoulos on Safe Spaces, Feminist Myths & Trolling

In recent times, few public figures have done as much as Milo Yiannopolos to confront feminist myths. Yiannopoulos is a journalist who writes for the UK branch of Breitbart, a so-called right-wing news and opinions website. But he is perhaps more popularly known as a talking head to whom mainstream news channels turn for some irreverent views on gender issues of the day. On such shows, he has an unerring habit of making powerful points quickly and with an unusual clarity and panache which usually leaves his debating opponents reeling.

Milo Yinnopoulos is an expert in deconstructing feminist myths
Milo Yiannopoulos is an expert in de-constructing feminist myths

Some of my particular favourites ‘performances’ from Yiannopoulos include the #LadDebate with Dr Theodore Koulouris at Brighton University where he effortlessly destroyed the whole feminist myth of campus ‘rape culture.’ Though he is famous for making somewhat outlandish and provocative statements, this debate showed that he actually has a keen understanding of gender politics and has evidently done a massive amount of research. Dr Koulouris was at times visibly bemused and stunned by this, and the debate turned into something of a platform for Yiannopoulos to pretty much talk about what he wanted to!

Yannopoulos meets NOTA Network

I am privileged to count the NOTA_Network team as close collaborators and was excited to see that they had lined up a video interview with Yiannopoulos. The NOTA_Network website is a prolific source of analysis and commentary on current affairs from a variety of contributors. One of its co-founders Sam Sholli recently carried out an interview with a member of the Bristol University Feminist Society to discuss why the FemSoc wanted to ‘No-Platform’ Yiannopoulos. What was scheduled to be an in-depth discussion ended in hilarious circumstances with the FemSoc member bailing out after a few minutes. The audio recording of this video became an instant viral hit which at last count has been viewed 150,000+ times.

 

In this latest interview, Sholli and Yiannopoulos chop it up on a number of feminist myths and other gender politics talking points. Yiannopoulos speaks with his usual eloquence and confidence on the ridiculous phenomenon of safe spaces in universities and the importance of protecting free speech as an engine of progress. It is Yiannopoulos’ controversial (but reasonable) perspective on transgender people which stand out for me, having recently vlogged about this issue myself.

Taking on the ‘Trans Lobby’

In this interview, Yannopoulos’ argues that his view that being transgender is a psychiatric disorder is actually the prevailing view of the psychiatric establishment. Yiannopoulos’ opposition to the transgender lobby cannot simply be swept aside as the bigotry of just another evil straight white male due to his own homosexuality. Yiannopoulos brings up the startling fact that that Iran is the number two centre for gender re-assignment surgeries in the world. He says the reason for this is that homosexuality is illegal there and carries the death sentence, so homosexuals choose to simply re-assign their gender so they become heterosexuals in the eyes of the state. A state which will pay for such re-assignment by the way! He argues that this is one line of evidence to show that it is not biological factors which cause people to want to change their identify but rather social and cultural ones. Check out the brilliant interview in full below.

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Black and Asian men crave muscles more than White men

A recent British study suggests that Black and Asian men are more likely to crave muscle growth than White men. It also found that Black and Asian men associate muscles with power to a greater extent than White men do.

Black British actor Idris Elba. Black and Asian men are apparently more likely to desire muscle growth than White men
Black British actor Idris Elba. Black and Asian Men are apparently more likely to desire muscle growth than White men

We’ve all heard how women take sometimes extreme measures to fit in (pardon the pun) to beauty norms. Women go through all kinds of diet fads and fitness regimes to create that beach-ready body.

Researchers have looked into how these beauty standards impact women of different ethnicities in different ways. White women are more likely to buy into these ideals, probably because it’s much more acceptable in Black and Asian cultures for women to be considered beautiful while having larger, curvier figures.

Men and Muscles in the metrosexual era

For men, muscle mass not bone prominence is the currency of body beauty and this drives many of us to spend hours in the gym crafting that perfect six pack. It’s become more and more common to see advertising which depicts men like David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo wearing next to nothing. But little work has been done to investigate how different ethnic groups relate to these body politics.

Cristiano Ronaldo, metrosexual icon. Black and Asian men are more likely to desire muscles than White men
Cristiano Ronaldo, metrosexual icon

The British Journal of Psychology recently published a study in which 185 White, 180 Black British, and 182 South Asian British men completed self-report measures of drive for muscularity, a need for power, adherence to traditional cultural values, and ethnic group affiliation. The aim was to test the researchers’ hypothesis that Black and Asian men (by Asian is meant men of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin) would be the most most likely to desire muscle growth, and that they would see muscle growth as a means of gaining more power. Both of these points were confirmed in the findings. Interestingly, the study also revealed that for all participants, a greater adherence to traditional cultural values reduced the need for muscularity whereas a higher sense of ethnic group affiliation had no impact.

Boxer Amir Khan. Black and Asian men are more likely to associate muscles with power than White men.
Boxer Amir Khan. Asian men are more likely to associate muscles with power than White men.

Black and Asian use muscles to make up for lack of social power?

The authors of the study, entitled “Masculinities and ethnicities: Ethnic differences in drive for muscularity in British men and the negotiation of masculinity hierarchies“, suggest that the increased desire for muscles by Black and Asian men was a way of making up for the dis-empowering affects of racism in Britain. The idea is that a lack of power and influence in in wider society is a threat to the masculinity of Black and Asian men who respond by building a powerful physique to demonstrate power in another way. The findings could partly help to explain the phenomenon of Asian men in particular joining radical groups which often push a strong sense of masculinity.

The authors point out certain weaknesses in the study such as a reliance of self-reporting and the fact that the study doesn’t test for a whole range of other things that can impact the desire for muscles such as personality traits and class. Black and Asian men tend to be working class, so perhaps comparing them with working class White men might show greater similarity. Additionally, I’d also like to know how much of the effects can be explained by genetic differences between the groups. This might be indicated for example if Black African men in Africa and Asian men in South Asia also desire muscle growth to the same extent as their counterparts in Britain.

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Dstrkt London accused of Racism and Sexism

 Dstrkt London in hot water

A nightclub in the the UK called Dstrkt London was at the centre of a race storm over allegations that doormen working at the club had turned away a group of women because they were too dark-skinned and too fat. In investigating this further, it turned out that the picture as much more complex than the screaming headlines would have us believe.

London nightclub Dstrkt refused these four women entry in September 2015 which led to a racism storm
London nightclub Dstrkt refused these four women entry in September 2015 which led to a racism storm

Behind the headlines

It turns out that one member of the group in question had been in communication with the promoter prior to arriving at the club. She was told that if she would be bringing Black girls then they needed to be ‘super-hot.’ Once they arrived at the club, the were prevented from entering, and on their way home, the said promoter told them that the reason they were turned away was because a couple of them were overweight. The episode made its way to  social media and eventually led to protests outside the club. Star of popular BBC TV Show ‘Eastenders Tameka Empson spoke up about the issue and refused to attend an awards ceremony taking place at the club.

Why the sudden moralism over nightclubs?

While everyone was getting on their high horse about this, they seemed to forget the fact that nightclubs routinely turn people away for any numbers of reasons. Venues such as Dstrkt London are well known for employing highly selective door policies aimed at preserving the ‘exclusivity.’ This translates into them seeking out very attractive women over and above more regular looking ones. I guess the theory here is that the ‘hot’ females will entice the men to come and pay for their drinks! These very same women who were turned away from the club were aware of this reputation and indeed were happy to attend even when the promoter told them specifically that they would be judged on their appearance. They are not unusual. Women across the country (and the world) buy into this whole thing presumably because it makes them feel special and perhaps also because they know they’ll be getting lots of attention from guys. I am completely unmoved by some of their protestations that ‘this isn’t how it should be’ and ‘people shouldn’t be judged on their appearance.’ Please!

Join our world, ladies

And if we really want to talk about fairness when it comes to nightclubs, what about the men who are routinely turned away from clubs and bars purely and simply because of their gender? A quick search of events in the London club scene (and I’m sure the club scenes in cities around the world) will throw up a plethora of ‘Ladies Free’-type promotions, including ones hosted by Dstrkt London. Although it’s technically illegal to discriminate based on gender, this happens all the time. And here’s the thing, I’m not complaining about this because I know that this is how the whole clubbing scene works. Like it or lump it, men are largely going to these places to speak to women and as a result, we have to jump through certain hoops for this privilege. My message to these women is to dust themselves off, don’t frequent venues that don’t want you, and enjoy the fact that you don’t have to put up with refused entry as regularly as men do. Meanwhile, be sure that Dstrkt London are revelling in the extra publicity this whole thing has generated for them!