There are compelling reasons for white men to believe that bias against them is increasing. Take the example of politics. While Australians are worried about the rising unemployment and how to pay expensive electricity bills, the ruling party frets about “gender balance” among its members of federal Parliament. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is deeply committed to boosting female representation.
The Liberal Party has recently stated that it wants to increase the representation of female MPs to at least 50 per cent over the next decade. Currently, around 22 per cent of female Liberal MPs are serving in the federal parliament. The internal report, entitled “Room for Movement: Women and Leadership in the Liberal Party”, relates decreasing electoral support for Liberals with the low proportion of female leaders within the party and, particularly, in the parliament. Currently about 50 per cent of Labor MPs are female. How’s that working for them?
The Australian Labor Party lost the last federal election. And not only that but it received around 300,000 fewer votes from women than did the Liberal Party. Labor now despises the working class and their voters feel disenfranchised, abandoned, forgotten and ignored. Labor is now a party of social engineers and completely infected by new-leftism, feminism and radical environmentalism.
As for the Liberal Party, its leadership certainly should think twice before advancing the same leftist agenda. Rather, this party should consider the advice of their founder Sir Robert Menzies, who once said he would vote for a woman “with no prejudice and with great cheerfulness” only if he was satisfied that she is the better and more qualified person to occupy the job.
The argument that the Liberal Party needs more “representation of women” is misuse of language. After all, every MP is supposed to represent men and women alike.1 As noted by James Macpherson in The Spectator, ‘the sexist idea that only a woman can truly represent the interests of women was well and truly dismantled [late October 2020] when it was revealed Australia’s foreign affairs minister Marise Payne was yet to speak to her Qatar counterpart about the alleged strip search of 13 Australian women at Doha’.2
It’s unbelievable to think the party founded by Menzies would allow itself to be defined by sexist ideology, especially when the New Left cannot even define the word “woman”. The Liberal Party is taking “incremental steps” towards higher female representation, boasts its left-wing leadership. One would expect a supposedly conservative party to pre-select candidates on the basis of their merit, regardless of gender. However, writes Macpherson, “their fixation on social engineering shows that they are taking Australia down the same work cul-de-sac as Labor, only more slowly”.3
Menzies would be appalled to see what has become of the party he founded. Dr David Furse-Roberts, his main biographer and a research fellow at the Menzies Research Centre, reminds us that Menzies “distanced himself from the views of affirmative-action feminists who argued that women should be promoted merely by virtue of the fact that they were women. To Menzies, such an attitude was deficient because it overlooked the personal merits and talents of the individual female candidate”.4 But perhaps it might be better to allow the nation’s longest-serving Prime Minister to speak for himself. According to Menzies,
women are at least as equal as men. … No educated man today denies a place or a career to a woman because she is a woman.
But there is a converse proposition which I state with all respect but with proper firmness. No woman can demand a place or a career just because she is a woman. It is outmoded and absurd to treat a woman’s sex as a political disqualification; it seems to me equally absurd to claim it as a qualification in itself.5
However, qualifications don’t matter so much in these dark days, rather it is all about gender and ethnicity. I have seen too many qualified white males passed over for employment in favour of far less qualified women and/or non-white males.
The ruling elites have declared war on white working-class men. As white males, they must struggle to overcome institutional and government discrimination. Affirmative-action policies involve profound questions related to matters of social equality and fairness, including the problem of whether it is ever justifiable or permissible “to submerge individuals into whole groups and subject them to certain prophylactic politics which often harm their interests”.6
Affirmative-action policies not only ignore the predicament of many white men who are poor and socially disadvantaged, but can further aggravate their predicaments. For example, a comprehensive US study reveals that white boys are increasingly performing at a level substantially below that of girls of the same age and ethnic group.7 In an attempt to counter the problem some schools have started developing special programs for male-only students. However, radical organisations such as the National Organization of Women and the American Civil Liberties Union react very negatively by rising in opposition.8
In the United Kingdom, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)—an independent statutory body established by the British government to help eliminate discrimination and protect human rights—has revealed that white boys from poorer backgrounds, “suffer the worst start in life as they continue to fall further behind every other ethnic group at school—with their chances of a successful and prosperous career decreasing as a result”.9
The disadvantages of being a white male in today’s British society continue to be substantial by the time these boys complete high school. The statistics unveiled in December 2015 by Universities and College Admissions Service (UCAS), the UK-based organisation that operates the application process for British universities, indicates that 18-year-old females are 35 per cent more likely to attend a British university than 18-year-old males.
Further, while 37 per cent of black school-leavers go to university, only 28 per cent of white school-leavers do. Curiously, “the white ethnic group was the one least likely to enter university, with only 28 per cent obtaining places compared with 58 per cent for Chinese, 41 per cent for Asians generally, 37 per cent for black students and 32 per cent for those from a mixed race”.10 This stark reality has led the executive chief of UCAS, Dr Mary Cook, to wonder if it is not necessary to initiate “outreach” projects which are “specifically designed to get more white males into college”. 11
By contrast, female students make up the majority demographic in higher institutions of learning in western societies.12 In Britain, a third of them go to university, compared with just a quarter of men. Once in university, women do better and are significantly more likely to graduate with a first class degree. In many courses they comprise the significant majority of students. British women constitute 55 per cent of those enrolling in courses in medicine and dentistry and 62 per cent studying law.13
In her first speech as the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May made the fallacious statement that “if you’re a woman, you will earn less than a man”. Firstly, women increasingly dominate the professions in Britain. They hold half of the top professional and managerial jobs in that country. Furthermore, since 2009 women working full time have actually earned substantially more than men. As noted by British journalist David Goodhart, “the gap May refers to is only generated by conflating the earning of women of all ages, occupations and full-time/part-time status and comparing them with the same male total – and because many women work part time (43 per cent to 13 per cent for men).”14
According to UK official figures, women between the ages of 22 and 29 will typically earn £1,111 more per year than their male counterparts. These figures were released by the Office of National Statistics, which looked at the comparative earnings of men and women between 2006 and 2013.15 Such advantage ends at 30 and there is a good reason for this: female employees often interrupt their careers to take maternity leave and part-time work when children are born.
An employment tribunal confirmed in April last year that “well prepared” white male heterosexuals have been discriminated against by the U.K. police force. Judge Clare Grundy found the police guilty of discrimination against a potential recruit on the grounds of race and sexual orientation after his application to join was un-successful.16 After the verdict confirmed that the plaintiff had been a victim of direct discrimination, he stated “I am delighted the tribunal found in my favour … I am not the only person who has been affected by this. There are many other white heterosexual males who undoubtedly left the whole interview with the impression that they weren’t good enough when in fact many were”.17 Despite the systematic discrimination against white male job applicants, which has been occurring now for many years, his lawyers said this case is the first of its kind in the country.
With laws making their employability more difficult and even undesirable, skilled white men in the UK swell the ranks of homeless and those in prison. As Goodhart also points out,
most of these depressing statistics apply in particular to working class whites who more than any other group have lost their place in society and have no encouraging narrative of advance, unlike young women and ethnic minorities.18
Since middle class women are now as financially self-sufficient as men, and many working-class women are supported by the state, with benefits and priority to social housing, there is no real place in our societies for the male provider.19 Thus Goodhart argues that “the traditional notion of making men good citizens through family duties has largely disappeared – and anti-social behaviour of various kinds remains overwhelmingly concentrated among sixteen to twenty-four year old males”.20
In the US, male median income—the median income of a man with a full-time job—was six per cent lower in 2014 than in 1973. According to the US Census Bureau, “as black incomes rose strongly over the period, it was the earnings of white men that were most hard hit”.21 Moreover, white men in America are more likely to face discrimination when applying for jobs than women, according to a US study of 3,000 job applicants. Conducted by sociologist Jill. E. Yavorsky, of the University of North Carolina, this research examined whether job applicants with the same experience and qualifications were treated differently by employers based on their sex. The result: overall research found that men were more likely to be overlooked by employers based on their sex or gender for both white-collar and working-class jobs. As Dr Yavorsky put it, “discrimination against male applicants at early job-access points is more wide-spread … occurring in both white-collar and working-class contexts.”22
For American men applying for working-class jobs, when the job ad specified traditional masculine traits, women were still favoured over men (40 per cent more likely to get a call back). As for adverts for white-collar jobs, these were more likely to specify feminine traits and so favour female candidates, in both female-dominated and male-dominated jobs. Speaking about her research, Dr Yavorsky concluded
What I find is that men are generally considered incongruent with female-dominated work, regardless of the occupational class – and that dis-crimination is often magnified when the job is female-dominated, as well as emphasizing feminine attributes job seekers must display if they want to get the job.23
For a “privileged group” it is quite ironic that white males have a suicide rate which is much higher than those for any other gender-ethnic group.24 Unlike every other age, and unlike every other racial and ethnic group, death rates amongst white males are the highest in the world, and have been rising dramatically over the last few decades. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences, Dr Anne Case and Dr Angus Deaton (who won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economic Science) documented a marked increase in the all-cause mortality of middle-aged white male (non-Hispanic) men in the US.25 They reveal that death rates for white males, particularly non-college-educated men aged 35 to 45, rose dramatically over the last two decades, thanks mainly to a quadrupling in the incidence of drug overdoses and alcohol abuse that are often intimately connected with psychological issues related to marriage breakdown and parental alienation.26
These renowned Princeton academics noted that “middle-age whites were committing suicide at an unprecedented rate” and that “all-cause mortality in this group was rising”.27 By contrast, the death rate for blacks and Hispanics in the United States declined over the period 1999 to 2010. By contrast, the suicide rate for middle-aged whites has jumped to an alarming 40 per cent during the same time frame. Reasons are thought to include the unfair legal treatment perceived by white males to jaundice the judicial system, in particular family courts, as well as different cultural expectations. Also, black Americans and American-Hispanics appear to have stronger community support to carry them through these rough times.28
In the UK, a report released by the Office of National Statistics reveals that between 1981 and 2014 the rate of female suicide fell dramatically — by 50 per cent — whereas white male suicide has risen dramatically since 1981, and white men now account for an astounding 77 per cent of all suicides in the country, up from 63 per cent in the 1980s.29 Out of the 6,233 UK suicides in 2013, some 4,583 saw men end their own lives.30 The problem is more acute amongst British white males between the ages 35 and 55, who are four times as likely to take their lives as white women of the same age, according to the official figures.31
Rob Tiller, a Perth-based counsellor, says that a “male suicide epidemic” is taking place in our Western societies, where young, middle-aged and senior men are killing themselves at a rate of 42 per week in Australia, 83 per week in the U.K., and 635 per week in America.32 He says that family court practices coupled by divorce laws have left many fathers totally alienated from their children, broke and suicidal. Also overlooked and underfunded, says Tiller, are men’s medical health issues like prostate cancer, heart health, and depression.33
Despite all these deeply sobering statistics, railing against “white privilege” continues to be the rallying cry of the privileged individuals who occupy the media, academia, and politics.34 To maintain white men are more privileged than any other racial-gender group is to ignore the fact that white males are much less likely to receive the protection of the law and much less socially successful than almost every other existing ethnic-social group.
It is therefore remarkably Orwellian that some of the more privileged members of society continue to disparage some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of society.35
These affluent elitists will continue to make their inflammatory comments, and to produce more socially divisive books decrying so called “while male privilege” . They will do so regardless of the fact that these women are much wealthier and more socially privileged than the vast majority of white men they take so much delight in vilifying and denigrating, including those who are emptying their bins and sweeping their roads.
Dr Augusto Zimmermann is Professor and Head of Law at Sheridan Institute of Higher Education in Perth, WA, and Professor of Law (Adjunct) at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney campus. He is editor of Fundamental Rights in the Age of Covid-19, a book published by Connor Court with contributions from leading law academics and policy makers in the field.
1. James Macpherson, ‘The Liberal Party: Caught in the Gender Trap?’, The Spectator Australia, 30 October 2020, at https://spectator.com.au/2020/10/the-liberal-party-caught-in-the-gender-trap/
4. David Furse-Roberts, Menzies: The Forgotten Speeches (Jeparit Press, 2017), p 245.
5. Sir Robert Menzies, ‘Women for Canberra’, Broadcast (29 January 1943), in David Furse-Roberts, Menzies: The Forgotten Speeches (Jeparit Press, 2017), p 245.
6. Ibid., p 131.
7. Larry Hedges and Amy Nowell, ‘Sex Differences in Mental Test Scores, Variability, and Numbers of High Scoring Individuals’ (1995) Science 41-45.
8. Christina H Sommers, Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Men (Touchstone, 1994), p 18.
9. ‘Largest Ever Review Reveal ‘Winners and Losers’ in Progress Towards Equality in Great Britain’, Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), 30 October 2015, at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/universities-urged-target-white-men-gender-admissions-gap-increases-a6776221.html
10. Richard Garner, ‘Universities Urged to Target White Men as Gender Admissions Gap Widens’, Independent, 17 December, 2015.
12. Christina H Sommers, The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism is Harming Our Young Men (New York Rockefeller Centre, 2000), p 31.
13. Emily Hill, ‘Feminism is Over, the Battle is Won. Time to Move On’, The Spectator, October 2015, at https://spectator.com.au/2015/10/the-decline-of-feminism/
14. David Goodhart, The Road to Somewhere: The New Tribes Shaping British Politics (London/UK: Penguin Books, 2017), p 198.
15. ‘Women in their 20s Earn More than Men of Same Age, Study Finds’, The Guardian, 29 August, 2015, at http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/aug/29/women-in-20s-earn-more-men-same-age-study-finds
16. Colin Drury, ‘White Heterosexual Males Face Discrimination Everywhere, Man Says After Winning Employment Tribunal’, Independent, 24 February 2019, at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/white-heterosexual-male-police-recruit-matthew-furlong-discrimination-employment-tribunal-a8794521.html
17. Colin Drury, ‘White Heterosexual Males Face Discrimination Everywhere, Man Says After Winning Employment Tribunal’, Independent, 24 February 2019, at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/white-heterosexual-male-police-recruit-matthew-furlong-discrimination-employment-tribunal-a8794521.html
18. Goodhart, above n.14, p 209.
21. Henry Ergas, ‘American Nightmare’, The Weekend Australian, January 23-23, 2016, p 17.
22. Jill E Yavorsky, ‘Uneven Patters of Inequalityj: An Audit Analysis of Hiring-Related Practices by Gendered and Classed Contexts’ (2019) 98 (2) Social Forces 461-492, at https://academic.oup.com/sf/article-abstract/98/2/461/5288671?redirectedFrom=fulltext
24. On average men have a much shorter life expectancy than women in almost every western society. In Britain, for example, on average a woman will live 4 years longer (83-79) than a man. In Australia, the average gap is even wider: 5 years (85-80) in favour of women. By contrast, in the United States life expectancy is currently 81 years for women and only 76 years for males – a difference also of 5 years – , whereas in France such a difference is even wider: 6 years (79-75). In the Russian Federation, there is a remarkable 12-year difference in life expectancy between men and women (63-75).
25. Anne Case and Angus Deaton, ‘Rising Morbidity and Mortality in Midlife Among White Non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st Century’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol.112, No.49, at http://www.pnas.org/content/112/49/15078.full.pdf
26. Ergas, above n.21, p 17.
27. Gina Kolata, ‘Rise in Deaths for U.S. Whites in Middle Age’, The New York Times, p. A1.
28. Dale Archer M.D., ‘White-Age Suicide in America Skyrockets: White Middle-Age Suicide Spiked 40% in the Last 10 Years’, Psychology Today, May 06, 2013, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201305/white-middle-age-suicide-in-america-skyrockets
29. Isabel Hardman, ‘Save the male! Britain’s Crisis of Masculinity’, The Specator, 3 May 2014 at http://www.spectator.co.uk/2014/05/the-descent-of-man/
30. Mike Snelle, ‘It’s Society, not Biology, that is Making Men More Suicidal’, The Telegraph, 24 February, 2015.
31. John Bingham, ‘Loss of Breadwinner Role Driving Rise in Suicide Among Middle Aged Men, Samaritans Suggest’, The Telegraph, 20 September, 2012.
32. Rob Tiller, ‘Psychology’s War On Man’, The Spectator Australia, September 13, 2019, at https://www.spectator.com.au/2019/09/psychologys-war-on-men/
35. ‘Global Health Observatory Date Repository’ World Health Organization , at http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.688?lang=en