20/11/2015 06:24 GMT | Updated 20/11/2016 05:12 GMT

Tory MP Philip Davies, You Totally Missed the Point About Feminism and Our Fight for Men

Every year, on International Men's Day, there's a backlash about why there is the need for such a day. Yesterday, on 19 November, it was no different.

The usual complaints are around the fact that gender equality is not yet won - that the sexes are not equal.

Women are paid less than men around the world, in some countries they have fewer rights (there is not a single country in the world where women are given more freedoms than men), and next year the UN's Commission on the Status of Women will focus on violence against women globally.

But - and I say this as a card-carrying feminist - there is still a need for an International Men's Day.

Women have a long way to go to achieve gender equality, but that doesn't mean the men are alright. Judging by the high suicide rate in Britain, I'd venture to say that things are far from alright.

One gender's advancement doesn't have to come at the expense of the other. If the Paris atrocities have shown us anything, it is that yes, we are capable of terrible things, but human beings have an infinite capacity for love, compassion and kindness.

And rather than hogging it, we absolutely need to help each other out - there is plenty of room.

But rather than using the first International Men's Day debate at the House of Commons to properly address all of these issues facing men, Tory MP Philip Davies used it as an opportunity to bitch about women.

"I don't believe there is an issue between men and women," he said. "I think often the problems are stirred up by those who might be described as militant feminists and the politically correct males who sometimes pander to it."

Davies made other comments - around suicide and child custody - all framed against a background that women have it much better than men.

As he threw his toys out of his pram, he railed against the women's equality commissions, the need for a women's minister and said: "everything in this House seems to start with the premise that everything is biased against women and something must be done about it - never an appreciation that men's issues can be just as important."

Davies completely misses the point here. The fact is, when it comes to female representation in Britain, we're 56th in the world. And, not that there's anything wrong with Kyrgysztan, but we come BELOW Kyrgysztan.

But that has nothing to do with it.

It's not about the battle of the genders or that fewer women kill themselves than men. In fact any modern feminist knows that we need men for gender equality - there's a little project called #HeForShe you should probably Google.

It's to do with men. It should solely be about men and the problems they face, whether it's the impact of online porn on young men, the muzzle around mental health, rehabilitation within the criminal justice system or gender roles within families.


Because as someone who project managed our pioneering Building Modern Men series - our state-of-the-nation look at the pressures and expectations around masculinity - I can honestly say that men might have male privilege, and they might be the majority in boardrooms and parliament, but they are no less fucked.

And as for Davies?

Putting the context of men's problems in a who-has-it-worse whinge is not only childish and backwards, it's a wasted opportunity and borderline irresponsible.

To blog on the site as part of Building Modern Men, email If you would like to read our features focused around men, click here, and for more about our partnership with Southbank Centre's Being A Man festival, click here.