The world is changing. Almost nobody wants to return to the rigid class, race, and gender structures of the past. Yet for some people the pace of change can feel threatening. Old social hierarchies are breaking down, and groups that previously held all of the power are finding they have to share.
This is not a new phenomenon. A New York Times poll from 1964 suggested that a majority of white New Yorkers felt that the “Negro civil rights movement [had] gone too far”, and that African Americans now received “everything on a silver platter” and there was “reverse discrimination” against white people. Jim Crow laws enforcing racial segregation were finally overturned in 1964 and ’65.
Following the Brett Kavanaugh hearing in the United States, President Donald Trump argued that it was a “scary” and “difficult” time to be a young man today. When we interviewed Ann Widdecombe earlier in 2018, she argued that feminism and gender equality today has gone too far. She argued that, in developed countries, women hold plenty of power and gender inequality is now being suffered by “poor guys”:
[…] If you ask me about gender inequality, I would now say it’s the men who’ve got the real grievance. I mean, if you take for example, all women short-lists for Parliament – let’s just take that as one example – then you’ve got a man who’s grown up in a constituency, educated his own children there, used the local health services, knows it backwards, but can’t apply because it’s reserved for a woman. Now think what would happen if that the reversed were approved. Men are certainly at a disadvantage in some of the legal positions. We’ve seen it a lot recently, whereby a man is named the moment there is an investigation, doesn’t even wait until he’s charged; the woman remains anonymous throughout, even if she’s falsely accused him. Men are at a disadvantage in the family courts, where the presumption is nearly always with the women. So, don’t tell me we have gender inequality against women. If anything, it’s now against poor guys.
Are men under attack? Or is it just that the world is changing, and previously disempowered groups are getting more of a say? Is the pace of change too fast? Or is justice delayed justice denied? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!