Posts Tagged ‘mens issues’

Introducing Rena Men

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 | News


Ren Men is a men’s portal designed to be the antidote to the traditional image of lad-ish publications. I like sex as well, but I’m also interested in mental health, relationships, parenting and a whole array of issues that modern men have to grapple with.

You can visit the website, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Why I read Telegraph Men

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 | Religion & Politics, Thoughts


As a hippie leftie, my newspaper of choice is usually The Guardian. With its engaging content and unofficial mission to counteract the hate spewed out by the Murdock empire, it, along with the BBC, makes an excellent choice for me to consume the little news I read.

There is one area however, where I read The Telegraph. That, is a Telegraph Men.

The problem with being on the left these days is that as a straight white cis male, I am basically the enemy. My boat automatically rises high on the sea of privilege that propels it up towards the heavens. I don’t dispute this. I think the evidence shows that being a white man actually does grant me privilege. Whether it compares to the privilege differences between classes remains to be seen, but there is definitely a benefit.

Given that this benefit does exist, the left, committed to empowering everyone, cannot tolerate any further benefit coming my way. Again, I am not even going to suggest this is a bad thing. When International Men’s Day rolls around, there is a backlash from the left, insisting that it is a stupid idea. The arguments are long. “What if it was men’s health day?” sympathetic advocates say. The idea that we should be able to talk about men being three times more likely to kill themselves is a touchy subject.

Once again, I want to state that, in this post, I am not complaining about this. Perhaps it is fair to take that point of view.

The end result of this seems to be that the idea of devoting column inches to men seems unpalatable to Guardian readers. They have a men’s health section. Of which, at time of writing, the second story on the page is:

My husband has turned into a fitness fanatic. What can I do?

I’m not interested in this. It does not appeal to me.

Telegraph Men on the other hand, has no such problems. They write engaging content that does appeal to me as a liberal progressive modern-man. They write about men taking shared parental leave, men who choose a career in midwifery and whether veganism is a good dietary choice. It is both interesting and relevant to me to read about a father writing about raising an autistic son.

Nor does it take itself too seriously. Amusing articles about photoshopping and a Twitter account description that reads…

Advice, opinions, expertise and experiences. For men. And women. But mostly men.

…shows an playful sense of humour. I am not sure you could do this in a left-leaning media outlet. The idea that as a straight white man I might have something to contribute to the gender equality debate is not a welcome opinion. The idea that you could do any of this without a completely serious look on your face is even more out there.

Therefore, ironically perhaps, it is the right-leaning media, without such gender-political baggage, that can write about being a stay-at-home dad or breaking down stereotypes in traditionally female careers.

Of course, I am fully aware that I am reading The Torygraph. The paper that was fined £30,000 for telling people to vote Conservative. My own charity work has been the victim of their right-wing attacks.

However, in Telegraph Men, I have found interesting, engaging and relevant content that the media of the left does not seem to be able to replicate. As a father-to-be who aspires to a more liberal, equal and open society, it is, surprisingly, The Telegraph, that is leading the way.

Men’s rights are human rights

Monday, April 8th, 2013 | Video

Listen to these Canadian lunatics, suggesting that men should be treated like human beings. It’s political correctness gone mad.

Men’s Issues campaign

Monday, November 19th, 2012 | Foundation

As part of International Men’s Day, an annual event that takes place on 19 November, local Leeds based charity Chris Worfolk Foundation is launching a new Men’s Issues awareness campaign.

The face of the campaign is a new website,, that aims to raise awareness of some of the issues facing men and boys in the areas of health, education, employment and family.

“This campaign follows on from our long history of campaigning for equality,” said trustee Chris Worfolk. “We have previously been involved in campaigning for women’s rights, and are currently piloting a transgender project, so it was only natural that we would want to get involved with all sides of gender representation.”

The campaign also sees the launch of the MILE Network – Men’s Issues in Learning and Education – providing a support network for those representing men’s issues in an academic context.

“We want to ensure men’s issues are not forgotten by equality and diversity committees,” said trustee Dr Gijsbert Stoet. Dr Stoet sits on the Equality & Diversity Committee at the University of Leeds.

Feminist guilt culture

Friday, July 6th, 2012 | Religion & Politics, Thoughts

One of the days that religions very effectively control their followers is through guilt culture. The idea is that just living your life, having natural thoughts and urges like who you want to go to bed with, is “sinful.” Of course we’re genetically wired to want to go to bed with people we find attractive and so just being a normal, well adjusted human being leads up to having thoughts, that The Church then tells you is as evil as having done the act itself and that you must repent in a financial way (and as luck would have it, they’re God’s official debt collectors).

It’s a fantastic way of keeping people under your control for making them feel guilty when they haven’t done anything wrong. In fact, it’s impossible not to think like that, so everyone feels the guilt and therefore stays under control.

As with many of religion’s best ideas (and it is one of their best from the stance of their insidious motives), people see how well it works and attempt to emulate it. Make a customer out of them while they’re young for example, has been a marketing technique that has proved hugely successful for McDonald’s – they’re the largest toy distributor in the world. In 2009, I blogged about how the green movement had also adopted a lot of Best Practice from religious institutions.

As an equal rights campaigner, I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of cool people who are also interested in equality. As with any field though there are some people with good ideas and some people with not so good ideas. Indeed, most people probably have a mix of both, I’m sure many of my ideas would be classified by some people as being in the not so good pile.

So called Lads Mags are a good example of this. Some of my friends would frown on me buying a copy of FHM It objectifies women and is therefore degrading – even though they’re professional models who voluntarily choose to have photos of themselves in exchange of large amounts of cash. This view is entirely at odds with equality – everyone should be free to choose what they want to do, and imposing Feminist Ideals to prevent them from doing so no less oppressive than the Patriarchal Culture we’re trying to escape from. Rachel Barker sums the debate up very nicely on her blog. As she points out, there are instances where people are exploited – and we need to work together to stop such cases! But Katie Price’s £45,000,000 fortune does not fall under that banner.

More widely, I resent the attack on men who consume such content (I use the term men, because it’s mostly men who are attacked for it). If I buy an FHM, it is indeed for the sexually alluring content. But you know what – I like looking at tits. That is a perfectly healthy, natural, biological urge that most people have. Human beings, and indeed all reproductive animals, are wired to find others attractive. And I do.

So given I was born this way, I’m not going to apologise for enjoying such content any more than I’m going to apologise for the way I look or the colour of my skin. I shouldn’t feel any more guilty about it than a homosexual should feel guilty about their feelings when a conservative tells them that their feels are wrong or unnatural.

I mean, what I am supposed to do? Should I lie and pretend that I don’t enjoy looking at scantily clad women? Should I go to my GP, or perhaps a mental health provider, and tell them I appear to be suffering from attraction to other human beings? Or is it a case that “it’s fine to have these feelings, we understand you are born this way – as long as you don’t act on them.” Where have we heard that before?

Furthermore, I resent the idea that my entire gender is so simple-minded that just because one of us may look at such pictures, he is then unable to treat anyone with respect. I see my girlfriend as a sex object because I find her very attractive and enjoy having sex with her. I also deeply value her personality, her opinions and her kindness. I see her as a whole human being, sexuality included. Such suggestions of viewing women in a single dimension hold no more weight than the idea that someone who plays violent video games must be a violent criminal.

Attacks against such magazines, freely bought by consumers, featuring models who freely chose to appear in them, are not only an assault on freedom of expression and the right for women to choose their own career in life, but also an attempt to control the population through guilt culture, convincing them that just being who they are is somehow a violation of morality. Such action is bigoted, morally wrong and intellectually bankrupt. It also creates a diving line between Feminist Politics and those interested in equality.

Sexism and domestic violence

Saturday, April 7th, 2012 | Religion & Politics, Thoughts

You may have heard the campaign that kicked off regarding a t-shirt on sale by Topman.

It seems pretty justified to kick off a campaign about it – the t-shirt itself is a list of “excuses” for domestic violence. That’s in incredibly poor taste and how anyone could think that was a good idea to put it on a t-shirt is beyond me. Only a complete moron would read that copy and think “yes, it would be clever to put that on a t-shirt.”

The t-shirt in question is:

Topman t-shirt

However, the campaign itself doesn’t actually seem to go after the idea that the t-shirt is in poor taste, but rather makes the claim that it is sexist.

This I have to take exception to. Nothing on that t-shirt suggests that it was a man that perpetrated the violence or that a woman was the victim. It could be a quote from a woman who has just beaten up her husband. Or one partner from a same sex relationship. It is in itself sexist to presume it’s male on female violence.

This is one of the biggest areas for Men’s Issues. Research shows that women are just as violent as men but thanks to the social stigma, domestic violence in which men are the victims goes significantly underreported.

So, while we’re boycotting Topman for selling this crap, lets remember why such items are so offensive. Domestic violence is unpalatable, regardless of who is the perpetrator and who is the victim.