If we need a woman's officer, why don't we need a men's
Some people complain that they think it is unequal to have a
women’s officer and not a men’s officer. This argument is based
on the misguided notion that equality means everyone having
the same, and not everyone being able to achieve the same.
The reason women’s officers exist is to fight for women to be
given equal chances, and to put them on a par with the opportunities afforded to men. Therefore, having a men’s officer or a men’s campaign actually reinforces the advantage that men have, and makes it harder for the women’s campaign to succeed.
Men are not discriminated against because they are men, so it is worth asking the question what exactly will a men's society do? Experience shows that 'men's groups', rather than existing to break down restrictive gender binaries and empower men to challenge their own normative perceptions of masculinity, actually devote time and resources to 'proving' thatfeminists peddle hate-filled misogynist rhetoric. For example, a Fathers For Justice campaigner who climbed on to Harriet Harman’s roof to protest her policies ‘towards fathers’ said: "The government is ignoring us and has a feminist agenda."
Men committed to rethinking gender stereotypes, to empowering all humanity to fulfil itspotential, and to committing to bringing about full and genuine equality between the sexes would be misguided in thinking that a men's group could ever help to accomplish these aims. Such a demand denotes an utter lack of respect for, and understanding of, the women's movement.
The NUS Liberation campaigns exist to represent and empower individuals who experience discrimination and disadvantage in terms of status and opportunity because they belong to, or are perceived as belonging to, a particular social group. Men are not discriminated against because they are men - therefore having a liberation officer to represent men is completely misguided. To summarise
- Having a men's officer doesn't make things 'equal'. Quite the contrary. Men's officers are really only about giving male students more advantage of women students than they already had
- What would a men's officer or a men's campaign actually do? Men aren't discriminated against because they are men
- Men who truly believe in gender equality do not believe that a men's group is a way to achieve these aims. Men who really care will get involved in helping out feminists at their institution