With the General Election soon approaching, there is much talk of ‘kicking the mainstream’, as fringe parties of both left and right are witnessing a huge surge in popularity. Justice For Men & Boys (And The Women Who Love Them) is one such party hoping to capitalise on the disillusioned and disenfranchised (presumably male) voting population. Registered in 2013, J4MB claims to be fighting for the ‘human rights of men and boys’, which it sees as being assaulted by feminism and mainstream politics. Led by the rather uncharismatic Mike Buchanan, the party shall be campaigning for three seats in Nottinghamshire, and is aspiring to transform British politics.

Whilst J4MB purports to be merely anti-feminist, the party is inherently sexist and its sentiments often extend into vitriolic misogyny. Recently J4MB has started the campaign Men Shouldn’t Marry, based on the premise that women are fundamentally materially driven and the only way men can protect themselves financially is by not entering into legal unions with them – a misogamist argument not unlike those being made five-hundred years ago.

Buchanan himself has authored titles such as The Glass Ceiling Delusion (the REAL Reasons More Women Don’t Reach Senior Positions. Posts on the party’s website range from the absurd to the abhorrent; ’10 reasons false rape allegations are common’* being a particularly nauseating read. In another article, women who have catalogued their experiences of sexual assault in the Everyday Sexism Project are described by Buchanan as ‘whiny thoughtless selfish brats’ (we assume with no intended irony).

Justice for Men & Boys has set itself the lofty task of ‘changing the face of British politics‘, and in 2014 published its manifesto. Covering 20 main policy areas, proposals include ‘stop (the government) subsidizing sperm banks for single women and lesbians’ and the introduction of ‘all-boy schools with all-male teaching staffs’. It also makes the bizarre claim that ‘feminism is a movement with the ultimate aim of female supremacy’ with ‘accurate parallels … between [the] Nazis’.

The party believes that mainstream politics, both left and right, is neglecting the human rights of males in order to pursue a misandrist agenda. Labour politician, Yvette Cooper for example is described as being a ‘truly obnoxious bigot’ who wishes to ‘roll out yet more radical feminist agendas, including … brainwashing [boys] into becoming lifelong unquestioning slaves to women’.

Buchanan and co. are currently targeting three marginal seats in Nottinghamshire: Ashfield, Sherwood and Broxtowe, challenging the seat of Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, Gloria De Piero. It has also set its sights on Loughborough, whose current MP is Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan. It would appear however that gynocentrism is not currently ranking too highly on Nottingham’s voting agenda: when interviewed on the East Midlands Sunday Politics show, residents of the Ashfield constituency tended to laugh at the party when they were asked whether they would consider voting for it.

Some very serious issues are highlighted by J4MB, such as the need for more support for male victims of domestic violence. Unfortunately however, any legitimate point that the party might have is completely undermined by its insidious and reactionary politic. J4MB creates a pernicious dichotomy between men’s rights and women’s rights, a dichotomy which is not only erroneous but also damaging to all involved. How would they respond, we wonder, if  reminded that it was feminists who campaigned for the law to recognise female-on-male rape?

Whilst it is highly unlikely that Justice For Men & Boys will enjoy much success in this election (or ever make any real impact on mainstream politics), it does draw attention to a worrying backlash against feminism, and an ever more vocal section of men who wish to undo the progress of the equal rights movement of the last fifty years. If the party can be said to achieve anything, it is that it does exactly the opposite of what it sets out to do; showing precisely why we still need feminism and why the fight for gender equality is as important now as it ever was.

 

Sources:

Justice For Boys and Men website https://j4mb.wordpress.com/

Article – ‘Why men shouldn’t marry’ http://www.avoiceformen.com/gynocentrism/men-shouldnt-marry/

J4MB Election Manifesto https://j4mb.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/141228-v6-general-election-manifesto.pdf

The Sunday Politics Show, East Midlands https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsGuUbUTnBI

*Post has now been removed but still appears on Google search results