On October 28th 2015, Conservative MP Philip Davies questioned the Backbench Business Committee as to why MPs held a debate on International Women’s Day every year yet there was no equivalent for men. He wanted International Men's Day (which falls on November 19th), to be used as an opportunity to discuss issues such as men’s shorter life expectancy, high male suicide rate and domestic violence against men. Shockingly, this idea was not only rejected by the Backbench Business Committee but Labour MP Jess Phillips, notably the only female on the committee, laughed before saying:
“When I’ve got the parity, when women in these buildings have parity, you can have your debate. And that will take an awfully long time.”
Journalist, Glen Poole, stated, quite correctly, in his article for The Telegraph that this deplorable behavior is the equivalent of a male politician giggling at the suggestion that parliament should discuss issues such as violence against women, breast cancer screening and eating disorders. To view the full exchange, click here (Davies petition starts at 14:53).
Davies had 30 supporters for his application; 3 from the Democratic Unionist Party and 27 from Conservatives. Labour MP Ian Mearns, Chairman for the Backbench Business Committee, stated that he needed to get support from other parties in order for his application to be approved and put in front of parliament. In order to help Davies get this movement, which could help prevent at least some of the men who commit suicide as they have no way out, we need you to get in touch with your local MP. Ask them to support Davies in his application to the committee in order to get his motion debated by the Government.
We know that you are busy and that trying to find the time to get in touch with your local MP can prove difficult but you really need to make time for it. This is not one simple motion. This is a call for Government to change the way in which it deals with the inequality clearly apparent in the judicial system and even as far up as the Government. If the motion is passed, something that will not happen without your help, many of the issues men face on a daily basis will be presented to parliament annually giving you all a voice on a scale that we haven’t had before. The disrespect that Phillips so publicly voiced is one of the reasons that men often don’t openly come forward with the problems they are facing – through fear of being mocked, ridiculed or being told that their problems are inferior to those that women face. Despite the fact that men account for between one third and one half of all victims in intimate relations, with the figures rising with the severity of abuse suffered.
To make getting in touch easier, we have compiled a list of all the MPs in the country along with their phone number and emails. Simply click on the link and find your location. It would be best, and more effective, to go and visit your MP face to face in their surgery times so you can ask them directly why women get 80 million for domestic abuse when men don’t get a ratial and proportionate amount spent on them. While this way would be best, as it denies them the chance to ignore you or wiggle out of an answer, we appreciate it is not always possible. Where it isn’t, write them a letter, email or give them a phone call strongly urging them to get in touch with Davies, to give their support to the application and encourage them to voice their unhappiness at the disrespect shown to issues that affect men everyday. We currently have almost 9K followers on our Suffragents Facebook page and, if you all find a few moments to get in touch, then maybe some of the £80 million funding the Government gives specifically to support female domestic violence victims can be spent supporting the male victims too.