Tory MP, Ben Bradley is back in the news after sparking a backlash for asking why there is a Minister for Women but not for men.
Speaking in the Commons on International Men's Day, Bradley, who was involved in a rather public spat with footballer Marcus Rashford just a few weeks ago over free school meals, attracted more criticism when he complained about a lack of equality and 'positive discrimination' during his speech.
If we are to hold Departments across Whitehall to account, with people dedicated to ensuring—quite rightly so—that women are considered, why not do the same for men? Why have a Minister for Women, but not one for men? Why single out one characteristic for a special mention? Can we ensure that equality means just that, rather than positive discrimination at the expense of certain groups, and ensure that the male is as equally protected as the female? We could do worse in this place to confirm how the Equality Act 2010 should be properly used.
Before this Bradley had acknowledged "male privilege" and "toxic masculinity" but caveated that by saying that "rudeness gender-specific." He also touched on men being accused of sexism because the way they were taught to respect women is now outdated and that "banter is now bullying."
To his credit, he did segue his argument to talk about mental health and male suicide prevention, which prompted some heartfelt and healthy responses from the other MPs present in the session, which was cut down from three hours to one hour. However Bradley's complaints about the lack of a minister for men didn't sit well with everyone who thought his comments were a little misguided and out of touch, especially when institutional sexism is still a major problem around the world.
Poor men. For thousands of years they held no power, they had no voice. The laws were made to favour women. They we… https://t.co/vaSyY0yuLi
Bradley did fire back at his critics telling them to 'do some reading' when they say 'male is not a p.c.'
On #InternationalMensDay I'm being slated for suggesting Equality Act applies equally to men 🤨
Hey, here's news: i… https://t.co/Ys3qOhlwkU
— Cllr Ben Bradley MP (@Cllr Ben Bradley MP)
For those interested the current Minister for Women and Equalities is Liz Truss. The role was created in 1997 by Tony Blair's Labour government and works to address and eradicate forms of discrimination and gender inequality. Previous holders of the position include Amber Rudd, Theresa May, Nicky Morgan and Harriet Harman.