Get Mad

Jamie Lee Merrick gets mad mad mad after reading an anti-feminist website. Here's her furious response.

Jamie Lee Merrick, 16 October 2002

"I took the advice of one reader of the F-word and went browsing the UK Fathers and Men?s rights page (scary). This will make no sense to anyone who hasn't read the manifesto and political thought of Brian Coeffic of the UK Fathers and Men?s rights page, so I urge you to look there first. I urge anyone who wants to get mad, get passionate and get alarmed to go visit www.coeffic.demon.co.uk, and witness this veritable mine of misinformation. There is way too much on the ?discrimination? page to ever answer all the ludicrous allegations and fiction, but I did some of the more obvious points."

Dear Sir,

I read your web page with awed fascination at the amount of mis-information and misinterpretation that is on it. At one point you claimed that women have more lifestyle opportunities than men, which included staying at home to raise their children and working part time/ raising their children part time. Where, how, and what prevents men from doing this? You also have quoted some figures about MOD compensation for unfair dismissal (though that was not made clear) as being £50m for 300 women. This is absolutely erroneous. It would work out at £1666,000 per woman! Surely this sort of compensation would wipe out the MOD?s annual budget?

How can you claim that law courts are discriminatory against men when it comes to custody when you yourself assign a "nurturing?,"caring "role to mothers/women? There is no doubt I agree that children suffer because of the absence of a father, but they would suffer more from the absence of a mother who is biologically closer and more intuitive to her child. Mother-headed (as you call them) families tend to live in the poverty stricken inner cities due to lack of alimony from their spouse. They, not men are the "new poor", forced to work and send their children to childminders in order to support them, or else live on benefits. Yes men are very hard done by! Few fathers, who have abandoned their children, have the time or effort to help educate their offspring, hence the abandonment.

There is no country in the world where women earn more than men

The lack of male teachers in primary schools is evidently because of low pay, which kind of ruins your theory that women are earning more than men. There is no country in the world where women earn more than men.

From your website I would say you are extremely judgemental and prejudiced, so there is probably no point trying to tackle the issue of abortion. But the choice must ultimately be the mothers (and not to murder it as you say, how after all can you murder a group of cells? By your logic every time a tumour is removed a potential life is wiped out.) After all, she is the one who must carry it for nine months and risk her life bringing it into the world.

Wrongly you claim that men suffer more from domestic violence than women, this is horseshit, and also why there are more refuges for women, and incidences of rape and sexual violence against women who are weaker physically (as you claimed in your discrimination in the military article) therefore unable to fight. You can't have it both ways I'm afraid.

Although it is true to say that women are more aggressive than men. Which bodes well for a soldier don't you think? If you have ever seen a woman defend her child from attack, you would never doubt that. Actually the study that you referred to in Israel found that it was unwise to have women in combat because they affected their male comrades much more when killed than men did. It seems the men would stand over the bodies trying to save those that could not be saved. Therefore the fault was the men not the women soldiers. As for the enemy fighting harder to avoid the "shame" of surrendering to women, I would imagine that the enemies of Israel would fight pretty hard anyway, knowing they had to surrender to one of the most oppressive regimes in the world. I think they would rather surrender to women, as they commit far fewer gross human rights abuses than men.

women ran the country both times while their men fought

Secondly how spurious is your argument in "Defence?? During the second (and first) World War, there was a King, George the V on the throne, not a Queen! How can you resent the wasteful sacrifices of so many brave and brilliant men for their wives, sons and country, when you deny women the right to fight on the front line? You completely ignore the fact that a) women ran the country both times, while their men fought, running the munitions factories, working in the land army and ambulance/WAAF services as well as nurses and VADs. Please do not ignore their valuable contribution, which was all they were allowed to make, in this country at least (although you ignore the fact that women worked as spies, abroad risking their lives, and in the French Resistance. Also in Russia where they helped to defend Stalingrad, and formed military defence units.) Also b) that ALL the wars in History (including the Falklands war, started by the Argentinean regime) have been started and propagated by MEN. Hitler, Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt, all men, all sent men to die by the millions on the battlefield!!!!!!!!! Where is this simple fact on your website?

Why should women fight and die in a world that marginalises them and gives them no power, political or otherwise? Your logic is extremely weird. Do you propose to kill 2million Americans to balance those Japanese killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Also aren't you forgetting who watched their sons, husbands, fathers and lovers go to battle and slaughter? Powerless to stop it?

Women may lack the physical strength of men, but they have greater overall endurance, intelligence and ability to deal with the physical/mental stress of combat situations. They are also "built better", with greater skeletal strength for childbirth and this is why they live on average 7 years longer than men. Women also have faster reaction times (Gretch & Stiller 1996) this is why they make better fighter pilots, astronauts and drivers,(which insurance claims will back up). Also a higher pain tolerance, which makes sense as they have to give birth. All of which would I say makes a better soldier.

Before the advent of Christianity, and its second-class citizen view of women, women were tribal elders; grandmothers were revered as sources of tribal wisdom. Women would also fight in hand-to-hand combat as Boudicia, of the Iceni, proves. Some of the greatest pre-Roman/Christian armies such as the Assyrians, Phoenicians and Amazons all had or were lead by women. Amazon women warriors got pregnant and held their infant in one arm and a bow in the other!

I would rather have bullets flying at me than degrading comments

Being tough enough to fight a war and being disgusted at some derogatory remark made by some sleaze ball are not mutually exclusive positions. I would rather have bullets flying at me, than degrading comments by some sad prick. Incidentally talking of the "culture of ones potential adversary", Russia for all its faults, embraced communism and with it equality when fighting. Women in the Red Army fought side by side with their comrades, (as comrades not as sexual objects) with great success, defeating the German army, one of the most powerful and technologically advanced of its day!

As for the same training standards? Do they have the same training standards in life? Do men face pain and harassment in the way women do? Hardly! If you look at the statistics you quoted they aren't so very dissimilar for men and women. The only real difference is in the running times. If you examine the projectory of women?s sprinters times for the 400m over the last ten years, it has halved and continues to reduce whereas men?s have reached a plateau, with only seconds shaved off.

I would have thought that the increase in divorces asked for by women, 75% you quoted, would have demonstrated that women are as sexually adventurous or "randy" and Mona Charen puts it, when the cultural barriers are removed, as men, proving M.C. wrong. But, please what on earth does this have to do with women joining the military? Or are women GIs supposed to be just as over sexed as their male counterparts? How does it make one a better soldier? There is a very definite line between normal behaviour and sexual harassment.

Yes females in the army, navy and airforce must face harassment from their "sexual predator" drill sergeants, but if their drill sergeants were female and their squadrons, also this wouldn't be a problem. Similarly friendships can complicate the line of command, but these are not limited to male /female friendships. Disagreements between commanding officer and private are common and have always been. Why should romantic love and sexual jealousy complicate things in the military and not in the, ambulance service say? Rules against fraternization would just be extended to between male and female officers. Just because a new idea may complicate something, is not a reason not to implement it, especially when the idea is good. That is also a very patronising view of men and women to take, that they cannot go about their job professionally without bringing sex and love into it!

It is true that men do more industrial work than women but women do much more cleaning work than men, both domestically and professionally. I think the "glass cellar" is imaginary. Women in the developing world take many more dirty, dangerous jobs (including in the sex industry; it is absurd to say that the number of men in prostitution even remotely matches the number of women), because that is where the "wealth creating manufacturing jobs" have moved to, overseen by the mostly male CEOs of large global corporations.

Women DO NOT now nor ever have got off "scott free" from committing crimes. Tell me how can we have "chivalrous male judges" when only a paltry 7.5% of reported rapes result in convictions? Now who exactly is walking away scott free?

The statistics you quote reported rapes being false is complete crap!

The statistics you quote about the number of reported rapes being false is complete crap! 30% of convicted men works out at about five. Actually I'll go along with that, five men convicted each year are innocent. But 95 who walk free are guilty. Funny that a male lawyer should find 212 "disproved allegations" (which could mean anything), but still double that number were proven, with 526 more "unsolved" so what your point? One in every two men reported actually commits a rape? I wouldn't crow too loudly over those stats if I were you. It's hardly overwhelming evidence of discrimination against men if the British Justice system. The Eugene Karin study stated in a "small community" 40% were false? Hmmm I wonder at the immense backwardness of that community and the pressure it put on young women to withdraw or disregard their allegations. Its hardly a fair test, when you consider the hassle that dogs women who have been raped, in the legal system, patriarchal culture and in society.

I realise from your website alone just how prejudicial and narrow minded you must be, the beliefs you hold are repugnant to men and women, trying to correct them is probably a waste of time, but I determine anyway. You polarise the issue of male (and female rights) and your view are nostalgic and patronising. You quote highly unlikely figures, and obscure your sources. Feminism, in its truest form isn't about hating and deriding men, or ruling the world. It is about equality, freedom, with opportunity for both men and women. I love many men, ---my father, my brothers, my cousin and uncle, friends and boyfriend, and serious issues like suicide among young men merit illumination, petition, and action. But you propagate misinformation, misguidance and half-truths, which breed suspicion and hatred. It is time you read some feminist third wave literature and stopped seeking to oppress both men and women by making them enemies. Yes women should have freedom, yes they should have equality, in rights in deeds in action, haven't they after all lived the last thousand years as second-class citizens? After all a race that oppresses another can never itself be free. A good friend told me that......... and he was male.

About the author

Jamie Lee Merrick

Jamie Lee Merrick is 18 and is currently teaching English in Mexico. Her next move will be to Guatemala, where she plans to investigate Human Rights abuses with the GSN. On her return to the UK she hopes to study law at Sheffield University. She says "I've always been a feminist and my mum, a geographer, and my aunt, a professor of oncology, are both a big influence on this. I was brought up to believe a woman is as good as a man and has every right to equality and education."

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