More horribly offensive Christmas gifts…and Mens’ Rights Activists

// 7 December 2007

EDIT: Mankind Initiative contacted us to say that they now have a new chairman (as opposed to the one cited below) and the organisation has changed.

Hot on the heals of the ‘rape-me-with-a-pen’ holder, allow me to introduce you to the man-shaped punchbag*:

The Hers Boxing Set comes in pink packaging and contains a man-shaped punchbag and a pair of boxing gloves.

ManKind Initiative said owners were encouraged to insert photos of a man for the punchbag’s face.

A picture on the product packaging shows an arrow pointing to a man’s groin, saying “kick him here”.

After complaints from ManKind Initiative, described in The Guardian as a support group for male victims of domestic violence, Superdrug have withdrawn the punchbag and will donate all profits from previous sales to the organisation. And quite rightly too: domestic violence, like rape, should not be trivialised, whether the victim is male or female.

However, before we sing ManKind Initiative’s praises, it appears that while their work with male victims of domestic violence is of course very worthy, their Chairman believes that:

“Prior to the emergence of the false values of feminism, there was a distinct under-standing [sic] between men and women that he would bring home the bacon and she would look after the home and care for the family.

Women relied on men for their support. They still rely on men for their support but, sadly, that support is now being channelled via our tax system and the vast majority of taxes are contributed by men.

The detritus left in the wake of 30 years of feminism is considerable, an international disaster.”

From (ManKind Initiative’s website is under reconstruction, so I couldn’t find out much about them there).

Ah, yes, those false values, how dare we assert women’s right to do anything more than cook and clean for their darling bacon-bringer? And something tells me that if I suggested that perhaps working to eradicate the pay gap between men and women would ensure that women contributed more in tax, Mr Chairman would splutter with outrage.

So while I genuinely congratulate Mankind Initiative’s success in this campaign, I must admit that it rather unnerves me that Superdrug are handing money over to such an anti-women organisation. In light of their Chairman’s final comment above, perhaps they could buy a new history book with it…

*Photo by schmense, shared under a Creative Commons License. I’m not 100% sure that this is the punchbag in question, but it looks like it: ‘insert photo here’, ‘knee him here’.

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