On January 14th and 15th there will be a men’s conference at the UN. Sounds great—finally men will get a voice, right? Right … ?
It sounds good until you hear that the #HeforShe spokeswoman is working with Iceland in hosting this. You guessed it, Emma Watson. So rather than this being about men for men, it is about men helping women.
The #HeforShe campaign is nothing more than a recruitment drive of white knights coming in to rescue women from themselves by putting all the responsibility for women‘s problems on them. But don’t worry, men, Emma recognizes that you have issues as well. Although she doesn’t speak to how to get them resolved.
In response to this, Iceland is taking the next step: a conference by men, for men, to discuss men‘s responsibility to help women. Iceland has been knighted in the #HeforShe campaign to enlist men in the highest honor that a man can serve: women.
When I first saw this, my first question was: Why Iceland? In my research, I found a study that evaluated more than 140 countries over a span of nine years for gender equality. It should be noted that no country got a perfect score. However, Iceland got the highest score.
So if Iceland got the highest score, that means they know something about gender equality, right? Men and women working together in a state of harmony, building a true egalitarian society? Yeah … you probably guessed that this is leading to some bullshit.
That bullshit is The Global Gender Gap Report. Each year a new report is released that measures gender equality in a country. The highest score is 1, indicating that the country truly represents a gender equality state.
Iceland is the highest–scored country, with 0.8594. Due to this, Iceland is leading the charge of gender equality in the UN. Seems like a good idea. However, with many biased tests, there is much more to the story. There is what you are told to believe and then there is what you are not told. Lucky for us they have provided much information on how they came to their conclusion.
From the 2014 report:
The Index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education and health criteria, and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups. The rankings are designed to create greater awareness among a global audience of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them. The methodology and quantitative analysis behind the rankings are intended to serve as a basis for designing effective measures for reducing gender gaps.
Seems straightforward. However, to see the bullshit, we need to dig some more.
Our aim is to focus on whether the gap between women and men in the chosen variables has declined, rather than whether women are “winning” the “battle of the sexes”. Hence, the Index rewards countries that reach the point where outcomes for women equal those for men, but it neither rewards nor penalizes cases in which women are outperforming men on particular variables in some countries. Thus a country, which has higher enrolment for girls rather than boys in secondary school, will score equal to a country where boys’ and girls’ enrolment is the same.
This survey is directed toward women and how they compare with men. A variable will get the score of 1 if women are equal to men in any fields. However, if women surpass men in any field, then it is treated as if women were equal to men in said field.
The bias represented here presents two problems. First, it is not concerned with any disadvantages that men may face in society. After all, this is the Global Gender Gap Report. Now, yes, there are areas where women do not have the representation that men have, except that there are social pressures put on men that may invalidate some of this testing. The second problem is when women surpass men; this creates a gender gap, but the report ignores that.
The survey doesn’t represent a gender gap test; instead, it represents a woman’s status test. The study does not measure where the gap exists in our society, rather what a woman‘s status is within a given society. For that, this is not about gender equality. Instead, it is about the representation that women have in the form of domination of any given society.
Let‘s take a look at the results page for the United States from the report:
The United States is ranked 20 out of 140 countries. With 19 countries fairing better, that indicates that U.S. women need advocacy. However, upon closer examination of the study‘s overall conclusion, I feel there are several things wrong with this page. Let me go ahead and point out a few:
1. Everything is set to a female-to-male ratio, ignoring gaps indicated by a male-to-female ratio.
A feminist will argue this is done because men are a privileged class and are already represented in all parts of society, so this is measuring the injustice of women. If that‘s the case, call it a female status test. Gender gap test would measure both extremes.
It is studies similar to this that validate feminist claims that men are a privileged class, studies that are biased to begin with to find the results feminists want them to find, creating circular reasoning. Feminists use the research to say that it exists, but the study states it exists because the researchers already believed it exists. Researchers started with a conclusion and worked backwards to find evidence to support their conclusion, which is not how a research study is done.
Start with an observation and collect evidence. Test your evidence based on a hypothesis until your hypothesis accommodates all evidence. Only then can you make a conclusion that is ready for peer review. Instead, we get researchers drawing a conclusion and cherry-picking evidence to capture the narrative they are trying to tell, which is also known as conclusion-based research.
2. Under the “Economic Participation and Opportunity” subindex, wage equality is set at .66, indicating that women earn 66% of what men earn.
Also of note, there are no figures for this. Current feminist theory states that women make $0.76 to a man‘s $1.00, which would be 76%. More than that, however, the wage gap in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom has been debunked.
3. Estimated earned income is the same for men and women.
Wait a minute? If women earn 66% of what men do, then how can the estimated earned income be the same? I guess what they are saying is that men and women earn the same income, but women earn less of an income than men. It makes perfect sense if you don’t question it.
4. Weights and measures.
When it comes to statistical analysis, weight is a way of modifying the stat to give more importance to it. So you have two stats, but one is more important than the other, so you might take that stat and multiply it by 2 to indicate it is twice as important as the other stat.
Let‘s look at “Education Attainment” and their weights.
In the case of this study, the higher weight a variable has, the greater importance it defines.
Primary is elementary school; secondary is high school, and tertiary is college. So what this is saying is that how well you do in elementary school is four times more important than college. And how well you do in high school is twice as important as college. Let‘s not forget that the ability to read is more important than college.
Why would there be less emphasis on college? College is what creates work for politics, STEM fields, and other high–paying jobs. The more successful people in society have graduated from college. So what gives?
Look at these stats for the United States. The first three in the list, they are practically tied, which is consistent with most of the top 20 countries I researched. Also, consistent was higher college enrollment among women than among men. I believe this got lower weight, to affect the overall score.
Since the report compares women with men as a measure of equality, the researchers attempted to downplay accomplishments of women to support the narrative of women‘s oppression in society. Ultimately, the researchers don’t care about the gender gap. Rather, they only care when men dominate women in a given field and ignore when women dominate men in a given field.
5. Life is twice as important as death.
So we have two stats: birth rate and life expectancy. We don’t have any statistics for birth rate. However, it has a weight of .693. Death rate has a weight of .307, so the birth rate is more than twice as important.
How is the birth rate a gender issue? Sure, there are some countries that do abort children of an undesired gender. It‘s very unfortunate that happens, but a minority of countries do this. Why punish all countries of gendered-specific abortion? In countries that are not gendered-specific with abortion, the rate of birth is entirely random. There is no justification for the birth rate to hold twice the value of the death rate.
The measurement of death is crucial. While biologically we all die when we die, quite often people die prematurely. The reason for premature death is critical, as it is a gender issue. A gender with a shorter lifespan faces greater adversity than one that lives longer. In the United States, men are seen to have a shorter lifespan. In fact, this study shows how true that is.
In essence, men are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, respiratory disease, HIV, tuberculosis, and malnutrition.
Not mentioned here is that men make up more of the homeless population, have a higher suicide rate, and have a higher rate of work-related deaths.
So does the fact that women live longer than men make it a more gender-balanced society?
In the end, this is about female oppression. Feminist researchers want more focus on areas where they can point to a gap that favors men, thus claiming that more boys are born than girls, so they can alter the score.
It is true that more boys are born each year than girls, at a rate of 1.05 males to 1 female. However, men die younger and more often than women do. Looking at the CIA Factbook website, I found the information this study used for these stats:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
The reason Iceland did so well on this survey and the United States did so poorly was women‘s representation in politics. Iceland has about 66% women representation in their politics than the United States at 19%. What hurt the United States the most was that they had no female presidents, which had the most weight.
When it comes to politics in the United States, we have to remember that all politicians are elected. Summing up the system into the total number of female presidents undervalues the complexity of the system. It should be noted that women represent the largest voting group. If all the women in the United States voted for the same woman for president, that woman would win the election—even if she is not on the ballot.
More than that, the gender of a politician doesn’t indicate individual politics. It has been shown that female politicians have worked against the feminist narrative. Men can also be pro-feminist. Our next president could be male but give into all feminist lobbies and promote everything they want. Under that circumstance, women would not be underrepresented, but this survey would still say the country failed this portion because the president was male.
Female politicians can also go against women‘s groups‘ stated interests. Republican and Democrat women don’t agree on women‘s issues. Are both groups right about women‘s best interests even when they contradict each other just because they‘re women?
Politics is not as a gendered problem in the United States, but since so few females are in office, it is treated as one. I try to turn the question back on them: Did you vote in the last election? Who did you vote for? Why didn’t you vote for a woman?
This report is fundamentally flawed in so many ways. While it states it is looking at the gender gap for individual countries, it is reporting a feminist threat narrative. Said narrative is prompting Iceland to say they are the most gender-balanced society in the world, which gives them clout to host a discussion on men’s gender issues in January. This study is saying that Iceland is the most female-represented society in the world.
Rather than look at the information and draw conclusions from there, the researchers instead started with a conclusion and did everything they could to make the study fit their narrative. Even to the point of undervaluing college education below that of elementary school. Just so they could show that women are oppressed.
In my next article, I will take the numbers provided and attempt to show how egalitarian a country is, by comparing both men and women to each other. While I don’t trust the numbers they came up with, I want to demonstrate that their conclusion is wrong, even with the numbers they conjured up.
Hear more from mad_cat on Youtube.
To see more of Kukuruyo’s artwork, visit Kukuruyoart.