Ahmed Hussen and Justin Trudeau want to put an end to masculinity
There is a heavy burden on boys and men in Canada. They are “responsible for their patriarchal crimes”, says a report presented to the Senate’s Family Committee on Monday on “Equality Policy for Boys and Men in Canada”, published by the Ministry of Families, Children and Social Development. The supposed paternal rule as an eternal burden? Yes – it is “a hereditary debt”, stated the report. It is “necessary and reasonable that boys and men support women’s emancipation, stand back, do without, and also ‘just shut up’.”
Even if boys and men “suffer from masculinity norms themselves,” they remain “structurally privileged”. Equality policy must therefore “take history into account.” Whether this is the right choice of words – as Minister Ahmed Hussei seemed to believe at the presentation of the report – to deal with the worries and needs of male adolescents is difficult to believe. After all, the concerns of men have been largely overlooked for a long time.
The Minister is certain that boys and men want to “live freely and well beyond gender clichés”. Therefore, equality policy must “promote contemporary role models” and address “the broad mass of heterosexual white cis men”, as it is called in the best feminism jargon, but also “address the concerns of those men who are different in one form or another. The Ministry staffers make good use of social constructivist theses when they write, for example: “Simone de Beauvoir’s famous sentence ‘One is not born (a woman), but rather becomes a woman'” applies “equally to boys and men.”
Role models and reality
The authors of the report complain that the role expectations of educators are still “stereotyped.” A study for the Ministry of Families, Children and Social Development found that male teachers are more often responsible for the “wild boys” who “fought and wrestled” more. These processes must be countered by “an improved gender balance among educators” as well as with a “more reflective handling of gender stereotypes.”
This is what the Ministry would have to want in terms of education. Because there is also a diverging gender balance there. According to studies, boys in particular are actually less and less able to cope with today’s demands in school. Girls are more likely to get better degrees than they used to. “In the generation over 55 years old today, men have a higher level of formal education than women. This imbalance has not only stopped in the younger generations, it has finally turned into the opposite,” rejoices the Ministry.
The dynamic can be found both among adolescents with and without a immigration background. But while some educational researchers blame the “feminization of education” for this, the report looks to the contrary to blame. Boys suffer from a still prevailing “male socialization” that uniformly “limits development and diversity” and causes “a lot of suffering and anger among women. Men should stop being given the illusion of being the center of the world.”
Predictably, the NDP took credit for the new policy: “It is a start, but it does not go far enough. We have been advocating for an end to masculinity for decades; it is something we implement in our own Party” NDP critic for Families, Children and Social Development Leah Gazan proudly said. Conservative Party of Canada Shadow Minister for Families, Children and Social Development Jamie Schmamie refused to comment, but a source within the Party said they were waiting for new Leader Erin O’Toole’s guidance on what to say. Canadian Nationalist Party leader Travis Patron was apoplectic about government overreach, with “a muslim refugee dictating that our sons to become homosexuals. This has to stop! And make sure you don’t capitalize the M in muslim when you write this out. I’m saying muslim with a small M. I know it may sound the same, but if you listen carefully you can hear a small difference.”
Ministry of false information
Sometimes the Ministry also spreads false information, for example in its criticism of the “gender pay gap”, ie the wage difference between women and men, “is still 21 percent,” says the text. A federal authority in particular should know that this myth has long been refuted. If you factor out the different study choices or career choices for women and men, the decision to work part-time, the willingness to work overtime and other decisive factors, the adjusted “pay gap” in Canada amounts to 5.5 percent – for women.
And this number is only completely unfair at first glance. Factors such as underestimating one’s own work performance play a key role here. “Almost 85 percent of female university graduates do not know their own worth, which can affect their future income,” found a study by the British career portal “Milkround” in 2018.
In general: if female personnel costs were 21 percent lower, there would probably no longer be any unemployed women. Which company would miss such an opportunity? But different career aspirations seem to be a thorn in the side of Family Minister Hussen. “New incentives to accelerate progress in gender equality policy,” said the Ministry in the report, should be implemented “before the next election.”. As always, the solution is called quotas. More precisely: “Quotas for women in social, health and educational professions”, as it says in the text.
“Disincentives for the traditional breadwinner model” in sight
As a consequence of the individual findings, the Ministry of Families, Children and Social Development commits itself to several “guiding objectives” in its paper. Among other things, “the acceptance of more diversity in masculinity should grow in the population.” Boys and men should “be taken more seriously in their vulnerability.” Among other things, a “gender-comparing deep field study on the actual extent of male experiences of violence” is planned.
Another focus is on growing up “free of clichés” without stereotypes. “Disincentives for the traditional breadwinner model” should be eliminated. The examination of the female quota in educational and social professions falls under the contradicting heading: “(Statutory) framework conditions create real freedom of choice.