World Economic Forum Blatantly Ignores Men

October 29th, 2009 by Pelle Billing

A couple of days ago, the World Economic Forum released its annual report on the Global Gender Gap. The World Economic Forum is a highly respected, not-for-profit organization that is legally registered as a foundation in Switzerland. When they release a major report, the world listens and the media coverage is extensive. Several newspapers writing about the report list the top five countries in the report (i.e. the countries with the smallest gender gap), and they are as follows:

  1. Iceland
  2. Finland
  3. Norway
  4. Sweden
  5. New Zealand

Feminists in Sweden will likely be outraged that we are not at the top of the list, and feminists in other Western countries will likely be complaining that their country is not like Scandinavia. However, instead of occupying our minds with these quibbles, why not have a closer look at the report to see what they actually have measured, and how these measurements have been performed? Early on in the report its author explains how the Gender Gap Index used in the report works:

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 in particular variables.

In other words, every area where women are outperforming men is ignored, made invisible and left out of the report. What’s even worse is that the author of the report isn’t even ashamed of plainly stating this for everyone to see, as if it was some kind of achievement. What has the world come to when the author of a high-profile report is proud of “only” ignoring men, instead of actively labeling male discrimination a good thing which can give countries a higher score in the report?

It’s also interesting to note the four different categories that are used to determine the Gender Gap Index:

  1. Economic participation and opportunity
  2. Educational attainment
  3. Political empowerment
  4. Health and survival

If men’s situation hadn’t been actively ignored, then the author likely would have been forced to report that men do worse than women when it comes to health and survival, and in many countries around the world female students are dominating the colleges and universities. Furthermore, categories that are of great interest of men are actively excluded, for example quality of life indices, substance abuse, access to your children, number of close friends, etc. The chosen categories primarily measure the areas where men do better, and ignore the areas where men are struggling.

Unfortunately, this report is yet another sign that feminism has become a worldwide phenomenon that distorts our perception of how the genders are doing–both at a national and an international level.

21 Responses to “World Economic Forum Blatantly Ignores Men”

  1. Chris Marshall Says:

    Thanks for pointing this out, Pelle.

    That paragraph is amazing.

    I read a little of the report and see that they elaborate even further on this:

    The type of scale chosen determines whether the
    Index is rewarding “women’s empowerment” or “gender
    equality”.4 To capture “gender equality”, two possible
    scales were considered. One was a negative-positive scale
    capturing the size and direction of the gender gap.This
    scale essentially penalizes either men’s advantage over
    women or women’s advantage over men, and gives the
    highest points to absolute equality.The second was a
    “one-sided” scale that measures how close women are to
    reaching parity with men but does not reward or penalize
    countries for having a gender gap in the other direction.
    Thus it does not reward countries for having exceeded the
    parity benchmark.We find the one-sided scale more
    appropriate for our purposes.

    “For our purposes”?!?

    You mean painting a picture in which women are always victims and men never are?

    Such brazen double-think.

  2. Pelle Billing Says:

    That quote elaborates nicely on their twisted strategy. Thanks for posting it, Chris.

  3. Greetings from Finland Says:

    A few facts about Finland:

    -The difference between men and women in life expectancy is one of the biggest among the EU countries.

    -The number of women in the higher education compared to men is among the highest in the OECD countries.

    -Men commit suicides five times more often than women.

    - Only men have to do the national military service or the non-military alternative up to twelve months.

    Furthermore Finnish men suffer clearly more often than women from the “typical male problems” like social exclusion and violence.

    In fact it’s hard to find a single welfare indicator that would show men doing on average better than women (the income is a bit higher but men also work more and women nevertheless consume more).

    Thus, it’s hardly a surprise that according to the World Values Survey Finnish women feel more satisfied with and more in control of their lives .

    Yeah, Finland, an example to the rest of the world!

    (Although I’m not saying that these problems would necessarily be gender problems, not altogether anyway. But they do probably show that the society is somehow geared towards producing good life to women rather than to men.)

  4. Jay R Says:

    Men? But they are so POWERFUL!

    In reality, they are NOTHING but meek, fungible, disposable resource-providers! Frankly, no one gives a damn how they are doing — so long as they continue their slavish existence protecting and providing for women, just now without any respect, affection, or gratitude whatsoever in return.

    Feminism is a growing cancer, an equality-of-result-not-of-opportunity “luxury” that overly-wealthy, arrogant societies (most women and the few alpha males) THINK they can afford — just before they collapse (the Soviet Union was a perfect “feminist paradise”). Just as some economies think that they can continue to print money indefinitely and without consequence, so do the feminists think that men can be demonized, demeaned, and diminished for women’s benefit without limit or consequence. Generally, one shouldn’t defecate where one eats, but it doesn’t look like feminists and their legions of passive supporters have gotten the message.

    Increasingly, women say “Look how TALL we are!”, and believe it, as they stand on men’s shoulders. Maria Shriver and her smug crowing about a “woman’s nation” in the U.S. reveals all — how could feminism, if it is all about social, economic and political equality between men and women, ever have resulted in a WOMAN’S nation?! Oh, right. It was about gender superiority and domination all along, it appears. And that talking head, Shriver, standing tall on her movie-star Governor’s shoulders, and bolstered by her famous family name, makes no bones about it.

    Standing SO tall, women may be in for a BIG fall (at which time, they will complain that MEN did not keep them from harm! But men won’t really care any more.)

    Feminists forget that they fought no “battles” and made few, if any sacrifices. They complained. Shrilly, loudly, and often. And men, convinced that these harpies spoke for women generally, simply appeased them — time and time again. But what men have handed to women, men can take away again — when they realize that what they have handed over in good faith and trust is being used to beat them near to death. Men may be perpetually pussy-whipped, but our survival instincts will kick in at some point — and then we have a tendency to kick ass and not be so nice.

    Will it have to come to that?

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  7. Erik Says:

    Hello Pelle. Nice blog!
    In your opinion, has feminism accomplished anything important at all for women during the last decades? I’m struggeling to realise the inequalities that motivated even a start of the radical movement, and it drives my girlfirend mad. Please try to shed some light for me in this strange request, if you find the time.

    Im sorry about the poor english.

    Best regards

  8. Pelle Billing Says:

    Hi Erik,

    Sure, feminism has accomplished important things for women, though it’s hard to know to what extent the changes would have happened anyhow, without feminism.

    Feminism has given women the space to reflect upon their gender roles, and given them more choices (should I work, stay at home, or some combination of the two?).

    Do I believe that feminism has ever been crucial? No, I believe that a gender liberation movement for both sexes would have been a much better way to go from the start.

    Cut your girlfriend some slack; she’s been brought up in a society that doesn’t question feminism, and she probably authetically believes that women have been more oppressed than men. At the same time, stay grounded and true to your own insights.

  9. Erik Says:

    Thank you for your answer Pelle.

    Your first answer, which ended with a question, corresponds very well to my opinion as a conservative. I think the best way for societies and humnas to evolve is through organic and slow progress. Feminism is a radical movement and as far as my understanding goes it puts both men and women in harms way.

    It is also my opinion that feminism has created an even more limited and confussing identity for women. As of today it’s almost a shame if a women, or a man, stays home to take care of their children. They are trying to hijack the typical male identity but out of some reason they just end up with an interpretion of a materialistic and selfish worldview.

    Not strange that Swedish women, who are among the most influenced by the feminist movement, end up as the most unhappy women, in international surveys.

  10. Charles Copeland Says:

    “Only men have to do the national military service or the non-military alternative up to twelve months”

    Have any men in Finland made a court challenge on grounds of gender discrimination? How could this not be the case since a civilian non military option is available.

  11. Pelle Billing Says:

    Charles,

    In Sweden the legislators have explicitly written that gender discrimination is forbidden, except in a few different cases, including military service. The other cases are also discriminatory towards men. So we have some work to do here…

  12. UN Women: Discrimination at Its Finest Says:

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  13. Global The Princss of Lies Says:

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  14. AlexNY Says:

    Fear not, Pelle Biling. You have a far more powerful ally than you could possibly imagine.

    Despite the fact that the report actively and openly ignores areas where male performance is lacking, nations that top the “women’s issues list” are the same nations that top the “men’s issues list.”

    Scandinavian nations have completely gender neutral legislation and practices when it comes to leave of absence laws, child custody laws, and child support/alimony laws.

    Look at this table showing the number of years by which women outlive men, ffrom UN World Bank report:

    Iceland: 2.1 years
    World average: 4.5 years
    Japan: 7.1 years

    Iceland, with the highest “women’s issues” score, has a very low “excess male mortality”.
    Japan, the industrialized nation with the lowest “women’s issues” score, has the largest excess male mortality of all industrialized nations.

    So … if everyone intentionally ignores men’s issues and focusses on women’s issues, why then do men’s issues get resolved at the same time as women’s issues?

    Who do men have working in their corner?

    Answer: Mathematics is the inexorable force protecting men’s rights. Any freedom do equally participate in any activity which is denied to a man, is an activity that mathematically is imposed upon a woman. The work is a fixed quantity. If men are disallowed from performing nurturing/supporting roles, either legally or socially forced into the he-man Rambo view of maleness, mathematically women will be drawn into the “vacuum” of child care/support roles that men are denied.

    Feminists can try all they want. When social engineering meets with the inflexible rules of mathematics, mathematics wins.

    Feminism will embrace masculism, or it will fail. You don’t need to do anything for this to happen. As long as men continue being diminished, belittled, and vilified by feminist man-haters, women will find themselves dropping out of the race to the top due to exhaustion. The smart feminist spends as much time talking about how much better men are as fathers and husbands, compared to women, as they do talking about how much better women are as doctors and lawyers. In both cases, there are millennia of prejudice and bigotry to overcome.

  15. Pelle Billing Says:

    “Scandinavian nations have completely gender neutral legislation and practices when it comes to leave of absence laws, child custody laws, and child support/alimony laws.”

    Child custody laws are gender neutral, but their implementation is not.
    Monthly child allowances from the government automatically go to the mother.
    A father who is not married to the child’s mother will only get joint legal custody if she accepts it.

    That’s the situation in Sweden, the largest Scandinavian country.

  16. AlexNY Says:

    Good points, especially about government allowances, I did not know that.

    The political power of men’s issues advocates is vanishingly small compared to the political power of women’s issues advocates. One way to start changing this is for powerful women’s lobbies to realize that freedom of choice for men is a necessary pre-requisite for freedom of choice for women.

    In the 1950′s women needed equal access to protection under the law before women could make a rational choice to define themselves primarily as direct productive participants in the economy.

    Now, Men need equal access to protection under the law before men can make a rational choice to define themselves as primarily as fathers, husbands, or nurturers who contribute indirectly to the economy by supporting others.

    How many women and men will choose to define their lives in “non-traditional” ways? I neither know nor care. What I know is, until men are free from the bonds of gender roles, women also will continue to be prisoners of gender roles.

    In an environment where a man who defines himself as a “father and husband” can expect to be ridiculed by his peers, disdained by the opposite sex, suspected of paedophilia by his neighbours, and completely unprotected by our nation’s social and legal institutions … what sane man would make such a choice?

    When men are effectively forbidden from playing a supporting role in society, how can a woman hope to compete for the most coveted economic and political leadership positions, against men who in virtually every case have a spouse dedicated to supporting the man and his effort?

    By working tirelessly to demean, diminish, and vilify men, feminism is undermining it’s own objectives.

  17. Mark Davenport Says:

    AlexNY, I very much appreciate your insight that simply opposing imbalances in gender roles and rules automatically creates an antagonism between “us” and “them.” How much more friendly and avoidant of “zero sum” politics to simply support the benefits of gender neutrality to all parties. Progress without resentment or potential backlash!

  18. Charles Says:

    @Pelle. How can legislators (and womens groups) in Sweden and Finland possibly defend the exclusion of women for national service on any grounds when there is a non-miiltary alternative for male objectors. What is the point of gender equality legislation when exceptions are made for no good reason other than gender?
    Surely this could be challenged in court

  19. Pelle Billing Says:

    Charles,

    I don’t think the legislation can be challenged in court. The exeptions to the gender equality law are bundled in the law itself (very clever…). Furthermore, courts in Sweden are much weaker than in the US.

    Fortunately, Sweden is now transitioning to a professional army, so military service will become optional or disappear. However, other laws that discriminate against men remain.

  20. Charles Says:

    Pelle,
    Thanks for you reply….. the law then itself should be changed through lobbying as it is unjust in that, being a law for equality, it is itself discrimnatory purely on the basis of gender. It is ridiculous. Where are the feminists now?

  21. Pelle Billing Says:

    “Where are the feminists now?”

    Good question.


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