What is the Justice for Men and Boys party?
Founded in 2013, “J4MB” describes itself as anti-feminist party and “the only political party in the English-speaking world campaigning for the human rights of men and boys”. The leader is Mike Buchanan, who quit the Tory party after David Cameron floated the idea of all-women shortlists.
So is it like the Women’s Equality Party?
Nuh uh. The J4MB party’s website includes categories such as “Lying feminists of the month”, “Whiny feminists of the month”, “Toxic feminists of the month” and “Gormless feminists of the month”. (The WEP, which wants to see “see women enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men” by “uniting people of all genders”, doesn’t have a month anything.)
Policies in J4MB’s 2015 electoral manifesto included shortening the abortion limit for risk of injury to mental health from 24 weeks to 13 weeks, stopping funding to encourage women into science, introducing compulsory paternity testing, and creating a new Cabinet position, the Minister for Men and Equalities.
While the party has fielded candidates in elections, when The Staggers checked with the Electoral Commission, it could not find Justice for Men and Boys listed as a party.
Why are we talking about it?
A video has emerged of Philip Davies, the Tory MP for Shipley, speaking at the Justice for Men and Boys party conference. In the video he rails against “feminist zealots” who “really want women to have their cake and eat it”.
Davies previously made a name for himself in 2009 when he bombarded the chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission with questions such as: “Is it offensive to black up, particularly if you are impersonating a black person?”
So who exactly supports the Justice for Men and Boys party?
The short answer is: not many. The party’s Facebook group has 2,618 members, compared the Conservatives’ 564,306 page likes, Labour’s 513,238 page likes and the Women’s Equality Party’s 49,005 likes. But true believers have donated as much as £2,000 to the cause. The party raised enough money to field candidates in the 2015 election and it plans to do so again in 2020.
However, there’s no doubt that “Men’s Rights Activists” have become more vocal in recent years. One prominent figure, Roosh V, has organised simultaneous meet ups in 43 different countries. And the movement now has powerful voices – some commentators believe the manosphere’s biggest cheerleader is Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
What does everyone else think?
Feminists, unsurprisingly, aren’t impressed with Davies’ comments. Women retorted by posting pictures of themselves on Twitter eating cake, with the hashtag #letthemeatcake including a fellow MP, Diana Johnson. Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary, called Davies’ views “prehistoric”. She has demanded that Theresa May withdraw the Tory whip from Davies and suspend him as a party member.
Enjoying cake & eating it too! #letthemeatcake #feministzealot @PhilipDaviesMP pic.twitter.com/E5hsIOh9RL
— Diana Johnson (@DianaJohnsonMP) August 12, 2016