A favourite tactic among feminists is the statistic that isn’t wrong or made up but is so lacking in context that it is difficult or impossible to interpret. The lasting impression is given is through the exclusion of data concerning males. By the sin of omission, these distorted statistics give the impression that all is well with men and it is exclusively women who suffer. I place this problem into three categories which I call, women and children, women and girls and agenda driven shesearch.
Women and Children
A favourite strategy of aid agencies when reporting international emergencies is to only quote the figures for women and children even though you might just as easily cite figures for men and children. Men are not counted and boys and girls are lumped together. Take, for example, a report on the recent catastrophic flooding in Pakistan (here) that contains the following quote.
“between 14 June and 28 September more than 1,600 people were killed and over 12,800 people were injured as a result of the heavy rains and floods, including 333 women and 615 children killed and 3,452 women and 4,006 children injured.”
Let’s start with deaths and injuries. If you do the simple maths, 652 men and 333 women died in the floods ie nearly twice as many men perished. Similarly, with numbers injured – 5,342 men were reported injured compared to 3,452 women. However, aid agencies can not bring themselves to present the statistics in those terms.
Men are simply erased from the narrative and ‘liberal’ newspapers continue to repeat the myth that it is women who are on the ‘front line’ of the climate emergency. This could only be true if, on average, men and boys lived at higher altitudes than their female family members.
For another example of this approach see the blogpost COP26 and Dodgy Feminist Statistics of November 2021. According to press releases, 80% of people displaced by climate change were women and children. The Guardian argued, based on this figure, that the voice of women should be central in debates about climate change. So what was the figure based on? Nothing more than a five-member family of husband, wife and three children. If that family unit is displaced 80% would be women and children. You could also say 80% of displaced people would be men and children, but of course, they would never say that.
It goes on. In October 2022 The New York Times reported that the bodies of 534 civilians had been discovered in Ukraine including 226 women and 19 children. They neglected to mention that makes the majority of victims were male 534-(226+19) = 289 men. Would the NYT have written – including 289 men and 19 children? Of course not.
Women and Girls Only
This is a more extreme variant of the distortion described above. Here, both men and boys are not counted, rather than erasing men and lumping boys and girls together.
Meghan Markle and the missing 49 Million men. Megan knows how to speak fluent feminist cliché and in May 2021 she claimed that 47 million women would be tipped into poverty by the COVID pandemic. However, a close reading of the original data source from UN Women (now taken down) revealed that it was also estimated that 49 million men would be tipped into poverty. In short, the best estimates at that time suggested that the impact of the pandemic would be about the same for men and women, but that message would not interest Saint Meghan.
Layla Moran and the education of girls. in 2021 UK member of parliament responding to cuts in Britain’s overseas aid budget claimed that the Prime Minister had authorised a cut of £300 million to girl’s education (see here). There was no evidence at all that this £300 million cut would selectively affect girls. As usual, the aim, by failing to mention boys, was to leave the impression that all was well with their education. Nothing could be further from the truth. The pattern is that in less developed countries both boys and girls receive less education and in highly developed countries girls receive more.
Agenda Driven Feminist ‘Shesearch’
This is a common tactic. The statistics quoted are ostensibly true but the study is designed to give a certain result. For example, this recent report that appeared in the BBC health section on 28th September –here.
For the study, only women were interviewed and even then by an activist organisation. Neither was it a random sample instead it was a self-selected group of women with grievances. The aim was, through the exclusion of men, to give the impression that women were selectively not listened to. This flawed article builds on the recent rigged NHS consultation exercise that only looked at the experience of women.