By Sinead Kelly
A NEW movement was launched in Cyprus yesterday to press home the plight of the ‘straight white male’ (SWM), whom, the group said were increasingly becoming marginalised in places like the US and certain parts of northern Europe.
“Make no mistake, this phenomenon will reach Cyprus eventually and we want to be well-established by the time that happens,” said Andros Aspris a spokesman for the organisation, which is calling itself SWM.
Aspris said he was aware that straight white males had been responsible for the vast majority of the world’s ills and atrocities for thousands of years but just because the tide has turned, “which really is a good thing”, he said, it does not mean that eventually things would not go to the other extreme.
“They are already heading that way in some countries,” he said. “In Sweden and the Netherlands, and in the US state of Montana, they tried to impose a ‘bachelor tax’ on single men but luckily the courts shot down that idea,” said Aspris but SWM is worried it might be reintroduced, especially in cash-starved Cyprus where the government is just looking for reasons to impose new taxes.
“Also how is it fair that in America persons of different cultures are allowed to offend straight white males by calling them ‘whitey’ or ‘honky’ and no one bats an eyelid, but if a straight white male does something similar, he could end up in court or losing his job. Why are rap songs allowed to denigrate women and use the ‘B word’ and the ‘N word’ while Santa is no longer allowed to say ‘ho ho ho’ due to its rap connotations? The world is truly upside down”.
Citing global statistics, Aspris said that if one looked at world population figures, it was clear that by 2020, straight white males would account for much less than 10 per cent. “If that’s not a minority…. “ he added.
Aspris said as a start the SWM group, which has around 100 members so far – would campaign with other organisations worldwide such as Men Going Their Own Way for an International Men’s Day, not because they need validation as men, but in the interests of equality, and just to make the point.
“There’s an international day for everything these days, whales, dolphins, diseases you name it. But roughly half the world’s population doesn’t have its own day. Tell me if that’s fair and equal?” he said. He added that the group was considering holding a Straight White Male and Proud parade in Cyprus but said it would probably be seen by some as homophobic or far-rightist. “No matter what you do these days, you’re bound to offend someone,” he said.
Aspris lauded feminism for its role in promoting women’s rights but criticised its modern-day extremist factions within the movement that were comprised simply of men haters. “Many women used feminism, especially in the eighties, to emulate men as a means to equality but in the 21st century it seems to have evolved into the opposite. Women now seem to be trying to make men in their own image and we are told we must be in touch with our feminine side,” he said. “When will the world accept that we are simple creatures with few needs.”
Aspris also criticised the government for the recent appointment of a Commissioner for Gender Equality, an EU requirement. “If anything was wrongly named…. do you really think this is about gender equality? The term ‘gender equality’ as it’s used today almost always relates to some kind of equality for women. Why can’t they just say Commissioner for Women’s Equality and be honest about it. If I feel discriminated against on the grounds of my gender and go to this Commissioner, will I be thrown out and laughed at because I’m a straight white male who couldn’t possibly be discriminated against? Is there really no such thing as a physically or psychologically abused husband?”
“If you ask me the whole gender thing is full of double standards and hypocrisy. When will the world at large just see people as people, black, white, straight, gay, women, men, and accept them for who they are? I think that’s really the point we are trying to make here. We too are part of the global community, not the root cause of all discrimination – despite popular perceptions. Yes there are bad men out there but they come in all colours, and there are also bad women out there, but we’re not allowed to talk about that.”