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Under the headline “Equality Office discriminates against boys”, the Swiss regional newspaper Basler Zeitung published an article that would have been unthinkable ten years ago. It could almost have been on a human rights website for men. The issue is government sexism in the canton (state) of Basel-Stadt, which had a “Future Day” look at the parliament and the work of politicians, where only girls were allowed.
In fact, the “Equality of Women and Men” section of the Cantonal “Girl’s Parliament” has made an offer for the Future Day that leaves boys out. Politics is “still a male-dominated area of life,” said Leila Straumann, head of the Gender Equality Department, explaining the unequal treatment of girls and boys. In the National Council, the proportion of the female sex is now at 42 percent, but in the Basel Cantonal Parliament it was declining, according to Straumann.
The Equality Department also made a gender-specific offer to boys for this Future Day: they were invited to a “Journey to Themselves” in order to act as “men’s researchers” and reflect on their “ideas of masculinity” through personal encounters. So while the girls took over political power, the boys had to question their masculinity.
The October national elections went down in history as “women’s elections”. 27 men, but only four women, were voted out. Especially many women now have it in the parties of the SP (64 percent) and the Greens (61 percent). Now self-appointed watchdogs are causing trouble for the Social Democrats to justify their masculinity. “I can not run as a woman,” said the Bern State Council Hans Stöckli (not yet re-elected). “In the current political climate, it is (…) a clear disadvantage to be a man,” said the Solothurn National Council Philipp Hadorn (voted out). And for the successor of the outgoing SP President Christian Levrat apparently only women come into question: men at most acted as supporters on the side of women.
Now one party is free to devote itself entirely to the advancement of women and to discriminate against men accordingly, if it has appropriate political goals. (…) But it is quite another matter if a government agency does its promotion of women so much that it makes girls attractive offers, but excludes boys from it.Alex Reichmuth, Basler Zeitung
The Department of Gender Equality announced the girls’ parliament and the masculinity attack under the heading of “In Basel, gender stereotypes are broken up”. What they are actually doing is creating new stereotypes, with one sex on the bottom of the pile.
We thank Arne Hoffman of Genderama for this news in German.