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IN July, the 20th anniversary of the Hawke government's Sex Discrimination Act went uncelebrated, except in the Age group of newspapers, which reminisced that among opponents were National Party Senator Ron Boswell and me. 

The 1984 Act, based on the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women ignores sex differences and envisages an androgynous view of society. 

Equal opportunity for women and equal pay are just, but the Act encapsulates discrimination against men in employment and promotion euphemistically termed affirmative action. 

This gross injustice, not only to men, but to the wives and children they support, has caused wives whose husbands lost employment or promotion, to be economically coerced into work when they'd rather be raising children. 

Women's "right" to work has become compulsion to work. 

Educational disadvantage has been inflicted on boys by feminist teacher unions who claim we live in an oppressive "Patriarchal" society. 

The booklet, If I Was a Lady, distributed to all secondary students at taxpayer expense, depicts a large male foot crushing a woman. 

Such propaganda is enormously damaging to schoolboy morale. 

The myth of female disadvantage is promoted even though for decades girls have had a higher success rate in matriculation exams , and women outnumber men at universities. 

Boys have fallen so far behind that the Coalition government instigated a special inquiry into the education of boys. 

The 2002 report, Boys Getting it Right, recommended special programs for boys, but it may take decades to undo the damage. 

Opposition Leader Mark Latham, while pontificating about the need for male role models, opposed a government exemption from the Act for policies to increase the numbers of male teachers in schools. 

Boys who fail at school are unlikely to have successful careers. 

Australian Family Associa­tion's recently commissioned report, Men + Women Apart: Partnering in Australia, by Bob Birrell, Virginia Rapsom and Clare Hourigan from the Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, has identified a growing underclass of what it calls "single low income males" (or SLIMS). 

These men are under severe financial pressure in what are the prime years for work and family formation. As a result, their marriage rates are rapidly falling, about 30 per cent may never marry, and divorce rates are up. 

The increase in divorce—mostly initiated by wives and with fathers losing custody and access to their children—is directly fuelled by affirmative action policies which increase women's incomes to the detriment of men's. 

US sociologist Stacy Rogers, investigating the economic determinants of divorce, concluded that "increases in husbands' income were associated with lower odds of divorce", while "each $1,000 increase in wives' actual income, increases the annual odds of divorce". 

"The data indicates the risk of divorce is highest when wives' incomes are similar to their husbands." 

The most serious threat to men is the marginalisation of their biological role. As a direct consequence of the Sex Discrimination Act, IVF and assisted reproductive technology is now provided to single/ lesbian women.  

British feminist Suzi Leather proclaims that "the view that a child needs a father is a social anachronism". 

This view also permeates the recent discussion papers issued by the Victorian Law Reform Commission, whose ambit appears to be the provision of children to single and lesbian women. 

EVEN male sperm may not be required in future as reproductive scientists have succeeded in fusing two mice ova, and after about 300 attempts, produced a viable mouse—female, of course. Mice today, humans tomorrow. 

Men who vote for Labor or their Green partners do so at their peril. 

Short‑sighted politicians who have given feminists all these "rights" maybe presiding over the extinction of men but we will miss the good guys.




BABETTE FRANCIS is co-ordinator of the Endeavour Forum, a counter- feminist, anti-abortion group



Member Organisation, World Council for Life and Family

NGO in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the UN