The Independent London Newspaper
1st November 2014

Letters

Court rejects student Tom Martin’s claim of anti-male bias at London School of Economics

    Tom Martin

    Published: 15 March, 2012
    by JOSH LOEB

    A FORMER gender studies student at the London School of Economics (LSE) who had hoped to sue the institution for alleged sexism has had his case struck out.

    Tom Martin, 39, who lives in Covent Garden, claimed he suffered “anti-male discrimination” while studying for a master’s degree in gender, media and culture at the world-famous university in Holborn.

    Representing himself at his application for a trial at the Central London County Court on Tuesday, Mr Martin complained of a lack of men-only sessions in the university’s gym and the preponderance of posters in the corridors advertis­ing services for women without the presence of similar materials geared towards men.

    Mr Martin, who describes himself as a feminist, said “hard” chairs in the library were uncomfortable for men and that a “male blaming culture” was evident in course materials, which “ignored men’s issues” and focused on wrongs done by them.

    Mr Martin told the court: “To perpetuate these stories about men being worse than they actually are when these gender experts are in receipt of the true state of affairs is discriminating. The effect of the negative stereotyping is stupefying.”

    However, barrister Nick Armstrong, for the LSE, successfully argued that there were no grounds for moving to what would have been likely to be a long trial.

    He said Mr Martin’s claim lacked legal coherence, adding that the bar claimants in discrimination cases had to cross to be successful had been set “fairly high” because of the subjective aspects of these cases.

    He said Mr Martin would have had to prove that he experienced a “bullying-type scenario” at the LSE, adding: “Whatever Mr Martin says about all this, no objectively reasonable person would feel degraded or humiliated by posters on the wall or course content.”

    District Judge John Taylor said: “What Mr Armstrong would have me say, and I use his words, is that this is a hopeless claim. This claim has in my opinion no chance of success at all.”

    He said the court was not a forum for a wider discussion about the role of men in society but could only deal with the specifics of Mr Martin’s allegations that he personally was discriminated against.

    The judge added that he agreed with Mr Armstrong’s argument that Mr Martin’s claim was too weak to have a reasonable chance of success in any trial.

    An earlier application by Mr Martin for an adjournment was rejected, and permission to appeal was refused.

    Mr Martin was ordered to pay the LSE’s legal costs subject to a financial assessment.

    Comments

    No surprise about the anti-feminist backlash

    Isn't it interesting how this forum has been colonised by anti-feminist men whining about their rights. Pathetic and embarrassing. Crawl back under your rocks boys you are embarrassing yourselves and your gender. I noted the stuff about men as victims of suicide and violence - perpetrated by whom? Oh I wonder. Who perpetrates all that violence. The comments on here for me just highlight how much some men will seek to cling to power. Don't use we....I am embarrassed to share to your gender. Martin seems like a self publicist to me. No, no he's right anti-male sexism is a real social problem. Yeah right. Do me a favour. So ignorant.

    Feminists addicted to hate can't stand talk of men's pain.

    What's truly pathetic is a social justice advocate who regards treating the other sex as a true equal as an offense to their sensibilities. The gender of a perpetrator does not make a victim more or less of a victim. It's sexist stupidity that undermines the feminists argument that they are in favor of equality. The arguments of "male privilege" are the last recourse of women trying to protect their own special victim privilege while victimizing men through their open hostility. Men have no reason to support an ideology that hates their gender. Misandry is a major problem today because of feminists activists and it's being advanced to attack the men challenging their hatred of one sex. Maybe the gender bashers can do us all a favour and shut up while the adults look to the cause of equality.

    WAGE GAP AND OTHER THINGS YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND

    There's a need for some major myth busting here. The wage gap is quantified by people within the same field or job. The gap between a female manager and a male one, for example, is about £10,000 per annum. See reference here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14721839 The
    Internationally the average wage gap within the same field of work in 2008 (if women are paid for there work at all) was 17%. Please see the UN website: http://www.unifem.org/gender_issues/women_poverty_economics/
    What was referred to above re women dropping out of work to have a family also excludes facts that single parent are massively discriminated in work, both men and women, however 92% of single parents in the UK are women. Average age of 38. (Please see http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/family-demography/families-and-households/...) Single parents in the UK pay higher tax. Once their children are 12 or over, single parents’ employment rate is similar to, or higher than employment rate for mothers in couples yet they are twice as likely to live in poverty.
    Women are at a higher risk of poverty and hunger internationally due to gender discrimination in education. (See UN study)
    Moving onto issues of violence against women on average two women a week in England and Wales are killed by a violent partner or ex-partner. Please see Home Office Statistical Bulletin No. 02/05. Home Office. London; Department of Health. In the UK 45% of women have experienced some form of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Please see British Crime Survey. Home Office. and take into account that this only includes reported cases. The actual percentage is likely much higher. Domestic violence is estimated to cost victims, services and the state a total of around £23 billion a year.
    The notion that feminism is a minority of discriminatory, hateful, delusional women and weak willed masochistic males is plainly ill informed. The aggression with which the miss-information is carried becomes offensive and wilfully ignorant to the point of being spiteful.
    Whatever the failings of feminism, violence and discrimination based on gender is still patently a major issue both nationally and internationally. For the happiness and health of all this need to be addressed.

    - "Violence against women continues to persist as one of the most heinous, systematic and prevalent human rights abuses in the world. It is a threat to all women, and an obstacle to all our efforts for development, peace, and gender equality in all societies." Ban Ki moon, United Nations Secretary General, 2007.

    Myth Busting

    I agree, there needs to be some major mythbusting.

    The wage gap only holds true if hours worked, field of work and holidays taken aren't accounted for. When these factors are brought into account the wage gap dwindles to statistical irrelevancy and often favours women.

    You list some (questionable) stats about other women's issues, but you're completely ignoring the many, many areas where men fare worse such as suicide, violent assault, murder, homelessness etc. etc.

    ""Violence against women

    ""Violence against women continues to persist as one of the most heinous, systematic and prevalent human rights abuses in the world."

    And all the while violence against men continues to be ignored and marginalised.

    Sorry, but your myth busting is more like myth perpetuating.

    there's a difference between

    there's a difference between a specific law being broken, and Tom Martin wanting to deliver and informal lecture from a podium, to a judge.

    Lawbreaking

    You're possibly right, that in the case of LSE no laws were broken, but that is largely because the EHRC, the Equalities Act 2012 and the EOC largely promote positive discrimination as a valid means to achieve equality. But perhaps that is the challenge that needs to be made, that large sections of the EHRC are downright discriminatory, they simply discriminate against people widely perceived to be privileged. A good way to get that recognition would be to win a court case and have a judge's decision in your favour. But good luck finding a judge that would make such a ruling.

    Men had better start taking care of themselves!

    Men, and many consenting women, thanks for sticking together on this issue. I am right, if it were a woman who took a school to court for not treating women the same as men, the women would have all climbed aboard and wailed against such behavior. All that us men want is for the gender studies to stop bashing men with slurs, hatred, insults, lies, and bigotry. If women truly want equality, THEN IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THEY START SETTING THE EXAMPLE THAT WHICH THEY WANT MEN TO FOLLOW. Else, equality and the "status" of women, while "law" on paper, policy etc, in reality, will never come to pass. It is a matter of commonsense!

    Women need to set the example on more than just this issue. This is true for DV abuse coming from women, special preferential treatment for women on just about EVERYTHING, and that of getting to do to men what would be unthinkable if done from men to women.

    Men, the time is drawing near for us to unite, organize, and fight back! Soon, the boys will be asking, "What did you do daddy (and other men) to help stop hatred against men? What did you do to help us?"

    Will your head be hung in shame?

    Men must resisit the femi-socialist takeover no matter what it cost us men---no matter what!

    It is not more manly to be a coward, defending women, when you know darned well feminists are NOT right all the time. Men are not required to agree with feminists to prove they love women. Men who want things to be stable are not filled with hatred no more than the men of yesteryear hated women before things got hijacked by selfish feminists---which started the breakdown of the family. Now look at where we are!

    The proof is all around us!

    Hardly a Surprise.

    I'm not surprised by the outcome, but I hope this case is the first of many challenging the bizarre double standards present in our current third level education programs. Though I haven't seen the transcripts, from other sources it appears that Tom Martin was absolutely justified in his claims against LSE, but unfortunately, being correct is no match for being a well funded and renowned institution in a legal setting. The pitfall I suppose, was representing himself when he wasn't even a student of law. Hopefully his case will win in the court of appeals.

    Best of luck Tom.

    All he wanted was fairness...why is that so bad?

    How did this discussion become for "equal status of women?" The point of Mr. Martin was to show that TRUE gender studies will treat all students as valid, equal participants without biased professors, meanness toward a specific gender, or refusal to be honest and fair. It is a well-known fact that gender studies is anti-male (no documentation required because reality stand in just fine). Whether or not some men "have a problem" with it is irrelevant to the discussion that was supposed to ensue.

    Too, hurling personal insults at those who have a right to disagree by calling them "unmanly", "fragile masculinity" and other things, that if done to women would be called out-of-bounds, is fairly indicative of the type of women that the feminists movement is encouraging. Women who do this are making the case for antifeminists. Special treatment for women, that expects men to pretend they do not see it at all, proves women don't get it.

    Hard chairs was the least of the concerns Mr. Martin was addressing. Probably, the issue was used by anti-male people to bring giggles and laughter at MR. Martin's other legitimate complaints.

    Plus, in fact, there is no need to have citations for each and every legal case fought on behalf of women. The point made above was that women rallied behind any female complainer in court that sought justice... which made the issues at hand more than just discrimination of a person per se.

    As for the comment about "when are men going to have cohesion and start to fight back against [hate-filled anti-male feminism]?" Men ARE starting to organize now. It took a long time because it is against our nature to go against women, and perhaps they wanted to give women some rope to argue their case. But now they see that feminism turned out to be exploitative of males' love of women. Feminism is a front for female superiority laced with severe male hatred ---all because nature was rightfully objective in determining opposite roles and commonsense for the genders, to help most people about most things, most of the time.

    That last comment will probably start a backlash of feminist resentment aimed at men however because feminists despise the truth. It is their number one enemy!

    So what are feminists going to do now? Take away men's right to disagree with some of what feminists say...that only feminists know the truth for all people, everywhere, about everything? Men do not have to agree with feminists in order to prove they love women.

    MGTOW.

    ...and some of us men are smart enough to not want women who are filled with so much hatred, envy, and obliviousness. It doesn't have to be this way, you know? We should work together to achieve a truly balanced plan.

    Most men are for TRUE, straight-up, nothing-but, 50/50 equality, but for some reason that scares the heck out of some women and apparently all feminists. Wonder why?

    Now can we get back on track here... you know, about why the court wouldn't even hear his case? If the court wouldn't even hear "her" case, it would cause an uproar! THAT was my point and the entire point---which is what is "inarguable".

    Hate movement

    Feminism is now pretty much a hate movement, I really don't know how they get away with it.

    you're really digging your

    you're really digging your own grave there mate

    Feminism is not anti-male,

    Feminism is not anti-male, it's anti-patriarchy.

    It is unarguable that there has been oppression of women historically, and considering the wage gap, the beauty myth and the commodification of sex, I would say that oppression is very much still prevalent today.

    Gender stereotypes are harmful to both men and women. Feminism is not an enemy of men, it is a discussion of gender.

    ISM

    Racism
    Sexism
    Ageism
    Feminism

    The LSE did not have a Feminism department.

    It had a gender studies department.

    Yes they did

    Which openly defined "gender studies" as "examining the role of women in society" when questioned. So yeah, the feminism department.

    Unargueable?

    You must surely see that there is an argument that historically men did not oppress women. Nature made women and men complementary - that is one reason why the human race has been so successful - I for one believe that women in the past were indeed men's equal in their relationship.
    Not to deviate - you cannot say that there is NO argument.

    myths

    "It is unarguable that there has been oppression of women historically"

    And? Men were oppressed just the same back in the day. In the US men only go the vote a few decades before women did. Before that time the only people who could vote were those who owned property, which did include women on occasion. Most men and women were dirt poor so they were excluded. Then men got the vote and a while later so did women. For some reason this little fact of history is lost on gender studies majors.

    "and considering the wage gap"

    The wage gap, as presented by many feminists, is a complete and utter myth. What little gap does exists is directly attributed to women's choices, namely dropping out of the workforce for several years to raise children, gravitating towards lower paying fields, and simply not working as many hours annually as men do.

    Some men were told "you

    Some men were told "you cannot vote because you are poor". All women were told "you cannot vote because you're a woman" see the difference?

    Most men where told you can not vote

    I just want to correct you on this only about 10% of the population was allowed to vote. Only white men who owned land could vote. So a little less than 20% of men could vote (given that women make up a greater percent of the population). The mistake commonly made here is to assume that because a few men had the power to vote all or most did. The truth is most men 80% where just as discriminated against as women though most of the history of the U.S.

    I cannot believe you didn't know this. Some one should really start to question what gender studies programs are teaching. Maybe if someone could try to point out this kind of misconception normal presented in schools and universities to make them less one sided and present all the facts...........oh right!

    This was equally true in the UK

    Voting was the privilege of a small number of property-owning men in the UK too. Gradually this number increased but it remained the fact that the great majority of men could not vote. Upper class women got the vote before all men did. And there was just 13 years between all men getting the vote and all women getting equal voting rights.

    So while sexism was an important factor, class was a bigger obstacle to suffrage.

    There's every reason to be proud of the UK's suffragettes. But the history of suffrage and its relation to gender politics has been wildly distorted in common perception.

    Break it down

    I think what the person above was trying to point out is that you are describing an issue of class/wealth discrimination... not gender discrimination. They were discriminated against because of their material wealth, not there gender. Are you starting to cotton on? There is gender discrimination and there is class discrimination. Gender-class... gender-class. Different subjects. One is about gender, the other is about class. All require profound and deep scrutiny. Bit like asking why a GP doesn't offer dentistry, both extremely important to your health, both very important to tend to, but different subjects.

    Voting rights are irrelevant

    And while a few, high ranking individuals, were not discriminated against their gender in terms of voting, they were discriminated against in virtually every other are a required to earn that vote.

    If women were so universally oppressed then why were the Titanic's lifeboat's full of wealthy, caucasian women? The right to vote pales compared to the right to life.

    Feminism is hate!

    When feminists define patriarchy as to mean "Male Self Agency": My ability to choose, then feminism is and has been continually proven to be a bigoted hate movement. Don't kid yourself. Your a bigot and your carrying water for a bigoted hate movement.

    Feminism is a discussion about gender: A discussion of how to leave the male gender bloodied and broken on the ground!

    Um...no.

    "If the situation were reversed, with everything exactly identical that which Mr. Martin experienced, women would have won"

    If a woman complained that hard chairs in the library were part of anti-woman conspiracy, she'd be laughed out of court too

    If a woman made Tom Martin's

    If a woman made Tom Martin's complaints the focus would not have been on an aside like the hardness of the library chairs. It would have been where it belonged on the sexism of the course materials.

    Your privilege is showing

    And newspapers accross the land would have ignored her many valid points in favour of one tongue in cheek one taken out of context? Not really, no.

    The fact that a court found that completely ignoring issues relevant to his gender is ok provided that male issues aren't taught to women either is absolutely shocking.

    oh good god anon

    if your masculinity is so fragile that women having equal status as men pains you so much, then there's not a person in the world that can help you.

    By the way, that 'yesteryear' you speak of? You might perceive it as being so wonderful precisely because women were baby-machines, chained to the kitchen sink. denied a voice and an opinion and patted on their sweet little heads whenever they dissented. Times have changed. You're not in charge anymore.

    Is your femininity so fragile

    Is your femininity so fragile that a man having equal status to you is painful?

    The "yesteryear" which you claims privileged men so much was a world which objectified them in terms of their wealth and their willingness to die. Men were, and are, the combined human shields and workhorses for the "baby factories."

    as per usual

    Straight away you go for the old feminist technique of attacking us as men - accusing the poster of having a fragile masculinity. There is no better example of the glass floor that men face where we are not allowed to express our emotions or feelings towards the social exclusion and female privilege created by feminism.

    The yesteryear you speak of? Where men were denied the vote as much as women and the rich spat on the poor? I think you believe that during this time men were not oppressed along with women. I think you would prefer to believe men lived fulfilled lives working in factories and down coal mines trying to scrape together mere pennies for their families because it fits a feminist agenda that's simply not true.

    Times may have changed, men might not be in charge any more, but woe betide you when the pendulum swings back oh soror of mine...

    Agree with the above

    So they wouldn't even allow the case to be heard?

    It doesn't appear Mr Martin personally is being discriminated against, more like every single heterosexual male, something even worse. LSE have essentially already admitted the false advertising charge in past writings by staff there, so at the very, very least, even if it's not possible to prove that sexism then they surely should be found guilty of a serious breach of contract?

    Sad day for Tom Martin, but if the situation were reversed...

    If the situation were reversed, with everything exactly identical that which Mr. Martin experienced, women would have won. Not just having to prove that a woman was personally discriminated against in order to continue the suit, but the entire thing would have been a rally cry on behalf of all women and their supposed oppression.

    Why am I not surprised!

    If the feminists of the 60's, 70's, and 80's, with their litigious attitudes toward basically everything, experienced such an equally humiliating shut-out by biased courts, we would have never heard the end of it!

    Women are not right all the time. Feminists are winning because men are apathetic to legitimate causes of their own gender, leaving the battlefield largely to women/feminists alone.

    Things will only get worse unless men learn to stand up for themselves and for their own gender---no matter what it cost them with women and kids. Today real men will do whatever it takes to be successful--- or else be erased from view not only in the eyes of the courts, but in all of society it seems.

    Men, as fathers and other mentors, need to teach boys that achieving manhood is not as limited as it was in yesteryear when everything was stable. This may be men's only resort to stopping a beast so large, so mean, so selfish, so oblivious, so vengeful, so entrenched, soooo helped, so wrong...

    What other choice do men have but to be MGTOW.

    I feel for Mr. Martin, but men, do not let this discourage you. Continue to fight and eventually you will prevail.

    I assume you have detailed

    I assume you have detailed citations to prove that every time a woman has brought any form of sexual discrimination or harassment suit, they always win the case.

    Whining about hard chairs is

    Whining about hard chairs is so manly. Whining that there's icky girls in the gym is incredibly manly.

    Go ahead and go your own way. Women don't need men like you, and that's what terrifies you.

    Your privilege is showing again

    The fact that you can isolate a minor concern and call it "whining" is your privilege as a woman. Why not just tell him to "man up" or "be a man?"

    Hahaha

    Forget about supporting discriminated men of color -cause fighting racism isn't what MRA's are about (because it's up of White,anti-child-support,anti-abortion (irony),privileged men). Or raising awareness about testicular cancer. oh no. The chairs were not comfy. They are no different from the bigots who cry "reverse-racism", and the Southern Poverty Law Center agrees-it's a hate group made of privileged babies partaking in armchair activism to spite women's liberation. What rights do they already not have anyway? Sounds like they just want to keep their privileges.

    MRAs are equivalent to the KKK, and in fact MRA is the KKK's brother, since it's goals are to hate and oppress women, this includes women of color, too.

    Don't you dare define our masculinity

    Don't you dare try to define a man's masculinity by the extent to which he serves your gender's selfish needs.

    I wasn't present at the case, but I imagine the complaint against giving harder, more uncomfortable chairs for men was cherry picked out of a long list of valid discriminations.

    Feminists in Sweden complain about toilet seats being left up and fight for the right to show their hairy armpits in public. Men have to put up with constant demonisation and real discrimination from the cradle to our (early) grave, and we're just unmanly whiners when a handful of us have the balls to stand up for ourselves!

    Agree

    What is it with men? Why weren't they backing Mr. Martin? Why are they so apathetic when it comes to their own rights? When are they actually going to do something about the gender discrimination they face?

    As a mother of sons, I absolutely despair at the ongoing war against men that the feminists are so successfully encouraging.

    The feminists have a strong voice because they have a cohesive unit and they get things done. Isn't it time men did the same?

    It's their DNA

    Men by their nature are competitive - against other men. Women are the opposite, they bind into supportive groups - nature made it this way. Sad fact of life, and that is why men have been so slow to come together, but it will happen and it will happen AIDED by good women - that is the majority of women - women who simply want a normal relationship with a normal man.

    Blowback

    I think feminism will backfire. There will be blowback like the women of Russia are experiencing with their men. Russian women seriously traded out their men under communism.

    I think that if the west doesn't devolve completely into a mad mess that gets eaten up by another culture (far Eastern, or Islam), that it may adopt Sharia-lite and really put women into a lesser legal position for a long time.

    I suspect similar gynosupremacist events have happened in societies that repress women like the Wahabi-ists.

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