Within our Young Mensa North group and across society, rich opinions proliferate regarding gender/minority equality, visibility, and accommodations - plus the positive and negative effects these can have on personal expression. We’re thrice-exclusionary as a group, yet always keen to be informed and involve ourselves in current affairs, so Young Mensa North often show our faces at the Guardian's 'Discuss' Manchester debates.
'Men are the Losers Now: Discuss' was a compelling take on gender issues, though our group's male/female balance won at ‘equality’ against the man-free panel whose patriarchy-centric stance on the motion carried rather underdeveloped off-brief implications.
Crammed into a converted pumping station, Manchester’s ‘People’s History Museum’s public conveniences are arranged so that gentlemen must pass the (inevitably busier) ladies’ queue - our remark “some irony here” was duly acknowledged as we prepared to attend the debate [Editor’s note: we know this isn’t really irony].
The speakers’ stances on the motion were fascinating, as was the decision to forgo male perspectives. While off-brief, many of their claims had intriguing implications so it’s unfortunate that these were not always explained or justified in an accessible manner - some sadly-neglected audience questions aside, there wasn’t satisfactory contrast to justify the term ‘debate’.
Minor semantic differences aside, the panel as a whole was stridently progressive - appropriating the event to discuss women's remaining inequalities rather than looking earnestly at scenarios where men could be systematically disadvantaged. It would seem that men are the losers now.