A documentary by Iain McGuinness

Tag: human rights

Documentary contributors search

I’m looking for documentary contributors from across the nations of the UK to feature in The Problems About Men, a film about men’s inequality, exploring issues such as misandry, and violence against people, particularly domestic abuse against men and boys.

Contributors can get in touch with me by filling in this form.

The film will be shown on Amazon Prime Video and other online platforms in 2024. Some initial filming is being carried out at the moment, with additional blocks scheduled for later in the year. A podcast is also planned.

I feel making the film is necessary, due to the facts that men account for the majority of suicides, workplace deaths, homeless living on the street, and the prison population, amongst a host of other factors. For example, boys are doing less well in schools, and fewer men are going to university.

Men and boys are more likely to be the victims of violence. Most likely by another male. But that doesn’t mean we ignore those victims, and instead have governments and the authorities focus all efforts on stopping violence against women and girls (whilst a noble cause), whom are less likely to be harmed; they are, however, more likely to fear attack.

Men are more likely to receive harsher sentences than women for crimes committed. They’re treated less favourably than women in the family courts.

Men are about one third of domestic abuse victims, but there’s little help available for them, miniscule funding for organisations, and hardly any shelters. Police and the courts continue to help men less. Male victims just aren’t taken as seriously.

Firstly, I’ll be visiting London, Cardiff and Belfast to film. There’ll also be filming across Scotland, including Edinburgh and Glasgow, although that’s more open-ended in terms of dates, since I’m based in Scotland.

The topics I’m looking to discuss with documentary contributors include:

  • Criminal justice
  • Domestic abuse
  • False accusations
  • Family courts
  • Health
  • Homelessness
  • Parental alienation
  • Sexual abuse
  • Suicide

I’m also very keen to hear from any academics, professionals or organisations who work with men or boys, particularly in domestic abuse, mental health and homelessness, and from families who have experienced the death of a loved one.

Documentary contributors don’t necessarily have to appear on camera, and identities can be protected if the contributor requires this.

All contact will be treated in the strictest of confidence, with sensitivity, and everyone will be given the utmost respect and consideration. A chat via telephone or email would take place before meeting, to hear people’s stories, and to answer any questions of me.

Reasonable travel expenses and subsistence will be paid.

Contributors can get in touch with me by filling in this form, emailing hello@theproblemsaboutmen.co.uk, or writing to:

Creative Zealots Group Limited
272 Bath Street
G2 4JR

We’re in production and filming!

After a lengthy period of pre-production, filming of The Problems About Men has begun in Glasgow.

The film now has a page on IMDb here.

I’ve been working with my camera operator, Stewart, who is also a journalist. What have we filmed so far?

Well, mainly shooting a lot of ‘B-roll.’ For those of you not familiar with film jargon, B-roll is “supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot.” So, if we have an interview with a man talking about, say, having been arrested on a false allegation, we might show B-roll of a police vehicle.

On the first day, we had a Karen moment while filming inside Glasgow Central train station. We were filming general views, when a middle-aged woman walked up to us, and demanded that the shot including her wasn’t used. Out of respect, I conceded, but Karen wanted an argument.

She proceeded to lecture us that we can’t film folk without their permission. I corrected her, stating that we had permission from Network Rail to be there shooting, and also that there’s no expectation of privacy in a public place. That wasn’t enough for Karen, and she said that we needed explicit permission of everyone walking through our shot.

Sure, I’ll just go and ask hundreds of people, individually, if I have their permission. In the end, I simply told her that I didn’t have time to argue with her. She wanted an argument. Stewart told her that if she continued to harass us, we’d speak to the British Transport Police. She walked away in a huff towards the Station Manager’s office. We never heard anymore about it!

Glasgow Sheriff Court
📷 Iain McGuinness

We also filmed outside Glasgow Sheriff Court and the High Court of Justiciary. Court staff and police were friendly enough.

Glasgow High Court of Justiciary
📷 Iain McGuinness

When we were filming outside Stewart Street police station, we were interrogated by three police officers who came out, asking what the purpose of our filming was. I gave them my press ID. I didn’t have to, but I consider it professional good practice to identify yourself. They eventually left us alone, and we went on to film the fire station in Cowcaddens. We captured a nee-naw coming out on blue lights.

We ended the day interviewing a young man at a Ukraine demonstration on George Square. He spoke about his escape from Kyiv to Glasgow as a 17-year-old. He (rightly) corrected me about needing the war not being ended, but being won by Ukraine. He believed that the conscription of men aged 18-60 was the right decision. Conflicting views will be included in the film.

He was just short of his 18th birthday, when his family travelled to the UK. He was very lucky, in my opinion.

On the second day, which was International Women’s Day, we captured more B-roll, footage of a feminist march, and got a couple more interviews.

The journey begins…

The Problems About Men will be a feature-length documentary about men’s inequality in Scotland and the UK, exploring issues such as misandry, and violence against people, particularly domestic abuse against men and boys.

It’ll be directed by award-winning Scottish film-maker, Iain McGuinness, and will be his first such film.”

(production company)

Man and boy; misandry

International Men’s Day;
misogyny v. misandry

International Women’s Day (08 March) is widely celebrated, and rightly so. And I’d never take anything away from women and girls, and the challenges they face.

I have a mother and a sister, both of whom I love dearly and respect, as I do my two nieces, and all the other women in my wider family and circle of friends.

I’m not a female-hater. Far from it.

International Men’s Day, on the other hand, usually passes like a tumbleweed, with little media coverage, lacklustre awareness (even many men and boys don’t know it exists), and a pervasive atmosphere. People seem hesitant to get involved, and many feminists have the retort that every day is a man’s day in the patriarchy.

It all started when, like so many other local authorities, organisations and companies, I saw that my local Council neglected to mark International Men’s Day on 19 November 2021 with any events or an acknowledgment on social media.

But it was about more than this. You see, the Council had also recently promoted a domestic abuse survey on social media that only solicited women’s input.

I don’t personally believe domestic abuse is gendered. Men aren’t always the perpetrators, and women aren’t always the victims. Men greatly under-report.

Previously a victim of female-perpetrated psychological abuse and a separate false allegation (which happily went nowhere), I tried to answer it as a man, and it abruptly ended with a thank you, but no thank you.

In the interests of equality, I complained and also followed up. The Council ignored me. I was starting to get a complex of misandry — the hatred of men and boys — which radical feminists and Government working groups don’t want to admit exists. Indeed, they want to make misogyny a hate crime, but not misandry.

Is that equality?

I then contacted my four local Councillors and MSP (who is also a Councillor until May 2022, and the Convener of the Health & Social Care Partnership, and Spokesperson for Social Work and Health (HSCP)).

Only one Councillor responded, taking my issue to the HSCP.

After some time, I eventually got a response from the HSCP’s Chief Officer, who said that ‘consideration’ would be given to the “promotion of relevant information to highlight International Men’s Day in November 2022.”

Well, it’s a start, I suppose.

There was no explanation for the HSCP’s non-inclusive survey (potentially illegal under the Equality Act 2010).

Women’s History Month

In March of this year, I got an email inviting me to an event featuring eight female scriptwriters to celebrate Women’s History Month.

It got me thinking, why isn’t there a Men’s History Month? Do we need one?

But I wasn’t going to lose sleep over this one. There were bigger fish to catch…

Human rights, inequality and misandry

I decided to fully explore men and boys’ human rights, the inequalities that exist, and, of course, misandry. This is a film about the problems that we face in the United Kingdom today — and what we might be able to do about them.

Men’s rights activist?

I’m a film-maker and (photo)-journalist. I’m not a men’s rights activist. I believe in human rights and equality for all, male, female and non-binary.

This will be a balanced film, one with a narrative of facts, that calls attention to the issues, with contributions and opposing viewpoints from experts, and feminists, too, including radical ones.

If they want to talk, I’ll listen. Everybody will be treated fairly. There’s no hidden agendas, no propaganda, and there’ll be no manipulative editing.

My goal is to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions, and help open a healthier dialogue in our society, one that doesn’t involve female versus male gender wars. In turn, I’m also prepared for my own views to be challenged.

I’ll have overall control over the film’s narrative, message and final cut.

Pre-production begins

Development and pre-production on The Problems About Men has begun, and will be self-funded, produced by Creative Zealots Group Limited (#creativezealots). There will potentially be a crowd-funding campaign later on.

There’s no set release date, yet, but we expect to be working on the documentary at least for the rest of 2022. This blog will chart progress. Please bookmark this site, theproblemsaboutmen.co.uk, and subscribe to #creativezealots on YouTube.

I’ll be discussing some of the issues to be explored in future blog posts.

Thanks for reading!

Iain McGuinness

P.S. Like the sound of what I’m trying to do? Want to support the project?

You can make a one-off or monthly donation by PayPal, or Buy Me A Coffee, or even gift an item from my Amazon wish list.

You can also subscribe on SubscribeStar.

All contributions are truly appreciated, and go directly towards production costs.

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