I frequently run across right wing Europeans, and now some Americans, too, arguing that uncontrolled immigration, especially from Muslim countries, should be opposed because of “misogyny,” among other things. While I’d argue that the so-called misogyny (really just traditional Muslim gender roles) being transported to Western countries by various immigrants is a pretty trifling problem, and must not be having much effect given the behavior of native women in places like the UK, there are indeed problems caused by uncontrolled immigration, and these problems disproportionately affect men. The most important by a longshot is the depression of wages through flooding the labor market with people who need jobs. Seeing women wearing the niqab in one’s neighborhood may bother some Western women, but really, that’s nothing compared to being out of work and unable to find a job that pays a living wage.
What makes the situation even more unbalanced is that most of these traditional immigrant women don’t work, so they are not competing with working native women, although they are indirectly competing with married ones (the few that remain) through their husbands.
Sometimes, I think politicians on the right are pretty foolish, because the native women they are courting are well aware that the oddly-dressed foreign women are little to no competition (as opposed to foreign brides), so these kinds of white knighting appeals are unlikely to change many votes. In reality, feminists see most immigrants as their allies in extorting more entitlements from those stingy old native men. If you wanted to court the native female vote by using immigration reform, you’d have to tell them that controlling immigration will help preserve their social welfare funds as they are running out, but no politician will dare broach the issue of women’s entitlements these days.
On the other hand, feminist politicians have made great strides by restricting spousal immigration in the name of “protecting women and children,” when the real purpose is obviously to reduce native women’s competition.
So what about men’s interests? Can immigration reform be implemented in a way that benefits men? Absolutely. Take illegal labor, for example. Governments could easily make a huge dent in illegal hiring by pursuing rogue employers with as much gusto as they go after men for child support, and this would make it much easier for working-class – and now even middle-class – men to find jobs and make enough money to support themselves. They could also put some teeth into the requirements that companies hire natives first, and stop subsidizing their profits by allowing them to import so much cheap labor.
Furthermore, the process of spousal immigration could be fast-tracked, as it is mainly men who marry non-citizens. Under the current system, it’s often easier for a corporation, which has plenty of legal and financial resources, to sponsor an immigrant than it is for a spouse. From the average man’s perspective, that’s backward: we end up with fewer options and more competition in both work and marriage.
Men’s interests are as legitimate as anyone else’s, and their votes still count for just as much. I have yet to hear politicians on either side advocating immigration reform that would benefit native men.