I'm a very low-level volunteer in a professional organisation which has an overwhelmingly male membership, probably to an extent that, I agree, we should do something about. It recently came up in discussion with another member, in the context of positive discrimination which I felt we should only do once we had some information to work with.

My position on this, for clarity, is strictly equality of opportunity. I've discussed my views with many people, men and women, before, and never had a negative reaction until... this.

Here's what I said:

The idea that [job] should have fifty per cent each men and women relies on the assumption that we all, on average, have identical goals. There's lots of research showing that the psychology (on average) of each group is not the same, so even in a completely just society we might not expect men and women to go after the same sort of work at the same rate.

I'm talking about averages, not individuals... none of this says anything about you, your goals, or your work (or mine, or anyone else's).

I then went on to suggest some research we could do to better understand the problem and define a reasonable solution.

Here's a choice selection from the response:

Your ‘research’ proposal would not account for any kind of historical or current discrimination. You simply are incapable of listening to women right in front of you. We don’t need to do any research as we have all lived with the reality of this discrimination every time we go to work. Every woman has watched a less experienced younger man be promoted over her to a more senior position... to have you in our meetings stating that you feel discriminated against because you are not able to access [minority-only events] highlights your sense of entitlement and white privilege

Possibly I'm the baddie here, but I'm fairly sure I'm not the only baddie, and I'll take any comments on board.