Gender bias at the Australian Department of Social Services

On the 24 July 2014, I wrote to Mr Finn Pratt, Secretary, Department of Social Services as follows:

“Dear Finn

I came across the following report whilst searching your web site:

http://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/09_2013/literature_review_on_domestic_violence_perpetrators.pdf

On page two of that report it states that:
“Male perpetrators of domestic violence or sexual assault against men and female perpetrators of either offence against men have not been considered in this literature review. It is acknowledged that in practice the great majority of programs will be targeted towards men who commit domestic violence or sexual assault against women.”

Now I am aware that recognised studies of domestic violence tell us that between 1/3 and 1/2 of the victims of physical domestic violence are male. (I can provide links to these studies should you wish).

I find it quite extraordinary therefore that a decision was made to exclude all male victims and most female perpetrators from the report. The stated reason for doing so was disingenuous … I would respectfully suggest that existing programs target only male perpetrators due to the same gender bias that saw male victims excluded from this study … and the same bias that discourages male victims of domestic violence from coming forward.

Are you able to provide me with the following details please?

1. Which section within your Department commissioned the report, and who was responsible for the decision to exclude male victims of domestic violence?

2. Other than the reason mentioned in the report (quoted above), was there any further justification/rationale for making this decision?

3. What was the cost of commissioning this report?

Thank you kindly for your anticipated assistance with this matter”

Addendum: I received some interesting feedback concerning the Dept Social Services consultancy report referred to above from another researcher who made the following observations:

“… their [Urbis’s] definition of domestic violence is (emphasis mine):

For the purposes of this review, and the broader study concerning intervention programs, domestic violence is understood to be an abuse of power perpetrated primarily, but not only, by men against women, both in the context of a relationship, as well as after the relationship may have ended. It occurs when one partner – and in some cases, both partners – attempt physical, psychological, emotional, financial or social control over the other. Whilst domestic violence takes several forms, the most commonly recognised, and officially recorded, forms include physical and sexual violence, threats of violence and intimidation, emotional and social abuse, and economic deprivation. [page 1]

What is curious though is that there is no prevalence data for male victims of domestic violence (apart from sexual assault which includes all assaults, not only those occurring in relationships) [pages 4-7]. Why is the prevalence data for male victims entirely missing from a literature review that purportedly includes them in it’s definitions? …

A good source for prevalence data is the GENACIS, Gender, Alcohol and Culture: An International Study. The results from GENACIS have been used to inform the WHO Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence, and if is good enough to inform the WHO estimates then it should be inform ours.

The Australian component of GENACIS is reported on in The Range and Magnitude of Alcohol’s Harm to Others published by the AER Centre for Alcohol Policy Research. And unsurprisingly the results appear to show gender symmetry.

Eight percent (n=158) of the population reported being a victim of physical partner aggression, while six percent (n=117) reported being a perpetrator of physical partner aggression. Similar proportions of men and women reported being a victim of this type of aggression (Table 7.5). While the prevalence was lower for being a perpetrator of physical aggression, there were no significant gender differences, and the proportion reporting being a perpetrator appeared higher among women. The severity of acts when a male was the perpetrator was slightly higher than when a female was, but the difference is not significant (Table 7.6).

Fewer than four percent of the population reported being both a victim and perpetrator of physical partner aggression, and no gender difference was evident. This equates to 34% of those who reported any partner physical aggression. [page 85]

So 34% of intimate partner violence is bidirectional (common couple violence), the rest is unidirectional with no significant differences in aggression by either gender.”

On 2 September 2014 I received the following response to my letter to Finn Pratt from Jill Farrelly, Branch Manager, Family Safety:

Thank you for your email of 24 July 2014 to Mr Finn Pratt, Secretary of the Department of Social Services, concerning the Literature Review on Domestic Violence Perpetrators (the literature review) on the Department’s website.  The Secretary has referred your email to me for reply.

I would like to assure you that the Australian Government is committed to ensuring the safety of all Australians. Domestic and family violence and sexual assault cannot be excused or justified under any circumstances.  All victims, regardless of their gender, need compassionate and highly responsive support, and perpetrators of violence must be held accountable for their violence.

Urbis was commissioned by the Department of Social Services to conduct the literature review to support actions to improve interventions for domestic violence and sexual assault perpetrators as part of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan). Funding for the commissioned contract, as reported on AusTender, was $219,964.

The literature review acknowledges that domestic violence and sexual assault is perpetrated by both men and women. However, as indicated in the literature review, Australian research such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Personal Safety Survey shows that most instances of domestic, sexual and partner violence are committed by men against women. For this reason, most domestic violence perpetrator intervention programmes are targeted at men who commit violence against women.

The literature review identified and examined the evidence base on the effectiveness of existing perpetrator intervention programmes. Therefore the literature review focused on examining programmes aimed at male perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The National Plan recognises that both men and women can be victims of domestic and family violence and sexual assault. Under the National Plan, the Commonwealth  has contributed funding for the expansion of counselling services for male victims of violence through Mensline.  This service is available to all victims of domestic violence and sexual assault on 1300 789 978 for the cost of a local call or at www.mensline.org.au.  Please note that calls made from mobile phones may incur additional costs.”

(I will draft a response to Ms Farrelly’s letter and post a copy here shortly)

While I was waiting for Finn’s response I spent some time within the DSS web site, beginning with their last available annual report. There I saw that DSS is the largest federal government department with 35, 838 staff of which 25,692 (72%) were female. The total budget for 2012-13 was $4.2 billion.

Next I had a look at a publication entitled ‘Home Safe Home – The link between domestic and family violence and women’s homelessness‘. Also written by consultants – four women from the University of South Australia. The report does not appear to acknowledge – even in passing – that some men are forced to flee their homes as a result of domestic violence (sometimes with their children). Now let’s get this straight, there are far more homeless men than women but it appears that they are not worth writing about. Why is that? Surely not anti-male sexism on the part of bureaucrats within DSS?

Now google on “link between domestic violence and mens homelessness australia” and see how many reports you can find on that subject. Guess.

Most recently I scanned the lengthy submission prepared by the Department of Social Services in relation to the 2014 Australian Government Inquiry into Domestic Violence

It would seem that the word ‘men’ only appeared three times in the Department’s submission, and only then in relation to perpetrators (1), potential perpetrators (1), and departmental recruitment (1). That’s right, in several hundred pages of text there was no explicit mention made of male victims (and presumably, of female perpetrators of violence). Nada. That that is the case is a disgrace to this agency, and to the Australian Government – and proof positive of the extent to which feminist ideology has permeated and tainted the federal public service.

So the Department of Social Service would have us believe that “the Australian Government is committed to ensuring the safety of all Australians“? As far as their work in relation to domestic violence is concerned, I remain far from convinced. One hopes, however, that they at least have the safety of the female half of the population well in hand.

 See also:

Senior Departmental officers at work supporting the feminist narrative and the Domestic Violence Industry (12 April 2017) Video

Start a conversation (2016) A set of publications produced by the respect.gov.au initiative. The one-sided nature of the respective rights/obligations of boys and girls set out in these documents almost defies belief. Essentially boys are obligated to respect women/girls, whilst women/girls are obligated to demand respect. Gender equality? Nothing close. This package is nothing more than a taxpayer-funded feminist wet dream.

Minister Andrew’s address at the Launch of Parliamentarians Against Family Violence (20 October 2014) Oh look, men cracked a mention in the last line of a 650 word speech. That’s 0.15% of the speech devoted to 50% of the population (or alternatively, devoted to between one third to two thirds of domestic violence victims depending on which credible study you consider). Why no statistics for female perpetration and male victimisation, Minister?

Australian Senator wants a man who is rich and well-hung

This clip appeared on the ‘Sunrise’ TV show this morning, and concerns a radio interview with a recently appointed Australian senator, Jacqui Lambie. In that interview Senator Lambie let it be known that her ideal man needs to have plenty of money in the bank and a substantial “package between the legs”.

Now my primary concern is not whether public vulgarity such as this is appropriate from a member of Australia’s federal government (it’s not), but it’s the fact that if similar comments were made by a male parliamentarian then there would be immediate calls for his sacking.

Instead what we saw in the media (including viewers comments) was mainly comments along the lines of “it’s refreshing to see a politician who is honest/not pretentious” etc, or disgust about a politician speaking in the media as they might in a public bar after knocking back (quite) a few drinks.

To their credit, some journalists have drawn attention to the sexist double-standard inherent in this story, including Samantha Armytage (Sunrise) and Judith Ireland (Sydney Morning Herald).

The issue was covered by at least one of the mouthpieces of Australian feminism, mamamia.com.au, although their tone was one of mild shock and disbelief regarding the vulgarity aspect rather than strident condemnation about the sexist connotation. This focus was reflected in most of the subsequent readers comments, though some readers like Rebecca Healy, did address the sexism issue. Rebecca stated:

“There are several comments crying out that if this had been a male politician talking about a woman there would be a serious and damning article, and that this article hasn’t taken Jacqui Lambie to task over her inappropriate comments.

First of all, I think the tone of this article is one of mild shock and disbelief. This actually happened. I think without hammering down on it, there is definitely a sense that this was offensive and most definitely inappropriate for a politician.

I think this is actually offensive from a feminist point of view, as JL promotes the gender role misconception that women want to be given cash / financially supported and for the guy to be ‘hung’, and it suggests that men need to have these two things to be desirable, which is incorrect.

JL gives off this ocker / blokey / anti-feminist persona that dismisses a lot of the points that are made by feminists about not needing to be taken care of, having the ability to be financially independent, and rejecting the ingrained gender and body image roles that have defined the typical ‘Aussie Bloke’ and the acceptable traits of a female. I think this is part of her appeal at times.

It’s hard for a feminist to get up and blast her language because, although we DO see it as sexist, who are we defending? The guys that would laugh at the bloke saying this are probably laughing along with her. Are men offended by her comment? Do they want to be defended?

The issue here is also that men have not typically been undermined by media scrutiny over their appearance in the same way that women have in the past, therefore I don’t think the impact would be as significant (I’m not saying there is not impact!) as they wouldn’t feel as objectified or intimidated by the comment as a woman might feel in the same position.

If we (women/feminists) get all outraged about this issue, I feel there would just be a collective rolling of the eyes that the ‘feminists’ or ‘feminazis’ are just looking for something to be outraged about. Yet if we don’t, we are hypocrites standing silent when we would have been ‘attacking the men’ by now. We are accused of not supporting equal rights, even though that is what real feminism, not militant feminism, is about – equality.”

One the same web page ‘Guest’ wrote:

“Again I find myself confused. Last week Mamamia Rogue posted video of a young woman under the influence of anaesthetic describing in anguished detail the things she was desperate to do with a particular male celebrity’s genitalia. Clearly, she felt the urge to pleasure him. Her desires, we were assured by the Rogue, are shared by all women (“We’ve all been there, Babe”) – and we were supposed to find the clip funny to boot (I didn’t, but then, I don’t support cyber-bullying).

So clarify for me, please. Is Lambie wrong for wanting a hung man, or for being a politician and speaking openly about it, or for being a woman and speaking about men the way we complain about men speaking about women?”

Meanwhile Australian feminist commentator Eva Cox appeared unfussed by the comments:

”She’s not the sort of person you expect great finesse and politeness from,” Ms Cox told the Launceston Examiner ... I think men can take care of themselves when we talk about their private parts … Maybe it will encourage them to be less frank about their own comments.” (Source)

Sure thing Eva. This is about what a woman said, and how other women would react if a man said similar things. But feel free to exercise your feminist prerogative (or should that be, pejorative?) and twist things around to make it about what men do … wrong … to women.

Ah, but unlike the poor widdle women, “men can take care of themselves“.

Yup, we men just need to … man up and soldier on

See also:

Renowned feminist ratbag Clementine Ford goes off about the double-standard criticism of the Lambie radio interview affair – and also swipes at the #womenagainstfeminism movement. Her primary line of defence is an argument rich in circular logic … that ‘a male politician would never have been asked about his relationships’. Well a man would never have answered such a question because even a fool would know the storm his comments would invoke. Well maybe not Clive Palmer, but most guys.

A women on the other hand might be more inclined to answer knowing that society will essentially give her a free pass. Because everyone inherently recognises that this double standard exists, even journalists who ask or don’t ask accordingly.

Anyone who would seriously suggest that journalists don’t ask male politicians this sort of question because men are respected (because the patriarchy etc) must be either incredibly naive, a mental pygmy, or both of the above.

The position put forward by this fruitcake on the other hand is that the reaction against Senator Lambie’s comments is driven by outdated sexual wowserism, especially in relation to older and less attractive women! OMG, feminists love to divert into the wilderness, probably in the hope that people will become confused and just give up. She eventually sort of concedes the double-standard that is really the core issue, but waves that away on the basis that the key difference here is that in our culture we “expect” men to be sexual, to be shallow about it, to consistently convey the air of rampant virility.”

Hell, thanks Lauren. You’ve diverted to the ‘myth of rape culture‘ now, haven’t you?

‘Sunrise’ provides equal time for feminism and men’s rights

The ‘Weekend Sunrise’ show surprised and pleased by providing separate interviews with MRA Paul Elam and feminist Laci Green.

On Saturday morning there was an interview with Paul Elam

Paul discussed the fact that mens work/life choices are more limited than women, but most of the all-too-brief interview was taken up with a discussion of rape hysteria and the need to address the problem of rape in a more rigorous and fair-minded manner.

Reddit discussion thread here and here is an article about Paul’s interview

On Sunday morning it was the turn of Laci Green

The intro provided by Andrew O’Keefe – and his comments throughout the interview left absolutely no doubt where his allegiance lies … “The history of feminism is long, strong and proud …. in fact (if not for feminism) married women, you would still be the property of your husband“. Oh please.

Feminism is wonderful – just badly misrepresented, feminism is not about hating men, feminism is just about equality and stopping sexual objectification, blah blah blah. Keep moving folks, nothing new to be seen/heard here.

The boobs are used to sell everything …” Yes indeed Andrew, and that’s nowhere clearer than watching Laci’s efforts on Youtube.

Reddit discussion thread here which features the comment:

“[Laci] is what we call one of the “Aren’t Like That” feminists that all the other feminists use to cover their bigotry. You want to know what kind of person Laci Green is? Let me tell you.

First, I have to explain a few things. In the hood, we like to have parties. We like to get rowdy, smoke some herb, get crunk. We like to play music loud and act a fool. The problem with this is, the cops show up. Now, I’m not sure you all know what its like having the cops show up, but some people at this party have illicit drugs, or arrest warrants, or just no fucking sense. So someone has to talk to the cops. You always want to have a well spoken, easygoing, friendly person at your parties so that THEY can talk to the cops and make sure none of the other people at the party get into any shit.

Thats who feminists like Laci Green are. They’re the person Feminism has answering the door when society comes knocking and wants to know what’s going on.”

More about Laci Green here and here

(Postscript 4 December 2018: Bettina Arndt, Sam Armitage and Nat Barr stirred up the feminists with this discussion of the #MeToo phenomenon. And then – of course – a follow-up article about the outrage, entitled ‘Sunrise cops criticism over one-sided #MenToo discussion’)

Dealing with mens issues – The current situation in Australia

This view of the current situation in relation to addressing mens issues in Australia has been compiled by one who is relatively new to the field. As such it may contain some errors or omissions, so please feel free to contribute further information or correct any inadvertent mistakes.

Australian men’s issues have both a physical and online footprint that is vastly smaller than is the case for women’s issues. There are a number of reasons for this, but the primary one is the enormous disparity in government support in relation to the two. Pro-feminist media bias in combination with feminist tactics of shaming and censorship has also proved quite effective in stifling male activism and lobbying up to this point in time.

Of those Australian organisations and sites dealing with mens issues that do have some public profile, almost all have a health focus. Most of these organisations/sites appear to be rather introspective and self-effacing in nature, i.e. essentially to keep under the feminist radar and to avoid jeopardising whatever pitiable amount of funding or government support they might receive.

Those few mens programs that do attract funding, for example the men’s shed movement, only manage to do so as they are seen as somewhat twee and posing no threat to the achievement of feminist objectives.

Government agencies: I am not aware of any federal or state government agency that deals specifically with mens and boys issues, nor even a dedicated section within a government agency. This is a huge point of difference in comparison with the situation with women’s and girls issues.

Of those government agencies that do address specific men’s issues, the most prominent are agencies dealing with mental health and with domestic violence. With regards to the latter at least, the primary emphasis is on ‘educating’ and ‘treating’ male perpetrators of acts of violence and abuse. Whilst some claim to offer services to male victims, any mention of such services is virtually confined to the ‘fine print’ within relevant web sites.

The way that domestic violence web sites are worded gives the impression of a distinct pro-female and anti-male bias (example). Given that men are already less likely to reports acts of abuse against them, one could suggest with confidence that the character of domestic violence web sites acts as a significant disincentive to come forward.

I deal with the issue of government agencies and ‘not-for-profit’ organisations that ignore or downplay men’s welfare in this other blog post.

Mens studies: As you can see in this thread, an attempt was recently made to establish a men’s studies course in Australia. This was met with a furious feminist backlash and was shelved. One of those who spoke against the initiative was Michael Flood, a staunch feminist who misrepresents himself as a spokesperson for the Australian men’s rights movement. The only remaining part of that initiative was, I think, one or two subjects on men’s health being made available.

Mens health: Men’s health advocates comprise a mix of individual counselors, universities, and non-government organisations. Their stance towards men’s rights varies between one of neutrality to a ‘deer in the headlights’ stance brought about through their concern that any perceived association with MRA could threaten their political acceptability and hence access to government funding. The latter position is demonstrated by the charity discussed in this other blog post. There are, however some virulently anti-MRA outliers such as Michael Salter, Michael Flood, and more recently some character by the name of Joshua Roose (an example of his unfortunate mindset).

The level of government funding for Australian mens health issues/organisations (as with men’s issues/organisations generally) is miniscule in comparison to that allocated to women.  I recently also became aware that funding for The Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre had been slashed.

Here is the web site for Men’s Health Week (11-17 June 2018)

Some of the better-known men’s health organisations/spokespersons include:

Men’s Health Australia
Australian Men’s Health Forum (see also their ‘links‘ page)
Australian Institute of Male Health and Studies
Centre for Advancement of Men’s Health
Men4Life support group
Men’s Health Clearinghouse
The Shed Online (an initiative of Beyond Blue)
Dr Elizabeth Celi
Inspire change counselling

‘Relating to Men’ was a great site that was sadly removed after sustained online harassment of the author, Jasmin Newman

Fathers issues (incl. divorce, custody, etc):

Dads4Kids
Lone Fathers Association
Australian Brotherhood of Fathers (See related article here)
Dads in Distress support services
Fathers for Equality
‘Dads on the Air’ radio program
Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting)

Men’s rights activism:
The most popular online forum for sharing news and information is Reddit Mensrights
Mens Rights Agency
Mens Rights Sydney and Mens Rights Melbourne (with a further group formed in Brisbane in early 2015)
Australian Men’s Rights Association

A couple of other recognised spokespersons on mens/boys issues outside the realm of politics are:

Dr. Greg Canning is the Australian liaison for the US-based organisation ‘A Voice for Men‘, and has written many articles and submissions on men’s issues. ‘A Voice for Men’ also now has its own Australian committee.

Greg Andresen works for the ‘One in Three’ organisation which advocates for male victims of domestic violence, and is the Australian liaison for the US-based organisation ‘National Coalition for Men‘ as well as being an active advocate for men’s health.

Australian politics and gender issues:

An argument put forward by feminists is that men can’t possibly be discriminated against because most politicians are male. This point was addressed in a comment I came across online:

“Men in power do not act in the interest of other men. They are widely influenced by women and their lobbying efforts, and are more likely to act in the interests of them.” (Source: http://time.com/2949435/what-i-learned-as-a-woman-at-a-mens-rights-conference/)

This is certainly the case here in Australia, where most of our politicians, from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on down … are too busy cowering in fear at the thought of being labelled misogynists to contemplate representing the interests of 50% of their constituents. You can see some of Malcolm Turnbull’s unfortunate early comments on gender matters here, here and here. One ray of hope, however, might be foreign minister Julie Bishop.

I can’t help wondering what could be achieved if only we had an Australian politician with the tenacity and courage of Philip Davies in the UK (see this example of his efforts). Philip’s pioneering efforts with gender equality are also discussed in this article.

Meanwhile other MP’s like Tim Watts (Australian Labor Party) are pathetically eager to champion feminist causes and/or push men under the bus (see related reddit discussion here).

There are a few exceptions to the rule:

George Christensen, Federal Member for Dawson: Of the hundreds of state and federal politicians paid for by us taxpayers, George is the only one with the guts to come out and openly support ANY fathers/mens/boys issue. George is currently chairing a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Child Support Program. Here is a speech by George concerning family law, and another paper regarding the issue of child support. And this is what George gets for speaking up on these issues.

Senator John Madigan (Independent) and George Christensen launched the Parliamentary Friends of Shared Parenting on 16 June 2015 … “We need to end parental alienation because every child deserves a meaningful relationship with his or her mother and father.” Feel the hurt from this feminist journalist as she bemoans the fact that these politicians dared to corrupt public policy by (shudder) listening to men.

Another federal parliamentarian, Bob Katter has also previously expressed concern regarding anti-male bias within the family court system.

Labor’s Member for Greenway in Western Sydney, Michelle Rowland, has asked a parliamentary inquiry examining the child support system, to consider whether custodial parents should be accountable for how they spend child support money (Source)

Senator Cory Bernardi dared to suggest that it might sometimes be appropriate to use a headlock on a violent woman during an incident of domestic violence, and was publicly accused of encouraging violence against women. In June 2016 Cory was also criticized for tweeting a link to an article by Roosh V concerning social justice warriors.

Victorian MP Graham Watt is another one to watch after attracting media attention for refusing to give misandrist DV lobbyist Rosie Batty a standing ovation. See this article also (including readers comments)

Senator Mitch Fifield warrants an honourable mention for his refusal to accept a sexist slur offered by Katy Gallagher.

Senator Leyonhjelm (Liberal Democrats) has also made a name for himself in this regard, but is now in the process of moving from the federal to the state (NSW) arena (see video).

In Queensland, Opposition Corrective Services spokesman Tim Mander accused Labor of exceeding its party’s gender quota system in relation to appointments to the Parole Board.

See also my posts in relation to the views of both the major parties and minor parties in relation to feminism and gender-related issues.

By and large the only Australia politicians with the courage to challenge the feminist orthodoxy are ex-politicians, as discussed in this other blog post.

One person to keep an eye on going forward is Augusto Zimmermann, who is Law Reform Commissioner at the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia. Dr Zimmermann has been proposed as a possible replacement for Gillian Triggs at the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The Australian media:

The MSM in Australia is a lost cause for the time being, with very few journalists willing to be seen to question feminist orthodoxy. Those that do, know full-well what they can expect. Some examples might include Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine and Rita Panahi.

Where are things up to in Australia at the moment amongst the general population? Well I would liken the situation with most men to frogs being boiled in a pot. The temperature is going up slowly and steadily and guys just aren’t noticing how hot things are. The temperature in this case being the increasing anti-male bias in the media, in the law, in politics, etc.

Further, and contrary to the notion of patriarchy, men’s own innate behaviour is such that they lend themselves to being taken advantage of. For example, the default setting for most men is to help and protect women rather than criticise them. Men are also very reluctant to been seen to portray themselves as victims, and would prefer to internalise problems and deal with them on their own (rather than for example join a men’s group).

Most men (and women) have little knowledge of the mens rights movement, and consequently the views of many reflect the deeply biased picture painted in the mainstream media, i.e. MRA as being violent, as being ‘rednecks’, as being ultra-conservative, and as being ‘woman-haters’. By the same token, most men (and women) are equally ill-informed about the true nature of feminism and so accept the benign ‘dictionary definition of feminism’ as portrayed in the media.

Nevertheless, however, many men are reaching the inescapable conclusion that the pendulum has swayed far beyond the mid-way point with regards to the rights of women vis a vis the rights of men. They also recognise that there is also a widening gap between the respective rights and obligations of men and women.

Many men are increasingly unhappy and dissatisfied in their interaction with women. Many men have also either suffered considerable psychological and financial trauma as a result of divorce, or know friends who have been shattered in this manner. (And coincidentally or otherwise, women have also become increasingly unhappy.)

As a consequence whilst the majority of Aussie guys remain unwilling to take collective action, or to identify as an MRA, I am seeing many more men and women expressing their views in the online world in response to media articles that have an anti-male bias (example 1 / example 2 / example 3).

Another telling indicator is the huge number of visitors to MHRA sites like ‘A Voice for Men’ versus the relatively small number who are actually registered members. This suggests to me that there are a lot of people ‘sitting on the fence’ at the moment awaiting a tipping-point, whereupon we will see far greater and more organised expressions of assertive (yet assiduously non-violent) activism.

Further background material

The trumpet blasts of the monstrous regiment (26 September 2016)

It was great to see fitness advocate Michelle Bridges bravely speak out for male victims of domestic violence on the Studio Ten TV show, despite the fact that the comperes made their own pro-feminist views abundantly clear (10 November 2015)

http://www.australianmensrights.com/Fathers_Rights-Australia/Rise_of_Australian_Fathers_Rights_Groups_Worries_Australian_Feminists.aspx

Feminism: Past its use-by date? (1 August 2014) An ABC radio interview with Australian feminists and anti-feminist activist Janet Bloomfield (plus readers comments)

A lesson from the U.K. for Australian political parties thinking of wooing feminist voters (14 November 2014)

Australian taxpayer funded organisations that do little/nothing for men (other than demonising them)

Firstly, and by way of background, the concept of institutional misandry has been described as:

“The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their status as male. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and misandric stereotyping which disadvantage males.”

It persists because of the failure of the organisation openly and adequately to recognise and address its existence and causes by policy, example and leadership. Without recognition and action to eliminate such misandry it can prevail as part of the ethos or culture of the organisation. It is a corrosive disease.

— After section 6.34, page 49, Cm 4262-I, Lawrence. The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report of an Inquiry by Sir William Macpherson of Cluny. February 1999. (Source)

You might also be interested in viewing these videos about institutional misandry in the UK.

I regularly encounter the online footprints of Australian organisations whose interests encompass one or more gender-related issues, and who demonstrate a significant degree of anti-male bias. Many of these organisations:

  • provide minimal or no services or support for men, and often only reference men in the context of (for example) perpetrators of sexual assault or domestic violence
  • are strongly biased towards, or influenced by, feminist ideology
  • have weak oversight or disclosure mechanisms in place, for example annual reports, financial statements/independent auditing, and measures of performance which (if they exist) are not publicly available, and
  • have either no men working within them, or only very few (gender quotas anyone?)

I find this situation to be of considerable concern bearing in mind the hundreds of millions of dollars flowing into just the domestic violence sector alone each year. What’s more, that amount continues to increase and in July 2014 it was announced that millions more were to be poured into agencies to protect “women and their children (whilst still assiduously ignoring male victims and violent women).

One should consider the current situation in the context of the relative paucity of funding to organisations that support men and boys, all whilst the government trumpets on about gender equality.

It also worries me that this list is not restricted to private lobby groups or not-for-profits that benefit from substantial government funding or contracts. Indeed, there are many government agencies and groups within the tertiary education sector that display almost as much gender bias.

I have already allocated blog posts to several such organisations:

The Australian Human Rights Commission (Annual budget = just over $33 million)

Australian Department of Social Services (Annual budget = $4.2 billion)

Australian Institute of Family Studies (Annual budget = $17.75 million)

WA Department of Child Protection and Family Support (Annual budget = just under $625 million)

Workplace Gender Equality Agency (Annual budget $5 million) $5 million a year to propagate a feminist myth and to shake a finger at companies that won’t buy into their delusion. Their contribution to the Australian community consists of burning public money on the altar of feminism. (Postscript November 2018: Budget doubled)

‘Our Watch’ (formerly known as the Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children) (Receives government grants totalling between $1 million and $2 million per annum)

White Ribbon Campaign (feminist version) (Received government grants totalling $280,000 during 2013/14 financial year)

Domestic Violence NSW (Received more than $6 million in government funds in 2013-14)

DV Connect (Around $3 million during 2013/14 financial year, mainly from the Queensland Department of Communities)

The Australian Gender Equality Council (Budget unknown)

‘No to Violence’ (Income and expenditure of approx. $4.9 million in the 2017/18 financial year)

Diversity Council Australia (Total income in 2015 of approx. $1.5 million, mainly from membership fees. Many public agencies are listed as members, but the extent of public funding is not identified. All staff bar one are female … diversity … seriously?

Men’s Referral Service (Government funding was around $2million/annum but they are now to be the recipient of a further allocation of $13 million over four years)

In this blog post my intention is to eventually corral and list basic details of other similar organisations, and then subsequently do further research on each.

Who’ll be the next cab off the rank? We have oh so many contenders …

Emerge supports women and children who have experienced family violence, empowering them to rebuild their lives“. There would appear to be no male directors or staff. Their entry in the ACNC register, here, provides various details concerning the organisation. The most recent financial statement lists more than $1.2 million received in the financial year ending 30 June 2018 (from the Dept. of Health and Human Services), and approx. $620k in salary expenses.

Just out of curiosity I typed “male victims” into their web site search facility, and got “Oops, we are really sorry but no results were found“.

Or how about Women’s Community Shelters Ltd who came to my attention via their daily paid placement in my Twitter feed? Their ACNC register entry mentions a total annual income of almost $3.5m, of which just over 1/3 arrives by way of government funding. This mostly comes from the NSW Dept. of FaCS, who explain here the “facts” about domestic and family violence (no need to complicate things by mentioning male victims).

Or perhaps Relationships Australia? I understand that they don’t have many male counsellors nowadays, and one less after the departure of Rob Tiller.

Or perhaps the International Women’s Development Agency? It would appear that there are no male directors or staff. Indeed in October 2018 IWDA advertised for a non-executive director, but lads don’t get your hopes up:

“International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) has an EEO exemption (H298/2018) and requests applications from women only. IWDA has a Child Rights and Protection Policy and directors are required to undertake a National Police Check and endorse IWDA’s Child Rights and Protection Code of Conduct.”

I wonder why IWDA were granted an EEO exemption and whether an application from a MRA organisation would be treated similarly? See here and here. Oh and IWDA seem to get plenty of government financial support too:

“Grant income represents 81% of our total income and grew by 43% in 2016/17. This is based on a combined Grants total of $8.59mil, of which 29.81% is sourced directly from the Australian Government’s Aid Program.” (Source, p27)

Or how about ‘The Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault‘? This is the page that I came across first. It reads like a grant application for a feminist spend-fest doesn’t it? I had a very quick look at their site and found nothing along the lines of guidelines to help female perpetrators, or anything about male victims. I searched on “sexual assault of men” and did come across a page entitled ‘Engaging men in sexual assault prevention‘ though. You know the sort of advice that helps us men curb the frothing rapist lurking within each and every one of us.

The ‘About us‘ page tells us that there are no male staff at the Centre, as well as providing the following information:

The Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault (ACSSA) was established in 2003 by the Commonwealth Office for Women. It is funded by the Department of Social Services and is hosted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

ACSSA is a central collection point for research, information and resources about sexual assault in Australia. Our key role is to facilitate access to the growing evidence-base on sexual assault and to support organisations, agencies and others use research and evidence in shaping policy, practice and research directions in responding to, and reducing, sexual assault.

We collect, synthesise and summarise developments in:

  • research and evaluation;
  • practice knowledge and resources;
  • law reform and legislation; and
  • policy initiatives.

OK, well there is no mention there of the agency being restricted to only dealing with the sexual assault of women by men. Given, however, that it’s an offshoot of the ‘Commonwealth Office for Women’, I think it would be a safe bet that that is in fact the case. Of course if there was a corresponding ‘Office for Men’, then I guess that they would deal with male victims and female perpetrators. But there isn’t, because … men can deal with it (?)

With regards to their budget, all I’ve found at the moment is this somewhat dated page for the Government’ entire ‘Womens Safety Agenda‘, which mentions a total budget of $75.7 million over four years. The 2014/15 budget shows an allocation of $3.5 million for the Office of Women this year (refer page 31), but there may well be further allocations under the Social Services budget (and elsewhere?). On 23 June 2014 I sent an email to Treasury seeking this information:

“I am aware that a womens budget statement is regularly prepared to identify expenditure that is expressly designed to support Australian women. I would like to know if there is a similar statement identifying expenditure designed to support men.
Alternatively, and assuming there is not … is there any source that you can either provide me with – or point me towards – that enables a side-by-side comparison of expenditure for men and women? I look forward to receiving your advice on this matter. Thank you”

… but no reply since. Hmm.

The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner was opened on the 1 July 2015, with an initial budget allocation of $2.4 million. They describe themselves in the following manner:

“The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner is a one-stop-shop for online safety. The Office provides Australians a range of up-to-date information and resources, coupled with a comprehensive complaints system to assist children who experience serious cyberbullying.”

eSafetyYet looking through their website and ‘educational’ material their focus appears to be almost wholly on protecting women and girls from, you guessed it, those horrible boys and men. They have just launched a new campaign called eSafety Women, but I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for the launch of eSafety Men.

What’s happening overseas?

Meanwhile over in the USA Barack Obama introduced one (1) federal program to assist men and boys (as against the dozens that assist women and girls), only to have the feminist backlash begin immediately (and see related reddit discussion here). Somehow, sadly, I can’t see Malcolm Turnbull stepping into the breech with anything similar here in Australia. Ooh, please don’t call me a misogynist, please, please! (See this blog post re: lack of political support for men/boys)

See the article at http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/women-are-the-biggest-budget-losers-20140523-zrl4n.html (22 May 2014) It seems quite extraordinary to me that the journalist who wrote this piece felt justified in claiming that “women are the biggest losers” without providing any information whatsoever about what men received/lost in the budget. It’s moments like these I feel like a member of the forgotten gender!

In Wales (U.K) someone did the maths and found that women’s groups/causes were handed 77 times as much funding as were men’s groups/causes (August 2016).

Further organisations slated for review

Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia Senior staff and Board members are all women. In the year ending 30 June 2015 the organisation was the recipient of $8,194,146 in government grant funding, out of a total annual income of $8,795,650. Their main expense was ‘Salaries and On-costs’ at $7,502,877 (Source)

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited (ANROWS). Oh, and look, 80% of Board members are women as are all of the staff listed in their web site. I guess that’s to be expected given that men bash women, lack the capacity for empathy, and are thus are clearly unconcerned about women’s safety so why would you want them working here? Oh, but wait, wouldn’t that be sexist stereotyping?

ANROWS does not appear to provide an annual report or income/expenditure disclosure statement provided in their web site. Ever wondered how much research you got for $3.5 million? Ever wondered how much of this will flow into the pockets of other feminists? And I wonder how much is budgeted for researching mens issues during the same period?

Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc.

The Centre is listed in the ACNC register here. That’s just as well as there does not appear to be any financial details provided in their web site, and only vague information about who is running the organisation – and how. The Centre employs 12 f/t employees, 20 p/t employees, and three casuals.

The Centre is wholly supported by government funding, with no donations or bequests received in 2014/15. The consolidated income statement shows receipts of around $2.8 million per annum in goverment grants (refer page 5). The main costs for the Centre are “salaries and on costs” ($1.9 million per annum), “office and centre expenses” ($407,167), rent ($227,841), and superannuation ($174,128).

An article from May 2016 citing disparaging comments about male victims of DV made by Centre director Amy Compton-Keen can be accessed here (NB: Reader reaction to that article was illuminating).

Y-Gap/Polished man campaign (level of government support currently unknown). Y-Gap’s ACNC register entry is here. Related Reddit mensrights discussion thread here.

Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research based at CQ University, Mackay Campus. All female staff? tick Only consult with female-focussed groups with just a token male for appearance sake? tick Statistics within web site ignores male victimisation and resources for men assume they are perpetrators of violence? tick (see ‘Working with Men’).

“The Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research receives defined term funding from the Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services to undertake research and develop educational resources pertaining to domestic and family violence in Queensland. In addition, CDFVR is supported by CQUniversity and receives grants from a range of other sources to conduct research and professional development activities.”

Queensland University of Technology, Crime and Justice Research Centre Perform research and teach in subject areas including sexual assault and domestic violence. They appear to have a strong pro-feminist bias and from what I have read of their work thus far, they routinely follow and promote the men perpetrators/women victims model. (More details here)

Domestic Violence Victoria All female staff? tick

The 2013 Annual Report here tells us that DVV’s total income in 2013 was $677,211 of which $609,361 arrived in the form of grants. Some of their major expenses included wages $489,783, super contributions $42,618, media awards $35,251, provision for holiday and long service leave $32,789, consultants $10,675, board fees $4,500 and staff training/welfare/amenities $3,261 (these items totalling $618,877)

Victoria_DV1

Canberra Men’s Centre Outwardly compassionate about men’s welfare but it’s been suggested that CMC are a feminist ‘Trojan horse’ that dances to the men bad/woman victim tune. Their annual report for the year ending 30 June 2013 (the most recent in their web site as of March 2015) informs us that they received around $2 million from the ACT Dept. of Disability, Housing and Community Services in both 2011/12 and 2012/13. Their main expenses were lease payments ($340,118 in 2012/13) and salaries ($277,799 in 2012/13).

Safe Steps Family Violence Resource Centre (web site and Facebook page)

This Victorian organisation first came to my attention when I heard about a function they were planning for 6 May 2015 at which they will be lighting candles for women and children. On 27 April 2015 I submitted a cordial post to their Facebook page just querying why men killed through domestic violence would not be similarly remembered. Well, that post was deleted faster than you can say ‘feminist censorship’.

One hundred per cent female directors and staff (Source, see p9)

Total income in both 2012/13 and 2013/14 exceeded $3 million – nature of source not disclosed. Salary costs and director remuneration not disclosed (p10)

Other similar organisations that are not believed to currently receive government support, but may do so in the future:

The Full Stop Foundation is a small NSW organisation discussed in this article by Corrine Barraclough. Their ACNC register entry can be found here. Their patron is feminist Tara Moss, and all seven board members are women.

Elsewhere in this blog you might be interested in reading:

So what exactly is the ‘Domestic Violence Industry’?

Re-instatement of the Women’s Budget Statement in Australia? Bring it on, but consider men too

On Australian men seeking foreign partners

Some time ago I bookmarked an article entitled ‘Why overseas women love Aussie men‘. I was intrigued how the writer (a guy, by the way), managed to package a subject that could easily rankle female readers into something quite palatable. The potentially prickly subject he tackled was the phenomenon of men seeking partners from outside Australia.

In fact the author not only made the topic appear benign, but even presented it in a way that might conceivably massage the egos of readers. Part of his strategy was to present the issue as being one of foreign women preferring Australian men, rather than the other way around. Although he did sneak in that cheeky little quip at the end “If only they were more appreciated at home“. “They” being Australian men.

Although the author focused on American women, in fact women from the USA barely make it into the top ten list with regards to those granted partner visas. As you can see from this source, women from various Asian countries (particularly China. the Philippines and Thailand) are far more popular choices. This data is five years old, but numbers have remained steady since then. That doesn’t mean that demand for foreign brides is static however, with further growth in numbers prevented by annual quotas on spouse visas issued by the Australian Government.

I imagine that the reason for the focus on North American women (in the article) was simply to run with the Hollywood/male movie star angle. Another reason though might have been the fact that many western women have a certain ‘thing’ about being second-bested by Asian women. This is usually kept well under wraps, denied even, only to emerge guns blazing under the right set of circumstances (as mentioned in this other blog post).

The writer coyly suggested that the observed attraction to foreign partners was simply due to the ‘grass being greener on the other side of the fence’. It’s an approach that won’t hurt any feelings, as there is no need to acknowledge or reflect upon possible shortcomings on the part of Australian women.

Ah, but can you imagine the furore if the author had taken an alternative approach and asked the question “why are so many Australian men rejecting Australian women as life partners?“. Not that pro-feminist news.com.au would have accepted such an article for publication. Oh the bitter recriminations and backlash about men only wanting ‘submissive slaves’. The shaming remarks like “men who are threatened by independent women!” and “men who couldn’t get a women in their own country!” The horror, the horror. To those reading this and nodding their head to such sentiments … well I can only assume that you have little knowledge of Asian culture or personal experience with mixed-race couples.

I wonder to what extent this trend of Australian men marrying women from non-western backgrounds is due to changes in the attitude and behaviour of Australian women brought about via the pervasive and overdone influence of feminism? Heck, this could be a good topic for a thesis – that is if you could find a university brave enough to sponsor it.

Many thoughtful men in western countries now believe that their choice is limited to a MGTOW lifestyle, celibacy, or life as a purse-pooch/walking ATM (i.e. resigning themselves to the increasingly anti-male strictures of the society in which they live). For these folks an epiphany sometimes occurs upon exposure to life and relationships within a culture where feminist ideology, as we now know it in the west, has yet to take root. I think this is fairly evident in some of the references linked to this post about cross-cultural marriages. That blog post also addresses the negative bias and stereotyping directed at men seeking foreign partners as reflected in articles such as this. As one reader aptly noted:

“This is Scott Morrison and the Coalition playing dog-whistle politics again. Let’s not focus upon the thousands upon thousands of successful cross-cultural marriages that enrich Australian society – that would be a good news story! – let’s focus on a trivially small number of cases (exactly 2 were cited by Morrison) where an ambitious sugar-daddy seeks his naive, young asian bride. This is just pandering to small-minded racists who operate on simplistic stereotypes. This only increases the stigma against intercultural couples.

I’m angry about this because I’ve experienced this first hand. As an Anglo-Australian who has married an Asian seven years younger than me, I’m aware of the stereotypes that are directed our way. Nevermind that we are happily married, never had an argument and share everything together. This is something my brother, who has a partner 11 years his junior doesn’t have to go through because she’s Anglo-Australian too (Nor did my parents who were also separated by 10 years age gap.) This is simply a double standard based on race that society, and especially Scott Morrison needs to build a bridge and get over.

I have many friends who are in happy, loving, cross-cultural relationships. Unlike other couples we have to go through the rigours of laying our personal lives bare to the Immigration Department – who I can assure you are very thorough. Then after that we have to go through this nonsense. Scott Morrison should stop playing politics with people’s relationships and Governments should butt out of marriage. It’s nothing to do with them.”

What a pity most western feminist-influenced women don’t do introspection. Introspection seems to have gone the way of empathy.

And as for listening to what men say … pfff! As high-profile feminist turned MRA, Warren Farrell, famously stated “In our society, the sound of men complaining is like nails on a chalkboard“.

See also:

For some social context surrounding the topic of this post perhaps take a look at http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/12/09/The-Sexodus-Part-2-Dishonest-Feminist-Panics-Leave-Male-Sexuality-In-Crisis

Sorry, Aussie blokes. American men are better suitors (10 August 2016) Entitled Australian woman thinks Australian men need to ‘lift their game’ to be more worthy. Australian men say “bon voyage, princess”

Aussie woman goes on 130 first dates but zero second dates (11 May 2015)

Why I am for the Importation of Hot Foreign Women (17 February 2015)

Are Australian women really all that bad? (15 July 2011) with 451 readers comments

Good news: Males acknowledged on morning TV (not in a bad way)

I’ve just watched a couple of segments on ‘Sunrise‘ that I feel are worth mentioning.

The first segment concerned Angelina Jolie and the ‘End Sexual Violence in Conflict global summit‘. The Australian representative at that event was Natasha Stott Despoja, who is Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls. Natasha spoke on Sunrise this morning, and I was pleased to note that she mentioned that men and boys – as well as women and girls – are also victims of sexual violence in wars.

The background to Natasha’s appointment to the role is provided here. Regrettably, but unsurprisingly, there is no corresponding Ambassador for Men and Boys.

The second segment was a panel session comprising the two Sunrise hosts Andrew O’Keefe and Edwina Bartholomew, as well as John Mangos and Gretel Killeen. The topic of discussion was comments made by Hillary Clinton concerned the alleged “outrageous sexism” suffered by former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

What was good to see about this discussion was that initially John Mangos, and then each of the other participants (excluding Andrew*), readily conceded that:

  • there tended to be a lot of talk about sexism towards women and very little about sexism towards men (although such sexism did occur)
  • there was too much talk about sexism towards women bearing in mind the progress that has already having been made in that area
  • most of the talk about sexism towards women focussed on women in elite roles (e.g. politicians and CEO’s/executives) and not enough about ordinary women
  • that some women, such as Julia Gillard, were probably too quick to play the “sexism card” in order to gain sympathy or support

It was just a shame that the segment was so short as it was clear that everyone had more that they wanted to say on the topic. Hopefully we will see more balanced discussion on the issue of sexism on Sunrise and other TV shows in the near future.

* No surprise there, given that Andrew is well-known to be a regular ‘white knight’ when it comes to gender issues, as mentioned in this earlier post.

 

Profound gender bias at the Australian Human Rights Commission (Part 1)

The Australian Human Rights Commission (previously the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission) is a statutory body funded by, but operating independently of, the Australian Government.

The Commission falls under the portfolio of the Attorney-General of Australia. The Commission works within the legal framework of Australian law. The most relevant legislation in the context of this post is the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, the most recent version of which can be accessed here (as at August 2016).

As at 30 June 2015 the staff gender ratio was 41% male and 59% female (Source). I am advised that there is currently no gender target or quota system in place.

The Commission has a number of specialist commissioners, with gender issues being primarily addressed by a ‘Sex Discrimination Commissioner’. This role is currently filled by Kate Jenkins who commenced her duties in April 2016.

Immediately prior to that, Elizabeth Broderick served as Commissioner from 2007 to September 2015. This blog post addresses that earlier period, whilst a further post deals with the period that followed up to the present day.

Thus far all seven people who have filled the role of ‘Sex Discrimination Commissioner’ have been female.

According to the AHRC web site:

“Human rights recognise the inherent value of each person, regardless of background, where we live, what we look like, what we think or what we believe.

They are based on principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect, which are shared across cultures, religions and philosophies. They are about being treated fairly, treating others fairly and having the ability to make genuine choices in our daily lives.

Respect for human rights is the cornerstone of strong communities in which everyone can make a contribution and feel included.”

A review of their literature, however, suggests that the AHRC is infinitely more concerned about the welfare and rights of those humans that are female, than they are about the other half of the population.

A word search on “men” within the AHRC web site turned up 912 results, which was promising. Or at least it was until I looked at the first few results. Two of the top three results were papers about domestic violence and harassment, in which men were portrayed (only) as the aggressors and women (only) as the victims:

The first paper ‘Men breaking the silence’, by Elizabeth Broderick, began as follows:

“Gender-based violence is a form of discrimination that seriously inhibits women’s ability to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men.  Attitudes by which women are regarded as subordinate to men or as having negative stereotyped roles perpetuate widespread practices involving violence or coercion, such as domestic and family violence and abuse, sexual assault and sexual harassment. In Australia, too many women live in fear of violence every day.”

In my blog post entitled Domestic violence is not a gendered issue – Why the pervasive sexist bias against men? I provide many references supporting the assertion that there are as many women guilty of intimate partner violence as there are men, or close to it. But Ms Broderick’s paper gives no hint of there being substantial numbers of male victims and female perpetrators of domestic violence … why?

What useful purpose, with regards to the goal of protecting human rights, is served by demonising men and giving violent women a free pass?

The second paper in the AHRC web site, ‘Sexual harassment. Know where the line is‘, begins thus:

“Sexual harassment is prevalent in Australian workplaces. One in four women have experienced harassment at work, and mens harassment of other men is also on the rise. Nearly one in five complaints received by the Australian Human Rights Commission under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) relate to sexual harassment.”

Even given the often compromised standards of feminism, that’s a fairly disingenuous opening gambit. Consider:

One in four women have experienced harassment at work”

How many of these complaints related to the harassment of women by men? How many of these complaints were upheld?

“and mens harassment of other men is also on the rise”

That seems to imply that only men harass men, and that is simply untrue. And what about womens harassment of women, is that also on the rise? One would expect that, in the case of a professional agency like this, adequate context would be provided to evaluate statements like this.

“Nearly one in five complaints received by the Australian Human Rights Commission under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) relate to sexual harassment.”

And again, how many of these complaints concerned the harassment of women by men, and how many fell into the other categories? i.e. men harassing men, women harassing women, and women harassing men.

I then looked at other papers either written by Elizabeth Broderick, or in which she was quoted, to see the extent to which her views favoured one gender over another. What I found was of considerable concern.

In my blog post entitled Harassment and discrimination in the workplace: Surprise, surprise, it goes both ways I mentioned an article co-authored by Ms Broderick. That article is called Know where the line is: Melissa Hoyer and Elizabeth Broderick address sexual harassment. I would recommend that you read the article and especially the readers comments that follow – most of which expressed outrage at the extent of feminist bias on display.

In another article entitled ‘Gender on Agenda‘ (Courier Mail, 4 June 2014), Ms Broderick “expressed dismay” at the small number of women on company boards and suggested the imposition of gender quotas to be an appropriate response.  As I have noted here, here and here, the justification for imposing gender quotas is dubious.

Ms Broderick has on many occasions expressed concern at the treatment of sexual harassment of women in the workplace. As far as I am aware, however, she has consistently failed to address the extent to which men are also affected by harassment and discrimination at work.

Further browsing in the AHRC web site and google searching on ‘Elizabeth Broderick’ turned up many further articles and speeches in a similar vein. This recent speech entitled ‘Towards a Gender Equal Australia‘ (18 November 2014) only makes mention of men due to their potential utility in achieving further gains for women. Men apparently have no issues of their own to deal with or, alternatively, Ms Broderick considers any such needs to be inconsequential.

Would someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I could not find a single instance where Ms Broderick expressed concern for the welfare of men, for example as victims of harassment, sexual assault, or domestic violence. Instead men were consistently cited as perpetrators of inappropriate behaviour (or at least complicit in such behaviour) and/or as the group to be held responsible for making changes or implementing initiatives to address problems experienced by women.

As far as I am aware Ms. Broderick has offered no corresponding statements in relation to the need for women to modify their own behaviour, or concerning women’s responsibility towards addressing problems experienced by men.

Further, I have seen very little acknowledgement being given to the contributions made by men in achieving progress on issues of inequality or disadvantage affecting women. The one exception was her own Male Champions of Change project, a program fitting safely within the confines of feminist dogma. Again, if this is incorrect then I would certainly appreciate a reader directing me towards any such statements of support.

In Ms Broderick’s eyes, it would seem that the life of men is all blue skies. Yet when it comes to womens dealings with men, well, ‘all rights and no fault/responsibility’ seems to pretty much sum things up.

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick concedes that the Australian Human Rights Commission has no initiatives targeting men. “We have very limited resources, so our work is necessarily directed at identifying the greatest areas of gender inequality,” Broderick says. “So, while we actively engage with men and some of the men’s groups, we have not directly worked on men’s rights issues.” (Source)

One facet of the degree of bias displayed by Ms Broderick is the inaccuracy evident in some of the statements attributed to her. For example, in this 2014 interview with Jackie Frank she stated:

“About 1.2 million women [in Australia] currently live in an intimate relationship characterised by physical violence”

In actual fact the most recent nationally representative survey found that 114,600 Australian women report having experienced violence from a current or previous partner during the preceding twelve months (Source). A tenfold exaggeration? Really?

The ‘Misinformation’ page within the website of the ‘One in Three’ organisation also attributes the following errors to Ms. Broderick:

“One in three women will live in an intimate relationship characterised by violence over her lifetime”. Correction by ‘One in Three’: “the Personal Safety Survey 2005 found that 160,100 women have experienced violence from a current partner since the age of 15. This is 2.08% of Australian women. This equates to one in forty eight women.”

“Almost 90% of the victims of domestic violence are female”. Correction by ‘One in Three’: “Up to two-thirds of domestic violence victims are female, and at least one third are male.”

From ‘Tackling sexual harassment’ a resource for secondary school students produced by the AHRC:

“Girls can sexually harass boys. Although this doesn’t happen as often as boys harassing girls.” (p9) Based on what data source? How/why is this even relevant to note in this document?

“Complaints received by the Commission show that 95% of people who are harassed are female.” No, what this actually says is that 95% of people who lodged complaints were female – not the same thing.

Such a degree of unashamed bias is completely unacceptable. This is the ‘Human Rights Commission’ we are talking about, not a private lobby group or women’s studies centre. Australian men, and the women who care about their welfare, deserve an advocate who is willing and able to competently and energetically champion the interests of both women/girls and men/boys. The Australian community as a whole deserves better.

Given Ms Broderick’s failure to maintain even a modicum of impartiality, one hopes that the termination of her contract in September 2015 will see the appointment of someone better qualified to fulfil the responsibilities of this important role.

humanrights

Gender equality‘ does not imply that women and men are the same, but that they have equal value and should be accorded equal treatment (Source). Is the approach taken by the AHRC in accord with that definition? Or alternatively, is it more consistent with this one?

broderick2

Scroll through the Commissioner’s Twitter stream and look for tweets in which she champions the interests of men and boys … are there any? Even one?

This raises the issue of whether members of the public are able to lodge a complaint regarding discrimination with the Commission, against the Commission itself. If any readers can answer that then please leave a comment below. An alternative course of action might be via the federal Attorney-General’s Department.

Developments at the AHRC subsequent to the departure of Ms Broderick, and which are related to gender issues, are discussed in this blog post. For those of you wondering about the next step in Ms. Broderick’s career, read this article by Miranda Devine.

Readers might find the references listed below to be of interest … Where applicable I would suggest that it’s worthwhile to also review readers comments appended to each source

Wikipedia entry on domestic violence against men

Elizabeth Broderick nets $10k per speaking gig (4 February 2016)

Government seeks advice on new sex discrimination commissioner (11 December 2015)

Finalists for the 2015 Human Rights Community Award announced (9 November 2015) See how many of the finalists work to advance/protect the rights of men/boys. Apparently none!? The winner, by the way, was Ludo McFerran

Who will replace Elizabeth Broderick as Sex Discrimination Commissioner? by Jenna Price (6 November 2015) “We must all call on the government to do the right thing and appoint the best woman to the job”

Men are not regarded as ‘Human’ thanks to Feminist legislation in Australia (17 September 2015)

Ms. Broderick’s swansong … true to type right to the end … no support for men/boys, just criticism (2 September 2015) More of the same here and here. I predict that her next gig will be a well-remunerated slot within the Domestic Violence Industry, helping to spend Malcolm Turnbull’s recent generous hand-out.

Men and women must work as partners to defeat domestic violence, outgoing Sex Discrimination Commissioner says (2 September 2015)

Profile of the work of Elizabeth Broderick over the past eight years, by Anne Summers (May 2015) Word search on ‘women’ = 61 hits Word search on ‘men’ = 6 hits (two of which were negative, one neutral and four about the ‘Champions of Change’ program)

To attain gender equality, we need to focus on men (13 May 2015) But this “focus on men”, is wholly limited to their potential utility to help women. Features a reader’s comment by J.D.Troughton:

“I still see a total focus on women here. We need to also incorporate respect and protection for men, and elevating them in instances of their being discriminated against. It’s a judgement call, a subjective assessment, but women look to have it better than men, to me. A feminist will say the opposite. We can’t honour one over the other on sexist grounds (eg. gynocentrism, our culture’s inherent tendency to give more weight to female suffering of the same burdens, etc.), so we need to hear both out and help both sexes. And not just make jokes about penis size, or accuse someone of bitterness and personal issues when they say that dominant gender discussion is very skewed and prejudiced. I mean, you can do that, but you just add to my case. And look like a heartless curmudgeon. And perpetuate the pain that ends up hurting the women you hold solely so dear.”

‘Let’s talk: The shocking new tricks that men use to control wives’ (31 March 2015) Ms. Broderick is interviewed by the Australian Womens Weekly magazine

Gary Johns and Judith Sloane won’t limit Broderick’s plans (11 August 2014)

Calls to change laws to fix women’s superannuation (13 November 2014) Not content to ignore men’s welfare and overstate the culpability of men for social issues like domestic violence, the Discrimination Commissioner now seeks to grant exceptions to discrimination laws to favour women at a time when traditional gender roles (with regards to parenting for example) are disappearing:

“Rice Warner got an exemption from Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick to contribute an extra two per cent of salary in superannuation contributions for their female employees over and above what they contribute for their male employees.”

Elizabeth Broderick on men’s violence towards women (3 December 2014) More of the same one-eyed assessment of the nature of domestic violence. And women never smash their partners phones? And as is so typically the case, my response to this blog post was not published

Bravehearts: The women bruised and battered in the name of ‘love’ (28 December 2014) Here Ms Broderick provides debunked statistics in her quest to demonise men and misrepresent the nature of domestic violence.

On 8 December 2014 Ms Broderick tweeted about the alarming suicide rate for “young people” but no mention of the situation with men. I imagine it slipped her mind. And isn’t it interesting how gender is specified when doing so supports the feminist narrative, but not when it doesn’t?

Does the Human Rights Commission treat some groups more equally than others? (9 July 2013)

Superiority in the name of equality (29 June 2013)

Open Letter to Elizabeth Broderick Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner (10 April 2012)

Sex discrimination commissioner ignores men and boys (3 May 2012)

The Commissioner for discrimination against men (21 July 2012) It was suggested that the AHRC provide some information in their web site to mark International Men’s Day (as they do every year for International Women’s Day). The response was this was not possible due to resourcing constraints. Four years later there is still no mention of International Men’s Day within the AHRC web site. It is a disgrace for the AHRC to suggest that it is committed to “true gender equality”.

It’s hard to be a trailblazing woman (11 August 2012)

Elizabeth Broderick Sex Discrimination Commissioner, 50 (4 February 2012) Again, men as perpetrators and enablers of the victimisation of women, and otherwise only notable for their potential utility in assisting in the continued advancement of women

Discrimination is fine, says Commissioner Two-Legs-Good, by Andrew Bolt (23 June 2010)

“We need to put in place what some might call affirmative action strategies, where we treat men and women differently for the purpose of achieving better gender balance at a senior level.”

AHRC1

Elsewhere within this blog readers might find the following post to be of interest: 

Australian taxpayer-funded organisations that do little/nothing for men (other than demonising them)

Addressing systemic gender bias in the WA Department for Child Protection and Family Support

Imagine for a moment that you are a guy living in Western Australia. You are enduring periodic violent outbursts from your partner, and one night you go online looking for help. You come across the following web page:

WA_DViolence_helpline

Now I ask you, would you be likely to contact this agency for help? Or would you think, “I’m embarrassed enough already, I don’t want to speak with people who are going to automatically assume that I am the one responsible for the violence.”

Personally I think the web page displays disgraceful anti-male bias and so on 19 May 2014 I emailed the relevant agency stating:

“I wish to draw your attention to material contained in your web site which I consider to be hugely inappropriate. The relevant page is http://www.dcp.wa.gov.au/crisisandemergency/pages/domesticviolencehelplines.aspx

Please be advised – and surely I should not need to inform your department of this fact – but there are in fact such people as female perpetrators of IPV and male victims of IPV. Indeed some studies assert that there is symmetry between genders, ie. equal or almost equal numbers of male/female victims/perpetrators.

If your staff are not aware of this fact then please circulate and study the list of references provided below. As it stands now, the content of your web page is outrageously biased against men and should be re-written to be gender-neutral and not suggest to all readers all men are perpetrators of DV.

For your attention and action at the earliest opportunity please.”

I received the following reply the next day:

“Thank you for your email dated 19 May concerning the language used to describe the roles of the Men’s and Women’s Domestic Violence Helplines.

The Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline is funded to provide telephone based counselling, information, support and referral for men who self- identify  as at risk of, or who are using violence.  It is acknowledged that both women and men can be victims of family and domestic violence.  Should a man experiencing such violence contact the Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline he would be provided with any necessary services and supported accordingly by the telephone counsellor. Counsellors are experienced and their training enables them to identify all scenarios and work with the caller and their presenting issues.

Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline is funded to provided telephone based counselling, information, support and referral for women who are experiencing family and domestic violence.

This is the purpose of the Helplines and the description provided on the website reflects as such.

For all individuals and families who are experiencing violence, the Department for Child Protection and Family Support also provides the following support options:

  • 24/7 Crisis Care service, this is a crisis intervention service providing an immediate response to an individual or family experiencing a crisis, examples include any person experiencing family and domestic violence.
  • Family helpline, 24/7 telephone counselling service providing counselling, support, information and referral to an individual or family experiencing a range of issues.

These services are also on the department’s website.

I hope this response has been useful in advising you of the department’s services to those who are experiencing family and domestic violence from all perspectives. Thank you again for your email.”

And on the 21 May I wrote back to the department saying:

“Thank you for your prompt response to my concerns regarding the content of the web page provided in relation to your helplines. I take it from your response that you do not consider that the wording of the page displays undue bias against men, and consequently you do not propose to amend the content of the page.

We do however agree on the key point that there are both male and female aggressors and male and female victims of aggression, and that all should have access to support and assistance from your organisation.

It is my position, as I think it would be that of any reasonable person reading your web page, that the second sentence of each respective paragraph implies that your service is provided for the use of males who are aggressors and females who are victims, viz.:

“This service provides support and counselling for women experiencing family and domestic violence”, and “This service provides counselling for men who are concerned about becoming violent or abusive.”

I see no reason why the wording used in relation to the two helplines should not be identical, and I would suggest that such an amendment would be entirely appropriate. Consider for example the following suggested re-wording:

WOMEN’S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HELPLINE

The Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline is a state wide 24 hour service. This service provides support and counselling for women who are either experiencing family or domestic violence OR who are concerned about becoming violent or abusive. Our service offers phone counselling, information and advice, referral to local advocacy and support services, liaison with police if necessary and support in escaping situations of family and domestic violence. The service can refer women to safe accommodation if required.

Telephone (08) 9223 1188 Free call 1800 007 339

MEN’S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HELPLINE

The Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline is a state wide 24 hour service. This service provides support and counselling for men who are either experiencing family or domestic violence OR who are concerned about becoming violent or abusive. Our service offers phone counselling, information and advice, referral to local advocacy and support services, liaison with police if necessary and support in escaping situations of family and domestic violence. The service can refer men to safe accommodation if required.

Telephone (08) 9223 1199 Free call 1800 000 599

Darren, I do hope you will give these suggestions due consideration and that you will see merit in removing the gender bias evident in the current page content, via making the proposed amendments. I firmly believe that the current bias is not just discriminatory and inappropriate in a general sense, but would surely also alienate men who might otherwise seek sympathetic assistance from your organization. I look forward to receiving your further response in due course.”

I never received a response to my email, but while I was waiting I scanned the various publications available in the Department’s web site. Unsurprisingly, they also display a high degree of gender bias against men. Some examples:

http://www.dcp.wa.gov.au/CrisisAndEmergency/FDV/Documents/Perpetrator%20Accountability%20in%20Child%20Protection%20Practice.pdf (Sub-titled “A resource for child protection workers about responding to and engaging with men who perpetuate family and domestic violence“. And no, there is no ‘sister’ publication provided for dealing with female abusers.

See page 7 under definition of ‘perpetrator’ where it helpfully points out that “some women also offend against their children“, but that it’s not their fault as “sometimes this reflects an attempt to prevent greater harm from the primary perpetrator of violence …” And yes, that would be a man.

http://www.dcp.wa.gov.au/CrisisAndEmergency/FDV/Documents/Freedom%20From%20Fear/Fact%20sheet-Has%20your%20partner%20hurt%20you.pdf (Written on the basis that the perpetrator of violence is male)

If you too feel that the Department should adopt a more professional and gender-neutral approach then I suggest you make your views known to the relevant Minister, the Honourable Helen Morton MLC (email to Minister.Morton@dpc.wa.gov.au). Alternatively, or in addition to a Ministerial letter, it might be appropriate to lodge a complaint in relation to sex discrimination.

As a footnote, I found this item entitled ‘Commission welcomes initiatives to address gender bias‘. Let’s see how they react when the perpetrator of gender bias is another state government agency.

Still in Western Australia, I noted a phrase in this March 2015 article about a new form of restraining order that is very telling in terms of its inherent anti-male bias:

“Family violence starts usually with the partner controlling every aspect of a woman’s life, the banking, who they speak to, where they go,” [Police Minister Liza Harvey] said.

I guess Liza didn’t say “every aspect of their partners life” as she is of the mistaken belief that all family violence is initiated by men. Shame on you Ms Harvey! But look at the Facebook posts concerning this article – clearly not everyone is buying the feminist perspective.

Note that there is a follow-up post to this one, entitled *That* West Australian Government DV Helpline web page – Some further background

There are also various other posts within this blog concerning domestic violence, perhaps you might like to start with the one entitled domestic violence is not a gendered issue – So why the sexist bias against men?

See also:

Reddit discussion thread on this topic dated November 2015

Reddit mensrights discussion thread on this topic dated March 2015, that features some very interesting comments from concerned individuals. See in particular, comments from ‘dragonsandgoblins‘, also ‘fetafett’, ‘border-box’, ‘Il128’, ‘deadfallpro’, ‘Raditz10’, ‘pookabot’ and ‘regeya’.

WA domestic violence laws pose an insidious threat, by Augusto Zimmermann (24 September 2016)

‘Sunrise’ TV show offers sop to feminists

Yet another case of two steps forward and one step back. In two earlier posts in this blog I described how members of the ‘Sunrise’ TV show purposefully stood their ground against strident feminist criticism. I had hoped that they would keep the positive momentum going with some segments about the excesses and mistruths of the contemporary feminist movement. Unfortunately that was not to be the case. Well, at least not yet. (Postscript: Pleased to see ‘Sunrise’ step up with this interview with MRA Paul Elam on 5 July 2014 … kudos to ‘Sunrise’)

I just watched a segment on ‘Sunrise‘ – an interview involving Michael Kaufman of the ‘White Ribbon Campaign‘ and Sunrise’s resident ‘White Knight‘, Andrew O’Keefe . The segment came across as something of an attempt by ‘Sunrise’ to win back some street-cred with pro-feminist viewers. It’s sad that they feel the need to curry favour with a movement represented by thisthis and this.

The ‘White Ribbon Campaign‘ is a pro-feminist organisation whose goal is to stop violence by men towards women. They ignore violence by women, and for the most part they ignore violence by men towards other men. They do acknowledge problems that disproportionately affect men like suicide and homelessness, but claim that these are a reflection of the pressures of gender stereotypes imposed on boys and men (i.e. be a man!). The solution, they say, is for men to be comfortable showing what are seen as feminine attributes – and then they would not have to hurt women. The ‘White Ribbon’ crowd thus conveniently choose to ignore more potent forces such as the increasingly toxic environment in schools and universities for male students, the pervasive anti-male bias in the media, etc etc.

By all means please do address the problem of violence – violence by people of all genders. And by all means address the imposition of negative gender stereotypes – again, by people of all genders. But by focussing entirely on violence by men towards women, the White Ribbon Campaign reinforces the prevailing stereotype of men as brutes and women as victims. That being the case, they are as much part of the problem as they are part of the solution.

One of the outcomes of this telescopic view of ‘domestic violence = mens violence towards women’ is the trivialising of the other dimensions of intimate partner violence (i.e. womens violence towards men, male on male violence, and female on female violence). This bias is a pervasive influence across society, and is discussed and demonstrated in another blog post which includes links to videos showing public reaction to male and female actors playing out different scenarios of partner violence.

The concerns of others regarding the White Ribbon Campaign can be ascertained by googling on the words ‘White Ribbon Campaign criticism’ (some examples herehereherehere, here and here).