Consider those organisations whose default position is one exemplified by a clear bias towards supporting women/girls. The Australian Human Rights Commission is just one of very many such examples, with more listed here. To my mind a better and fairer approach would involve a gender-neutral approach where support was allocated based on *actual* need as measured in a transparent and objective manner.
I wonder how the senior staff of these organisations rationalise their biased priorities. I assume they feel that it is justified as (in their minds) ‘women have it so much worse’/’men have it so much better’. Indeed feminists loudly proclaim the overwhelming privilege of being male. But what about female privilege?
I have seen lists such as the one below on a number of previous occasions, but this one is particularly detailed. I obtained it from the web site of Anti-feminism Australia, although clearly it originated in the U.S of A. You will note for example some references to ‘selective service’ (i.e. mandatory military draft).
Allow me at the outset to put forward a couple of disclaimers:
Not all of these points apply equally, or at all, in all countries. I have already mentioned the example of ‘selective service’ which does not apply in Australia.
While all of the points of privilege apply to and/or would be asserted by most feminists, the same could not be said to be true of all women.
A recurrent theme in this list is that of the rampant double-standards that are now applied in relation to men and women, a factor that is part and parcel of gender feminism.
I intend to ‘tweak’ the list with my own thoughts over coming months. I am interested to hear the views of others so please feel free to provide a comment to add further points to the list, or to dispute or amend anything already listed.
1. From an early age the opposite sex will be instructed never to hit me but I may not be given the same instructions. However, should I strike males I can expect not to be hit back and any social penalties that occur from my actions will actually fall on the male.
2. If I’m not smart, but pretty, I can marry and achieve the social and financial level of my husband without ever working.
3. I can produce offspring. A status which grants me an “essential” status in our species that men can never have and which can never be taken away from me even in old age.
4. Regardless of my mate value society has organised fertility clinics and social welfare programs that will allow me to have children and provide for them should I choose to reproduce without a mate or marriage.
5. I not only have the more valuable and sought after sexual identity, but I also have complete control over my reproductive choice and in many ways over the reproductive choice of the opposite sex.
6. At any time I can abandon my parental responsibilities with little or no social stigma and hand the child over to the state or abort the pregnancy. A male could never relieve himself of this burden unless I allow him to.
7. I am granted all the rights of a democracy without any of the burdens of military service.
8. At age 18 I lose the protective status of the child but retain the protective status of the female. Boys at age 18 lose the protected status of the child and become targets if they fail to gain status after that point.
9. When I marry a man with status I can take his name and become whoever he has spent years becoming. I need not do anything special to be worthy of receiving the reputation he has built. However, if I wish to keep my own name I can do so. Should my husband feel the sting of this insult I can simply call him a sexist for it.
10. People will help me more when I’m in need and I will receive no social penalty or stigma for it.
11. When I’m on a date things will be paid for me.
12. When I search for employment I can choose jobs which I think are fulfilling without concern of whether they provide a “family” wage.
13. I can discriminate against the opposite sex ruthlessly without social penalty.
14. If I marry and quit my job and enjoy a leisurely life with light housework and then later divorce I will be given half of the marital assets.
15. If I commit a crime and am convicted I will get a sentencing discount because of my gender, or may avoid incarceration entirely. If I am very pretty and/or pregnant it will increase my discount.
16. If I am a partner in crime with a man I will likely be charged with lesser crimes even though I committed the same crimes even if I was the ringleader.
17. I have the option to be outraged if my husband asks me if my behaviour is due to PMS and later on use PMS as a successful legal defence for murdering that same husband.
18. At age 18 I will not be forced to register for Selective Service and will not be penalised for failing to do so.
19. At a time of war I will never be drafted and ripped from my employment, home, and family and forced to become a military slave.
20. My feelings are more important than men’s lives. Every precaution will be made to protect me from harassment at work. However, males will make up nearly 100% of workplace fatalities.
21. My gender controls 80% of domestic spending. We get to spend our money if we have any and we get to spend men’s money.
22. The majority of luxury apparel is designed, marketed to, and consumed by women.
23. Seven times as much jewellery will be purchased by or for me than by or for men.
24. I have a department of women’s health whereas men have no such department.
25. My gender enjoys more government spending on health than males do.
26. My gender consumes the lioness’ share of entitlement programs while men contribute the lion’s share of taxes. (See this paper for example)
27. If I rape or molest a child I can expect lighter treatment in court and afterwards receive less social stigma. What’s more, should I become pregnant, I can sue my victim for child support when he finally turns 18.
28. When I divorce my husband I will be guaranteed custody of my children unless I am deemed to be unfit. Even if my husband is “Parent of the Year” 10 years running it is unlikely he will get custody over me even if I am a mediocre parent.
29. When I divorce I can use false accusations of domestic violence, sexual molestation of the children or abuse of the children to gain advantage during court proceedings. If I am found out to be a liar I can expect to get away with it.
30. If a man calls me a slut it will probably hurt his reputation more than it hurts mine, but at any rate the damage will be small and localised. However, if I call him a child molester or claim that he raped me I can destroy him completely and the damage may be nationwide.
31. If I fail at my career I can blame the male dominated society.
32. I may have the luxury of staying home and being a housewife but if my sister’s husband does the same thing I’m likely to call him a deadbeat loser and tell her to leave him.
33. If I “choose” to join the military; the best military occupations providing the most lucrative civilian training will be reserved for me. I will be kept away from the fighting as much as possible to the point that I will be thirty times less likely to be killed in a war zone than my male counterparts. I will be given equal pay for less risk. I will never have to consider the fact that by joining the military and getting a plumb assignment I automatically forced a male out of that position and into a combat role that may cost him his life.
34. If a male soldier injures himself before a deployment he can be arrested and court marshalled for it. If I deliberately get pregnant before a deployment or even during a deployment I will be reassigned and or taken out of a war zone and I will receive no penalty for it.
35. My gender watches more television in every hour of every day than any other group. This along with the fact that women control 80% of domestic spending means that most television shows and advertisement are designed to appeal to me.
36. I can wear masculine clothing if it pleases me however men cannot wear feminine clothing without social penalty.
37. Not only is there a wealth of clothing choices designed for me but it is likely that I will be able to afford or have them provided for me.
38. I can claim that a wage gap exists and that it is the fault of sexism while simultaneously seeking employment without considering income as a priority. I will probably choose my job based on satisfaction, flexibility of hours, and working conditions and then expect to make as much as the males working nights, out in the rain and cold or working overtime.
39. I can be bigoted or sexist against males without social penalty.
40. If I make a false claim of rape against a male in an act of revenge or in order to cover up my own scandalous behaviour I may well succeed at both and he may spend years in prison. If I am found out it is unlikely I will be charged, convicted, or serve any time at all.
41. If I abuse my husband and physically assault him and the police arrive it is almost guaranteed he will go to jail.
42. If I am in an abusive relationship there are a multitude of social organisations to help me get away from him. There are few for men in the same position even though women initiate the majority of DV and even though men are hospitalised 30% of the time.
43. In the event of a natural disaster or other emergency that requires evacuation I can expect to be evacuated before males. This includes male doctors, humanitarians, politicians, captains of industry, billionaires, and religious leaders. I will receive no social penalty if all of those people died because I was evacuated first. However, should they manage to get evacuated before women and those women died they will all suffer a social penalty.
44. If someone is attacking a person on the street I have no obligation to assist them and I will receive no social penalty if I do nothing.
45. If someone is harming my children and I run away and ask someone else to help I will receive no social penalty for my cowardice.
46. I’m immune to cognitive dissonance.
47. I may denounce the concept of a dowry, however, I still expect a man to give me an engagement ring when he asks me to marry him.
48. I expect a man to ask me to marry me and suffer the potential risk of rejection.
49. If I lie it’s because I’m a victim of a male dominated society forced into difficult circumstances and not because I’m a bad person.
50. If my boyfriend sabotages a condom he can pay me child support for the next 20 years. If I secretly don’t take my birth control my boyfriend can pay me child support for the next 20 years.
51. If I’m uncomfortable exercising around men I can demand a female only gym be made for women. If any male only gyms exist I can demand membership under threat of lawsuit.
52. If my female only gym at the university decides to close early for safety reasons I can scream sexism and force them to keep it open as long as the main gym.
53. If I succeed at keeping the female gym open and I leave late at night and I don’t feel safe I can demand that the university spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for more lighting and police presence.
54. If after getting new lighting and police protection I decide I don’t want to go to the gym anymore well that’s just my prerogative.
55. I’m likely to believe that if a woman is intoxicated she is not capable of giving consent and if sex occurs it is rape. However, if her male partner is also intoxicated he is capable of consenting.
56. If a man is promoted over me at work I have a right to suspect sexism even though I also believe that under adverse circumstances men are more capable than women of making good decisions. (see #55)
57. I can cry and get my husband to do something for me that he might not have done otherwise.
58. I expect people (especially men) to be sensitive to my feelings.
59. I can deny a man’s feelings or disregard them or ridicule him for having them without social penalty.
60. If I lose my job it’s because of sexism or the economy. If a man loses his job it’s because he’s a loser.
61. If I go to a club or bar with my girlfriends and I look my sexy best I have a right to be perturbed when men approach me and hit on me in this public place.
62. Even though men die more from prostate cancer than women die from breast cancer I can expect that twice as much funding is given for breast cancer. The same will apply to any female specific disease or malady.
63. If for some reason I do not get custody of my children I will be expected to pay less child support than another man in my exact same position.
64. If I kidnap my children and I am eventually caught I can successfully defend myself by claiming I was protecting them from my husband–even if my children were given to him to protect them from me.
65. My gender makes up 53% of the voting population yet when I see more men in political office I will call that sexism.
66. If I am married with children and I want to stay home with the kids I’m likely to blame my husband for not making enough to allow me to do that.
67. I think it is my right to work and I am unconcerned if the influx of women into the workforce has reduced overall wages to the point that it’s hard to support a family on just one income, or affirmative action has kept men from being promoted even though they deserved it.
68. I can get student financial aid without signing up for Selective Service (the Draft).
69. I can get employment with a federal agency without signing up for Selective Service.
70. Restrooms for my gender will be cleaner and are more likely to have flowers or other decorations.
71. If I’m caring for a child restrooms for my gender will more likely have a changing table for my convenience.
72. People I’ve never met before are more likely to open doors for me.
73. People I’ve never met before are more likely to talk to me in public.
74. If I go to a bar I can expect that members of the opposite sex will purchase drinks for me.
75. Anytime I find an organisation just for men I can denounce it as sexism.
76. I believe that women should have organisations just for women.
77. If I meet a man that I like and I give him my phone number and he doesn’t call I have a right to think of him as an asshole.
78. If I meet a man that I like and I give him my phone number and he calls me I have a right to blow him off or act like I don’t know him.
79. I believe I have a right to live in an orderly and safe society but I feel no obligation to risk my safety to secure or maintain that society.
80. I like it when bars and clubs have drinks specials just for women.
81. I think that organisations that offer any discounts or privileges just for men is a clear sign of sexism.
82. If I’m white I will live 6 years longer than white males and 14 years longer than black males.
83. If I’m encouraged to get medical care it’s because I owe it to myself.
84. When my husband is encouraged to get medical help it’s because he owes to to me and the kids.
85. If something bad happens to me or just one woman I believe it is an offence against all women.
86. I believe that if something bad happens to a man it’s because he’s a loser.
87. I think that alimony is fair when paid to a woman but not fair when paid by a woman.
88. I’m more likely to believe that women who commit crimes are sick and need treatment or understanding whereas men who commit crimes are evil and should be locked up forever.
89. I can criticise the opposite sex without social penalty, but woe be to the man who attempts to criticise me or other women.
90. I can throw a fit and act like a two year old to get what I want without damaging my mate value.
91. I have the luxury of not being the filter for natural selection.
92. I can sleep with my boss if I want and afterwards I can sue him for sexual harassment.
93. I can wear seductive clothing and perfume to attract a man at work but no one will accuse me of sexual harassment.
94. If I hear a story about Darfur and how men who leave the refugee camps to gather wood are hacked to death to prevent their wives from being raped I am likely to think that is proper but not likely to send money.
95. If I hear a story about Darfur and how women are leaving the refugee camps to gather wood are being raped I’m likely to be outraged. I’m also likely to wonder why these women’s husbands aren’t protecting them.
96. If I ever heard these stories about Darfur it is my privilege not to care or even consider that the reason the second story exists is because all the men in the first have already been killed.
97. It is my right to maintain the belief that men oppress women despite all of the evidence to the contrary.
Most public sector agencies, and many businesses, develop and enforce policies to guide their employees in the appropriate use of social media. The focus of most such policies is to reduce the likelihood that employees will post something that compromises the organisation that they work for. Conversely, the main criticism of social media policies is their potential to muzzle employees from communicating freely with the public.
A study commissioned by the Australian Electoral Commission recognised that “social media afford(ed) new opportunities for engaging citizens in democratic processes” (p8), but warned that sites can “become ‘digital enclaves’ or ‘echo chambers’ for small groups of like-minded citizens who dominate discussion.” (p29)
Social media policies may make provision to block members of the public who post spam or abusive or threatening messages onto the Facebook page/Twitter stream/etc of the organisation in question.
Few social media policies, however, seem to address the issue of whether staff are allowed to block/ban or remove posts in relation to members of the public who post material that is not offensive, but which may embarass the individual/organisation and/or promote or reflect alternative ideologies or belief systems.
Granted, my research has been limited, but the sole exception I have come across thus far in the public sector is the ‘ACT Government Social Media Policy Guidelines‘. That policy includes the following clause:
“Openness and transparency should be the defaults, meaning blocking users on Twitter and locking Facebook groups designed for public interface is not advisable” (Source – refer page 27)
This topic recently reared its head as a result of my interaction with a government agency known as the Australian Human Rights Commission (‘AHRC’).
As readers of this blog would be aware, I maintain an ongoing interest in the operation of the AHRC (example). That being the case I periodically check the relevant social media accounts to maintain an awareness of what is being said and done, and occasionally to comment.
The other day I was surprised to discover this notice upon attempting to view the Twitter stream of the Sex-Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins:
I looked at my most recent tweets to Ms Jenkins to see if I had inadvertently stepped over the line re: civility. This is what I found:
Fairly tame stuff, huh? As I expected. I challenge Ms Jenkins or anyone else I have communicated with to produce anything that they consider to be so offensive as to justify punitive action. I mean aside from generalised hurt feelings arising from transgressions against cherished ideology.
I’m both a tax-payer and a former public servant, and I would no sooner have binned correspondence from the public/hung up on people/etc than walk to work naked. And make no mistake, blocking constituents on social media is the current-day equivalent of such actions. How things have changed.
I wonder if such action is permissible for federal public servants under the existing legislative/regulatory framework? I wonder how commonly it occurs, and whether anyone actually knows?
I also wonder if the staff who engage in this type of systematic disengagement are more or less likely to hold particular ideological views? This PEW Research article, for example, found that the people most likely to block others on social media held consistent leftist/liberal views.
As I discussed in another blog post, this default position of silencing rather than engaging dissenting voices has become a hallmark of gender feminists.
It must be quite intoxicating to believe that your position is so right, and others so diabolically wrong, that dialogue with unbelievers is not just redundant but seemingly an affront to decency.
General guidelines for public sector staff, in relation to engagement with the public including via social media, are set out in ‘APS Values and Code of Conduct in practice‘. It contains a number of provisions relevant to this issue such as:
2.2.3 The Directions about this Value require APS employees to engage effectively with the community, working actively to provide responsive, client-focused service delivery. <snip> Employees must also ensure that decisions and interactions with clients are objective and impartial, and in accordance with government policy.
4.5.7 <snip> employees should avoid partisan comment and ensure that their approach to speaking publicly about policies supports public confidence in the capacity of the APS to be impartial.
5.1.3 A real conflict of interest occurs where there is a conflict between the public duty and personal interests of an employee that improperly influences the employee in the performance of his or her duties.
The Australian Human Rights Commission comes under the oversight of the Australian Attorney-General. That being the case I approached that Department (the ‘AGD’) as follows:
“Today I noted that I had been blocked from accessing the Twitter stream of a senior member of staff of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Prior to this occurring I can confirm that I did not communicate in a manner that was abusive, threatening, etc (nor make an excessive number of posts for example) … actions that would reasonably justify being blocked or banned. Such an action on the part of a senior public servant appears not just unprofessional, but amounts to censorship being applied to stakeholders simply on the basis of holding a dissenting viewpoint. I am writing to you now to request details of the guidelines under which staff (or agencies themselves) within the AGD are permitted to ban or block members of the public from social media streams or pages. Specifically, is such an action even permissible in the absence of bad language, threats, etc? I look forward to receiving your timely advice regarding this matter.”
The AGD subsequently replied:
“Thank you for contacting the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department (the department). The department is not able to directly assist you. Your enquiry would be more appropriately directed to the Australian Human Rights Commission … “
The social media policy for the Human Rights Commission is provided here. The policy does not clearly state whether staff members are empowered to block people for reasons other than those specified therein – which I did not contravene.
I then directed relevant questions to the Australian Public Service Commission (‘APSC’) and the AHRC. In their initial response the AHRC directed me to their social media policy, which I had already indicated I had read. I replied:
“I am seeking an indication from you as to whether the Commission has either a policy or accepted practice whereby members of staff are empowered make unillateral decisions to place blocks or bans on members of the public seeking to access and engage with various online portals estatblished by the AHRC.
As I indicated in my initial email, my focus is on situations where there has been no clear contravention of the standards of behaviour set out in your policy. I look forward to receiving your further advice on this matter.”
The subsequent response from the AHRC again directed me to their Social Media Policy. From that I think we can assume that they have either not understood the nature of my concern, or that such concerns are only to be addressed on an ad hoc basis.
In contrast I received useful feedback from Paul Casimir, Director Integrity, Employment Policy Group at the APSC:
“The Australian Public Service Commission has not developed guidance for APS agencies about the circumstances in which it would be appropriate for an APS employee or an APS agency to block access to a Twitter feed or similar social media platform. This is a matter for individual agencies to consider in each case having regard to a number of factors including, but not limited to, the obligation under the Commissioner’s Directions to engage effectively with the community.
Where an APS employee has acted in a manner inconsistent with the APS Values or Code of Conduct that matter may be referred to the head of that agency for consideration as a potential breach of the Code of Conduct.
However, it may also be relevant to you to know that the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Ms Kate Jenkins, is a statutory officer appointed under the terms of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984. As such, she is not an APS employee and is not bound by either the APS Code of Conduct or the APS Values in the way that APS employees are. The excerpts of your blog post from the APS Values and Code of Conduct In Practice do not apply to her.”
My own position on this matter? I don’t take Ms Jenkins gesture personally in the least. I do find it ironic, however, that someone whose job it is to protect rights should be so amenable to the removal of rights. Indeed the Commission is on record as asserting internet access to be a fundamental human right. The possibility that Ms Jenkins action was tainted with a degree of misandry is similarly repellent.
I believe that the sort of waspish and self-indulgent behaviour common to online feminist echo chambers is completely inappropriate when transposed to the digital portal of a public sector agency. In the latter situation the priority should not be shunning and shaming, but rather sharing and engaging. Such as approach should be consistently applied to all interested stakeholders – regardless of their ideological preferences and/or the extent to which their views align with those of the relevant agency or individual managing the account.
Finally here’s an emerging initiative in the UK – a proposed petition to have their parliament consider this issue of citizens being blocked by public servants on social media. To access the petition related to the text below please click here and here (31 May 2022)
In an earlier blog post I briefly examined a number of pro-feminist organisations in Australia, noting (in part) the extent of public funding received by each. My post on the Domestic Violence Industry also identified another substantial sump for both government funding and private donations.
Despite the fact that I only scratched the surface in relation to identifying such organisations, the extent of state and federal funding involved already amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if someone could tally up all the public funds that are directed towards the welfare of women/girls? And then go through a similar exercise in relation to funding for men/boys. To what extent do you think the two amounts would be comparable?
Well, until 2013 the Australian federal government did something a little similar. It was called the Women’s Budget Statement. I’m not sure why it was terminated, but perhaps it was found that the data it provided was unreliable and/or otherwise unhelpful in comparison to the annual cost of compiling the Statement. Another possibility was that it identified so much expenditure directed towards women that it’s value as a sop to the feminist lobby was eclipsed by the potential it posed for an angry voter backlash.
Miranda thinks that the community would benefit from the re-instatement of the Women’s Budget Statement. The author justifies this gynocentric bias, at least in part, on the existence of the much-discredited gender pay gap. I believe it would be far more equitable and effective (as a policy development tool) if there was one combined document that considered the impact of federal expenditure on both men and women.
Another point of difference between what Miranda has in mind, and what I envisage, relates to the nature of the information provided. Miranda wants to see an assessment of the economic impact, on women, of a wide range of government policies. I am not convinced how accurately such impacts could be assessed, nor to the extent it could be kept free of the gender bias and ideological tweaking that is now rampant across the Australia public service.
I would be satisfied with something simpler, merely a listing of specific programs or allocations that were directed towards (or could be determined to benefit) alternately either boys/men or girls/women. This in itself would be a difficult task, as many such allocations are hidden, for example, deep within departmental budgets.
In other cases, allocations which would appear to be gender-neutral could be determined on closer analysis to strongly favor one gender in relation to the other. An example of this would be funding for the Australian Human Rights Commission.
This suggestion is noted in another article (refer point 5), although I think Claire Moore, Shadow Minister for Women, probably has different priorities in mind.
So where would one make a start on creating such a spreadsheet? Well I’ve already mentioned the various organisations listed in my blog post about misandric agencies. We could expand that initial list by considering each of the members of the Equality Rights Alliance, Australia’s largest network of organisations with an interest in advancing women’s equality. From then on it would be a matter of relentless burrowing through budget papers seeking relevant allocations.
The intention would be to combine the total funding received by each organisation and compare that figure with total annual funding for boys/men’s groups and issues. Although larger in magnitude I imagine that the women’s budget would be somewhat easier to compile given that there are specific ministries and sections with agencies that deal with women’s issues.
I would wager that there is absolutely no chance that the expenditure ratio would match the ratio of males/females in the Australian population, with an overwhelming bias towards the welfare of girls/women.
As an aside bear in mind that men, both individually and through the corporate entities they own, contribute far more than 50% of the government’s income. Click across to this blog post and scroll down to ‘taxation’ to see some relevant sources. Would it not be more equitable if the default setting was that half of government expenditure was subsequently utilised to support the interests/welfare of men and boys?
I believe that such a process of financial analysis would not only identify a massive and inequitable gendered imbalance in government funding, but it would also identify enormous waste and duplication. I wonder just how many indulgences like this are out there waiting to be uncovered?
If I am correct and there is a substantial favouring of females over males, how can this be justified? Barring the absence of incontrovertible evidence of overwhelmingly greater need, across the board, this would be indicative of neither gender equality nor prudent governance.
Certainly priority should be given to the area/s of greatest genuine need. And of course there will be areas where women’s needs are greater than mens (and vice versa). Thus note that I am not suggesting for a moment that one would seek to religiously apply a 50% split to every government program in Australia.
But humor me and suppose that a detailed and objective analysis did find that vastly more support was accorded to women/girls across all of government? And that meanwhile funding was urgently required to meet the demonstrated needs of men/boys?
Let’s find out. Otherwise, sorry, not good enough. Not by a long shot.
“A priority for the Australian Government is to create the right economic settings for women to help them participate in work, increase their economic security and give them meaningful choices about their lives.”
Women’s group call for gender aware budget (22 May 2017) Australia. They are not calling for a “gender aware budget”, they are calling for a female-aware budget … no mention whatsoever is made of looking at the impact of the budget on men. More of the same here and here.
Gender Lens on the Budget 2017/18 (undated) Australia. We need something like this to look at the impact of the budget on men (shame this one didn’t address both genders)
My initial post regarding the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) can be found here. This post addresses the performance of the AHRC following the departure of former Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, in September 2015.
There was a considerable delay in appointing a new Sex Discrimination Commissioner. In the interim several articles on the issue emerged, these penned by feminist journalists with notable anti-male credentials (see here and here).
Nothing particularly substantial occurred in relation to gender issues at the Commission during this period of vacuum. That which did occur gave no cause for optimism that the AHRC’s anti-male bias had softened with the departure of Ms Broderick.
This November 2015 article discusses the finalists for the 2015 Human Rights Community Award. Note how many of the finalists worked to advance/protect the rights of men/boys. None it would seem.
This December 2015 speech by Megan Mitchell, Children’s Commissioner, began on a relatively gender-neutral note only to then introduce material which signalled feminist bias:
“Previous studies have also estimated that over 20% of children and young people have witnessed violence against a mother or step mother”
Whilst correct, this omits the important fact that as many kids have seen their mum hit their dad, as have seen their dad hit their mum. This is addressed in the ‘Misinformation’ page of the One in Three organisation’s web site:
“23% of young people between the ages of 12 and 20 years had witnessed an incident of physical violence against their mother/stepmother and 22% against their father/stepfather” (Source)
Further gender bias was reported in the mainstream media on the same day in the following manner:
“The Children’s Rights Report being released today found one in every 28 people had also experienced sexual abuse as a child, while a further 23 per cent of children have witnessed violence against their mother”.
Now back to Megan’s speech, in which she introduced Rosie Batty, Ms Mitchell was also conveniently silent about the fact that most child abuse/neglect/filicide is perpetrated by women. True to feminist form, gender is only relevant or notable when men are the primary perpetrators of harm.
Finally, on 11 February 2016 it was announced that Kate Jenkins had been appointed the new Sex Discrimination Commissioner. I wonder if there were any men amongst the seven people interviewed for the position? Media commentator Andrew Bolt had something to say about the appointment of yet another woman to the role in ‘End this sex discrimination now‘.
“Far more needs to be done to close the gender pay gap in Australia.” (OMG, did she really say that?) Actually Kate, the only thing that needs to be done is that people (read: feminists) should be told to stop misrepresenting it as a tool of patriarchal oppression. A good first step would be reading my blog post.
This article suggests that Kate plans to continue along the sexist path of her predecessor. Feminist high-fives all round.
This page, from within the AHRC’s web site, is aptly entitled ‘About Sex Discrimination’. And it sure is.
The ABC interview that follows was likewise dispiriting as Ms Jenkins said she would first like to get out to “talk to women, families …”. Go on Kate, you can say it … ‘men’ is not a rude word. Men did rate a mention later, but only in the context of more ‘damselling’ (appeal to & then exploit men’s chivalry) to win support for initiatives that further enhance benefits for women.
This was followed by more obligatory feminist parroting in relation to domestic violence (caused by gender inequality, but oops what about lesbian relationships Kate?), and the gender wage gap <facepalm>. Just brimful of fresh ideas.
Underlying Lauren’s article is an assumption that either (1) there are no ‘men’s issues’, or (2) men’s issues aren’t significant, or (3) that it’s not the Commissioner’s job to address them.
Sooo let’s get men (who have been told repeatedly to butt out of gender-related discussions) to participate more and get behind making things better for women.
Further evidence of the ongoing gender bias at the AHRC was provided in their submission to the 2016 Federal Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality (refer submission 41). In that submission it was implied that all perpetrators of domestic violence were male, that males faced no negative discrimination or stereotyping, and that all victims of these behaviours or attitudes were female or transgender. There is not one sentence in that submission that suggests that the AHRC considers that men are worthy of any support, sympathy or compassion whatsoever.
Kate commenced duties in April 2016 and duly fronted up to give a presentation at the National Press Club. A flurry of pro-feminist articles followed with no suggestion whatsoever that mens/boys issues would receive one iota of attention from the Commissioner. Oh, but she has plenty of drum-banging planned in relation to the <groan> gender pay gap. Here’s one of those articles:
I note that the Commission has added some pages to their web site in relation to Family and Domestic Violence, plus links to various articles presenting the feminist perspective on this issue. This page for example provides no corresponding statistics in relation to male victimisation, with its sole reference to that component of DV being the old feminist “overwhelming majority” mantra.
On 3 August 2016 I discovered I had been blocked from Ms Jenkins Twitter account in the absence of any threatening or abusive communication on my part. As both a tax-payer and former public servant I find this action both extraordinary and wholly inappropriate (see this post).
On 12 October 2016 Kate Jenkins was interviewed about her three top priorities. I wonder how far down the list we would need to go before finding anything in relation to the welfare of men/boys? In fact I wonder if we would find any such item/s anywhere on that list?
The Hunting Ground & the campus rape study
Now in the light of all the preceding evidence, one would hope that the AHRC would consider the most appropriate course of action to be a gradual pulling-back from their position of anti-male bias. But no, they doubled-down instead through their involvement with a project that sought to justify, and to continue, their focus on women’s rights through the feminist lens.
It was no accident that the promotion of ‘The Hunting Ground’ coincided with the conducting of the campus sexual assault survey, and the subsequent release of the results in July 2017 as discussed in the following articles:
Manufacturing Australia’s next epidemic (26 July 2017) Video. First promote the (debunked) film ‘The Hunting Ground’ then a survey (with self-selected respondents) and now for the hysteria and demands for punitive action. Against … drumroll … men.
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a peer review assessment of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States every five years. Australia’s next review will take place in January 2021. The Commission contributes to Australia’s UPR alongside civil society organisations. Take a look at the ‘fact-sheets’ that the Commission has prepared in relation to various key issues. Let’s start with ‘Gender Equality‘ shall we? Would it surprise you to know that there are no issues related to the welfare of men & boys?
Note this page in the Commission’s web site in the Education section, and how ‘Women’s Rights’ is a designated ‘Hot Topic’ whilst men’s/boys rights is excluded. Whilst ‘Homelessness’ is also listed as a hot topic, the gender differences in those afflicted is simply ignored.
At a session entitled ‘Smashing the Patriarchy!’ at the 2019 National Community Legal Centres Conference, Kate Jenkins served on “a diverse panel of powerful women as they reflect on their own experiences and work. The discussion will include possibilities for collective action, ways to challenge existing systems of power and patriarchy and the rights and experiences of women across Australia. This plenary will provide an opportunity to discuss key issues such as sexual harassment; the fight to de-criminalise abortion; systemic racism and discrimination experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and Muslim women …“
Face the Facts: Gender Equality 2018 – This web page and linked sources appear to have been written on the assumption that gender equality and women’s rights are synonymous. The rights or issues of men & boys are simply not mentioned.
Unleashing the power of gender equality (November 2017) by Kate Jenkins. Men and boys are essentially missing in action in this document. Word search on the term ‘men’ then scroll through each of the 89 mentions to quickly confirm where the author’s interest (bias) lies.
Financial rewards provided only to women are “smart”, even when part-time and/or low income male workers also retire with low Superannuation balances. Little wonder feminists hate the term “Apex Fallacy”.
Australian report finds disturbing evidence of gender inequality | Women | The Guardian (8 March 2017) The three letters of ‘men’ appears 67 times in this article by Kate – count how many times it related to actual men (twice). And one of these times merely refuting the claim that there is no International Men’s Day. Oh please! Lame shot! It’s not recognised by the UN, and is ignored by the AHRC and most (if not all) Australian state & federal agencies.
I have detailed my concerns about the level of bias reflected in the operation of the Australian Human Rights Commission elsewhere in this blog. On 11 December 2014, I sent an email to the Hon George Brandis QC, Attorney-General, Minister for the Arts and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate sharing my concerns and seeking his support:
“I write to you in your capacity as Attorney-General in which you are tasked with the oversight of the operation of the Australian Human Rights Commission.
I am deeply concerned about what I perceive to be the application of biased and inappropriate priorities with regards to, in particular, the Commission’s role in addressing gender discrimination. I have detailed these concerns in the following blog post:
I believe that this situation may require your intervention in order to ease the Commission back onto the correct track – one that sees a heightened emphasis on striving for true gender equality and with a corresponding scaling back of the emphasis placed on pursuing the ideology of gender feminism.
I would consequently appreciate you reading the linked paper and providing me with your views in relation to the matters raised therein.”
On 2 March 2015, after a further approach from me, I received the following reply:
“Thank you for your email of 11 December 2014 to the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, concerning the Australian Human Rights Commission. The Attorney-General has asked me to reply to you on his behalf.
I have noted your comments in relation to Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick and the work of the Australian Human Rights Commission. The Commission was established under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 to conciliate complaints of discrimination and provide advice to the Government on human rights issues. The Commission falls within the Attorney General’s portfolio responsibility, but it is independent from the Government.
The Australian Government supports the important role that the Commission plays in protecting and promoting human rights in Australia. That does not mean that the Government necessarily agrees with all the statements made by Commissioners, who do not speak for the Government in performing their functions. Commissioner Broderick is free to express her views, as all Australians are free to express their opinions.
If you have concerns that you wish to raise about the operations of the Australian Human Rights Commission or any of its Commissioners, you may raise these directly with the President of the Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs. Professor Triggs’ address is:
Professor Gillian Triggs President Australian Human Rights Commission GPO Box 5218 SYDNEY NSW 2001
The Attorney-General cannot intervene in the Commission’s handling of individual queries or complaints.
Thank you for taking the time to write about your concerns.”
Senator Brandis’ inaction is unfortunate but perhaps understandable given the currently torturous interaction between the Government and the AHRC, as detailed in the following articles:
These recent developments involving Ms. Broderick’s boss suggest an entrenched culture within the Commission whereby it has become accepted that AHRC priorities shall be determined by political and ideological bias rather than on the basis of statutory responsibility alone.
International Men’s Day (IMD) is upon us again – it’s on 19 November in case you weren’t aware. Last year, as is usual, it passed with barely a blip on the media’s radar screen. At least, that was the case here in Australia.
Some government agencies, such as Australian Human Rights Commission, pointedly ignore IMD. You can read in this post how they refused to make mention of Men’s Day in their web site, whilst celebrating International Women’s Day with much vigor. I contacted the Commission a few weeks back to see if they had anything planned for this year, but received no response. I also did a search of their web site and turned up nothing.
I have yet to read any announcements regarding how Australian Federal and/or State/Territory governments plan to mark IMD2016, so I sent out a series of tweets seeking that information. I planned to include responses onto this page, but there were none. I also did google-searching but didn’t manage to identify a single IMD2016 event taking place in Australia. If you know of one then please contribute a comment.
The United Nations demonstrates its pervasive gynocentric bias in part through its failure to list International Men’s Day in its online calendar of events. If you disagree with this omission then contact your country’s UN representative and let them know how you feel. Details concerning Australia’s representative to the UN are provided here.
And I doubt you would be surprised to learn that feminists hugely enjoy mocking IMD. Yes indeed, and now repeat after me, “yeah, but every day is men’s day!”
Glen Poole (UK) does a great job discussing the various issues commonly raised in relation to IMD in a series of articles entitled ‘Dumb reasons why we don’t need an International Men’s Day’ … refer Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5
The most recent development seems to be feminist spokespeople acknowledging International Men’s Day, but in a very back-handed way, see for example.
The following items concerning International Men’s Day may also be of interest:
Whilst IMD is routinely ignored by govt’s and corporates alike, one company (Citi) uses the event to tell men that they should lift their game via the hashtag #ChallengeAllMenToDoBetter (17 November 2017) Pathetic
Women’s Network tries to hijack International Men’s Day! (22 September 2017) Video. You couldn’t make this stuff up … IMD2017 event organised by women’s group behind shield of a seemingly non-existent men’s group, with proceeds to pro-feminist group that ignores male victims of domestic violence. The organiser was asked to provide details of the ‘Australian Men’s Network’ but instead chose to lock her Twitter account (@Awn001Fran). You can watch a Paul Elam video regarding this event here, and here is another quality video from The Independant Man.
The issues that really matter on #InternationalMensDay (19 November 2016) So let me get this right, feminists insist that the sole focus of the domestic violence debate should be on female victims because they constitute the majority. Here however the author fem-splains that the “issues that really matter” on IMD are issues affecting male minority groups not all of the nasty unwashed white CIS-HET majority.
The Commissioner for discrimination against men (21 July 2012) It was suggested that the Australian Human Rights Commission 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. Now, many years later, there is still no mention of International Men’s Day within the AHRC web site. A truly pathetic effort from a very gender-biased organisation.
Feminist Fathers Day 2014 (I’m including this ghastly anti-male diatribe here sarcastically. It shows just how far some feminists want to shame men and feminise boys. As usual there are some great insights and colourful retorts amongst the readers comments).
There was also the massive internet prank that was #endfathersday and which highlighted both the sociopathic nature and herd mentality of many feminists – as discussed here, here and here
Firstly, what do I mean by the term “fudging” in the context of this blog post?
to present or deal with (something) in a vague or inadequate way, especially so as to conceal the truth or mislead and/or
to adjust or manipulate (facts or figures) so as to present a desired picture.
So how do feminists and their allies, go about fudging statistics? Well the most common technique used, so prevalent that it’s virtually a hallmark of feminist literature, is to report statistics in relation to female victimhood in the absence of comparative figures for men and boys. Such information is (or at least, was) generated in surveys but usually went unreported, unless doing so would support the feminist perspective.
Thus subsequently, and in a worrying trend, more and more research projects undertaken by pro-feminist organisations don’t include male subjects in surveys. Nor do they investigate impacts on males or attitudes towards men (examples here, here, here, here, here, and here).
Clearly with corresponding data in relation to males unavailable then rapporteurs can easily deflect requests for contextual information. Information which would, in many cases, otherwise weaken their claims of gendered victimhood.
Thus biased researchers can represent a social problem as being gendered when it is not. And so the next researcher builds on existing incomplete research and concludes and/or implies in their report … this problem rarely affects men, or affects men in different & lesser ways, etc (but we can’t be sure because no data). And the cycle of gender bias in research, and subsequently in policy formulation, rolls on.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation believe the reverse to be true, and that there is a ‘gender data gap’ with “male-biased surveys that fail to capture women’s perspectives, their needs and their economic value”. They provide a 3rd world example upon which I am not qualified to comment, but with regards to 1st world countries their proposition is laughable. This Australian feminist writer, Kristine Ziwica, is pushing the same line (12 March 2019).
A paper by Dr. Murray Straus addressed the issue of feminists distorting domestic violence data. He identified the seven primary methods they used as being:
To suppress Evidence
To avoid obtaining data inconsistent with the Patriarchal Dominance Theory
To cite only studies that show Male Perpetration
To conclude that results support Feminist beliefs when they do not
To create “evidence” by citation
To obstruct publication of articles and obstruct funding research that might contradict the idea that male dominance is the cause of PV (see this post)
To harass, threaten, and penalize researchers who produce evidence that contradicts feminist beliefs (see this post)
I was studying the readers comments in relation to a rather biased article about domestic violence. One comment was from a respected spokesperson on men’s health issues, Adam Blanch. Adam was talking about the latest ‘Personal Safety Survey‘ undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This is what Adam had to say:
“Domestic violence is about people who are angry, jealous, distressed and mentally ill acting out their frustration. The motive for ‘control’ and ‘power’ is only present in a very small percentage of DV, and both sexes do it to the same extent.
The entire Duluth model, which assets that domestic violence is about ‘Gender power relations’, has been so extensively disproven by legitimate researchers that no fair minded person without a ‘gender agenda’ could possibly subscribe to it.
PS. the ABS personal safety survey has some serious methodological issues that appear to have been built in, twice, to bias the outcome in favour of a ‘Gendered’ view of DV.
The 2012 report sampled less than 20% the number of women than men, down from 25% in the 2005 survey. though overall they increased the numbers for both genders for 2012, the male sample size is so small that many of the findings are unreliable again.
They were criticised for only using female interviewers in 2005, so in 2012 they trained a few male interviewers to be available on request. However, they don’t appear to have told the interviewees that they were available. This was based don ‘expert advice’ that both men and women would be more comfortable with female interviewers, these experts are unnamed. Who are they. Are they male? have they worked with male victims of abuse? What qualifies them as experts. I’ve worked with thousands of men, and I can assure you that most men will not reveal the same information to a woman that they will to a man.
This lack of transparency and sample balance is unacceptable for research conducted at this level.”
The Bureau shrugged-off this criticism and in September 2016 successfully obtained AHRC approval to only employ female interviewers in relation to a survey that encompasses the issue of domestic violence.
“Professor Triggs granted the ABS the exemption, accepting their submission, which included studies from not-for-profit groups, stating men were more likely to be perpetrators of DV and women were more likely to tell their stories to other women” And so disregarding the flipside … that male victims would be more likely to tell THEIR story to other men.
This is hardly the first time I have encountered concerns raised by authoritative sources regarding the credibility of domestic violence research, and in fact it appears to be an ongoing issue.
Australia’s ABC has a reputation for pushing the feminist agenda, with one example being the article ‘Domestic violence of epidemic proportions a ‘national emergency’: campaign groups‘ by Ursula Malone and Juanita Phillips. Nothing like turning up the rhetoric to keep that government funding flowing through to feminists and their organisations during these difficult economic times. And all based on fudged statistics, in particular that “Domestic violence is the leading cause of death and injury in women under 45“.
“The vast majority of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Given for example that only 17 percent of women who experienced sexual assault by a male perpetrator (in their most recent incident of violence) reported it to the police (ABS 2012), the actual percentage of false cases is likely to be tiny. By one estimate, the actual percentage of false cases as a proportion of all rapes (reported and unreported) may be closer to 0.005 percent.” (Flood, M, 2014)
An Australian MRA by the name of Paul Rogers brought this error to their attention stating (in part) that:
“Even Wikipedia doesn’t suggest that false rape allegations are as low as you claim, which is saying something. I have provided an excerpt below from Wikipedia to highlight that your claim is many orders of magnitude lower than even the lowest value claimed by most authorities … I urge you to state the truth rather than continue to cherry-pick outlier claims because they support your misandry.”
I should also point out that it’s not only feminist groups that engage is this sort of misrepresentation. In this media release, the advocacy group SAVE denounces the use of misleading information on domestic violence by none other than (then) President Obama himself.
Demonstrating the remarkably one-sided manner in which feminists view the world, in the following article a feminist journo criticizes a men’s rights group on their use of statistics:
The references listed below alternately discuss or exemplify bias against men, as perpetrated by journalists and others (often working in the sphere of domestic violence, sexual violence and related fields):
Elite journal under fire over racism (13 April 2021) Article by Stephen Rice which is currently behind a paywall at ‘The Australian’. I’ll try to provide a link as soon as one is available. Not directly related to misandry, but an example of how social problems are massaged to satisfy the fears or preferences of woke folk.
Not the full story (30 March 2021) Media Watch video. Yet another example of what happen when you start with a pre-determined narrative and then have to make everything fit around it.
Domestic violence on the rise during pandemic (13 July 2020) “The survey of 15,000 Australian women in May provides the most detailed information in the world about the prevalence and nature of domestic violence experienced by women during the pandemic.” How many men did they say were surveyed? That would be *none*. Here is a link to the web page of the agency that produced this research.
Domestic Abuse: The latest lie (19 July 2019) Most men who are victims of partner violence are in homosexual relationships, right? Wrong. But it doesn’t stop feminists from claiming it is true.
Whose research got us a picture of a ‘black hole’ in 2019? It was a girl right? See this tweet from Tom Golden with linked video that tells the story that the media didn’t.
Articles like the linked one now tell us how horrible the “trolls” are for “targeting” the female scientist, but funny how they don’t address the facts of the case – did she only produce 6% of the coding or not? See also this paper from ‘A Voice for Men’.
‘Blatant spin’: SBS accused of sifting data to show ‘sexist’ Australia, and SBS’s ‘sexism’ doco is just blatant propaganda (21 November 2018) Both of these articles appeared in The Australian newspaper, and are behind a ‘paywall’. Watch this Bettina Arndt video for some good background on this issue.
La Trobe bans my talk on the fake rape crisis, by Bettina Arndt (2 August 2018) This article concerns the exaggeration of the incidence of sexual assault in Australian universities by the Australian Human Rights Commission and others.
When care becomes control – financial abuse cuts across cultures (17 January 2017) As I state in this post, most papers on financial abuse ignore the reality of male victimisation, and this is yet another example. In the absence of conclusive proof that only women were victimised one would expect a researcher to survey men and women. Failure to do so, as in this and many other cases, is evidence of gender bias to support a particular ideological narrative.
Cutting to numb the pain of sex abuse: interviews with young women in drug treatment (12 August 2016) Australia. Although this article focuses on the needs of young women, the underlying research surveyed both genders. Whilst I have yet to review the findings in detail, my default position is one of disquiet regarding the merit of applying different fixes to men and women. Without a very thorough understanding of all contributing factors, esp. in relation to cause/effect, there is a real danger that we may misinterpret the true situation. Also, from what has happened in the field of domestic violence for example, there is a real danger of a monopolisation of all available resources for the treatment of women.
Anti-abuse campaign targets university students (22 February 2016) Australia. Typical of Our Watch research this survey appears designed to deliver a pre-determined finding of gendered female victimhood. The article reports one part of the picture, but where are the responses to (for example) how many boys were pressured “to do sexual things”? Whether girls respect the ability to consent in relation to boys who are drunk, etc.
(I believe there to be a question mark over the extent to which the Australian Research Council is itself free of gender bias. I say this not in terms of funds provided to male versus female researchers, but in terms of social research projects with a feminist orientation being strongly favoured. Consider the examples provided of feminist research mentioned in this other blog post, as well as this article which will be discussed in a future post. The author of this article presenting a feminist-concordant perspective on the gender pay gap was also ARC-funded. These spreadsheets look at the nature of projects funded by the ARC)
“The Children’s Rights Report being released today found one in every 28 people had also experienced sexual abuse as a child, while a further 23 per cent of children have witnessed violence against their mother”. This conveniently neglects to mention that as many Aussie kids have seen their mum hit their dad as vice versa (See footnote 7)
The following collection of reddit discussion threads detail moderator bias and censorship in relation to threads/posts concerning domestic violence and child abuse – See example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4, example 5 and example 6 (27 October 2014) Includes the following quote from a moderator responding to a query as to why a post was removed: “It needs to be the right information from the right people. Here’s a shorthand guide: if you are an MRA or TRP, you need not bother posting. If your information may tend to make women look bad, same.”
Are domestic violence figures bogus? (22 February 2014) Includes discussion of the notorious ‘intimate partner homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 15 to 45’ statistic myth
I spoke to hundreds of men about rape and domestic violence (24 September 2014) Note that this is a different survey to that discussed by Adam Blanch earlier. It is certainly feasible that interviewers might influence survey respondents. It hardly fills one with confidence about the reliability of the results when interviewers are prepared to go on record with such strong views on the matter being investigated.
If manipulating and misrepresenting statistics to suit an agenda was a crime then the feminist authors of this “fact-sheet” should be in jail. Many of these so-called facts are debunked in papers listed in this other post about domestic violence, whilst others demand the smallest measure of common-sense to confirm just how misleading they are.
“A third of family murders involved a female as the killer. In sibling murders, females were 15% of killers, and in murders of parents, 18%. But in spouse murders, women represented 41% of killers. In murders of their offspring, women predominated, accounting for 55% of killers” (Source)
The paragraph above was extracted from a 1994 publication, not because patterns of gender perpetration have changed greatly but because the feminist filter has been imposed so completely now, that we only see articles like this one that present statistics in a manner suggesting that women are the perpetual victims of oppressive male malevolence. (Refer to Reddit discussion thread here)
Regarding the table below … hardly an ‘epidemic’. The only increase is in male victimisation. It’s no wonder that, in pushing its ‘epidemic’ barrow, the Domestic Violence Industry increasingly relies on statistics generated by help-line call centres instead. And of course we can trust the integrity of those sources.
“Advocacy research consists of collating available evidence or producing new information to support a pre-determined policy position. Advocacy research is commonly carried out by pressure groups, lobby groups and interest groups (such as trade unions) and, occasionally, by political parties, journalists and academics – especially those working in the social policy field.”
“It is difﬁcult to criticize advocacy research without giving an impression of caring less about the problem under consideration than do those who are engaged in magnifying its size. But one may be deeply concerned about problems such as rape, child abuse, and homelessness yet still wish to see a rigorous and objective analysis of their dimensions. Advocacy research that uncovers a problem, measures it with reasonable accuracy, and brings it to public attention performs a valuable service by raising public consciousness. The current trend in advocacy research is to inﬂate problems and redeﬁne them in line with the advocates’ ideological preferences. The few impose their deﬁnition of social ills on the many – seeking to incite moral panics. This type of advocacy research invites social policies that are likely to be neither effective nor fair.”
With regards to the Latrobe Uni study noted above, why not include people of any gender who are concerned about any form of harassment or assault on public transport? In other words get the big picture of what’s occurring. Ditto for all the studies/article regarding workplace harassment that restrict themselves to considering ‘sexual harassment’, knowing full well that this is likely to focus attention on the female perspective.
My initial post about domestic violence within this blog can be found here, whilst other DV-related posts can be located by clicking on the ‘domestic violence’ tag at the bottom of this page. It is suggested that this post also be read in conjunction with:
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.
“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:
“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.”
“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 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:
“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.
‘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?
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
“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.”
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
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?
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”.