In May 2017 media attention was given to a practice labelled as ‘stealthing’, whereby men remove their condom during sex without their partners consent (example). Few articles even made passing reference to the fact that women perpetrate a similar act when they falsely claim to be using contraceptives in order to ‘trap’ a man in a relationship and/or secure an income stream via child support payments. This issue was addressed in this article, and then in a follow-up article by Martin Daubney. See also this Reddit discussion thread.
‘Spurgling’ or ‘Sperm-jacking’ are terms that have been used to describe the use of a man’s sperm to cause pregnancy, undertaken without his knowledge or approval. Paternity theft has been defined as something which occurs:
“when a mother names a man to be the biological father of a child, when she knows or suspects that he is not the biological father; Or, She intentionally does not state the name of the child’s biological father on the birth certificate in order to either to begrudge the father, or to claim benefit” (Source)
Up until now I included references to these issues in another post, one that deals with financial abuse. I have now created this new post to address these matters, as they represent more than simply the financial abuse of men. One such aspect is the likely adverse impact on small children born either by, or into, such arrangements. This post will also address the growing problem of women stealing infants to raise as their own children.
“On 16 March 2017, a Committee of the Australian Parliament adopted an inquiry into how Australia’s federal family law system can better support and protect people affected by family violence. The inquiry was referred by the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon. George Brandis Q.C. The Committee aims to make recommendations that will improve the system for all participants.” (Source)
Members of the public were able to provide feedback in the following ways:
One such issue was the possibility of creating some sort of nexus between the nature of court orders made in relation to spousal support and property settlement, and the presence or alleged presence of family violence in the relationship. This is described in the Terms of Reference at point 4:
“How the family law system can better support people who have been subjected to family violence recover financially, including the extent to which family violence should be taken into account in the making of property division orders”
Men are already being blackmailed with allegations of domestic violence or sexual abuse in relation to child custody matters, and now it seems they will also have to worry about the impact of such allegations on their financial affairs (strike 2). How many more male suicides will this generate?
As of 21 June 2017, 114 public submissions have been uploaded onto the Committee’s web site. I tendered a brief submission which can be accessed here (see submission 113).
The Committee subsequently tabled its report in Parliament on 7 December 2017. The report, which makes 33 recommendations, is available to read on the Committee’s web page at this link. The media release for the tabling of the report can also be found at this link.
Under a 2010 resolution of the House of Representatives, the Government is required to respond to the report within six months. When the Government has provided a response it will be made available on the Committee’s web page.
“The English noun bigot is a term used to describe a prejudiced or closed-minded person, especially one who is intolerant or hostile towards different social groups (e.g. racial or religious groups), and especially one whose own beliefs are perceived as unreasonable or excessively narrow-minded, superstitious, or hypocritical.” (Source)
Thanks largely to the pervasive influence of feminism, anti-male bigotry has been accorded a level of acceptance well in excess of that applicable to other significant segments within the community. This has been reflected in an increasing number of rather biased articles in the mainstream media, examples of which can be found in the following posts:
After Kasey’s piece appeared I read three well-intended, but somewhat insipid, rebuttals. These were penned by Ben Pobjie, Melissa Hoyer, and Louise Roberts. Still, the fact that any rebuttals were published is indicative of feminism’s gradual slide from the pedestal of public opinion. A considerable amount of material also appeared on social media, most of which was critical of Kasey’s position.
Jo Abi, on the other hand, wrote an article in Mamamia supporting Kasey’s stance. Interestingly, even in that feminist forum many readers held a different view.
From an MRA perspective this was pleasing to note, the only negative being an unfortunate tendency by some to personalise the issue via referencing the potential danger posed by Kasey’s family.
Jane stepped in at that point to address those taking umbrage at what they perceived as the gender bigotry inherent in Kasey’s position. What follows now is Jane’s article (shown in italics) with my comments inserted in relevant places (and shown in blue font).
A wave of outrage broke and splattered across social media this week over an article by Daily Life columnist Kasey Edwards about the choice she and her husband have made to keep their children safe from sexual abuse. In it, Edwards pointed out the following statistics:
“…the ‘best case’ scenario is that 1 in 20 boys are sexually abused. The worst case is that 1 in three girls are.”
“Evidence overwhelmingly indicates that the majority of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by males.”
These disturbing facts should indeed provoke outrage. But they didn’t.
This is the page in the Australian Institute of Family Studies web site where Kasey sourced the statistics noted in her article (scroll down to ‘How many Australian children are sexually abused‘). The author describes the difficulties compiling these statistics and their consequent limitations. Note too the basis for the “1 in three girls” statistic mentioned in both Kasey and Jane’s articles.
Kasey’s chosen strategy does not “keep their children safe from sexual abuse”. This is because a) men aren’t responsible for every instance of sexual abuse, and b) her daughters would still have contact with men at other times. Remember that the definition of abuse used here does not require actual physical contact. Kasey’s approach only theoretically reduces the likelihood of sexual abuse occurring. Not all personal threats and dangers. Not even all child abuse. Sexual abuse only.
No surprise then that this is the form of child abuse that feminists keep the media’s focus on. A similar thing happens in the realm of the domestic violence debate, whereby all those forms of DV other than heterosexual male-on-female violence are air-brushed out of the picture.
Instead, the backlash was in response to Edwards’ acknowledgment that men are the most likely perpetrators, and the resulting decision she and her husband made to not have men care for their children without a woman present.
Cue articles and endless anger about how hurtful and offensive this is for men. Followed by strawman arguments about Edwards’ husband caring for their children without supervision, despite her article clearly stating this was a decision they reached together.
Likewise, suggestions that her children would miss out on male role models and have a warped view of men. (Edwards clarified on The Project this week that her daughter has a wonderful male teacher).
Writer Amy Gray, who skilfully moderated a long and mostly respectful debate on this topic, said, “The uproar over this article hasn’t been about how to combat rape culture, community enablement, lack of law or police reform, or suitable therapy or support for victims. The uproar was about protecting men from hurt feelings over being excluded from unpaid labour they rarely do. The uproar should be tackling the overwhelming male presence in sexual assault of children.
It’s hardly surprising that the focus of feedback provided by readers mirrored the narrow scope of the article. Kasey did not address the issues above, nor did she indicate that she would welcome dialogue on those issues. If Kasey expected more holistic feedback then she should have written a broader and less injudicious article.
And it’s curious that no link was provided to that “long and mostly respectful debate”. Don’t tell me it reflected poorly on team feminism?
“I want men to examine their role in this culture,” she added. “I want them to actively combat it and question men who refuse to participate in that.”
On the contrary, the volume of feedback generated by Kasey’s article clearly demonstrated men’s *insistence* in participating in the discussion whilst rejecting the demonisation of an entire gender based on the actions of a very small minority.
The real difficulty with Edwards’ article was that she outlined a single approach to preventing child abuse in her own family. But if we are talking about preventing child abuse at a community level then we need to talk about a community-wide response.
Which comes back to the perpetrators. Again, they are mostly men, and yet men are so rarely part of the discussion about prevention, other than to object to the facts being discussed.
Why is it that men are so much more likely to commit violence and abuse? What happened to those men, where did they learn this behaviour? How can they change?
Clearly there is a problem with violence in our community, and a lot of that is due to men. A very, very small minority of men. A point that seems perpetually lost on feminists. And where are all these men objecting to the “facts”? Alternatively, where are all the feminists discussing prevention with regards to issues like circumcision, the sexual assault of men & boys, male suicide, etc?
What positive outcome/s are borne from the incessant criticism of men and the manner in which they are portrayed in the mainstream media? The consistent lack of recognition for the contributions made by men in terms of the well-being of the community? The paucity of government funding support for addressing men’s health and other men’s/boys issues? The bias of the legal and justice system against men?
Turning our attention now to women, which occurs all too rarely other than in relation to some issue of perceived victimhood, why are there so many violent and abusive women? (NB: trending upwards). Why is this not being acknowledged and addressed? esp. bearing in mind that they are producing the next generation of not just child abusers, but perpetrators of domestic violence generally.
Exploring this, without defensiveness and with a genuine desire to find solutions, is the most valuable way men can participate in protecting children. It’s disturbing that many men are so aggressively unwilling to do this, leaving the burden of finding solutions to everyone else.
And Jane, what of the many instances where people do demonstrate “a genuine desire to find solutions”, and are attacked for doing so simply because they dare propose solutions that are contrary to leftist/feminist dogma? Want examples?
This is why mothers are so often vilified when they do something as simple as wait outside while their children go to the toilet, and conversely, vilified again if they acknowledge the facts of child abuse and act to protect their children from possible perpetrators.
The author was not criticized for wanting to protect her children, but for making a decision of dubious efficacy in the absence of an objective and unbiased consideration of all relevant factors.
It’s not surprising given how fraught it can be to navigate the issue that parents like Kasey Edwards and her husband look for solutions that don’t depend on community-wide protection. Their choice is not right for everyone – indeed for some, it’s very much the wrong choice. But for them, it’s the best way to keep their children safe. And given the deep, lifelong trauma caused by child abuse, it is both justifiable and understandable.
Their solution, however, only works for their circumstances. It relies on them always having options for childcare that fit within their parameters, which is not readily available to many parents.
There is no proof that this approach “works” for anyone, full stop. As to whether it’s practical for parents to even attempt, your point is taken.
It also assumes that they, their family, and their children’s friends are always in partnered, heterosexual relationships. In the Edwards’ policy, children of single fathers, or in families that do not include people who identify as women, already suffering exclusion and stigma, are excluded even further.
Even for families who do have the option to have women always present, it places an extra burden on those women, who are already taking on the majority of (unpaid) emotional and domestic caring labour. This is particularly difficult in the context of the systemic economic disadvantage women suffer, which requires men to take on an equal share of parenting. It’s a quandary that can’t be solved by making women the “abuse police”. Men have to take responsibility for prevention and commit to unambiguous action on the causes and realities of abuse.
Please, jettison the male-shaming and #HeForShe nonsense. Both men and women parent children. Both men and women abuse children. Everyone has an equal role to play in reducing the incidence of abuse.
While there are undeniable problems with the Edwards’ choice, the outraged criticisms of it are equally problematic, and frankly blind to the realities of how abuse occurs and its effect on victims.
Pot-Kettle-Black (big time)
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released a paper this week describing the grooming practices of abusers. Grooming is not something abusers only do to victims. They also deliberately create relationships with parents and caregivers that involves trust, friendship and dependence. And they make sure their victims know about it.
Was this specific to male abusers? The paragraph that follows implies it was.
As feminist writer Cecilia Winterfox told Fairfax Media, “Every time we say, ‘but my male friends are so lovely’ we make it harder for victims to speak out. It reinforces and demonstrates clearly to them the reflexive disbelief they will almost certainly face. It’s a kind of cultural gaslighting to victims, and a signal of protection to abusers”.
And every time feminists say ‘men can’t be raped (by women)’, ‘domestic violence is men’s abuse of women’, ‘women are only violent in self-defence’, ‘men don’t suffer negative effects from domestic violence as much as women do’, etc etc etc. That also makes it more difficult for “victims to speak out” right? But that doesn’t seem to deter feminists from making these statements. More equality-when-it-suits?
The royal commission paper was specifically about institutional responses to child abuse, so the recommendations were focused on cultural change to identifying and reporting grooming techniques. Which may work in well-monitored organisations, but it’s not something any individual parent can enforce in their social group.
Deanne Carson, co-founder of Body Safety Australia says a blanket ban on men caring for children is not the solution. “We need to empower adults to be a champion for children. This means debunking myths around childhood sexual abuse, teaching them to spot grooming techniques and supporting them in being able to address concerns about any individual’s concerning behaviour.”
It also means broadening the debate beyond child sexual abuse, firstly by considering all other forms of abuse. We also need to consider related issues such as the sexualisation of children, and again, both men and women play a role in this process.
The problem with these strategies, as Carson acknowledges, is that they don’t keep all children safe, they just protect the children whose parents can implement them. And not all parents feel able to do this.
Which is why the solution needs to go back to the community and the abusers, not victims or their carers. And we can’t do that while men are still refusing to discuss the source of the problem.
As Edwards told Daily Life: “Of all the people who have told me how ridiculous and offensive I’ve been, not one of them has come up with a feasible alternative to keep children safe”. <end of article>
Jane expands her views on the matter in an item in her personal blog, asserting that Kasey’s response was understandable and should be respected:
“… often the responses are emotional because there is no other way to respond to such trauma. Those emotions are real, valid, complex and demand respect.”
Jane says this even though there is no suggestion in Kasey’s article that her children had previously been subject to abuse (and I sincerely hope that is not the case). Jane then adds:
“That respect is not present when men who have never been forced to feel those emotions are simply offended by the facts.”
Cheap shot. Because men have never been subjected to abuse as children, or fathered children who have been abused by others, right? And because I didn’t notice any reader feedback wherein the “facts” (presumably the quoted abuse statistics) formed any part of that individual’s objection to the article. Seemed to me people were upset about inference, opinion, and plain old bias.
Earlier we noted Amy Gray’s haughty dismissal of the negative reaction to Kasey’s article: “The uproar was about protecting men from hurt feelings over being excluded from unpaid labour they rarely do.”
Let’s not detour to talk about single dads, yard work and the like. Let’s pretend Amy is right and proceed on the basis that men’s feelings count for nought. As presumably then, in the interests of gender equality, so too for feminists’ feelings.
Because rest assured, men certainly do want to be a part of the solution to the scourge of child abuse, but it seems most unlikely that it will be on feminists’ terms.
Few of those reading this would be unfamiliar with the feminist proclivity for labelling a plethora of issues as ‘gendered’. Like many terms it doesn’t mean much without considerable qualification. And even then it may not mean much. But if something can’t be portrayed as being gendered then feminists and their beloved narrative lose traction.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘gendered’ as “reflecting the experience, prejudices, or orientations of one sex more than the other.” The problem though is that in real life there are relatively few things that only (or even predominantly) affect one gender. In most situations both genders wield a significant influence and/or are significantly affected. We’re all in it together. One topical example would be online harassment.
Let’s now look at an even more contentious issue, child abuse. Most non-sexual child abuse and neglect is perpetrated by women. Most sexual abuse of children is perpetrated by men (although there are still plenty of sexual abusers of children who are female). So is child abuse gendered? And in terms of framing remedial action, is it more or less productive to attack child abuse as a gendered issue?
Ginger’s article tells us that most abuse takes place in institutions, yet makes no mention of the abuse of disabled men/boys. She then provides some examples of incidents of abuse involving male perpetrators in non-institutional settings. The actual gender mix of perpetrators of abuse, in either institutional or non-institutional settings, is left unstated.
In the absence of further details it’s highly likely that readers would have assumed that most victims of abuse were female, and their abusers male. Such is the inevitable outcome of persistent gender bias in the media on top of decades of gynocentric conditioning.
This is despite that fact that there are certainly instances where research has found most perpetrators of abuse to be women. One such example can be found in the Adele Mercier incident, whereupon a feminist academic wrongly denied female perpetration of institutional abuse.
This selective presentation of statistics – only showing the extent to which women are affected, and in the absence of comparative statistics for men and boys – is extremely common in feminist literature. This problem is discussed further in a separate blog post about feminist research and their misleading use of statistics.
The source document for the 90% abuse claim was a submission by the Australian Cross Disability Alliance. I found the relevant reference in the section entitled ‘Incidence & prevalence data on gendered disability violence‘ (page 37). Despite asserting that the abuse was gendered, this section provided no comparative statistics whatsoever in relation to the abuse of men/boys.
How is that appropriate in terms of either compassion or academic rigour? I mean, is this a case of just ‘trust me, I’m a feminist’?
I then took the matter up with the author of the article in a series of exchanges on Twitter including the following:
Look, don’t get me wrong, the most important thing here is to effectively reduce the incidence of child abuse. The rest is second-order stuff. But I honestly don’t see that goal being significantly advanced via the blinkered and self-serving approach taken by feminists. As with domestic violence, framing a solution to half a problem translates into no solution at all.
Oh, and colour me surprised – see below for how this episode ended.
How could anyone take feminism seriously when one is constantly reminded how infantilised its followers have become?
The American political philosopher Thomas Sowell observed “We should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.” (Source)
Ah, but not all awareness campaigns are the same. Campaigns concerning issues that are pivotal to the feminist cause are beyond reproach. Mild criticism is however tolerated in the case of campaigns on less ideologically revered topics.
A very different reaction to two public awareness campaigns
It’s May 2015 and the Australian federal government has released its annual budget. It proposes substantial allocations to two separate public awareness campaigns. One relates to drug use, specifically crystal methamphetamine – or ‘ice’ ($9 million). The other relates to domestic violence ($7 million).
Plenty of people have lined up to criticise the first campaign on the basis, for example, that it’s unoriginal, focuses too much on scare mongering, is unlikely to be cost-effective, and might even be counter-productive.
On that last point, one article included the statement that “When an ad is on television for a particular illicit drug, we know afterwards young people think it must be really, really common and so therefore it can increase their perception of how normal it is.”
In contrast the only public criticism that the domestic violence campaign has been subject to, is that not enough money has been provided. It is probably no coincidence that the feminist lobby is heavily invested in the DV campaign, but not the other.
So just how many parallels, if any, are there between the two campaigns?
“International evidence suggests such “awareness” campaigns are not the most appropriate way to address harmful methamphetamine use. In fact, fear-based approaches can increase stigma which possibly drives people away from, rather than towards, treatment.”
The article proceeds:
“Australian media outlets and politicians claim we’re facing a nationwide “ice epidemic” … the most up-to-date research estimates that the proportion of Australians who have used any type of methamphetamine (ice, “speed” powder) in the previous year has remained relatively stable for at least the last decade.
Nevertheless, the government and media’s continued use of hyperbolic language – in addition to a tendency to ignore and sometimes dismiss public health experts’ advice on ice – has the potential to incite unnecessary fear and misinform the public about this supposed “menace”.”
So there’s our first parallels, for neither campaign will be targeted and in both cases Australian media outlets and politicians are making exaggerated claims about an emerging epidemic.
The article then goes on to question whether the personal and public threat posed by drug use (as compared to the extent of drug use) has also been exaggerated.
The article states: “We need to accurately define the issue, including the nature and extent of methamphetamine use and related harms in rural and regional areas, to allow the development and implementation of cost-effective, evidence-based and timely responses.”
A further parallel is that the debate about domestic violence likewise does not accurately define the issue, focussing as it does wholly on uni-directional violence by men against women. I would also argue that the policy response is not evidence-based but rather driven by the ideology of those most heavily invested in the issue.
The article then goes on to talk about the success of health-related public awareness campaigns, noting that some “are costly, ineffective and possibly even counterproductive”.
In one example cited “The findings of one study suggest that the Montana Meth Project might actually increase acceptability and decrease perceptions of risk relating to using methamphetamine.” Elsewhere it noted that “fear-based approaches can lead to stigma and poor health outcomes, such as from reduced treatment-seeking.”
The article concludes with a discussion of the value of an alternative or supplementary strategy, that of “harm minimisation”. It notes:
“Because people will choose to engage in drug use (both licit and illicit) regardless of the policies and programs in place, we need to encourage them to do so as safely as possible. We also must continue to inform the public about options for managing drug-related consequences and appropriate and available means for professional support, such as telephone and internet counselling”.
The concept of ‘harm minimisation’ also applies to domestic violence when we consider the prevalence of bi-directional violence, as shown in the diagram below, and the fact that domestic violence may persist from one generation to the next. Perhaps we need to resign ourselves, that in some situations it may be more effective to focus more on the provision of short-term shelter accommodation, the removal of children into care, etc.
Assuming there are parallels between awareness campaigns for drug use and domestic violence, then why have the same criticisms not been raised in relation to the latter?
Indeed, why has no criticism at all been directed at those spending large amounts of taxpayer funds on domestic violence awareness campaigns? Doubly so, given that there have been many previous awareness campaigns undertaken, and that these all appear to have achieved little in terms of effecting a remedy for the problem.
Is this lack of criticism because those in positions of influence truly believe in the value of such campaigns, or is it simply a reflection of wishful thinking and/or the very real fear of feminist backlash against dissenting voices?
Do public awareness campaigns even work?
Many public organisations love awareness campaigns because for minimal work they provide maximum profile (i.e. ‘hey, look at us doing something about the problem!’). Just engage a marketing consultant, agree on a logo, and begin advertising.
The jury is out, however, on their effectiveness – in part because many public awareness campaigns are not subject to proper evaluation. This is probably, in part, because of the factor noted above – they are often created at short notice for reasons of political expediency.
It is known however that some types of awareness campaigns are more likely to be successful than others:
“Some police agencies participate in domestic violence awareness campaigns and school programming, such as classroom instruction to teens about dating violence and ways to handle conflict. Domestic violence prevention messages may target the general population or specific populations. For example, campaigns may be designed to encourage victim reporting, deter potential offenders, or raise the consciousness of potential witnesses of abuse (neighbours, friends, relatives).† However, the effect of these prevention strategies is unknown.
For instance, few of the programs developed to reduce teen dating violence have been evaluated, and of those that have, there have been mixed results. Although some report an increase in knowledge in the targeted population and greater familiarity with available resources to help victims, this does not necessarily translate into a reduction in the incidence level of dating violence.
† The Lancashire (United Kingdom) Police Constabulary placed messages about domestic violence on police vehicles, beer glass coasters in bars, utility bills, and lampposts, and used radio advertising to increase awareness of domestic violence.
As a rule, prevention is more likely to work if highly targeted. General campaigns are not typically effective. Highly targeted campaigns that focus on a specific target group or geographic area can have some impact. Offender-oriented campaigns, which are designed to raise potential offenders’ perceptions that there will be meaningful consequences to battering, are more likely to be effective than campaigns that appeal to potential offenders’ morals.” (Source)
Marriage vote: how advocacy ads exploit our emotions in divisive debates (13 September 2017) Now transpose the views expressed here across to domestic violence awareness campaigns, with the ‘yes’ lobby being those challenging the status quo by seeking a non-gendered approach to the issue. Again, “the ‘no’ campaign has many unfair advantages”. Though I suspect, most likely, not in the eyes of the typical reader of ‘The Conversation‘.
It is highly likely that the campaign that eventually emerges will focus solely, or almost solely, on men’s violence towards women. Issues like bi-directional violence, domestic violence in same-sex couples (especially women), and female on male violence will be ignored or minimised. The focus on gender and control will mean that other factors like social disadvantage and substance abuse will be played down. Political correctness will also rule out consideration of race, ethnicity or religion as potentially relevant factors.
What messages will this send? What biases and stereotyping will this reinforce?
Fear-based health information makes new mothers anxious (23 July 2015) Australia. Now consider DV campaigns that demonise all men despite them having no control over the small minority of men who abuse. The community seemingly sees no problem with making men feel “anxious” in that situation, even despite the fact that four times as many men commit suicide as do women.
An outpouring of grief with considerable introspection versus an outpouring of anger and condemnation. A sober discussion of contributing factors versus angry dismissal in response to any mention of “excuses”. This is the stark difference in the nature of media coverage that filicide attracts depending on whether the murderer was their mother or their father, respectively. In the past week in Australia we have unfortunately witnessed examples of both.
On the following day eight children were found stabbed to death in a house in the Cairns suburb of Manoora. The victims were aged between 18 months and 15 years. A trial has yet to take place, but it is believed that they were killed by Mersane Warria, the mother of seven of the victims.
Media coverage of the Mihayo case
“A man who cold-bloodedly murdered his two young daughters in a “hideous crime” will spend more than 30 years in jail.
Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry described Charles Mihayo’s crimes as “hideous” and said that he was at a loss to understand why the children had had to pay with their lives so Mihayo could cause suffering to his former wife.
Justice Lasry said the 36-year-old’s actions were devoid of any justification or explanation.”
Much mileage was made from the suggestion that Charles’ crime was primarily motivated by a desire to “get back at” his wife, the accuracy of which remains uncertain. Yet, even if that were true, there are many examples of women committing similar crimes as revenge for real or imagined transgressions by their partners. The following are examples of media coverage of this man’s trial:
Addendum January 2017: Despite being the worst single incident of domestic violence in Australia, I understand that the perpetrator, Mersane Warria, has yet to be convicted of any crime. Naturally, nothing but silence from the feminist lobby. Here is a further article from May 2017.
The examples mentioned in this post represent such a small sample that many will argue that this is no basis upon which to draw any meaningful conclusions. Yet many other writers have made the same observations as have I, after looking at the reporting of other similar earlier incidents.
Australian statistics tell us that mothers are the most common perpetrators of child homicide, with women accounting for 52% of child homicide offenders between 2002 and 2012. This of course excludes the incidence of abortion.
And yet despite this it would seem that the media, and probably the community generally, just cannot or will not grasp the idea of women as killers or abusers. If a man behaves in this manner, well that’s almost to be expected. If a women kills or abuses then that is an aberration, and there must have been extenuating circumstances (quite possibly involving some degree of pressure or influence by a man/men).
Notably absent from media coverage of the Cairns tragedy (and most other incidents involving filicide or abuse by mothers) were:
public generalisations about violent behaviour by women generally,
suggestions that women in general shared a collective responsibility for ensuring that other women did not also kill or abuse
judgemental commentary by feminist spokespersons/feminist lobby
recognition being given to the fact that more mothers kill their children than do fathers
With regards to the second last dot point, one example of the feminist drum being struck involved comments made by a staff member of ANROWS who sought to imply a nexus between the dreadful actions of Ms. Warria and the issue of male violence towards women. This suggestion was subsequently the object of scorn in a reddit discussion thread.
With this post I am certainly not suggesting that the gender of the parent that kills makes the tragedy any more or less grave, or more comprehensible to the average person. What I would say however is that both types of incidents should be reported in a similar and gender-neutral manner, for example:
if a presumption of innocence until proven guilty is applied to female accused then so to should it applied to male accused
if anonymity is maintained for a female accused then so too should it be maintained for a male accused
if the personal background of a female perpetrator is recognised as being worthy of discussion (and an ameliorating factor) for female perpetrators, then that should also be the case for male perpetrators
if the behaviour of males generally is relevant in considering the degree of guilt (and degree of punishment imposed) in the case of men, then so too should the behaviour of females generally be relevant for women
To do anything other than the above is to fail to recognise and act upon the merits of gender equality, and to deny natural justice.
“I read your article, It’s Time the footy world took a stand, with weary resignation for it is an article I have read countless times before. They weren’t penned by you, but the hypocrisy and double standards presented in your piece were the same.
You speak of this “attitude to women” as though it is some collective dogma that a large percentage of the AFL community adhere to rather than a problem for a handful of individuals who happen to be footballers. This phenomenon only ever applies to the male population whenever an individual male commits a crime or any offense. We are all immediately asked to stand up, speak out , swear an oath, wear a ribbon or condemn our gender. It is an outrageous but now very common reaction to any incident involving a man. If the same articles were appearing when women behaved badly I would not be quite so outraged, but this has never been the case.
A mother butchered eight children late last year, another grandmother in Northern Queensland murdered two of her grandchildren and attempted to burn alive another two, a mother bashed her daughter to death and horrifically permanently maimed her other daughter, a woman shoved her new born baby down a drain-all in a period of four months… I saw no articles asking mothers of Australia to take a stand. I heard no-one on radio ask if there was a problem with mothers and their attitude to children. No, these incidents are very quickly hushed up and we move on remarkably quickly from even referring to them.
Ask yourself, Rita, when was the last article or reference in the media to the mother her sliced up eight children? It is as thought she has disappeared from the face of the earth. Yet when Arthur Freeman killed his daughter by throwing her off the West Gate Bridge, this “monster’s” name has remained in the headlines and on people’s lips for five years. There is another major article about him in today’s Herald Sun. You’d think there are enough male monsters floating about without having to dredge up Freeman yet again. Did you know that a woman by the name of Gabrielle Garcia killed her little boy on the same bridge only a couple of months earlier? Probably not.
You condemned the fact that friends of Nick Stevens said he was a “top bloke” or “good bloke” inferring that these men were cold monsters who thought there was nothing wrong with beating up your partner. Yet every time a mother murders her children you can be assured that countless female friends were label her a wonderful , caring mother and a good friend. Gabrielle Garcia is a perfect example of this reaction.
Garcia’s family was devastated by her suicide. Her sister Monica set up a shrine near the lonely spot where Garcia was found under the bridge, writing a letter saying “we will never forget you both. We will always love you. We understand your pain and hope you have found peace and happiness now.”
Such compassion for a woman who murdered her boy.
Gabriella Garcia adored her 22-month-old son Oliver. According to Pedro Soto, her close friend and the last person to see her alive, all the Melbourne mother wanted to do was to protect him.
Here’s another comment on a woman who hired a hitman to kill her husband
“If she did do what the police say she did, I don’t believe it was premeditated. I believe it was a spur-of-the moment act, something done on impulse in the heat of anger that resulted in something shocking.
“We’re not talking about some kind of evil diva here. We always thought of her as a fairly good person And I think, you know, that she’s probably very devastated right now.” No reference at all the poor dead husband. Are they brutes with no sensitivity or is it because they were asked what they thought of the accused and answered the question .
There have been countless occasions where such words have been spoken by people who know a different side of an alleged killer but I don’t recall articles of condemnation suggesting these people were insensitive or in some twisted fashion supporting or defending their violent behaviour.
But the real zinger in your article is this line:
In the warped moral code of professional football, cheating on your wife with hundreds of eager groupies is ok but betraying a teammate is a dog act. Wow.
You openly acknowledge that there are hundreds of females willing to sleep with a man they know is married but this is no cause for concern or moral outrage or a demand that our schools start educating our young women to change their disgraceful belief that because a man is a sports celebrity he is a target, a notch on your belt so to speak. These girls will do anything to bed these young men just so they can boast about it to their friends. Talk about sexual objectification! Where is the article pleading for the education of women so they understand that men are not their property simply because they are famous. Yet you attack the young male individual who has these girls throwing themselves at him or infer that the young men alone are responsible for the sex that takes place. It is simply sickening to see the finger of condemnation only ever pointed in one direction.
Are you suggesting that these girls (groupies) would not have more of a problem with a girlfriend who slept with their husband/partner whilst happily turning a blind eye to their shenanigans with other married footballers?
It’s called human behaviour but you, like all female journalists only ever choose to focus on one gender.”
Reddit discussion thread on this topic (9 January 2016) Read the thread and feel the anger – far in excess of any similar thread concerning a mother murdering her child. My post was down-voted into oblivion within an hour of being posted. Typical. People were still down-voting it hours after it was removed (?) Last time I checked there were 12 down votes with 3 comments. I have cut and pasted the most substantive of the comments below (‘Karismatic’), and to which I will reply shortly.
PS: I see now that in the Women’s Weekly web site the article has a different title, “Why are we sympathetic to parents who kill their kids?“, although it still written in a way that implies that most child-killers are male, for e.g. “This trend is most evident when the murderer takes his own life, as well as that of his children“
“it’s important that people realise (Ms Ludwig) was not a monster”. Despite the circumstances and whatever led to this, she was a lovely person and that’s what she should be remembered for, not what social media is saying about her”. Yeah, it’s not like she was a guy
“Murder-suicide is most often perpetrated by men – but this is hardly surprising. Men are generally the perpetrators of murder, and men make up the majority of suicides in Australia, too.” Heartless much? That many men kill themselves is held up as proof that men are violent.
The degree of delusion demonstrated by feminists can be astounding. In this article the author asserts the reverse position to that proposed in this blog post. In other words, that male perpetrators are let off the hook (with regards to media coverage) compared to the critical scrutiny faced by violent women.
1 child killed every 2 weeks by family member: time to free children’s lives from violence (28 February 2016) Australia. Note again how in situations where there are as many or more female perpetrators, the topic of gender is not mentioned. Yet when there are more male perpetrators – or it can be falsely claimed that there are – then perpetrator gender is absolutely central to the discussion. Just another example of the entrenched hypocrisy of feminists and feminism.
I hold significant reservations in relation to the operation of the staunchly feminist group ‘Our Watch‘, formerly known at the ‘Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children‘. The feeling appears to be mutual as, despite being a law-abiding Australian taxpayer, I have been blocked from both their Facebook page and Twitter stream since late 2014.
My concerns include, but are not limited to:
The cost-effectiveness of allocating public monies to ‘Our Watch‘ with regards to achieving a measurable reduction in the incidence of domestic violence and/or providing tangible assistance to all victims of domestic violence
The extent to which the activities of ‘Our Watch‘ are driven by a desire to maximise the acceptance and influence of feminist ideology rather than a desire to maximise the two outcomes listed above
The effect of ongoing misrepresentations made by ‘Our Watch‘ in relation to the allocation of resources towards research into female perpetration of violence, the level of support provided to male victims of domestic violence, and the availability of counselling/treatment options for violent women and couples
On the first point, I believe that it is appropriate that the government both participate, and support the participation of others, in combating domestic violence and in assisting its victims. But this should be done in a manner that is both impartial and cost-effective. There should also be complete transparency and accountability on the part of both those allocating and those receiving public monies.
In 2013/14 ‘Our Watch‘ received a whopping $4,675,550 in government funding whilst raising a paltry $6,083 in donations. These funds were sourced from the federal government ($1 million/year) and the governments of Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory. A financial report for ‘Our Watch’ can be sourced from the web site of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (see the relevant ACNC registry entry here and a related blog post here).
As with the White Ribbon Campaign (another Australian feminist DV advocacy group), ‘Our Watch‘ do not directly assist victims of domestic violence. Instead they rent office space, employ many feminists staff, and run various PR/’education’ campaigns. These campaigns are divisive and involve the dissemination of misinformation that demonises men whilst failing to deal with female perpetration of violence. I am dubious about the extent to which their campaigns reduce the incidence of domestic violence, and indeed this has yet to be demonstrated.
I note that former MP turned journalist Gary Johns was subjected to harsh criticism after querying the effectiveness of government funds being provided to advocacy groups like ‘Our Watch‘ in lieu of directly funding service provision by government agencies.
‘Our Watch‘ advocates for female victims of domestic violence, which in and of itself is a laudable goal. A problem arises however when ‘Our Watch’ justifies their focus by claiming that the overwhelming majority of domestic violence is perpetrated by men upon women, and then seeking to validate this assertion through the ongoing misrepresentation of information concerning patterns of DV perpetration (example).
I don’t think there is any doubt that statements by politically astute groups such as ‘Our Watch’ do have a significant influence on decisions by government in relation to policies, priorities and funding allocation related to the sphere of domestic violence. This has resulted in a situation whereby government agencies treat all men as potential (if not, actual) violent abusers, where there are almost no resources available to battered men (and their children), and violent women are essentially waved away until such time as they commit a serious felony.
Those who visit Our Watch‘s Facebook page and Twitter stream will note that surprisingly little of the communication emanating from that organisation is directly related to their purported area of primary concern – domestic violence. What you will see instead is considerable self-promotion, and a preponderance of material that could only be described as feminist propaganda.
On a visit to their Facebook page on 26 October 2014 for example I noted the following:
Reader Kath Kerr: It is not fair and it is not right that privileged men who murder are consistently granted lenient sentences.
Our Watch: Too many young people in Australia have witnessed acts of physical domestic violence against a parent. (No mention that equal number of kids have seen their mum abuse their dad, as have seen their dad abuse their mum – Source)
Our Watch: It’s time to stop asking what about men (in relation to this article)
Our Watch: Strong language Warning: Oh my! Language, ladies. *clutches pearls* This is F*cking brilliant and quite possibly the best thing on the internet. Ask yourself, What is more offensive? A little girl saying ‘f*ck’ or the f*cking unequal and sexist way society treats girls and women?” http://vimeo.com/109573972
Avril Mesh, Ben Lakos, Domestic Violence Resource Service Mackay and 63 others like this.
If any readers of my blog have yet to witness this video, and wish to see just how far feminism has fallen, then click on the above link (Strong language warning)
Ok, enough! And so I proceeded to raise my concerns with the ministers of those agencies that see fit to hand millions of our tax dollars over to ‘Our Watch‘ … namely the federal Government, the Northern Territory Government, and the Governments of Victoria and South Australia.
I write to you today to voice my strong objection to material posted in the facebook page of the group known as ‘Our Watch’ (refer attached ‘screensave’). I do so as I am aware that they receive a substantial amount of ongoing gov’t funding, and thus should be at least somewhat accountable to broader public standards.
I believe that their support for such an ‘initiative’ is reprehensible and they should be required to remove both this and other radical feminist material from their web site, twitter account and facebook page. I don’t know if you look at the material that they promote in their facebook page, but it is almost entirely either pure self promotion for key personnel or strongly pro-feminist ideological material that has only cursory relevance to the subject that is meant to be their focus – domestic violence.
Please would you act on this matter as it is clear that ‘Our Watch’ require much greater oversight if they are to continue to receive large amounts of taxpayer-funded support. Thank you for your anticipated prompt intervention concerning this matter.”
I subsequently received a response to my complaint from John Elferink, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, with the Northern Territory Government:
“I write to you in response to your email dated 28 October 2014 in regards to a Facebook post ‘Potty-Mouthed Kids Drop F-Bombs for Feminism by FCKH8.com’ shared by the group ‘Our Watch’.
As you are aware the role of Our Watch is to drive long term cultural and attitudinal change from the ground up through community engagement and advocacy and working in close partnership with the Second Action Plan to the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.
The Northern Territory Government is committed to reducing domestic violence. The financial contribution to Our Watch is just one of the ways that this Government is supporting initiatives which seek to drive attitudinal and cultural change.
Whilst the initiative that was placed on their Facebook page was divisive, this should not detract from the important work that Our Watch does in the primary prevention of violence sphere. I thank you for your vigilance in monitoring the material placed on the Our Watch social media pages and bringing it to my attention. I believe the offending post has since been removed and I have instructed the Domestic Violence Directorate to monitor the site content regularly.”
The Hon Kevin Andrews MP, Federal Member for Menzies and Minister for Social Services sent the following reply dated 3 December 2014:
“I appreciate you raising your concerns regarding the link to a video Our Watch posted on 21 October 2014. Our Watch was established as an independent company by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments in June 2013, as an initiative under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.
Our Watch will work to provide national leadership to prevent all forms of violence against women and their children. This will be done by changing attitudes, behaviours, social norms, and practices that create violence against women and children, including the promotion of gender equality. There is a growing body of evidence showing that people with a poor understanding of gender equality may also have attitudes and behaviours that support violence.
The long term outcome of Our Watch is to encourage public conversations in Australia to support gender equality and understand the links between gender inequality and violence against women. Content on the Our Watch Facebook page is chosen to engage people in the debate by raising awareness about the importance of gender equality, challenging stereotypes and preconceived myths regarding the role of women in our society.”
So there we have it … promoting a video of pre-teen girls swearing their heads off = providing “national leadership“, a further aspect of which involves Our Watch encouraging “public conversations” by removing dissenting Facebook posts and banning their authors from contributing further. Would the Minister be equally comfortable with a men’s rights group promoting a similar video “challenging stereotypes and preconceived myths regarding the role of (men) in our society.” Probably I guess, unless, of course that would involve facilitating just a little too much real gender equality.
The Hon Jay Weatherill MP, Premier of South Australia sent a very basic acknowledgement only, and the Hon Heidi Victoria, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Women’s Affairs, Minister for Consumer Affairs, has yet to provide me with a response. I will update this post should such a response be received.
Oh, but look what happens when videos are made using allegedly right-wing kids who employ bad language, e.g. Joe Bernstein’s coverage of ‘Soph’. Clearly not seen as cool & empowering in that situation, huh? And yet another feminist double-standard (May 2019)
Child abuse can consist of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and/or neglect. Each of these forms of abuse are explained on this page, and an estimate of the relative scale of each of these forms of abuse is provided here.
Sexual abuse of children, the least common form of abuse, is mostly committed by men. Although note that there is no shortage of female perpetrators. Neglect of children is mostly committed by mothers, reflecting the fact that they are usually the primary care-givers. Female perpetrators tend to dominate the other two forms of abuse, although there are significant variations (and gaps in data) between different studies. Links to sources of statistical data concerning the perpetration of child abuse are provided below.
Child abuse, where it occurs within the home, is itself a subset of a broader range of destructive behaviours known as domestic violence.
Domestic violence is not a gendered crime, although most feminists believe otherwise and never stop telling us so. They justify this position on the basis of their claim that domestic violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men against women. But if we were to accept that, then surely child abuse and neglect must also be a gendered crime given that the majority of the perpetrators are female and the majority of victims male? Why isn’t perpetrator gender nearly such a big issue in the child abuse debate (or abuse of the aged, etc), as it clearly is in domestic violence?
I would draw the readers attention to an article entitled ‘Abuse and neglect: Australia’s child protection ‘crisis’’ published in ‘The Conversation‘. An interesting thing about that article was that it never mentions the issue of gender. This contrasts strongly with articles that ‘The Conversation‘ publishes about domestic violence, wherein gender is invariably the central theme.
Thus we seem to have one form of violence involving somewhat more male perpetrators, and where gender is absolutely pivotal. Then we have other forms of violence where most perpetrators are female, yet apparently gender is not a significant issue. How strange and paradoxical.
Could it be, as some have suggested, that researchers move the goalposts depending on whether the relevant information alternately supports or undermines the feminist narrative? The issue of the corruption of gender-related research is addressed in another blog post.
How about we start telling it like it is? Most child abuse and neglect is perpetrated by women, and women should acknowledge this and deal with it the same way they harangue men to take ownership and deal with domestic violence, i.e. tell all your friends it’s wrong. Though the impact of that approach, in isolation, is unlikely to amount to much in the way of a reduction in abuse.
Perpetrators of domestic violence expose their children to the unhealthy experience of seeing and hearing abuse taking place, thus this behaviour is itself a form of child abuse. Pro-feminist advocacy groups and journalists sometimes offer up statements such as “25% of young people have witnessed physical domestic violence against their mother”. As always, the lack of comparative data for male victimisation is a sure-fire indicator of sexist bias.
“23% of young people have witnessed physical domestic violence against their mother or stepmother, and 22% of young people have witnessed physical domestic violence against their father or stepfather” (Source)
It is of great significance that victims of child abuse, be they male or female, are much more likely to become perpetrators of not only child abuse, but also domestic violence, upon reaching adulthood. Thus abusive women are guilty twice over. In the first instance they abuse their partners and children, turning their lives into a living hell. Then, assuming their abuse doesn’t lead to murder or suicide, those children grow up and have children who they abuse – thus perpetuating an inter-generational cycle.
We should be giving equal emphasis to combating all forms of domestic violence including child abuse and elder abuse. Instead because of the inordinate degree of influence by the feminist lobby, the government is concentrating all of its effort on reducing violence against women based on the flawed claim that DV originates from the disrespectful attitudes of men and boys.
I believe that, were we to take a broader and longer-term view of the DV issue, then we should be placing far greater emphasis on women’s role in perpetrating child abuse. This would see, for example, the provision of more behaviour modification programs for abusive women with the aim of reducing the level of domestic violence in both the current and subsequent generation.
Statistical information on child abuse, and related discussion:
As previously noted, many statistical sources regarding child abuse (esp. in the past 5-10 years) don’t detail the gender of the perpetrator. This problem was identified in this Australian study for example. This is rather curious given that gender is promoted as the pivotal issue in the sphere of domestic violence research. Of course there the majority of perpetrators are male and thus entirely consistent with feminist dogma.
This U.K article notes that “mothers are the “unseen force” behind so-called honour-based abuse, inflicting violence on their daughters” and that “of the 100 “honour” crimes she studied, 49 involved mothers – but this was often not recorded in crime reports.”
40.5% of all child abuse is committed solely by biological mothers 17.7% of all child abuse is committed solely by biological fathers 19.3% of child abuse is committed by both the mother and the father 6.4% of child abuse is committed by the mother and some other individual 1.0% of child abuse is committed by the father and some other individual 11.9% is committed by someone other than the parents 3.1% is committed by an unknown or missing perpetrator.
“The Western Australian figures shed light on who is likely to abuse children in families and are in line with overseas findings. The data show there were 1505 substantiations of child abuse in WA during the period 2007-8. Natural parents were responsible for 37% of total cases. Of these, mothers are identified as the perpetrator of neglect and abuse in a total of 73% of verified cases.”
“The report shows there were 13,184 substantiated child abuse cases across Queensland in 2005-06. Women were responsible for 7,319 – or 55.5 per cent – of cases, and males for 5,846, or 44.3 per cent.”
An article informs us of the considerable danger caused by dads drinking, but neglects to mention the (even greater) danger caused by mums drinking (17 February 2019) and subsequent Tweets from Bettina Arndt (and another).
Some people have suggested that feminist ideologues using pre-pubescent girls in expletive-laden videos to further their cause is also a form of child abuse (commentary here and here). Another one is seen when feminist mothers bemoan the fact that they are rearing a male and map out a path of indoctrination, see this article for example.
This was not an isolated episode though, and there have been many recent instances of violent crimes involving female perpetrators. Including more attacks on the elderly man (a 2018 example). Indeed, the numbers of women committing violent crime is increasing significantly. Further, the gap between the rate at which violent crimes are committed by men and women is slowly narrowing as male perpetration has either plateaued or declined in many jurisdictions. This trend casts further doubt on the veracity of claims that the number of male victims of domestic assault is inconsequential.
“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 that suggests that women are the perpetual victims of oppressive male malevolence. (Reddit discussion thread here)
The first group of linked articles/papers below explore the general issue of violence by females. A second and subsequent collection of links relate to specific acts of violence by women/girls.
Given all of the above it’s frightening how few anger management programs there are available for women here in Australia. In fact the only dedicated program of which I am aware is LifeWorks. If you know of others then please let me know and I will list them here.
Links to online sources dealing with the issue of violence by women/girls (other than specific incidents or case studies)
Australian Domestic Violence Homicide Statistics 2018 (19 June 2018) Most DV-related homicides in the first half of 2018 were committed by women. A reality very much at odds with the misandric messages issued by the feminists who have adopted the Eurydice Dixon tragedy as their current cause celebre.
“Women have increasingly assumed more operational roles in jihadist terrorism activities, as have minors and young adults. One in four (26%) of the arrestees in 2016 were women, a significant increase compared to 2015 (18%)” (Source)
“The February CDC study found that, over their lifetime, 44% of lesbians had been physically assaulted by a partner (more than two-thirds of them only by women), compared to 35% of straight women, 26% of gay men, and 29% of straight men.”
“Teens cheer as schoolgirl bashed, thrown down stairs“. By another girl – though that bit’s left out of the headline (15 March 2022). Crime occurred at Bundaberg, Queensland. Article is behind the Courier-Mail paywall.
Girl’s teeth knocked out in alleged bashing (6 February 2020) See how far you need to read through the article before it’s disclosed that the attackers were female. Do you think that would have been the case if they were male? Most unlikely
Man shot at Labrador (22 August 2016) Why are both the media and police so coy (i.e. gender neutral) when the perpetrator is a female? The man subsequently died. At least this article told it as it was.
Court documents reveal Jackson, who only got her licence back in January after a two-year driving ban, has twice had restraining orders taken out against her, both by ex-boyfriends in 2012.
One of the men claimed to have received 72 phone calls from Jackson in a single day. He accused her of later trying to break into his house through a bedroom window after leaving menacing voicemail messages, including “I’m going to hurt you”.