Feminist advocacy group ‘Our Watch’ seeks shield from public scrutiny

The President The Chairperson: These drug cartels Men’s Rights Advocates represent a clear and present danger to the national financial security of the United States Domestic Violence Industry. (With apologies to the late, great Tom Clancy)

On 9 December 2014 I sent an email to the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission:

“I have made several attempts over as many days to access info about the charity called ‘Our Watch Limited‘. Each time I find that most fields on their page show as “Information Withheld”. I have not seen this message on the pages of other charities. Can you please advise why such is information has been withheld? I am also awaiting the lodgement of the first annual return for this organisation – I understand that this should occur sometime this month. I look forward to receiving your advise on this matter – thank you” On 11 December 2014

I received the following reply: “Firstly, I can confirm that the Our Watch Limited is a registered charity. This can be confirmed on the ABR here. In relation to the withheld information, charities do have the right to apply to have charity information withheld from the Register if they have valid reasons for the ACNC not to publish some of the charity’s detail. Not all information can be withheld, only information that fits within certain criteria (such as information that the information is commercially sensitive and there is a risk that publishing it will cause harm).

When charities submit a withholding application it places a temporary blanket over the charity record on the ACNC Register so the public cannot access any details until their application is processed.  Therefore, you would not be able to access any details on the Register. Please see click here for further information on withholding.  

Furthermore, the 2014 Annual Information Statement (AIS) is the second reporting requirement for all registered charities. The due date for the Annual Information statement is within six months of the end of your reporting period. However, the Commissioner advised yesterday that the due date has been extended for charities that use a 1 July30 June reporting period to 31 January 2015.”

Well now isn’t that curious, because none of their information was shielded until about two weeks ago. So it seems the shutters went up sometime after I uploaded my post on ‘Our Watch, in which I indicated interest in undertaking due diligence on their financials. And around the same time that another feminist domestic violence advocacy group, White Ribbon Australia, attracted harsh criticism in relation to their spending priorities and unusual financial practices. Oops, that share trading can be risky business. Surely just coincidence.

OK well, under what circumstances might a charity seek approval to shield their details?

The ACNC web site includes the following information:

“You must apply to have charity information withheld. Other than for private ancillary funds, there are only some circumstances when we may withhold your charity’s information from the Register. The ACNC Commissioner has discretion to withhold or remove information from the Register if the information:

  • is commercially sensitive and it could cause harm
  • is inaccurate, confusing or misleading
  • is offensive
  • could endanger public safety, or
  • is covered by ACNC regulations.

The ACNC may also decide not to publish details of any warnings we have issued to a charity if:

  • the information could cause harm
  • the charity was not behaving in bad faith, and
  • withholding the information does not conflict with our objects under the ACNC Act.”

I wrote back to ACNC seeking further clarification, and to their credit they promptly responded in the following manner: “Unfortunately we are unable to advise what the basis of the request however I can explain the process. There is no service standard for these applications, as we do have a number these requests that are waiting to be processed. If a charity would like to have information withheld from the ACNC Register the process is as follows:

  1. The charity makes an application to have the information withheld. They do this on the Portal, in writing, or on an ACNC form.
  2. The request is received and we apply a blanket withhold rule on that charity’s record. This is to ensure we don’t publish any sensitive data (such as the address of a women’s shelter) while the decision is being made. Please note this is often an automatic step undertaken via the charity Portal.
  3. The request is reviewed by a Registration Analyst, who decides whether the request meets the requirements set out in the Australian Charities and Not‑for‑profits Commission Regulation 2013.
  4. Once the decision has been made we remove the blanket withhold, and only details that were approved for withholding are withheld from the Register. For example, the charity would appear in a search along with their financial details, but the street address may not.

The ACNC Act sets out the rules around withholding information at Subdivision 40–10, which can be found here. The policy on withholding is also available here. If you have concerns in relation this charity, you can raise a concern about any registered charity to us for further investigation if it is something that is within our jurisdiction. There is further information that can be found here about the issues that ACNC may be able to look at.”

Thus at this point in time, one can only speculate on why ‘Our Watch‘ sought to have their details suppressed and/or what reasons they might have advanced to support their application. Perhaps this will become clear in the fullness of time.

Running my eyes over the possible criteria earlier provided by ACNC however, my eyes kept returning to the word “harm”. Could it be that ‘Our Watch‘ engaged in that peculiar feminist practice known as damseling, breathlessly asserting the potential danger/s posed by unknown people unknown men crude disaffected men of vile character and who are intent on mischief*?

I would like to be able to state that, sooner or later, all pertinent details of ‘Our Watch‘ will be subject to scrutiny and any anomalies exposed. ‘Our Watch‘, as with any other similar group receiving substantial amounts of public funding, should operate transparently and be properly accountable to the Australian community. Unfortunately I cannot do so, however, as moves are well underway to abolish the ACNC by way of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Repeal) (No. 1) Bill 2014 (and related debate).

The three key dates to watch now are the revised deadline for ‘Our Watch’ to submit its annual report (31 January 2015), the lifting of the shield on Our Watch‘s details in the ACNC website, and the ceasing of operations by ACNC.  

(*the feminist view of mens rights activists)

Update 10 January 2015: According to the ACNC website, on 8 January 2015 ‘Our Watch’ lodged their annual return and financial details to the end of June 2014.

These sources show a total annual revenue of $4,845,880 mainly comprising government grants totalling a whopping $4,675,550, with only a paltry $6k sourced from donations. Almost all of their expenditure was attributed to staff-related costs ($807,579), “transactions with key management personnel” ($354,021), and professional fees ($960,196).

Under “Transactions with key management personnel” it states “Key management personnel of the entity and the Board of Directors and senior management. Key Management Personnel remuneration comprises the following expenses ($354,021).”

The annual return lists only nine full time employees and two part time employees. Given that compensation for “senior management” is wholly or partly excluded from “staff-related costs”, suggests that average annual salaries for other staff are well in excess of $80,000 per person per annum.

The only information still being withheld is the office address and details of ‘Responsible Persons’.

 

#HeForShe: Men pressed into service with nary a hint of ‘quid pro quo’

The last few years have seen a surge of social programs calling on men to step up to the line to perform some pledge or action for the womenfolk. These have been launched by government agencies, pro-feminist not-for-profits and various social media personalities. The foci of these demands for action have related mainly to sexual assault, domestic violence, and employment opportunity.

The #HeForShe hashtag/movement/thing was a reasonably high-profile example of such a campaign from the second half of 2014. The links below provide a small sampling of some of the other campaigns that have been and/or are now taking place:

One Billion Rising, A Call to Men#YouOKSisWhite Ribbon campaignPolished Man, Red my Lips, Beards Against Abuse, Walk a mile in her ShoesWhat Men Can Do, Men Stopping Violence, and #LeanInTogether

walkamileMale Champions of Change (also discussed herehere and here) is a home-grown campaign which has now spawned a ‘Female Champions of Change‘ program. And no, the latter campaign was not intended to provide a corresponding support network to champion the welfare of men. Beyond Australia there is a similar program known as Men Advocating Real Change (MARC), mentioned in this article.

Most of these campaigns have been packaged on the basis of selling a message to the broader community that feminists want to be inclusive and work with men to address shared issues of concern. Perhaps feminists realise they now have a serious image problem, having been stung into action by developments like the #WomenAgainstFeminism movement. The problem though is that beneath the shiny wrapping paper, the nature of the various campaigns runs contrary to any notions of equality, mutual respect or inclusiveness.

Firstly these campaigns all seem to be promoted on the basis of overstating men’s responsibility for both causing, and solving, each particular issue. At the same time they underplay or ignore the accountability of women in contributing to the problem, as well as their own responsibility in relation to undertaking any necessary remedial action.

There seems to be a fundamental hypocrisy associated with a movement that claims that women are strong and equal, yet continually demands that men step up to address women’s apparently helplessness in the face of real or imagined adversity.

Secondly, it is telling that no similar movements have been proposed or created by women to support men. In fact, there is no sense of reciprocity whatsoever. Nor is there generally even any acknowledgement that men might need or deserve similar recognition or support.

It is, in short, very much a one-way street. Given the many areas of relative disadvantage for men and boys this seems grossly inequitable. The underlying factor here is a culture of gynocentrism, explained here, here and here.

Thirdly, and in what must be a soul-destroying experience for the ‘white knights‘ who flutter around these campaigns like moths to a flame, many feminists resent men who openly support these campaigns. Do read this criticism, by a feminist journalist, of an admittedly  ludicrous initiative by male staff of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

And thus whilst we have one group of feminists demanding that men ‘help’ women, other feminists berate them for interfering in women’s issues and/or for seeking thanks/congratulations for being good. This is apparent, for example, in this Facebook post about a recent campaign known as ‘Red my Lips’ … peruse the bitter and angry comments by feminists and other ‘white knights’ directed at men behind the campaign – and men generally.

Why haven’t the men of Hollywood spoken up? (11 October 2017)

We Need Fraternity Men to Do a Lot More Than ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ (4 June 2017)

It’s not enough for men to turn up. They have to do the work, by Clementine Ford (13 March 2017)

Men can stop sex-trafficking (20 January 2017)

Why do so few men turn up to hear women speak? (10 March 2016) Australia. And of course no reciprocal expectation on women to attend events addressing male issues (unless to pull fire alarms and disrupt proceedings). See also my related blog post here.

She for He – Part 1 – Introduction (9 March 2016) Video by Canadian Association for Equality

Most disturbing of all are those instances where men are called upon to aid and abet the indoctrination of boys in feminist doctrine as discussed at ‘We must stop indoctrinating boys in feminist ideology‘ (20 July 2015)

Consider next the example of the uproar over University of Tasmania’s ‘women’s officer’ (8 April 2015) Isn’t this also #HeForShe? Why aren’t the women cheering this fellow? Here’s how this story ended – yeah feminism! Further discussion and readers comments here and here

If men owe women chivalry, what do women owe men? (30 November 2015)

NCFM Member Man Up asks Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego why they don’t ask women to women up? (25 October 2015)

The 30% Club is coming to Australia, but ‘men speaking for women’ may miss the point (9 March 2015)

Catering to men’s rights is not the point of feminism (15 October 2014) Now that’s telling us! Silly me, I always though feminist was about gender equality

Oh and this is rich. Actress Rose McGowan castigates gay men (“as misogynistic as straight men, or more so“) for not doing more to advance women’s rights in the middle East. More here

We have just seen Julien Blanc tossed out of Australia, a fellow that apparently makes a living running seminars on how to pick up women. I don’t support him or the whole PUA thing, but yet again I can’t help noticing that men were called upon to deal with him.

Still in Australia, ex-Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce headed a Task Force on Family and Domestic Violence. Submissions to the Inquiry had just closed at the time this article appeared in the pro-feminist Guardian newspaper. It seems that those people who prepared submissions need not have bothered, as Quentin already knew that men were the problem and that the “the key drivers of change should be men and police“. That’s right ladies, no need to lift a finger, off you go and get yourselves a nice cup of tea whilst the menfolk cop all the blame plus the job of making things right.

Michelle Obama urges men at women’s summit to ‘be better’ (14 June 2016) Hmm, I wonder how she would feel if someone got up on a stage and urged black people to ‘be better’? But wait, don’t the klan do that already?

Ooh this is a bit funny naughty – feminists might go blind if they read this

The three reasons I don’t support feminist equality campaigns (13 December 2015)

Why the #YouOKSis “White Feather Campaign” failed … badly (11 December 2014)

White House calls on men to ‘step up’ in sexual assault prevention (19 September 2014) also here

Men have a special privilege of having to help women, I think we should check it (14 February 2015) Article and linked reddit discussion thread

Stella McCartney’s right: Women can use their ‘weakness’ as a form of strength (1 October 2014)

Finally, some blinding irony with the movement called ‘Men Speak Out‘  who “aim to engage men in the process of ending FGM and, on a larger scale, to end violence against women and promote gender equality through a human rights’ approach“. Bearing in mind, of course, the negligible level of interest/activity by feminists in ending the practice of involuntary male circumcision.

wendyT

Specifically on Emma Watson and #HeForShe

Fans rush to Emma Watson’s defence after she’s branded a ‘hypocrite’ and a bad example of feminism for braless magazine cover (3 March 2017) Hypocrisy

Would any women here be interested in a ‘She for He’ campaign? Reddit discussion thread with further discussion here

The Reality of #GiveYourMoneyToWomen (31 May 2015)

Seven things Tony Abbott should start fixing now that he has joined HeforShe (4 March 2015)

Youtube video #1 concerning Emma Watson’s speech (23 September 2014)

Youtube video #2 concerning Emma Watson’s speech (23 September 2014)

Youtube video #3 concerning Emma Watson’s speech (23 September 2014) See feminist reaction in comments section

The five little words that betrayed Emma Watson, by Ally Fogg (23 September 2014)

Janet Bloomfield talks about #HeForShe (23 September 2014) YouTube video

Sorry, Privileged White Ladies, but Emma Watson isn’t a ‘Game Changer’ for Feminism (24 September 2014)

Resurgence of feminists soliciting for male allies (25 September 2014) Reddit mensrights discussion thread

Emma Watson leads the retreat for UN feminism (25 September 2014)

The UN’s risible #HeForShe campaign: Pointless self-flagellation for sex-starved beta males (25 September 2014)

Sorry, Emma Watson, but HeForShe is rotten for men (26 September 2014)

Four reasons I won’t be one of the men signing Emma Watson’s #HeForShe pledge (26 September 2014)

Stefan Molyneux on Youtube about Emma’s speech (29 September 2014)

Emma Watson and the future of feminism (6 October 2014)

#HeForShe was nicely summed up by ‘Mean0Dean0’ in a reddit discussion thread on the matter:

The very concept of “He For She” makes women look like helpless children. This isn’t even “She for She,” implying sisterhood and communal responsibility. This isn’t even “We For She,” which is one-sided and focused on a minority of victims of violence and social problems, but at least community-minded. “He For She” blatantly states that men have all the power (even when they don’t) and that women need men to do their work for them (even when THEY don’t).

It’s regressive and gender-traditionalist and feminist all in one, simultaneously telling women that they can be free to be doctors or lawyers or strippers on poles, so long as big strong men open up all the big heavy doors for them. It’s patronizing to women and insulting to men, and if a man had come up with the hashtag he would have been called out as a patriarchalist traditionalist chauvinist pig. “Let’s help out those less fortunate little ladies, eh guys? Guys???”

Emma Watson – classic hypocrisy (September 2014)

sheforhe heforshe

 

 

 

 

 

Elsewhere in this blog you might also be interested in:

Women are held accountable for … (say hello to the Teflon Gender)
‘Bristly Woman’ campaign launch
Good manners versus chivalry
I thought women were meant to be more empathetic?