My submission to the 2016 Federal Government Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality

Introduction

Thank you for permitting me the opportunity to contribute my thoughts in relation to the work of the Inquiry, and concerning the pressing issue of domestic violence generally.

I believe the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference to be ill-considered, inappropriate, and strongly indicative of ideological bias. In what appears to be akin to a ‘dorothy-dixer’[1] on the floor of parliament, the Terms of Reference appear to have been formulated with the intention of producing a report that simply justifies a continuation of the existing failed gender-biased approach to combatting domestic violence. In so doing it seems that remaining in lockstep with the feminist movement has been accorded a higher priority than actually addressing the problem via constructive debate about the full range of potential causes and solutions of/for DV.

I fully anticipate that the only new development to arise from the Inquiry will be leveraging the Committee’s ‘findings’ in order to be institute progressively higher levels of government funding for the Domestic Violence Industry[2]. Funding for which there will likely continue to be few, if any, controls or oversight in relation to performance monitoring and accountability.

The Committee has opted to pursue a biased, parochial and blinkered approach to a complex social issue about which there are many views but few certainties. It is an approach which, based on nothing more than the cherished belief of one particular lobby group, pre-empts consideration of other, quite likely more relevant, factors.

A strong consensus exists – beyond the confines of the feminist encampment – that several factors jointly bring about patterns of domestic violence. Gender inequality is but one of these. Parental abuse and neglect of children who subsequently grow up to become perpetrators being another. I would join others in suggesting that gender inequality is, in itself, generally a relatively minor factor. Indeed, I believe that in many cases it bears little or no influence at all.

In what has become an established tactic, however, anyone proposing that gender equality is not a pivotal factor underpinning domestic violence is shamed and threatened.[3] [4] [5] [6] The Terms of Reference of this Committee will clearly only strengthen the resolve of those who encourage and pursue such totalitarian and counter-productive behaviour.

Committee members, this is not the type of approach to adopt if you genuinely wish to identify and then win support for truly effective strategies to remedy complex social problems.

Might I suggest that the reference to ‘education’ (in the Terms of Reference) was intended to generate expressions of profuse support from the feminist faithful for further ‘public awareness campaigns’[7] and school programs[8]. This despite the fact that I am yet to learn of any conclusive proof with regard to the value of either of these strategies. Excepting of course their value to those pro-feminist advocacy groups and consultancies who will find themselves in receipt of generous allocations of public funds[9]. Additionally, in both cases I would suggest that a case could be made that such programs also have the potential to bring about certain negative outcomes.

As to diverting the discussion to examine the likely impact of toys and entertainment on the incidence of domestic violence? I feel that would likely constitute a poor investment of time and resources … these being inconsequential yet over-stated minutia in the overall scheme of things.

I reject the following positions in relation to gender equality and domestic violence:

That gender inequality is the primary contributing factor with respect to the incidence of domestic violence in Australia

That the overall picture of gender inequality in Australia is one that strongly favours men/boys

That in the overwhelming majority of cases, domestic violence manifests itself in the form of men abusing women

In contrast, individuals and organisations who ascribe to feminist ideology would count amongst the core supporters of those statements noted above. Bearing that in mind I would suggest that the Committee be mindful of the following:

  • The term ‘feminist’ is not inter-changeable with ‘woman’ or ‘women’ given that only a small minority of women identify as feminists [10]
  • Feminists do not hold any form of mandate to speak on behalf of Australian women
  • Feminists have a strongly vested interest in painting domestic violence as a gendered issue involving male violence towards women, including a substantial and growing pecuniary interest [11]
  • Feminists have a well-established ‘track record’ of engaging in biased and academically flawed research, and in misrepresenting research undertaken by others in order to support their position and/or to undermine the position of those holding alternate views.[12] [13]

These last two dot points imply a need to subject the statements and conduct of feminists and feminist organisations to some reasonable standard of scrutiny, rather than simply accepting them at face value.

Gender inequality as the primary contributing factor with respect to the incidence of domestic violence in Australia

The theoretical cornerstone of the feminist approach is the ‘Duluth Model’ which is discussed in this rather illuminating email exchange[14]this academic paper[15], and in various posts in my blog[16]. In a nutshell, applying this framework to most (let alone all) incidents of DV is highly misleading and inappropriate.

Further, if gender inequality is the single greatest determinant of domestic violence then:

Why is the incidence of domestic violence greater in lesbian couple than in heterosexual couples?[17]

How might one explain the already high and growing levels of female-perpetrated violence generally?[18]

How might one explain the significant geographical variations in the incidence of domestic violence? (refer chart which follows)

Why does there exist a very considerable number of male victims of domestic violence? [19] [20]

How might one explain the relatively high levels of child abuse and neglect involving single mothers? [21]

Why is the level of domestic violence so high in countries like Sweden that, even feminists would agree, have a higher than average level of gender equality?

These categories or situations of domestic violence are not the inconsequential anomalies that many propose them to be. On the contrary, they constitute very large and substantial pieces of the domestic violence jigsaw.

highrateDVareas

In an intimate partnership between two people of different genders, an unequal balance of power can be a factor contributing to DV. But what feminists refuse to concede is that the partner asserting most power need not be male, and often isn’t.

The Inquiry’s Terms of Reference are based on the premise that it is an established and undeniable fact that gender inequality is the predominant factor behind domestic violence. This is absolutely not the case. On the other hand, there are many others in the community who hold differing views – views similar to my own. In this submission I will introduce you to sources of information that very much counter the feminist position of domestic violence.

On the suggestion that the overall picture of gender inequality in Australia is one that strongly favours men/boys

Let’s assume for a moment that gender inequality is in fact the predominant trigger for the initiation of domestic violence. So just how much gender equality is present in Australian society? The feminist position is that there is a great deal of gender equality, and that it is strongly biased in favour of men/boys. I do not believe this to be the case. Feminists have a pronounced tendency to overstate or imagine disadvantages faced by women, whilst conveniently overlooking the many disadvantages faced by men/boys.

The indicator most commonly advanced by feminists to ‘prove’ the existence of gender equality is the gender wage gap. This use of the wage gap statistics for this purpose is misleading has been thoroughly debunked.[22] [23]

The next most commonly cited statistics are those concerning the number of male vs female politicians and CEO’s. Yes there is obviously an imbalance but again this need not be indicative of gender discrimination nor inequality.[24] Indeed if this were the case then surely there would be a Minister for Men’s Affairs, or at least men’s/boys divisions within government agencies – of which there are none.  Not only is there no advocacy for men/boys whatsoever, there exists active discrimination against them in many agencies including for example the Australian Human Rights Commission.[25] [26]

In terms of various other indicators of equality I would draw the Committee’s attention to the material contained in these two overseas sources:

http://philosophyofmensissues.blogspot.ca/2014/10/evidence-re-gender-equality-and-feminism.html

http://www.avoiceformen.com/the-facts-about-men-and-boys/

On the suggestion that, in the overwhelming majority of cases, domestic violence manifests itself in the form of men abusing women

IF gender inequality was the primary cause of domestic violence, and IF there was rampant gender inequality in Australian, and IF that inequality favoured men/boys, then one would expect that almost all cases of domestic violence involved men abusing women. But is this the case? No, it is certainly not the case.

I would draw the Committee’s attention to the sources listed below, with many further sources available online[27]. These all demonstrate that at least one third of the victims of domestic violence are males.

References examining assaults by women on their spouses or male partners: An Annotated Bibliography by Martin S. Fiebert.[28] This bibliography examines 286 scholarly investigations: 221 empirical studies and 65 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. Here is a link to an updated June 2013 version of Fiebert’s bibliography.[29]

Partner Abuse, Volume 1, No. 1, 2010 The new journal was created to showcase academic research into domestic violence without gender bias[30]

Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project – Facts and Statistics on Domestic Violence at-a-Glance.[31] Sponsored by the Journal Partner Abuse, November, 2012. This study is also discussed in this article:

Male Victims of Intimate Partner Violence in the United States: An Examination of the Review of Literature through the Critical Theoretical Perspective, by Caroletta A. Shuler (2010)[32] and related reddit discussion thread[33]

Boys Victims of Dating Violence, Too[34] (29 January 2016) USA

Extensive listing of mainly North American research findings related to domestic violence[35] (29 April 2015)

Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile[36] (27 January 2011) This study found an almost equal numbers of male and female victims of DV

Partner Violence as Female-specific in Aetiology[37]

Intimate partner violence: Facts and statistics[38] (1 September 2014) This paper includes some discussion of ‘Patriarchal Dominance’ theory

Domestic violence rates are higher for homosexual couples than for heterosexual couples[39] (18 November 2013)

Differences in Frequency of Violence and Reported Injury between Relationships with Reciprocal and Nonreciprocal Intimate Partner Violence[40] (2006), which includes this statement:

“Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent. In non-reciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases.”

The graphic that follows, for example, was sourced from a Canadian organisation (www.saveservices.org). Interestingly, broadly similar patterns of perpetration have been observed in the UK, USA, Australia and Canada (although Australian lags somewhat in terms of the information available on male victimisation/female perpetration).

women_as_abusers

 

In closing I would invite members of the Committee to take a few moments to also read my submission to the recently-released Victorian Royal Commission on Family Violence[41], given that that document provides further relevant background information concerning certain matters that will also likely be addressed in this current Inquiry.

I wish the members of the Committee well in their endeavours, and I sincerely hope that the concerns I have expressed in this submission prove to be unfounded.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Dixer

[2] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/so-what-exactly-is-the-domestic-violence-industry/

[3] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/a-message-to-supporters-of-the-white-ribbon-campaign-feminist-version/

[4] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/sallee-mclaren-must-write-on-the-blackboard-i-must-not-challenge-the-feminist-narrative-domestic-violence/

[5] http://www.mamamia.com.au/miranda-devine-unsuitable-women-article/

[6] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/beware-the-ire-of-an-angry-feminist/

[7] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/two-awareness-campaigns-only-one-can-be-criticised-cowed-by-feminism/

[8] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/no-place-for-feminist-propaganda-in-our-schools/

[9] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/so-what-exactly-is-the-domestic-violence-industry/

[10] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/some-indicators-that-feminism-is-no-longer-worthy-of-trust-or-support/

[11] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/so-what-exactly-is-the-domestic-violence-industry/

[12] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/fudging-the-figures-to-support-the-feminist-narrative-domestic-violence/

[13] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/on-blocking-out-non-feminist-perspectives-and-opinions/

[14] http://www.naasca.org/2015-Articles/032915-TheDuluthModel-JasonDale.htm

[15] http://ncfm.org/libraryfiles/Children/DV/Gender%20Paradigm%20In%20Domestic%20Violence.pdf

[16] http://www.fighting4fair.com/#Domestic Violence

[17] http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/05/07/attack-of-the-killer-dykes/

[18] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/on-the-recent-increase-in-violent-crime-carried-out-by-women-and-girls/

[19] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/domestic-violence-one-sided-media-coverage-and-bogus-statistics/

[20] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/on-the-experience-of-male-victims-of-domestic-violence/

[21] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/mostly-female-perpetrators-so-child-abuse-is-a-gendered-crime-then/

[22] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/the-myth-of-wage-disparity/

[23] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/that-tired-old-feminist-chestnut-that-is-the-gender-wage-gap-resurrected-in-australia/

[24] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/less-than-5050-representation-does-not-automatically-imply-gender-bias/

[25] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/gender-bias-at-the-australian-human-rights-commission/

[26] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/australian-taxpayer-funded-organisations-that-do-littlenothing-for-men/

[27] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/domestic-violence-one-sided-media-coverage-and-bogus-statistics/

[28] http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

[29] https://j4mb.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/140901-martin-s-fiebert-bibliography.pdf

[30] http://www.responsiblerecovery.org/PDF/PartnerAbuse.pdf

[31] http://www.domesticviolenceresearch.org/pages/12_page_findings.htm

[32] http://fathersunionaustralia.com/wp/partner-abuse-state-of-knowledge-project-the-gold-standard-of-domestic-violence-information/

[33] http://np.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/37t7cp/til_that_47_of_male_victims_of_domestic_abuse_are/

[34] http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=193363

[35] http://www.mrarchivist.com/frm_display/explore/?item=&topic=Intimate%20Partner%20Violence&nation=United%20States

[36] http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/110127/dq110127a-eng.htm

[37] http://www.newmalestudies.com/OJS/index.php/nms/article/view/149

[38] http://www.sciencevsfeminism.com/resources/intimate-partner-violence-facts-and-statistics/

[39] https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/domestic-violence-rates-are-higher-for-homosexual-couples-than-for-heterosexual-couples/

[40] http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2005.079020

[41] http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/submission-to-the-victorian-royal-commission-on-family-violence-may-2015/

Regarding the report of the Victorian Royal Commission on Family Violence

My initial blog post on this issue, which includes a copy of my submission, can be accessed here. The final report of the Royal Commission can be accessed here.

Men constitute a demographic group the same size as do women. The Commissioners admitted that one in four victims of DV are male (although that’s understating the correct figure). And yet here we see the discussion of male victims tucked away in a section of the report dealing with the needs of various minority groups. I recently observed the same approach being taken in the recent Queensland DV Inquiry.

Still it could have been worse, for male victims didn’t even rate a mention as constituting even a minority group in the Issues Paper produced by the Commission in March 2015 (refer clause 35).

And so in the final Royal Commission report a sub-section entitled ‘Male Victims’ can be found in Volume 5, which includes discussion of each of the following affected groups in the community:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (60 pages)
Older people (32 pages)
Culturally and linguistically diverse communities (32 pages)
Faith communities (10 pages)
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities (26 pages)
People with disabilities (38 pages)
Male victims (10 pages)
Rural, regional and remote communities (22 pages)
Women in prison (14 pages)
Women working in the sex industry (8 pages)

(Men in prison and men working in the sex industry are apparently exempted from involvement in family violence).

At ten pages in length the ‘Male Victims’ sub-section constitutes 0.48% of the bulk of this mammoth 2,082 page report, and features only two of the report’s 227 recommendations. The Commission’s report, by the way, cost $13.5 million.

Recommendation 180. The Victorian Government publicise and promote the Victims Support Agency in any information campaign relating to family violence as the primary source of assistance for male victims. The agency should also provide appropriate online resources for male victims [within 12 months].

Recommendation 181. The Victims Support Agency continue to receive all police referrals (L17 forms) relating to male victims, including after the establishment of the Support and Safety Hubs. The agency and all other relevant support services should develop joint arrangements to ensure that male victims of family violence are supported in obtaining the help they need [within two years].

Forgive me, but after reading these, the earth isn’t exactly moving for me. You’d think that if the Commissioners were only going to allocate two recommendations specifically in relation to the needs of male victims, then they might have come up with something a little more incisive and substantial than these.

One only has to read as far as the second paragraph of the ‘Male Victims’ section to see male victimisation being minimised. Do you recognise the following gem of many earlier pro-feminist reports/papers on domestic violence?

“Violence by women towards male partners is generally less severe than that of men towards their female partners.” (No citation provided)

On p209 I note the statement “A lack of data makes it difficult to determine the extent of the service gap for male victims of family violence.” And yet no subsequent recommendation that suitable research be undertaken.

Then on p210 “A number of men expressed a particular sense of injustice in connection with family violence intervention orders. In particular, some said the justice system was unable to differentiate between ‘true perpetrators’ of family violence and those men who were ‘set up’ by a female partner.

Conversely, the Commission heard that it was common for male perpetrators of family violence to blame their situation on unfair legal processes, rather than accepting responsibility for their own behaviour.” (The latter attributed to community legal service with no evidence provided of statistical validity)

My initial impression of the report prior to undertaking a more thorough reading?

I’m disgusted. By no means surprised. But most definitely disgusted.

With regards to its treatment of male victims, the Commission’s report represents nothing more than a token effort at providing a semblance of the level of support and compassion provided for female victims of domestic violence.

We really do still have a very long way to go to achieve gender equality and justice in this regard.

The most positive aspects of the report I can see thus far are that:

    • Some attention was given to the need for greater oversight, review and performance measures in the provision of domestic violence services. This is an issue that I addressed in both my submission, and in my blog post in relation to the Domestic Violence Industry.
  • Some attention was given to the significance of the impact of domestic violence (and presumably child abuse and neglect) on children with regards to its effect in creating a generational cycle of abuse. This is, I believe, a causal factor which is far more significant that gender inequality. (Postscript: Unfortunately however it seems that the rapporteurs have even managed to apply gender bias to this issue – see comments below from Greg Andresen of the One in Three organisation)

See also:

Victorian budget 2017: record spending to break family violence (2 May 2017)

Video and discussion thread concerning a gender-biased advertising campaign (17 January 2017)

Victoria Is Spending More Money On Domestic Violence Than The Federal Government (15 July 2016)

Urgent Family Violence Investment Will Help Keep Women And Children Safe (13 April 2016) Only one mention of the word “men” here, and that is in relation to behaviour change programs fos abusive men. Male victims and/or female perpetrators? Erased

‘Silent victims’: royal commission recommends better protections for child victims of family violence (1 April 2016)

Minister for Prevention of Family Violence needs to think about her own family history (1 April 2016)

Family Violence royal commission proposes policing, social services, courts overhaul (31 March 2016)

neave

Royal Commission into Family Violence: fixing the culture starts now (31 March 2016)

Royal commission calls for complete overhaul of Victoria’s family violence services and responses (30 March 2016)

Family violence: Portrait of an abuser (30 March 2016)

Royal Commission into Family Violence: what you need to know (30 March 2016)

Examples of where the feminist lobby pushed to have gender inequality addressed in situations where the status quo favored women

<< Sound of crickets >>

Oh come on, someone throw me a bone … I’m serious … after several months and hundreds of hits on this page, not one person has come up with an example. For pity’s sake, there must be at least one example of feminists speaking up against gender equality favouring women that I can showcase here.

Please … otherwise people are going to think that feminists are more interested in female privilege than gender equality

Well until such time as an example is provided, how about we broaden things out to also look at issues that had a disproportionately detrimental effect on men but where feminists said/did nothing until such time that significant numbers of women began to be affected … hmm, such as spousal support, expulsion from university due to an allegation of sexual misconduct (example), or retirement age:

Plight of the Waspi women: Labour calls for women’s retirement age to be lowered to 64 (24 September 2017)

Pension entitlement age: ‘Women march in Scotland because they’re being treated like men’ (17 September 2016) Reddit discussion thread with linked article

I think part of the answer to this is that, to a feminist, an area where women are advantaged relative to men is not seem as inequitable (let alone, a privilege) but rather as reasonable compensation for all the other areas where they believe women are still disadvantaged.

See also:

Sturgeon mocks Tory MSP for raising ‘male pay gap’ (30 June 2017) UK

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt’s pay gap (16 June 2016)

Would anyone like to suggest other issues to consider here?

Elsewhere in this blog you might also be interested in reading:

If the central tenet of feminism is equality then what men’s/boys causes have feminists championed recently?

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

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 comparision 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.

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

By way of background here are some links to historical information concerning the Women’s Budget Statement:

http://apo.org.au/files/Resource/grb_sharpbroomhill_australia_updf_final_copy_copy.pdf

http://www.gender-budgets.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=46&Itemid=112

http://apo.org.au/research/budget-2014-15-gender-lens

https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/05_2013/dfh035_13_budget_tagged.pdf (Women’s Budget Highlights as mentioned in this article)

What prompted me to write this post today was the publication of ‘Gender neutral policies are a myth: why we need a women’s budget‘, by academic Miranda Stewart. I would recommend taking a moment now to read that article and the readers comments that follow it (or at least those that were not removed by the moderator).

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 humour 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.

See also:

How the Australian Budget process is failing women (2 April 2019). Apparently we need “Gender responsive budgeting” and “women’s economic needs demand more frequent and intense intervention”. Yes, and for men/boys … oh, let’s not go there right?

Women’s Economic Security Statement (19 November 2018)

“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.”

The Queensland government produced a Women’s Budget Statement (6 July 2017)

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)

Interview with Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop (24 January 2017) The financial analysis I spoke of earlier would need to encompass foreign aid, which is increasingly gender-focused towards women/girls.

Only men pay taxes (8 October 2016) Video. On the issue of the gendered impact of the current taxation regime see also this blog post

Research finds that as a group, only men pay tax (8 September 2016) Wouldn’t it be interesting to run a rigorous financial analysis here in Australia to see if the same pattern was evident?

Despite the rhetoric, this election fails the feminist test (28 June 2016), by Eva Cox

Women left behind by a budget that does little to redress inequality, by Eva Cox (5 May 2016) Well if women were left behind in the Budget Eva, what say you about men and their issues?

The Distribution of Income and Fiscal Incidence by Age and Gender: Some Evidence from New Zealand (2013)

OMG. Another domestic violence inquiry. And they sure have loaded the dice with this one

The inquiry that I am introducing in this post follows hard on the heels of another federal Senate inquiry into domestic violence. My submission to that earlier inquiry can be accessed in this blog post. There have also been several recent inquiries conducted by state governments.

The current federal inquiry is known as the Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality. It is being considered by a Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration known as the ‘References Committee’, the membership of which is listed here.

The proposed terms of reference of the inquiry are to examine:

Domestic violence and gender inequality, with particular reference to:

  1. The role of gender inequality in all spheres of life in contributing to the prevalence of domestic violence;
  2. The role of gender stereotypes in contributing to cultural conditions which support domestic violence, including, but not limited to, messages conveyed to children and young people in:
    1. the marketing of toys and other products,
    2. education, and
    3. entertainment;
  3. The role of government initiatives at every level in addressing the underlying causes of domestic violence, including the commitments under, or related to, the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children; and
  4. Any other related matters.

As can be seen, these terms of reference were tailored for a feminist audience, and perfectly embrace the feminist narrative on DV. That is, in summary, that DV = men beating on women because patriarchy.

In fact each of these earlier inquiries demonstrated a pronounced pro-feminist bias, and this has greatly curtailed the breadth of issues and potential solutions discussed. Thus whilst some useful ideas were generated, these all fell well within the comfortable confines of what feminists consider to be appropriate policy responses.

As can be seen from its title, this inquiry hones in on one particular issue in the domestic violence debate that is absolutely central to the feminist perspective. The theoretical cornerstone of this is the ‘Duluth Model’ discussed in this email exchangethis academic paper, and in various other posts in my blog.

It is my belief, and one which is shared by many others, that applying this position to most (let alone all) incidents of DV is simply wrong. Focussing on gender inequality is diverting the domestic violence debate around 180 degrees in the wrong direction.

Thus all things considered, this inquiry will likely be an utter waste of time and money. So why then bother preparing a submission?

My answer? If people who hold alternative views don’t continue to publicly reject the feminist narrative, then the only voices on the public record will be those of the feminist fright-bats that populate organisations such as these. Not on my watch.

Not if we want effective solutions addressing the whole problem, rather than just more of the same costly inequitable and divisive policy failures.

The closing date for public submissions was 31 March 2016. The reporting date was nominated as being 24 August 2016, but don’t hold your breath for the last federal inquiry ran about a year overtime.

Here is a link to the list of submissions received by the Inquiry. My submission is #48, a copy of which is also available here.

Here is a link to the submission prepared by the ‘One in Three’ organisation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have already allocated blog posts to several such organisations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Australian Gender Equality Council (Budget unknown)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We collect, synthesise and summarise developments in:

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

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

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

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

… but no reply since. Hmm.

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

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

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

What’s happening overseas?

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

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

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

Further organisations slated for review

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

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

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

Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Domestic Violence Victoria All female staff? tick

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

Victoria_DV1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elsewhere in this blog you might be interested in reading:

So what exactly is the ‘Domestic Violence Industry’?

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

Academic paper on gender equality and gender hostility

Whilst this academic paper, entitled Gender equality and gender hostility, dates back to mid-2006, I just came across it today and thought it warranted a mention here.

The paper describes the results of an international survey of university students. Overall it found that there was a higher level of hostility towards men (HTM) by women than hostility towards women (HTW) by men. This was rationalised from a feminist perspective (for e.g. womens hostility was simply a reaction against hostility by men or reacting against patriarchal subordination, etc). There were however some interesting findings such as:

Yodanis and Straus (1996) found no correlation between men’s HTW and assault of a female partner but did find a positive correlation between women’s HTM and their assault of a male partner. That is, the higher the women’s HTM, the more physical assaults against a male partner reported. (p5)

More females (59%) than males (49.1%) agreed or strongly agreed with at least one item in the gender hostility scale. Thus, close to two-thirds of the women and approximately half of the men in the sample expressed some degree of gender hostility. Examination of more extreme scores reveals that 7.2% of females and 5.0% of males agreed or strongly agreed with four or five items, indicating that a noteworthy minority of participants reported a high level of gender hostility, with the percentage for women somewhat higher than for men. (p 16/17)

An increasing amount of research has found high rates of both physical aggression by women against male partners (Dutton and Straus 2005; Fiebert and Gonzalez 1997; Fiebert 2004; Straus 1999, 2005) and sexual aggression by women (Dutton and Straus 2005; Fiebert and Tucci 1998; Fiebert 2000). Research indicates that these women possess traits similar to men who are physically and sexually aggressive (Capaldi and Gorman-Smith 2003; Medeiros and Straus 2006; Moffitt et al. 2001). Prevention and treatment efforts need to be developed to address the attitudinal and behavioral characteristics of these women, including HTM (Medeiros and Straus 2006; Smithey and Straus 2004). (p26)

Importantly the paper stated that further study was needed to tease out the different causes of hostility between men and women.

There is also a place for more direct efforts to reduce gender hostility, especially as part of sexual assault and partner violence prevention. This will take considerably more information about the nuances of gender hostility than is now available because it appears that the problems women and men have with the other sex are not identical. If so, intervention efforts should target these yet-to-be identified sex-specific aspects of gender hostility. Another complication is that individuals who possess hostile attitudes about the other sex are not likely to be purely hostile. In a sample of females and males from 19 nations, Glick et al. (2000) found that participants reported both hostile and benevolent stereotypes and prejudices toward the other sex.

This will not be an easy task because we know little about the ways in which women evaluate men (Glick and Fiske 1999). Although more is known about men’s attitudes toward women, it is important that researchers learn more about women’s attitudes regarding those who are their “strongest foes and most intimate partners” (Glick and Fiske 1999, p. 534). This can help identify gender-specific interventions that are probably needed.

An increasing amount of research has found high rates of both physical aggression by women against male partners (Dutton and Straus 2005; Fiebert and Gonzalez 1997; Fiebert 2004; Straus 1999, 2005) and sexual aggression by women (Dutton and Straus 2005; Fiebert and Tucci 1998; Fiebert 2000). Research indicates that these women possess traits similar to men who are physically and sexually aggressive (Capaldi and Gorman-Smith 2003; Medeiros and Straus 2006; Moffitt et al. 2001). Prevention and treatment efforts need to be developed to address the attitudinal and behavioral characteristics of these women, including HTM (Medeiros and Straus 2006; Smithey and Straus 2004).

The 7.2% of females and 5% of the males who agreed with four or five of the five gender hostility items may be students who are more likely to sexually and physically aggress against dating partners and others. These extremely hostile cases are those most in need of help.