A few observations in relation to yet another article critical of men

The mainstream media is awash with articles infused with anti-male bias. Indeed after being conditioned through decades of exposure to this material, most people accept what they are told. In comparison to most of those articles, the focus of this post regarding alleged male risk-taking behaviour is admittedly rather benign. Indeed, if taken at face-value it appears to be sympathetic to the welfare of men & boys.

Examined more closely however the article reflects the contrasting and hypocritical manner in which the media addresses men’s & women’s issues.

The same day I noticed this article I came across another in a similar vein. That article mocks men in relation to another trait associated with masculinity – demonstrating protective behaviour towards women.

No there is nothing controversial about shaming men – just men – about pretty much anything nowadays. That’s kind of my point. And the article isn’t so much about “asking why“, but telling us why … apparently men are foolish.

And oddly, whilst this is an article about men’s behaviour, it begins with an account of the drowning of a 23 month old toddler. This seems to infer that even very young boys are dying due to masculinity-induced recklessness. Presumably female toddlers are more careful.

As the article is relatively brief, I’ll provide it here in its entirety:

Drownings blamed on men’s risky behaviour‘ (The Australian, 30 December 2016)

“The twin brother pulled unconscious from a Sydney swimming pool has died three days after his sister, in what has been described as a “deeply disturbing” week for water deaths.

Charli and Robbi Manago, 23 months, had been fighting for life in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead since they were found in their family’s pool around 7pm on December 20. The hospital last night confirmed Robbi had died.

His death takes the number of coastal and inland waterway fatalities since Sunday to 11. Nine of the dead were men.

Experts say a deadly cocktail of conditions — male bravado, consistent warm weather, and a poor understanding of water dangers — has led to the deaths.

As police and volunteers return to Sydney’s Maroubra Beach to find the body of missing teenager Tui Gallaher and search a Wagga river in the south of NSW for a 42-year-old man, experts have warned people not to overestimate their abilities.

Between 80 and 90 per cent of drowning victims are male, according to recent figures.

Four people died on Boxing Day, including 60-year-old Geoffrey Blackadder, who died trying to save young relatives from a rip on the NSW north coast, and 25-year-old Amine Hamza, who died after swimming with friends at Bents Basin in Sydney’s west.

“It’s deeply disturbing. Men are more likely to overestimate their swimming ability and underestimate how dangerous conditions are,” said Justin Scarr, chief executive at the Royal Life -Saving Society Australia.

“Men are more likely to swim in locations away from lifeguards and crowds, and they’re also more likely to consume ­alcohol.””

As you can see, the premise of the article is that substantially more men die from drowning due to those men taking excessive and presumably avoidable risks.

May I ask you, when was the last time you saw a headline “X blamed on women’s risky behaviour”? Where ‘X’ might have been death/rape/injury/cosmetic surgery/whatever. 1965? That’s because journalists know that when they discuss any such situations they must, at all costs, avoid be called-out for ‘victim-blaming’. And yet the same consideration is not on offer when men are the victims. Gender equality when it suits?

The assertion that drowning deaths result from men taking undue risks appears unproven. The examples of swimming outside the flags and drinking are provided, although neither of these behaviours are exclusive to men.

There are other possible explanations for a gender variation in deaths, particularly the likelihood that men venture into the water more often, and for longer periods, than do women. Clearly those who don’t go to the beach, or who lie on their towels 95% of the time, are less likely to drown in the ocean.

All outdoor activities have some degree of inherent risk, i.e. they are all “risky”. Given that men are significantly more likely than women to participate in almost all forms of outdoor recreation, they are clearly more likely to be injured or killed participating in such activities. One of the few exceptions is netball, a sport recognised as having a low risk of drowning.

If a significant number of drowning deaths were due to medical emergencies then it would make more sense to focus on men’s health, than male shaming. It is likely that some of the male drowning deaths were also the result of men attempting to rescue others.

For the purpose of this discussion let’s concede that “risky behaviour” (to be defined) may indeed result in more men drowning than women. And of course it would be preferable that those tragedies not occur. But before rushing to judgement let’s also consider the issue of risk-taking by men in a broader context.

Men tend to take more risks than women, and this risk-taking results in a range of both positive and negative impacts on society. On the positive side I would go so far as to propose that risk-taking by men has been and continues to be the powerhouse of civilisation.

Need someone to step forward to defend a woman being attacked? Men are expected to step forward, and are shamed if they do not. Need someone to defend a country from attack? Ditto.

In Australia 97% of workplace deaths involve men – around 175 people in 2016. Men working in dangerous and unpleasant jobs that women generally won’t accept. Where is the outrage about the risks these men take in providing necessary services to the community?

Based on media coverage, or lack thereof, it would appear that men taking risks in the name of chivalry, industry and national service is acceptable if not expected. In contrast, men taking risks during their leisure hours is unacceptable and worthy of negative media attention.

Men don’t deserve to be shamed for exhibiting the trait of risk-taking, nor for choosing not to do so. In fact greater recognition that male risk-taking more often benefits society would seem appropriate.

Sure there will be times when some men deserve a thoughtful journalistic rap over the knuckles, but this should not be the default position. Similarly there are times when women’s behaviour merits a commensurate sanction. At the moment however women are rarely subject to criticism, are encouraged to take risks, and the blame for any negative repercussions more often placed at the feet of men.

It’s time everyone got on the same page with gender equality, and recognised that there should be one standard to which we are all held. And that support and empathy should be consistently applied and gender-blind. Anything less will see more of the same unfortunate and divisive gender bias that now permeates the mainstream media.

See also:

Reader posts in a related Reddit discussion thread here

Former senior judge Richard Gee latest to die in summer drowning tragedy (3 January 2016)

Further related blog posts that may be of interest include:

On chivalry

Persistent pro-feminist and anti-male bias in the mainstream media

On masculinity and ‘real men’

How men are portrayed … Haw Haw Haw! The jokes on us

Women are held accountable for … (say hello to the Teflon Gender)

Men do more of most things … get a target painted on their backs

On being male or female (incl. innate differences, stereotyping and so on)

Australian 2016 Federal Election: No party willing to step up to the mark for men & boys

The last Australian federal election was held on 2 July 2016, and was ultimately (narrowly) won by the Liberal Party/National Party Coalition.

This post concerns those gender-related policy positions adopted by the three main players during the campaign: the Australian Labor Party (ALP), the Liberal Party/National Party Coalition (LNP), and The Greens.

In another blog post I provide details regarding the relevant positions adopted by some of the minor parties.

Gender issues did not feature amongst the key issues debated during the election campaign. The one specific gender-related issue which was aired was domestic violence. With that in mind, let’s look at what the major parties had to say on that topic:

The Domestic Violence statement provided in the ALP web site can be found here. The number of times the terms ‘men’ or ‘male’ (e.g. male victims) feature in this document = 0

The Domestic Violence statement within the Liberal Party web site is accessible here. The number of times the terms ‘men’ or ‘male’ (e.g. male victims) feature in this document = 1. That sole mention refers to the contentious ‘Mensline’ counselling service – read more about Mensline here.

The Domestic Violence statement in the National Party web site is here. The number of times the terms ‘men’ or ‘male’ (e.g. male victims) feature in this document = 0

The Greens Domestic Violence Policy is here. The number of times the terms ‘men’ or ‘male’ (e.g. male victims) feature in this document = 0. By way of contrast, the word ‘women’ features 31 times.

None of the major parties have shown any interest in addressing issues that detrimentally affect men and boys. None of them have issued significant statements in support of male victims of domestic violence, nor have they made reference to female perpetration of violence.

The major parties are essentially all in lockstep with the feminist movement, the only area of divergence being the amount of money that each is willing to relegate to/waste on feminist causes.

Amongst the major parties, the Greens offer the most ardently pro-feminist perspective, with the ALP running a close second. It was the Greens, for example, who were the driving force behind the current federal Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality.

The federal budget released by the Government in May 2016 represented the first salvo in the election campaign:

“In this Budget the Government has allocated $100.0 million over three years for Domestic and Family Violence: New Initiatives To Break the Cycle of Violence. This builds on the $101.2 million provided for a Women’s Safety Package announced by the Government in September 2015 (detailed in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Year Outlook 2015–16). This measure will draw on the recommendations of the Third Action Plan (part of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–22), due for release in mid-2016. [Footnote]” (Source)

Further details of what were proposed and some related background information are provided at:

Domestic and family violence budget review 2016-17
The number of times the terms ‘men’ or ‘male’ (e.g. male victims) feature in this document = 0. Again, by way of contrast, the word ‘women’ features 28 times.

Budget Paper No. 2. Part 2 Expense measures. Social Services (See Domestic and Family Violence — new initiatives to break the cycle of violence)

With respect to media coverage, the first relevant item I noticed discussed one particular funding measure announced by the Government … see ‘Family violence legal aid boost of $30 million won’t solve crisis: Lawyers‘ (12 May 2016). As is essentially ‘par for the course’ , the article implies that all victims of domestic violence are female.

The next cab off the rank was the ALP in ‘Federal Election 2016 Campaign: Bill Shorten promises $65 million funding boost to family violence services‘ (14 May 2016)

“Labor will provide funding certainty to frontline family violence organisations if it wins government, Bill Shorten has promised. The Opposition Leader has committed $65 million over six years to ensure 1800 RESPECT, Our Watch and Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) can continue their work in tackling family violence.”

Again, each of the major Australian political parties is unambiguously pro-feminist, regardless of how overtly they choose to express it. At this point none of these parties have chosen to raise awareness of, or to provide practical support for, male victims of domestic violence.

During an otherwise tedious and predictable campaign at least Mark Latham entertained via poking pins into feminist/white knight thought bubbles.

Further coverage of gender issues during the campaign:

Feminist group ‘Fair Agenda‘ compiled their own scorecard on how the parties stack up in relation to domestic violence. You can probably guess that their criteria differ from my own.

Here is the election wish-list of another feminist group, the ‘Australian Women Against Violence Alliance‘. They sent me a tweet stating “All victims should have access to support” yet there is no mention of male victims here.

Suicide prevention funding not reaching men says Labor senator (16 June 2016)

Bill Shorten speech launching Labor’s gender equality policy (11 June 2016) Bill uses the word ‘men’ five times versus 55 times in the case of ‘women’. Whilst Australian women get reassurance, support and encouragement, the men get this:

“men who have harmed them and their children”
“men rely on women for childcare”
“childcare remains a responsibility that Australian men too often unfairly leave to Australian women”
“25 per cent of women nominate a lack of childcare as their reason for leaving the workforce. In the case of men, it is 3 per cent.”
“It is primitive and wrong that women are paying the mortgage on houses occupied by men who have harmed them and their children”

The ALP sees providing a myriad of policies to support women whilst providing none to address men’s issues as “gender equality”. But wait, there’s more.

Bill goes on to state that “Australia cannot afford six Liberal years of ‘budgets for blokes’.” Seriously Bill? You mean all that money lavished on the Ministry of Men’s Affairs? Oh wait, there isn’t one is there? In fact all I can see is hundreds of millions poured into organisations like these.

**I challenge Bill or any other ALP politician to add a comment to this post providing examples of current federal budgetary allocations which they feel only benefit “blokes”**

Bill has also promised a hand-out for women’s health. Real men don’t get sick right, mate? {insert gratuitous joke about ‘man-flu’ here}

What might political parties include in their electoral platforms if, you know, they gave a damn about men and boys? In this paper a fellow put forward some ideas in relation to the  2015 UK election.

Female journalists expose barrage of federal election sexist abuse (1 July 2016) With just one example of alleged abuse provided in this and the linked article, and no details provided regarding online abuse of male reporters, it’s hardly convincing case of a campaign of gendered trolling.

Despite the rhetoric, this election fails the feminist test (28 June 2016) The word ‘women’ appears 17 times in this piece by rusted-on feminist Eva Cox (‘men’ = 0 btw). But it’s ok, as we are reassured that “feminist issues are about a better society for all, not just advancing women in a male defined world”. And while feminists want more, they are being offered a veritable buffet compared to the situation for men/boys.

“While both the Liberal Party and the Labor Party have issued women’s policy documents, these are strong on equality rhetoric but short on the continuing gender inequities, instead offering some funding to fix service problems.” What a shame that the dog chewed the corresponding men’s policy documents.

Election 2016: Labor commits $88 million to provide safe houses for domestic violence victims (11 June 2016)

The f-word enters the campaign and trips up both major parties (8 June 2016)

Malcolm Turnbull declares himself a feminist and chokes up over his family history, Turnbull finds it easy to declare himself a feminist, and Grandfather PM talks up the power of girls (6 June 2016)

Australian Brotherhood of Fathers election campaign round-up (2 June 2016)

Gender differences in voting intentions in the current campaign as of 16 May 2016

Gender differences in voting patterns in previous Australian elections

Powerful coalition of women call for both parties to stop their war on women‘ (17 May 2016) The election campaign demands of one feminist organisation (WEL)

Why neither party should ignore gender in this election (13 May 2016)

Domestic violence: Rosie Batty launches Australian election campaign push (5 May 2016)

Finally, a quick glimpse of what’s happening in the U.S Presidential campaign: here and here. This UK article is entitled ‘Why are men’s issues consistently ignored in electoral manifestos?‘  (29 May 2017)

Here is Bill Shorten’s take on domestic violence – notice how much attention he offers re: male victims. (July 2017)

It looks like the 2019 federal campaign may see gender issues given a higher profile, though I suspect purely employing the feminist perspective. Here was the first shot fired … (more details here)

Shorten promises $400 million to boost women’s superannuation (19 September 2018)

Elsewhere in this blog you might also be interested in the following posts:

Partners in alms: A primer on the ‘Domestic Violence Industry’

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

Dealing with mens issues – The current situation in Australia

Sadly, Australian politicians only find the courage to criticise the feminist lobby after they retire

On suicide

One of the defining features of the present-day feminist is their lack of compassion for the welfare of men/boys. This was again driven home to me this morning when I read an article ‘Suicide isn’t just an older man’s problem‘ (sub-titled ‘Suicide is increasing among young people, especially women‘).

The topic of men is dispensed with in a single paragraph (para 8):

“Historically, suicide in Australia has been largely seen as a male problem, with men, particularly middle-aged men, frequently identified as a high risk in our national strategies. Projects have focused on workplaces such as the construction industry, and men’s information resource centres. In men over the age of 25, rates are higher than those among younger women; however, with the exception of men aged between 55 and 64, these rates appear to be relatively stable.”

The bulk of the article is about women and young women, and how serious the problem of suicide is for them.

In this article today the authors only acknowledge the issue obliquely, by way of saying that ‘yes it’s a thing, but it’s not just about men’ … before proceeding to make it all about women. Seriously?

And so we have a serious social problem that disproportionately affects men, but which is largely ignored in feminist literature. On the odd occasion the male suicide issue is mentioned, the problem is essentially blamed on men, for e.g. masculinity, and the pressure imposed by gender roles.

A common theme is that the key to better means mental health is men opening up and talking to people. Oftentimes this is expressed in a simplistic and sometimes condescending way, viz. if only men would act more like women … problem solved.

Yes many, but not all, men might benefit from verbalising their concerns, but much more than that is needed. Systemic and cultural changes that acknowledge the value of men, and initiatives to address the myriad issues raised elsewhere in this blog. Measures that would act as a counterweight to the prevailing gynocentric bias. That’s the scale of action required to make substantial progress towards a remedy.

Oh, and take a look at this article in The Guardian … “Figures show more than one in 10 prison suicides are by women”. The other nine? Nothing to worry about.

See also:

White-washing the truth about why men kill themselves, by Bettina Arndt (10 July 2019) Recommended reading

Research confirms 5 uncomfortable facts about young male suicide (March 2019) Australia

Feminist, Chidera Eggerue, doesn’t have time to worry about male suicide (Tweet dated 14 March 2019) See also this tweet dated 13 March.

What makes a man suicide? Rambling on traditional expectations and suicide (9 March 2019)

University accused of hiding suicide data is UWE Bristol – the same Uni that last month blocked a men’s officer who wanted to campaign on male suicide. Draw your own conclusions (28 November 2018)

Regarding the suicide of Anthony Bourdain – most probably linked to his relationship with Asia Argento (13 September 2018)

Julia Gillard achieves the impossible (22 June 2018)

QLD Election FactCheck: are ‘up to 21 fathers’ dying by suicide every week? (15 November 2017) “Suicide is a complex phenomenon that has multiple causes and should never be attributed to one factor alone” and so is Domestic Violence, and yet feminists are content to blame that on gender inequality alone.

Note the readers comments incl. this one:

“It does not surprise me that suicide among men is increasing. Forty a week is a national disgrace and the Family Court of Australia is a big part of this problem.My divorce took all my capital and reduced my ability to pay maintenance. It took my super, used to pay off the mortgage, after saying I could keep my super if my wife could keep hers. I put her through university, typed all her assignments and even writing some so that she could become a lawyer and use the system to screw me. When my wife failed to allow access to my daughter for weekends and holidays, I was told by the Family Court of Australia that it did not enforce court orders, “and especially not for men”.

I have not even spoken on the telephone with my daughter for more than fifteen years because her mother hangs up when I ring. I have a court order specifying alternate weekends and weekly phone calls. My daughter is now in her twenties and until two months ago I was still paying maintenance. I was down south a few weeks ago and was roundly abused as an MCP by one virago because I stepped back and allowed her to enter the lift first. In a modern society where few people seem to have any knowledge of good manners, life is sometimes confusing and disadvantaged.”

Dozens of construction workers dying or facing serious injury each year because of suicide attempts (9 July 2017)

“Griffith University-based clinical psychologist Jacinta Hawgood said the macho culture of mining and construction was playing a key role in the stark statistics. “While women will talk to each other about difficulties, men often will not ask each other ‘are you OK?,’’ she said.”

Male suicide has nothing to do with politics. Apparently, by Corrine Barraclough (6 July 2017)

7 Truths Feminists Must Accept About Male Suicide, by Corrine Barraclough (26 June 2017)

Michelle Carter found guilty by judge in text message suicide case (16 June 2017) USA

Corrine Barraclough: Piecing together the pain of loss for men after abortion (3 June 2017)

Australian men aged over 85 have the highest rate of suicide, ABS data shows (30 May 2017)

The Truth About Custody Disputes, Suicide And Compassion, by Corrine Barraclough (22 May 2017)

The rise of the ‘sad dad’ is not a divorce trend, but a gendered one (21 May 2017) Feminists say men should be more like women and express their emotions, but when they do they are mocked and accused of playing to the audience.

Men, Prisons, Separation and Suicide (12 May 2017)

Deaths of despair stalk millennials in an unforgiving job market (19 April 2017)

Maine Democrats at ‘Values and Vision’ gathering erupt in laughter at white male suicide (14 April 2017) USA

Suicide, Ms Gillard? You can’t handle the truth, by Corrine Barraclough  (4 April 2017)

Women’s Day Off, by Karen Mac Fly (March 2017)

“I do not think the high rates of suicide and depression in men can solely be attributed to unjust laws that put men into situations where they see no reason to go on living, or the general misandry spread in the media. These are but the tangible results of modern women’s callous attitudes towards men.”

We must not allow suicide to become normalised (16 February 2017) See readers comments, particularly in relation to author’s decision to focus on young women.

Time to Talk Day: the mental health statistics you need to know (2 February 2017)

Stop telling men to show their emotions (3 December 2016) Excellent Reddit discussion thread with more than 200 posts

In 2015, there were 3,027 people who died by suicide — 2,292 were men and 735 were women. Guess which of those two numbers the ABC finds more worrying (28 September 2016) Australia

Women’s mental health needs ‘not considered adequately’ (25 September 2016) UK

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In Men, Depression is Different: Symptoms—and help—are unlike what women experience (19 September 2016)

The rules men live by are killing them: Here’s how we can help, by Shae Elise Allen (19 September 2016)

Let’s talk about male suicide, by Corrine Barraclough (10 September 2016) Australia

Why Our Suicide Prevention Strategies Are Failing To Stop Male Suicide (9 September 2016)

Making sense of male suicide in Australia (27 July 2016)

Does the NUS have a man problem? (31 May 2016) UK

Seven ways to understand male suicide in Australia (26 May 2016)

Facts and stats about suicide in Australia (March 2016)

What do we do now that suicide rates among young women are on the rise? (14 March 2016) It must have burned Jenna Price (‘Destroy the Joint’) to mention the word men (once) in a role other than as perpetrator of evil. Jenna thinks there needs to be more kindness shown, but presumably not the variety of kindness that radfem’s of her ilk shower on CIS-Het white men who constitute the bulk of suicides.

NewAccess can help Aussie men in pain (11 March 2016) Australia

Hard times: the suicide scourge among Australia’s tradies (5 March 2015)

No. of suicides in Japan drops below 25,000 for first time in 18 years (18 January 2016) Of those who killed themselves in 2015, 16,641 were men and 7,330 women.

International Men’s Day Debate in UK Parliament 2015 (23 November 2015)

Robert Whitley: Why men commit suicide (19 November 2015)

Male University of York Student Commits Suicide on Day His University Ditches International Men’s Day After Pressure From Feminists (18 November 2015)

Tactical burying of men’s issues (16 November 2015) Reddit mensrights discussion thread and here is a deleted comment from that thread

Male suicide now a national public health emergency, MPs warned (5 November 2015) UK

Gender, gender everywhere…but not in this study (3 November 2015) Reddit post pointing out yet another example of a MRM article where gender is not specified as men are the most detrimentally affected

Middle-aged male suicide rate rises by 40 per cent since 2008 (30 October 2015)

A record 564 people committed suicide in New Zealand in the past year (6 October 2015) Male suicides trending up, women down

TIL in the UK the most common cause of death for men under 50 is suicide, and related reddit mensights discussion thread

Man shaming and victim blaming: The A-Z of male suicide in the UK (14 April 2015)

‘A silent issue’: Researchers say 1 in 3 teen boys attempt suicide after being sexually assaulted (13 April 2015)

Fatal silence: Why do so many fortysomething men kill themselves? (13 April 2015)

It’s society, not biology, that is making men more suicidal (24 February 2015)

Men and Suicide: The Silent Epidemic (21 February 2015)

Robin Williams one of many: More middle-aged men committing suicide, and experts don’t know why (15 August 2014)

If as many women killed themselves as men, we’d never hear the end of it (30 January 2015) Article and related Reddit mensrights discussion thread

Suicide surpassed war as the military’s leading cause of death (31 October 2014)

Suicide among men four times higher than women (2 December 2014)

Extreme family violence: trying to understand murder-suicide (7 November 2013)

“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.” Only a feminist would hold up the fact that many men kill themselves as proof that men are inherently violent.

Male suicide rates and causes (19 April 2011)

Divorce and suicide risk (2003) (with details concerning an actual case of a divorce-related suicide here)

Eye of Woden – Addendum on male suicide

male_suicide

Elsewhere in this blog you might be interested in reading:

On men’s health: The statistics and the underlying factors

Is it my imagination or does media coverage of mens health initiatives usually focus on male shaming?

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

I thought women were meant to be more empathetic?

One charity’s perplexing response to a potential source of donations

My father died from prostate cancer. I had an idea that I might put some donation buttons in this web site so I approached the major Australian prostate cancer charity, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, with a proposal:

“hi there, I maintain a mens rights blog at www.fighting4fair.com. I thought I would put in a “donate now” button to help fund-raise for your organisation. I came to your web site today looking for a ‘button” that I could cut and paste into one or more locations within my site, with the image hyperlinked to your everydayhero donation page. do you have such a button I could use, preferably with html code pointing to the page of your choice? Cheers”

I got a reply back the very same day which left me a little perplexed:

“Thank you so much for your email and reaching out to support PCFA. We are very grateful for your offer of having a donate now button on your website but as PCFA isn’t just about men but also about their families and the wider community, as they too have to deal with the side effects to prostate cancer, therefore, we like to work with bogs/website that are all inclusive of these audiences. Once again thank you so much for your offer and support and good luck with the continued success of your blog.”

Oh, the irony of being excluded due to a policy favouring inclusiveness. A curious state of affairs, made more so as I don’t know:

  • What test of ‘inclusiveness’ was applied, or the nature of the blogs/web sites deemed to meet that criteria
  • If the staff member who wrote to me deigned to peruse my site before determining whether or not it was sufficiently inclusive,  and
  • Whether that decision was sanctioned by way of an established policy or whether it simply reflected personal bias on the part of the individual involved.

On that last point I looked through the Foundation’s web site but couldn’t find any applicable policy, even for example in relation to the suitability of sponsors.

Perhaps the Foundation’s decision reflects the ‘deer in the headlights’ reaction demonstrated by some organisations when they imagine their name appearing in the same sentence as the words ‘men’ and ‘rights’? That would be odd given that the Foundation is in fact in the business of securing mens rights. The right to remain free of disease due to world-class scientific research. The right to have access to the best possible methods of treatment. The right to be treated with empathy and dignity. These are rights, or at least should be rights, rather than privileges bestowed by a capricious matriarchy.

I happen to think my blog is pretty darn welcoming, and presumably so do most of the 500-600 people that it attracts each day (and growing steadily). The only visitors who might be feel a tad marginalised – though I still welcome their readership – would be gender feminists. And as dad used to say to me, ‘you can’t please everyone’.

I’m disappointed that this has happened. Not being a political ingenue I can appreciate the merit of not alienating those with influence over government funding priorities – where the real money comes from. But when did worrying about what people might think become more important than actually helping?

I have invited both the CEO of the Foundation, and the staff member who wrote to me, to add their comments to this blog. I will update this post should any further information come to hand.

See also:

Reddit mens rights discussion thread on this issue (November 2014)

Ending the ‘inclusive’ myth (11 November 2014) By sheer coincidence this thread popped up today

Prostate Foundation is looking for staff (this also popped up on 11 Nov … by coincidence)

Funding for Sydney Men’s Health Service axed

Many readers would be aware that the level of Australian government support (both federal and state) provided to men’s groups/men’s issues is miniscule in relation to that provided to groups advocating for and/or providing services to women. I am currently in the process of trying to quantify this differential but it is developing into a mammoth undertaking.

I recently came across a readers comment about men’s health in a blog post about an unrelated matter. Reader ‘Michael’ stated:

“Hope you can maintain some momentum, as there is no funding for grass-roots groups that are concerned about men and boys. The Mens’ Health Information & Resource Centre at the University of Western Sydney has had its paltry funding withdrawn, so there is no longer any formally based Australian organisation concerned with issues of male experience and equity.”

I then googled searched seeking confirmation of this news, which I had previously heard nothing about. I couldn’t find anything nor could I see anything in the Centre’s own web site. Anyway I eventually did get a response from a former staff member of the Centre, who advised as follows:

“Thank you for your email. I and responding to your enquiry on behalf of MHIRC … 

Our long-standing funding arrangements that have been renewed since 1999 from the NSW State Government were ceased in 2013. This represented our major source of funding for the operations of the Men’s Health and Information Resource Centre at UWS. The Centre also operates The Shed at Mt Druitt for which funding has been provided for one more year and this originates from the Federal Government’s Department of Health.

The funding sources are not transferable so one source cannot subsidise another. For MHIRC, this means that our key projects of Men’s Health Week and MENGAGE the NSW Male Health Clearinghouse are able to continue only in a very limited format. We are currently exploring funding for 2015’s Men’s Health Week through other sources such as donations.

MHIRC was recently visited by the Governor-General, at his own initiation, and this may open up discussions about future funding.

Essentially, what we would like to say to the community and people concerned about approaches to male health that are not just medical or disease-focused, is that we need your support. If you would like to contribute to keeping important community-driven events like Men’s Health Week going, donations can be made to the Men’s Health Research Fund at the University of Western Sydney.

On a personal note, I will continue to donate time and energy to keep Men’s Health Week and MENGAGE going as I did when it was my job as I now work in a different part of UWS. I believe strongly that we need community-driven support for social wellbeing programs for men in Australia beyond the ‘problem-driven’ answers that governments focus on.

Thank you for your interest in the future of a social approach for men’s health in Australia.”

 

The men’s shed movement: A little bit ‘rad’ and a little bit sad

I noticed that reddit discussion threads were created at /mensrights (pre-existing thread here) and at /australia, after the ABC ran a special on the ‘men’s shed’ movement. The thread at /australia included discussion of a recent decision to block the formation of a men’s club at the University of Sydney, as detailed in this article.

You’ll probably ask, ‘What is the men’s shed’ movement?’ So, from Wikipedia:

Men’s Sheds are non-profit organisations that originated in Australia, to advise and improve the overall health of all males. However they have expanded their remit to anyone regardless of age. In many ways they parallel the growing Hackerspace movement which has similar aims and mechanisms, albeit Hack/Maker spaces are more explicit about their inclusion of all ages and genders. They normally operate on a local level in the community, promoting social interaction and aim to increase the quality of life. There are over 900 located across Australia, with thousands of active members. Men’s Sheds can also be found in Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Finland and Greece.

Further explanation of the nature of the men’s shed movement is provided here.

Let me make a couple of observations about the movement, and my opinion of it, at the outset of this discussion:

  • Most men’s sheds permit, if not actively encourage, female participation.
  • Irrespective of the concerns that I express in this post, I feel that men (both individually and collectively) are certainly better off with the shed movement in place, than without it.

I’ve had some peripheral involvement with the men’s shed movement, which I see as a combination of ‘rad’ (radical) and sad. It is ‘rad’ in that it is an organisation/service specifically for men, in a society where now anything for men is seen as inherently bad and to be feared/opposed. It is ‘rad’ also in that it receives funding (albeit very limited funding) in a political environment whereby the provision of government funds for mens organisations and interests amounts to a tiny fraction of that provided for womens organisations and interests.

It is sad in that it survives on the basis of a short leash gripped by white knight politicians and femocrats. The tick of approval that they have reluctantly conferred remains in place only so long as the movement continues to operate with a diversional therapy/mental health focus, and poses no challenge to the feminist narrative. It is sad also when one compares the far greater range of outlets, programs and safe-spaces that are available to women – more often than not subsidized by the public purse. Further, female participation in such opportunities is applauded in contrast to the condescending and resentful attitude of some feminists towards men’s involvement in the shed movement. See examples of feminist perspectives of the men’s shed movement here and here.

I get the distinct feeling that with this, as with other Australian men’s health-related initiatives, those people running them fully realise just how tenuous the level of government support is and are desperately frightened not to offend anyone. This is reflected in the vanilla tone of the online forum associated with the men’s shed movement, administered by ‘Beyond Blue‘ and the ‘Australian Men’s Shed Association‘. I have started or participated in a couple of discussion threads there – see for example http://www.theshedonline.org.au/discussions/general/australian-human-rights-commission-appears-to-have-little-interest-in-men.

The level of site traffic is quite low, so in that regard they appear to have failed to capture the interest of their target audience. The movement is seen, by some at least, as fusty/musty and a forum for rather forlorn/resigned expressions of the life in the good old days, awkward blokey chit-chat, etc. The site administrators have on occasion asked for suggestions for improvement, primarily to try to increase traffic. I suggested having a section for men’s rights-type issues like portrayal of men in the media, etc, but that was met with stony silence.

I am sure that the site administrators would respond by saying that the  men’s shed movement is not intended to be a men’s rights organisations. I get that. And I’m sure that most of the guys in the sheds movement enjoy their involvement and are unconcerned regarding how that movement fits into the bigger picture of the gender debate. This is partly reflective of the fact that a large slab of the male population still don’t give much consideration to men’s rights issues.

At the same time, though, no-one can tell me that the social backdrop re: attitudes to men, imposition of stereotypes, demonisation by feminist organisations, etc, is not a contributing factor to anxiety and the development of depression and other men’s mental health issues. By getting men to recognise, discuss and maybe mobilise against these factors … well maybe that would achieve more for their mental welfare than just giving them a venue from which they can temporarily escape from their wives/lives.

I guess there are a several of ways to look at the role of the men’s shed movement, marked by end points that might be:

  • seeing the men’s shed movement as a beachhead on which to empower men to do things and/or participate as part of a movement, that will enhance their own sense of worth and create a better social environment for those that come after them, or
  • seeing the men’s shed movement as occupying men harmlessly within a sheltered workshop environment granting them some temporary solace from the #@%# that awaits outside

Long may the movement prosper, but I confess that my position lies closer to the former than the latter.

See also:

South Australian Men’s Sheds: Who, What and Why? (undated)

‘I’d be dead without it’: Life-saving men’s shed under threat (24 July 2016)

The Men’s Shed Movement: The Company of Men (2015) A book by Prof. Barry Golding

A fight for male space: the Australian Men’s Shed movement (31 January 2015)

University of Sydney Board blocks formation of men’s group (26 September 2014) Also addressed here, here and here, and with an even more patronising article about the proposal here

More men face lonely old age, says study (12 October 2014) and one feminist’s scornful response

Men’s sheds: Because blokes have feelings too (30 August 2011) See comments

Australia – Fears of Pedophilia Shut down “Men’s Shed” (25 August 2011)

It’s time the boys got back to their sheds (4 June 2010)

Is it my imagination or does media coverage of mens health focus too much on shaming men?

Readers might be aware that there are a number of areas when men compare poorly with women in terms of disease prevalence and outcomes, rates of suicide, and overall life expectancy. I talk about some of these factors in my earlier post on men’s health.

Many factors contribute to this situation including aspects of male physiology, a propensity towards greater risk-taking in leisure pursuits, and working longer hours – sometimes in more dangerous occupations. Other individual factors include things like attention to diet and exercise, and receptiveness to seeking/receiving medical treatment.

Let’s try to split all the factors contributing to men’s poorer health outcomes into two groups, comprising those things that individual men can exercise significant control over versus those things that they can’t.

At the outset we must recognise that there is clearly a huge range of individual variation within male and female populations in relation to these factors with further variables like degree of education, income level, and age for example. Thus there are limits as to the extent that we can make meaningful generalisations about “all men” or “all women”. Further, in the case of some factors over which one might think people do have control, the extent to which an individual actually can exercise personal choice, is very limited in some cases. An example of this would be a poorly educated man choosing to engage in a risky occupation to support his family.

So what of the factors that most individuals don’t have any control over? Well one that springs to mind are decisions made by governments, health agencies and drug companies (for example), that determine funding priorities/subsidies/etc for medical research and treatment. To give an example, the fact that the death rate from prostate cancer is higher than for breast cancer might be more indicative of the disproportionately greater funding for breast cancer research and treatment than the extent to which men “take their health seriously“.

And yet despite the above, all too often the focus of campaigns and articles about men’s health seems to be an implied or overt suggestion that men’s health problems are of their own making – that if men weren’t so silly/lazy then everything and everyone would be better off.

For now I’ll just mention a few examples, with more perhaps to be added later.

I came across this article about a men’s health campaign fronted by well-known actor Samuel L Jackson. Jackson was visiting the UK to promote a new male cancer campaign called ‘One For The Boys’ that hopes to “change male mentality”. Apparently men in the UK are 60% more likely to get the cancers that affect all sexes and 70% more likely to die from these cancers.

The campaign is based on the premise that the higher incidence of cancer in men is caused by men neglecting their health. “If only men would only stop being so dumb and talk about our health then we’d stop dying from cancer in greater numbers.”

The author of the article disputes both the validity and appropriateness of this message, claiming that a major reason for the different rates of cancer between men and women is greater expenditure of research and treatment in relation to women’s health.

The author would prefer a more positive message for men, and suggests something more along the following lines:

“Listen brother, every man’s and woman’s life is precious so why are we putting less time, energy and money into fighting cancer in men? It doesn’t make sense to me. Is it any wonder that more men than women are dying of cancer every single day? Are you okay with that? I’m not. So here’s what we’re going to do. Us men, all of us, we’re going to get together and make sure we start putting more time, energy and money into fighting male cancer, cos that’s the only way we’re going to beat this goddam, mother***ing disease. So who’s with me? Are you with me brother? Are you with me?”

The author closes with: “Now that’s the kind of good man narrative that I’d be happy to be part of, and it could apply to any of the issues that men and boys face.”

Fast forward to February 2015 and Ice-T has established the Male Awareness Foundation (MAF), which appears to be in a similar vein. MAF is described as a non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men and boys where they live, work, play, and pray with sickness prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational material, advocacy opportunities, and patient referrals.

Now the following media story may appear relatively benign, and the research was no doubt well-meaning, but male-shaming remains nonetheless quite apparent. On 6 October 2014 an item appeared on the television news entitled ‘Men at risk of mental health problems‘.

I subsequently wrote to the Australian HQ of the ‘Movember’ organisation to query whether the ‘problem is that men don’t take their health seriously’ angle for the story originated with them or whether the media created this angle of their own volition. I received the following reply the next morning:

“Thanks for your email this morning in response to the news coverage overnight.
With regard to the claim that some men don’t take their health seriously, this was a finding from a study we conducted last month into the attitudes Australian men have towards their health and well-being.  It revealed that 1 in 3 Aussie men don’t take their health seriously, in response to a specific question that asks whether they agree or not with the statement ‘I take my health seriously’.  We surveyed a representative sample of over 1,500 men from around the country, aged 18+.
The media reported it as 1/3 , so they (nor Movember) are saying it’s all men.  In fact, it’s good to know that 2/3 do take health seriously, but there’s still some work to be done to raise awareness amongst the remaining 1/3 who don’t.
The purpose of the report is to shine a light on some of the challenges facing men and their health, with a view to raising awareness and sparking conversations about these issues, something the Movember aims to do through our annual Mo growing campaign.  It certainly wasn’t intended to denigrate men or portray them negatively.  We’re all about supporting men, raising awareness about their health and funding programs that help tackle prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s mental health.
I hope that answers your query, Chris.  Please do get back in touch if you have any further questions or concerns.” (Meagan Bell, Movember, 7 October, 2014)
I wrote back as follows:
“Thanks for your prompt response. Yes, I don’t disagree with the fact that some men need to take their health more seriously, and they should be encouraged and supported in doing so. My concern is that there are many factors contributing to men health problems, and that how seriously they take their health is but one of these. It is unfortunate though that this aspect – which brings with it an element of male shaming – seems to more often than not be the focus of media articles and health campaigns. I would like to see more effort made to put this variable into a broader perspective of mens health and for men to be encouraged – in a positive way – to do what they can to maintain good health.
Recognition must also be given to the fact that some contributing factors, like government support for medical research and treatment for men’s health issues versus the level of support given to women’s health issues – are not directly under men’s control.”
Another common assertion about men and their health – particularly mental health – is that men need to talk about things more. Especially their feelings.
A couple of issues crop up here:
When men do speak up they are often shamed or called things in the media/social media. Things like ‘whiny man-child’
Research and anecdotal evidence suggests that many men are not helped by talking about things, this approach only adding to their anxiety. Most likely this is a point of difference between most men and most women.
On this last point I asked for relevant references on Reddit mensrights and several relevant sources were nominated including this excellent discussion thread with more than 200 readers comments.
See also:
How’s your walnut, mate? Why men don’t like to talk about their enlarged prostate (4 May 2016) The second shaming article in ‘The Conversation‘ this week. The theme of this one is that men are ignorant. Author avoids mention of contentious issues like number of related male deaths and paucity of research funding relative to (for e.g.) breast cancer.
Men more reluctant to go to the doctor – and it’s putting them at risk (2 May 2016) Apparently masculinity is the problem (isn’t it always?)

Women are held accountable for … (say hello to the Teflon Gender)

I was reading this article today dealing with suicide. It includes the statement:

“Mental health organisations are increasingly targeting their public awareness messaging towards men, given the data shows they’re three times more likely to suicide.

“Men aren’t very good at asking for help and addressing the issues,” Hayden said. “That’s something we need to focus more attention on.””

I was thinking that when health and personal safety issues disproportionately affect women (or when it’s claimed that they do, as in the case of domestic violence) then invariably men are blamed. Yet even when men are disproportionately afflicted, they are still blamed. Rarely has there appeared the suggestion that women contributed to serious problems affecting men (or even to their own problems). No,  because according to cultural mores today that would be victim-blaming. That would be misogyny. And that would be wrong.

Can anyone think of an example, in say the last ten years, where such a suggestion has been put forward in the mainstream media? None, as far as I can recall. The root cause of social problems is usually, and conveniently, sheeted home to men and/or the patriarchy.

Take the case of suicide for example. What of the stress caused by a family court system that is biased against fathers? What of the pressure borne from the expectation that men contribute more financially in a relationship from the first date onwards? What of the pressure of being expected to take the lead, yet at any time to be criticized for doing so?

What of the pressure of expectations to be chivalrous in the face of mocking of traditionalism? What of trying to satisfy women’s needs and expectations when those needs and expectations vary widely from one woman to the next, and from one month to the next?

What of the continually demonisation of men in the media? The ongoing attacks on mens integrity and sense of self-worth by feminised government bureaucrats and feminist organisations?

No, no, no. It’s because men are reluctant to visit the doctor. It’s because men are frightened to talk about their feelings. Yes, that’s it. If only men would, you know, ‘man up’. There you have your solution.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Feminists often disparage men by falsely claiming that we believe that “men have it worse than women” and that “men believe that everything bad that happens to them is because of women“. Well, I don’t believe that and I don’t know anyone who does.

But surely it is fact that women, both individually and collectively, do generate significant problems for men, for themselves, and for their children. It is just extraordinary that this is not more openly acknowledged and discussed. And a very clear indicator, if one was needed, of the extent to which feminism has permeated and distorted western culture.

It’s true, I have a headache at the moment. Perhaps I’m suffering from some sort of a mental block. So will someone please tell me, in our modern western society, just exactly what women are being held accountable for? Are they in fact held responsible for anything in this world that is bad?

Go on, won’t someone throw this dog a bone?

Postscript: Alternative question for feminists to answer – Can you conceive of a problem/situation/dilemma where you wouldn’t blame a man?

See also:

Why are so many women with good careers being forced to freeze their eggs? (13 July 2018)

Toxic femininity and lack of personal responsibility (1 July 2018) Makes mention of the suicide of Anthony Bourdain

Woman held accountable for her (rude) actions on first date – world goes into meltdown … mutual responsibilities? Cease such seditious thoughts! (19 May 2017) Video

Telling women not to drink during pregnancy ‘sexist’ (18 May 2017)

Men should do everything, apparently (26 March 2017) Reddit discussion thread and linked article

Women hate responsibility (7 March 2017) Video by ‘Sandman’

‘Very lonely guys spend hundreds to cuddle with me’ (27 December 2016) TL/DR version is that many guys are such losers that they have to pay an enterprising (exploitative and condescending) plain-looking woman to allow them a human touch.

Subject of article says her clients “have a hard time finding companionship organically and lack human connection and touch”, i.e. they’re lacking in some regard. Because the fact that they are paying someone to hold them couldn’t be due to a deficiency in women. But then in the next breath she observes that one particular client told her that his wife “never just wants to lay and be with him”. You think Lisa, that maybe the wife is at least part of the problem here?

Michael Moore told that ‘Women can commit wrong too’ (31 October 2016)

A Network of Men (11 August 2016) Video

The ‘Women are Wonderful’ effect, by Christina Hoff Sommers (30 March 2015) Video, related reddit mensrights discussion thread, and Wikipedia entry on the WAW phenomenon

Feminism: It might just be ruining your love life (5 March 2015)

We should stop putting women in jail. For anything (6 November 2014)

Feminism vs. responsibility (16 October 2014)

Are men to blame for the plastic surgery obsession? (22 October 2014) See readers comments

malesareculpable

Elsewhere in this blog see:

On the punishment of women and the notion of a ‘pussy-pass’

Dealing with mens issues – The current situation in Australia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Australian politics and gender issues:

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

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

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

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

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

There are a few exceptions to the rule:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Australian media:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further background material

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

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

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

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

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

Another double-standard: Genital mutilation

I have been meaning to write a post about this subject for some time but today I came across an article that basically took the words right out of my mouth, and is a great introduction to the issue.

That article is called Female genital mutilation (FGM) and male circumcision: Time to confront the double standard by Brian Earp (18 February 2014)

What is happening in many countries is that the issue of FGM is receiving a great deal more attention than male circumcision. This has generated an increasingly strong reaction from opponents of infant circumcision. The opposing reaction from feminists and some others, has been a combination of downplaying the actual and potential harmful effects of male circumcision, combined with exaggeration of is potential health benefits.

Some of the arguments put forward in support of circumcision include better personal hygiene, and related to that a reduced propensity to infection by STD’s including HIV/AIDS. In reality, however, in western society such benefits are marginal. Curiously one does not hear corresponding arguments that infants’ fingernails and toenails should be removed for these reasons, nor the breast buds of pubescent girls (to prevent breast cancer, which is far more prevalent than HIV).

This conflicting treatment of the GM issue for males and females is now being enshrined in an increasing number of new laws that ban FGM whilst ignoring the circumcision of male infants (example).

Further useful and/or disturbing information can be obtained from the following sources:

The Circumcision Information and Resource Pages

The BBC just released a video featuring Nimco Ali entitled, “FGM and male circumcision aren’t the same” (7 February 2019)

Turkish boys scream as they’re put by agonising circumcision ritual in photograph sequence displaying their contorted faces (30 June 2017)

Mother laughs at son’s circumcision pain as he walks holding his pants away from the wound (21 April 2017) Reddit discussion thread and linked video.

MGM: Claimed medical benefits Part 1 (25 March 2017) This is the first in a three part series of articles in this web site

World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics study finds evidence in favour of male infant circumcision (8 February 2017)

uncircumcised males face an 80 per cent risk of developing a foreskin-related condition requiring medical attention” which could equate to a dab of bepanthen and extra washing – but let’s cut the little blighter anyway and be done with it.

Denmark’s doctors express their view on circumcision (12 January 2017) See related Reddit discussion thread here

Why female genital mutilation is a very different issue to male circumcision | International Business Times (7 November 2016) Reddit discussion thread and linked article

Oxford Doesn’t Understand Genital Mutilation (31 August 2016) Video

Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics: ‘Circimcision is Unethical and Unlawful’ (14 July 2016)

Why The Fight To End Female Genital Mutilation Needs To Include Infant Male Circumcision (1 June 2016)

Västra Götaland Parliament: Genital mutilation of boys is OK (13 April 2016)

Why circumcision is the same as FGM (30 March 2016) UK. Video

No More Intactivism for Me: Here’s Why (5 January 2016)

MRA interrupts HeforShe speech at Stony Brook University, challenges speaker on MGM (2 September 2015) Reddit discussion thread and linked video

Circumcision debate raises health claims and ethical issues (12 May 2015)

Female Circumcision – The Hidden Truth (2 April 2015) A Muslim perspective

Defending FGM (18 February 2013)

The Doctors: Daytime Talk Show Disaster (16 January 2014) Good Youtube video

Sex Talk Realness: Circumcised Penises vs. Uncircumcised Penises (23 October 2014) Unbelievably tasteless article from Cosmopolitan

12 African men forced to undergo circumcision (3 August 2014)

Don’t compare male circumcision with FGM (30 July 2014) Rubbish article but comments worth reading

http://www.sott.net/article/282359-Why-the-benefits-of-circumcision-are-based-on-false-assumptions-erroneous-conclusions-and-misleading-medical-information (21 July 2014)

Three charged with circumcising girls committed to stand trial (23 May 2014)

A Youtube video on the subject of circumcision

Sexually-transmitted infections and circumcision: A systematic review and meta-analysis (2013)

“Consequently, the prevention of sexually transmitted infections cannot rationally be interpreted as a benefit of circumcision, and any policy of circumcision for the general population to prevent sexually transmitted infections is not supported by the evidence in the medical literature.”

http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6966989/the-real-reason-youre-circumcised

http://www.examiner.com/article/female-genital-mutilation-vs-circumcision

http://www.circinfo.org/Circumcision_and_women.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/baby-dies-herpes-virus-ritual-circumcision-nyc-orthodox/story?id=15888618

The case against the case against circumcision‘ (18 October 2009) Some interesting info amongst the readers comments section

http://www.avoiceformen.com/men/mens-health/circumcision-is-a-universal-horror-so-why-do-some-of-londons-most-powerful-feminists-refuse-to-save-boys-from-genital-mutilation/

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/09/18/how-intactivists-are-ruining-the-debate-on-circumcision/

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/03/men-and-female-genital-mutilation

Reddit discussion thread about a pro-circumcision article in the Sydney Morning Herald

http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/herbert-purdy-comments-on-andrew-delaneys-paper-on-the-double-standards-concerning-fgm-and-male-circumcision/

Should we circumcise women to prevent throat cancer in men?  (7 July 2014)

US Navy study on the (absence of a ) link between circumcision and HIV infection (July 2004)

And finally … I couldn’t believe this when I first read about it … sick stuff. Skin cream for women made from the foreskins of baby boys (12 April 2013)

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