Achieving personal financial security is important for everyone. Dodgy research helps no-one

Why slave away crafting a serious academic research paper when you can knock out an under-graduate quality effort that will still be published provided it pushes the appropriate PC buttons? One gets to bang the feminist drum to one’s heart’s content, virtue-signal across the chattering class, and pad out one’s resume all at the same time.

Anyway, accuracy, objectivity and academic rigor are so last century!

Young women can budget in the short term but struggle with long-term investments: survey’ (14 February 2017)

This unexceptional article merits its own post only by virtue of the way it exemplifies several of my concerns regarding pro-feminist research:

  • presents a non-gendered issue as gendered
  • only surveys women yet uses the results to argue a case of relative female disadvantage
  • features lamentably weak research methodology
  • only identifies contributing factors consistent with a predetermined conclusion based on feminist dogma
  • infers that men are primarily responsible for both causing and resolving the alleged situation of female disadvantage

My comments are inserted within the body of the article, and shown in blue font.

The main premise of the article is that women are significantly disadvantaged in terms of achieving financial security, and warrant special assistance in this regard. This disadvantage is said to stem mainly from a lack of awareness of investment options and strategies. In supporting this position the paper grasps at various feminist chestnuts such as the gender wage gap, the superannuation gap, and gender bias within schools and specific employment sectors.

“Our investigation into the financial literacy of young women finds they are confident in implementing budgeting and savings strategies, but lack the knowledge and confidence required to implement long-term financial strategies.”

The first thought that sprang to mind was ‘Why focus solely on young women?’, especially if the intention is to assert gender-based disadvantage. What exactly was the goal of this research project? Better understanding a problem that affects many PEOPLE with a view to identifying strategies to help those in need? Or simply opportunistically seizing on the issue of savings and investment in order to add to the chorus of ‘women have it tougher’?

The justification for excluding men from the study is hardly compelling:

  • the average level of retirement savings for men is greater than the average for women
  • men are claimed to be, again on average, more financially literate than women.

What of the fact that many men fall below the male average, and quite likely also the female average? There would certainly be no shortage of men who “lack the knowledge and confidence required to implement long-term financial strategies“. Consider too that some women would exceed male average savings, and that this segment is sure to increase in coming years.

Bear in mind too that men’s savings are not necessarily their own, and will more often be used to support dependents. For example, many women are financially supported in later life by current or previous male partners, whilst relatively few men are supported in such a manner. And indeed, far more men than women will have some or all of their savings confiscated via court-ordered settlements following separation or divorce.

“This is surprising given that financial literacy usually refers to not only an understanding of how money actually works and how to make and manage money for day-to-day affairs but also how to use this in preparation for the future.

While our results are preliminary, based on social media users and require more detailed research, our results begin to draw links between social, institutional and personal attitudes towards financial knowledge.

A survey we distributed across social media found that 91% of 175 respondents had confidence in their ability to implement savings strategies (varying from simple to complex), and 89% were confident in their ability to budget. Strategies included everything from planning for a holiday to managing credit cards. Participants also considered budgeting and saving to be the most important aspects of their finances.”

It appears that all the survey respondents were female – a major oversight – and were likely self-selected from within the ranks of the researchers’ friends/associates. What likely degree of survey bias did this entail? In other words, to what extent are the results meaningful even in a purely statistical sense?

However, our survey participants expressed a distinct lack of appreciation for longer-term financial goals. While 72% of respondents felt that savings were extremely relevant to them, only 38% said the same about superannuation, and they showed even less interest in other long-term investment (23%).

Knowledge and confidence in implementing long-term investment strategies were even more concerning. Only 17% of respondents said they had a “medium” knowledge of superannuation and only 1% (or two of 175 respondents) felt that they had an in-depth understanding. In contrast, 55% indicated having little or no knowledge whatsoever.

The numbers look even bleaker for responses about investments. A low 12% of survey participants had medium levels of knowledge in this area, while again only 1% felt their knowledge was in-depth.

When asked about why they lacked financial knowledge, the barrier most commonly acknowledged by participants was lack of financial information taught at school (91%). Also 55% of participants reported feeling discouraged from learning about finance because they were women. This is consistent with reports of female students being discouraged from studying subjects such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).”

Oh please! That’s a reach isn’t it? Did male students receive additional education regarding financial information at school? With no corresponding results for young men, the value of the stats provided above – in terms of supporting a gendered agenda – are dubious.

And as for the validity of measuring how people “feel” about things, I would refer you to this paper.

Why financial literacy matters for women

Women working full-time currently earn 84% of a man’s pay – at a 20 year average. The impact is this: women will earn around [A$650,000 less than men across their lifetimes].

While the pay gap is considerable, the “super gap” is even greater. On average women will accumulate 46.6% less in superannuation than men, and one in three women retire with no super at all. Superannuation is the second largest asset for most Australian households, (second only to housing) and contributes significantly to economic security and savings at retirement.

The pay gap is based on the average for all men and all women, and when analysed it becomes clear that there a significant variations in the extent of the gap (even with respect to which gender is favoured).

Insufficient superannuation and savings at retirement have also been linked to high rates of homelessness experience by older women – a point that has been emphasised by Homelessness Australia. While there are many factors that contribute to homelessness, from drug and alcohol abuse, lack of affordable housing and domestic violence, a 2013 study by Adam Steen and David MacKenzie suggests that the little research done is this area indicates poor financial literacy is also a contributing factor.

Difference in superannuation savings between women and men are driven by interrelated factors including: the gender pay gap, more frequent participation of women in lower paid industries and jobs, disproportionate participation of women in part-time and casual positions. Also influencing this trend are the fragmented work patterns as a result of time taken off for unpaid care and pregnancy related workplace discrimination. Women also typically retire earlier and live longer than men – up to 4.4 years longer for a female born today.

These are mainly issues of personal choice. Choose different options, for example taking a job in a higher paid sectors, and the situation changes regardless of gender – as stated in the following paper (and countless others).

“A Department of Labor study released in 2009, which reviewed upwards of 50 peer-reviewed papers, concluded the wage gap, “may be almost entirely the result of individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”

“Women, more than men, show a demonstrated preference for lower risk occupations with greater workplace safety and comfort, and they are frequently willing to accept lower wages for the greater safety and reduced probability of work-related injury or death”” (Source)

In addition to these structural and social factors, our data suggests that women are ill-equipped to manage long-term financial investments.

That sounds almost sexist doesn’t it? … whilst readers can only speculate how much better-equipped men in the same cohort are, as the relevant information is omitted from the “data”.

And then there are the other factors that might have a bearing on women’s relative unwillingness or inability to commit to long-term financial plans. One of these is female hypergamy, and one of the authors responded to this suggestion in the following manner:

Do you, dear reader, consider the author’s response to be a) Objective b) Scholarly or c) Butthurt (Circle correct answer/s)

Some other possible factors are mentioned in the readers comments that follow the article, for example the relative confidence of men v women (as distinct from actual knowledge or skill). Willingness to take risk was also mentioned.

Reduced financial literacy amongst women in comparison to men was acknowledged by the Australian government in 2008 and again by the NSW Council of Social Services in 2016. Likewise it has been acknowledged in the United States and further afield. Our data suggests little has changed.

But the authors earlier asserted that homelessness was highly correlated with financial literacy, and yet there are far more homeless men than women. Would someone please explain?

I’m perfectly willing to accept that financial literacy is a significant factor, for both men and women, in achieving financial security later in life. And yes, this should be a major focus in terms of designing appropriate remedial action.

What I am not willing to accept however is:

  • Designing and providing educational programs for financial literacy that are not available to both men/boys and women/girls
  • Extending financial support or other incentives to women, but not men (as in the case, for example, of the ANZ staff Super payment mentioned in this blog post).

And more publicly-funded ‘research’ like this!

See also:

Women’s superannuation not so super: The $120,000 gender gap (27 October 2017)

Aussie retirement gender gap much larger than US, UK (17 October 2017)

Brisbane small business to pay female employees more superannuation than male co-workers (28 September 2017)

Superannuation is sexist (6 September 2017) Video

Claims super is ‘biased’ against women are nonsense (30 July 2017)

Gender reversal: This article on employee injury/death would have taken a different line were the victims female

The article I want to discuss in this post is If you don’t have a beer you’re not a man’ – rural workplaces made more dangerous by drugs and alcohol, by feminist academic Julaine Allan.

The author begins by pointing out the high levels of death/injury that occur in the farming, forestry and mining sectors. These are of course sectors which feature an overwhelmingly male workforce.

The author states that a high level of substance abuse is associated with the relevant employees and workplaces, and that this is a contributing factor in the incidence of workplace death/injury. Further, she notes that the relevant workplaces tend to be harsh, lonely and isolated, and that this might encourage substance abuse by way of people seeking relief.

Well that’s all reasonable enough, but then the author goes further and implies (as is evident from the title) that masculinity is a major factor behind the worrying statistics.

No, not the fact that the work being undertaken is inherently dangerous, and carried out in challenging environments. Nope, she sheets home a significant portion of the blame to men, both individually and collectively.

It’s at this point that I’m thinking, “hey, if this was about deaths/injuries in a female-dominated sector, I think the emphasis might be quite a bit different.” Even assuming female staff also demonstrated behaviour that elevated their level of exposure to risk.

I’m struggling to think of a suitable analogy. Perhaps if we run with the situation of the many women working in nursing or education in isolated areas. For the purpose of this discussion assume are likewise affected by high rates of injury, as indeed might well be the case. Can you imagine a male researcher suggesting that their femininity was a contributing factor to deaths or injuries? Because I can’t.

No, more likely, instead of victim-blaming there would be terms used like gender death gap, and a discussion of broader social forces and how these contributed to the situation. The thing that annoys me most about this article is what seems to be an unstated acceptance that doing this type of work is mens lot in life, and that this somehow renders discussion of the ‘big-picture’ redundant.

But back to men working in farming, forestry and mining. Given that the author has chosen to play the gender card, then why not discuss why the dirty and dangerous jobs are still left to men. And why the men took those jobs, whether it be to support families in the face of very limited employment opportunities for people of the relevant demographic. Note that this problem has been exaccerbated by the feminist push to have more women enter/return to the workforce. And what of the single men? Perhaps working in high-risk roles represents their only chance to accumulate assets needed to attract a wife in a era of rampant hypergamy.

Perhaps if they introduced gender quotas in these sectors then maybe the resultant mixed workforce might ameliorate these factors, at least a little. At the very least it would share the deaths/injuries more evenly between the genders. But heck no, a feminist suggesting gender quotas to encourage women into uncomfortable/unpleasant jobs? As if! A little too much gender equality for that idea to ever fly.

So no, rather than taking an empathetic and holist view of the matter, the author opts to take a free kick for feminism and paints a simplistic ‘boys being boys’ motif.

These are men dying or being maimed, to supply products that create the comfortable environment in which feminists can drink $6 lattes whilst bemoaning invented elements of a mythical patriarchy.

And now these are men dying or being maimed as fodder for the feminist machine. A half page in ‘The Conversation‘, and perhaps a well-paid gig for some ideologically-sound marketing company (think, ‘awareness’ campaign).

This article would have been so much better were the author enough of a professional to either avoid the gratuitous addition of gender politics, or to provide a more complete and unbiased account of men doing the best they can under the circumstances they find themselves in. And with this more fulsome account concluding with a road map to a better place for both the men in question, and their families.

 

Regarding online harassment

The internet has provided a haven for those inclined to strike out at people in anonymity and usually without fear of repercussion.

The purpose of this blog post is not to propose solutions to this problem, but rather to take a step back and call for an objective, measured and truthful discussion of the relevant issues.

There’s no doubt that women are often targets of online abuse, although there does appear to be a tendency towards embellishment and exaggeration with regards to the nature and extent of such abuse. The author of this article, for example, would have us believe that life on the internet is unbearable for women due to the oppressive behaviour of male trolls.

What is generally absent from articles on this subject is an honest admission that a considerable amount of online abuse is directed at men, and that a substantial proportion of those perpetrating abuse are women/girls. Have a look at the information provided in the chart below, extracted from a 2014 paper by PEW Research. (see 2017 updated here)

Why do so many commentators and ‘experts’ fail to acknowledge these significant points?

Surely not the desire to support the feminist narrative of women as the perpetual victims of an unyielding male patriarchy?

The findings of a survey by Norton  painted a different picture. Unfortunately however the results were compromised by poor methodology, a common problem with pro-feminist research. In this instance the researchers failed to include questions about male victimisation via online abuse.

So why has this issue garnered a large and increasing amount of attention in recent years? Are people becoming nastier? Is that nastiness becoming more gendered in nature?

There are a number of significant factors that need to be considered here.

Firstly there is the thorny issue as to what constitutes actual online abuse or harassment. One end of the spectrum is marked by behaviour that is criminal in nature and intent, for example clear threats to commit violence to the targeted individual.

Further along the scale one encounters behaviour that does not involve actual threats, but is so persistent and pervasive as to be genuinely threatening in nature.

At the other end are interactions that are little more than assertive dissent in relation to a particular idea or opinion being put forward.

More and more we are witnessing the definition of terms such as online abuse and ‘trolls’ expanded to include behaviour and people who seem undeserving of these pejoratives. Also troubling is the fact that the same types of behaviour decried as abuse or trollish when used by conservative/non-feminists, are seen as acceptable or even noble when used by feminists/leftists/SJW. This issue of finessing definitions to suit a narrative is discussed in another blog post.

Why do people, particularly in this case feminists/SJW, so readily misinterpret online communication in this way? I’d suggest that in part it is a deliberate strategy, whilst at other times simply a misunderstanding.

It has been suggested that feminists interpret relatively innocuous messages as hurtful because online communication is a forum where women are truly treated as equals. Men speak to women online as men would speak to other men in real life. It is said that many women are unaccustomed to this gloves-off banter, and interpret it as vindictive rather than as heartfelt and direct. I believe that there is an element of truth to this, although again it is but one of several factors in the mix.

One other reason for exaggerated claims of online hate and abuse is that it provides an excuse to instigate progressively harsher and more intrusive forms of censorship. Censorship is a recurring theme in real-world feminist tactics, and one which I address in another blog post.

Turning again to feminist research, let’s examine a project called the University of NSW ‘Cyberhate Project‘, which is being supported by the Australian Research Council (‘ARC’) with AUD$372,095 of public funding.

I was more than a little concerned to learn that this research project will only survey women. That looks an awful lot like a research project designed with a particular conclusion already firmly in mind. I immediately took this up with the ARC, who dismissed my complaint regarding this obvious ideological bias in the following manner:

“Proposals for ARC funding undergo a rigorous peer review process involving experts in their fields who assess the quality of projects and the capabilities and achievements of applicants.  The planning and  management of ARC-funded research projects is a matter for individual researchers and institutions (in accordance with ARC funding agreements).”

I’m left wondering just how many of those peers were likely either fellow feminists or sympathisers. Hands up who else thinks that this might not be the most effective vetting process in the case of a polarised issue such as this?

(As an aside, consider the suffocating anti-male gender bias evident in this article by another recipient of ARC funding. Is there a pattern here?)

The architect of the Cyberhate Project, Emma Jane, wrote an article entitled ‘Rape Threats and Cyberhate? Vote no to the new digital divide‘, published in a current affairs site called The Conversation.

As is virtually de rigeur at The Conversation, readers comments that were deemed unsupportive of the feminist author’s position were quickly excised. In this case that amounted to at least one in four comments. Of the many I read before they disappeared, none of these were in the least bit threatening or abusive.

I posted one of those comments removed by the moderator. It simply stated:

“Emma, Is it not a fact that men are subject to more online harassment than are women? Is it not a fact that many of the perpetrators of online abuse are women? … Might it therefore not be more accurate to say that the real online divide is one between trolls and the rest of us, rather than between men and women as your paper implies?”

Given that men are subject to a considerable amount of online harassment, they should not be excluded from research on this subject. The fact that the finger of blame is often pointed at men alone, when we know full well that many women perpetrate online harassment/abuse, does tend to stick in this writer’s craw. One might consider at this point the example of Australian radfem Clementine Ford.

As with domestic violence and various other topics, feminists persist in labelling issues as “gendered” when they are not, in order to create support for their global war-against-women conspiracy.

stephanie

What now follows is a collection of links to articles that provide various perspectives on the issue of online harassment/abuse:

‘How I took the female cyber bully who used Facebook to ruin my life to court. And won’ (13 November 2017)

Police drop investigation as story of racist death threats against Calgary trustee candidate unravels (14 October 2017)

Caleb Bond: ‘We can’t disregard the viciousness of girls’ (11 September 2017)

Woman charged for posting revenge porn after break-up (27 July 2017)

Male Tory MP’s got most social media abuse (24 July 2017)

Men as Likely To Be Harassed Online as Women (18 July 2017)

Women online are getting used to cyber hate. They need to get used to reporting it (18 July 2017) Emma Jane is at it again, viz. men suffer no online abuse/men are the problem/men have no right to protest online abuse/etc

2017 update to Pew’s 2014 online harassment survey shows, again, that men receive more harassment online than women (12 July 2017) Reddit discussion thread

Constructing the cyber-troll: Psychopathy, sadism, and empathy (December 2017 edition of ‘Personality and Individual Differences’) This study asserts that most trolls are male, but I suspect that the findings may have been compromised by one or more of the following factors:

* small sample size with 2/3 of respondents being women, and who were possibly self-selected
* incorrect assumptions (by survey respondents) regarding the gender of trolls
* differing and possibly gender-based judgments as to what constitutes trolling

The media dangerously misuses the word ‘trolling’ (3 July 2017) This article conveniently neglects to mention that this ‘problem’ has been primarily brought about through misusing the term ‘trolling’ to describe reasonable dissent against the prevailing leftist/feminist narrative.

Reddit mensrights discussion thread related to the June 2015 article in The Conversation (as mentioned earlier)

Revenge porn now affects more than one in five Australians (7 May 2017) with further detail provided in this article in ‘The Conversation’. Note how they try so hard to keep pushing the ‘men are worse’ line, even when the figures don’t support it.

Survey finds men and women equal victims of revenge porn attacks (4 May 2017) Australia

Women troll on dating apps just as often as men (13 March 2017) Australia

FactCheck Q&A: are there laws to protect against ‘revenge porn’ in Australia? (8 March 2017)

Jealous ex-girlfriend who posted revenge porn online threatened former partner’s new lover in terrifying 18-month harassment campaign (8 February 2017) UK. No jail time despite it being her second offence.

Men and Women Are Equally Vulnerable to Online Domestic Abuse: Study (19 January 2017)

Scheming revenge porn mistress avoids jail (13 January 2017)

This one-click ‘rape threat generator’ aims to counter online misogyny (6 January 2017) Another unhelpful and biased offering from Emma Jane

Masculinity and Misogyny in the Digital Age (2016)

Scorned woman uses cop database to harass lover (21 December 2016)

TV star sentenced for stalking market trader she ‘became obsessed with’ (19 December 2016)

Bryce Cartwright was the target of social media posts from an ex-partner (13 December 2016) More on this incident here

Australia tackles revenge porn with new eSafety Commission (23 November 2016) AFAIK this agency’s brief was initially gender-neutral but it quickly assumed a pro-feminist stance, making its focus the online harassment of women and girls.

Charity worker who swapped sex texts with her boss posted revenge porn on his wife’s business page after he dismissed her (8 November 2016)

Real estate agent, 46, ‘sent graphic nude photos of herself to her ex-boyfriend’s teen son (29 September 2016) USA

Playboy Playmate could face jail time for body-shaming Snapchat photo (8 September 2016) See 2017 follow-up article here

London’s LGBT Police Are Harassing Non-PC Twitter Users, Naming Family Members In Tweets (22 August 2016)

Scotland Yard ploughs £2million into new ‘thought police’ unit to snoop on web users and hunt down trolls (14 August 2016)

$150,000 Facebook post that destroyed a former deputy principal’s life (8 August 2016) Australia

What bit about the wrongs of sexual threats against women do courts and men not get? by Emma Jane (4 August 2016) Australian feminist academic rejects court ruling and bays for the blood of young male troll. If we reversed genders there would be silence or support for fair judgement. You know I’m right.

Forgiving family reveal they WON’T press charges against teenage girl who posted embarrassing photo of their son, 15, online the night before he killed himself (25 July 2016)

The solution to online ‘harassment’ is simple: Women should log off (5 July 2016)

American woman guilty of threatening to kill Stephen Hawking (3 July 2016)

The top 20 Australian politicians, with respect to receiving online abuse, are all right wing males (1 July 2016) Australia. Typical feminist take on this issue, for e.g. mis-labels harassment as “online violence” and “sexual violence”, does not provide corresponding statistics for men/boys harassed online, nor divulge that much abuse is perpetrated by women/girls. The implication is, as always, men=bad & women=men’s hapless victims.

Female politicians (sometimes) receive more abuse than male counterparts, apart from when they don’t… (29 June 2016)

‘That Tinder girl’: Olivia Melville speaks out about online harassment (19 June 2016)

An investigation into the online stalking and harassment of female MHRA Jasmin Newman (June 2016) More about Jasmin’s situation in this article

Accused, 62, calls law heavy handed (14 June 2016) NZ

#ReclaimtheInternet: MP Jess Phillips validates worst fears regarding Reclaim The Internet, the UK’s budding government feminist Internet censorship campaign (6 June 2016)

Why does this forum have a feminist icon in the top left? (27 May 2016) The ‘Reclaim the Internet’ campaign was established by British MP’s. One forum visitor questions the appropriateness of using a feminist symbol.

Teal Deer’s analysis of the “online misogyny” data (May 2016) Video presentation

Twitter abuse – ‘50% of misogynistic tweets from women’ (27 May 2016)

When women can be misogynist trolls, we need a feminist internet (26 May 2016)

“It might be the best six months of your life.” Woman banned by judge from social media (11 May 2016) Australia

Virar man ends life as wife shows intimate pictures with lover (28 April 2016) India

Why outing senders of unsolicited dick pics is not the same as ‘revenge porn’ (27 April 2016) Plenty of feminist misrepresentation with nil sources cited to back up the usual women=innocent/men=guilty claims.

Eight things not to say to someone facing online abuse (20 April 2016) See point 4 in this article by misandrist Laura Bates: “Silencing is the end goal of the majority of abuse”. Erm, so all those feminists systematically lodging bogus reports to have people’s social media accounts closed, they would be online abusers then?
Yvette Cooper calls for greater monitoring of online harassment (20 April 2016) UK. Related Reddit discussion thread here.

Teen pleads not guilty to charges over livestreaming friend’s rape (20 April 2016) USA

Teenage girls traumatised by revenge-porn network aimed at ‘teaching us a lesson’ (19 April 2016) Australia. Both males/females are targetted by online abuse, including revenge porn, but you won’t read that in this gender-biased MSM offering.

The top secret internet groups where men are forbidden (18 April 2016)

Jilted boutique owner bombarded ex with dozens of naked snaps of herself and an explicit video after he dumped her (16 April 2016)

Candace Owens sought to create a hit-list of people whom she and others identified as trolls (15 April 2016) USA … but then read about how this ill-conceived project was subsequently sabotaged by feminists motivated by jealousy, at ‘How A Torpedoed Kickstarter Campaign Unintentionally Revealed An Unlikely Unit of Cyber-Terrorists‘. The story is continued and summed up nicely in this further article by David King.

The dark side of Guardian comments (12 April 2016) UK

Jilted saleswoman put her ex through revenge porn nightmare by posting explicit images of him online in first ever case of male partner being targeted (9 April 2016) UK. Related Reddit discussion thread here.

Girl gets Instagram revenge on cheating ex (25 March 2016) Reverse the genders in this story and “one poor lass” becomes ‘online harassment by abusive former boyfriend’

Spurned ex-girlfriend, 51, sent explicit revenge porn images of her former lover dressed as a woman to his friends and called him a ‘tranny c***’ on the Facebook page of his car washing business (19 March 2016) UK. See related Reddit discussion thread here

Feminist bullies don’t understand the Internet (13 March 2016) Video which focusses on the Gregory Elliot court case.

Is accepting abuse just part of joining Twitter? by Australian feminist writer Tara Moss (13 March 2016)

“A new survey by the Internet security company Norton (for which I’m an ambassador) shows that nearly half of all Australian women (47 per cent) experience online harassment. That rises to a staggering 76 per cent for women under 30. Unsurprisingly, 70 per cent of women believe online harassment is a significant problem and 60 per cent believe it has got worse in the past year.” And nowhere in this article will you find corresponding statistics in relation to men – the survey didn’t include questions about male victimisation. I wonder why not?

Online harassment of women at risk of becoming ‘established norm’, study finds (8 March 2016) Australia. Guardian article drawing on the Norton survey which air-brushed out male victimisation/female perpetration, and thus robbed the findings of social context. No doubt a good thing from a feminist perspective if that would have diminished the victim status on which their ideology is based.

Taking Steps Towards Online Safety This International Women’s Day (7 March 2016) Online vulnerability is not a gender issue, well not unless you are a high-profile tech company with a distinctly pro-feminist bias.

Social media trolling of female journalists is insidious, report shows (6 March 2016) Australia

Receiving online abuse has now become a badge of honour (2 March 2016) UK

Vaginal knitting – Ms Jenkins said the most hateful comments were surprisingly from women (29 February 201)

Emily Sears and Laura Lux: Why we shame the trolls who send us inappropriate messages (31 January 2016) I don’t support the guys sending ‘dickpics’, but the fact that these particular women flood social media with salacious selfies adds a certain irony, yes? #FeministLogic #Facepalm

An anonymous response to dangerous FOSS Codes of Conduct (24 January 2016) USA

Playing Politics With Online Abuse, by Cathy Young (23 January 2016) USA

Court Sets New Precedent By Ruling Against Woman Who Used Facebook Tagging To Harass Her Ex’s Family (21 January 2016) USA

Mum placed on sex offender register after sharing revenge porn videos of cheating boyfriend (18 January 2016)

Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos: Progressives Shutting Down Discussion by Calling It Harassment (8 January 2016)

Online sexism is so out of control that we can no longer ignore it (17 December 2015) UK

More than 1,000 women in secret Facebook group name men who troll women online (4 December 2015) with related reddit discussion thread here

Sydney man fired after calling feminist writer Clementine Ford a ‘sl**’ (1 December 2015) And Clementine, just what consequences are there for women who “behave like this“? Absolutely none, right? (More on this issue in this blog post)

Domestic violence and Facebook: harassment takes new forms in the social media age (30 November 2015)  Australia. And again, this article ignores female perpetration and male victimisation.

100 Women 2015: Social media ‘fuels gender violence’ (26 November 2015) The suggestion here that women are 27 times more likely to be “abused online” is absurd.

One mother-in-law for sale! How angry wives are exposing their marital strife online (24 November 2015)

A Life Ruined By Feminists And The State: Only The Internet Can Save Canada’s Gregory Alan Elliott (19 November 2015) See also this article by Stephen Beard. See this video for how this saga ended (Greg won in court). An overview providing various linked sources is available here.

Education Department investigates report of students posting teacher’s nude photos on social media (18 November 2015) Australia

My doxxer knows how to use Google, has no idea how to “dox” (14 November 2015)

Politicians rally round MP who faced online abuse after criticising men’s rights debate request (31 October 2015)

Were examples of specific rape threats made public? No. How about a formal complaint to police? Apparently not. “Oh look, another politician ginning up fake threats to boost her feminist cred. Never seen that before….” (Source)

Ashy Bines hits back at online trolls after they attacked her post baby body (27 October 2015) It’s laudable that the article makes clear that the trolls were female.

Fact-checking the UN: Is the Internet dangerous for women? (13 October 2015) Video

Women Who Write About Tech Are Still Being Abused Online (13 October 2015) Female author paints a misleading picture whereby only women online are attacked or criticised. Related reddit discussion thread here

Why Justin Bieber’s naked pictures highlight feminist double standards (12 October 2015)

New UN Plot to Make the Internet a Safe Space EXPOSED…and it was Hiding in Plain Sight (8 October 2015)

How can we stem the tide of online harassment and abuse? (5 October 2015) Australia

The UN Wants To Censor The Entire Internet To Save Feminists’ Feelings (25 September 2015)

TIL that, despite popular belief, men get threatened to have their private photos exposed online more than women (12% vs. 8%) and have the threats carried out more often than women (63% vs. 50%) and related reddit discussion thread (21 August 2015)

Mean Girls: Why the Only People Women Should Fear Online Are Other Women (10 August 2015)

British Police Chief Will Prioritize Online Abuse Reports Over Burglaries (2 August 2015)

Christie Blatchford: Ruling in Twitter harassment trial could have enormous fallout for free speech (14 July 2015)

Randi Harper, Part 2: The Fact and Fiction of the Troll Formerly Known as @freebsdgirl (2 July 2015)

Kiwi parliament passes ‘Harmful digital communications bill’ outlawing online nasties (1 July 2015)

Harping On: The Hypocrisy and Lies of Twitter’s Most Notorious ‘Anti-Abuse’ Activist, Randi Harper, Part 1 (29 June 2015)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Online Harassment (21 June 2015) with related reddit mensrights discussion thread. But when the target of abuse is male … well, that’s different (See related reddit discussion thread here)

Why Do Feminists Cook Up Stories About ‘Misogyny’ When They Lose Debates? (11 June 2015)

Boston University prof in racist tweet flap accused of trolling white rape victim (18 May 2015)

Online harassment is a form of violence (8 April 2015)

US college student gets cyber-bullied after expressing concerns about a ‘Check your Privilege’ bulletin board in her Facebook page (2 April 2015)

#TeamHarpy: Another Ugly Story of ‘Progressive’ Vigilantism (27 March 2015)

Emma Watson: Trolls threatened to publish nude photos of me (8 March 2015) This article quotes Emma as saying most of those posting threats were other women, yet this article (in pro-feminist news.com.au) claims that men were to blame. As mentioned earlier, this represents an all-too typical bending of the facts to suit the narrative.

Fake Tinder account proves men aren’t so bad after all (12 February 2015)

Measures taken to combat girls bullying girls online (3 January 2015)

The Good (and the Bad) of Twitter’s New Bid to Stop Harassment (7 November 2014)

Online harassment affects men too (4 November 2014)

Anglicare WA survey finds more than half of male victims of domestic violence were subjected to online shaming (28 October 2014)

Online harassment – PEW Research (22 October 2014) with related reddit mensrights discussion thread

oneway

Men are harassed more than women online (4 September 2014)

Men get more than twice as much abuse as women on Twitter (24 August 2014)

#RevengePorn: Real Numbers Show It’s Not Really A Gender Issue (29 July 2014)

Men and women are equally harassed online

Women troll each other online: How females are just as likely to be abused by their own sex as by men (15 May 2014)

Facebook bullying: 19-year-old men are most frequent victims of trolling (15 March 2013)

#womenagainstfeminism receive hundreds of threats (Scroll down their Facebook timeline to 16 August 2014 for details) Somehow I don’t think it would be men issuing most of the threats … but surely not women?

This June 2014 reddit discussion thread, and linked newspaper article, is about female Twitter trolls

Online Harassment in Context: Trends From Three Youth Internet Safety Surveys (2000, 2005, 2010) Published 2013

Female Stalkers, Part 1: What is Stalking and Can Men Be Stalked by Women? (8 February 2011)

words_trigger

Elsewhere in this blog you might be interested in:

Beware the ire of an angry feminist

On the inability to cope with criticism in a mature manner (You disagree with me = You hate women)

Domestic Violence NSW censors dissenting views (before lapsing into paranoid delusion)

Harassment and discrimination in the workplace: Surprise, surprise, it goes both ways

What did you call me? On labelling and language in gender discourse

On the censorship of non-feminist perspectives and opinion

Two awareness campaigns. Only one can be criticised. Cowed by feminism?

Many among the media, and the political and bureaucratic elite seem to get quite a hard-on about awareness campaigns. Indeed, some have suggested that such campaigns are a favoured device of the prevailing leftist/feminist hegemony. This despite the fact that the effectiveness of such campaigns is often difficult to assess. Or perhaps it’s because of that.

The American political philosopher Thomas Sowell observed “We should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.” (Source)

Ah, but not all awareness campaigns are the same. Campaigns concerning issues that are pivotal to the feminist cause are beyond reproach. Mild criticism is however tolerated in the case of campaigns on less ideologically revered topics.

A very different reaction to two public awareness campaigns

It’s May 2015 and the Australian federal government has released its annual budget. It proposes substantial allocations to two separate public awareness campaigns. One relates to drug use, specifically crystal methamphetamine – or ‘ice’ ($9 million). The other relates to domestic violence ($7 million).

Plenty of people have lined up to criticise the first campaign on the basis, for example, that it’s unoriginal, focuses too much on scare mongering, is unlikely to be cost-effective, and might even be counter-productive.

On that last point, one article included the statement that “When an ad is on television for a particular illicit drug, we know afterwards young people think it must be really, really common and so therefore it can increase their perception of how normal it is.”

In contrast the only public criticism that the domestic violence campaign has been subject to, is that not enough money has been provided. It is probably no coincidence that the feminist lobby is heavily invested in the DV campaign, but not the other.

So just how many parallels, if any, are there between the two campaigns?

The drug campaign was also discussed in an article entitled ‘Awareness campaigns need to target the real victims of ice” (13 May 2015), which noted that:

“International evidence suggests such “awareness” campaigns are not the most appropriate way to address harmful methamphetamine use. In fact, fear-based approaches can increase stigma which possibly drives people away from, rather than towards, treatment.”

The article proceeds:

“Australian media outlets and politicians claim we’re facing a nationwide “ice epidemic” …  the most up-to-date research estimates that the proportion of Australians who have used any type of methamphetamine (ice, “speed” powder) in the previous year has remained relatively stable for at least the last decade.

Nevertheless, the government and media’s continued use of hyperbolic language – in addition to a tendency to ignore and sometimes dismiss public health experts’ advice on ice – has the potential to incite unnecessary fear and misinform the public about this supposed “menace”.”

So there’s our first parallels, for neither campaign will be targeted and in both cases Australian media outlets and politicians are making exaggerated claims about an emerging epidemic.

The article then goes on to question whether the personal and public threat posed by drug use (as compared to the extent of drug use) has also been exaggerated.

The article states: “We need to accurately define the issue, including the nature and extent of methamphetamine use and related harms in rural and regional areas, to allow the development and implementation of cost-effective, evidence-based and timely responses.”

A further parallel is that the debate about domestic violence likewise does not accurately define the issue, focussing as it does wholly on uni-directional violence by men against women. I would also argue that the policy response is not evidence-based but rather driven by the ideology of those most heavily invested in the issue.

The article then goes on to talk about the success of health-related public awareness campaigns, noting that some “are costly, ineffective and possibly even counterproductive”.

In one example cited “The findings of one study suggest that the Montana Meth Project might actually increase acceptability and decrease perceptions of risk relating to using methamphetamine.” Elsewhere it noted that “fear-based approaches can lead to stigma and poor health outcomes, such as from reduced treatment-seeking.”

The article concludes with a discussion of the value of an alternative or supplementary strategy, that of “harm minimisation”. It notes:

“Because people will choose to engage in drug use (both licit and illicit) regardless of the policies and programs in place, we need to encourage them to do so as safely as possible. We also must continue to inform the public about options for managing drug-related consequences and appropriate and available means for professional support, such as telephone and internet counselling”.

The concept of ‘harm minimisation’ also applies to domestic violence when we consider the prevalence of bi-directional violence, as shown in the diagram below, and the fact that domestic violence may persist from one generation to the next. Perhaps we need to resign ourselves, that in some situations it may be more effective to focus more on the provision of short-term shelter accommodation, the removal of children into care, etc.

IPV-Truthwgray

Assuming there are parallels between awareness campaigns for drug use and domestic violence, then why have the same criticisms not been raised in relation to the latter?

Indeed, why has no criticism at all been directed at those spending large amounts of taxpayer funds on domestic violence awareness campaigns? Doubly so, given that there have been many previous awareness campaigns undertaken, and that these all appear to have achieved little in terms of effecting a remedy for the problem.

Is this lack of criticism because those in positions of influence truly believe in the value of such campaigns, or is it simply a reflection of wishful thinking and/or the very real fear of feminist backlash against dissenting voices?

Do public awareness campaigns even work?

Many public organisations love awareness campaigns because for minimal work they provide maximum profile (i.e. ‘look at us doing something about the problem!’). Just engage a marketing consultant, agree on a logo, and begin advertising.

The jury is out, however, on their effectiveness – in part because many public awareness are not subject to proper evaluation. This is probably, in part, because of the factor noted above – they are often created at short notice for reasons of political expediency.

It is known however that some types of awareness campaigns are more likely to be successful than others:

“Some police agencies participate in domestic violence awareness campaigns and school programming, such as classroom instruction to teens about dating violence and ways to handle conflict. Domestic violence prevention messages may target the general population or specific populations. For example, campaigns may be designed to encourage victim reporting, deter potential offenders, or raise the consciousness of potential witnesses of abuse (neighbours, friends, relatives). However, the effect of these prevention strategies is unknown.

For instance, few of the programs developed to reduce teen dating violence have been evaluated, and of those that have, there have been mixed results. Although some report an increase in knowledge in the targeted population and greater familiarity with available resources to help victims, this does not necessarily translate into a reduction in the incidence level of dating violence.

† The Lancashire (United Kingdom) Police Constabulary placed messages about domestic violence on police vehicles, beer glass coasters in bars, utility bills, and lampposts, and used radio advertising to increase awareness of domestic violence.

As a rule, prevention is more likely to work if highly targeted. General campaigns are not typically effective. Highly targeted campaigns that focus on a specific target group or geographic area can have some impact. Offender-oriented campaigns, which are designed to raise potential offenders’ perceptions that there will be meaningful consequences to battering, are more likely to be effective than campaigns that appeal to potential offenders’ morals.” (Source)

See also:

What’s the point of sexual harassment training? Often, to protect employers (17 November 2017) This research found that sexual harassment training could actually produce the opposite result to what was intended.

Marriage vote: how advocacy ads exploit our emotions in divisive debates (13 September 2017) Now transpose the views expressed here across to domestic violence awareness campaigns, with the ‘yes’ lobby being those challenging the status quo by seeking a non-gendered approach to the issue. Again, “the ‘no’ campaign has many unfair advantages”. Though I suspect, most likely, not in the eyes of the typical reader of ‘The Conversation‘.

Feminist academics take issue with a women’s fitness awareness campaign (13 August 2017) Don’t exercise as men will look at you. A Mark Latham video

How Australia’s discrimination laws and public health campaigns perpetuate fat stigma (11 July 2017) “Fat-shaming” awareness campaigns don’t work and are reprehensible (… but male-shaming campaigns do/aren’t?) Of course this nothing to do with where the issue of focus falls on the leftist/PC acceptability spectrum.

What if Mandatory “Sexual Respect” Classes are Counterproductive? (21 September 2016)

What good is ‘Raising Awareness’? (21 April 2015) USA

Are social marketing campaigns effective in preventing child abuse and neglect? (October 2010) Australia

And what if the campaign message is inaccurate and/or biased?

Another reason why a campaign might be counter-productive is when the information it disseminates is inaccurate and/or biased. This is a real danger with a topic like domestic violence, the debate concerning which is tightly-controlled by one group who maintain a very particular and inflexible ideological stance on the  matter.

It is highly likely that the campaign that eventually emerges will focus solely, or almost solely, on men’s violence towards women. Issues like bi-directional violence, domestic violence in same-sex couples (especially women), and female on male violence will be ignored or minimised. The focus on gender and control will mean that other factors like social disadvantage and substance abuse will be played down. Political correctness will also rule out consideration of race, ethnicity or religion as potentially relevant factors.

What messages will this send? What biases and stereotyping will this reinforce?

Three examples:

Feminism, Domestic Violence & Spiderman Screenings (12 July 2017)

Video and discussion thread concerning a gender-biased awareness campaign in Victoria, Australia (17 January 2017)

The UK Home Office ‘Disrespect Nobody’ campaign included this TV advert which failed to acknowledge female perpetration of abusive behaviours.

Other sources that may be of interest:

‘Ice Wars’ message is overblown and unhelpful (14 February 2017)

Our Watch charity invited to assess its own schools gender equity program (4 February 2017) Just have one feminist organisation (a recipient of substantial public funds) evaluate the effectiveness of a program of similar allied organisation. What could go wrong with that?

Miranda Devine: Stop telling boys to act like girls, by Miranda Devine (24 April 2016) Australia

Some early reaction, on mensrights reddit, to the new Australian DV ‘awareness’ campaign (24 April 2016)

Get ready for some good old male-bashing (22 April 2016)

What about the mean girls? by Jasmin Newman (21 April 2016) Australia

Australia’s costly new national ‘violence against women’ awareness campaign and some articles that followed its launch:

Prevention of violence against women – finally, an idea whose time has come, by Mary Barry (20 April 2016)
Domestic violence ad campaign to focus on ‘influencers’ in bid to change attitudes (20 April 2016)
Where the new $30 million domestic violence campaign is missing the mark‘. This campaign ignores male victims and female perpetrators, and is based on the flawed assumption that the main cause of DV is attitudes towards women.

Branded for life? Sending the wrong message to young perpetrators of family violence (24 February 2016) Australia. Campaign devised by feminist group ‘Our Watch’ and article published in pro-feminist site The Conversation. Campaign only features male perpetrators, this issue ignored in article.

Fear-based health information makes new mothers anxious (23 July 2015) Australia. Now consider DV campaigns that demonise all men despite them having no control over the small minority of men who abuse. The community seemingly sees no problem with making men feel “anxious” in that situation, even despite the fact that four times as many men commit suicide as do women.

Not just a slick TV ad: what makes a good domestic violence awareness campaign? (23 July 2015)

National $30 million campaign to tackle domestic violence (5 March 2015)

Mark Latham on why Labor can’t get it right on domestic violence (16 May 2015)

$16m for dom violence but $1.2b for terrorism (14 May 2015)

Social Marketing for Preventing Violence Against Women: Making every action matter (June 2013) This paper is written from a pro-feminist pro-awareness campaign perspective, but provides a useful list of many previous awareness campaigns. It fails to provide serious/objective evaluations of individual campaigns or of awareness campaigns generally. Indeed, it’s telling that the only campaign against which it directs criticism is the ‘One in Three‘ campaign that draws attention to male victims of domestic violence. One in Three‘ is an ongoing target for feminist criticism.

 

 

 

More about the ‘moderation’ of comments at ‘The Conversation’

Long-time readers of this blog would be aware on my concerns in relation to the pro-feminist bias and censorship of dissenting views that routinely occurs at an Australian current affairs web site called ‘The Conversation’.

I’ve had many of my comments removed and am on final warning prior to being banned from the site. On 1 April 2015 a moderator at The Conversation removed yet another comment, one that I added to this article about sexual assault. This is what I wrote:

“It’s deeply ironic that the title of your article is “let’s turn the spotlight on known perpetrators”, but within the first sentence you exclude acknowledgement or consideration of all female perpetrators of sexual assault. On what basis? There’s less reported crimes involving female perps, so it’s OK to just airbrush them out?

I’m also troubled by you referencing the 2013 National Community Attitudes Towards Violence Against Women survey, which didn’t bother to ask respondents about their attitudes towards violence to men. Thus the questions about violence towards women were robbed of context and so we don’t know the extent to which the issue is men’s attitudes towards women, or Australians attitudes towards violence generally.”

As usual my comments were fairly benign in the overall scheme of social discourse. But this time, on impulse I wrote to the two authors of the article to see how they felt about the level and nature of the moderation that was taking place:

“Dear Nicola and Anastasia

I write to you this morning in relation to your article in The Conversation entitled ‘Everyday rape: let’s turn the spotlight on known perpetrators’.

I’m a keen reader of The Conversation and like many other readers often feel compelled to offer a comment on the article presented therein. Also, like many other readers, I am frequently frustrated by the actions of the moderators in removing many of the comments contributed – indeed sometimes most of the comments contributed.

You will have noted that as of now, about half of the comments concerning your article have been removed (including one of mine btw). On this, as on previous occasions, my comments were neither offensive nor irrelevant to the matter being discussed.

I have previously raised my concerns about moderation policy with the relevant people at The Conversation. On those occasions when the moderators do not intervene as readily there have been some very good and quite robust discussions played out with no hint of undue unpleasantness.

Rather than just grumbling about it on this occasion, I was wondering how you – as authors – felt about the situation. Are you being consulted about which comments are removed? I assume not. Do you believe that your article – and indeed your own professional development – would be strengthened by allowing a freer interchange of ideas? My own view is that if one can’t have an honest and robust exchange of alternative viewpoints within a web site run/funded by universities, then where can you?

Thank you, and I look forward to hearing your views”

Dr Nicola Henry of Latrobe University, kindly wrote back on 2 April 2015:

“Thanks for your email. I think you raise a valid concern. I’ve read all of the comments that have thus far been removed (including yours). We of course have no say in this, but I did wonder why they were removed and personally wished they had remained on the site so that people can engage in debate about these issues. Sometimes there are very offensive personal attacks and inappropriate comments made on this site – so I can certainly see why moderation is important. In other words, I can understand why comments that contain vilification are removed, but not comments that pose an alternative view.

This is an issue that I discuss with my students who take my subjects – we discuss freedom of speech and censorship and the sometimes difficult lines that exist between offensive/discriminatory and opinionated speech (the latter I personally don’t think should be censored by the way).

I’m sorry I can’t offer you an explanation as to why your comment was removed from the Conversation site, but I can assure you that both Anastasia and I are always up for critical debate (that’s our job!).”

All good there. I wonder if other authors are mostly of the same view? If so then the problem lies with the attitudes of the management team at ‘The Conversation’.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Conversation is a publicly funded forum for the discussion of current affairs and contemporary issues. It is operated under the auspices of Australian universities.

The Conversation should be about mature, free and open discussion (obviously sans expletives, threats and personal abuse).

The Conversation should not continue to be fettered by political correctness and ideologies du jour like gender feminism.

Here’s a relevant comment that appeared in an October 2015 reddit discussion thread concerning another biased gynocentric article appearing in The Conversation:

“I have opted out of The Conversation. Look at the number of “content removed by moderator” and you can bet that most of them were disagreement with the original article which Cory (the moderator) conflates with “breaching community standards” …

I have written several times to Cory pointing out that their editing is not ‘balanced’ and that they only publish a torrent of hate speech masquerading as academic “research”. His reply was to refer me the “community standards” which is a euphemism for a licence to censor opinions that they don’t like.”

This October 2015 Breitbart article provides an overview as to what is occurring in reader’s comments sections in left-leaning organisations like The Conversation.

And yet thankfully here and here we find evidence of a push-back beginning in some US universities. It’s been a long time coming & there’s such a long way to go.

Moderator zaps post, but for once it wasn’t (just) mine

Some of you may have read my earlier post about censorship and bias at a publicly-funded pro-feminist web site called The Conversation. I’m chuffed to see that post has attracted quite a lot of hits.

On 19 March 2015 they published an article entitled ‘Remove the burden of family violence from the victims, to the courts‘.

A comment contributed by one of their feminist readers struck a chord. It was pretty awful really.

barbara_roberts

And so I did something that I don’t recall having done before … I complained to the moderator:

“My main concern with Barbara’s comment was her unsubstantiated assertion that many of the people expressing concerns about the gender-bias in the debate surrounding domestic violence are perpetrators of abuse. This is an outrageous claim that is gender bigotry pure and simple. It is is like me saying that feminists are closet paedophiles because they remain silent about the now large numbers of female teachers who are caught having sexual relations with underage students. Hers was a completely inappropriate and inflammatory comment”

And lo and behold … Barbara’s post was consigned to the rubbish bin of history.

I can just imagine the gritted teeth of the resident white knight/SJW moderator as he pondered my request. But then, overcome with righteous fury, it appears he resolved to teach me a lesson. Something along the lines of “There’s no way I’m going to let this uppity MRA get away with this.”

And so it came to be that I was simultaneously advised:

Your comment on ‘Remove the burden of family violence from the victims, to the courts’ has been removed …  For your reference, the removed comment was:

“Rob, I haven’t read your report yet (but will do so shortly), so the following comment is based on what I’ve read in the media. It appears that your report talks about the need for more & better intervention and behaviour modification programs for perpetrators, but that your recommendations in this regard are limited to male perpetrators.

Can I ask why you would not adopt a gender-neutral approach in this regard and have programs that catered for both male and female perpetrators. I mean, it’s not as though there are so few violent women that we can afford to just wave them away.

Indeed I understand that the rate of increase in violent crime by women is exceeding that of men in many jurisdictions. See http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/on-the-recent-increase-in-violent-crime-carried-out-by-women-and-girls/

As you can see, it was shamefully triggering stuff. To your average gender feminist anyway. And so I joined Barbara in the rubbish bin of history.

zapped

 

More feminist soliloquy interspersed with awkward pauses, than ‘conversation’ really.

I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to know that my tax dollars are helping to maintain this charade.

Is child abuse a gendered crime too?

The nature of child abuse

Child abuse can consist of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and/or neglect. Each of these forms of abuse are explained on this page, and an estimate of the relative scale of each of these forms of abuse is provided here.

Sexual abuse of children, the least common form of abuse, is mostly committed by men. Although note that there is no shortage of female perpetrators. Neglect of children is mostly committed by mothers, reflecting the fact that they are usually the primary care-givers. Female perpetrators tend to dominate the other two forms of abuse, although there are significant variations (and gaps in data) between different studies. Links to sources of statistical data concerning the perpetration of child abuse are provided below.

Child abuse, where it occurs within the home, is itself a subset of a broader range of destructive behaviours known as domestic violence.

Domestic violence is not a gendered crime, although most feminists believe otherwise and never stop telling us so. They justify this position on the basis of their claim that domestic violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men against women. But if we were to accept that, then surely child abuse and neglect must also be a gendered crime given that the majority of the perpetrators are female and the majority of victims male? Further, why isn’t perpetrator gender nearly such a big issue in the child abuse debate, as it clearly is in domestic violence?

I would draw the readers attention to an article entitled ‘Abuse and neglect: Australia’s child protection ‘crisis’’ published in ‘The Conversation‘. An interesting thing about that article was that it never mentions the issue of gender. This contrasts strongly with articles that ‘The Conversation‘ has published about domestic violence, wherein gender is invariably the central theme.

I submitted a comment in relation to that article – pointing this out – but it was removed by their moderator within minutes. As an aside, that’s entirely typical of the censorship that takes place at that web site.

Thus we seem to have one form of violence involving somewhat more male perpetrators, and where gender is absolutely pivotal. Then we have another form of violence where most perpetrators are female, yet apparently gender is not a significant issue. How strange and paradoxical.

Could it be, as some have suggested, that researchers move the goalposts depending on whether the relevant information alternately supports or undermines the feminist narrative? The issue of the corruption of gender-related research is addressed in another blog post.

How about we start telling it like it is? Most child abuse and neglect is perpetrated by women, and women should acknowledge this and deal with it the same way they harangue men to take ownership and deal with domestic violence, i.e. tell all your friends it’s wrong. Though the impact of that approach, in isolation, is unlikely to amount to much in the way of a reduction in abuse.

Perpetrators of domestic violence expose their children to the unhealthy experience of seeing and hearing abuse taking place, thus this behaviour is itself a form of child abuse. Pro-feminist advocacy groups and journalists sometimes offer up statements such as “25% of young people have witnessed physical domestic violence against their mother”.  As always, the lack of comparative data for male victimisation is a sure-fire indicator of sexist bias.

The actual situation, as identified by ‘One in Three‘ is:

“23% of young people have witnessed physical domestic violence against their mother or stepmother, and 22% of young people have witnessed physical domestic violence against their father or stepfather” (Source)

See also ‘Why aren’t we talking about abusive mums?‘ by Corrine Barraclough (15 June 2017)

It is of great significance that victims of child abuse, be they male or female, are much more likely to become perpetrators of not only child abuse, but also domestic violence, upon reaching adulthood. Thus abusive women are guilty twice over. In the first instance they abuse their partners and children, turning their lives into a living hell. Then, assuming their abuse doesn’t lead to murder or suicide, those children grow up and have children who they abuse – thus perpetuating an inter-generational cycle.

We should be giving equal emphasis to combating all forms of domestic violence including child abuse and elder abuse. Instead because of the inordinate degree of influence by the feminist lobby, the government is concentrating all of its effort on reducing violence against women based on the flawed claim that DV originates from the disrespectful attitudes of men and boys.

I believe that, were we to take a broader and longer-term view of the DV issue, then we should be placing far greater emphasis on women’s role in perpetrating child abuse. This would see, for example, the provision of more behaviour modification programs for abusive women with the aim of reducing the level of domestic violence in both the current and subsequent generation.

Statistical information on child abuse, and related discussion:

As previously noted, many statistical sources regarding child abuse (esp. in the past 5-10 years) don’t detail the gender of the perpetrator. This problem was identified in this Australian study for example. This is rather curious given that gender is promoted as the pivotal issue in the sphere of domestic violence research. Of course there the majority of perpetrators are male and thus entirely consistent with feminist dogma.

(The above quote was a reader’s comment in relation to ‘The blind spot in our domestic violence crisis’)

Women who sexually abuse children are just as harmful to their victims as male abuser (21 August 2017)

New research on perpetrators of child sexual abuse released (29 September 2016) Australia

This U.K article notes that “mothers are the “unseen force” behind so-called honour-based abuse, inflicting violence on their daughters” and that “of the 100 “honour” crimes she studied, 49 involved mothers – but this was often not recorded in crime reports.”

FactCheck Q&A: does Australia have some of the highest rates per capita of fetal alcohol syndrome in the world? (18 April 2016)

Who abuses children? (September 2014)

The Cost of Child Abuse in Australia – Nov 2008 The sole reference to the gender of the perpetrator in this study was the following quote from another study (page 111)

“mothers were more frequently cited as being the perpetrators of maltreatment (63% compared to 45% for mothers and father respectively)”

Child Maltreatment 2013 (USA)

40.5% of all child abuse is committed solely by biological mothers 17.7% of all child abuse is committed solely by biological fathers 19.3% of child abuse is committed by both the mother and the father 6.4% of child abuse is committed by the mother and some other individual 1.0% of child abuse is committed by the father and some other individual 11.9% is committed by someone other than the parents 3.1% is committed by an unknown or missing perpetrator.

Child Maltreatment 2012 Department of Health and Human Services USA. Refer table 5-3. Other reports in this series can be found here.

Reddit discussion threads on the issue of perpetrator gender, included here as they contains links to further statistical sources of note:

Child Abuse – Who Are the Perpetrators? (2016)
Do mothers commit the majority of child abuse? (2016)
Anyone have statistics on the gender of the perpetrators of child sexual abuse? (2013)
Just in case everybody doesn’t know by now: the majority of child abuse is perpetrated by women, not men (2012)

The truth about women who commit domestic violence and child murders (7 April 2011)

“The Western Australian figures shed light on who is likely to abuse children in families and are in line with overseas findings. The data show there were 1505 substantiations of child abuse in WA during the period 2007-8. Natural parents were responsible for 37% of total cases. Of these, mothers are identified as the perpetrator of neglect and abuse in a total of 73% of verified cases.”

Mum, not dad, more likely to neglect kids (23 September 2009)

Most child abusers are women: report (11 April 2007) Australia

“The report shows there were 13,184 substantiated child abuse cases across Queensland in 2005-06. Women were responsible for 7,319 – or 55.5 per cent – of cases, and males for 5,846, or 44.3 per cent.”

Characteristics of child sexual abuse victims according to perpetrator gender (August 1995)

Some specific incidents of child abuse:

90 days in jail for Eagan home day care provider convicted of inflicting brain injuries on 1-year-old (29 September 2017)

Woman charged in child’s gruesome death in hot car released on bail (22 September 2017) Canada

Lesbian couple who beat their 5-year-old son with a hammer, duct-taped his eyes shut and kicked him in the groin in a brutal attack that caused him to suffer two strokes are jailed for 20 years (21 September 2017)

Woman spiked two-year-old boy’s Fruit Shoot drink with enough morphine to kill an 11-stone adult and tried to blame the boy’s father (9 September 2017) UK. Serious child abuse + false allegation, and is then awarded a pussy-pass

Adelaide mother escapes jail sentence after bashing eight-month-old daughter with a spoon (8 September 2017)

Texas mum left two kids in hot car as punishment (25 June 2017)

‘I was sexually abused by my mother and I need to talk about it’ (17 June 2017)

An Albury mother has been charged with serious child neglect (10 May 2017)

Kolkata Teacher Brags About Molesting A 10-Year-Old Boy, Accepts She Is A Pervert (23 March 2017) India

Mother accused of daughter’s attempted murder told police she was ‘possessed’ (9 March 2017)

Girl, eight, allegedly bashed to death by grandmother wrote ‘I hate this life’ in her diary (3 March 2017)

Mother allegedly assaulted two sons for opening Christmas presents early (23 December 2016)

Video of Pecos woman hitting her daughter (21 December 2016)

Toddler starves to death and his sister, two, is left alone with the body for three days after their mother leaves them without food to spend nine days with her lover (8 December 2016)

2 Wisconsin women charged in death of 7-year-old who was starved, burned and beaten (3 December 2016)

Girl 5 died after her mother sedated her with heroin (30 November 2016)

Mother left her son, 2 in a washing machine … (27 November 2016)

Day care worker hangs 1-year-old boy (21 November 2016)

Nanny charged with abuse after being filmed ‘putting buttocks in disabled boy’s face and dragging him across floor’ (6 October 2016)

My childhood home – scene of my nightmares (4 October 2016)

2 women found drunk in Salem parking lot with infants, police say (20 September 2016)

Woman who battered and knifed 8 year old boy jailed for 15 months (20 September 2016)

Mother guilty of bruising son’s genitals (15 September 2016) Australia, with related Reddit discussion thread here

Gold Coast mother accused of shocking abuse of her daughter including rape, torture (3 September 2016)

Mother who repeatedly beat her children across the arms legs and backs with a TV CABLE is spared jailed after a judge rules it would be worse for them if she went to prison (24 August 2016)

Mother accused of poisoning her nine-year-old daughter by putting URINE in her intravenous drip after she was admitted to hospital with life-threatening condition (19 August 2016)

Abused girl says her name is ‘idiot’ as mum Jennifer Deden and Clarence Reed are arrested for child abuse in Arkansas (18 August 2016)

Girl whose mum put her in a oven begs for her to remain in jail (29 July 2016)

Mother found guilty of allowing death of baby at hands of boyfriend (29 July 2016) The headline tries to diminish responsibility of mother – the mother did not merely “allow” the death, she was an active participant in the abuse and was also charged with murder. Pussy-pass?

Woman charged in Boscobel infant’s death first blamed father (28 July 2016)

Queensland mum jailed for abusing four daughters (22 July 2016) Australia

Three and a half years jail for mum who dumped newborn in drain (21 July 2016) Australia

Mother, 40, ‘locked her naked five-year-old son in a cupboard for more than 10 HOURS while she went on a family day out to Blackpool’ (12 July 2016)

Day-care worker pleads to raping, videotaping toddlers (2 July 2016)

Stepmother of five-year-old Josiah Williams handed 99-year sentence in brutal starvation case (29 June 2016) USA

Brockton babysitter accused of horrific child abuse on two boys (14 June 2016) USA

Red Deer mom charged with using son to make child porn sent to U.S. man (2 June 2016) Canada

Woman ex-soldier used electric shock dog collar to punish toddler and beat him so hard she broke a wooden spoon (26 May 2016) UK

What do I do? Wife verbally abusive and now starting to get physical with toddler (13 May 2016) Reddit discussion thread

NSW mother charged with attempted murder after allegedly hitting her young son with her car (10 May 2016)

Double Jeopardy on Sunday Night: Will baby Chloe’s killer ever be brought to justice? (4 April 2016) Australia

Brisbane mum jailed for child cruelty (29 March 2016) Australia

Single mother, 35, is arrested for ‘putting her two-year-old daughter in the oven, leaving her with third-degree burns’ (21 March 2016)

Mother Stabs Her Baby 90 Times With Scissors After He Bit Her While Breastfeeding Him! (8 March 2016)

Vacaville woman convicted of having sexual relationship with young boy (8 March 2016) USA. It was her own son

Babysitter Moriah Gonzales was caught smothering a baby with her hand, police say (5 March 2016) USA

Nanny who beheaded Russian child says it was revenge for Putin’s Syria strikes (3 March 2016)

Mum Christi Howell and her boyfriend Casey Shackleford allegedly waterboarded her son (20 February 2016)

Mom charged with murder after allegedly running daughter over with lawn mower (18 February 2016)

Grandparents deny seeking revenge for mum’s sexual violation of baby (28 January 2016) NZ

Mom Sentenced For Molesting Son (25 January 2016) USA

Day care teacher who turned classroom into a ‘baby fight club’ found guilty (17 January 2016) USA

Lesbian couple ‘beat one woman’s 5-year-old son with a hammer, duct-taped his eyes and kicked him in the groin until he bled and suffered two strokes’ (14 January 2016)

Woman eludes murder conviction for son’s death after beating (4 January 2016)

Mum who sexually abused her own daughter is jailed for 9 years (9 December 2015)

FGM: mother and retired nurse both found guilty of mutilating two sisters (12 November 2015)

Rachel Kinsella charged with intentionally poisoning her nine year old son repeatedly (8 November 2015)

Mildura Mother used daughter as ‘sex slave’ to satisfy husband’s lust (5 November 2015)

Mother and her lesbian lover ‘beat toddler to death over eight days then tried to frame seven-year-old boy for his murder’ (6 September 2015) and related reddit discussion thread

Woman Gets 23 Years For Killing Baby Girl In 2012 (4 September 2015)

Mother, 71, jailed for historical sexual abuse of twin daughters (28 August 2015)

Hunter Valley woman appears in Cessnock court charged with injecting daughter with urine (19 August 2015) Australia

Mother charged with torture and murder of Tyrell Cobb (14 August 2015) Australia

Woman Accused of Tossing Infant from 4th-Floor Window (8 August 2015)

Queensland’s Task Force Argos helps shut down Philippines-based child abuse ‘service’ for ­foreigners (26 June 2015) A ‘service’ run by women, by the way

County Commissioners will investigate Pocono Child Abuse Response (18 June 2015)

Psycho woman goes on a rampage with 2 children, father doesn’t do anything (15 June 2015) Video

Mother allegedly hit five vehicles during police chase while children in the car (14 June 2015)

Mom sentenced to 40 years for raping own children (7 May 2015) USA

Woman accused of putting her newborn in plastic bag, leaving it in her desk drawer (27 April 2015)

Texas woman helped starve boy to rid him of a ‘demon’ (16 April 2015)

B.C. woman put superglue in baby nephew’s ears because she was jealous of son-bearing in-laws (8 April 2015)

Mother, accused of molesting daughter, jailed for bail breaches (31 March 2015)

Mother used one-year-old baby as weapon in Alice Springs street fight (21 March 2015) Features the comment “Women who are victims of domestic violence should seek help from relevant support agencies long before it reaches such a crisis point.” Of course she’s a “victim“, rather than a perpetrator … she’s a woman, right?

Blogger Mum Poisoned Son To Death With Salt (2 March 2015)

Mother charged in brutal stabbing of 4 year old son in NW Harris County (27 February 2015)

Mum arrested for abuse after ‘beating daughter and sending her to school in grade-shaming T-shirt’ (25 February 2015)

Joyce Hardin Garrard charged with making nine-year-old granddaughter Savannah run until she died (23 February 2015)

Mother Accused Of Punching Son In Face For ‘Being Too Feminine And Gay’ (20 February 2015)

“Listen to their screams…”: Mother’s chilling phone call to husband ‘as she burned their three daughters alive’ (12 February 2015)

Father finds surprising video on his son’s IPad (9 January 2015) Click on video and scroll to the one minute mark

Queensland woman charged with trying to kill two kids in house fire (30 December 2014)

Children stabbed to death in the Cairns suburb of Manoora (20 December 2014)

Five-year-old Scottish boy suffered a ‘sickening and violent death’ that was so gruesome medics had to be given counselling – as police question mother (6 December 2014)

Texas mum ‘hid daughter’s body in fridge’ (5 December 2014)

No jail time for former Lake Charles woman in scalding case (30 October 2014)

Mum who tried to turn daughter against father condemned as ‘child abuser’ (12 June 2014)

Mum tried to sew daughter’s mouth shut (18 October 2014)

Woman, 48, jailed for seven years after horrific torture of teenage nephew (16 October 2014)

Killer mum in court to access daughter she injured in horror attack (7 October 2014)

‘Sickened’ judge jails woman for ‘horror’ child abuse (6 October 2014)

Mother pleads guilty in Shaniya Davis’ death (18 October 2013)

See also:

A study has found kids who get smacked are more likely to assault their partners as adults (11 December 2017)

Unspoken abuse: Mothers who rape their sons, by Ginger Gorman (15 January 2017)

Why do mothers abuse children? It must be the fathers, so says the US government (28 June 2016)

Children are the forgotten victims of family violence, by Jeremy Sammut (7 December 2015) Australia

When mothers abuse (5 November 2015) Australia

Women who kill, by Janet Bloomfield (28 August 2015)

New research shedding light on sex abuse committed by mothers against their sons (8 August 2015) Profiles the work of Lucetta Thomas

Maternal Punitive Reactions to Children’s Negative Emotions and Young Adult Trait Anger: Effect of Gender and Emotional Closeness (16 April 2015)

Child-killer parents should have subsequent children taken away: coroner (10 April 2015)

Let’s not forget the real victims of family violence… children (5 April 2015)

An open letter to Rosie Batty, by Mark Dent (15 March 2015)

Why deliberately alienating a father from his child is domestic abuse (9 December 2014)

Most of this blog post concerns killings by women, but child abuse is addressed towards the end (13 October 2014)

Five reasons feminism should deal with women who abuse children (20 October 2014)

Mum, not dad, more likely to neglect kids (23 September 2009) Western Australia

Turning a child against a father with false accusation is…child abuse (4 August 2014)

Some people have suggested that feminist ideologues using pre-pubescent girls in expletive-laden videos to further their cause is also a form of child abuse (commentary here and here). Another one is seen when feminist mothers bemoan the fact that they are rearing a male and map out a path of indoctrination, see this article for example.

Other related posts within this blog include:

Regarding female perpetration of paedophilia and underage sex

The often contrasting reaction when mums and dads kill their children

On violence carried out by women and girls

killer_mummy

childabuse

 

 

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?)

Readers at ‘The Conversation’ call for an end to feminist bias and censorship (domestic violence)

I made mention of an Australian web site called The Conversation in an earlier post. The Conversation features articles that range from politics and general current affairs to more esoteric matters, with a marked predisposition towards the tastes and values of left-leaning progressive liberals.

Most readers comments seem to be penned by sycophantic members of the ‘chardonnay set’ and career academics, although it’s hard to say if they are truly representative of the overall readership given that many other comments are moderated into oblivion.

Feminism and feminist topics are heavily covered (example), whilst mens issues are all but ignored. As a consequence, The Conversation often runs articles concerning domestic violence, sexual assault, and the ‘wage gap’ with only minor variations around the standard feminist theme on those subjects.

On 1 October 2014 they ran an article entitled ‘Why don’t we speak up when we see signs of domestic violence?‘ by Sarah Wendt. There was nothing exceptional about the article – it claimed that domestic violence was a gendered issue, made no mention of male victims or female perpetrators, and slipped in a promo for the author’s book. Absolutely typical of its genre really.

No, the exceptional part was the fact that almost all of the readers comments were critical of the biased treatment of the subject.  Later, many also raised the issue of the relatively large number of comments being removed. Some readers also queried why the author of the article had chosen not to contribute her thoughts regarding the unfolding discussion.

I launched into the fray quite early on, commenting thus:

“So “Domestic violence is about gender power relations”? What then of recent research that tells us that lesbian couples are the most predisposed towards partner violence?

So another article about domestic violence that assumes from the get-go that DV consists purely of men’s violence towards women and that any other form of DV is a rare aberration that is unworthy of serious consideration. These stats seem to tell a different story: http://www.oneinthree.com.au/storage/pdfs/1IN3_Fact_Sheets_Sept_2014.pdf with many more at http://www.fighting4fair.com/misrepresenting-reality/domestic-violence-one-sided-media-coverage-and-bogus-statistics/

This ongoing feminist monopolisation of the DV debate is tired and its wrong. If we want to tackle the scourge of DV, rather than just lob grenades in a war against a mythical patriarchy, then we need to acknowledge, discuss and address the entire problem not just the bits that fit into the feminist narrative.”

Based on my earlier experience with The Conversation I was surprised by the lack of punitive action by the site’s moderator. All that changed the next afternoon, however, when the thought police suddenly appeared on the scene and removed sixteen of the comments. By the time the site stopped accepting readers comments at lunchtime the following day, a total of twenty-seven comments had been removed.

In a final hurrah before the editorial team took their bat and ball and ran home, Helen Westerman, Deputy Managing Editor at The Conversation, posted a comment stating that:

“Nowhere does this piece suggest that domestic violence does not affect men. We have run many pieces making the point that men are also subject to partner violence (by women or other men) and I thank the men here who have shared their experiences. They are moving and valid.

And I would ask that this understanding is also extended to the viewpoint of women around this topic and that women be allowed to speak about this issue. And I also thank the women who have left their experiences here. They are moving and valid.

Sadly, this debate so often this devolves into a zero sum game: if women’s perspectives on violence are written about, then somehow it means that men’s are being “ignored”. Simply not true.

The hard truth is whichever way you cut the cake, women are affected disproportionately more than men by domestic violence. However, men are more affected by violence in general.

Neither fact should make us feel particularly proud – and should make us want to change this situation. The common ground here is that it shouldn’t happen to anybody, not matter who is meting it out.

It makes for very uncomfortable reading and elicit strong emotions. But we’ve got to talk about it.” 

To this I replied:

“Helen, thank you for contributing your thoughts but please, your opening sentence is an embarrassingly poor defence in response to the legitimate concerns that have been raised about both the bias of the article and in the subsequent moderation of comments.

Seriously, if the shoe was on the other foot, and you were reading an article about (only) male victims of domestic abuse … would you accept the excuse that “the article never said women were not victims”?

None of those commenting here have suggested that women not “be allowed to speak about this issue”, and that includes those comments that were binned. I think everyone, like myself, appreciates the opportunity to hear all perspectives on the subject. But this forum is for grown-ups and some questioning and rebuttal is an expected feature of adult ‘conversation’

Yes I agree, “we’ve got to talk about it”. Now about those moderated comments”

Highlights of the comments section included several insightful and incisive comments from psychologist Adam Blanch, including:

“Domestic violence is about people who are angry, jealous, distressed and mentally ill acting out their frustration. The motive for ‘control’ and ‘power’ is only present in a very small percentage of DV, and both sexes do it to the same extent.

The partner abuse state of knowledge Project, the largest and most comprehensive meta study of DV ever conducted, makes this information freely available at http://domesticviolenceresearch.org/pdf/FindingsAt-a-Glance.Nov.23.pdf

The entire Duluth model, which assets that domestic violence is about ‘Gender power relations’, has been so extensively disproven by legitimate researchers that no fair minded person without a ‘gender agenda’ could possibly subscribe to it.

PS. the ABS personal safety survey has some serious methodological issues that appear to have been built in, twice, to bias the outcome in favour of a ‘Gendered’ view of DV.”

There was also this classic comment from a guy called Andy George:

“Definition of irony:

A website called ‘THE CONVERSATION’, publishes an article titled “Why don’t we speak up when we see signs of domestic violence” calling on people to talk about the issue, then censors comments that are from male victims of domestic violence but leaves the equivalent posts by women who were victims of domestic violence.”

Negative aspects of the comments section included examples of those tiresome, incorrect yet oft-repeated assertions of feminists that:

  • men should just listen to discussions about domestic violence but not contribute their thoughts (unless to offer unqualified agreement) because to do so only “derails” the discussion
  • men only raise the subject of male victims and/or female perpetrators in order to excuse/minimise the behaviour of male batterers and/or deny/minimise the experiences of battered women
  • by raising concerns about the appropriateness of feminists continually asserting that ‘domestic violence = men’s violence towards women’ men are attacking and denigrating female victims, and women generally

Anyway, well done to all the men and women who made the effort to bring the author’s sexist bias to account. Hopefully this will be a harbinger of the reaction to the inevitable future displays of sexism and gender bias at The Conversation, and in the media generally. Enough is enough.

See also:

Reddit discussion thread concerning moderation in relation to another article at The Conversation

A little less Conversation, by Institute of Public Affairs (undated)

“As the site’s charter admits, it hopes to ‘give experts a greater voice in shaping scientific, cultural and intellectual agendas’, and aims to work for the advancement of the ‘public good.’ It also promises to be ‘editorially independent’, provide ‘diverse’ content and be ‘free of commercial or political bias.’ Whether it achieves this is open to question.

Professor Judith Sloan, another academic who can boast a tangible impact on policy and public debate, is unconvinced:

‘this site strikes me as emblematic of all that is wrong with Australian universities. Crammed with puerile, naïve, left-wing tosh, the contributing academics…really have no idea when it comes to serious public policy contributions.'”

A rather one-sided ‘conversation’, by Tony Thomas (14 February 2014) Another group – not MRA-related – express their concern about the level of bias evident at The Conversation

Postscript 25 January 2015: There are a few occasions when the moderator remains in his/her kennel, and then it’s refreshing to see that adults can indeed engage in vigorous debate without chaos ensuing. Look at this article for example.

Postscript 23 March 2015: A moderator removed a comment I added to this article about domestic violence. My comment was as follows:

“Rob, I haven’t read your report yet (but will do so shortly), so the following comment is based on what I’ve read in the media. It appears that your report talks about the need for more & better intervention and behaviour modification programs for perpetrators, but that your recommendations in this regard are limited to male perpetrators.

Can I ask why you would not adopt a gender-neutral approach in this regard and have programs that catered for both male and female perpetrators. I mean, it’s not as though there are so few violent women that we can afford to just wave them away.

Indeed I understand that the rate of increase in violent crime by women is exceeding that of men in many jurisdictions. See http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/on-the-recent-increase-in-violent-crime-carried-out-by-women-and-girls/

Postscript 1 April 2015: A moderator removed a comment I added to this article about sexual assault. My comment was as follows:

“It’s deeply ironic that the title of your article is “let’s turn the spotlight on known perpetrators”, but within the first sentence you exclude acknowledgement or consideration of all female perpetrators of sexual assault. On what basis? There’s less reported crimes involving female perps, so it’s OK to just airbrush them out?

I’m also troubled by you referencing the 2013 National Community Attitudes Towards Violence Against Women survey, which didn’t bother to ask respondents about their attitudes towards violence to men. Thus the questions about violence towards women were robbed of context and so we don’t know the extent to which the issue is men’s attitudes towards women, or Australians attitudes towards violence generally.”

Postscript 22 June 2015: A moderator removed many comments that readers contributed to this article about online harassment. This matter is discussed further in this post.

Reader Craig asked: Why was a dissenting comment regarding information contained in this article, with links to support its claims, removed by the moderator? There was no abuse or apparent breaching of the Community Standards (unless it was a Twitter technicality?)

Moderator Cory replies: We also require research that’s credible:

“Back up your ideas with evidence and fact where possible. If you’re claiming something as scientific fact, try to provide credible references.”

While some of the links were fine, many of them – upon reading them – were less than credible. They were closer to a smear campaign than anything resembling research. This is also prohibited in our community standards:

“We’ll distinguish between constructive comments and smear campaigns. We’ll remove any deliberate attempts to misinform, distort facts or misrepresent the opinions of others.”

Smear campaign? WTF? “a strategy to discredit a person, esp. a public figure, through disparaging remarks or false accusations“. We are talking about ideas, Cory. Can anyone point me towards any of the linked papers on this page that attacked a person. Aren’t the readers of The Conversation mature enough to, you know, exercise their own judgement about others’ opinions?

 

‘Our Watch’: Just how heartless (or deeply in denial) can people be?

I spent some time the other day voicing my views in relation to an article that appeared in an Australian web site called ‘The Conversation‘. Their motto is ‘academic rigour, journalistic flair’. Their track-record, in my experience, is based upon pandering to progressive liberals – especially feminists. Naturally that has a big bearing on their failure to satisfy the “academic rigour” part of the equation. They include nothing from a men’s rights or egalitarian perspective and heavily moderate readers comments to make sure as little as possible of that nasty triggering sort of stuff makes it online.

Anyway the article was entitled ‘Out of the shadows: The rise of domestic violence in Australia‘ (4 August 2014). I’m going to let you read that article, which is fairly typical of its genre, i.e. domestic violence IS men’s violence towards women and their children, no mention of female perpetrators or male victims, etc. Last time I looked there were more than 50 readers comments tagged on the end, including those of yours truly.

A day or two later I stumbled upon the facebook page of the ‘Foundation to prevent violence against women and their children‘, an organisation tasked with lobbying for and on behalf of female victims of DV. The Foundation receives several million dollars each year from the federal government plus further funding from the Victorian, South Australian and Northern Territory governments.

The Foundation’s Chairperson is Natasha Stott Despoja, who was brought to task by Greg Canning in late 2013 for the use of biased and misleading statistics regarding domestic violence. [See Footnote 1]

Anyway, scrolling down the Foundation’s page I quickly came upon posts by people complaining about some of the comments contributed to the article mentioned above. The comments in question identified substantial omissions and misrepresentations in the way that the issue of domestic violence had been portrayed.

White knight ‘Mike’ bemoaned the fact that men were “nit-picking” the stats about the victimisation of men. Hmm, alerting the public to the fact that 50% of the victims and perpetrators of DV are being ignored … yes, how petty of us. A spokesperson for the Foundation subsequently commented: “Yes it’s pretty upsetting but let’s hope this kind of resistance is a sign a raw nerve has been struck and that once these men get over the shock they will reach some kind of realisation.” facebook_DV

 

And then a few days later (6 August 2014) the following exchange took place:

  • Denise H – What about domestic violence against men. It happens, it’s very real.
  • Kirstina B – ‘Denise’ is a guy, obviously.
  • Kirstina B – Oh, and ‘Denise’, I’m sure gay men suffer violence from men, too. That will be addressed when DV is addressed for women.
  • Kris C – I wonder why some people are quick to hijack any publicity of DV with trying to talk about male victims. Yes, they are real, but it’s rather rude to butt in with that when that’s not the specific focus at hand. Imagine hijacking any publicity on the victims of the airline crash with “what about burns victims? they are real”.  [See Footnote 2]

These and other material contained within the Foundation’s page go beyond simply being callous and offhand, to being either breathtakingly deluded or just plain sick. In fact the Foundation’s Facebook page appears to be a veritable goldmine of misandry and gloating indifference to the plight of men.

Men are being battered at the same rate as women but this is rarely acknowledged by the media. Men dare to draw attention to this disparity and instead of empathy and support, the Foundation treats them as if they were ignorant, selfish or stupid.

Let’s hope” the men “reach some kind of realisation”, huh? Oh you bet we will. The realisation that the Foundation, and the feminist ideology with which it is so richly imbued, is content to angrily wave away the welfare of half of the community.

I’d like to invite members of the Foundation to peruse the following comments attributed to men who approached shelters for emergency accommodation: (Source)

“One abused man said:

They laughed at me and told me I must have done something to deserve it if it happened at all.

Another said:

They asked how much I weighed and how much she weighed and then hung
up on me…I was told by this agency that I was full of BS.

Twelve percent of the hotlines accused the man of being the batterer or responsible for the abuse. One abused man said:

They told me women don’t commit domestic violence — it must have been my fault.

Another said:

They accused me of trying to hide my “abuse” of her by claiming to 
be a victim, and they said that I was nothing more than a wimp.

Of the men who sought help by contacting local domestic violence programs, only 10% found them to be “very helpful,” whereas 65% found them to be “not at all helpful.”

One abused man said:
They just laughed and hung up the phone.

Another said:
They didn’t really listen to what I said. They assumed that all abusers are men and said that I must accept that I was the abuser. They ridiculed me for not leaving my wife, ignoring the issues about what I would need to do to protect my six children and care for them.

https://nationalparentsorganization.org/blog/3977-researcher-what-hap-3977

I call on the men and women of the ‘Foundation to prevent violence against women and their children‘ to park their sexist bigotry for 30 minutes and scan the dozens of studies that I either list or link to on my post about domestic violence that show that as many women are violent as are men. Then take a look at my blog post about male victims of domestic violence and the shameful lack of support that they receive.

Ask yourselves, are all of the studies faked? Are they all wrong? Fraudulent components of a global patriarchal conspiracy? Consider those findings in relation to the message you broadcast in your web site and facebook page. Do you feel smugly self-satisfied about the twisted version of reality you are painting, or is there some small sliver of guilt?

Do you not see that acknowledging the true reality of male victimhood, of female perpetration, and of bi-directional violence, does not undermine the validity of advocating for women? Do you understand that this is not some sort of ‘winner take all’ blame game? [see Footnote 3] And that it’s not necessary to step on the backs of men, and certainly not the backs of male victims, to help female victims?

It hardly even matters what the ratio of male/female abusers is, what is important is to address the whole problem and to discuss potential solutions in a free, open, constructive and non-judgemental manner. This is not what the main players in the DV advocacy sector are doing at the moment. This is what they should be doing. What they could be doing if they stopped wasting time deleting posts from others equally invested in finding a solution, but whose ideas and perspectives happen to differ from their own.

Please submit your response to this post and I will be sure to put it online. Oh, and be sure to include your postal address so I can send you your very own commemorative singlet (pictured). i-bathe-in-male-tears

Moving right along, Australian feminists were really on a roll this week (perhaps stung into action by #womenagainstfeminism) because the very next day (5 August 2014) brought us ‘Behind media silence on domestic violence are blokey newsrooms‘, and then ‘Why doesn’t she just leave? The realities of escaping domestic violence‘ on 7 August 2014.

The first of these two staunchly gynocentric articles contained gems of feminist wisdom like:

“Until recently, the media weren’t interested in reporting domestic violence. Journalists didn’t see “domestics” as a story. The reason for this seems to be that the media hold the same negative attitudes to women that have been globally recognised as contributing to violence against them in the first place.

This is of concern, since media play a key role in forming societal attitudes to gender and gender roles.”

Well if you look at my primary post in this blog dealing with domestic violence you will see that the media has published quite a bit about domestic violence. You only need to get busy with google to confirm that. And not only that, but most of the coverage has pushed the feminist line 100%. That being the case I find myself agreeing with the feminists that it really  IS a worry that the media forms societal attitudes … which will now be saturated with feminist dogma and strongly biased against men and boys.

“Australian media have a balance of power tipped overwhelmingly towards men, according to the most recent study of who owns, runs, influences, reports, presents and creates the news.” 

Isn’t it just amazing that seeing how the media is run by men for men, that it takes such a strongly pro-feminist view towards the issue of domestic violence. Quite remarkable really. That little old patriarchy sure can move in mysterious ways.

Footnote 1: Flagrant misrepresentations by feminist DV spokespeople are by no means uncommon. Mike Buchanan in the U.K has also written letters seeking the retraction of biased and misleading information, and as with Ms Stott Despoja, no responses were forthcoming:

Polly Neate CEO, Women’s Aid
Sandra Horley Chief Executive, Refuge
Eleri Butler Chief Executive, Welsh Women’s Aid

Footnote 2: As an aside, I joined this discussion thread to express support for ‘Denise’, only to have my posts disappear and be blocked from further commenting

Footnote 3: Unless of course the primary focus was on securing government funding for a gender-specific advocacy group

when_men_seek_help

 

The chart above shows what happens when male victims of abuse seek help

Postscript (25 October 2015): The following article provides context to the attitude of the feminist DV advocacy groups towards male victims of domestic  violence

Why I’m backing QLD Labor Premier on male victims | Talk About Men