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