My initial post regarding the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) can be found here. This post addresses the performance of the AHRC following the departure of former Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, in September 2015.
There was a considerable delay in appointing a new Sex Discrimination Commissioner. In the interim several articles on the issue emerged, these penned by feminist journalists with notable anti-male credentials (see here and here).
Sex discrimination commissioner job still vacant as government continues to stall (6 January 2016) This article again employs that the role is purely to advocate for women, and assumes that a women will be selected for the role.
Nothing particularly substantial occurred in relation to gender issues at the Commission during this period of vacuum. That which did occur gave no cause for optimism that the AHRC’s anti-male bias had softened with the departure of Ms Broderick.
This November 2015 article discusses the finalists for the 2015 Human Rights Community Award. Note how many of the finalists worked to advance/protect the rights of men/boys. None it would seem.
This December 2015 speech by Megan Mitchell, Children’s Commissioner, began on a relatively gender-neutral note only to then introduce material which signalled feminist bias:
“Previous studies have also estimated that over 20% of children and young people have witnessed violence against a mother or step mother”
Whilst correct, this omits the important fact that as many kids have seen their mum hit their dad, as have seen their dad hit their mum. This is addressed in the ‘Misinformation’ page of the One in Three organisation’s web site:
“23% of young people between the ages of 12 and 20 years had witnessed an incident of physical violence against their mother/stepmother and 22% against their father/stepfather” (Source)
Further gender bias was reported in the mainstream media on the same day in the following manner:
“The Children’s Rights Report being released today found one in every 28 people had also experienced sexual abuse as a child, while a further 23 per cent of children have witnessed violence against their mother”.
Now back to Megan’s speech, in which she introduced Rosie Batty, Ms Mitchell was also conveniently silent about the fact that most child abuse/neglect/filicide is perpetrated by women. True to feminist form, gender is only relevant or notable when men are the primary perpetrators of harm.
Finally, on 11 February 2016 it was announced that Kate Jenkins had been appointed the new Sex Discrimination Commissioner. I wonder if there were any men amongst the seven people interviewed for the position? Media commentator Andrew Bolt had something to say about the appointment of yet another woman to the role in ‘End this sex discrimination now‘.
“Far more needs to be done to close the gender pay gap in Australia.” (OMG, did she really say that?) Actually Kate, the only thing that needs to be done is that people (read: feminists) should be told to stop misrepresenting it as a tool of patriarchal oppression. A good first step would be reading my blog post.
This article suggests that Kate plans to continue along the sexist path of her predecessor. Feminist high-fives all round.
The ABC interview that follows was likewise dispiriting as Ms Jenkins said she would first like to get out to “talk to women, families …”. Go on Kate, you can say it … ‘men’ is not a rude word. Men did rate a mention later, but only in the context of more ‘damselling’ (appeal to & then exploit men’s chivalry) to win support for initiatives that further enhance benefits for women.
This was followed by more obligatory feminist parroting in relation to domestic violence (caused by gender inequality, but oops what about lesbian relationships Kate?), and the gender wage gap <facepalm>. Just brimful of fresh ideas.
— ABC News 24 (@ABCNews24) February 14, 2016
In ‘What should the new sex discrimination commissioner do? Make ‘women’s issues’ everyone’s issues’ the author suggests a #HeForShe approach, because “like it or not, men are making the lion’s share of the decisions in this country“. Not terribly original given Ms. Broderick’s much-trumpeted ‘Champions of Change’ project.
Underlying Lauren’s article is an assumption that either (1) there are no ‘men’s issues’, or (2) men’s issues aren’t significant, or (3) that it’s not the Commissioner’s job to address them.
Sooo let’s get men (who have been told repeatedly to butt out of gender-related discussions) to participate more and get behind making things better for women.
Further evidence of the ongoing gender bias at the AHRC was provided in their submission to the 2016 Federal Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality (refer submission 41). In that submission it was implied that all perpetrators of domestic violence were male, that males faced no negative discrimination or stereotyping, and that all victims of these behaviours or attitudes were female or transgender. There is not one sentence in that submission that suggests that the AHRC considers that men are worthy of any support, sympathy or compassion whatsoever.
Kate commenced duties in April 2016 and duly fronted up to give a presentation at the National Press Club. A flurry of pro-feminist articles followed with no suggestion whatsoever that mens/boys issues would receive one iota of attention from the Commissioner. Oh, but she has plenty of drum-banging planned in relation to the <groan> gender pay gap. Here’s one of those articles:
I note that the Commission has added some pages to their web site in relation to Family and Domestic Violence, plus links to various articles presenting the feminist perspective on this issue. This page for example provides no corresponding statistics in relation to male victimisation, with its sole reference to that component of DV being the old feminist “overwhelming majority” mantra.
On 3 August 2016 I discovered I had been blocked from Ms Jenkins Twitter account in the absence of any threatening or abusive communication on my part. As both a tax-payer and former public servant I find this action both extraordinary and wholly inappropriate (see this post).
In ‘Australian Bureau of Statistics to discriminate against hiring men‘ (15 September 2016) we learnt that Gillian Triggs has allowed the ABS to hire only female interviewers as “men were more likely to be perpetrators of DV and women were more likely to tell their stories to other women.” Meanwhile they ignore the flip-side that male victims would be more likely to tell their stories to male interviewers – thus perpetuating the statistical erasure of male victimisation.
Please also read the related media release from the ‘One in Three’ organisation, as well as this article from Jasmin Newman.
On 12 October 2016 Kate Jenkins was interviewed about her three top priorities. I wonder how far down the list we would need to go before finding anything in relation to the welfare of men/boys? In fact I wonder if we would find any such item/s anywhere on that list?
‘Sex Discrimination Commissioner should get real‘, by Andrew Bolt (1 May 2017) Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott reacts to Kate Jenkins gender quota proposal here, with a related article by Miranda Devine here.
Application to conduct a female-only gym (November 2016) This application linked here primarily as it contains links to other earlier determinations regarding the issue of gender segregation.
A positive development at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission (24 March 2016) Seeing this I thought perhaps in that organisation that mens rights were seen as important too. But after seeing this item, maybe they are little different from AHRC.
Here’s a project that Kate Jenkins could tackle. It concerns the lack of ‘Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Men’ (6 March 2016)