Australian minor political parties and their views on feminism & men’s rights

In another post in this blog I mention the fact that there are scarcely any individual politicians in Australia, let alone political parties, that are prepared to move out of lockstep with the feminist lobby.

Also in another blog post I briefly discuss the position of the major parties on feminism and men’s rights, in the context of the 2016 Australian federal election.

In this current blog post I thought it might be interesting to put this question to some of the smaller parties. First up we hear from Senator Bob Day of the Family First Party:

“Subject: Your party’s position on feminism vs mens issues

Good morning. I would be interested to learn about the position of family first concerning the influence of feminist ideology in Australia, and
particularly in the political sphere and public service. I would also be interested to learn if FF has a position in relation to one or more of the men’s issues as nominated and discussed in my blog at www.fighting4fair.com.

Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you in due course”

Response received on 10 June 2015:

“Thank you for your email to Senator Day regarding Family First’s position on feminism.  Feminism has brought about social change, improved treatment & representation of women and improved productivity.  These gains are now considered commonplace factors in everyday Australian life.  Our focus as a modern political party is on the question of family and how that basic foundational institution in society can be encouraged, supported and protected from harm and government excesses of power.

Family First supports the role of the family as the foundation for Australian society, and acknowledges that male and female are complimentary, each able to make valuable contributions to the community. We encourage you to visit Senator Day’s website: www.senatorbobday.com.au  or Family First’s website www.familyfirst.org.au for further information.

Your blog www.fighting4fair.com discusses many different issues with a common theme being the role of male and female within the family sphere (domestic violence, legal custody battles, or matters pertaining to parenting in general). Regarding this matter, Family First supports the traditional family and whatever can be done to ensure that families with children stay together.  The sad reality today is that many relationships fail, and then there are public policy questions about dealing with the breakdown.  Thankfully, throughout the Australian community there are in the majority of cases accepted norms about how child access and support is resolved after separation.

A great many families resolve their post-breakdown arrangements without resort to lawyers, violence or alienation of a parent from their child or children.  Often they do so to put the children first, and the parents’ disputes second.  Regrettably, in some cases the breakdown is so acrimonious that violence and/or alienation of a parent occurs.  Moves in recent times to exclude lawyers and prefer mediation at the first opportunity have been welcome shifts away from adversarial resolution of post-breakdown child support and access questions, towards an approach that focusses on what is agreed between the parents.

Family First supports a child having the involvement of a father and mother in their life.  Studies show this is vital to their healthy development.  However, it must be stressed that there are exemptions to this position.  Modern society now has a myriad of social problems, from drug, alcohol and other substance abuse; to domestic violence; to child physical and/or sexual abuse.  Mental health of children and/or parents is also a major factor in family breakdown.  Children must be protected from situations that might expose them to harm.  The court system is so overwhelmed with allegations of this behaviour that it is rare that it gets to the bottom of those allegations.

The handling of family breakdown is further complicated by yet another example of state and federal jurisdictional ambiguity.  States and territories are responsible for laws concerning child protection and domestic violence, whereas federal law regulates child support and family law concerning post-breakdown child access and distribution of property.  At times the two areas do not connect properly with one another, at times – for instance – seeing at-risk children ordered by a federal court to go to a parent who may place those children at risk of harm.

Senator Day appreciates that you have written to him about a current issue that concerns you.  The Senator has been elected as a Family First Senator for South Australia on a platform of “Every family, a job and a house”.  This is a massive task which promotes independence and self-reliance, reducing the need for government intervention. This leads to smaller government, lower taxes and therefore more money in the pockets of families. Senator Day therefore has a limited capacity to advocate for (a) issues outside of his State or (b) policy priorities beyond that focus.  Having said that, Senator Day has indicated above what he has to say about the issues that you have raised.”

Next I sought to profile the Liberal Democratic Party, but they did not reply to my emailed invitation to put forward their views on the issues discussed in this blog. I did however note this reddit discussion thread regarding their platform, and this article in which Bill Shorten attacks Senator David Leyonhjelm regarding his views in relation to broadasting women’s sport.

It is encouraging that Senator Leyonhjelm has since written some articles in support of a gender-neutral approach to domestic violence, such as this one. He has also done some good work in committees – see this video in particular. In this video he discusses domestic violence and diversity.

In May 2017, Mark Latham announced that he intends to join the LDP.

I then approached Australian Liberty Alliance regarding their position, and they responded:

“We don’t have a policy on every issue, for this our first campaign we are concentrating on our 20 core policies. Please see Q4 from our FAQ.
http://www.australianlibertyalliance.org.au/news-media/blog/faq-frequently-asked-questions

I approached Nick Xenophon Team and await their response. Their policy position on family violence appears gender-neutral, which is a positive sign.

Another federal parliamentarian, Bob Katter (Katter’s Australian Party) has  previously expressed concern regarding anti-male bias within the family court system.

I also approached the Glenn Lazarus Team for comment (also nil response). The Team appears to have just one gender-related policy, which relates to removing the GST on women’s sanitary products:

“The Glenn Lazarus Team believes women should not be penalised financially for the need to purchase essential items such as tampons and sanitary napkins, and all women should have access to these basic sanitary items during times of difficulty and hardship. Sanitary items are essential products for women and must be GST free.” (Source)

Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie was discussed in this blog post. More recently she had the claws out for Pauline Hanson. Hardly promising.

On that note, perhaps the most positive thing to emerge from the 2016 election campaign was the success of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. This article appeared during the campaign: ‘Pauline Hanson claims women make frivolous DV complaints‘, with the party’s actual policy available here.

Immediately following the election we were treated to two click-bait article attacking both Pauline and advocates for men’s issues generally. In both cases the majority of readers comments were at odds with the biased views of the writers.

The first was entitled ‘How ‘angry man’ vote resurrected Pauline Hanson‘ (news.com.au). Apparently from this journalist’s perspective, when the major parties focus exclusively on women’s issues, that’s gender equality. In contrast, when One Nation proposes to address men’s issues, that’s indicative of a “blokes’ show“. Psst, Malcolm Farr, your white-knightery is showing.

A subsequent article, ‘Even for Pauline Hanson, doing the bidding of mean men is risky’, was from feminist journalist Wendy Tuohy. This very negative and scare-mongering offering paints Pauline as a foolish ingénue toying with drooling sociopaths (otherwise known as people seeking to have men’s issues properly acknowledged and addressed).

I had to laugh when I read this article in The Conversation where the academic author states – presumably not tongue-in-cheek – that for Pauline Hanson and the “paranoid right“, “the normal rules of political engagement – coherence, consistency, fact, logic, proportion – do not apply“. That which is “normal” for feminists and the regressive left? I’m thinking D-e-l-u-s-i-o-n-a-l

In February 2017 Pauline Hanson proposed mandatory pre-nuptial agreements as a means to reducing backlogs in the Family Court system. She has also pushed strongly for family law reform.

In October 2017 One Nation announced details of their policy direction in relation to domestic violencethis video shows the disappointing response from the Queensland Government (also addressed in this article, and again here).

Derryn Hinch and his Justice Party are discussed in this Facebook post by Leith Erikson from the Australian Brotherhood of Fathers

Cory Bernardi (Australian Conservatives) is making waves with this call for greater scrutiny of the pro-feminist White Ribbon Campaign.

(Footnote – April 2019: I just noticed this mostly negative review of the policies of the ‘Australian Better Families Party’)

Overseas examples

An interesting development across the water in New Zealand, where David Seymour of the ACT Party is ruffling a few feminist feathers with his proposal to introduce a Minister for Men, discussed in more detail here.

In this paper a fellow put forward some ideas for consideration by political parties in relation to the 2015 UK election … these are also useful thought-starters for Australian political parties.

Further thoughts regarding the White Ribbon Campaign

On 25th November 2014 the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) celebrated its annual ‘White Ribbon Day’, whereupon they beat their chests about the wonderful job they (say they) are doing, and sought to fill their coffers via donations and merchandise sales.

I visited their Facebook page at that time and noticed quite a number of dissenters posting comments there. In true feminist fashion these were slyly removed during the course of the day (as discussed in this blog post). WRC representatives responded to the nay-sayers by castigating them for complaining about WRC’s focus on female victims, and/or by telling them to go and start their own organisation to address violence towards men.

Without doubt there would be many people out there who would say, how could anyone be so mean-spirited as to criticise the White Ribbon Campaign? So what if they focus solely on female victims of domestic violence, at least they are still helping someone? Surely any publicity that raises awareness of the problem of domestic violence is a good thing? Lots of celebrities support WRC so they must  be doing something useful otherwise those people wouldn’t risk their reputations, right? Right?

The WRC believes, or at least tries to make others believe, that those opposing it are misogynists who are angry about its sole focus on female victims. In actual fact, in most cases, that is not the root cause of disquiet about their operation.

So, if this issue isn’t the main issue of concern, then what is?

1. WRC’s lack of honesty and transparency, and their censorship, shaming and attacks on others holding alternative views

Publicly, the WRC’s rationale for focusing solely on female victims is based on their claim that the “overwhelming” majority of domestic violence is perpetrated by males upon females. Privately, the driving force behind WRC is its rigid adherence to feminist ideology.

Misleading statements, concerning the nature and extent of domestic violence, sabotage the efforts of others to institute fairer and more effective programs to combat domestic violence. It is hard to believe that this continual misrepresentation of statistical ‘evidence’ to support the focus adopted by WRC is inadvertent. The strategic invention &/or misrepresentation of ‘facts’ in this manner is a hallmark of contemporary feminism.

These false assertions have the effect of denying male victims of domestic violence appropriate recognition or support, and of unfairly demonising men in general. Another outcome is the lack of attention given to abusive women through, for example, the provision of behaviour modification programs for female offenders.

Thus the problem is not that the WRC focuses on male violence towards women, but that – for strategic reasons – they fail to acknowledge other significant elements of domestic violence. No, in fact they do more than that. They argue that those whose priorities differ from their own are (at best) ignorant and misguided, and at worst that they are abusers themselves.

The message disseminated by WRC seeks to make a complex social issue appear simple. This is useful in attracting and maintaining the interest, and subsequently the financial support, of the public. Part of this involves inventing  a single easily-identifiable bogey-man – the heterosexual male.

WRC’s approach also handily puts the onus for addressing the problem onto men and absolves women of any responsibility in relation to either causing the problem or fixing it.

2. The fact that WRC diverts, both strategically and inadvertently, public and private funds away from programs where they might be used more effectively in the fight against domestic violence and/or in assisting victims of DV

The effects of misrepresentations by WRC, when combined with substantial marketing efforts, political acumen, and a social environment highly supportive of feminism, sees WRC exert a significant influence on government policies and decisions regarding resource allocation to DV.

WRC compromise efforts to reduce domestic violence and assist male victims because they misrepresent both the nature of the problem and the nature of potential solutions. In so doing they side-track us from identifying and implementing more effective solutions. This skews the nature of research undertaken, in turn skewing the nature of support services provided.

WRC are not satisfied for a reasonable share of funds to be directed towards feminist groups like their own, they want all available funds so directed.

Questions have also been raised as to WRC’s ability to competently manage public funds, and the extent to which its operations are financially self-serving. Ironically this is happening at the expense of men, given that men contribute the majority of tax revenue.

Browsing through a recent annual report for White Ribbon Australia was illuminating. To give an example, unless I have misread this page, WRC burnt more than $400,000 in one year just on share trading.

According to White Ribbon Australia’s corporate annual report for 2013, they gambled their donations in the stock market and lost one fourth of their current assets! In other words, they lost almost $500,000 AUS playing the stock market with the public’s donations! Here is what their corporate annual report states:

“Total equity declined from $1,193,398 to $751,611 as a result of the trading loss.”

Society’s current predilection for placing feminism and feminist organisations on a pedestal, goes hand in hand with inadequate government oversight and serious lapses in accountability. History has shown us that this type of situation usually ends badly. It is quite simply a scandal waiting to happen. (I talk about this problem in my post on the Domestic Violence Industry)

WRC’s involvement in running programs in schools

White Ribbon’s involvement in running what are essentially feminist indoctrination programs in schools has been a source of considerable concern for many. This is the subject of the sources listed below, and is discussed further in this blog post.

Senator Says Making Boys Pledge The White Ribbon Oath Is “Public Shaming Based On Gender” (23 November 2016)

Bankstown Public School boys “all say no” to abuse against women in their own hip hop song and video (24 March 2015) Hmm, no sign of a girl’s choir singing nice things about boys … funny that.

We mustn’t make boys feel bad about being male (3 December 2014) with 193 reader’s comments

Why does the White Ribbon Campaign make these errors of judgement, and why will it continue to do so?

WRC will continue down its current path because doing so supports feminist ideology and helps grow the influence of that movement, a goal that is of paramount importance to them. As a consequence, targeting anything or anyone that threatens the feminist narrative in relation to domestic violence is accorded a high priority (see my posts on Tanveer Ahmed and Sallee McLaren for example).

Secondly, it is financially lucrative for WRC to continue their current operating model. Misrepresenting the nature of domestic violence, and exaggerating its scale, stimulates further public support and government funding. This then channels additional funds towards themselves, other feminist enterprises and individual feminists (as per my post on the Domestic Violence Industry).

(Postscript November 2018: Sponsors abandon White Ribbon and Bye Bye White Ribbon (13 November 2018). And then ‘Anti-domestic violence organisation White Ribbon in $800,000 debt‘ (19 February 2019) White Ribbon was eventually closed down in 2019)

(Postscript 24 June 2020: White Ribbon Australia is re-launched with Brad Chilcott as the new CEO. One initial media article was ‘You can replace the leader but unless honesty replaces gender theory, White Ribbon is finished – again)

See also:

It is ‘all men’, to varying degrees: men’s violence against women is a systemic crisis (29 July 2020)

Failed charity White Ribbon tied in knots (6 November 2019)

Corrupt organization White Ribbon Australia in liquidation (3 October 2019)

Mixed feelings on the demise of White Ribbon Australia, by the One in Three organisation (8 October 2019)

White Ribbon Australia entry in ACNC database with links to annual reports

Cory Bernardi Dragged White Ribbon For Supporting Safe And Accessible Abortion (16 November 2017)

Public money wasted on domestic violence organisations, by Bettina Arndt (9 July 2016)

We stop violence at the source. And the source is men (28 June 2016) White Ribbon CEO Libby Davies defends White Ribbon (see article below), and in so doing happily throws men under the bus. Oh, but see the readers comments that follow (240+ at last count), NONE of which support Libby’s misandric stance. Here is a subsequent radio interview with Tom Elliot concerning Libby’s article, with further comments from Tom here.

Why you should never give a cent to White Ribbon, by Nina Funnell (23 June 2016) Australia. Feminists turn on their male allies. Again. And in November Nina’s at their throats again.

Reddit discussion thread concerning RSL employee forced to recite White Ribbon pledge (29 February 2016) See also detailed comment by ‘Imnotmrabut’

Domestic violence and White Ribbon day – help change the debate, by Bettina Arndt (21 November 2015) Australia

The secrets and lies of White Ribbon (November 2015)

Men’s anti-Domestic Violence advocate says scourge “is a male problem” (13 September 2015) Unlike Tanveer Ahmed this WRC Ambassador stuck to the script … good boy Dean … good boy <pat on head>

White Ribbbon misinformation (11 September 2015)

Say goodbye to the burly blue-collar face of unions: they’re now feminist (4 June 2015)

Paul Elam from AVfM on the White Ribbon Campaign (4 December 2014) Video interview

Video critical of White Ribbon Campaign blocked in Australia (1 December 2014)

White Ribbon Australia lies – Interview with Dr Greg Canning (24 November 2014)

False claims undermine good causes (24 November 2014)

White Ribbon Day overestimates reported rapes eight-fold (25 November 2014)

White Ribbon Australia fraud exposed (23 November 2014) with more related details here, including the statement:

Please click on the ‘White Ribbon Campaign’ tag at the bottom of this page to see further blog posts related to this organisation.

Dealing with mens issues – The current situation in Australia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some other highly-recognised Australian spokespersons on men’s/boys issues include:

Bettina Arndt who regularly writes great stuff – highly recommended

Greg Andresen also writes very good quality material such as government submissions and fact sheets. Greg is the Senior Researcher for the ‘One in Three’ organisation which advocates for male victims of domestic violence. He is also the Australian liaison for the US-based organisation ‘National Coalition for Men‘, as well as being an active advocate for men’s health.

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

Australian politics and gender issues:

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

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

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

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

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

There are a few exceptions to the rule:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Leyonhjelm (formerly Liberal Democrats) has also made a name for himself in this regard in the federal sphere, before moving to the state (NSW) arena (see video), and then losing his seat.

Also in NSW, Senator Jewell Drury is, amongst other things, seeking reform with regards to the treatment of domestic violence.

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

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

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

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

The Australian media:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further background material

The last few decades have seen men increasingly portrayed in a negative light, basically it’s now a choice between lazy, inept, evil, stupid, or creepy. Concerns raised about this trend are generally dismissed along the lines of “relax, it’s just a joke!”. Funny thing though, ‘jokes’ made about women elicit a very different reaction.

“Men have always made fun of themselves,” said New York Times best-selling author and social philosopher Michael Gurian. “The kind of things that are done with men in the media would never be done with women, and that’s just sort of a given. But men don’t mind. They live by joking and putting each other down and lifting each other up. But the negative is that they can only be OK if the rest of society has a basic understanding and respect for boys and men.” (Source)

I’m tired of Hollywood trying to sell me on the concept of “loveable idiots”, and I am disheartened by the ubiquitous content that tears men down. I love filling my life with laughter, however why are my current content choices trying to get me to laugh at a reduced version of men? Why is Hollywood trying to get me to focus on the broken-down, allegorical version of who they think my husband is? Obviously they don’t know my husband. (Source)

Now take a look at this article that appeared in that dreadful magazine ‘Cosmopolitan‘. It’s all about the ways that women are said to be better than men. Stomach-turning sexist tosh. Ah, but then treat yourself to this excellent rebuttal by Janet Bloomfield.

One wonders whether this ongoing negative portrayal of men reinforces hostility towards men, which may in turn influence the rate of partner violence towards men as addressed in this other blog post.

The various sources listed below discuss this issue in depth and/or provide specific examples of negative ways in which men are presented in the media and/or are subsequently perceived in the community-at-large:

Of Marx and Men, by Damien Coory (14 January 2023)

Misandry in Ads (a video from 2015)

Trashing men in the movies, by Bettina Arndt (28 September 2022)

Buy a real shaver – Jeremy’s razors (22 March 2022) Video satire

Ukraine’s disposable men (9 March 2022)

Why must every man on TV today be a monster? As a tidal wave of male-hating shows depicts women as victims (17 November 2021)

The dangerous pleasure of hating men (13 November 2021)

Of Bond, villains, and the average boy  (15 October 2021)

Should we be concerned about the messages that men and boys are exposed to? (2 September 2021)

Sarah Everard missing: Why a curfew for men isn’t a bad idea (12 March 2021) Can you imagine a similar story saying women should be subject to a curfew? Err .. no

Oh but this US game show is so funny. Now swap genders and listen to the laughs drying up (18 May 2020) Video, and here is a link to a Twitter discussion stream.

The team working for McDonalds fast-food chain (Mumbrella) seem destined to produce a Gillette-style campaign, but targeting boys (3 February 2020) “Just a bit a fun say the advertisers, while boys get demonised for slamming doors in girls’ faces” observes Bettina Arndt.

The marketing team at Lee Jeans thinks it’s ok to disparage men on the basis that only men spread over seats on public transport (July 2019) Tedious sexism. Video

A new German commercial takes man-hating to the next level (9 May 2019) Edeka takes up where Gillette left off

ABC’s The Drum – We’re all misogynists now (14 April 2019) Another great Scott Crowe video

The Victorian Government (Australia) has issued a video highlighting the horror of women receiving unwanted attention on public transport, and – surprise surprise – calling on men to step in and deal with other men (9 April 2019). ‘Independent Man’ responds to this rather well with his own video.

Ten things not to say to/about your husband (9 February 2010) Video. How rarely is this type of message encountered? Women have corresponding obligations to their spouse? What?

What is a man? A response to Gillette (January 2019) Video

Happy International Men’s Day, by Tom Golden (19 November 2018) Video

National Trust covers up male busts (6 November 2018) UK

White men are now the Democratic Party’s punching bag, by Saritha Prabhu (29 October 2018)

Rethinking Gender, Sexuality, and Violence, by Gideon Scopes (25 October 2017)

The mysterious invisibility of men’s good deeds, by Mark Dent (14 July 2018)

The beginning of the end, by Mark Dent (25 June 2018)

Men, you want to treat women better? Here’s a list to start with (17 October 2017) See the readers comments plus a related Reddit discussion thread here.

Sexual Assault Survivors Aren’t Just Daughters. They’re Actually Humans (12 October 2017) Stuff like this does my head in. Men shamed for speaking about the female experience (men can’t possibly understand!) Men shamed for not condemning sexual harassment (enough). Mainstream media runs many articles claiming that men only begin to understand women when they have a daughter (example1). Men feel unqualified to express a view so use justification of having daughter (etc) to qualify themselves as having a right to express a view. Men shamed for being seen to need to justify their views on the basis of having a daughter. Back to start and repeat.

Amanda Platell on the misandrous makers of TV drama (7 October 2017)

Does the NRL have a culture problem? (13 September 2017) Video

The Violent Sex (9 July 2017)

Complaint regarding BBC program that presented domestic violence against men as humorous (5 May 2017)

Between 1920 and 2005, men in USA increased their unpaid housework contribution x 3. Haven’t seen that acknowledged in any one of those countless articles about how men are such slackers around the house.

We Need More Balance In The Media’s Depiction Of Men (13 April 2017)

When did men (particularly dads) become so idiotic? (3 March 2017)

Why I won’t let any male babysit my children, by Kasey Edwards (23 February 2017) Australia. My subsequent blog post concerning both this article, and various follow-up articles, can be found here.

The myth of white male supremacy (14 February 2017)

Husbands Are Deadlier Than Terrorists (11 February 2017) USA. Wives are too, but saying that won’t get the author a tummy scratch from the feminist lobby. The thing is, even if the author had titled this piece ‘Spouses are deadlier that terrorists’, it would not have detracted from the main thrust of the article one iota … ie. completely superfluous sexism. (My readers comment is here)

‘Women kicking balls, I’d like to see that’ (22 January 2017) New ad campaign promoting women’s sport. How about ‘Men grabbing pussy, I’d like to see that’. Hmm, still not funny.

Son, let me tell you all about how dadsplaining works (13 January 2017) Whether this piece was a weak & inappropriate attempt at humour, or a serious bid for a tummy-scratch from feminists, it undermines the role of men/fathers at a time when we need to be doing the very opposite.

Cab firm is forced to pull ‘derogatory and sexist’ ad campaign featuring an overweight model with the slogan ‘If I start to look sexy book a taxi’ (4 January 2017) No complaints about sleazy man poster – you can portray men any way you like.

Advertising Standards Board rules Allpest commercial ‘vilifies’ husbands (29 December 2016)

An open letter to men, who can help female runners feel safe (6 December 2016)

Sell a sticker like this that says anything other than “men” – I dare you (undated)

Misandrist advertisements (1 December 2016) Reddit discussion thread

Stock photographers have all got the same idea of what it looks like when things go wrong in bed (17 November 2016) Reddit discussion thread and linked article.

Hating men is mainstream (23 September 2016)

Social Justice’s Punching Bags: Men, White People, Straight People (17 September 2016)

White men are being blamed for everything‘ by Mark Latham (30 August 2016) Australia

The all men (and only men) are potential serial killers meme: ‘What mass killers really have in common’, by Rebecca Traister (17 July 2016), and ‘One group is responsible for America’s culture of violence, and it isn’t cops, black Americans, Muslims or rednecks. It’s men‘, by Melissa Batchelor Warnke

Andrea Leadsom suggests men should not be nannies because they may be paedophiles (15 July 2016) UK. This gender bigot is a senior member of the newly-appointed British cabinet. A subsequent article regarding the reaction to Ms Leadsom’s odious comments.

Doting dad’s hilarious approach to housework (2 July 2016)

Can’t you take a joke, love? Why the ‘banter’ isn’t funny any more (20 June 2016) This article listed here as a further example of how feminist journalists are so wonderfully adept at describing problems affecting both genders as female-only issues. Meanwhile ‘jokes’ about men continue to go unchallenged.

Michelle Obama urges men at women’s summit to ‘be better’ (14 June 2016)

Top 10: Worst male-bashing ads (undated)

War On Women? OK, But What About The War On Men?  (10 May 2016) USA

Scientists show how we start stereotyping the moment we see a face (2 May 2016)

“Although the participants didn’t personally endorse those stereotypes, it’s clear that they affected the participants’ unconscious thinking. Stereotypes can be like poison in the water we all swim in, and the brain, like a sponge, absorbs them, Freeman said, even when we don’t want it to.”

Hot Fuzz comes to Plymouth as women beg to be arrested by sexy new Chief Superintendent (29 April 2016) UK

Anyone seen the new TV advert for BT? I’m sure a woman slaps the man. Gender violence? (24 April 2016) UK

Chilling  Australian PSA shows how boys learn domestic violence (21 April 2016)

Charlie Bloom: Advertisers cash in on the feminist thirst for male humiliation (22 March 2016) UK

What’s the value of that item? Walmart does the #ManMath (16 March 2016)

Powerful Ad Urging Husbands To Help With Chores Goes Viral (2 March 2016) with related Reddit discussion thread here

Branded for life? Sending the wrong message to young perpetrators of family violence (24 March 2016) Typical feminism-inspired ‘education’ campaign that piles all the sins of DV at the feet of men/youth. The value of such campaigns is dubious to begin with, but it should have featured some female perpetrators. Naturally this article, in pro-feminist The Conversation, conveniently ignores that issue. Here is a video of a similar campaign now underway in the UK – again no hint of there being any female perpetration.

Heineken’s ‘Drink Responsibly’ TV ad (January 2016) Only men drink to excess. ‘Good men’ don’t drink to excess. ‘Good men’ get to go home with a hot girl. The subliminal message here being that men’s irresponsible behaviour is best addressed through a combination of shaming and dangling the carrot of sexual gratification. This not-so-flattering portrayal of men dreamt up in the (I’m guessing) feminist-sodden environment of some ad agency or another. Sure they score a point for making an effort to reduce over-consumption of a pernicious legal drug, but they lose two for lacking the courage & conviction to produce a companion ad for the ‘I’m so drunk!’ millennial female set.

Men have it tough in the social minefield, writes Jess Leo (7 February 2016) Australia

Advertisers now portray men the way they portrayed women in the 1950s: as either dumb or pretty, by Martin Daubney (27 January 2016) UK. Related reddit mensrights discussion thread here

When Gender Hatred Is ‘Funny’, by Mark Dent (20 January 2016) Australia

It’s comic schtick, not sexism: Why it’s OK for Julia Morris to drool over Dr Chris (18 January 2016) Australia

A poor start to the year for the Men of Australia (6 January 2016) Australia

You’re going the wrong way (2 January 2016) Australia

On Hating Men (16 December 2015) USA

Pajama Boy Redux: The Male in Modern Society (20 November 2015)

Emma Freedman: The terrible dates we can all learn from (16 October 2015) Perhaps there have also been similar articles about women who were terrible dates, but I can’t remember seeing them

How to stop mass shootings (2 October 2015)

The feminization of America accelerates as universities shame men for being men (20 September 2015)

Australians, horror fans and 80s kids will understand this. The descent of masculinity from hero to evil (14 July 2015)

The depiction of dads as schmucks by ad agencies (June 2015)

Astute Dr Elizabeth Celi UNRAVELS Truth about Men in todays Feminist world (11 June 2015) Video. Australia

Why this is the end of the dumb dad era (7 May 2015)

Society’s Contempt For Men – Barbara Kay Explains – Men’s Rights Feminists’ wrongs (5 May 2015) Video

Too many young men with negative attitudes to sex and violence, survey finds (7 May 2015) And what of the attitudes of young women? We’re not told, and increasingly surveys don’t even bother to explore that side of the equation. This article is typical of the one-sided (anti-male) hit-pieces continually being fed to the public by left-leaning progressive journalists, eagerly supplied by obliging local feminist advocacy groups. Agenda? What agenda?

Study: Men are lazy to their core (7 May 2015) and related reddit mensrights discussion thread

The denigration of men: Ridiculed, abused and exploited, by Peter Lloyd (18 April 2015)

Norwegian TV commercial (Youtube video dated 12 July 2010) and subsequent reddit mensrights discussion thread (March 2015)

Men are now objectified more than women (9 February 2015)

‘Men Are Good’: the Facebook group that says men aren’t all bad (4 March 2015)

BBC Woman’s Hour hides the fact that male voters are more supportive of women leaders (7 February 2015)

Sorry, it’s a boy” – Superbowl advertisement (2 February 2015)

Man-slamming: another reason to slam men (10 January 2015)

Proved at last: Men really are idiots (12 December 2014) and of course Jezebel gleefully jumped in with a companion piece. Related reddit mensrights discussion thread here which discusses the flipside of this issue. And here is a related article by ‘Inside Man’ magazine that’s well worth a read.

Wet wipes blocking Sydney sewers as more men flush them down the toilet (7 December 2014) Yeah sure, and the sample size of the survey that determined that men were flushing wet-wipes, was how small? This article would have been worth writing if it had suggested promoting the use of Asian-style ‘bum-guns’ in Australia, but they chose to waste bandwidth with another hit-piece on men instead.

Parents warned of dangers of Santa’s lap (5 December 2014)

Men need to stop taking up so much room on public transport by Janet Bloomfield (16 September 2014)

Most advertisers keep up with ever-changing family roles (24 August 2014)

Men still hidden as victims of violence in the home (24 November 2014)

The internet hates men, and no one’s a winner (13 November 2014)

YouTube video of men trying to take ‘drunk girl’ home with them receives nearly 3 million views (12 November 2014) All articles admitted that the video was probably staged but were content to promote it anyway, because it was “shocking” and “disturbing”, and perfectly supports the dominant ‘all men are pigs’ trope. A subsequent article confirmed that people were recruited to ‘star’ in the video.

Miranda Devine: Stop your bitching about poor Bachelor Blake Garvey (12 October 2014)

It’s Time to Retire the ‘Dumb Dad’ Joke Once and for All by Mike Cruse (7 November 2014)

Casual misandry (4 November 2014)

Misandry in the media A video series on Youtube

Why do television shows belittle the feelings of men? (2 November 2014) Reddit mensrights discussion thread

It would have been disingenuous at best to pretend that a male subject could represent such systemic abuse” (27 April 2012) Because men are never victims so how could they ever understand?

The “real man” dogma (15 October 2014)

I hate this insidious trend for belittling men, says Melissa Kite (23 October 2014)

When it comes to depictions of men, gutter glossies and ivory tower feminists are on the same page (16 October 2014)

How to get kicked in the nuts (October 2014) Because assaulting men is soooo funny!

Nine out of ten people pictured in charity posters are women (25 September 2014) As people have no sympathy for men

Don’t take pot shots at fathers (24 September 2014)

For Father’s Day give us men who aren’t shown as fools and clowns (5 September 2014)

When is ‘Violence against men day’? (1 September 2014)

Ad watchdog dismissed complaints against ‘Man-proof your car’ ads (4 August 2014)

Michelle Obama says women are smarter than men (6 August 2014) and here are Jessica Valenti’s bigoted views on the matter

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/mans-penis-mistakenly-amputated-during-routine-circumcision/story-fneuzlbd-1227001450218 (25 July 2014) Oh look at the funny pictures that accompany the article! Why is it that I doubt they would use the same pics if the article was about a women who had one breast removed by mistake? Oh, that’s right, because it wouldn’t be funny then.

Are advertisers finally beginning to take dads seriously? (14 August 2014)

The Early Learning Centre’s ‘funny’ Facebook post (17 August 2014) Companies contemplating similar sexist advertising might want to read some of the comments on the ELC Facebook page.

Make men better (such pigs) (September 2014)

Do men start wars? (7 August 2014)

If men acted like feminists, by Thunderf00t (28 June 2014) Video

When gender hatred is funny (10 June 2014)

Retire the bumbling husband: He isn’t helping (21 July 2014)

Ad watchdog dismisses complaints that White Ribbon anti-violence campaign is sexist (26 September 2013)

It’s Time to Stop Treating Dads Like Idiots (25 April 2013)

Double Standards? Representation of Male vs. Female Sex Offenders in the Australian Media (2009)

http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/2b9vet/vicks_directs_flippant_disdain_toward_mens_health/

Is there anything good about men? (2007)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFZat3oIbhU

After seeing so many commercials where men are portrayed as bumbling, clueless idiots, this ad by Dove was refreshing (Reddit discussion on 12 June 2014)

Why are men on TV always such fools? (13 March 2014) Note the 433 readers comments – clearly many people are fed up with the current situation of rampant double-standards

http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/27gk4i/men_in_schoolmale_representation_in_media_in_an/

Sexism? Pah! The real reason why Channel 4 didn’t put women on Bear Gryll’s island (12 May 2014)

Why do advertisers portray men as idiots? (25 April 2014)

No more dumb old dad: Changing the bumbling father stereotype (15 June 2012)

http://www.avoiceformen.com/just-plain-crazy/feminists-stoop-to-a-new-low/

http://www.f4e.com.au/blog/2014/01/26/stop-picking-on-our-men-top-australian-journalist-argues/

http://cnsnews.com/blog/suzanne-venker/what-americans-need-know-about-feminist-bias

http://www.avoiceformen.com/misandry/misandry-and-emptiness-masculine-identity-in-a-toxic-cultural-environment/

http://sozziesocks.tumblr.com/post/79167707595/ceneca-qui-antibadstuffprogoodstuff

http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7gvl/firestone-good-nap

http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/snickers-teams-up-with-aussie-builders-for-new-ad-try-not-to-take-it-too-seriously/story-e6frfmyi-1226865529268

https://twitter.com/Femalefedupwith/status/450910549468250112/photo/1

http://forums.avoiceformen.com/showthread.php?9424-Bill-Maher-mocks-men-coerced-into-sex-by-women&p=85528

Lay off men, Lessing tells feminists (14 August 2001)

And now for some good news:Move Over, Mom, It’s Dad’s Turn In Ads‘ (27 January 2015)

And finally here are two representations of men, one from a country where feminists ‘call the shots’, and one from a country where they don’t. Can you guess which one is which?

notadad

Opinion: The data are clear: The boys are not all right (9 February 2022) An example of the USA situation

Politicians can’t hear what men don’t say. An interview with Ann Widdecombe (1 February 2022) An example of the UK situation

Thank you Grace Tame. Abuse is well and truly out of the shadows (25 January 2022) Oops, well the abuse of women/girls anyway.

Bettina Arndt: The rape conviction rate – a scandalous deceit of parliament and the public (19 January 2022) Recommended reading

When America Embraced Wonder Woman and forgot G.I. Joe (21 November 2021) This paper is not specifically related to Australia, but interesting and relevant nonetheless.

Sorry, Snarling Clementine, but the UN says we’re a leader in treating women well and gender equity (11 March 2020)

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

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

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

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

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