Queensland’s discrimination law is thirty years old. In May 2021, the Attorney-General asked the Queensland Human Rights Commission to undertake a review of the Anti-Discrimination Act. The review presented a valuable opportunity to make sure the law is keeping up to date with the changing needs of our society.
The Commission was asked to look at whether our anti-discrimination law protects and promotes equality and non-discrimination to the greatest extent possible.
‘One in Three‘ is a diverse group of male and female professionals – academics, researchers, social workers, psychologists, counsellors, lawyers, health promotion workers, trainers and survivor/advocates.
One in Three aims to raise public awareness of the existence and needs of male victims of family violence and abuse; to work with government and non-government services alike to provide assistance to everyone affected by family violence; and to reduce the incidence and impacts of family violence on Australian men, women and children. One in Three believes our society has the capacity to support all victims of family violence, whether male or female, young or old, gay or straight, rich or poor, wherever they live.
In their submission, the One in Three Campaign identifies five different ways in which male victims of family violence are discriminated against in Queensland:
Discrimination in service provision – not available to male victims or female perpetrators
Discrimination in service provision – access allowed, but service provided is harmful or poor
Discrimination in funding
Discrimination within research
Discrimination in public health campaigns.
One in Three’s proposed solution would be to establish a competent triage system based upon severity of violence, risk and need (not sex/gender), that would ensure the limited services available would go to those who need them the most. In order to do this, Section 104 of the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (“The Act”) would require amendments to remove the Example, “It is not unlawful to restrict special accommodation to women who have been victims of domestic violence.”
Here is a link to One in Three’s submission to the Queensland Government (March 2022)
“The Review will consider how to improve women’s economic security through increased economic participation over the next 5-10 years.
Your ideas will help inform and refine the next steps taken towards improving women’s economic opportunities. This is an important occasion to have a direct voice about the changes you want to see in your community and our society.” (Source)
More details are provided in the media release here.
The deadline for public submissions for this enquiry is 6 March 2022.
If you’re content to see the economic welfare of men and boys now routinely disregarded then there’s no need to bother having your say.
A copy of my submission now follows:
Submission to the Women’s Economic Opportunities Review (New South Wales)
I note that “The Women’s Economic Opportunities Review will consider how to improve women’s economic security over the next 5 – 10 years, including through increased participation in the workforce.
The review will identify barriers to women’s participation in work and propose reform opportunities to address structural and non-structural barriers to support women to enter, re-enter and stay in the workforce.” (Source)
Elsewhere I note that “The next NSW budget will splash cash on fixing women’s inequality in the economy as a way of lifting the state out of the financial shock of the pandemic and the recent omicron surge.
Improving access to childcare and reworking school hours – something flagged by the government last year – are among the items that may be addressed in June’s budget.
Premier Dominic Perrottet has not promised a blank cheque but says the government will implement what it can of recommendations of a state review into boosting economic opportunity for women in NSW.” (Source)
I thought that one quick and easy, albeit imperfect, gauge of the NSW’s Government position regarding gender would be to look at what posts I have created in my blog in relation to gender issues. A relevant listing is available at https://www.fighting4fair.com/?s=nsw. The tone of the matters I discuss in those posts seems to paint the NSW Government as being overtly pro-feminist, and with little or no interest in recognition and support for men and boys and the issues they face. Have a look and see what you think, but the balance seems to lean rather heavily towards gynocracy rather than gender equality to me.
As a consequence I am assuming that the NSW Government has no intention of pursuing a corresponding and similar process in relation to men’s economic opportunities. I hope that one day it will pay more than mere lip service to the notion of gender equality, and do so.
The information that I would like to present in relation to each of your designated outcome areas (for women) now follows.
On the basis that your agency has chosen to completely disregard the interests and the welfare of one half of the community (in this case, men and boys) then I anticipate that you would support my right – in the context of this submission – to do likewise. Looking towards the future … I suggest losing the unfortunate ideological bias and trying to do better. For all our sakes.
And finally, a few parting words and diagrams regarding the male perspective:
The Australian Government is developing a National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 to replace the existing National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.
The deadline for public submissions was 25 February 2022.
“The draft National Plan has been developed through consultation with victim-survivors, specialist services, representatives from the health, law and justice sectors, business, and community groups, all levels of government and other experts. This consultation opportunity builds upon previous consultations including:
The House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence
Two national advisory bodies: the National Plan Advisory Group and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council on family, domestic and sexual violence.” (Source)
I prepared a brief submission using the online questionnaire format which was relatively quick and painless, however I couldn’t easily save a copy to reproduce on this page.
Below are just some notes that I made earlier on in the process:
Let’s start nice and simple with a word search of the draft Plan looking for the terms ‘male victim’ and/or ‘female perpetrator’ and/or ‘abusive women’. How about a reference to the best known/established Australian organisation that represent male victims of domestic violence, the One in Three group? And what about the important term ‘bilateral violence’? Ok, surprise, surprise, no hits anywhere there.
Normally these sort of documents begin with a section entitled ‘What is domestic violence?’, and then trot out the tired claim that ‘whilst sometimes men may be victims of domestic violence, the overwhelming majority of domestic violence is perpetrated by men against women’ (and then aim to use this as justification for ignoring male victims for the remainder of the document). The draft Plan gets around that believability problem by entitling the relevant section as ‘What is violence against women and children?’, creating the impression that domestic violence is limited to that one form of action or behaviour. (Page 10)
The first modification of the Plan that I requested was a change in its name to the ‘National Plan to Reduce Domestic Violence in the Community’ (or similar). The current name of the plan is a ridiculous, outdated affront to the victims of abusive women/girls and their families.
Next, the draft Plan features a section identified as “Drivers of violence against women and children” (Page 12), wherein the authors note:
Violence against women is not caused by any single factor. However, Australia’s national guide to prevent violence against women, Change the Story, sets out that violence against women has distinct gendered drivers. Evidence points to four factors that most consistently predict or drive violence against women and explain its gendered patterns.
Driver 1: Condoning of violence against women.
Driver 2: Men’s control of decision-making and limits to women’s independence in public and private life.
Driver 3: Rigid gender stereotyping and dominant forms of masculinity.
Driver 4: Male peer relations and cultures of masculinity that emphasise aggression, dominance and control.
The primary driver of violence against women is gender inequality, however this also intersects with other forms of discrimination and disadvantage that can marginalise people and make it more likely that some groups of women and children will experience greater levels of violence than others.
But what of two factors that studies have shown to be absolutely seminal – although not in feminist-conducted research – in their influence with regards to fostering domestic violence? These are the initiation and routine use of violence by the female partner, and the childhood experiences of parental neglect and abuse of those people who become adult male abusers?
To suggest that the Australian Government is currently committed to achieving gender equality is an absolutely farcical proposition. Can an organisation be only half committed? I think not.
I say this as the extent to which the government acknowledges and supports men/boys, relative to the support it expresses for women/girls, overwhelmingly favours the latter. Further, not only is this bias not seen as a problem, it is considered by many to be fair and appropriate.
Neither politicians nor senior bureaucrats dare ask ‘why?’, let alone say ‘stop!’, to proposed developments that might further this imbalance. They know full well that any such gesture would result in immediate negative sanctions. And conversely, that few would be likely to publicly speak in their defence. Such is the overdone mood of the matriarchal moment.
One element of the problem is the lack of a government agency, or even a section within an agency, that is designated to gather or disseminate information, or develop policy, in support of men and boys.
Another is the issue of remnant chivalry, a factor that in an environment of true gender equality, would be recognised as nought but an outdated traditional gender stereotype.
Related online information:
Q: Is there a Minister for Men and/or an Office for Men?
A: No, there is neither, and none is proposed.
Q: Do government agencies provide as much public acknowledgment and support for men/boys as they do for women/girls? A simple example might be publicly acknowledging International Men’s Day versus their response to the multitude of recognised and supported days for women and girls.
A: No, they do not. International Men’s Day is ignored entirely by both state and federal agencies.
Ask the Australian Human Rights Commission, for example, if they have ever issued a tweet or social media notice to celebrate International Men’s Day. Ask any state or federal agency.
Related online information:
Q: Does the government invite representatives of men’s and/or father’s rights groups to participate in committees, in fora and/or (for example) regulatory reviews related to gender issues? For example, the One in Three organisation (http://www.oneinthree.com.au)
A: No, they do not. Nor do they support the establishment and operation of such organisations.
Q: Do women of high public profile (for e.g. female politicians) and/or women’s groups seek to support men/boys either generally or in relation to specific issues?
A: No, generally not. Contrast this to the actions of many high-profile men.
Related online information:
Q: Does the government fund research that explores aspects of the reality experienced by men/boys and/or encourage gender-related research to address or consider issues from both a male and female perspective (for example via the actions of the Australian Research Council)?
A: No, they do not. More and more often males are not surveyed in such studies, unless asked in relation to their views on women’s issues (and with zero reciprocity applying)
Related online information:
Q. Is there compatibility with regards to the extent of funds that the government assigns to groups/agencies and/or issues that primarily affect men/boys, versus what is provided for women/girls? Where relative advantage to a particular gender can be recognised, does the government assign approximately equal support for each gender?
And what about with regards to our foreign aid program?
A: No, they do not. There is a huge disparity in favour of women/girls. The government doesn’t even appear to keep track of how much is spent on men/boys (i.e. there is no Budget Statement produced for men/boys). And not only that, many of the groups that are funded often express views that are particularly negative towards men/boys.
Meanwhile, our foreign-aid program is now deliberately skewed towards providing support for women/girls.
Q: Do government or government-funded agencies devote as much time and energy to acknowledging, supporting and remedying issues that affect men/boys as they do in the case of their representations for women/girls? Some examples of organisation to consider might include WGEA, the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, ANROWS, the Australian Institute of Family Studies, and the Australian Institute of Criminology.
A: No, they do not. There is a huge disparity in favour of acknowledging, celebrating and supporting the preferences and privileges of women/girls. This often appears to occur in association with a saturation of staff and management who are devotees of feminist ideology.
Ask the Australian Human Rights Commission (for example) if they have ever had a male appointed to the position of Sex Discrimination Commission. Ask them how many times, in (say) the past ten years, they have developed a program or policy that intended as being primarily supportive of men/boys (and was publicly identified as such)?
The AHRC is the ‘go-to’ agency for those seeking to act in a manner that may be seen as providing unequal benefits for one gender over another … an example being to offer a scholarship only to women, or to publicly recruit (only) women for a particular role. Ask the AHRC to state the percentage of times they have exercised this power in a manner that favoured women over men.
Ask the WGEA about how much they have looked at the costs (financial and otherwise) faced primarily or solely by men and boys. And about the growing number of segments in the labour market where women’s salaries exceed those of men. And about those organisations where the staff gender ratio for female representation well exceeds 50% (for example the federal public service), and what (if any) remedial action has been taken.
Q: Domestic Violence is perhaps the highest profile issue in the whole gamut of gender-related topics now being addressed. Many studies support the notion that at least 1/3 of the victims of domestic violence are male (and up to 2/3 in certain contexts).
The Government spends hundreds of millions of dollars ostensibly trying to remedy this scourge. How much of this money is used (for example) to psychologically treat abusive and/or violent women? How much is spent to assist male victims of abuse?
What action is the government taking to ensure both fairness and effectiveness of expenditure? How many of those receiving taxpayer funds are driven by feminist ideology. Does this detrimentally affect their performance for example via prompting them to persist with ineffective principles and strategies, purely because doing otherwise could be seen to compromise their belief system?
A: Well under 1/10th of the money allocated to treating domestic violence finds its way to assist the male and female victims of violent and abusive women. This is a disgrace, and meanwhile the (seemingly allowable) response from the feminist lobby is to cry ‘epidemic!’ and demand that the government give them more money. Meanwhile more men suicide.
Q: The so-called ‘Gender Wage Gap’ is another high-profile gender issue, and one in which the WGEA has been, and remains, closely involved. Has the manner in which this issue has been presented and addressed to date, been indicative of a commitment to gender equality?
A: No, anything but. The WGEA has even been criticised for the biased manner in which the issue has been approached. Depending on how one drills down into the data, there are several, and a growing number of, instances where female wages exceed male average salaries. This aspect is largely invisible in the public coverage of the topic. Somehow, I very much doubt that’s a coincidence.
Q: With regards to the specific issue of workplace conditions and workplace safety, is as much emphasis placed on key issues as viewed from a male perspective, as from a female perspective?
A: No, very little emphasis is placed on the consideration of issues from a male perspective, with the exception of the multitude of situations where men’s welfare is ignored entirely.
Related online information:
The Government’s commitment to ‘gender equality’ is largely limited to championing the legitimate and purported interests of women/girls, whilst doing little or nothing about the multitude of negative factors impinging on the health and happiness of boys/men.
Rather than continuing with the use of the feel-good term ‘gender equality’, the current situation can best be viewed through reference to the notion of ‘Gamma Bias’.
“Gamma bias occurs when one gender difference is minimised while simultaneously another is magnified.
The gamma bias phenomenon can be conceptualised as a symmetrical 2*2 matrix of cognitive distortions, the gender distortion matrix. The matrix below describes examples of gamma bias, where perceptions of men and women are differentially magnified (capital letters underlined) or minimised (lower case letters in italics).
This joint select committee was established on 21 October 2020 to inquire into and report on coercive control in domestic relationships. In conducting the inquiry, the committee will consider the NSW Government discussion paper on coercive control and answer the questions posed in the paper.
Submissions closed on the 29 January 2021, and hearings were held in February and March 2021.
“The consultation process will involve an online survey, targeted roundtable discussions and further advice from an Advisory Group made up of victim-survivors, family and domestic violence experts, and representatives of people at increased risk of coercive control.
You can contribute to a shared national understanding of coercive control by providing your feedback on the Consultation Draft using the survey link” (which can be found on the linked page above).
This project is scheduled to close on 11 November 2022.
Their ABC presented us with a telling headline yesterday (29 April 2021):
‘Queensland’s domestic violence taskforce head wants to hear women’s stories of reporting abuse‘ (Source)
It began with “The head of a Queensland domestic violence and justice taskforce says women’s experiences reporting abuse to police will be looked at as part of the wide-ranging review, more than a week after the horrific deaths of Kelly Wilkinson and Lordy Ramadan”.
Queensland has had one or more DV task forces before, plus several inquiries, but they still need to hear from Queensland women. (Read about those previous inquiries here). Men, just wait, your turn will come … err … later.
It then went on to talk about another possible initiative, women-only police stations. Talk about being seen to be doing something … whilst conveniently pandering to the feminist lobby.
This is not even part-way to being ‘good-enough’. It’s a pathetic embarrassment.
Newsflash: At least one in three victims of domestic abuse are male. You can’t possibly arrive at a workable solution to this violence and abuse by ignoring all the facets that don’t sit comfortably well with the prevailing feminist framework. And thus we haven’t. Just continual shrill calls from the feminist lobby for ‘more please sir’. More taxpayer dollars that is.
“I’m proud to be part of a government that values women in leadership roles and strives for gender equality. Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman, joined me as we released a new Queensland Women’s Strategy 2022-27“ (31 March 2022).
On 26 February 2020, the Senate referred an inquiry into domestic violence with particular regard to violence against women and their children to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for report by 13 August 2020.
The Inquiry has been completed earlier than was scheduled and its report is available here.
This article describes the early completion of the report and the adverse reaction it received from the feminist lobby. I have yet to fully read the report, but one useful feature is a brief summary of the many enquiries that preceded it.
From an egalitarian perspective the dissenting report from Senator Rex Patrick is disappointing – and hypocritical beyond belief in terms of what was, wasn’t, and should have been addressed by the Committee.
I note too that the term ‘male victim’ appears only twice in the 44 page report, in each case only as a brief passing reference to recommendations from earlier inquiries.
2. The Inquiry (Revised version)
What do you do when a powerful and vocal part of your audience isn’t happy? Yes, that’s right, you commence another inquiry:
This article discusses the submission by ‘Women’s Safety NSW’ which can be read in full here (see #150). Women’s Safety calls for “$12 billion over 12 years to invest in evidence-based solutions to the nation’s domestic and family violence scourge“.
Those making submissions were asked to address one or more of the topics listed in the terms of reference.
And the outcome thus far? The report was published on 1 April 2021. The ‘One in Three’ organisation, who contributed to the inquiry have advised that progress was made (as is detailed in their media release here).
“The Federal Government will launch an inquiry into the family law system, after accusations the court system is failing vulnerable Australians.
Coalition backbenchers and the crossbench, including One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, have been calling for an inquiry for some time, arguing the system is too expensive and slow.
The inquiry will be run by former social services minister and long-serving Liberal MP Kevin Andrews.” (Source)
The feminist lobby and their domestic violence industry took great umbrage at this announcement. And so it began.
The Committee’s home page can be found here, and details concerning the making of submissions can be found here.
The first specific matter that the feminists got upset about was Pauline Hanson’s reference to the practice whereby some women make false claims against their former partners in family court, esp. in relation to domestic violence and sexual assault (refer example of outrage in the media).
In terms of topics related to the treatment of victims, another issue was that of couples counselling (related article). The feminist DV Industry is generally opposed to this practice, claiming that it exposes women to additional unnecessary risk. But not everyone was of the same view (related article).
Another curious complaint from various feminist spokespersons was that there had been too many inquiries, and the proposed inquiry was both unnecessary and would delay progress. This is extraordinary given the ongoing vocal urging for more inquiries/commissions/etc despite the many state and federal inquiries that have taken place – particularly related to domestic violence. A number of these inquiries can be seen listed in the relevant section of my Table of Contents page.
Submissions to the Family Law Inquiry have now closed, and a final report was due to be submitted in October 2020. On 31 August 2020, both Houses of Parliament agreed to extend the reporting date to the last sitting day in February 2021. An interim report was subsequently released on 7 October 2020.
In closing, how many, if any, of the following groups explicitly represent fathers/men and/or male victims of domestic abuse? How many have anything approaching gender equality with regards to their board and/or their staff?
Other posts in this blog that you might find relevant include:
The federal Marriage Act Sect 46(1) always required celebrants to provide a definition of marriage as part of the ceremony. The wording required is “Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life“, or “words to that effect” (Source)
The percentage of the Australian population who self-identify as gay or lesbian is uncertain, but is probably in the range of 4-6%.
This month Australians were given the opportunity to vote on the issue of same-sex marriage (‘SSM’) in Australia via a postal survey. The postal survey asked a single question that question could only be answered with a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’. The question was “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”.
I voted ‘no’, and no, it’s not because I am hateful or homophobic. Does that make me a hypocrite or a liar? No it doesn’t, and I think it’s simplistic to the point of childishness for anyone to suggest otherwise.
The linked video clips show separate incidents where ‘yes’ voters aggressively harangue people holding ‘It’s OK to vote no’ signs (example 1/example 2/ example 3). Just as with Trump/Clinton supporters in USA, it’s not the conservatives (typically labelled ‘far right’) who are behaving aggressively.
Some readers will be asking “How is this a men’s issue?“. No doubt there are gay men who would appreciate having the option to marry in preference to the alternatives already available to them. I mean them no disrespect. I was motivated to write this post mainly due to the parallels with how the broader gender debate is playing out, recognising this to be a major obstacle to achieving recognition of men’s issues and true gender equality.
The SSM postal vote is far from being a worthy model of the way to create legislation or govern the country. Our politicians must be told this in very clear and unambiguous terms.
At an estimated cost of $122 million it is also an incredibly wasteful exercise. The propensity of our state and federal government to convene Royal Commissions or Inquiries in order to delay or avoid making difficult decisions is a long-standing embarrassment, but compared to the SSM vote they are a bargain.
Further, the SSM vote is almost certain to be ineffective, not least because either the government and/or the ‘yes’ lobby or ‘no’ lobby will not accept the result. In particular, you can bet your bottom dollar that if the ‘no’ vote gets up on the day, then we are set to witness a replay of the Hillary Clinton loss all over again.
A draft bill was prepared some time ago, but I understand that no commitment has been made that this version will be put up for parliamentary vote should the ‘yes’ vote prevail.
The voting paper asks “Should the law be changed …?” What will an answer to a question this vague tell our politicians that they could not judge for themselves in the context of a parliamentary vote?
So exactly how will the primary enabling legislation (the Marriage Act) be changed? What other legislation and regulations will subsequently need to be amended, and in what manner? What will be the likely tangible flow-on effect of these changes for ordinary Australians, for example in terms of financial costs/benefits?
If this were about a major infrastructure project then all relevant facts (or at least, estimates) would be set out for objective consideration. Instead the scope of discussion in relation to same-sex marriage has been, for the most part, remarkably narrow. Alternately tugging on heart strings/shaming those with alternative views, or dishing out some bible quotes, does not constitute an intelligent political debate.
Why so little discussion, for example, of what has happened in those countries that have approved SSM? (see here for discussion of the UK example, with related comments by Rowan Dean here)
“The destructiveness of identity politics is that it poisons relations between human beings by claiming that historic injustices require civic inequalities to remedy them today. This requires that some groups be classified as victims and others as villains”
“Because part of this strategy is to provoke an equally irrational response from the Yes campaign”. Joe, wake up to yourself mate! No-one is manipulating the ‘Yes’ bloc into performing their special brand of craziness. No-one needs to – it’s what people in this sociopolitical milieu do now. And not just with this issue, but many others. For a recent Australian example just look at my post regarding the ‘Red Pill’ movie.
On the issue of conflating the right to marry with other issues, which Mr Lau had also raised, Ms Wong said conflating issues was a tactic of the “No” campaign. “The ‘No’ campaign is finding every other issue to talk about,” she said. “It’s a deliberate scare campaign, and I think it’s a tactic Australians are seeing through. And it’s a disappointing tactic.”
Leftists/feminists have no problem with conflating issues when it suits – the most common being the feminists=women furphy. In this case what Penny is really railing against is that other related issues might be considered, issues outside of the narrow parameters for debate approved by people such as herself.
Sure some of these factors will be over-reach or downright wrong. Most however will be legitimate and deserving of serious consideration in reaching an informed decision on this particular matter. And the many others that will follow.
“On 16 March 2017, a Committee of the Australian Parliament adopted an inquiry into how Australia’s federal family law system can better support and protect people affected by family violence. The inquiry was referred by the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon. George Brandis Q.C. The Committee aims to make recommendations that will improve the system for all participants.” (Source)
Members of the public were able to provide feedback in the following ways:
One such issue was the possibility of creating some sort of nexus between the nature of court orders made in relation to spousal support and property settlement, and the presence or alleged presence of family violence in the relationship. This is described in the Terms of Reference at point 4:
“How the family law system can better support people who have been subjected to family violence recover financially, including the extent to which family violence should be taken into account in the making of property division orders”
Men are already being blackmailed with allegations of domestic violence or sexual abuse in relation to child custody matters, and now it seems they will also have to worry about the impact of such allegations on their financial affairs (strike 2). How many more male suicides will this generate?
As of 21 June 2017, 114 public submissions have been uploaded onto the Committee’s web site. I tendered a brief submission which can be accessed here (see submission 113).
The Committee subsequently tabled its report in Parliament on 7 December 2017. The report, which makes 33 recommendations, is available to read on the Committee’s web page at this link. The media release for the tabling of the report can also be found at this link.
Under a 2010 resolution of the House of Representatives, the Government is required to respond to the report within six months. When the Government has provided a response it will be made available on the Committee’s web page.