In another blog post I provide details regarding the relevant positions adopted by some of the minor parties.
Gender issues did not feature amongst the key issues debated during the election campaign. The one specific gender-related issue which was aired was domestic violence. With that in mind, let’s look at what the major parties had to say on that topic:
The Domestic Violence statement provided in the ALP web site can be found here. The number of times the terms ‘men’ or ‘male’ (e.g. male victims) feature in this document = 0
The Domestic Violence statement within the Liberal Party web site is accessible here. The number of times the terms ‘men’ or ‘male’ (e.g. male victims) feature in this document = 1. That sole mention refers to the contentious ‘Mensline’ counselling service – read more about Mensline here.
The Domestic Violence statement in the National Party web site is here. The number of times the terms ‘men’ or ‘male’ (e.g. male victims) feature in this document = 0
The Greens Domestic Violence Policy is here. The number of times the terms ‘men’ or ‘male’ (e.g. male victims) feature in this document = 0. By way of contrast, the word ‘women’ features 31 times.
None of the major parties have shown any interest in addressing issues that detrimentally affect men and boys. None of them have issued significant statements in support of male victims of domestic violence, nor have they made reference to female perpetration of violence.
The major parties are essentially all in lockstep with the feminist movement, the only area of divergence being the amount of money that each is willing to relegate to/waste on feminist causes.
Amongst the major parties, the Greens offer the most ardently pro-feminist perspective, with the ALP running a close second. It was the Greens, for example, who were the driving force behind the current federal Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality.
The federal budget released by the Government in May 2016 represented the first salvo in the election campaign:
“In this Budget the Government has allocated $100.0 million over three years for Domestic and Family Violence: New Initiatives To Break the Cycle of Violence. This builds on the $101.2 million provided for a Women’s Safety Package announced by the Government in September 2015 (detailed in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Year Outlook 2015–16). This measure will draw on the recommendations of the Third Action Plan (part of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–22), due for release in mid-2016. [Footnote]” (Source)
Further details of what were proposed and some related background information are provided at:
“Labor will provide funding certainty to frontline family violence organisations if it wins government, Bill Shorten has promised. The Opposition Leader has committed $65 million over six years to ensure 1800 RESPECT, Our Watch and Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) can continue their work in tackling family violence.”
Again, each of the major Australian political parties is unambiguously pro-feminist, regardless of how overtly they choose to express it. At this point none of these parties have chosen to raise awareness of, or to provide practical support for, male victims of domestic violence.
During an otherwise tedious and predictable campaign at least Mark Latham entertained via poking pins into feminist/white knight thought bubbles.
Further coverage of gender issues during the campaign:
“men who have harmed them and their children” “men rely on women for childcare” “childcare remains a responsibility that Australian men too often unfairly leave to Australian women” “25 per cent of women nominate a lack of childcare as their reason for leaving the workforce. In the case of men, it is 3 per cent.” “It is primitive and wrong that women are paying the mortgage on houses occupied by men who have harmed them and their children”
The ALP sees providing a myriad of policies to support women whilst providing none to address men’s issues as “gender equality”. But wait, there’s more.
Bill goes on to state that “Australia cannot afford six Liberal years of ‘budgets for blokes’.” Seriously Bill? You mean all that money lavished on the Ministry of Men’s Affairs? Oh wait, there isn’t one is there? In fact all I can see is hundreds of millions poured into organisations like these.
**I challenge Bill or any other ALP politician to add a comment to this post providing examples of current federal budgetary allocations which they feel only benefit “blokes”**
Despite the rhetoric, this election fails the feminist test (28 June 2016) The word ‘women’ appears 17 times in this piece by rusted-on feminist Eva Cox (‘men’ = 0 btw). But it’s ok, as we are reassured that “feminist issues are about a better society for all, not just advancing women in a male defined world”. And while feminists want more, they are being offered a veritable buffet compared to the situation for men/boys.
“While both the Liberal Party and the Labor Party have issued women’s policy documents, these are strong on equality rhetoric but short on the continuing gender inequities, instead offering some funding to fix service problems.” What a shame that the dog chewed the corresponding men’s policy documents.
“Miranda Devine, Mark Latham, Van Badham and Rory Gibson join Sunrise to discuss if women are receiving preferential treatment in today’s society, and if feminism is responsible for men feeling displaced.”
Mark Latham spoke out strongly in the affirmative sparking the usual immediate backlash. Guardian Australia columnist and feminist activist Vanessa ‘Van’ Badham also upset a few people with her anti-male comments, and subsequently received a slew of feedback via social media. You can review her Twitter account to get a sense of the nature of that feedback. I didn’t notice anything of a particularly hurtful or threatening nature. Indeed, the comments she received were considerably tamer than the noisome effluence that is Van’s contribution to social media.
Nevertheless, Van Badham issued the following tweet:
Just as with Clementine Ford, it seems to a case of those who launch the most mud and the sharpest barbs, squealing the loudest when someone dares return fire.
Anyway, shortly thereafter I issued a few tweets in relation to the Sunrise program, one of which is shown below. These were not in response to tweets posted by Van Badham (with whom I have never previously communicated), nor were they specifically directed at her. No matter, because I had revealed myself as being one of ‘them’ rather than one of ‘us’.
Van Badham chose to respond by alerting an Australian law firm who apparently use a marketing slogan “We fight for fair“. She did so in the vain hope of involving me in some sort of legal wrangle. And in so doing she earnt a ‘like’ from her feminist colleague, journalist Wendy Tuohy, who features elsewhere in this blog.
This illustrates, yet again, that the default position of most feminists is to do whatever it takes to divert attention away from key issues and discourage public discussion thereof. And this means shutting-down and/or isolating dissenters as quickly possible, one example of this are ongoing coordinated campaigns to shut down anti-feminist Facebook pages.
Why? Because they know that their best hope of retaining credibility/power is to keep as many people as possible from recognising the expansive chasm between the ‘dictionary definition’ of feminism, and what is actually being said and done by real-world feminists. Discussion can lead to enlightenment, whilst shunning and censorship is more likely to preserve the status quo.
But of course feminists won’t come out and admit that. They attempt to rationalise their unwillingness to respond to opposing viewpoints in other ways. In this article concerning the same TV program, Clementine Ford states:
“We need to stop wading into these debates and understand that we lose nothing by refusing to participate. We are under no obligation to defend our feminist ideals from anybody, and we certainly have no responsibility to try to ‘prove’ the necessity of them to those who feel threatened by them.”
Those who have taken the time to read other posts in this blog would have noted that the theme of feminist-imposed censorship emerges again and again in the context of many gender-related issues. This is, in itself, a blazing ‘red flag’ with respect to the true nature of contemporary feminism.
Van Badham then joined that rather pathetic group of feminists/SJW who have blocked me from their social media accounts simply for questioning aspects of the misguided ideology to which they still desperately cling …
Shun this person who doesn’t support feminism! Unclean! Unclean!
And predictably Van then demands the opportunity to share, what will no doubt be, a long drawn-out procession of ‘last words’ on the issue:
Van Badham reveals ugly response to Steve Price’s comments about her (14 July 2016) And of course, her own words and behaviour played no role whatsoever with regards to the subsequent public reaction. Yup, sure. Let’s make it all about Steve … and misogyny. And to suggest that Steve’s solitary off-the-cuff comment constitutes “demonisation” is absurd posturing on Van’s part.
If any further proof were needed about the extent of power wielded by the feminist lobby in Australia then consider the fact that gender issues are rarely mentioned by politicians unless their views are in lockstep with the feminist position on the relevant matter. As for direct criticism of feminists or feminism … well that’s as rare as the proverbial hen’s tooth.
That this is the case speaks far more about the effectiveness of feminist lobbying and infiltration of the media and public service, than about the actual number of adherents to feminist ideology out in the broader community.
Yet despite this our elected representatives, from Prime Minister on downwards … are too busy cowering in fear at the thought of being labelled misogynists to take a stand. Thus they would rather please a screeching minority group than represent the best interests of the majority of their constituents.
“The recurring theme is the number of MPs in different parties who tell me, privately and in a whisper, “Of course you are absolutely right about this, it is all ridiculous” but – with very few but notable exceptions – will not dare to say so publicly.
This highlights two things. Firstly, most MPs lack courage – even to say things which are just plain common sense.
Secondly, it demonstrates how petrified MPs are at standing up to the increasingly extreme feminist agenda, which no longer seems to argue for equality and thinks it is perfectly acceptable to discriminate against men.”
The sitting politicians’ concerns are, unfortunately, understandable when one considers the harsh criticism meted out to those rare individuals who do dare to speak out (related article) and another entitled ‘Goodbye Spectator’.
In January 2016 Mark again found himself the target of furious feminist and ‘white knight‘ scorn after he commented upon the rampant gender bias and misrepresentation within the domestic violence debate:
David Leyonhjelm also kicked some solid goals. David moved from the federal government to the (NSW) state arena (see video), until exiting the political arena in 2019.
Beyond these few courageous individuals the picture is bleak indeed. So much for living in a parliamentary democracy. So much for freedom of speech. So much for teasing apart a problematic issue and discussing new and/or alternative solutions to achieve positive change.
Now shut-up and prostrate yourselves before the wonder and wisdom of 3rd wave feminism.
I was reading an article the other day about the ongoing push to have feminist propaganda introduced into our schools under the guise of ‘respectful relationships’ programs (or some other similar label).
The article in question, entitled ‘Bid to teach anti-violence to schoolkids‘ (Jessica Marszalek, Courier-Mail, 30 July 2015) included the following statements:
“She (QLD Minister Shannon Fentiman) said both teenage boys and girls would benefit from positive messages as they began in the dating world.
“We know that there are attitudes with particularly young men who think it is appropriate to pressure a woman for sex,” she said.
So as part of challenging those attitudes, those respectful relationship-type programs really help combat those views held by teenage boys. And for young girls, what they should and shouldn’t put up with.”
“We need to be running programs around respectful relationships but also we need to be running programs about how we view women, so tackling those attitudes is going to be central,” she said.
Queensland is not alone in this regard, with other states considering similar moves. This article concerns such a proposal in New South Wales.
In September 2015 Prime Minister Turnbull announced that “$5 million will also be provided as a longer-term measure to change the attitudes of young people to violence, through expanding the Safer Schools website to include resources for teachers, parents and students on respectful relationships. This will build on the $30 million national campaign (jointly funded by the Commonwealth, states and territories) to change young people’s attitudes to violence, which will commence in early 2016.” (Source)
I don’t necessarily have a problem with the concept of ‘respectful relationships’ programs in schools, but I am concerned when the focus is wholly on the need for boys/men to respect girls/women. This is the very type of school program that has been provided and/or vigorously lobbied for by many pro-feminist groups such as the White Ribbon Campaign.
I believe that children should not be put in a position of being alternately shamed or absolved of responsibility due to their gender.
A gender-neutral approach, on the other hand, sends the correct message that people need to respect one another regardless of gender, and that harm can be caused by both males and females alike. (Article on this perspective)
Postscript February 2016: And now, ladies and gentlemen, please put your jazz hands together to welcome the ironically-labelled ‘Safe Schools‘ program. A program which the feminist lobby formulated and then rushed to defend when mainstream Australia voiced their disquiet. This is a progressive social engineering project masquerading as an anti-bullying program.
Teens to learn about consent in sex-ed shake-up (14 April 2021) But they will only learn about the dangers of violence against women (This article is/was behind a paywall for the Brisbane Courier-Mail & allied newspapers)
“This article argues that … rather than promote the affirmation of student identity, the enactment of this directive might, in fact, lead to ethnic division. Second, attempts to recognise and affirm identity have led to the displacement of school subject knowledge in classroom programmes. These unintended outcomes are not only unacknowledged, but they continue to disadvantage the community the identity directive was intended to address.”
Principal Corrine McMillan said she was proud of her students, who will this year mark White Ribbon Day. “Students will present a declaration to make a stand against domestic violence,” she said. “I’m proud to see the students – particularly the male population – live up to the challenge.”
Do these girls represent the next generation of Australian women? Products of PC/feminist-corrupted education system … amoral narcissists with an abundance of entitlement and little respect for themselves, let alone men/boys?
Elsewhere in this blog you might also be interested in:
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.
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)
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
The American political philosopher Thomas Sowell observed “We should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.” (Source)
Ah, but not all awareness campaigns are the same. Campaigns concerning issues that are pivotal to the feminist cause are beyond reproach. Mild criticism is however tolerated in the case of campaigns on less ideologically revered topics.
A very different reaction to two public awareness campaigns
It’s May 2015 and the Australian federal government has released its annual budget. It proposes substantial allocations to two separate public awareness campaigns. One relates to drug use, specifically crystal methamphetamine – or ‘ice’ ($9 million). The other relates to domestic violence ($7 million).
Plenty of people have lined up to criticise the first campaign on the basis, for example, that it’s unoriginal, focuses too much on scare mongering, is unlikely to be cost-effective, and might even be counter-productive.
On that last point, one article included the statement that “When an ad is on television for a particular illicit drug, we know afterwards young people think it must be really, really common and so therefore it can increase their perception of how normal it is.”
In contrast the only public criticism that the domestic violence campaign has been subject to, is that not enough money has been provided. It is probably no coincidence that the feminist lobby is heavily invested in the DV campaign, but not the other.
So just how many parallels, if any, are there between the two campaigns?
“International evidence suggests such “awareness” campaigns are not the most appropriate way to address harmful methamphetamine use. In fact, fear-based approaches can increase stigma which possibly drives people away from, rather than towards, treatment.”
The article proceeds:
“Australian media outlets and politicians claim we’re facing a nationwide “ice epidemic” … the most up-to-date research estimates that the proportion of Australians who have used any type of methamphetamine (ice, “speed” powder) in the previous year has remained relatively stable for at least the last decade.
Nevertheless, the government and media’s continued use of hyperbolic language – in addition to a tendency to ignore and sometimes dismiss public health experts’ advice on ice – has the potential to incite unnecessary fear and misinform the public about this supposed “menace”.”
So there’s our first parallels, for neither campaign will be targeted and in both cases Australian media outlets and politicians are making exaggerated claims about an emerging epidemic.
The article then goes on to question whether the personal and public threat posed by drug use (as compared to the extent of drug use) has also been exaggerated.
The article states: “We need to accurately define the issue, including the nature and extent of methamphetamine use and related harms in rural and regional areas, to allow the development and implementation of cost-effective, evidence-based and timely responses.”
A further parallel is that the debate about domestic violence likewise does not accurately define the issue, focussing as it does wholly on uni-directional violence by men against women. I would also argue that the policy response is not evidence-based but rather driven by the ideology of those most heavily invested in the issue.
The article then goes on to talk about the success of health-related public awareness campaigns, noting that some “are costly, ineffective and possibly even counterproductive”.
In one example cited “The findings of one study suggest that the Montana Meth Project might actually increase acceptability and decrease perceptions of risk relating to using methamphetamine.” Elsewhere it noted that “fear-based approaches can lead to stigma and poor health outcomes, such as from reduced treatment-seeking.”
The article concludes with a discussion of the value of an alternative or supplementary strategy, that of “harm minimisation”. It notes:
“Because people will choose to engage in drug use (both licit and illicit) regardless of the policies and programs in place, we need to encourage them to do so as safely as possible. We also must continue to inform the public about options for managing drug-related consequences and appropriate and available means for professional support, such as telephone and internet counselling”.
The concept of ‘harm minimisation’ also applies to domestic violence when we consider the prevalence of bi-directional violence, as shown in the diagram below, and the fact that domestic violence may persist from one generation to the next. Perhaps we need to resign ourselves, that in some situations it may be more effective to focus more on the provision of short-term shelter accommodation, the removal of children into care, etc.
Assuming there are parallels between awareness campaigns for drug use and domestic violence, then why have the same criticisms not been raised in relation to the latter?
Indeed, why has no criticism at all been directed at those spending large amounts of taxpayer funds on domestic violence awareness campaigns? Doubly so, given that there have been many previous awareness campaigns undertaken, and that these all appear to have achieved little in terms of effecting a remedy for the problem.
Is this lack of criticism because those in positions of influence truly believe in the value of such campaigns, or is it simply a reflection of wishful thinking and/or the very real fear of feminist backlash against dissenting voices?
Do public awareness campaigns even work?
Many public organisations love awareness campaigns because for minimal work they provide maximum profile (i.e. ‘hey, look at us doing something about the problem!’). Just engage a marketing consultant, agree on a logo, and begin advertising.
The jury is out, however, on their effectiveness – in part because many public awareness campaigns are not subject to proper evaluation. This is probably, in part, because of the factor noted above – they are often created at short notice for reasons of political expediency.
It is known however that some types of awareness campaigns are more likely to be successful than others:
“Some police agencies participate in domestic violence awareness campaigns and school programming, such as classroom instruction to teens about dating violence and ways to handle conflict. Domestic violence prevention messages may target the general population or specific populations. For example, campaigns may be designed to encourage victim reporting, deter potential offenders, or raise the consciousness of potential witnesses of abuse (neighbours, friends, relatives).† However, the effect of these prevention strategies is unknown.
For instance, few of the programs developed to reduce teen dating violence have been evaluated, and of those that have, there have been mixed results. Although some report an increase in knowledge in the targeted population and greater familiarity with available resources to help victims, this does not necessarily translate into a reduction in the incidence level of dating violence.
† The Lancashire (United Kingdom) Police Constabulary placed messages about domestic violence on police vehicles, beer glass coasters in bars, utility bills, and lampposts, and used radio advertising to increase awareness of domestic violence.
As a rule, prevention is more likely to work if highly targeted. General campaigns are not typically effective. Highly targeted campaigns that focus on a specific target group or geographic area can have some impact. Offender-oriented campaigns, which are designed to raise potential offenders’ perceptions that there will be meaningful consequences to battering, are more likely to be effective than campaigns that appeal to potential offenders’ morals.” (Source)
Marriage vote: how advocacy ads exploit our emotions in divisive debates (13 September 2017) Now transpose the views expressed here across to domestic violence awareness campaigns, with the ‘yes’ lobby being those challenging the status quo by seeking a non-gendered approach to the issue. Again, “the ‘no’ campaign has many unfair advantages”. Though I suspect, most likely, not in the eyes of the typical reader of ‘The Conversation‘.
It is highly likely that the campaign that eventually emerges will focus solely, or almost solely, on men’s violence towards women. Issues like bi-directional violence, domestic violence in same-sex couples (especially women), and female on male violence will be ignored or minimised. The focus on gender and control will mean that other factors like social disadvantage and substance abuse will be played down. Political correctness will also rule out consideration of race, ethnicity or religion as potentially relevant factors.
What messages will this send? What biases and stereotyping will this reinforce?
Fear-based health information makes new mothers anxious (23 July 2015) Australia. Now consider DV campaigns that demonise all men despite them having no control over the small minority of men who abuse. The community seemingly sees no problem with making men feel “anxious” in that situation, even despite the fact that four times as many men commit suicide as do women.
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:
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.
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)
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.
“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.”
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.
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.