Few of those reading this would be unfamiliar with the feminist proclivity for labelling a plethora of issues as ‘gendered’. Like many terms it doesn’t mean much without considerable qualification. And even then it may not mean much. But if something can’t be portrayed as being gendered then feminists and their beloved narrative lose traction.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘gendered’ as “reflecting the experience, prejudices, or orientations of one sex more than the other.” The problem though is that in real life there are relatively few things that only (or even predominantly) affect one gender. In most situations both genders wield a significant influence and/or are significantly affected. We’re all in it together. One topical example would be online harassment.
Let’s now look at an even more contentious issue, child abuse. Most non-sexual child abuse and neglect is perpetrated by women. Most sexual abuse of children is perpetrated by men (although there are still plenty of sexual abusers of children who are female). So is child abuse gendered? And in terms of framing remedial action, is it more or less productive to attack child abuse as a gendered issue?
Ginger’s article tells us that most abuse takes place in institutions, yet makes no mention of the abuse of disabled men/boys. She then provides some examples of incidents of abuse involving male perpetrators in non-institutional settings. The actual gender mix of perpetrators of abuse, in either institutional or non-institutional settings, is left unstated.
In the absence of further details it’s highly likely that readers would have assumed that most victims of abuse were female, and their abusers male. Such is the inevitable outcome of persistent gender bias in the media on top of decades of gynocentric conditioning.
This is despite that fact that there are certainly instances where research has found most perpetrators of abuse to be women. One such example can be found in the Adele Mercier incident, whereupon a feminist academic wrongly denied female perpetration of institutional abuse.
This selective presentation of statistics – only showing the extent to which women are affected, and in the absence of comparative statistics for men and boys – is extremely common in feminist literature. This problem is discussed further in a separate blog post about feminist research and their misleading use of statistics.
The source document for the 90% abuse claim was a submission by the Australian Cross Disability Alliance. I found the relevant reference in the section entitled ‘Incidence & prevalence data on gendered disability violence‘ (page 37). Despite asserting that the abuse was gendered, this section provided no comparative statistics whatsoever in relation to the abuse of men/boys.
How is that appropriate in terms of either compassion or academic rigour? I mean, is this a case of just ‘trust me, I’m a feminist’?
I then took the matter up with the author of the article in a series of exchanges on Twitter including the following:
Look, don’t get me wrong, the most important thing here is to effectively reduce the incidence of child abuse. The rest is second-order stuff. But I honestly don’t see that goal being significantly advanced via the blinkered and self-serving approach taken by feminists. As with domestic violence, framing a solution to half a problem translates into no solution at all.
Oh, and colour me surprised – see below for how this episode ended.
How could anyone take feminism seriously when one is constantly reminded how infantilised its followers have become?
Within the limits of the little free time available to me I try to keep abreast of media and social media discussions concerning gender-related issues. I also post readers comments from time to time.
I am sure I am not alone in thinking that readers comments are often far more informative and entertaining than many of the articles I read. And it’s doubly true when the author is a feminist.
In reading comments I sometimes recognise the names (real or assumed) of those posting their thoughts. Some of these names are familiar to me from their posting on reddit, on mens rights blogs, and from stumbling upon their own blogs or Facebook pages. But one is a bit of a mystery.
That reader, who signs off as ‘Bev’, pops up all over the place, by virtue of the large number of comments posted each week. Not just any old comments, but generally cordial, thoughtful and articulate comments. (Example here)
Anyway thanks for your contribution to raising awareness of the male perspective Bev. Your efforts are much appreciated. And to everyone else, maybe keep an eye out for Bev’s handiwork.
And thanks to all the other women who speak up in support of the welfare of men and boys. It’s really great to see not just the numbers of women who are prepared to expose themselves to the wrath of the feminist horde, but also the calibre of their input.
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 Malcolm Turnbull on down … 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:
Senator Leyonhjelm has also kicked some solid goals, but is unfortunately now in the process of moving from the federal to the (NSW) state arena (see video).
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.
First up a little background about what happened in Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2015/6 – see the relevant Wiki entry – not that Wikipedia is free from bias but on this occasion it’s probably as good a starting point as anywhere.
Whilst the focus of this post is what happened in Cologne, readers should be aware that similar issues have arisen (but on a thus far smaller scale) in many of the other European cities that accepted ‘refugees’. I won’t worry about providing a list of links here now – just google on ‘refugee rape sweden’ or similar and you will turn up dozens of sources.
Now let’s ask ourselves this question: ‘If left-leaning liberal progressives (and this category captures many if not most feminists/SJW) had not lobbied for/permitted unfettered entry by so-called refugees, would the events in Cologne have taken place?’ I’d say the clear answer to that is ‘no’.
In looking at this incident we can see that preserving the treating Muslims and the displaced has been accorded a higher priority than keeping women safe and preserving social order.
Why is this so? What motivates people to adopt such as attitude? Naivity? Wilful stupidity? A desire to irrevocably alter the nature of western society? Or a combination of such influences? Theories abound but I half suspect that it is, in part, a case of viewing Muslim ‘refugees’ as the reborn 21st Century version of the ‘noble savage’.
But whatever is the intent of media, politicans and lobby groups, the pivotal issue is the feminist cohort is standing mute whilst the welfare of thousands of their own (white western women/girls) in compromised. Government agencies and the media have been complicit in covering-up the extent of the problem and in diverting attention elsewhere, and the law enforcement bodies have been hamstrung with PC directives from above.
And I believe that what we have seen to date – widespread sexual harassment/assault/robbery – is only the start of what is going to happen in coming months, and possibly even years.
What is doubly sickening is that feminists have then fashioned this (their own duplicity in creating a rape culture in western society) into a stick with which to beat all men. They are using it as fuel to feed their men bad/women good mantra, and anyone dissenting with their view is dismissed as a racist and/or misogynist.
I feel only revulsion at seeing what is happening, and sympathy for the women/girls who have been, or who will be, terrorised. If only we could have them trade places with the feminists/SJW who manufactured this unfolding debacle.
Here is one of the hundreds of reader’s comments in response to *that* article in‘The Independant’:
This piece is such a shameless deflection of responsibility for the widespread criminal assaults against the women of Europe it actually frightens me. There were rapes. Young girls were brutally molested. Women who were disembarking from European train stations were forced to travel through a gauntlet of violent sexual abuse as the police stood back. Although Cologne had the highest number of reported incidents, they occurred across Germany and beyond. Stuttgart. Zurich. Helsinki. A small town in Sweden where a group of teenage girls were assaulted by a pack of Middle Eastern men. The attacks were vicious. The attacks were coordinated. The attacks were meant to test the resolve of free Western societies. Articles such as this demonstrate the mental gymnastics being applied in order to cling to an absurd political ideology. Sacrificing the safety of women in free societies in order to accommodate legions of foreign men who possess barbaric beliefs about women is not ‘tolerance’. It is lunacy.”
When Islam meets the West it’s a train wreck, by Miranda Devine (22 May 2016) This article took an interesting slant on the issue, looking at how increasing permissiveness (some might say, amorality) in Western countries has provided the fuel for radical Muslims.
You might be interested in taking a look at this article entitled ‘A gender-equality wish list for 2016’, and the readers comments that follow.
The article was written by feminist journalist Wendy Tuohy. I think I first introduced Wendy in this blog post. I would probably place her in the second tier of Australian feminist journalists, were they ranked according to stridency and degree of bigotry. In other words she is a self-professed feminist with narrow and stereotypical views on gender matters, but by no means barking mad. Like many feminists she enjoys cats and blocking dissenting voices.
The issues that Wendy flagged in her latest article included domestic violence, the gender pay gap, the proportion of women in management positions, the number of women on current affairs show panels, female economic empowerment, and women playing football. No surprises there.
Ah, but then Wendy got a surprise. For with but two exceptions, her readers tore her article to shreds. Quite coherently, and with facts.
Some brief extracts from Wendy’s readers:
“We have a media dominated by women’s voices focusing (as most of you do) exclusively on women’s issues. It’s simply mind blowing to hear you say women have no voice. The only time men can speak with any confidence they won’t be crucified by the media is when they speak in total support of anything concerning the welfare of women”
“Sure, you have two journos dedicated to women’s issues and none dedicated to men’s. Maybe get a third female journo talking about female issues as a step closer to equality? Maybe four or five and we are there?”
“Yes we need to do more about DV mostly adopting an honest approach, recognizing that it is not a gendered crime and producing all the stats not just part of them.
The figure of 78 women has been front and centre but broken down 28 were not DV related and 10 were killed by women so men killed 40 women and 4 children (DV related). Women killed 19 men and 10 women plus after removing clear cases of mental problems they killed 11 children.”
The final numbers, men (in a DV situation) killed 44 and women killed 40. So let us be honest next year and tackle the problem in an unbiased manner.”
True to feminist form Wendy did not respond to her critics here, let alone attempt a rebuttal of the points they raised. But elsewhere, in her Twitter account, she implored a supporter to avoid reading the comments in the Herald-Sun, of which she was haughtily dismissive …
Yes, whatever you do fellow feminists, don’t expose yourselves to the nasty views of the unbelievers.
Hold true to your feelz, and to our precious narrative, special snowflakes!
Don’t learn, don’t understand, don’t engage or collaborate, and don’t empathise. We’ll show them.
Australian MRA Mark Dent also posted a copy of his reader’s comment on Wendy’s Facebook page. The subsequent exchange between Mark and Wendy is quite interesting, and I’ve reproduced it below in the event that it disappears from Facebook.
“Hi Mark, my brief is to focus on issues impacting women, kids and families — all of which are affected by the issues I touched on in my article titled ‘A few small changes could make a big difference’ in The Herald Sun last Sunday, and just up on my blog. Of course I care about issues impacting men: I’ve written lots about male adolescent mental health and better supporting boys in education and not ‘writing off’ teen boys (of which I have two lovely examples). But I stick to my primary brief in most of my work: issues primarily impacting women. Here is one pay gap link, reporting ABS statistics. Thanks for reading, Wendy”
(Mark replies) “Thanks for responding (as you always do) but you have proved my point. The media are not stupid. They know women devour stories about their victimhood or heroism. This is why our papers and TVs are saturated with females talking about issues which affect women.
Please point out one male journalist whose brief is to write exclusively about issues which are confronting men and placing them at a disadvantage. It seems there are many women who do just what you do so how do you then complain about a lack of female voices in the media?
Just because your brief is to focus on women’s issues does not make your statements about gender inequality any more true or acceptable.
I have presented a range of issues which impact upon men in a far more devastating way than a mythical wage gap based on gender or a purported lack of a voice (when the opposite is true). Men’s issues are about death, injury, the right to see their own children, huge disparity in sentencing for the same crime when compared to women and their total invisibility when it comes to being victims of family violence. There are weighty issues which lead to homelessness and suicide yet when was the last time any paper devoted a segment to the horrendous obstacles and injustices confronting men?”
(Wendy replies) “Mark, my former editor, Simon Pristel called me in and commissioned me to write a blog/do a round focused on women. I don’t know what his thinking was or why he chose me to do it (I was a general features writer before that for a couple of decades) but it has been going now for about 5 years so I guess it must be considered to be serving a market that perhaps we weren’t offering as much for previously.”
Mark: “Wendy-I am not attacking you for writing about women’s issues. I am questioning why this should almost always lead to anguished diatribes on all of the inequities women supposedly face and creating the very false narrative which says men are somehow privileged over women in our society.
As I have said repeatedly (and supported with facts) it is men who suffer the biggest obstacles and disadvantages as a result of their gender.
I challenged you to point out one male journalist who devotes his whole job to writing about issues concerning men and you didn’t respond. The very fact that male editors ignore men’s issues backs up my comments about politicians (male and female) devoting all of their time, energy and funding to women’s issues.
Men simply don’t matter in our world.”
Wendy: “Men matter Mark. Perhaps the ones who need attention the most don’t get it, I can only say as the daughter of a non ‘Alpha’ male and wife of same and mother of same X 2 that maybe it’s harder for the non typically macho men. That is a guess. Shoot me down if you want to.”
Mark: I don’t want to shoot you down. You seem to be a lovely person. It is just so upsetting to be fed this line of female suffering and inequality day after day in our media. You seem to accept my arguments with regard to male disadvantage but unlike female issues-there is literally no focus on these issues.
As I said-women have a voice-men have no voice in our mainstream media. You say men matter but whenever you write about family violence you focus exclusively on female victims, just as Rosie Batty does. How can this be justified?
Wendy: “Mark, thank you for treating me civilly, unlike some men on Twitter, one of whom reacted to my column like this:”
Mark: “That kind of language is totally unacceptable, Wendy. This type of abuse is often a result of deep frustration over the issues I have tried to outline in our discussion. Some men respond to the sense of injustice and helplessness (men have no voice in the public forum) with angry attacks.
I am not justifying or excusing it, but I have been abused in a most vile manner by feminists for simply presenting the arguments I have written to you. One group of feminists actually set up a website and posted pics of me and wrote lies about me being a hater of women and girls and someone who excuses DV. They said they wanted me sacked from my job as a teacher. They literally made stuff up. All because I asked why we don’t give the same attention and compassion to the suffering of males.
I know Andrew Bolt gets death threats and abuse every day. My point? Many female journalists hold up online abuse as some kind of male problem carried out by neanderthals who hate women. Men receive vile, abuse from women too. Clem Ford is a mainstream journalist who uses far worse language than that directed at you and as I said-there are no repercussions. Yet she gets a man sacked from his job for abusing her.
Perhaps if men had an opportunity to be heard in the media rather than be mocked or branded a woman hater for expressing concern for males there would be less anger and frustration in the community. You have never had to endure an almost daily assault on your gender for nigh on forty years, Wendy.
Anyway, I thank you again for engaging and allowing me an opportunity to express my views.”
A civil exchange without a trace of rancour, but you would have observed that neither here nor in her tweet does the journalist actually address the *facts* raised by readers.
Whilst Wendy Tuohy may well be a “lovely person”, both her work to date and her comments on this occasion, lend further support to the existence of a feminist mind-set characterised by:
a belief that the views of those speaking up for the rights of men and boys are unworthy of even the most superficial consideration
a belief that anyone who challenges feminist beliefs and/or champions the rights of men/boys is not only anti-feminist but also a misogynist
a lack of awareness of the male perspective on many, if not most, gender-related matters
How shall we ever move beyond this impasse and engage in an informed and constructive manner whilst feminists remain blissfully unaware of the male perspective, and react with visceral disgust and censorship upon encountering the views of non-feminists?
Is anyone else starting to get the feeling that in just a few year’s time western society will look back on 3rd wave feminism in a similar manner to that which we now look back on the hippie era? As something akin to a Dagwood Dog … a sliver of substance embalmed in a voluminous barf-inducing batter of self-indulgence and narcissism.
In an earlier post I mentioned how feminists routinely assert – or at the very least imply – that women are continually abused by men online. They consistently neglect to mention that many women perpetrate online abuse, and that many of them appear to be feminists/SJW. I have also previously written about the widespread feminist proclivity for silencing those advancing alternative perspectives and/or wilfully dishing-out retribution.
Clementine Ford is a feminist journalist known for the virulently anti-male commentary she disseminates by virtue of her position with Fairfax Media. Should you wish to lodge a complaint in relation to a Fairfax journalist, the first step is to go to the website of the publication that published the offending article. Find and click on the ‘Contact Us’ link, and then send your complaint to the editorial team. For example, with regards to The Age website click on http://www.theage.com.au/support/ and then click on ‘Editorial Feedback’. The next step is to make a complaint to the Australian Press Council.
In late November 2015 Clementine received a message from some fellow called Michael Nolan, who called her a “slut“. She lodged a complaint with his employer which resulted in Michael being fired. Clementine’s version of events is detailed in this article, with a related radio interview here. The incident was also picked up by the international MSM (and note the more than 1,750 readers comments it attracted).
Clementine asserts that there are no consequences for men who threaten women online. That’s demonstrably untrue given that there are laws in place to address such behaviour, as well as actions that can be (and are) taken by ISP’s or web site providers. To the extent that such measures prove ineffective, then any such deficiencies would apply to both male and female trolls. As a consequence it seems pointless to single out men as being immune from repercussions, unless of course the intention is simply to demonise men and build further support for the women-as-victims narrative.
The feminist response to Clementine’s action sought to have us believe that doxing and punishing people for making actual threats of violence was the focus of their fury. This is little more than a ‘red herring’ to win public support, as the true emphasis appears to be silencing those advancing opinions critical of the feminist narrative. We are talking here about comments that very rarely threaten violence, and whose impact is no more severe than one of hurting the feelings of the recipient feminist.
The feminist rage quickly grew and quickly manifested itself in the creation of an online blacklist of those people whom feminists consider to be trolls … essentially a vigilante response.
I don’t support people using foul or threatening language online under any circumstances. But neither do I champion those who respond to such messages by way of shrill over-reaction. Especially when they themselves have an established track-record of disseminating online abuse. And god knows, Clementine Ford falls well and truly into that category …
“Who among us hasn’t had a daydream of going on a rampage and wiping out a third of the male population, AMIRITE?” (Source)
A sampling of some of Clementine’s other noisome literary offerings is provided below (with a few more listed in this post). I might also point out that Clementine recently saw fit to label another Aussie journalist, Miranda Devine, a f**ing c**t! This is mentioned part way through Miranda’s article about pro-feminist censorship entitled ‘So now banks are censoring columnists?’
Clementine Ford truly is a stunning hypocrite, and a potty-mouthed one at that. And if Michael deserved to lose his job then so too does Clementine. And given her prolific and protracted output of gender hate – far more so. So with that in mind, please consider signing this petition.
The response from the online community (to Clementine’s response to Michael Nolan’s comment) was certainly polarised.
Three examples of the anti-feminist response were:
“Australia’s most prominent feminist” Oh god, if that’s the best the movement can offer up. Someone at ABC clearly has been hitting the Kool-Aid fairly darn hard.
This August 2016 article describes how Clementine Ford attacked Erin Pizzey, the founder of the Women’s Shelter movement (but now campaigns for better recognition/support for male victims of DV. See related Reddit discussion thread here.
Opinion: Pricking the social and sexist conscience can sometimes hurt (7 December 2015) “… some commentators chose to remind readers that Ford had called people such as former PM Tony Abbott and columnist Miranda Devine crude names too. The huge difference is that Ford owns her words. She does not threaten violence.” Yoo hoo, Karen, Micheal Nolan didn’t threaten violence either.
Neither this article nor this one really say anything new, but do feature some interesting readers comments. This article, on the other hand, sees a male feminist author calling for compromise get shouted down by feminist readers (related discussion thread here).
Clementine with Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria prior to appearing together on ABC’s Q&A program. Politicians like Dan appear to care more about the number of followers that someone has on social media, than they do about what a person thinks, says, and stands for. His is an attitude that has no doubt played a big role in bringing about the abysmal and still declining state of politics in this country.
The same WA government web page was also the focus of this reddit mens rights discussion thread. Within that thread I came across an interesting post from someone with the moniker ‘dragonsandgoblins’. It’s interesting not just in relation to the information about domestic violence that it contains, but also because of how it demonstrates the censorship that occurs in relation to efforts to broaden the DV debate beyond the feminist-framed male perp/female victim model.
Anyway, this is what the author had to say:
“I actually wrote an article inspired by this exact webpage in 2013 that was published by http://rightnow.org.au/. Or at least it was published for about 4 hours before they pulled it. I’ll copy/paste it here because people may as well read it:
This webpage, hosted by the Government of Western Australia Department for Child Protection, contains two short paragraphs describing the domestic helpline services provided by this state government. The women’s helpline offers a range of services for women experiencing domestic violence. The men’s helpline on the other hand is more singularly focused, only offering counselling, and only for “men who are concerned about becoming violent or abusive“.
The Government of WA does not offer a helpline service to male victims, instead assuming that women are the only victims and that men will always be the perpetrators. This is despite a growing body of evidence that males do suffer from domestic and family violence in significant numbers. For example, the Personal Safety Survey (2006) by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that, 780,500 women and 325,700 men aged 15 years and over experienced violence from a current or previous partner in the last twenty years. In other words, 29.4 per cent of victims who suffered domestic violence were men. 92.5 per cent (301,400) of these male victims suffered this violence at the hands of a female partner.
The Publications and Resources webpage from the Government of WA provides domestic violence resources aimed at the general public and they are as gendered as the helpline services. Out of the “Freedom From Fear” resources, three fact sheets and one booklet are targeted at the violent party and, excluding the fact sheet “How do I know if I’m abusive?”, they all use gendered language that exclusively refers to the violent party as male and the victim as female. All of them bear subtitles describing themselves as being “for men who want to change”, with no reference to women who may want to do the same. The fact sheet aimed at victims also uses the same gendered language.
WA isn’t alone. For example, NSW Legal Aid offers a Domestic Violence Practitioner Service and a Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program which aid women and children who are victims in legal matters such as getting Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs) and victims’ compensation. The NSW Government Family & Community Services Staying Home Leaving Violence program “…aims to prevent homelessness by working with the Police to remove the perpetrator from the family home so that women and children can remain safely where they are.” If the NSW Government offers similar programs specialising in male victims, I was unable to find them.
The federal government also discriminates against male victims. The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (The National Plan) paints a pitiful picture of the federal stance on male victims. Along with use of gender biased language The National Plan has seen the Commonwealth commit $86 million to support women and children who are victims and only $0.75 million to male victims. This discrepancy in funding is justified through the use of misleading statistics from the ABS Personal Safety Survey.
The section of the page that discusses male victims provides statistics that only 4.4 per cent (21,200) of men who were physically assaulted in the 12 months prior to the survey were assaulted by a current/previous partner compared with 31 per cent (73,800) of women who were physically assaulted. This is misleading because it doesn’t compare the quantity of male victims to female victims – instead it compares what percentage of all assaults against men were domestic violence to what percentage of all assaults against women were.
Looking at just these numbers – 21,200 male and 73,800 female victims – the divide in funding is twenty-five times greater than the divide in victims. The National Plan claims only “a small proportion of men are victims“, yet the ABS survey shows that they are roughly a quarter of all domestic violence victims. Is that really such a minority as to warrant less than one per cent of the funding committed under The National Plan?
Our state and federal governments are perpetrators of gender discrimination. Those discriminated against are not only men, they are victims. Victims who are denied services and support they need based on their gender.
(I apologise for the fact that some of the figures are out of date (for example I am pretty sure the funding disparity under the national plan has increased since 2013), and any dead links. This is presented unaltered from when it was written in 2013.)”
The author of the paper was then asked “Why was it pulled?” and responded:
“Well it was refined by 3 of their editors and myself before going up. After a while one of them was contacted by the editor in chief who pulled it and asked me to make changes such as explicitly mentioning that women are victims more than men (which I do already, since I actually state numbers), saying that I didn’t want funding for women reduced, and calling DV a gendered crime. He also said that I could be “more critical in relation to statistics”. Note that I only take stats from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, hardly a biased source. He also wanted me to mention that women under report DV. He also said and I quote:
The internet has provided a haven for those inclined to strike out at people in anonymity and usually without fear of repercussion.
The purpose of this blog post is not to propose solutions to this problem, but rather to take a step back and call for an objective, measured and truthful discussion of the relevant issues.
There’s no doubt that women are often targets of online abuse, although there does appear to be a tendency towards embellishment and exaggeration with regards to the nature and extent of such abuse. The author of this article, for example, would have us believe that life on the internet is unbearable for women due to the oppressive behaviour of male trolls.
What is generally absent from articles on this subject is an honest admission that a considerable amount of online abuse is directed at men, and that a substantial proportion of those perpetrating abuse are women/girls. Have a look at the information provided in the chart below, extracted from a 2014 paper by PEW Research. (see 2017 updated here)
Why do so many commentators and ‘experts’ fail to acknowledge these significant points?
Surely not the desire to support the feminist narrative of women as the perpetual victims of an unyielding male patriarchy?
The findings of a survey by Norton painted a different picture. Unfortunately however the results were compromised by poor methodology, a common problem with pro-feminist research. In this instance the researchers failed to include questions about male victimisation via online abuse.
So why has this issue garnered a large and increasing amount of attention in recent years? Are people becoming nastier? Is that nastiness becoming more gendered in nature?
There are a number of significant factors that need to be considered here.
Further along the scale one encounters behaviour that does not involve actual threats, but is so persistent and pervasive as to be genuinely threatening in nature.
At the other end are interactions that are little more than assertive dissent in relation to a particular idea or opinion being put forward.
More and more we are witnessing the definition of terms such as online abuse and ‘trolls’ expanded to include behaviour and people who seem undeserving of these pejoratives. Also troubling is the fact that the same types of behaviour decried as abuse or trollish when used by conservative/non-feminists, are seen as acceptable or even noble when used by feminists/leftists/SJW. This issue of finessing definitions to suit a narrative is discussed in another blog post.
Why do people, particularly in this case feminists/SJW, so readily misinterpret online communication in this way? I’d suggest that in part it is a deliberate strategy, whilst at other times simply a misunderstanding.
It has been suggested that feminists interpret relatively innocuous messages as hurtful because online communication is a forum where women are truly treated as equals. Men speak to women online as men would speak to other men in real life. It is said that many women are unaccustomed to this gloves-off banter, and interpret it as vindictive rather than as heartfelt and direct. I believe that there is an element of truth to this, although again it is but one of several factors in the mix.
One other reason for exaggerated claims of online hate and abuse is that it provides an excuse to instigate progressively harsher and more intrusive forms of censorship. Censorship is a recurring theme in real-world feminist tactics, and one which I address in another blog post.
Turning again to feminist research, let’s examine a project called the University of NSW ‘Cyberhate Project‘, which is being supported by the Australian Research Council (‘ARC’) with AUD$372,095 of public funding.
I was more than a little concerned to learn that this research project will only survey women. That looks an awful lot like a research project designed with a particular conclusion already firmly in mind. I immediately took this up with the ARC, who dismissed my complaint regarding this obvious ideological bias in the following manner:
“Proposals for ARC funding undergo a rigorous peer review process involving experts in their fields who assess the quality of projects and the capabilities and achievements of applicants. The planning and management of ARC-funded research projects is a matter for individual researchers and institutions (in accordance with ARC funding agreements).”
I’m left wondering just how many of those peers were likely either fellow feminists or sympathisers. Hands up who else thinks that this might not be the most effective vetting process in the case of a polarised issue such as this?
As is virtually de rigeur at The Conversation, readers comments that were deemed unsupportive of the feminist author’s position were quickly excised. In this case that amounted to at least one in four comments. Of the many I read before they disappeared, none of these were in the least bit threatening or abusive.
I posted one of those comments removed by the moderator. It simply stated:
“Emma, Is it not a fact that men are subject to more online harassment than are women? Is it not a fact that many of the perpetrators of online abuse are women? … Might it therefore not be more accurate to say that the real online divide is one between trolls and the rest of us, rather than between men and women as your paper implies?”
Given that men are subject to a considerable amount of online harassment, they should not be excluded from research on this subject. The fact that the finger of blame is often pointed at men alone, when we know full well that many women perpetrate online harassment/abuse, does tend to stick in this writer’s craw. One might consider at this point the example of Australian radfem Clementine Ford.
As with domestic violence and various other topics, feminists persist in labelling issues as “gendered” when they are not, in order to create support for their global war-against-women conspiracy.
What now follows is a collection of links to articles that provide various perspectives on the issue of online harassment/abuse:
* small sample size with 2/3 of respondents being women, and who were possibly self-selected
* incorrect assumptions (by survey respondents) regarding the gender of trolls
* differing and possibly gender-based judgments as to what constitutes trolling
The media dangerously misuses the word ‘trolling’ (3 July 2017) This article conveniently neglects to mention that this ‘problem’ has been primarily brought about through misusing the term ‘trolling’ to describe reasonable dissent against the prevailing leftist/feminist narrative.
Eight things not to say to someone facing online abuse (20 April 2016) See point 4 in this article by misandrist Laura Bates: “Silencing is the end goal of the majority of abuse”. Erm, so all those feminists systematically lodging bogus reports to have people’s social media accounts closed, they would be online abusers then?
“A new survey by the Internet security company Norton (for which I’m an ambassador) shows that nearly half of all Australian women (47 per cent) experience online harassment. That rises to a staggering 76 per cent for women under 30. Unsurprisingly, 70 per cent of women believe online harassment is a significant problem and 60 per cent believe it has got worse in the past year.” And nowhere in this article will you find corresponding statistics in relation to men – the survey didn’t include questions about male victimisation. I wonder why not?
Online harassment of women at risk of becoming ‘established norm’, study finds (8 March 2016) Australia. Guardian article drawing on the Norton survey which air-brushed out male victimisation/female perpetration, and thus robbed the findings of social context. No doubt a good thing from a feminist perspective if that would have diminished the victim status on which their ideology is based.
Were examples of specific rape threats made public? No. How about a formal complaint to police? Apparently not. “Oh look, another politician ginning up fake threats to boost her feminist cred. Never seen that before….” (Source)
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. ‘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 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.
But more than that, Jane did exactly what feminists have long accused the MRM of doing, she sought to discredit the reality of substantial numbers of victims of domestic abuse on the basis of their gender. She sought to elevate the importance of the feminist-driven domestic violence industry by climbing on the backs of male victims.
Jane claimed that her action was necessary because “there’s a serious risk it [acknowledging significant numbers of male victims of DV] will alter the way governments approach the issue“. This is certainly one of the more absurd claims I have heard emerge from Australian feminists in recent times. And that’s saying something.
And the evidence in support of Jane’s fear is what exactly? None of the recent inquiries into domestic violence stepped outside the strict parameters of the DV debate as determined by the feminist lobby. Male victims of domestic violence are scarcely a faint blip on the political radar screen either federally, or in any of the state or territories. In fact, sadly, I see little evidence of politicians paying any attention to the ‘One in Three‘ organisation, or to the data it disseminates, or indeed to the MRM generally.
The relevant post in the Facebook page of publisher ‘Daily Life‘ attracted a substantial number of responses from readers, fairly evenly balanced between supporters and critics of Ms Gilmore’s article. This surprised me given that Daily Life is generally avoided by those who aren’t ardent feminists, thanks to a combination of biased content and hostile moderation. Many of those writing in support of Jane’s article came across as extremely ill-informed and sexist, but don’t take my word for it – click on the link above and see for yourself.
Ms. Gilmore herself added a comment on 1 May 2015 stating:
“I’m not going to get into any pointless arguments here, but I’d like to remind everyone that I said more than once in the article that anyone who needs help should get it, and quoted Karen Willis on the topic as well. This is not about denying services for men or the fact that male victims exist, it’s about understanding the facts and directing services where they are genuinely needed. And most importantly, gender is relevant in prevention and must be considered if primary prevention programs are going to be effective in keeping both men and women safer.”
But of course Jane’s article does, and can only, undermine efforts to address the ongoing denial of recognition and support for male victims of domestic violence. Such efforts are underway not only in Australia but also, for example, in Canada, the U.K and the United States.
And indeed, within days of Jane’s article being published, the One in Three organisation was uninvited from presenting at a Forum on Family Violence hosted by Strathfield Council, and there will now be no voice for male victims of domestic violence. Although they do not provide front-line services to victims, the reason given for excluding One in Three, the pro-feminist White Ribbon Campaign will still be presenting. This course of events can only be seen as a further sad indictment of the misguided priorities of the feminist lobby.
The degree of impartiality of Strathfield Council was further called into question when they removed a comment I made on 8 May from the timeline of their Facebook page (before and after screen-saves provided below)
One in Three published a rebuttal to Jane Gilmore’s article here, and which I recommend that you read. Jim Muldoon, an Australian MRA, also published a critique of the Daily Life article here. (Jim also wrote an earlier article about Gilmore’s biased position on domestic violence, entitled ‘Jane Gilmore should stop with the rubbish domestic violence games‘, in December 2014)
One in Three subsequently published a disturbing account of the bias and antagonism that they encountered whilst contributing to the Senate Inquiry into Domestic Violence.
This August 2016 article describes how Clementine Ford attacked Erin Pizzey, the founder of the Women’s Shelter movement (but now campaigns for better recognition/support for male victims of DV. See related Reddit discussion thread here.