When are Australian men going to wake up and realise they are being done like a dinner?
It’s been a grim month for men in this country. I wrote recently about the documentary movie The Red Pill, produced by feminist filmmaker Cassie Jaye who set out to critically examine men’s issues but ended up swayed by the validity of many of the concerns being raised by men she was filming. Have a look at her interview on Skye News with Andrew Bolt.
Australia became the first country in the world to ban this movie. The first screening in Melbourne earlier this month was cancelled when feminists – who hadn’t seen the movie – persuaded Palace Cinemas to cancel the showing. (Luckily since then crowdfunding ensured a very successful first screening and more are planned soon.)
Then the NSW Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Pru Goward, reneged on her promise to help male victims of violence. Last June she announced with great fanfare Australia’s first funding for services for male victims of domestic violence – $13 million over four years. (A trifle compared to the hundreds of millions being spent on female victims across this country but it seemed a good start)
But since then the NSW government has announced they have awarded a major contract for these services to a notoriously anti-male organisation MRS which long held the view there were no male DV victims. And the government actually boasted they put this group in charge because of their skill in determining how many alleged victims are actually perpetrators! So vulnerable men seeking help are to be put through a hostile screening process which assumes many of them are not victims.
A few weeks ago the WA government pushed through draconian changes to domestic violence laws against the advice of WA Law Reform Commission which believes these changes really undermine traditional protections under the law for people accused of such crimes. Now it’s enough for a woman not even to allege violence but rather that she fears alleged control or intimidation could lead to violence. No proof is required and the woman has the ability to have the man arrested, rob him of his home, deny contact with children.
There’s also been changes to rape laws in Victoria making that State one of the world’s most anti-male jurisdictions where it is increasing difficult for men accused of rape to prove their innocence.
I was amazed to hear that when if a suicidal man who is being abused by his partner contacts a help line in Victoria police are used to track down his spouse – to check out his story. That’s led to great concern because many professionals rightly see that as a breach of privacy and denial of duty of care to the suicidal man. But last week the Victoria government announced they are proposing to ram through changes to ensure they can legally deny the man’s privacy rights.
And so it goes on. We have little boys in schools across Australia being forced to stand up in classrooms and renounce their violent habits whilst their female classmates look on in bewilderment. In workplaces across the country men are being signed up to attend compulsory indoctrination sessions run by the White Ribbon organization which present a totally ideological, gendered analysis of domestic violence complete with doctored statistics and cherry-picked evidence, ignoring 40 years of international research about this complex social problem.
It reminds me of a letter I received back in the 1980s from a Family Court Judge who was about to retire. I had been writing at the time about how few fathers were then able to maintain contact with their children after divorce since custodial parents, almost always the mothers, had absolute licence to shut their former partners out of the lives of their children.
The judge wrote to me about the terrible mistake that had been made by the Family Court in giving the custodial parent too much power, “power which some mothers choose to abuse.”
Yes, it is vitally important that female victims of domestic violence are given proper protection. But in offering women that protection our lawmakers are setting up a situation where men across the country stand to lose everything when women choose to abuse their power. And believe me, they are doing it. Every day I hear not just from men but also sisters, mothers, family and friends of men who are fighting false allegations and finding themselves crippled by legal costs, losing homes and children.
I remember a senior bureaucrat I met during a time I was on a government inquiry into family law. This respected, senior public servant told me he’d always dismissed men’s complaints about the family court system as coming from losers. He was still in shock after his wife decided she wanted a separation. He came home from work to discover the locks changed and he was arrested when he attempted to enter the home to remove some of his things. He was gobsmacked at how powerless he found himself whilst his wife effectively used every possible legal strategy to shore up her position.
I’m hoping next year we might finally see men start to get organized and start to speak out about some of these issues. I’m delighted to be part of an important international conference on men’s issues, taking place on the Gold Coast in June next year. We’ll see some powerful international speakers, like Erin Pizzey, who started the first women’s refuge in Britain but now campaigns against the anti-male domestic violence industry. Cassie Jaye will be there with her new movie, and all sorts of other luminaries.
Watch this space for more about this exciting event.