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The War on Feminism and the Normalisation of Misogyny in Australia

By Jennifer Ellem

Since I was a young girl I believed I lived in a world where my gender made no difference whatsoever.  I was raised to see myself as a person whose worth was measured by my deeds, my achievements and my failures.

As I grew older I continued to see the world through this lens.  As a someone who attended a girls only private school those teachings were re-enforced.  The subject of whether or not I was in anyway less capable or deserving than my male counterparts was so unheard of that it didn’t even bear mentioning.

While studying history I learnt about the long fight for women’s rights and their battle to be seen as equal in our society but to me that was all it was History.  Even at university where I was introduced to a much deeper appreciation of the legacy that those who have come before us let behind I still saw it as something academic.  I was introduced to the idea of feminism but STILL in my mind I thought of it as a word that encompassed what had been achieved NOT something we are still fighting for.

It was not until I entered the workforce that it became clear to me that there was still a subtle form of discrimination still in play.  While it may not have been overt it was nevertheless still present.

I will never forget interviewing for positions once I was married and had a child and the very clear double standard of questions I faced.  There was no disputing my qualifications or aptitude but I was often asked how I was going to balance being a mother and working at the same time.

I found myself having to explain the arrangements I’d made for the care of my son and reassure those interviewing me that it would not affect my work.  My husband on the other hand was never faced with those questions and in fact it was deemed a positive thing as being a ‘family man’ he would be committed to providing for us and would therefor make a diligent employee.  But still this seemed like something small and that over time this subtle discrimination would disappear also.

That has NOT happened, if anything it has become worse.  Forget subtle discrimination there are those out there who do not even pretend to pay lip service to the idea equality in all areas of life.  Something has happened that has led men [and I will point out here that it is only some men not all] to believe that discriminatory behavior and even violent acts are not something they need to apologise for or even attempt to contain.

This as a world wide phenomena but I have seen the rise of hate groups here in Australia that gain momentum at an alarming rate with little intervention from our government, with little comprehension by men and even worse the belittling of women by their own gender. For many women Feminism is considered to be an extremist idea that sets male against female when in fact it is meant to bring equality to both.

destroy-the-jopintThis rise in Domestic Violence [DV] here in Australia over the past decade is staggering especially when you consider the fact that the most common cause of death or injury for women under the age of 45 is DV.  Last year alone 79 women were killed by their partners and so far this year 4 women have been killed for the same reason. Yet funding for this atrocity is set at $25 million a year up until 2017 where it will be reassessed with the view to reduction as for some strange reason they believe they will be able to reduce domestic violence by providing less support.

In New South Wales alone, refuges for women and children are being shut down as the state government cuts funding in an efficiency overhaul intended to replace more expensive specialist services such as women-only shelters with generic services that experts say are less likely to be used by victims of domestic violence. As with pretty much everything else, shelter services in regional communities and indigenous communities are particularly vulnerable. Women and children in regional and rural communities, indigenous women and children and disabled people are much more exposed to the risk of domestic violence and still nothing is done. [care of Crikey]

Rose Batty, last years Australian of the Year, has be lambasted by men’s groups claiming her work in the field of DV has discriminated against men and some have even gone as far to say that they feel sorry for her husband.  Now remember this is the man she left because of DV who then beat his son to death with a cricket bat in the middle of a park while she and others watched but sadly could not reach the boy in time.  This is the level of discrimination and antagonism towards women that we are faced with today.

I wish to make it perfectly clear here that I am not denigrating the trauma that some men face nor do I wish to paint all men as ‘evil’ but too many men insist that we are making too big a deal out of DV and making other men feel guilty or ignored.

abbott-on-womenHowever this culturally embedded misogyny has grown and the term Feminist has become an insult used against women who speak out and sadly it is both men and women who take that stance.

Our previous Prime Minister, who also named himself as Minster for Women was an outspoken and unrepentant misogynist who helped strip funding from much needed services. We sadly have few female MP’s and even fewer at a federal level and instead of being a voice for women some, like Julie Bishop, run down Feminism despite the fact that they would never have been there, let alone allowed to vote, if not for those feminists who came before them.

anti-feminist-robertsonWe see casual misogyny in the highest levels of government where Jamie Briggs, a cabinet minister was set down for sexist behavior but no action other than that taken.  We have support for him from Peter Dutton in the form of texts lambasting female journalist for calling him on his behavior, describing her a ‘Mad Fuc*&^g Witch’, and just to top it off we now have our PM saying that he would see Briggs back on the front bench.

It is this attitude which has encouraged the worst of sexist groups to act as they believe they will receive little government intervention for their statements.

The most recent examples of this attack on women rights in Australia comes in the form of a group who call themselves The Return of Kings who are staging meetings here in Australia and in 48 other countries around the world on February 6th.  The ideas and beliefs of ROK are based on neomasculinity. Here are a few of its principal tenets:

1. Men and women are genetically different, both physically and mentally. Sex roles evolved in all mammals. Humans are not exempt.

2. Men will opt out of monogamy and reproduction if there are no incentives to engage in them.

3. Past traditions and rituals that evolved alongside humanity served a net benefit to the family unit.

4. Testosterone is the biological cause for masculinity. Environmental changes that reduce the hormone’s concentration in men will cause them to be weaker and more feminine.

5. A woman’s value significantly depends on her fertility and beauty. A man’s value significantly depends on his resources, intellect, and character.

6. Elimination of traditional sex roles and the promotion of unlimited mating choice in women unleashes their promiscuity and other negative behaviors that block family formation.

7. Socialism, feminism, cultural Marxism, and social justice warriorism aim to destroy the family unit, decrease the fertility rate, and impoverish the state through large welfare entitlements.

Along with the firm belief that rape should be legal if it is on private property and that women are programmed to follow the orders of men show that these ideas represent just about everything women have stood and fought against this past century. Also one of the premises of their group thought is that women are programmed to follow the orders of men and not to do so will end in the break down of society in general.

Now they are not the first, nor will they be the last group who believe such things but what is extremely worrying is the lack of response on behalf of our Minister for Immigration AND the support they have received from men here in Australia and around the world.

When asked about Daryush ‘Roosh’ Valizadeh’s application to come to Australia to host these meetings his Dutton’s response to the ABC was:

A man who believes rape should be legalised has not applied for a visa, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says, despite ‘Roosh V’ confirming plans to visit Canberra this weekend.  But Mr Dutton has not ruled out stopping his entry into the country, stating he would continue to monitor the case. [ABC]

This is somewhat similar to his attitude earlier this year when deported US pick-up artist Julien Blanc’s mates planned an Australia tour.  The massive social media backlash, accompanied by a petition signed by thousands of men and women here in Australia forced the Minister to deny their visa applications BUT prior to that he had been very quiet on the matter.  It appears he will do the same here, see which way the wind blows and then take action as well as credit for that action [as he did earlier].

This also holds true for Julien Blanc himself who was deported from Australia when he came here to provide his own special seminars on how to pick up women using degradation and abuse. The group behind these seminars is Real Social Dynamics and consider choking women into submission as a legitimate way of achieving consent.

If there was any doubt about the damaging nature of his methods, Blanc uploaded a domestic violence chart to Instagram with the caption “May as well be a checklist … #HowToMakeHerStay”.

So I have to ask myself, has feminism failed or has a very clever PR campaign been run over a number of years to to wage war on the word and all those who associate with it.  If that is the case then it’s been very successful as there is an entire generation out there who wish to distance themselves from that word and the side affect of that is that the subtle discrimination that was slowly losing ground has come back with a vengeance in this past few decades and is rapidly normalising misogyny into our culture yet again.

This article was first published on jenniferann1970.wordpress.com.

68 comments

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  1. Felicitas

    and where is our minister for women on this one? Trying to supplant Margie if the pic above is anything to go by.

  2. Pilot

    Truly, all you have to do is look at the clowns who debase women, hollow mongrels.

    As a young fella I was taught to: 1. Never EVER hit a woman NOT MATTER WHAT, 2. Women are equal to men, 3. Always be polite. 4. If a woman slaps you, you bloody well deserved it.

    Those who even think that men are better than women are totally tied up in their own insecurity, are scared to compared to those who went through childbirth for them, those who protected them through their defenceless years, who fed them, loved them and gave them a future, their greatest supporter.

    BUT!!! Some women do need a (bum) smack, and those women are those who gave life to the denigrating bottom-feeders who think they are better than women.

    Men make better arseholes than women, that’s a fact!

    GO AND PEE A PUMPKIN OUT OF YOUR DICK YOU MONGRELS, then come and talk to us!!

    Thank you Jennifer for a fine article.

  3. Wendy Carroll

    A bum smack for the mothers??? Surely these dickheads must have had very poor, or absent fathers to grow up with such terrible attitudes towards women.

  4. Lee

    Great article, Jennifer.

    I was very disappointed with Julie Bishop when she appeared on last year’s International Women’s Day episode of Q&A. As expected, she received questions about her refusal to identify with feminism. I was stunned to hear her say that there is no way she could travel around the world in her job if she had a family. I’ll bet no one in the Liberal Party ever dreamed of telling Alexander Downer that his four children disqualified him as Foreign Minister. Then Bishop posed for Harpie’s Bizarre to reinforce the image that women are merely ornaments who should be easy on the eye (and if they aren’t, we’ll airbrush 40 years off them). It’s a shame when our nation’s leaders are not setting an example for the rest of the nation. 🙁

  5. Sen Nearly Ile

    When I was young, in the trust homes religion condoned(even supported) the raping of wives and at school, rape/ignorance sex was prevalent.
    Like racism, feminism is continually being discussed and boosted by some appalling examples but then the box having been ticked is put away.
    Since Gillard’s misogyny rant, there have been thousands of posts, by men and women, supporting the god given physiology that supports misogyny and prevents equality. Where a women succeeded, they are the ‘exceptional’ women of society.
    These exceptional women make it clear to one and all that their position has nothing to do with quotas or positive discrimination but entirely due to them being the ‘best man for the job’. In keeping with this ego they do not support feminism.
    The long term answer, as in racism, could be the positive re-enforcement. right down to the basic – makybe diva and black caviar are mares and SHE, not horses and HE. When an animal is on the TV it is not isn’t HE cute when it is obviously NOT a male.
    But the short term answer is the white, green and purple got the vote now pick up the flag and charge for political power.

    wow pilot!!!
    1. Never hit a woman but belt the shit out of blokes, especially those blokes?
    2. Women are equal to men except for the hitting of?
    3. ‘Always be polite’, did you mean to women?
    4. Women cannot hit?

  6. Lee

    Pilot, why is it acceptable for women to hit men? No one should be hitting anybody.

  7. IAO PRISM

    Never trust unreferenced claims, I am yet to read where this Mr Rooshv advocates rape.

    I noted that no one who claimed to quote him referenced where he made his statements, this perhaps is the article.

    Adults should be free to do whatever they want between consenting adults however that there be no concern for emotional or worse physical consequences is what Mr Rooshv comes in. To metaphorically paraphrase, when I wore a younger man’s clothes I got beat up two times without previously having not assaulted anyone,once by the police. It was never an entirely random event.

    In his article Rooshv is extending the metaphor of poor choices leading to wrong consequence. Read the article yourself he appears to contradict himself, perhaps he is using pathos to draw to how some women, hello Sabrina Erdely, want an expansion of definitions of rape to include bad experiences accepted without question.

    http://www.rooshv.com/how-to-stop-rape

    PS: If you want to find more rape culture search for something like: mufti ISIS rape kuffar marriage Koran Mohammad

    PPS: Before all this outrage I’d never heard of Mr Rooshv,I have now, I wonder how many others have too.

  8. diannaart

    I visited IAO Prism’s link this is part of what Rooshv has to say:

    ….I thought about this problem (rape) and am sure I have the solution: make rape legal if done on private property. I propose that we make the violent taking of a woman not punishable by law when done off public grounds.

    The exception for public rape is aimed at those seedy and deranged men who randomly select their rape victims on alleys and jogging trails, but not as a mechanism to prevent those rapes, since the verdict is still out if punishment stops a committed criminal mind, but to have a way to keep them off the streets. For all other rapes, however, especially if done in a dwelling or on private property, any and all rape that happens should be completely legal.

    If rape becomes legal under my proposal, a girl will protect her body in the same manner that she protects her purse and smartphone. If rape becomes legal, a girl will not enter an impaired state of mind where she can’t resist being dragged off to a bedroom with a man who she is unsure of—she’ll scream, yell, or kick at his attempt while bystanders are still around. If rape becomes legal, she will never be unchaperoned with a man she doesn’t want to sleep with. After several months of advertising this law throughout the land, rape would be virtually eliminated on the first day it is applied.

    If rape is made legal women will be more careful???? WTF?

  9. Lee

    “If rape is made legal women will be more careful???? WTF?”

    Yeah, you know… in those marriages that they’re forced to stay in because the god botherers are insisting marriage is for life and the Libs are ripping the funding from DV support. Or if the rapist breaks into her home it’s the woman’s fault for not having security screens on the windows and living in a gated community.

  10. Lee

    “The exception for public rape is aimed at those seedy and deranged men who randomly select their rape victims on alleys and jogging trails, but not as a mechanism to prevent those rapes, since the verdict is still out if punishment stops a committed criminal mind, but to have a way to keep them off the streets.”

    Nice word salad. WTF does it mean? Are seedy and deranged men the problem, or the random selection of victims?

  11. diannaart

    @Lee

    Women are to blame for existing while female – according to these hate groups.

    Hate groups who consist of a sad minority of men, but we all know they they do not represent all men (just in case anyone was thinking I was blaming all men for rat-bags like Dooooshv).

  12. Lee

    “Women are to blame for existing while female – according to these hate groups.”

    I do wonder why, if these men have such a low opinion of women, they consider women are actually good enough to give birth to their sons?

  13. Jenni

    The point of the article is that this all comes from the top. While trickle down economics doesn’t work trickle down attitudes do. While we have those in power doing little to promote gender equality and doing little to stop the spiraling violence against women we will see more and more of these ‘hate groups’. The same issues is faced with racism and religious discrimination as well. By not publicly condemning such ideas, by not punishing those who harm others [prison sentences are a joke when it comes to hate crimes] they are giving tacit approval for such acts. Victim blaming, online bullying and fear of reprisal stop many from speaking out in their own defense and when they do they often are attacked all over again. I don’t understand why people are compelled to hurt others to make themselves feel stronger or more in control – well I do understand intellectually but at a visceral level I’m at a loss to comprehend such loathing.

  14. diannaart

    @Lee

    These pathetic men see women as vessels for their sons – breeding machines.

  15. Ginny Lowndes

    Read Backlash by Susan Faludi.

  16. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I have two sons and two daughters and they are all Feminists. Being a Feminist has always been something to be proud of in our family.

  17. Sir ScotchMistery

    Why do we give “people” like that roosh thing any oxygen?

  18. Damo451

    First of all this “Roosh” is an idiot and most of the views he has on women are not even worth giving oxygen to.
    And given his views on rape he should be banned from entering the country end of story !!
    Men and women are equal and should have equal rights and that is beyond question.
    But there are a few things in this article that need commenting on.
    First feminism is no longer about equality but superiority for women,at least in the western world.
    Too many young girls have been taught it’s ok to hit boys because they aren’t allowed to hit back.
    No, sorry, as i have posted before, if you don’t want to be hit then don’t hit, and if you do hit, expect to be hit, that IS equality.
    There should also be no quotas for positions on boards or government bodies and an end to the ridiculous university course ” Women’s studies ” which is a blatant waste of taxpayers money as is the position of Minister for Women.
    Then i would take feminists seriously in their supposed quest for equality.
    As far as DV goes i can also say i have seen first hand on a number of occasions how they can be used as convenience orders to stop a father having contact with their child only to have the mother initiate contact again and use the order for manipulation purposes only.
    This problem is one that needs urgent attention because the women who are GENUINE victims of domestic violence are not getting the support and protection they need partly as a result of this very problem, and they DO need more support and services.
    Finally, in todays world only real movement of any value is not feminism or the MRA movement but Humanism which IS the only true equality movement.

  19. susan

    Feminism was compulsory in my house but now, only in their adulthood, do my sons realise why and even engage in calling out gaming sites for their anti female attitudes. My daughter, of course, knew very early why it is needed. I think some of the blames lies with the women who are not bothered to call out sexist behaviour in their family. Back to “The standard we walk past is the standard we accept.”

  20. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Damo451,

    being a Feminist does not mean one is not a Humanist. My adult children are both and so am I.

    Just because I believe in Feminism does not mean I believe women or girls should take unfair advantage over men and boys either. The goal is to achieve equality, which means the rights and the responsibilities that apply are involved.

    If an individual is abusing their status under the provisions of the law in domestic violence and family breakdown areas, then the law should be monitored effectively and implemented to ensure no unfair advantage is taken. So I agree with you on that, if and when some women abuse the system to manipulate family court provisions.

    However, what I don’t agree with you is your argument against quotas on boards and government bodies, and to my mind, any other area of public and private domain. Open your eyes and see that it is only now in the second decade of the 21st century that brave women and assorted brave men are coming out boldly to demand gender equality in such spheres. Speaking for myself and I bet the majority of people who believe in the fairness of gender equality, the absence of women from such spheres for living and inherited memory, is offensive to the status of women and their contributions to society.

  21. Sen Nearly Ile

    dear oh dear dami 451 is appropriate and, unlike the redoubtable JMS, i find nothing in your words, worthy of escaping the number.

  22. Lee

    “Read Backlash by Susan Faludi.”

    Thanks for the recommendation, Ginny.

  23. Lee

    “First feminism is no longer about equality but superiority for women,at least in the western world.
    Too many young girls have been taught it’s ok to hit boys because they aren’t allowed to hit back.”

    That isn’t my experience in feminist groups. It’s promoting equality and mutual respect. There are numerous men in those groups as well. They wouldn’t be there if the women were encouraging other women to treat men like crap.

    “There should also be no quotas for positions on boards or government bodies ”

    There shouldn’t be unconscious bias when selecting people for those positions, but it exists due to cultural conditioning. Quotas are used to compensate for unconscious bias.

    “and an end to the ridiculous university course ” Women’s studies ” which is a blatant waste of taxpayers money ”

    Education is the way to eliminate unconscious bias and change the cultural conditioning.

  24. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    SNI,

    please explain further for I am intrigued by your ambivalence.

  25. Backyard Bob

    If a woman slaps you, you bloody well deserved it.

    There are simply no words to express how stupid this statement is. Cosmic Facepalm.

  26. Lee

    ” I think some of the blames lies with the women who are not bothered to call out sexist behaviour in their family. Back to “The standard we walk past is the standard we accept.” ”

    If women are conditioned to accept sexist behaviour as normal, they’re not going to call it out. Unconscious bias is alive and well.

    A man and his son were travelling along a highway when they were involved in a car crash. The man died at the scene, his son was taken to hospital.

    When the boy arrived at the hospital he was wheeled into the emergency department to be assessed for surgery. The surgeon took one look at him and said “I can’t operate on this boy. He is my son.”

    When you first saw “surgeon” did you assume it to be a man? Many people do.

    There’s an Indian woman in my workplace who likes to cook. She has a young son now and he likes to help her cook. But she won’t buy him any toys like a baking set because he’s a boy. A mutual friend bought him one for Christmas and gave it to him directly so that his mother couldn’t refuse.

  27. Wally

    “This rise in Domestic Violence [DV] here in Australia over the past decade is staggering”

    We really need to find out why violence of all types has increased and in particular domestic violence. Personally I believe it is tied to some extent to the reduction in living standards created by lower real wages and the increase in house prices forcing both parents into the workforce. There are many benefits enjoyed by families with stay at home mothers, particularly when kids are younger.

    There is obviously some influence from people with different cultural backgrounds and beliefs as well as groups like The Return of Kings but we are witnessing a breakdown of social fibre. Not having a mother in the home or a doting grandparent to nurture kids when they arrive home from school is affecting the respect our youth show toward others.

    I am not suggesting mothers should not work or have a career but raising kids must be the priority for parents, maybe more men should stay at home or work part time. More grandparents could park the caravan during the grandkids formative years to instil some old school values and allow both parents to work. Regardless of how it is achieved education is the only way to turn the tide of violence around.

  28. Lee

    “I am not suggesting mothers should not work or have a career but raising kids must be the priority for parents, maybe more men should stay at home or work part time. ”

    From what I’ve read, men are facing greater levels of discrimination in the workplace towards their parenting responsibilities than women are experiencing when climbing the corporate ladder. Attitudes are changing and employers are more accepting of women having dual responsibilities of working and parenting, but not so many employers are willing to accept that men can juggle both, or may want to work part time because they want to spend more time caring for the kids. I work in the public service and even with our equality policies, there’s a man in my workplace who is seldom allowed to take his leave during school holidays, yet the women with young children regularly have leave granted during school holidays.

  29. Jenni

    I completely agree with your statements regarding ‘Roosh’ however I would like to draw your attention to the title of my article. A very successful war waged in the PR of the conservative media and think tanks has turned that word and those who align themselves with it into something extremist. This has been done in the same way that ISIS has been used to demonize all Muslims.

    I sadly have to agree that there are those in the Feminist movement who do preach antagonism toward all men with the implication that all men are evil and all women are good. This sadly leads to the idea that what is wrong from a man is not wrong with a woman. NO ONE has the right to use violence against another unless in defense of themselves or others and holds true to men and women.
    Personally I don’t feel those women are Feminists because to me Feminism is about ensuring gender equality in all areas of life.

    While I also agree that claims of DV has been used at time by ‘some’ women as a reason to deny access to their children I will also remind you that there are men who use equally appalling tactics to avoid paying child support as well as denying access to mothers. However the vast majority of women who seek help have legitimate DV complaints and they are not finding the support they need.

    Addressing the issue raised in regards to quotas I will say the the world is not perfect, the playing field is NOT equal which is why quota’s etc are used as a temporary stop gap method to get around discrimination based on gender, race, sexuality, disability and religion. It was something that I believed would be unnecessary in the coming years but sadly we seem to be embracing more and more of the subtle and not so subtle discrimination women face.

    As to your comment regarding the subject of Women’s rights at a university level I have to disagree with your assertion that it is a waste of money. The fight women fought over the last century or so is part of our history and it is something we need to understand to fully appreciate what we have today and the price others paid for it. It is similar to the study of Indigenous Australian studies as it to is part of our history and one that needs to be acknowledged so that future generations will appreciate just what was lost in the British occupation of Australia.

    I too see myself as a Humanist but that does not preclude my being a Feminist.

  30. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I agree with Wally 100%.

    On the macro level, this stinking politico-economic preponderance of everything centering on the economy (and it’s be damned to people’s social and family needs attitude) is the prime culprit in building the negative circumstances where domestic violence and other unhappinesses happen.

    On the micro level, each individual: mum, dad, grandparent, boss, neighbour, school official, department official, you-name-it, each individual must stand and be counted by their words and actions as to how the family unit can be supported by the collective, while the individual mum, dad or caregiver must decide to prioritise their responsibilities to their children, as opposed to the expectations of others.

    OMG, very non-2016!!! My thinking was also very non-thinking when I was raising my kids in the ’80s, ’90s, early ‘2000s. As a teacher in the NT, I took my very young children into class with me because I wanted to be the feeder of my very young children. Yes, I met with much bullshit officious opposition, but I won out. Might also say that the kids whom I was teaching did not lose out on their education and instead benefited from the sense of normality and sweetness that was included.

    I certainly hope other young mums and dads are pushing the envelope this way now too. If parliament is prepared to embrace it a la Chrissy Pyne’s politically-expedient and sycophantic announcement yesterday, I suggest other young mums and caring dads, should follow suit tout de suite.

  31. Damo451

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith, it’s not if women are abusing the Family Court system it is when.
    Did you know that it is now ok for a woman to now make all sorts of allegations against the father in Family Court and if she is found guilty of lying there is still no punishment as in fine etc.
    My mother ( divorced ) raised 3 boys and 2 girls pretty much as a single mother ( my father was and still is a pretty useless parent when they were married and after they divorced ) and was a hard core Greer feminist, and even she is disgusted at what she calls ” the whiny whinging double standard feminist of today ”
    There are some interesting videos on youtube about feminism.
    If you type in Karen Straughan and watch some of her videos or Christina Hoff Sommers and her video ” The myth of the gender wage gap ”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oqyrflOQFc&spfreload=10

    you get to see a lot of the real truth behind feminism.

    This video of Canadian feminists is also interesting if you can get past the pain in the bum who hosts the channel and the swearing from both the host and the feminist.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2KPeMcYsuc

  32. Lee

    “There are some interesting videos on youtube about feminism.
    If you type in Karen Straughan and watch some of her videos or Christina Hoff Sommers and her video ” The myth of the gender wage gap ”

    I’m acquainted with the myths of Christina Hoff Sommers. Annabel Crabbe has an interesting collection of stats and study findings about the gender wage gap in her book “The Wife Drought”.

  33. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    My recommendation Damo451 is,

    don’t let the reactionaries against Feminism taint your view on what is fair in bringing about gender equality.

    I listened to Christina Hoff Sommers and while I understand her call for balance and non-excess in debating and framing the failing, failing and yes failing imbalance of our gendered division of opportunities and financial rewards, I maintain that she needs to improve her measures of the comparisons between women and men in their vocational preferences.

    I always maintain a sense of cynicism even against learned people like Sommers, who find it easier to thrash the outspoken Feminists, as opposed to the outrageous patriarchal system that has disadvantaged my great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, me and even now my daughters.

    Sadly, I won’t be listening to the Sommers or Straughans of this patriarchal system who benefit by pandering to chauvenist bastards.

  34. Wally

    Damo451

    The family court adopted a no blame basis when it was introduced in 1975 so much of what is said in court is a waste of time and has little impact on the judges decision unless it impacts on the welfare of children. My parents divorced and I am divorced with 3 adult kids from the marriage. It is a very difficult emotional time for the non custodial parent, typically the father. As well as dealing with the breakdown of the marriage there is the loss of the day to day contact/relationship with the children to come to terms with.

    My ex wife took 3 young kids from our home in Victoria to Queensland, I could have gone to court and forced her to return to Victoria to live but I knew that if she was not happy my kids would suffer. A year or so later my oldest son returned to Victoria and lived with me until he was 23. I doubt that would have happened if I had started a legal challenge. It was very expensive to maintain contact with the kids, they were to young to fly on their own so I had to drive to Queensland, bring them back home and then do the same to return them at the end of the holidays.

    As the kids got older and cheap airfares became available life got easier but it was still expensive, I feel as if I missed out on a lot but cherish the great times we enjoyed. Many of these times may never have happened in different circumstances, hardship makes you strong and resilient but you should never let it make you go stupid. As silly as that sounds it is very easy to succumb to your emotions and do more harm than good.

    My saviour was having a beer with a pommy fellow at a motel in Sydney on a trip to Queensland early in proceedings was a real eye opener for me. He was also an electrician so we had much in common in our careers and also dealing with long distance access with our kids. His kids were taken back to England by his wife and his contact was minimal but he insisted that enjoying the good times was the best way forward, citing how a game of monopoly was a special moment with lasting memories for him.

    As well as a shortage of woman’s refuges there is a huge shortage of support for men with domestic problems other than groups of disgruntled men with the same issues. Surrounding yourself with other people suffering the same problem who have absolutely no idea how to resolve the problem other than taking revenge is a liability. Likewise going to a councillor who has all the answers (from reading a text book) without first hand experience dealing with the situation has no idea.

  35. Damo451

    Lee, i will take you seriously when you DON’T use a gushing sycophant and pseudo journalist at best, like Annabelle Crabbe of ” Kitchen Kiss arse ” fame. Not even in the same league as Hoff Sommers
    Sorry Jennifer, but with all due respect, you have the same attitude when it comes to an opposing view as majority of feminists,especially when they have credibility like these 2, they don’t want to know, and this is the reason many find it so easy to discredit feminism.
    Wally i chose to fight knowing my son was not safe and i have been the full custodial parent for the last 11 years and he is safe and happy, well except for all the homework he has to do 😉

  36. Lee

    “Lee, i will take you seriously when you DON’T use a gushing sycophant and pseudo journalist at best, like Annabelle Crabbe of ” Kitchen Kiss arse ” fame. Not even in the same league as Hoff Sommers”

    Yours is a fallacious argument. If Annabel Crabbe provides references so that her sources can be checked and verified, which she does in the book, then her personality is completely irrelevant. It’s the facts that count, not the person who delivers them.

  37. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Damo451,

    many of us have experienced traumas involved in family breakups. I admit I have not suffered the sorrow of not being the custodial parent. I especially empathise when any parent (usually fathers) who, IF they have been hands-on parents in the marriage or relationship, their parental contact interests are not protected by the family law courts.

    I accept I sounded like a bolshy Feminist in my last post, but I feel very protective of what Feminists and Feminism stand for, as a platform for women to be valued and rewarded as equals. I do not represent all Feminists but I do represent Feminism, so I ask you not to categorise Feminism in negative terms, even though I acknowledge that your post was speaking of painful issues.

  38. Pilot

    Lee,
    Apologies for not replying earlier…. You asked: “why is it acceptable for women to hit men?” I’m over 60 Lee so being a kid was a long time ago, ideals and standards were different. It was legal to give your children a bloody good thrashing. Many readers never grew up under that (threat).

    Hopefully the following doesn’t rate me as a misogynist.
    Back through my apprenticeship I had the honour of working with the first female apprentices to be employed by the NSW government. There was a major uproar about allowing women into the male dominated (government) world of trades at that time, although there were quite a few female apprentices in private enterprise. The treatment these young ladies got on the floor by tradesmen apparently wasn’t real good, but they were treated quite well at our workshop, no hazing – hazing was the norm for apprentices back then, and their quality of work was outstanding. They had their strengths and their weaknesses, as we all did. Unfortunately, the 2 young ladies I had experience with, Michelle L-J and Sharon C, weren’t real good with heights and it was my job to retrieve them from the top of the training pole a few times as pole-top work was part of our bread and butter. These young ladies were great to have around as they would look at problems from a different angle, where “we males” would offer hammer and chisel solutions, they would offer less physical, and at times better solutions, things we would never have thought of doing. Yes, they were expected to do virtually every physical job we had to do to gain complete trade experience and an overall picture of the duties of every crew member. Some of us would intercede as we thought it inappropriate at times, but were set straight as M & S basically demanded their equality of duty. Sometimes we’d let ’em go, sometimes we’d say no, there were some things just too bloody heavy to allow these people to do, similarly we wouldn’t allow the smaller male apprentices to do them either, due to the risk of permanent injury…. And guess what happened to me.. (rhetorical)…

    In later years, I never had a problem with female engineers, unlike the male counterparts, they’d ask the right questions and never had the attitude “I’m an engineer, I know everything” as the males did.

    Tony Abbott’s words and actions regarding “a woman’s place” disgusted me… “Women should understand, as they do the ironing……”. give me strength……… Hey, I iron too, ffs!!!

    As a young teenager (in the late 60’s), a mate and I beat the stuffing out of a bloke who was REALLY beating his wife bad. To us, no one had the right to do that crap, so we dragged him out and taught him a lesson in manners. But it was us who got hauled off to the cop shop, our parents were called and we were cautioned for trespass and assault, and as far as we know, the husband was even spoken to……

    In the beginning we were ALL created equal, why are some people now more equal than others?

  39. Lee

    “I feel very protective of what Feminists and Feminism stand for, as a platform for women to be valued and rewarded as equals.”

    Absolutely, Jennifer. I went to see the movie “Suffragette” a few weeks ago and although many of the characters were fictional, their experiences really did happen to other women. When i first started work I was a victim of sexual harassment where a manager pushed aside my clothing and revealed my breast when we were alone together. I pushed him away and thumped him but I was too naive and frightened at the time to report it. In hindsight, although we didn’t have the sexual harassment laws that we do now, I probably would have been supported by my employer. Those who dismiss feminism really don’t care that women once had to endure all of that. It still happens in this country despite being outlawed (e.g. to foreigners working here) but most of us don’t experience the blatant harassment and don’t realise it’s still an issue. Feminism should not be dismissed for the sake of a few bad apples.

  40. Lee

    Thanks Pilot. No, I don’t think of you as a misogynist. I’m also aware of that culture in days gone by re: beating people. I do prefer though the movement to mutual respect and not resorting to violence. Violence just results in more violence. It’s unacceptable for one group to demand respect from another and not reciprocate.

  41. Sen Nearly Ile

    Fair is in the eye of the beholder:
    Is it fair to assume that 10 men to each woman on boards reflects a ‘best man for the job? Is it fair to assume 33 to 1 at the CEO level reflects equality?
    Yes because not all women are exceptional says the rabbott.
    When 33% of Australian women experience violence from 15 and every week, a woman gets murdered they deserve help. However, if a woman murders a man then that is equal. Is that equality, fair?

  42. Lee

    “When 33% of Australian women experience violence from 15 and every week, a woman gets murdered they deserve help. However, if a woman murders a man then that is equal.”

    Sorry, what? If a woman gets murdered what kind of help do you think she deserves? A designer casket?

  43. corvus boreus

    If you go by the main books that dominate societal theology, there is no equality in creation.

    The story goes; In the beginning, an omnipotent single male-god created a mini-He mud-man first, then later crafted a sexually dimorphic rib-woman as means to stop the mud-man from getting bored and playing with his penis. This spare-rib woman facilitated the first sin, thus all subsequent female humans bleed as punishment.

    This basic (from infancy) indoctrination in gender discrimination dominates and colours much of societal attitudes regarding behaviors and discourse, to the extent that most people (even agnostics and atheists) will tend to automatically refer to any theoretical divinity as ‘he’ (or ‘the lord’) rather than ‘she’, ‘it’ or ‘they’.

    I, for one, see a continued validity for the continued active advocacy of feminist principles, with a clarifying clause.

    Feminism, as a broad and often flexibly defined concept, can have aspects of militant irrationality within it’s broad advocacy, the same as ‘socialism’ can include Stalinist totalitarianism, and ‘humanism’ can include the arrogant dismissal of our broaderbiological context.
    As with socialism and humanism (or any other form of ‘ism’), I prefer feminism (and ‘masculism) to be expressed in terms that are reasonable, rational and relevent, rather than exchanges of reactive sledging across lines of stereotyped dichotomous extreme.
    The ‘isms’ I object to most are various forms of ‘extremism’

  44. Pilot

    Thanks Lee. Appreciated.

    My apologies for my “spanking” comment, not the place for this particular comment, and for that I do most sincerely apologise.

    Respect can only be earned not demanded.

  45. Lee

    “Respect can only be earned not demanded.”

    I respectfully disagree. 🙂 After all, this thread is highlighting the problems when males are disrespectful to females through no fault of the females.

  46. corvus boreus

    Personally, I think respect should be a default setting, and that disrespect, like admiration, should be earned.

  47. jimhaz

    [This rise in Domestic Violence [DV] here in Australia over the past decade is staggering]

    Is this actually a fact or simply one perceived as a fact due to increased spotlighting by the media in this area as it sells more ?

    I don’t know myself. it would need to be stats that compare male-to-male and male-to-female and vice versa. One needs to take out of the equation the affect of declining discipline due to drugs, media etc.

    It could easily be a fact. As women become more masculine, as many seem to be doing this – at least in the “I want it all” arena, males will resent this and treat them as if they were men.

  48. Lee

    “it would need to be stats that compare male-to-male and male-to-female and vice versa. One needs to take out of the equation the affect of declining discipline due to drugs, media etc.”

    Why? Violence is violence, regardless of the cause. Behaviours have consequences and it’s about time people started accepting that instead of making excuses for their poor choices.

  49. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    jimhaz,

    referring to your final paragraph, are you deliberately ignorant or are you just stirring?

  50. Lee

    @corvus

    “The story goes; In the beginning, an omnipotent single male-god created a mini-He mud-man first, then later crafted a sexually dimorphic rib-woman as means to stop the mud-man from getting bored and playing with his penis. This spare-rib woman facilitated the first sin, thus all subsequent female humans bleed as punishment.”

    Here we have the first GMO. Yet try telling an anti-GM activist, who also happens to be a Christian, that GMOs have been in existence for thousands of years and they won’t believe it.

    “Personally, I think respect should be a default setting, and that disrespect, like admiration, should be earned.”

    Agreed.

  51. jimhaz

    [Why? Violence is violence, regardless of the cause. Behaviours have consequences and it’s about time people started accepting that instead of making excuses for their poor choices]

    Sure. But it is an empty comment. There is no “regardless of the causes”. There is no soul and all we are is the effect of an infinity of causes. One has to be caused not to make excuses.

  52. Lee

    Thanks for the nice word salad to go with my lunch.

  53. Backyard Bob

    I guess one person’s “word salad” is another’s delicacy. Jimbo was making a simple point about determinism. Whether its truly apropos to this debate depends on how deeply one wishes to discuss violence and its causes.

  54. Lee

    Seriously?

    Determinism: the doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes regarded as external to the will. Some philosophers have taken determinism to imply that individual human beings have no free will and cannot be held morally responsible for their actions.

    So let’s get rid of all the laws, law enforcement personnel and prisons and let everyone do whatever they want. Don’t cry when it’s you that ends up hurt.

  55. Damo451

    Sorry Lee but the fact remains it is a myth that women are not paid the same as men for the same job and the same hours,as has been pointed out by many people in the real world :
    1. It is illegal
    2. If that were the TRUTH companies would be hiring women in droves because the wages bill would be a lot lower.
    Sorry but the myth of women being paid less than men for the same work and hours is a feminist lie, pure and simple and thanks to the internet, more and more men are seeing the truth about the new feminists on a daily basis.
    Anyway have a great night.

  56. Lee

    “Sorry Lee but the fact remains it is a myth that women are not paid the same as men for the same job and the same hours,as has been pointed out by many people in the real world :
    1. It is illegal ”

    It’s only illegal where jobs are covered by an award. Many higher paid positions (and sportspeople and actors) are not covered by awards and the incumbents negotiate their own salaries.

    The same job vs same hours argument only tells part of the story. Unconscious bias is resulting in women being pushed into lower paid jobs and missing out on selection for executive positions.

  57. Damo451

    One quick easy example that exposes the lie .
    Gayle earns more than her male counterparts.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/westpacs-gail-kelly-pockets-128m-making-her-australias-highestpaid-retail-banker-20141112-11l65r.html

    and another,

    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-top-10-highest-paid-female-ceos-2015-5?IR=T

    As far as sports people go, womens soccer does not have the same following as mens and as such does not earn the same income for the sport and therefore they cannot be expected to be paid as much.
    Sport and acting are 2 jobs where pay is based bums on seats and then crowd appeal when it comes to sponsorship earnings.
    Womens tennis appears to be the exception to the rule as Venus Williams by rights should earn more than Roger Federer because she has won more Grand Slams than he has.
    However racism is also a factor there.

  58. Lee

    Damo451, re: your first link – we’re talking about an average across a variety of professions. One female banker is an exception, not proof that the gender wage gap does not exist. According to data published in 2010, only 3% of the top 200 public listed companies in Australia have a female CEO. https://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/2010_census_tag.pdf. In that same census, it shows that Australia has less women in top positions than some other nations, considerably less in some cases.

    In your second link, although there are some female executives who are earning more than some of their male peers, there’s a lot less female executives to males. (17 women to 323 men) We’re told the salaries of the top 10 women, but none of the men.

    Here’s a bit more info about those executives. The top 2 male CEOs each earn more than the top 10 females combined. Only 1 woman makes it into the top 10 CEOs in America.
    http://www.fastcompany.com/3046855/fast-feed/how-the-10-highest-paid-women-ceos-compare-to-their-male-counterparts

    As has been pointed out previously, bias is keeping qualified women out of top positions and thus, on average, they have less earning potential than men.

    76% of full time working fathers have a wife/partner at home, whereas only 15% of mothers working full time have a husband/partner at home. For women, having a family is seen as a disadvantage to promotion, whereas for men it’s an asset. It’s that help at home that means the other person is available to work longer hours, to work back late at short notice, doesn’t need to take time off to take kids to medical appointments or pick up sick kids from school, etc, and can go out of town on business at very short notice. In other words, women are being penalised for having families and men are being rewarded. Women are also picking up more of the unpaid work than men. Whilst some women do choose to be stay-at-home mothers, or to work part time so that they can care for their families, others don’t have the choice.

    Numerous examples of the biases preventing more women from being promoted to senior positions are included in this PhD thesis:http://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/34818/1/571633919.pdf.

    Children are also being conditioned according to gender. Looking around at family members and friends, and at my neighbours, I see girls are commonly playing with cubby houses, tea sets and dolls. Boys are playing with footballs, cricket bats and skateboards. Yes there is a little crossing over of genders with the toys, but generally toys are being marketed to kids according to gender and parents are buying accordingly. Many children are also being guided into careers according to gender, with females generally being steered towards lower paying professions and males being steered into the higher paying ones. Some of the childhood influences are also discussed in the thesis above.

    Another paper discussing wage disparity between the genders: http://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/34818/1/571633919.pdf

    In Seven Myths About Women and Work, Catherine Fox states that when we drill down into the extensive data available and compare male and female workers with comparable qualifications and experience, some 60% of the gender wage gap is attributable solely to gender.

    Then in retirement women have significantly less superannuation than men due to less earnings while they were working, and also due to the time they took off from work to have and raise children. Their average life span is longer than men, so they have to live longer on less money.
    http://www.industrysuperaustralia.com/media/media-releases/the-gender-superannuation-gap-without-policy-action-now-women-will-retire-with-far-less-than-men-for-decades-to-come/

    https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/sex-discrimination/publications/accumulating-poverty-women-s-experiences-inequality-over

  59. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well written Lee @ 2.06 am.

    It is because of examples such as these of lack of gender salary parity that discriminates largely against women across the board, that I am proud to call myself a Feminist, who seeks redress for this unjust imbalance.

    There is no dispute that there is systemic discrimination at every level, which shuts out equal opportunity for women in job selection, career progression, promotion, income equality, accumulation of superannuation benefits and so on.

    Anybody who disputes this glaring injustice to 51% of the population (minus one or two well paid CEOs!) is deliberately burying their head in the sand or maybe they know the statistics and want to keep the situation like this because it gives them unfair advantage over women.

  60. Lee

    Thank you, Jennifer. It would take weeks to even cover the tip of the iceberg with the various root causes. There is a huge amount of data out there in studies and professional journals confirming gender wage equality. It’s not something that can be gleaned from a Google search of poplit. Fortunately some authors have trawled through that data, translated it for the masses and published into books, but of course it takes time and money to read through those books and then check the original sources. That’s not something that the average person wants to or has time to do and the neo-liberals know that. So they frame their argument knowing that most people won’t be in a position to call them out on it.

  61. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Lee,

    just a friendly suggestion. Please change the word ‘equality’ to INequality at the end of the third sentence in this last post.

  62. Lee

    Ooops, thank you Jennifer. Yes that should read “gender wage inequality”.

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  65. Wayne

    Listen people go to the Australian Beureau of Statistics website (as I have seen via Gary Orsum’s YouTube channel) and you will definitely find that domestic violence is not even in the top five causes of deaths of women in Australia (Cardio Vascular disease being the main killer of women in Australia) yes I am a conservative politically. Domestic violence is bad, but let’s not make it out to be the biggest killer of women in Australia when clearly it is not. Please don’t use any swear words or abuse at me. Howcome feminist never ever critisize the foul treatment of women in countries like Suadi Arabia?.

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