2500 men’s shoes have been placed in the lawns at the front of Australia’s Parliament House. Each shoe represents a man or boy who has taken their life during this past year. Hopefully the politicians will take notice and realise as Angela Shanahan writes ….. the changes to the Family Law Reform Act do not represent anything positive for fathers and their children, just really an attempt to remove fathers from their children’s lives to satisfy the feminist’s demands.

Regards Sue Price

Men’s Rights Agency

Men’s welfare at the mercy of feminist




For two days this week the lawns of Parliament House have been strewn

with 2500 empty shoes, one for each of the men and boys who die in

Australia each year through suicide. According to the Australian Institute

of Health and Welfare our male suicide rate is overall three to four times

higher than the female rate, and mainly involves men in mid-life. These

are the major predictive facts about suicide: being male; being divorced,

widowed or separated; living alone; being unemployed. The suicide rate in

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is twice that of the non-Indigenous population.

Meanwhile, the government is concentrating all preventive efforts on

domestic violence against women, always seen as “gendered” violence; in

other words, men being violent towards women. According to

organisations such as White Ribbon, domestic violence is just a male

problem. It is their fault. What’s more, according to its media releases this

week for White Ribbon Day, most men just can’t see it or know what to do

about it.

White Ribbon demands they “educate” themselves because “violence

against women is at epidemic proportions, and (our research) contrasts

that with the reasons men have given us for not getting involved. We think

men will see that there’s no good reason to not step up this year and either

make a donation or educate themselves.

Because with one in three Australian women being a victim of violence,

it’s not just a women’s issue, it’s everyone’s issue”.

But guess what? According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics there are

47 male deaths from suicide per week. Meanwhile, there are 71 females

who die from fatal domestic violence per year, that equals 1.36 per week.

So male suicides, which are 35 times as numerous as deaths from DV,

should also be everyone’s issue. But where is the advertising campaign?

Where is the support? The ads that are all about “gendered violence” just

blame men, and boys, and the support for men at risk of suicide, except for

veterans of the armed forces, is almost nil.

You might say these two issues, DV and male suicide, are not comparable.

But think about them in the psychosocial terms of the health and social

wellbeing of the community. Most importantly, how well do we value the

health and welfare of each section of the population, male and female?

Domestic violence is, as I know, real and has all sorts of serious

intergenerational effects. My paternal grandfather was a violent man, who

terrorised his family.

But, and this is the big but, where is the nuance in the “domestic violence

is gendered” statements like the ones White Ribbon uses? It is all the fault

of men and apparently the men have to educate themselves.

This is simplistic. It is ideology, plain and simple.

What of the pathologies that plague all of us, and our whole society? Why

is something that involves two people presented as one-dimensional: man

bad perpetrator, woman good victim? The DV lobby does not allow

presentation of this problem in any other way, because allowing any

nuance might question the simplistic assumptions that underlie the

narrow, prismatic feminist ideology that governs all current social

legislation, especially in family law.

One fact of male trauma the feminist trope will not admit is that men’s

mental and psychological welfare is often eroded by the constant blame

and fear of being blamed. No wonder, as even White Ribbon admits, men

are confused.

None of the DV advocates who speak in terms of “gendered violence” and

male “toxic” behaviour look at the root causes of violence.

Importantly, these overlap with the causes of male suicide: substance

abuse, unemployment, isolation, intergenerational dysfunction (especially

in Aboriginal men and young boys), and family breakdown, which affects

all classes and groups of men, but particularly men in the highest age

bracket for suicide.

Since 2008, the highest suicide rates have been observed in middle-aged

males (aged 40-49). But groups such as White Ribbon are not really

interested in the male’s welfare within a marriage or domestic

partnership; furthermore, its view of female welfare is so one-dimensionally seen as victimhood that it never admits the couple dynamic.

However, male suicide, though complex, is often triggered, in the words of

the AIHW research, by “a recent stressful life event”, especially divorce or

final separation from a long-term partner. That has been cited by all

research into Australian male suicide as the overwhelming reason behind

the rise in middle-life suicide, especially where children are involved.

Divorce is not just a single event; it causes a cascading series of problems,

and men in contested divorce cases often find themselves in a maze of

legal and financial dead ends, with a mounting psychological toll of usually

concealed trauma.

An inquiry into the operation of family law earlier this century was one of

the longest in Australian history and found suicide among Australian men

was disproportionately associated with family law disputes, especially over

custody of children. What is more, the level of false accusations was


Consequently, in 2006 family law was redrafted to give fathers more say in

parenting their children after divorce, with a presumption of shared


Now, due to the untoward influence of the feminist lobby, for whom all

marriages are potential minefields of domestic violence, that sensible and

humane principle has been abandoned. This is not “reform”. It is a

regression to the past. It is a disastrous change, which will cause more

false accusations of violence and more harm to fathers of children and,

consequently, more male suicides.