Flat White

13 September 2019

5:00 AM

American pharmaceutical companies aren’t allowed to advertise on Australian TV unless you’re talking over-the-counter cold tablets or pain killers. Which means you never hear “side effects may include involuntary paralysis” between episodes of Shark Week down under.

A dose of the potential paralytic might’ve eased the 24-hour flight time from Western Australia to speak at the Fifth International Conference on Men’s Issues, or ICMI 2019, in Chicago.

Paul Elam of A Voice for Men established the annual event to offer leading experts and advocates a free-speech forum to talk turkey about a growing list of struggles the average bloke experiences across his life span.

Paul was featured in the award-winning documentary, The Red Pill, due to his social media celebrity won from producing online videos that offer men his trademark wake-up call to read the writing on the wall.

By encouraging his viewers to take a closer look at the growing tide of anti-male forces working in government, culture and relationships he’s empowered hundreds of thousands of men, some at the end of their rope, with hope.

I met Paul, a fellow Texan, last year during an online interview for his popular YouTube channel. From my Perth apartment, I told the story of my forced resignation from Relationships Australia, a government-funded, national counselling agency.

I lost an eight-year counselling job for circulating, amongst colleagues, Bettina Arndt’s newspaper article Always Beating Up on Men. Arndt’s work compiled longitudinal academic studies with international statistics clearly showing that most often, domestic violence between couples is two way; a fact the Aussie government’s domestic violence industry has failed to acknowledge until this year.

During our Skype chat, I described to Paul how the self-proclaimed feminist CEO of Relationships Australia called a meeting and argued that my spotless work record and two recent pay bumps “didn’t matter”. “Bettina Arndt is right-wing!” she exclaimed sitting up in her chair and alleged my actions breached the organization’s ‘gendered’ (male is to blame) domestic violence policy.

According to the top executive, I was infected with “unconscious bias” and unsuited to continue counselling my clients at the taxpayer-backed agency.

Ironically, Psychology’s War on Men was the first panel discussion to kick-off the Chicago conference weekend. I was invited to co-present with four giants of the men’s rights movement who’ve endured their own character assassination and job terminations to continue raising awareness about key men’s issues. Issues such as:

  • A global male suicide epidemic where young, middle-aged and senior men kill themselves at a rate of 42 per week in Australia, 83 per week in the UK and 635 per week in America.
  • Family Court practices and divorce laws that leave many fathers alienated from their children, broke and suicidal.
  • Overlooked and underfunded men’s medical health issues like prostate cancer, heart health and men’s depression.
  • Public and university education systems failing to effectively engage boys and young men.
  • Feminist-framed mental health policies that categorize men’s psychological nature as deficient and ‘toxic’.

The panel unanimously denounced the American Psychological Association’s recent radical decision to make ‘toxic masculinity’ an official diagnosis.

Stephanie Pappas’s article, APA Issues First-Ever Guidelines for Practice with Men and Boys reveals how the American Psychological Association is writing treatment policies that claim “traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful”.

The article points just how far down feminism’s anti-male ‘rabbit hole’ the powerful APA has gone. Pappas summarizes, “the main thrust… is that traditional masculinity—marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression—is, on the whole harmful”.

Speaking as a veteran couples counsellor, I explained to the conference crowd that any ‘fly’ observing a couple’s session would likely report all these characteristics active in both genders. Of course, women can be stoic, competitive, dominant and aggressive.

These adaptive behaviour potentials are biologically hardwired across a wide range of social mammals and, in human relationships, can be acted out either constructively or destructively.

I added, “for couples counselling to work, individual counterproductive behaviours have to be called out in real-time on both sides of the fence”. Which gives the angry partner or partners an opportunity to check themselves and take a ‘time-out’ before things get ugly. Couples Conflict 101.

Studies reveal that mild to moderate levels of domestic violence (aka common couples’ violence) respond well to counselling strategies that treat both partners as equal stakeholders in their relationship.

Elements of severe domestic violence include socioeconomic status, unemployment, poor mental health, alcoholism and drug abuse which often require criminal justice interventions.

To the crowd of 250 plus conference-goers, in the Sheraton Chicago grand ballroom, I wrapped up my two cents by congratulating the Australian government, for the first time ever, earmarking $10 million to fund couples counselling for common couples’ violence.

Government-funded couples counselling will work if implemented without the paralysing side-effects of ‘gendered’ feminist policies. Interventions that fail to educate both partners how to de-escalate interpersonal conflict and manage their tempers better, can’t, don’t and will never work.

The Sixth International Conference of Men’s Issues 2020 will be held in Sydney.

Rob Tiller (robtiller.com.au) is a counsellor specialising in supporting men and couples from his Perth office (or online for out-of-area clients). He’s also available to present a range of personal and professional development workshops around Australia.

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