Paul Ross, tried to get his response to the following article (accessed via the link below) published, but presumably it was not politically correct enough to qualify.
The points Paul makes should have even greater significance as we face 3 years of political focus on women and climate change, whereas men, their families and their status are ignored.
By all means, send this letter to your new or returned Member of Parliament just to remind them you have a voice that should be listened to.
- Michelle Arrow Professor of History, Macquarie University
Michelle Arrow receives funding from the Australian Research Council. She has worked as a volunteer for the Australian Labor Party during this election campaign.
The Conversation, Comment by Paul Ross
This article demonstrates a number of biases and imbalances from both a journalistic and academic point of view.
The author discloses she has worked as a volunteer for Labor during election campaigns, so her political viewpoint is hardly balanced or unbiased. There is frequent mention of the LNP’s claimed “women problem”, yet no mention of the highly publicized furore over Labor’s “mean girls” bullying controversy.
The recently-released Independent Review Into Parliamentary Workplaces indicated an equal proportion of workplace bullying was perpetrated by women – yet women’s lobby groups have so far refused to acknowledge this and point the finger of blame solely at men’s attitudes towards women as the basis of the “women problem”.
Discussion of the Brittany Higgins affair has been upheld at the forefront of validating women’s concerns, yet it is still at the stage of an unproven allegation that has yet to be decided by due process in a court of law. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of media law would know that discussing a case publicly before trial constitutes contempt of court and as the trial judge has pointed out, undermines the basis of a fair trial for the accused. It seems women’s lobby groups and even many sections of the media have already decided on the outcome.
If we are talking gender equality, the social welfare issues a vast number of men face further down the pecking order, would seem to equal or greatly outweigh the disadvantages women might face. More men in Parliaments … either Federal or State, does not mean men’s pressing social issues are being addressed, let alone acknowledged. Successive Governments, Labor or Coalition, have always been regarded by men as greatly out of touch with working class men’s social issues.
Some points that may put a different perspective on gender equality:-
- Continuing a long history of failure to address men’s needs, the last Federal Budget announced $2Billion in funding for women and $700,000 for men’s health.
- The previous Budget allowed $535Million for women’s health and zero for men’s health, despite the well-recorded fact that male suicide is four times the rate for women.
- If the gender pay gap between male and female workforce earnings is 15per cent as claimed, how does the gender health and social services gap equate percentage-wise between $2.53Billion for women and $700,000 for men.
- At Federal level and in every State, there is an Office For Women and a Minister For Women to give women a political voice and representation. There are no offices for men or ministers for men in Australia – volunteer groups attempting to advocate for men are regularly dismissed with lip service.
- Every State has a comprehensive and heavily-funded Women’s Health plan. The Northern Territory and West Australia are the only States that have any semblance of a basic, token male health plan – despite men making up the bulk of the high-risk resources workforce that fuels a significant portion of the national economy.
- Many State Governments widely promote and sponsor women’s events such as International Women’s Day, yet refuse to mention or support equally-valid male events such as National Men’s Health Week.
- Every university in Australia bar one (the Australian Catholic University) has a Gender Studies course and curriculum (Women’s studies based on feminist principles). There are no courses in Male studies. An attempt to establish what would have been the world’s first course in Male Studies several years ago by the University Of South Australia was abandoned after a protracted campaign of opposition by feminist lobby groups.
- Men are vastly over-represented in terms of homelessness, as 90 per cent of high-risk workplace fatalities and the stresses of fly-in fly-out work regimens. Yet none of the high taxes they pay are directed to social and health issues they face or Government policies that might help them.
- The methodology used to inform research into family violence is often heavily biased against enabling men to contribute their experience. The terms of the Personal Safety Survey are dictated by an advisory panel dominated by representatives of women’s organisations. There are no representatives of male service oganisations on the panel to create gender balance. The vast majority of family and domestic violence agencies and support services informing the public narrative are feminist-based and focused on women’s experience, there are relatively few organisations providing the equally-valid experiences of men. Media reporting on domestic and family violence likewise predominantly reports statistics on female experience but omits the balancing perspective of male statistics.
- Significant independent research into domestic and family violence, such as the international Partner Abuse State Of Knowledge Project (PASK), invariably shows a high level of gender parity in both perpetration and victimisation of violence, rather than the popular promoted narrative of domestic violence being a gendered crime that men do to women and children.
- A Senate Inquiry into family violence several years ago noted that men made up only 23per cent (reduced from one-third, despite calls for gender parity) of the sample for the Personal Safety Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and used as a gold standard for family violence reporting. The Inquiry recommended that this gender bias be corrected in future surveys, a recommendation that has since been consistently ignored. A national survey including only a 23per cent male sampling is hardly going to return a balanced result.The article above makes claims of “political misogyny” directed at Julia Gillard and in the same voice justifies female anger or misandry against male politicians. When Julia Gillard was Prime Minister she rolled back many social issues vital to men, such as shared parenting. Any anger or criticism of her policies was immediately dismissed as misogyny, sexism, patriarchy or any number of invalidating terms.
It seems women’s anger at male politicians is regarded as being justified, yet men’s voices and concerns over what disadvantages them are routinely dismissed as inconsequential or abusive.
Many of the Independent women standing in this election state they are focused on women’s issues, which if they are voted in, will further advantage women’s causes and further relegate men’s social issues to the backburner.
It is interesting to note that the biggest awareness and discussion of men’s social issues comes from women in the minor parties, who live in working class or rural electorates where the men in their families provide the bulk of the region’s income and financial sustainability.