Christchurch Men’s Summit in the Media
Some items in the media about the Christchurch Men’s Issues Summit.
In Father & Child Magazine Issue 30, Winter 2005 Page 18:
Another forum touts the message that men are hard done by. It has all the ingredients of another expensive failure, writes Harald BreidingBuss.
Now, eight years later, we have had a ‘Men’s Forum’. This time around the event started in Auckland, and is now in the process of being exported to Christchurch as well. Instead of the Governor General (which at the moment is female) the organisers picked John Tamihere as their high profile person. Unwittingly, choosing a ‘yesterday’s man’ like Tamihere is symptomatic for the rest of the lineup, which almost entirely consists of the recycled remnants of a national fathers committee I once tried to create: the “NZ Father & Child Society”.
That was also in 1998, and I guess it is telling that in those seven intervening years this group has failed to bring any new faces to the fore. Although I created it to support a national approach for developing on the ground services for fathers, the resulting group never wanted to go there. Like ‘Fathering the Future’ they saw the way forward in pestering the media with opinions rather than being there for dads when they are needed. Without any work going into building up the base, no new people could emerge, and, like ‘Fathering the Future’ the group was quickly heading for either oblivion or insignificance.
Nevertheless, two of the speakers in the upcoming Christchurch Forum chose to use ‘NZ Father & Child Society’ in identifying their credentials, although they have no connection with the work linked to the name Father & Child, such as this magazine, our teen dads project or our work in the area of childbirth.
Ironically, all of the speakers at the forum are worth listening to. But while once more the political world, and political correctness, will be slammed for neglecting men, and changes will be called for, no group or organisation emerges that could actually institute such change.
And so we will have another few days, perhaps a couple of weeks, where organisers and/or speakers can bask in the glory of being quoted in the media before patting each other on the back for a job well done and going back to business as usual.
Frankly, who needs it?
After the summit:
Christchurch think tank issues call to address issue of gender balance before it swings in the opposite direction
Major social problems are being forecast, as women increasingly break through the career glass ceiling and take on top jobs.
A Men’s Issues summit in Christchurch has heard nearly 60 percent of tertiary students are now women.
Massey University’s Centre for Public Policy Evaluation director Stuart Birks says in two decades women in senior management positions could outnumber men.
Under the heading: Experts reject theory of male early-life crisis , Keri Welham notes:
New Zealand experts have dismissed a British study that claims men are more likely to suffer an early-life crisis than the traditional mid-life variety.
Then a passing mention of the Men’s Issues Summit:
The pressures facing men were canvassed at a summit in Christchurch on Friday. Featuring outspoken Labour MP John Tamihere, the summit looked at issues such as violence and boys lagging behind girls in education.
Rex McCann, director of an Auckland-based support group, Essentially Men, told The Press the supposed new early-life crisis phenomenon would not replace the “mid-life transition”, a recognised identity crisis that hits men in their 40s.
“You can’t have an identity crisis until you’ve got your identity formed,” he said.