Peter Dunne must be bitterly disappointed
At a meeting between men’s groups and United Future leader Peter Dunne in Birkenhead last year, I listened to him talk about the Families Commission, which he hoped would address some of the concerns we raised about the state-mandated removal of fathers from children’s lives, and the anti-male bias within the courts and the social services.
I asked him what steps United Future had taken to counter the possibility of the commission being subverted by feminist activists, eager to get their hands on new sources of funding.
He replied that they were well aware of this danger, but put their faith in the high calibre and integrity of the people employed to staff the commission.
I know Mr Dunne has a good understanding of how the feminists work, as demonstrated in a March 2004 speech:
“political correctness… is dressed up as a form of tolerance of diversity, but in reality is anything but. It is an ill-disguised, highly intolerant attempt to subvert the way we think, the questions we ask and the positions we hold, in order to change the very nature of our society to fall in line with an agenda of a truly undemocratic elite.
It wages war on the family, as the base unit of our or any society; undermining its parameters and chipping away at its building blocks, for no more profound reason than the fact that traditional concepts of family do not fit the perceptions of some of its advocates.”
It should be noted that other politicians did not share Dunne’s optimism about the new Commission. For example, in June 2004 ACT’s Heather Roy said:
“But I predict that the Families Commission will prove to be nothing more than a politically correct talkfest that will help not one single at-risk child or struggling family.”
The news yesterday that the Families Commission was sponsor of the country’s biggest-ever domestic violence conference at Waipuna Lodge over the weekend, shows that Heather Roy’s prediction and my fears have turned out to be correct.
Stopping Violence Services has to be one of the most anti-male, father-unfriendly organisations in the country. Its members earn their livelihoods by inflicting ‘violence-by-proxy’ on fathers using the full force of the state as a weapon. Women don’t need inflict physically violence when a simple phone call and a false accusation can do ten times as much damage for little effort.
Organisations which truly represent mainstream values and which are genuinely inclusive and tolerant of diversity do not have key stakeholders marching up and down outside waving banners and shouting through megaphones. The ill-advised sponsorship of this conference by the Families Commission pretty much ends any hope for me that they would not just become part of the problem.
I say ‘pretty much’, because I did notice that Chief Families Commissioner Rajen Prasad managed to slip one statement past his minders which suggests he still has some access to independent information.
“About a third of women and a fifth of men are abused by their partners at some point in their life,” he said.
The information isn’t actually correct of course – if “abuse” has the same definition as in the NZ Domestic Violence Act, then about 99.9% of both genders get abused at least once. However you do define it, every reputable scientific study shows that domestic violence is pretty much gender-neutral.
But to be politically correct, violence against males – if it is mentioned at all – MUST always be associated with words like ‘rare’, ‘occasionally’, or ‘tiny percentage’. After all, if it was officially acknowledged that one in five men is a victim, we might have to consider providing services for them! No doubt Prasad will receive suitable re-education on this point.
The “multimillion-dollar, multi-year publicity campaign” which will “need to be backed up by increased support for anti-violence programmes and parenting education so they could cope with the likely increase in demand for their services,” looks looks to me to be nothing but a government-funded marketing boost for the domestic violence industry.