Also by Simon Collins in Saturday’s NZ Herald, another story titled ‘Changing places‘ set my mental propoganda alarm ringing by a beginning with three atrocity stories about violent men:
These three stories from the Herald in the past year have a common theme. In all cases, desperate men turned to violent or controlling behaviour at least partly because they had lost the prime breadwinning role that gives a purpose to most men’s lives.
More than a third of New Zealand couples are now coping with the same phenomenon. In the 2001 census, the woman was in the same or a higher income band than the man in 37 per cent of all couples aged 15 to 64 who stated their incomes – up from 20 per cent in 1986.
Dr Paul Callister, of Victoria University’s Institute of Policy Studies, points to other signs that men’s traditional economic domination is crumbling. Women’s average hourly wages have gradually crept up from 79.5 per cent of the male average in 1986 to 84.1 per cent in 2001 to 85.5 per cent in this year.
Now personally, I have never felt the need to bash Felicity because she earns more than me, but I have no doubt that earning ability is a significant factor contributing to the balance of power in any relationship.
Feminist dogma insists that domestic violence is caused by males exerting their patriarchal power over woman, leading to the conclusion that disempowering males with regards to families is the answer to this social problem.
In contrast, comments in the article from several men with real-world experience in men’s work confirm that most violence by males comes from a place of feeling powerless. (The exception to this would be the small group of men with serious mental illness or personality disorders.)
Auckland counsellor Rex McCann, who has run Essentially Men workshops since 1991, says men’s violence against women derives from a sense of powerlessness that often stems from losing a clear role as the family’s “provider”.
“To be violent to those you love is the act of a powerless person,” McCann says
Some interesting discussion follows, but the alarms returned when I saw a quote from Waikato psychologist Neville Robertson, who can always be relied on to push the feminist line du jour.
“For me, it was like rugby, cars and pretty shallow friendships,” Robertson says. “I think we are seeing a much greater diversity among young men these days, so I think we have ditched the idea of there being a single model of what it’s like to be a bloke.
And later, in case there is any doubt about the world view he promotes:
“I think the answer is incredibly simple. It’s giving up the idea that the man is going to be in charge.”
My unease increased, despite some sensible suggestions:
Craig Davis of Shore Fathers, a solo dad for 13 years, says schools need to teach parenting and cooking to boys as well as girls, and parents need to put children ahead of material possessions.
By the end of the article, the agenda is clear: it is promoting a “huge garage sale to raise money” for the feminist aligned organisation Preventing Violence in the Home .
Just in case anybody accidentally gets the impression that this is a gender neutral initiative, they have a helpful note on their homepage:
Did you know?
1 in 3 women in NZ experience physical and/or sexual abuse at the hands of a male partner throughout their lifetime.