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Men in a Minefield

Filed under: General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 4:51 pm Tue 16th January 2007

Several media items yesterday deserve mention. On National Radio’s “Best of Nine to Noon” there was an interview with Pauline Grogan, a nun who wrote a book about her life that has been made into a play. At age 30 years she was approached by a priest and she agreed to meet the priest for a romantic rendezvous. He then encouraged her to leave the nun’s life and he set her up in her own accommodation, then some time later offered to marry her. She declined marriage because she was too “confused”, but later she married another man and had three children. In describing the events concerning the priest, both Mrs Grogan and the interviewer Kathryn Ryan spoke about the priest as if he were a rapist, accusing him of manipulating and exploiting the poor young woman. The priest lost his job as a result of Mrs Grogan’s book. It struck me that this 30-year-old woman was being seen as not responsible for her decisions when faced with a sexual advance from a man. It highlighted the minefield that courtship has become for men. Even when a man follows normal rules of communication and approaches a mature woman reasonably (and in this case responsibly offering to marry her) his behaviour is seen as exploitative. Yes, feminists might claim that he was exploiting a power imbalance, but in fact I understand that he was not in any position of direct authority over this nun. And power analysis of relationships is of questionable value; after all, most courtship is between people of different status, wealth and so forth. If being in a superior position within a workplace ruled men out of courtship participation, then the huge proportion of long-term, fulfilling relationships that begin between work colleagues would never have happened. While I wouldn’t applaud a priest going outside the rules of his employment, the rules for men’s participation in relationships in the feminist era are somewhat incomprehensible, unpredictable and often seem to be dictated by the retrospective preference of the women involved.

Another story, front page headline in the Rotorua Daily Post today, was about a 52-year-old man who sent suggestive and sexual text messages to a 16 year-old “girl”. The man had previously been imprisoned for sex offences against under-age females. He was now convicted of misusing a telephone device. While I have no respect for this man’s sexual offending against children, or indeed for his current sexualized behaviour towards a 16-year-old, the case again raises serious questions about men’s rights and the way they are seen under feminism. Firstly, he was in this case dealing with a young woman who had reached the legal age of consent in this country. Why would his sexual text messages then deserve front-page coverage that treated him as if he had committed further child sex offences? How is it that rules around courtship are specified but if a man stays within those rules he is still condemned and treated as a sexual offender? And nothing in the article was said about the young woman’s role in the texts. We don’t know whether she responded in an encouraging way, though one presumes she did because he continued to correspond with 57 text messages. We don’t know whether she asked him to stop or indicated that his messages were not welcome. This has been a defining issue in whether workplace advances would be viewed as sexual harassment (though here too the rules seem to shift unpredictably based mainly on the subjective preference of the women).

Interesting that on page 4 of the same paper there was an article reporting that Violet Mahari, the woman who stabbed her partner to death at Papamoa Caravan Park just before Christmas, has been released on bail. How many males facing murder charges are released on bail? Such charges if proven are almost certain to result in imprisonment, and the length of such imprisonment makes absconding on bail a high risk, so how can bail be justified? And of course this surprising example of female privilege in the justice system was not seen as deserving of front-page coverage whereas some inadequate bloke who sent dirty texts was.

The last story is about the police “saving” a “traumatized” 16-year-old from a sex attack in a car by a 44-year-old man. Now perhaps that is exactly what it was, but the story sounded suspicious. The police in a random patrol checked a car parked in a major Tauranga shopping centre about 6am. They spoke to the male driver then noticed a “young girl” in the car who was “quite traumatized”. The man had “befriended” the “girl” three days earlier. Well, 16 is the legal age of consent and she can hardly be described as a young girl. She was out with this guy in his car at 6am. There was no indication that she sought to attract the police’s attention or jumped out of the car to escape when the police were talking to the man. Was her “trauma” mainly embarrassment and fear at being caught in sexual experimentation, knowing her parents would disapprove and perhaps punish her and that her friends would give her a hard time about going with such an older man? So, as often seems to happen, the young woman seeks to absolve herself of blame by accusing the man of trying to rape her. The police operate under their own value system and decide that an older man with a teenager deserves a hard time, then they suggest through their questions of the young woman that she must be a poor exploited victim. (The first questions were probably “do your parents know you were out with him and what would they think?”, then “was he trying to force himself on you?”) Again, we have a case where a man who keeps to the rules as far as age goes nevertheless is treated as a child molester. Why specify rules if staying within them is still seen as criminal? I acknowledge that the facts of the situation are unclear and it may be that he was a rapist, but the story implied that he was seen as a rapist because she was 16 and for no other reason.

Men live in a minefield.


  1. Alright some of what you say is true BUT the mens movement is about righting the wrongs done against men not sympathising with men who are convicted child sex offenders!!! I am a divorced farther of two i have since remarried and am to become a father of three in march. I have been through hell in the family court trying to remain a influential figure in my childrens lives. the issue i have with sex offending is in NO WAY SUPPORTING THE MEN WHO ACTUALLY DO OFFEND!!!! but stop all men being typecasted for the actions of a few. my daughter is 16 and YES she is a “GIRL”! She may be of the age of consent in the laws eyes but it is completely INDECENT for grown men to try to get sexual with teenagers. my daughter is a lovely girl bright doing great in school and netball but she not emoitionally mature she likes running around with her younger brother and is still growing up . The age of consent is not intended so older men can take advantage of the lack of emotional maturity teenagers have. A 52yr old peadiphile sending sexual texts to a 16yr old and your trying to rationalize this WHY???? or a forty four year old in a CARPARK with a 16yr old. these are not very favourable examples of men going thruogh minefeilds!!! my story ofr the many other mens about divorce settlements and custody rights are true strugglee, these illustrated are not! i understand your point prehaps the girls edged the on BUT they are the adults and they need to exercise selfd control.It is not right for grown to have sex with teens its not, and this is not what this whole mens movement is about its about stoping the prejudges and generalisations that all men are like these ones outlined!i am here because i want to not get taken for a ride and have my kids taken off me obviously some are here to endorse their barely legal fantasy! men with teenage daughters will understand my desire to to not protect men who want to have sex with them.

    Comment by andy — Tue 16th January 2007 @ 5:37 pm

  2. Great posting.
    Thanks for this Hans.
    Yes indeed modern nz man does exist in a sexual minefield full of many no-win contradictions.
    I like how you highlight that going with younger/lower status women can be so ‘hazardous for men. Stupid thing is it’s hordes of women who are make themselves attracted to men with higher status than themselves and tend to want to marry up. You never see a plumber being voted ‘Man of the year’ or truck driver being crowned ‘Most eligible bachelor’.
    Methinks we need to stop treating women like kids and hold them to the same levels of responsibility and punishments for criminal behavior, or else I fear too many will keep acting like spoilt brats.

    Comment by Stephen — Tue 16th January 2007 @ 5:40 pm

  3. Yes Andy, I accept your points. I hope I did not imply that I approved of older men trying to seduce teenagers. I would strongly discourage it, and I applaud your supervision and advice to your daughter. I might even express my opinion directly against an older man who I saw trying to seduce a teenager. But in these cases men are being treated as sexual offenders though it is not clear they have broken sexual laws. If our society wants something to be treated as illegal, then we should pass laws to that effect. If we allow one group (in this case men) to be treated as criminals when they in fact have remained within the law, then we are according fewer rights to that group than to the rest of society.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Tue 16th January 2007 @ 6:05 pm

  4. Andy;I have a 10 year old girl.I am a non custodial loser.As far as 16 year old girls with greatly older men goes; makes me squirm also.BUT Perhaps the loving mothers of these girls could talk to their daughter’s about these dangers.I will definitely be talking to mine about it prior to 16.What’s the bet that these girls come from a split family and their father has little to zero input;because of the system;and so these girls get into trouble a lot more than other girls with good dad input.Statistics show that “dadless” girls get into more trouble and become pregnant much earlier.

    Comment by keith — Tue 16th January 2007 @ 6:14 pm

  5. Yeah I am a non-custodial daddy with absolutely no access because I was shafted up the date by the corrupt femnazi lying scumbags in the de — family court. We should start a club of fathers who have been done over; maybe we could hang a sign at the door that states welcome to the kiwi sub class.

    I wonder whether my 14-year-old daughter or 12 year old daughter will get pregnant first? Whatever you can guarantee I won’t get told and the judge and the girl’s mother will say it was my entire friggin fault

    What else would you expect from a Western society that has the highest child abuse rate in the world. The radical feminazi’s started laying their sneaky and insidious gender minefield in the 1970’s.I used to watch M.A.S.H and TV and sing suicide is painless for a laugh .Oh my my hows things have changed !!!

    Now kiwiland boasts a large group of angry men estranged and tortured by an unbalanced – hateful — p/c corrupt government that endorses fatherlessness, so they can create countless vulnerable children. The mistakes from the loony left still go unchecked, as they condone child abuse because it titillates their selfish human lusts

    Comment by dad4justice — Tue 16th January 2007 @ 8:06 pm

  6. i think one point i was really trying to make in my earlier comment that i missed was i think its very wrong if not illegal for grown men to seduce a teen(or infact allow themselves to be seuduced by a teen) and i agree society should condemn such behaviour. but i also agree society should condemn the reverse situation as strongly(a grown woman with a teenage boy) and it does not infact sometimes the boy is blamed for harrasing the woman!!! this is wrong i would be equally horrified of a woman taking advantage of my sons immatiurity as i would a man of my daughter, but society doesnot seem condemn the first instance unless the woman is a teacher of the boy(then it is mainly for reasons of professianal misconduct). im sure if the situation hans mentioned about the man in the carpark was a woman with a 16yr old boy, the article would not have described saving him from a trumatic sex attack!

    Comment by andy — Wed 17th January 2007 @ 10:01 am

  7. Violet mahari.. Self defence or not. There was always another option for her, than to inflict harm causing death upon the person who apparently had abused her. Not saying that all women do, but she did. The people she is staying with now, family. If the abuse was going on for so long then why have they only taken her in now rather than when he was alive. What kind of family is that. I do sympathise for her if her allegations are true, no one should have to suffer like that, but nor should someone die for it. Sure he should pay, but not with his life. My heart is with his kids who will never see him again, to the family who were unable to attend the funeral being xmas, as I bet that xmas was not a happy one for any!

    Comment by Anonymous — Fri 15th February 2008 @ 7:10 pm

  8. RE:Violet Mahari case, I think we, as people, cant possibly know how its like to live in a volatile relationship, unless we have been there. I say, who are we to judge!. Yes, we can say to ourselves, why and how could anyone take someones life, but, we will never comprehend the depth of mental and physical abuse that one is put through, whether you are woman or man. Opinions are learning blocks, however, we must remember that there are two parties here, families of victim and instigator. The question is when does it end?. My family and I grieve for someone who was exposed to something similar. We will continue to grieve until we find it in our hearts to forgive, until then, we will always stay unworthy to ourselves and the people we love the most.

    Comment by anonomous — Sat 24th July 2010 @ 12:04 am

  9. I will never forgive her…

    Comment by anonymous — Fri 8th July 2011 @ 1:13 am

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