News Review from June 2009, part One
So much news, so little time! Grab a cuppa and sit down to consider some noteworthy recent events from the perspective of aware men and fathers. More than one post will be needed to show the cavalcade of relevant stories.
This warning to women in Tokoroa to “take care when walking home from licensed premises” was of course sensible advice. But why make such advice specific only to women? Men are more often the victims of violent crime in the community than are women, and it is not unusual to hear of lone men walking late at night being mugged, robbed or beaten for fun (e.g. see this recent story
and this one , and this one and this one. Also, the Tokoroa warning is based on untested allegations that sound a little suspicious. Was there sufficient justification to spread fear and mistrust towards half the population?
The case of the ear-flicking father has been commented on widely. I note that we still don’t know whether an ear flick is illegal or whether he was found to have punched his son. Both actions were included in one convicted charge of assault, while he was acquitted of other charges in relation to other alleged actions. Why were the separate alleged actions of ear-flicking and punching the boy in the face not prosecuted under two separate charges? Because, if the punch was then not proven beyond reasonable doubt, an assault conviction for a minor ear-flick (that he always admitted) would have shown up the new section 59 for what it is.
The woman who made group-rape allegations against Australian rugby league players went into hiding, bemoaning the nightmare of harassment she was being subjected to concerning her allegations. Well, what did she expect? She decided to go public, damaging the reputations and careers of top sportsmen even though her allegations had already been investigated and dismissed by NZ police. She probably made a lot of media money from this malicious behaviour. Fair enough, she can choose to do so unless sued for defamation and/or ordered to desist. But why did she imagine she could attack others in that way and somehow avoid a reaction?
Some men are dangerous (and some women, although probably a lesser number) and society deserves to be protected from them. But this story is notable for the absence of contextual information. When a woman commits violent crime, we are bound to read about her unfortunate childhood and difficult life circumstances. When a man commits similar crime we simply read about all the bad things he has done. Why did this man turn out the way he did? Was his mother, as is the case for so many delinquents, assisted by our DPB system to exclude his father from his life?
This 66-year-old British woman undertook fertility treatment to become pregnant. She said her pregnancy was nobody else’s business. According to current laws, she is probably correct. Her position is a variation on the “woman’s right to choose” argument concerning pregnancy and the foetus. While it is a serious crime for a man to harm the foetus inside a woman’s body, it is not a crime for the woman to do so except when seen as an illegal abortion attempt. While we can be prosecuted for risking our own safety and unnecessarily burdening rescue and health services by (e.g.) taking certain drugs, boating without the regulation safety equipment or failing to wear a seat belt, a pregnant woman is not prosecuted for dangerous behaviour likely to harm her foetus and thereby to burden society with a handicapped citizen. For example, many babies are born with foetal alcohol syndrome but mothers are never prosecuted for the sustained and serious alcohol abuse that caused it. In the case of this older woman the chances of her baby suffering congenital or developmental problems are very high due to her age. Female reproductive rights are treated as sacrosanct while the father has absolutely no say, e.g. over whether the unborn child lives or dies or how the pregnant woman manages the welfare of that child. Fathers’ interests are usually totally ignored in the ongoing abortion debate. Why should society have a right to determine standards of care and even self-care regarding citizens in general but no right to do so for soon-to-be-born children? Such anomalies cannot continue indefinitely.
The Christine Rankin furore has been quite something. According to Heather Henare (Women’s Refuge) and some others, only their own political views on parenting are acceptable and nobody who disagrees with them should be employed by the state or in roles promoting the interests of families. Ms Rankin was later instructed by the prime minister and others not to support the “no” lobby with respect to the section 59 referendum. Incredible, when a number of government departments have been openly campaigning to promote support the anti-parent “yes” vote. Such government interference in a democratic process is appalling, and what happened to political freedom and free speech? Under these circumstances, the Key government is hypocritical in criticizing other countries for poor democratic behaviour.
Tony Veitch should not have kicked his ex partner. She, however, should have kept to her confidentiality agreement or otherwise returned the money she received as part of that agreement. Tony Veitch was convicted of one offence, and the remorse and responsibility he subsequently showed regarding his offending left a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, I criticize media for subsequently releasing other unproven allegations his ex-wife had made against him. She dropped those allegations and I don’t understand why the law would then allow them to be levelled afresh through the media. It’s a bit like Louise Nicholas whose allegations were dismissed in Court but media have frequently repeated them and encouraged her to keep representing them as if factual ever since. Our justice system was established to replace community lynch mobs with a fairer and more civilized process, but when it comes to aggrieved women we seem to tolerate and collude with endless vendettas regardless of proof or ethics.
Lest we forget the sacrifice and contribution made by men in their roles. This is not considered by those who insist that men’s average earnings should not be greater than women’s regardless of the range, discomfort and dangerousness of the roles chosen. Often, when men are killed or injured in the roles they provide their gender is not even mentioned. Yes, we do still need to find solutions to difficult issues such as the degree of relatively unpaid roles provided by women and the impact of child-related duties on women’s career development.
Now this is stupid. It is gross disregard for fundamental freedoms, and a return to feudal serfdom. It is no coincidence that it is men and men’s traditional roles that are now treated so violently by the state.
If a male doctor started a sexual relationship with a female patient, continued to provide professional services during that relationship, then caused the death of the woman through prescribing opiates, do you think that doctor would still be practising? But as we know, there’s one law for men and another for women. In this case, the modest punishment of the female doctor may be fair and reasonable under the circumstances, but why don’t males get the same fairness and consideration?
It does seem that some typically male qualities and skills were crucial in this life-saving surgery using the nearest handyman’s electric drill.
And here’s an astounding act of bravery and self-sacrifice by a man to save a woman friend. Hail men!
Can we allow a mother’s religious preferences to prevent an opportunity for her son to survive? I’m not sure where the boundary between the State and the family should be. I do know that families are being wrecked by governments throughout the western world.
Yeah right…. What about two decades or more of child tax dowries levied on the men who mate with these women, and the claims the women can make on the men’s property earned long before meeting those women?
Contrary to popular belief, teens want more time with their parents.
It’s good to see some positive education of men to help them behave in ways that modern society claims it wants, rather than simply denigrating men for not doing so already. Perhaps one day we can look forward to seeing teaching programmes that educate women about men’s reality and preferences.
Funny, the anti-male ALAC advertisements led us to believe that only men cause harm to others through drinking too much. They can’t have known this woman…
Although some understanding of historical events might be shown in light of different social mores that used to exist, the treatment this woman received sixty years ago from St Joseph’s Catholic Orphanage for Girls is rightly judged as immoral and unacceptable. However, the morality and acceptability of this woman’s vendetta seem little better. It seems she is being dishonest about whether apologies were given, dishonouring a resolution process she previously engaged in, her previous acceptance of the fairness of that process and the $44,000 restitution she accepted, instead now preferring to pursue endless revenge against those who have already made amends. Perhaps the money ran out.
Good on them; men can learn from these ideas too. Interesting though that men are increasingly being pressured to look young and virile and to maintain a full head of hair. Men are now judged by women for their bodies and appearance in ways that feminists strongly objected to when done to them. For example, Playboy and Penthouse magazines received strong wrath, men were accused of sexism for enjoying erotica, human rights complaints were made against men who hung up centrefolds in male-oriented workplaces. Yet now we see women celebrated for treating men as erotic sex objects.
Men should demand equality of earnings in this field.
Nai Yin Xue has thankfully been caught and tried for his crime. However, he was the victim of abuse and exploitation by the wife he murdered. When women murder men they claim abused and exploited them we see feminists on the street demanding leniency and early release from prison. Will we hear them in this case? I would also remind people that this murder arose after the family had been subjected to our family violence and protection order processes. Those processes are very poor at helping to resolve relationship conflict, and this case is only one among many examples of this, e.g. in the news right now.
Let’s see if this teacher gets to keep his registration the way female teachers do when they offend in the same way.
Campaigns by the domestic violence industry routinely imply that only men cause violence, or that only men’s violence is significant enough to care about. Last year’s totally offensive domestic violence “cake” campaign showed a cake with a number of figures on top all of white men beating women and children; this expensive campaign was funded by us all through the Ministry of Social Development and engineered by the male-bashing “Preventing Domestic Violence in the Home” organization. The Court’s harsh treatment of this female child basher at least shows gender equality that we are not used to seeing towards female offenders. However, the State’s response, to rip this child away from the mother to be parented by relative strangers under CYFS control, is probably much more abusive towards the child than anything the mother did. If assistance has been offered or provided to this parent to improve her coping and skills, there is no mention of it in the news. Why does the State think that it can do better than parents, even poorly coping ones?
A commendable public education campaign planned by Auckland District Health Board (DHB) to discourage the shaking of babies deserves support. This proposed campaign differs from most existing domestic violence services in two ways: firstly, it seems to target parents regardless of gender (rather than implying that only men harm children) and secondly it is claimed to be based on good outcome-effectiveness research. Please everyone note this important statement by Ms Stott, Auckland DHB planning manager for child, youth and women’s health concerning their programme: “It is the only child abuse prevention programme that has any real evidence of effectiveness“. Sadly, those who provide funding for all manner of domestic violence programmes that have little research support and that act blatantly as male-denigration machines, are unwilling to come up with the $1 million required for the anti-shaking campaign. Auckland DHB can be congratulated for introducing some sense into the domestic violence arena. Perhaps it will also have the sense to consider the wisdom of maintaining a service called “child, youth and women’s health” that implies through exclusion that fathers are not important in families.