MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

the {invisible} men

Filed under: General — Vman @ 5:37 pm Fri 18th June 2010

I recommend you read the full article here:

I encourage you to leave a comment there as well as here.

The bulk of it is as follows:

When personal trainer, husband and father-of-two John Bonasera walks in the door following a fractured night’s sleep on the couch and a 13-hour workday, a complaint is the last thing to leave his lips. But it’s not out of personal choice, says the oft-harried 37-year-old. The verbal restraint is borne more from a desire for self-preservation.

Welcome, say our tired husbands and fathers, to the age of the neglected male. Harried and hurrying from school drop-offs to breakfast meetings before rushing home for baby’s bath time, these tired and tetchy men are left wondering why – unlike their hard-working female partners – they are failing to receive what they believe to be rightful recognition for their efforts. Take a rudimentary glance at the evidence, they urge.

Ladies, these men may have a point.

The media devotes significant coverage to the complex life of the modern family woman and her constant juggle between familial, work and domestic responsibilities, but precious little to how men manage the load. Yet figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics bear out a startlingly even spread of domestic and professional labour: a 2006 study into how Australians used their time found that men spent a combined average (over seven days) of 11.44 hours per day performing professional, childcare and domestic tasks. And women? They came in at a combined average of 11.35 hours – nine minutes less than the men.

Figures aside, what these men are saying is that they too would appreciate the odd tribute; that it’s not a question of who does more, but more a question of unheard voices

“The best advice is, ‘Don’t say you’re tired, don’t complain.’ Because, you know, what’s the point?” says Troy Jones, a 33-year-old father of two young children who works in the film and advertising industries. Having interviewed dozens of men during the creation of a series of short films designed to provide information and support to first-time fathers, Jones says the overwhelming majority of male participants struggled with feelings of invisibility, and the belief that their roles in family and society were undervalued or, in some cases, not valued at all.

The conclusion:

“I think the entire basis of happiness is this innate desire to be heard and have your opinions recognised,” ventures Troy Jones. “For blokes in Australia, the way to be tough is to just soldier on and be eternally okay with everything. But that’s not the path to happiness. Or mental stability.”


  1. Excellent find Scrap. I meet single fathers who are remarkable. They seem more reluctant to apply for a benefit preferring to work and I think they’re incredible for the way they handle everything.

    First time fathers, especially young fathers, would be finding if difficult because it is difficult.

    Some fathers who have shared care, (some or many women are reluctant to accept 50/50 equal parenting because they want the child support) work long hours on the days they don’t have the children because they are just babies and they don’t want to put them in childcare.

    I;m pinching this, lol.

    Good on the men’s movement in Australia. They have done soooo well getting organised and reaching their goals.

    Comment by julie — Fri 18th June 2010 @ 6:39 pm

  2. …yes, like my ‘invisable’ 18 year old son.

    Who, because he does not live with his mother, as far as the nz government is concerned, simply no longer exists.

    Apparently, he was expected to survive as others do in Auckland by scrounging food from the rubbish bins outside of KFC.

    What delightful people!

    Comment by Peter — Sat 19th June 2010 @ 1:39 pm

  3. …while I’m here, would some one kindly advise me whether or not the CIA is now party to the feminest inquisition?

    Obviously, the nz government reeks of oppression and supression but just how far does the rot reach?

    Comment by Peter — Sat 19th June 2010 @ 1:51 pm

  4. Yes Julie, Good on men’s movement in Oz for highlighting single fathers. A shame there are so many. And please always remember that Brisbane is the city where a man committed suicide by setting himself on fire in front of onlookers outside the district court.
    I’m familiar with Brisbane having been there several times.
    It gives me the creeps to think folks stood by and let this man burn (there were reports of two women bystanders who later commented how upset they were seeing him burn but NO reports of anyone trying to douse the flames with fire extinguishers which would have been in nearby buildings including many in the courthouse itself).
    Firemen did eventually arrive by which time it was too late and the poor guy had 70% of his body covered in 3rd degree burns (No skin whatsoever).
    I’m distressed to see there’s been NO follow up coverage in the media in Oz since it happened about 10 days ago now.
    The level of denial in OZ culture about male suffering means the men’s movement still has a long L…O……N…….G way to go yet.

    Comment by Skeptik — Sun 20th June 2010 @ 2:03 am

  5. You’ve made a very good point Skeptic.

    You are 100% right IMO, there is a looooooong way to go.

    Comment by julie — Sun 20th June 2010 @ 11:36 am

  6. he suicided by setting himself on fire outside Brisbane District courthouse after a ‘family related’ case.
    As the days on the calendar role by there still HASN’T been any follow up investigative reporting looking into the background of the man.
    Shame on Oz for that.

    Comment by skeptik — Sun 4th July 2010 @ 5:11 am

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