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

Read Witness for the Defence – North & South

Filed under: Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 3:16 pm Thu 3rd March 2011

If you missed out on reading the February 2011 North & South article about my wife Dr Felicity Goodyear-Smith, here are the scanned pages – re-published with permission from APC Media. North & South website

I apologise for the scanned images – it’s too much work to OCR the text. Warning: each image is around 500KB.

First, the editorial by Virginia Lawson titled Sex Appeal:


Feb 2011 Nth & Sth Editorial

Some MENZ readers may fancy joining one of the rabid men’s groups she mentions; please leave joining details in the comments below.

She also simply states: “Most of those who end up in court on sexual abuse charges are guilty”, without acknowledging that many people would dispute that ‘fact’.

Those two discordant notes aside, Lawson raises many worthwhile points. I found this comment is particularly perceptive:

“But assigning some greater weight of suffering to their victims than those of any other nasty assaults I suspect is as much about us – the reporters and news consumers – being able to proclaim sympathy and moral outrage while at the same time lapping up the salacious details of sex crimes.”

Then the nine page article – not the best photo of me but such is life.

The photo on page four of our family in 1972 was originally published in the Listener. It’s totally posed – their photographer wanted something to illustrate an article about encounter groups and this was the result. Little sister really doesn’t want to be there, and is actually squeezing my cheek hard and painfully so that I’ll dong her and the situation will be successfully sabotaged and it will be my fault…


Page 1


Page 2


Page 3


Page 4


Page 5


Page 6


Page 7


Page 8


Page 9

And finally, two pages of letters from the February issue. The letter from Michael Gibson is basically a re-hash of the smear campaign promoted by ACC counsellors last year, except that he goes a step further, suggesting people should be “looking at her professional associates from Auckland University’s Medical School”.


Letters 1

Letters 2


  1. Dear John and Felicity,

    Always in thought, more so, especially when this mundane historic matter and typical cynical adversity rears the biased head.
    What ongoing funding is being sought from this latest witch-hunt????

    Kindest Regards

    Paul Catton
    Auckland Refuge for Men With Families
    (09) 270 9678

    Comment by Paul Catton — Thu 3rd March 2011 @ 9:47 pm

  2. This timely USA and UK article expresses precisely why it is imperative that NZ has someone like Felicity operating in defense of so many accused men.
    I urge every reader to read it in it’s entirety as it shows how NZ would probably be according to the misdandric feminist agenda were it not for the likes of Felicity.

    Comment by Men in NZ at risk — Fri 4th March 2011 @ 10:53 am

  3. Sad to see the outrageous and stupid false allegation at the end of the article that MENZ is a site which is just as likely to attract disaffected sickos who suggest anonymously that women need a smack in the head regularly to keep them in line.
    That hateful comment from someone who’s supposed to be a responsible ethical journalist ISN’T supported by facts.
    I know that because I have visited MENZ website regularly over many years and NEVER seen such misogyny expressed or implied.
    A complaint should be lodged against the author Donna Chisholm for such grossly misleading and libelous commentary.
    Ms Chisholm’s motives for issuing such a terrible false allegation are worth pursuing too.

    Comment by Skeptik — Fri 4th March 2011 @ 1:17 pm

  4. Donna got this information from me Skeptik, she just hasn’t got it very straight.

    The reason you haven’t seen any misogynist comments on MENZ will only be because I saw them first and removed them.

    The specific comment she is referring to appeared about 1.30 AM, and I did not remove it until next morning. In the meantime, someone made a copy of the page with the comment showing, and sent it to every one of my website customers asking why they supported such an anti-social website.

    Comment by JohnPotter — Fri 4th March 2011 @ 1:39 pm

  5. So it seems that on the Basis is ONE single, solitary paltry comment Donna using her position as author in a widely read NZ magazine to lambast MENZ like it’s some kind of haven for misogynists!
    Wow! Talk about hypersensitive misconstruction!

    Every movement attracts a few nutjobs.
    The Men’s rights movement will be no exception.
    But really ONE SINGLE comment then gets disseminated as reflective of many years of sensible, cogent and SOCIALLY NECESSARY commentary!!!
    Jesus, it seems this journalist Donna Chisholm has an axe to grind with there being a website reflecting men’s yearning for long overdue human rights!

    Comment by Skeptik — Fri 4th March 2011 @ 3:47 pm

  6. Who wrote this John? Unlikely to have been a regular contributor. How do we know it wasn’t someone seeking to discredit the site, or even the same person who copied and distributed it, claiming to have just happened to look at it between 1:30am and the next morning?

    Comment by Hans Laven — Fri 4th March 2011 @ 9:40 pm

  7. Yes Hans,
    Good points you raise there.
    What’s disgusting is that Donna Chilsholm would write such a thing with such an incredible and TINY amount of ‘evidence’.
    I mean – C’mon! One anonymous comment to draw upon and all of a sudden she’s painting MENZ as the ground zero of misogynous activity. Talk about paranoid and warped!

    Chisholm has also strategically placing the anti – MENZ comment near the end of her article.
    Skilled readers draw the essence of an article by skim reading three strategic parts of any article to get a sense of it: the beginning paragraphs, a paragraph in the middle of the article, and the final concluding paragraphs (the summarizing ‘impact’ paragraphs).
    Chisholm knows what she’s up to here.
    She’s been through journalism training so you can make a fair bet she’s being a feminist attack dog in this instance and betraying her own personal agenda.

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer (Sun Tsu proverb)

    Comment by Skeptik — Sat 5th March 2011 @ 12:43 am

  8. Hate to ask the obvious, JohnPotter, but isn’t any conclusion by qualified scholars based upon objective analysis of facts and data in compliance with the Scientific Method, which portrays feminism as catastrophic, going to be misinterpreted by a feminist as misogynistic? I mean, that’s part of the whole pathology – not possessing any analytical skills, solipsism, manipulation, compulsive lying, lack of personal responsibility for those facts, etc… From a feminist point of view, any perspective that does not enable their delusions is going to be portrayed as misogynistic. That’s the problem we’re dealing with here.

    Comment by Darryl X — Sat 5th March 2011 @ 6:02 am

  9. Hans: I believe the particular comment that I mentioned to Donna was made by the ex-wife of a regular contributor on MENZ. I received copies of a number of emails she sent to my customers, and to funding organisations who support groups I am/was associated with. After taking legal advice, I decided that the best option was to warn her to stop and hope she would see sense.

    There are a number of people out there who seem to devote a startling amount of energy into attacking Felicity and me – I guess it goes with the territory. The lawyers reckon that exposing them publicly would just throw fuel on the fire, so I have agreed to comply for the time being.

    Over the years, there have been many comments made on MENZ which I have removed because they are misogynist, or advocating something blatently illegal like shooting judges, sex with children, etc., etc. It’s probable some of these are made by men who genuinely think like this – we have to be honest that these attitudes do exist in our society.

    I think that it is also certain that some of these comment are made by hostile women, or men who support the radical feminist agenda. The belief that ‘ends justify means’ seems to be common among feminist activists. Because MENZ policy is to allow unmoderated, anonymous commenting, there is simply no way to know in many cases.

    Skeptik: I think you’re being far too hard on Donna. Felicity has talked to her quite a bit, and only did this interview because she felt she would be represented fairly. We are both fairly pleased with the article as a whole.

    It’s unfortunate that my mention of the anonymous comment can be interpreted as anti-MENZ (which of course was the intent of the women who wrote it). It may have been that I didn’t make the story clear to Donna; it could be something got lost in the editing process. I don’t believe it was a deliberate attempt to misrepresent MENZ as you are suggesting.

    The usual feminist characterisation of MENZ is that we are a “Men’s Rights” site, despite the fact that mentions of men’s rights are few, and are often made by women when they do show up in the site search results.

    Darryl X: I think you are absolutely correct when you write:

    any perspective that does not enable their delusions is going to be portrayed as misogynistic

    I sure don’t think articles in magazines and newspapers, or discussions on websites like MENZ are going to do anything to educate and reform any man-hating feminists! Our best hope is that many of them are nearing retirement age.

    Comment by JohnPotter — Sat 5th March 2011 @ 10:01 am

  10. JP,
    Thanks for clarifying things a bit more.
    We obviously have different ideas about fairminded journalism.
    It’s all well and good to be honest and say yes the occasional wackjob comment gets sent to MENZ.
    However, as you and Hans say those kinds of comments could be planted by feminists out to sabotage MENZ reputation. There’s no way of knowing.
    Also pertinent is the fact that MENZ receives many, many more times intelligent and respectful commentary than the odd nutbar comment you need to remove.
    What’s disturbing to me then is that Donna Chisholm didn’t mention those considerations but instead simply characterised MENZ as she says

    “MENZ is a site which is just as likely to attract disaffected sickos who suggest anonymously that women need a smack in the head regularly to keep them in line.”

    The phrase ‘just as likely’ means that for every sensible, respectful comment at MENZ there would be another comment advocating violence against women.
    To me that’s clearly no different than countless other feminist statements which rush to demean men and cast women into the victim role rather than presented a BALANCED and FAIR account.
    I stand by what I said therefore.

    I think if she were a more responsible journalist she wouldn’t have written such hyperbole and that she should publicly retract her statement about MENZ.

    Comment by Skeptik — Sat 5th March 2011 @ 1:09 pm

  11. JP,
    When you put North and South Editor Virginia Lawson editorial comments and Journalist Donna Chisholm’s article comments together I think it’s crystal clear there’s still a misandric feminist axe to grind against men attitude all too pervasive at North and South.

    Here are the statements –

    Virginia Lawson:
    ‘Most of those who end up in court on sexual abuse charges are guilty’
    (tired old feminist guilty until proven innocent shibboleth raises it’s ugly head yet again)

    Donna Chisholm:
    ‘MENZ is a site which is just as likely to attract disaffected sickos who suggest anonymously that women need a smack in the head regularly to keep them in line.’
    (Typically tired old feminist grossly unbalanced and derogatory misinformation about a men’s activity)

    I think both of these women need to get with the times.
    The 1980s are OVER.

    Comment by Skeptik — Sat 5th March 2011 @ 5:20 pm

  12. Donna Chisholm’s comment that

    “MENZ is a site which is just as likely to attract disaffected sickos who suggest anonymously that women need a smack in the head regularly to keep them in line.’

    is equivalent to saying someones behaviour

    “Is consistent with having being abused”

    a remark beloved of report writers which has now gained deserved notoriety.

    Dona could just as validly make the claim that the North and South magazine (or any website, magazine, place, institution or club) is

    “just as likely to attract disaffected sickos who suggest anonymously that women need a smack in the head regularly to keep them in line.’

    BTW- sorry to say John, that your picture looks exactly like you!

    Comment by John Brett — Mon 7th March 2011 @ 6:15 pm

  13. Let’s not get side tracked here by some relatively unimportant remarks.

    I thought this was a very balanced and well written article. The overall impression to me after reading this is that the DSAC has its own agenda, one that is obviously heavily influenced by feminist ideaology.

    The bit I really loved was where Felicity said something along the lines that when allegations of sexual abuse are made she thinks maybe it’s true or maybe its not, what is the evidence?

    I felt the entire article was dancing around this argument. This is vastly different from the more common mantra that where there is smoke there is a fire.

    Comment by Pete Hug — Mon 7th March 2011 @ 9:37 pm

  14. Virginia Lawson:
    ‘Most of those who end up in court on sexual abuse charges are guilty’
    (tired old feminist guilty until proven innocent shibboleth raises it’s ugly head yet again)

    Have you got statistical evidence that most people on sexual abuse charges are acquitted?

    Comment by Pete Hug — Mon 7th March 2011 @ 9:50 pm

  15. Talk to Peter Ellis about this.
    You’ll soon realize that NAYBODY who gets charged with sexual abuse in NZ doesn’t need to be convicted with actual evidence.
    So those holy sanctified statistics you refer to are largely MEANINGLESS.
    Get with the times.
    This isn’t the 1980s.

    Oh, and whilst I’m here get this.
    When a journalist stupidly pans this site as one that equally attracts misogynists as it attracts sensible commentary and you come along and say that’s a side issue, well it’s an issue YOU CHOOSE to sideline. But not me. I take exception to this site and the great work of many men being dismissed so irresponsibly and to you trying to marginalize the issue as though it’s of no importance.
    Again get with the times.
    Strong outspoken defiant men are here now.
    This isn’t the 1980s.

    Comment by Skeptik — Mon 7th March 2011 @ 10:37 pm

  16. The Rule of Law in New Zealand is-
    “Guilty until proven Innocent”
    If you are accused, you are presumed guilty unless you can PROVE otherwise- and even then you remain under suspicion. If you are a parent, you WILL lose your children even if you are guilty of nothing, even if you are PROVEN innocent.
    This is a cornerstone of our Feminist, Axminster (sweep it under the carpet) system of Government.

    Comment by John Brett — Tue 8th March 2011 @ 7:13 am

  17. here here john.

    All a woman has to do is say “DV” and automatically you lose everything. When I went through the SSU parenting assessment, the woman said “well there must be some truth to the allegation”.

    We were meant to both be on supervised access to our daughter but somehow CYFS overruled. I am the only one required to be supervised.

    ‘Guilty until proven Innocent’ is so true. I am fighting for my daughter cause my x has some serious issues (including previous violence issues).

    Comment by Jono — Tue 8th March 2011 @ 7:48 am

  18. Skeptik, I totally agree with you that sexual abuse cases are so terribly handled there is little doubt many men get wrongly convicted. Nonetheless, a conviction is equivalent to guilty.

    All I was trying to say was that Virginia Lawsons statement may factually be correct in that the majority of people charged with sexual offenses are found guilty by the court.

    This is actally quite in contrast to the feminasties who typically manipulate statistical figures such as to allow them to make outrageous statements such as this one: Conviction rate in sex cases 13 per cent.

    Comment by Pete Hug — Tue 8th March 2011 @ 9:55 am

  19. Actually Peter it’s worse than you make it out to be.
    If you’re a leading feminist academic in New Zealand like Neville Robertson then you believe ALL MEN ARE RAPISTS, period.
    I’ve met so many guys who concur that the prevailing attitude in NZ is one of “If the finger is pointed at you and you’re accused it’s a case of you’re guilty until proven innocent” that I don’t ‘need’ statistics to tell me which way the wind is blowing.

    Comment by Skeptik — Tue 8th March 2011 @ 11:15 am

  20. Here’s a relevant quote from Paul Elam:

    I did have reason at the time to believe that was going to be possible. My experiences with Belanger had left me the impression that he (at least him personally) was more interested in the success the GMPM website than he was in ideology, and that he was a man, a ‘good’ man, that operated with integrity.

    I was wrong.

    As so aptly described by guest writer Lady Gyoo, Henry Belanger’s ‘Meet the Men’s Rights Movement,’ the article used to introduce the men’s rights community to their general readership, was anything but objective. It was a calculated hit piece, designed to incite their readership to view us as a bunch of hate mongering crack pots before ever having read a word of our work. And it served as an open invitation to treat us with the same derision and condescension in the comments as he did in his article.

    In a style reminiscent of moron blogger David Futrelle, (who also joined in on the GMPM bashwagon) Belanger went on the attack, not of our literature or issues regarding the affairs of men and boys, but on a handful of angry, dissenting comments posted on their website by people he cannot even verify are MRA’s. That was the standard he used to characterize an entire social movement.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Sun 13th March 2011 @ 10:57 pm

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