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Radio NZ piece on Infanticide

Filed under: Domestic Violence,Gender Politics,General,Law & Courts — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 6:37 pm Thu 29th August 2013

FYI, our email to the ‘Nine to Noon’ programme on National Radio, Radio NZ concerning its piece on Infanticide this morning (you can hear it here):

Dear Nine to Noon

Infanticide is one of our laws that remains blatantly sexist, that treats offending by a woman as somehow more acceptable than the same offending by a man. We heard Dr Jackie Short “explain’ the murder of defenceless infants and blame this violence by females on society, religion, family, mental illness (that rarely seems to be evident in these women’s lives other than their homicidal act), everything except hold the woman responsible for her behaviour and choices. Because the violence is done by a woman, let’s not even call it child abuse.

While provocation has been removed as a defence and this was clearly intended to deprive men of an excuse for homicide, of course when it comes to women any excuse will do. The fact is that most homicides will involve temporary mental disruption under circumstances of major emotional, social and interpersonal factors. But if any man kills a young infant and cannot reach the very high threshold of “insanity’, he has no recourse to the lenient offence of infanticide.

It’s a shame, but entirely consistent with Radio NZ’s strongly feminist bias, that no men’s movement representative was included in this discussion. For example, neither of your female interviewees made it clear that infanticide is gender specific, available only for women, or mentioned the basic fact that its punitive tariff is a maximum of 3 years imprisonment whereas any male who behaves in exactly the same way will always face prosecution for crimes with a maximum tariff of life imprisonment.

I still hold out hope that Radio NZ will one day move beyond being a feminist propaganda machine and instead prioritize balance in its management of gender issues.

Kind regards

Hans Laven
Ministry of Men’s Affairs (A community group because successive governments have failed to protect the voice, rights or welfare of men)


  1. There is a whole body of patriarchal law.

    Note that feminism was quite to demand the removal of the laws such as that which excluded rape within a marriage as a crime but yet clings to infanticide as a mitigated circumstance. If anyone wants to blame family, then remove all the law that existed around ‘the family’ including infanticide and we can all be treated as individuals and judged equally under the law.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 29th August 2013 @ 7:25 pm

  2. Downunder, I’m not aware of any patriarchal law still on our books, certainly not any that specifically advantages men. Can you point to some? Or do you mean the ongoing laws that advantage women?

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Thu 29th August 2013 @ 9:35 pm

  3. You’re totally missing the point.

    When the father was in charge of the household if the women killed a child it was THEIR problem, the husband and wife in the STATE of the family.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 29th August 2013 @ 9:57 pm

  4. Sorry Downunder, you said “There is a whole body of patriarchal law.” Did you mean that there WAS a whole body of patriarchal law, or is there currently patriarchal law? Or what was the point of saying that? I agree I missed it.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Thu 29th August 2013 @ 10:03 pm

  5. There are many bodies of law; we could revert to tribal law if we wanted to. Feminism is a body of law. In a transfer from body of law to another, individual laws can be viewed as offensive to a current regime rather than inclusive of a past regime.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 29th August 2013 @ 10:15 pm

  6. If you want another example of retained patriarchal law, we still have ‘male assaults female’. Feminism won’t ever let go of this one. In a world of equality everyone should be judged as an individual and on the circumstances that surround them. In this example the same behaviour from a woman is an offence under the summary offences act but a crime for a man. This law has been brought into family circumstances when it was intended to protect women in society, not deal with disputes in the household

    Comment by Downunder — Fri 30th August 2013 @ 9:38 am

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