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Budget 2015: Men Don’t Matter

Filed under: General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 11:53 am Thu 28th May 2015

In yesterday’s parliamentary budget debate, Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox celebrated new funding of $2.1 million for suicide prevention tagged to rangatahi Maori, i.e. Maori youth. Allocating this money for youth suicide seems disingenuous given that youth suicide rates are actually lower than the average rate for older age groups, but it does seem reasonable to try to address the relatively small disparity between Maori and non-Maori suicide rates. The relevant proportion in suicide rate has been about 1.2 Maori to 1 non-Maori, so the much greater gender difference in suicide of approximately 3.5 males to 1 female would suggest that around $6 million should have been allocated for male suicide prevention. However, the amount specifically allocated to reduce the huge gender disproportion in suicide was exactly $0.00.

The newly-named Ministry for Women will again receive about $5 million this year with an intention to continue that provision in the years to come. The activities on which this will be spent include:
– assessing and advising on all new law changes to ensure they improve outcomes for women,
– reporting to the UN and other agencies about the status of women,
– providing suitable women nominees for appointment to state sector boards and committees,
– providing administrative, advisory and research support for the National Advisory Council on the
Employment of Women,
– providing support services for the Minister for Women.

Other government agencies such as the Human Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission seem to focus primarily on advancing women’s interests and consistently avoid any acknowledgement of men’s disadvantage. Many other government agencies including the Social Development Ministry, Child Youth and Family, Family Court, Health Ministry, Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Education prioritize the interests of females. So much more of our taxes are being spent on advancing women than is clear from the discriminatory funding of a Ministry for Women and other overtly female-specific initiatives.

Our economy is maintained at the disproportional expense of men’s workplace deaths, injuries, health and lifespan. Our economy and the infrastructure of our modern existence continues to rely disproportionately on men’s efforts, talents and wisdom. Yet men are treated so badly that they commit suicide at high rates. More men commit suicide each year than die in road accidents (some of which will also be suicides). But while special provision in the budget is made for the needs of women, Maori and various other specific groups, the word ‘men’ doesn’t even appear. There is one allocation of about $1 million for a Prostate Awareness and Quality Improvement Programme and one assumes (but can’t be certain) that will be specific to men’s needs, so at least that’s something. That seems to be the only budget allocation for anything specifically related to men.

12 Responses to “Budget 2015: Men Don’t Matter”

  1. MurrayBacon says:

    There are none so blind, as those who will not see.

    This seems to be the attitude towards men in Government?

    Men’s averages may be higher than women’s for many issues, but it is also true that for every man at the “top”, there is a large number of men at the “bottom”. A person’s need is not set by sex, but by their individual characteristics. For most characteristics, men show a wider and more skewed range and standard deviation.

    I am guessing that men in Government don’t see much need by men and the men they do see are very nicely well off. There is a lot of advocacy for women (much of it Government funded), whereas what little advocacy there is for men is often not listened to and discounted without reason.

    Most important of all, thanks to Ministry of Men’s Affairs for bringing to notice the many silent issues, that are easily missed, if not given very close watching.

    Maybe the only obvious good thing that Government has done recently, is sinking Relationship Services counsellors. Although the concept of such a service was worthwhile, my own experience saw them more as women’s advocates with a neutral name? (Sorry for complimenting a negative activity!)

    I hope their replacement might be better quality?

    Life is a gamble. I try to stick to sensible gambling, not National/Sky City type Party gambling.

  2. Man X Norton says:

    Murray (#1): I had a similar experience with Relationship Services. The counsellor was incompetent, unable or unwilling to clarify the boundaries of confidentiality and clearly coming to her work with a default assumption that a male’s behaviour will be ‘power and control’ and that the male will be to blame for any relationship problems. I would not let that counsellor anywhere near vulnerable, post-separation men. I’m not sure whether she was representative of the culture and politics of the whole organisation, but I wouldn’t trust any group that employed and supported such a man-hating bully.

  3. MurrayBacon says:

    I guess for men’s suicides to be given higher Government spending priority, more voters would need to push this to politicians?

    As far as I can see, I know about 8 or 9 men who have taken a fairly close interest in men’s suicides. Most were motivated partly by national statistics, but mainly having spent time counselling (free) desperate fathers, who may have been tempted by suicide.

    Counsellors who charge for their services usually don’t take public political action, so their numbers don’t contribute to people advocating for support services for men.

    People who assist men free are few and far apart. Unfortunately, typically their words are discounted and sometimes ridiculed.

    Families of suicidees are usually so stunned and shamed, that very, very few stand up in public.

    I still find it hard to understand how hospital doctors cannot see the dead men, from national statistics?

    So, the only ones left to advocate for better support services for men, are the 300 odd suicidees every year and the 100 odd industrial accidentees and ??? car accidentees….

    Don’t hold your breath too long…

  4. triassic says:

    I concur with you Murray on RS and on MOMA’S post. When I was being accused by my ex of inappropriate sexual behaviour in the presence of my young daughter for the third time, and after CYFS clearing me each time, I decided to seek help for my ex by requesting and obtaining joint counselling with RS. To my utter amazement the female counsellor gave the ex credit for being over zealous in her suspicions about me….. (no evidence required just a woman intuition given credence) At that point my eyes were opened and I realised that both my and my child’s feelings, wellbeing and rights were a long way down the list of priorities. It was obvious to me that the values held by RS were corrupt. A few years later my ex once again tried the same trick but this time a lady at CYFS was no fool. She picked up strong coaching symptoms from my daughter and subsequently wrote a damming report to the FC revealing the truth of the matter and the alienation intent of the accusations. Too bad the system just gave the ex a smack with a wet bus ticket. Not all CYFS staff are biased and probably not all judges and RS counsellors, but those that are not are few and far between and risk their own future in stepping outside the gravey train.
    The number of good fathers abused in NZ due to the lack of adequate policy by successive governments would out number the female victims of domestic violence by a long way.

  5. al says:

    I was horrified today after catching a radio programme by mistake.
    It was on Radio Kidnappers and I missed the participants but they were from Taranaki.

    A guy that was a councellor and a woman who I think was the same.
    All their comments were about men being the perpetrators of violence and mental abuse.No objectivity at all and everything aimed at men being the problem.What also annoyed me was their suggestion that if there was abuse call the police and they would understand and help.With mental abuse I don’t think the police are capable of understanding .
    They said men threatening suicide was a form of mental abuse.Is that right? Why do guys end up at that point, provocation, mental abuse from woman?

  6. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear al, damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Suppose that suicide is a sensible way out of such a situation? Trapped in a relationship with a woman like that, then suicide is definitely worth carefully considering?

    If I hark back to Budget 2014, parental leave was increased. However, reading the small print, it was given in a very mother supporting manner, not in terms of supporting both parents. What was drying ink a year ago, must now be quite a handful of mangled families? Certainly, it would work well for not yet separated families and would only mangle families where one or other parent was considering separating or had separated.

    Dangerous language, or at least dangerous assumptions built into the sentence. Should it be – the parental leave provisions have significantly harmed the relationships between babies and their separated fathers?

    But for the parents with good mental health and relationship skills, the parental leave provisions have helped the babies relationships with both parents (near equally)?

    Is there any difference between the two sentences? Does it matter?

    I suggest it does matter. The parents with poorer relationship skills and mental health, are the very parents where both parental relationships need to be maintained, fostered, developed and protected? Not just for the parent’s sake, but most of all for the children.

  7. Man X Norton says:

    Al (#5): It is incredible when you think about it that anyone working as a counsellor could maintain a view that men are responsible for all or most family violence including ‘mental abuse’. Couples presenting for counselling show a full range of situations; some involve men committing most of the violence, some involve women committing most of the violence, most involve both parties treating each other violently in various ways. When physical violence is involved it’s rare to find couples in which only one party uses physical violence towards the other although the man will more often cause significant injury, consistent with the research finding of Fergusson and many other objective family researchers.

    For counsellors to maintain such male-blaming views must involve a high degree of distortion by them of what they see. It’s amazing how we fit what we see into our preexisting expectations. The ‘male power and control’ model has a lot to answer for here; counsellors, psychologists, lawyers and in fact nearly all professionals who work with families were effectively indoctrinated into this model and from then on selectively noticed only evidence conforming to it. Any evidence inconsistent with it is ignored or explained away.

    The ‘suicide is domestic violence’ line arose out of the feminist ‘male power and ocntrol’ model for domestic violence. As suggested by the Radio Kidnappers counsellors, suicide threats are violence when made by men but symptoms of distress and abuse when made by women. There’s a good example of biased perceptions.

    In fact, more women than men suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, a condition that typically involves frequent suicidal gestures that seem manipulative. They will genuinely feel high distress and hopelessness, but the suicidal woman will often phone support services first, pack her hospital bag and ensure she is found bleeding superficially or overdosed. When men express suicidal ideation this usually reflects genuine distress and hopelessness and there is little evidence of intent to manipulate. Never mind, the counsellor will seize upon it as another act of male power and control.

    The more I experience, the more certain I am that recent male suicide statistics result largely from social and political misandry. Women felt powerless and in response feminists set about diminishing and demonizing men. When men are diminished they tend to fall on their sword. This has long been a male characteristic reflecting honour and a strong sense of responsibility to serve family and society. Feminist ideology kills men in large numbers.

  8. Seamus says:

    What is the story with this? Guy deliberately rips a guy’s testicles off/up. Punishment is home detention. . .

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11457082

    Jack the Ripper stuff, but because it’s happening to a male it’s not that big a deal.

  9. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Man X Norton, conflict of interest – who pays most of NZ’s counsellors? – Government.

    Most customers are not in much of a position to pay their counsellor, even if they wanted to. Usually they don’t want to pay the counsellor anyway…

    He who pays the piper, calls the tune!

    The taxpayer has been disconnected from the decisions about making the payments to counsellors. Even if they stopped to think about it, they are probably blissfully unaware of how their money has been spent, or the values that have been reinforced. It is only when they are personally burned, that they start to think the funding decisions through. Maybe then, they get pissed off (once it is far too late to have any impact anyway).

    Personal responsibility was lost.

  10. MurrayBacon says:

    I am horrified at the Grievous Bodily Harm case, linked to by Seamus above. I would have thought that preventative detention should have been considered? The article didn’t say what prior convictions the attacker had?

    Sometimes the courts are sensible. Too often, it is hard to take their function seriously at all. I think that the judges need to be replaced, every last one of them. They should just be appointed for 3 years, with a slim possibility of further appointment, if they perform successfully and well. Guaranteed tenure allows them to take the position for granted and they clearly do.

  11. DJ Ward says:

    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/older-women-are-the-fastest-growing-group-of-homeless-australians/story-fnu2q5nu-1227409739637

    Poor things. Society will have to create special sexualy bigoted services for them. Never mind all the men who have given up, sleeping on park bench’s. If only they could have a baby agian, bludge off another man, and rip off the taxpayers with anouther round of the DPB.

  12. voices back from the bush says:

    to D J Ward @ 11,

    The article featuring Monique Pearce, whom according to the author Ginger Gorman is Impossible not to like. Yet somehow is “facing life alone”.

    The poor wretched soul admits to being a bit slutty , just for a bed.

    It seems to me that this womans real problem is lack of education.(sorry -the patriarchy and lack of education.)

    These women that don’t congregate in womens shelters miss out on the very basics of modern womens opportunities.
    She has managed to learn how to take advantage of Men offering herself as cheaply as an easy lay for Ciggarettes and breakfast but needs to learn how to finish the deal for optimum lasting success.

    Since no one else has, let me spell this out for her..

    Find a Man who is lonely and pretend that you are interested in his life, his family, his stupid hobbies and interests and hang around long enough to earn his trust.
    One Saturday morning after showering, scratch some toothpaste onto your skin around your neck and chest.
    This makes nice orange marks that look like abrasions, then pickup a power lead and begin beating the man with it. After two or three lashes- even the gentlest pacifist will attempt to take the power cord off you.
    Once he has done that pop next door to the neighbours and tell them that you need help because the man has just attacked you and tried to tie you up with the cord.
    They will take you to police where you can show them your chest and tell them the story about the man trying to tie you up with the cord.
    The man will instantly be arrested without question. Police are instructed to believe you because you have a vagina and the man doesn’t.
    You will be told to pop down to the hospital to be checked out.
    It doesn’t matter that the fake scratches will have gone by then, even though you don’t have a single bruise or evidence that doesn’t matter at all, just tell the doctor you were assaulted but you cant remember what happened because you were so scared.
    Then go back to his place and throw some stuff from the garden shed into his vehicle and park it on the street.
    the man will be locked up till Monday afternoon and then wont be allowed to return home again and all his possessions are now yours.
    The police charge will destroy his life and reputation. The police will issue a protection order with anger management for the offender””..
    You have about nine months to repeat the process with the next guy as the man will get a court hearing eventually. But as your long gone by then the judge dismisses the case without the mans account ever being mentioned.. rinse and repeat as required.
    Unless hes kept his receipts in the glove box his stuff is yours permanently.
    And of course as your the victim no one ever counts how many times you do this to men- men will always be considered at fault.
    All that will be said is “Well I feel so sorry for Monique.. she is – Impossible not to like.. But for some strange reason she keeps falling for these violent – asshole men time after time”.. go figure..

    Yes, I do think with just a little more education we can solve this crisis of homeless women and Authors like Ginger Gorman can focus on the real problems like patriarchy and the wage gap and rape culture etc.

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