Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The ideological madness of White Ribbon Day

Unfortunately, the white ribbon day campaign in Australia is gaining momentum. It's being presented to men as a way to signal opposition to domestic violence. But in reality it's a sneaky way to get men to accept a radical feminist ideology.

What is this radical ideology? It's the idea that men use violence against women as a means of imposing patriarchal rule. That leads feminists to emphasise:

  • that domestic violence is gendered: that it is to be understood as violence committed by men against women
  • that domestic violence is systemic: that it is part of the norms of a traditional society and is to be found amongst all groups of men and is widely prevalent in society
  • that a society can rid itself of violence by dismantling traditional gender roles, traditional social norms and by creating a new equal, non-hierarchical and non-patriarchal society

But such claims run up against the following realities:

  • a significant percentage of violence is committed by women not men (here)
  • violence is concentrated amongst an underclass and some ethnic groups (e.g. Aborigines) (here and here)
  • violence is strongly linked to alcoholism, unemployment and homelessness (here)
  • traditional social norms amongst men did not condone rape or violence against women
  • women are safer when in relationships with men than when alone (here)
  • violence against women is not as prevalent as claimed in the false statistics peddled by the white ribbon day campaign (e.g. see here and here)
  • the shift toward a matriarchal feminist culture has not, so far, led to an increasing respect for women, nor to self-respecting behaviour by women, and has, if anything, encouraged rather than discouraged the rise of a "thug" culture amongst men. (at the end here)

The white ribbon day people have explained their ideological approach in documents at their website. For instance, Stephen Fisher has authored a paper titled From violence to coercive control: renaming men's abuse of women. (It's currently the first paper listed at the site.)

It's an extraordinary document - a kind of ideological madness. Let me give you one example. According to Stephen Fisher we shouldn't understand domestic violence as being about acts of physical violence. If we do this, then we might start to think that non-violent men are innocent of patriarchal control. Fisher complains that,

the focus on physical acts allows a distinction to be made between good and bad men. For example, some people may say that most well-meaning men do not perpetrate physical or sexual violence against women. This allows men to believe that if they are not hitting women, then they are not violent and are not the target of violence prevention efforts. In fact many women victims report that they feel most trapped and fearful when the frequency of physical violence decreases.

According to the patriarchy theory of domestic violence, the violence has to be systemic. That's why Fisher isn't keen on making a distinction between good and bad men and why he favours a broader definition of domestic violence to include:

emotional, sexual, financial and spiritual violence

Yes, now there is even a category of "spiritual violence" against women (no, I don't know what this means).

Fisher also makes very clear the ideological distinctions he wants to draw. He wants us to take a "profeminist" view of domestic violence, which means a belief that,

men’s violence against women happens because individual men are supported to perpetrate this violence by the social context of gendered inequalities in a patriarchal society. Ignoring these inequalities is both a symptom and outcome of seeing men’s violence against women primarily as a medical or individual issue.

So the right approach, according to Fisher, is to see domestic violence as being a product of gender inequality in a patriarchal society. The wrong approach is to see it as a medical or individual issue which he explains as follows:

Many of the ways that men’s violence against women is commonly presented either implicitly or explicitly reinforce the idea that there is something wrong with the perpetrator (and sometimes the family or even the victim) that needs addressing. It is said that he may have a problem with anger, alcohol, communication skills, conflict resolution, childhood trauma, or even have ‘sexist attitudes’.

This way of naming the problem results in solutions that diagnose these perpetrators with some kind of ‘disorder’ or ‘problem’ and then devise a therapeutic intervention to 'fix’ them.

Fisher has other ideas. He believes the fault lies with social norms:

Firstly our dominant culture and everyday social norms support men’s superiority and women’s inferiority. Secondly it is not necessarily the case that men are merely ill-informed. There are distinct advantages for men to continue to hold and act on these beliefs, not the least of which is control over women. So while violence may be perpetrated by individuals this is done within the context of wider social norms.

He doesn't want treatments for those men with anger management issues. He wants men to identify themselves as privileged, with all the loss of moral status that entails:

So men’s violence against women is not simply the action of a bad (or mad) man losing his temper and hitting his ‘loved-one’. Nor is the issue one of men simply needing to develop more respect for women. It is true that perpetrators have little respect for women but the central issue is their desire for control over women rather than their lack of respect. The issue is one of systematic power inequalities and a society that supports men’s entitlement to a range of gender privileges.

White ribbon ideology is designed, ultimately, to get men to assent to the idea that they are privileged oppressors of women. If that is true, then men get to be at the bottom of the totem pole of identity politics. They then have to work on themselves, doing what they can to humbly listen to and learn from those they have oppressed. As Fisher advises in the conclusion to his paper:

men who are committed to supporting this important work must continuously strive to listen to and read the work of feminists who have worked tirelessly for decades for gender equality.

24 comments:

  1. Feminism is purely and simply a movement designed to pathologise and hence delegitimise males as a gender in an attempt to accumulate as much power for women as they can.
    There are even women now complaining about men not dying for women on the Italian ship that sunk. So we've in trouble for not exercising our 'privilige' to die for women!
    What a joke.

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  2. Anon,

    Yes, they want "empowered" women, which includes attempting to control relationships with men through formal, legal means.

    As for the events in Italy, I would hope that if I was on that ship that I would have kept calm and helped to evacuate other passengers.

    However, I did find it interesting that on the same day that there were complains about men on the ship pushing past women and children, that David Cameraon, the British PM, was reported as saying how proud he would be if his daughters signed up for armed service.

    So young men are getting mixed messages. On the one hand, the message is that that women are fit to be a warrior class and that the protector role is no longer something associated with the masculine. On the other hand, there's another message that in a crisis men should rescue women and it's shameful if they don't.

    Modern society is trying to have it both ways.

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  3. Firstly our dominant culture and everyday social norms support men’s superiority and women’s inferiority. Secondly it is not necessarily the case that men are merely ill-informed. There are distinct advantages for men to continue to hold and act on these beliefs, not the least of which is control over women. So while violence may be perpetrated by individuals this is done within the context of wider social norms.

    All this is simply laughably untrue. He seems to think it is still 1960 - and not even the real 1960, but the Left's outlandish 2012 caricature of what 1960 was like.

    Having no real monsters left to destroy, the Left is forced to create imaginary ones.

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  4. Mark,

    Over the years I always wondered whether Gaddafi's 'female warriors' would stand up to the test of dying for their leader were they ever needed. So I checked as much footage as I could of his last minutes and the dead bodies surrounding him when he was captured. I couldn't see any of his 'female warriors' who were suppose to protect him lying dead on the ground with the men.
    As I suspected, it seems when the time came for fighting, and most probably dying, women saw themselves as far too important.
    I worry about the same thing happening to our armed forces.

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  5. It is possible you may not know of this classic meta analysis by John Archer - which has over 1000 citations on Google scholar (a lot!)

    http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2000-15524-001

    Conclusion: Domestic violence by women against men is at least as common as vice versa - probably more common.

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  6. My Brother has a 2 year domestic violence order on his Ex-wife.

    He married a French Mauritian refugee...

    He swears to marry an Anglo-Saxon Aussie next time...

    Feminists are so ridiculous to me. Women in the front line Units is such a fanciful concept. Truly disgusts me.

    Not only that I wish, I had of gone to the media when I had a female Capitan and another incident where a female Corporal Sexually assaulted me...Not joking.

    Imagine the money channel 7 or 60 minutes would of offered me.

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  7. Modern society is trying to have it both ways.

    Indeed, but this is by design, as well.

    Feminism was about getting rid of "male privilege", but NOT about getting rid of female privilege or male obligation. In other words, it is/was designed to be 100% accretive to female power -- both by appropriating so-called "male power" (i.e., "public sphere" power) as well as preserving and enhancing/bolstering the traditional bases of female power (sex, reproduction, family). Women have not given up one iota of their traditional power base and, in fact, have increased their stranglehold over these areas by means of abortion rights, sexual harassment laws, and the family law system.

    Feminism can only be understood in terms of a colossal power grab for women at the expense of men. It isn't about "equality" -- and it never really was, because if it were, women/feminists would have also been about ripping up female privilege and the female power center, which they have not had any inclination to do at all. It has always been about appropriating male power, on the one hand, while shoring up female control over the traditional power base of women. Full Stop.

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  8. ”White ribbon ideology is designed, ultimately, to get men to assent to the idea that they are privileged oppressors of women. If that is true, then men get to be at the bottom of the totem pole of identity politics. They then have to work on themselves, doing what they can to humbly listen to and learn from those they have oppressed.”

    Indeed.

    If this monstrosity is to gain a foothold amongst the men of Australia, the men must not consider themselves as individuals, for that could lead to them reflecting upon their own lives and their own actions, which could, in turn, cause them to try to judge whether or not they, as individuals, are actually a part of this problem of male violence being systematically perpetrated upon women.

    They need to adapt to a less individualistic mode of thinking, and see themselves only as one small part of the larger problem, as they were born male. Any free-thinking on the part of individual men is inherently antithetical to the goal of getting men to accept that they, by accident of their gender, are part of “the problem”.

    As always, the “Greater Good” is best served via the surrender of personal autonomy.

    [Wait, that wasn’t too snarky, was it?]

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  9. slwerner,

    It's true that the left does bring in categories like race and gender when it comes to identity politics.

    But the process goes like this. They start with the general liberal principle that race and sex distinctions should be made not to matter.

    But how then do you explain that they have mattered in the past? Right-liberals are content to mutter something about human progress and move on. But left-liberals have an analysis which says that such things are artificial social constructs brought about to create an unearned privilege for a dominant group at the expense of an "othered" group.

    Human progress therefore requires the deconstruction of that dominant construct, e.g. whiteness or patriarchy.

    Therefore, liberation movements of the "othered" groups (women, coloured people) are to be thought of as progressive, even though categories of race and sex aren't supposed to matter.

    Leftists warn that such forms of identity mustn't be reified (held to have a real essence) but are instead performed as members of those liberations see fit.

    So left-liberals manage to combine two kinds of belief:

    a) race/sex is just a social construct and should be made not to matter

    b) race/sex explains injustice in society and therefore liberation is in the form of women's liberation/black liberation movements.

    Furthermore, since women's and black identities are thought to be not a source of oppression and injustice, but of resistance to being othered they are treated benignly by the left (just so long as the identity is of the "empowering" sort).

    What should men do in response to the "empowered feminist" assault which sees men as privileged oppressors and therefore as being justly stripped of power in society?

    Men need to reject the whole liberal framework. That includes the idea that our sex is merely a construct created for purposes of privilege or dominance.

    Men need to see masculinity as having an inherent value - that there is a masculine ideal which is inherently good - and which is inseparable from a man's personal identity. Men need to reassert the value of the masculine ideal to society.

    What men shouldn't do is to fall back to a right-liberal approach which says "why can't we just act as if we were sexless creatures, be blind to ourselves as men and women".

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  10. Feminism was about getting rid of "male privilege", but NOT about getting rid of female privilege or male obligation.

    I agree.

    But a left-liberal would most likely disagree that there was privilege in being female (if women were privileged, they would say, it was in being upper-class or white).

    So left-liberals just aren't interested in attacking traditional sources of female privilege. It's all about female "empowerment" as they see the category of "women" as being one of disempowered oppression.

    Futhermore, the more power you can strip from men the more you collapse the traditional system of oppression. You are therefore liberating everybody, think the left-liberals, the more you manage to undermine the position of men.

    Men will lose power in society but be liberated into the post-oppression utopia of equality, freedom and justice.

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  11. cGame is the antidote to this kind of rubbish.

    We simply need to point out that mate selection is a choice and that if women want to end domestic violence they shouldn't pick men who have the dark triad.

    Then, stand back and watch the hamster spin.

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  12. These people are freaking insane.

    Global economic collapse cannot come soon enough.

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  13. The real deal with this women-empowerment is emasculation and removal of native males from power structures and the subsequent promotion of childless women who won't be as critical of the multiculti agenda. Or even help to bring it about from their enlightened world-view.

    Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people living life in peace

    Imagine all the people living for today

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  14. Of course, why doesn't this so-called liberal society allow men(and women) who'd rather have sexist attitude to life and patriarchal marriages?

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  15. Personally I think the average "woman on the street" is being conned by feminism, in several ways.

    If you were to ask the average "woman on the street" what feminism is about, you'd get the usual answers about equality, etc, but these are not the people driving the feminist agenda, these women are in fact being used as camoflage by the radical elements that have much more influence over the direction of the feminist agenda. It's the radical elements of feminism who are writing the books and study papers which are having such a profound effect on laws and policies, and it's the "women in the street" who come running to the call to defend the feminist agenda without realising that they are playing into the hands of the wolves in sheep's clothing within their own ranks.

    I recently came across a study paper from the UK published in Jan 2011 (Title: Feminist Myths and Magic Medicine) which argues that the laws and policies intended to acheive the equality of opportunity goals of mainstream feminism are in place and working (in the UK at least), and that further changes in the name of feminism are really an attempt at "equality of outcome" which is a very different thing from equality of opportunity.

    There's a free PDF version of the paper here: http://www.cps.org.uk/files/reports/original/111026184004-FeministMythsandMagicMedicine.pdf

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  16. This is pretty much the same thing radical feminists have been doing for decades. They broaden the meaning of a word or phrase until they can use it to implicate all men. This is exactly the same as the classic, "In patriarchy, all men are rapists."

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  17. Mark,

    What is Stephen Fisher's ethnicity and religion? If he is an atheist, what are his parents ethnicity and religion?

    The attack on patriarchy is just another attack on European men and European culture. People like Fisher only attack the patriarchy of European people's society. Will Fisher attack the patriarchy of Orthodox Judaism or Islam?

    This "evil of patriarchy" is about destroying European peoples by destroying the authority of European men within their own European ethnic group. This is similar to what Soviet communists did to Russian men in the 1920's.

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  18. The attack on patriarchy is just another attack on European men and European culture. People like Fisher only attack the patriarchy of European people's society. Will Fisher attack the patriarchy of Orthodox Judaism or Islam?

    This "evil of patriarchy" is about destroying European peoples by destroying the authority of European men within their own European ethnic group. This is similar to what Soviet communists did to Russian men in the 1920's.


    This is all true.

    What is Stephen Fisher's ethnicity and religion? If he is an atheist, what are his parents ethnicity and religion?

    I know where this is heading sorry but it must be understood that there are now such a broad range of people across multiple ethnicities and religions that have an interest in destroying Europeans worldwide.
    You can find articles by activists and academics from South America, Africa, Asia and the middle east that in detail describe how they are in support of white genocide and how they will execute the genocide.
    This also includes people that are from our own European "family".
    Its a really multicultural and multiracial conspiracy to destroy homogenous European culture and people where ever it is found on Earth.
    European people are going to have to start seriously defending themselves from this looming evil or there will be no Europeans at the end of next century and not because of declining birthrates...

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  19. ""I know where this is heading sorry but it must be understood that there are now such a broad range of people across multiple ethnicities and religions that have an interest in destroying Europeans worldwide.""

    True.

    Generations of Ethnic european gentile men have now been taught to revile themselves in the Higher Education system that has been paid for primarily by the tax dollars of older versions of themselves.

    I think the Ouroboros is a fine image representing our self inflicted downfall.

    Thankfully if you scratch below the surface most people, not just White males know that there is something wrong with this system.

    It is just much easier as a man to simply block it out, stay quiet and get on with earning a living while paying the taxes which fund the parasites which indoctrinate your children.

    Like similar soul crunching constructs people don't think about it because they cannot bring themselves to do so.

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  20. Like similar soul crunching constructs people don't think about it because they cannot bring themselves to do so.

    That's my wife's stated position. She would rather not think about it as it's too discomfiting.

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  21. Personally I think the average "woman on the street" is being conned by feminism, in several ways.

    I disagree a bit. This applies only to some average women. Other average women are the more 'light' versions of feminists, so to say, but they are still feminists at the core. They just have a liberal philosophy with a number of "unprincipled exceptions". If those "exceptions" fall away, the liberal nature of their beliefs is more augmented.

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  22. Ouroboros

    I just thought of a hamster running inside an Ouroboros...

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  23. Well done Mark. I'm trying to get a similar 'honest' approach in NZ
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10767957

    Unfortunately, we're not ready for this maturity in the debate yet - as you can see by the responses
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10768544

    i need to get you over here :-)

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  24. Bob McCroskie,

    I'm very impressed by the stance you took. You helped get the message out in a big way.

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