Sunday, September 01, 2013

Maybe men weren't to blame

We've had a spate of young women murdered in Melbourne over the past few years. Many of the culprits, it turned out, had a very long history of crime and were on parole when they committed the murders. It has led to a review of the parole system here.

That hasn't stopped ordinary men getting blamed for the violence. There is a "white ribbon" campaign here which is based on the idea that violence against women is a product of traditional masculinity, i.e. that men commit violence against women to uphold male dominance and privilege in society. The conclusion is that violence against women is very widespread and that the solution is for ordinary men to change their attitudes toward women by renouncing both violence and privilege.

A typical story from the media was written by a white ribbon campaigner, Andrew O'Keefe, after the murder of a young women, Sarah Cafferkey. He wrote,
now the death of Sarah Cafferkey has shaken us all over again...On the best estimates, one in three or four Australian women experiences violence in her lifetime at the hands of a man...For me, that's a fundamental injustice. Why isn't my daughter as safe as my sons in this world, or my wife as safe as my mates?

...If we truly want that injustice to end, however, we must be the ones who end it...every time I behave in a way that lessens respect for women, I'm supporting the belief that men have rights and privileges greater than those of women.

O'Keefe is seriously misinformed if he believes that his daughters are more at risk of violence than his sons - it is very much the other way round.

But what I most dislike about such writing is the insinuation that the average man is open to the idea of bashing women. Maybe there are some men out there like that, but when I was young the very first law of the male moral code was that you were never to hit a woman. And that belief was very directly based on a traditional masculine ideal of being a provider and protector of women.

I suspect, if anything, that the real problem might come, not from a culture of patriarchy, but from a more chaotic post-patriarchal culture. Some of the lyrics of songs coming out of the more matriarchal ghetto culture show a disrespect for women that would have been completely alien to the Australian culture of, say, the 1980s.

Which brings me to my main point. Andrew O'Keefe wrote a column blaming the ordinary male for the death of Sarah Cafferkey. But it has now been revealed in the media that her murderer, Steven James Hunter, was a heavy user and dealer of the drug crystal meth or "ice" - a drug that is notorious for its link to violent crime. According to the Herald Sun:
A surge in vicious attacks, including killings, linked to the drug ice has alarmed Victoria's police and judiciary. In at least 12 murders committed or tried by courts over the past two years, crystal methamphetamine was used by the killer or was otherwise a suspected factor in the crime.

Isn't it more realistic to link Steven James Hunter's violence to his drug use and long record of anti-social criminality (he had murdered previously)? Why should the average hard-working family man be blamed for having caused his crimes?


  1. They also fail to note that this is Steven James Hunter second murder....maybe if he had done more than 14 years for murdering a women who spurned his advances there wouldn't have been any second murder.

    But at heart Liberals believe in a world without consequences, so this will continue because they love power more than answers.

    Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future

  2. In all the domestic violence government-sponsored advertising, white men are always the perps. Women and ethnic minorities are never allowed to be portrayed in a negative light in the media under any circumstances (political correctness). The White Ribbon movement is the modern day equivalent of the "Die Juden sind unser Unglück!" campaign.

  3. "one in three or four Australian women experiences violence in her lifetime at the hands of a man"

    So? 100% of Australian men experiences violence in his lifetime at the hands of a man.

  4. Every time I see one of those "XXX council says no to violence against women" banners on roads or train lines I feel more like putting another right under it that reads:
    "But doesn't care one bit about violence against men. Feel like hitting someone? Next time make sure it's a man".
    It'd be taken down in a matter of hours, but imagine how many people would see it before it was!