On October 22, 2014, A Voice for Men launched whiteribbon.org / whiteribboncampaign.org, a website designed to offer a more comprehensive approach to addressing the issue of domestic violence by providing information and research that includes the substantial number of men and children who are among the victims and the equally substantial number of women who are perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV).
This launch would not have been necessary if those responsible for the other White Ribbon Campaign, and their various affiliates throughout the world, had not failed so egregiously in their duty to acknowledge the fact that IPV is not a gendered issue where men are always the perpetrators and women are always the victims. As Erin Pizzey, Editor at Large at A Voice for Men, has frequently asserted over the past few decades, IPV is primarily a generational issue centered around family dysfunction and includes a range of contributing factors such as poverty, substance abuse, and lack of education.
Ms. Pizzey has based her assertions on the vast amount of credible evidence produced both by her and by credentialed scientific researchers who discovered what is known as gender parity. As Pizzey has tried so valiantly to have acknowledged—at great cost to her personal safety and the personal safety of her family—domestic violence is not something that men do to women; it is something that some men and women do to each other. By ignoring this fact, the organizers of the original WRC, and their legion of feminist and uninformed non-feminist supporters, have rendered both male victims of IPV and female perpetrators all but invisible.
Such willful ignorance accounts for the woeful lack of support services available to male victims of IPV, as well as the lack of criminal accountability of female perpetrators, who are frequently counted as victims, even when they are literally caught standing over their bloodied husbands and boyfriends with frying pans in their hands and smirks on their faces. When one considers the fact that the people responsible for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) are the same people responsible for the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC), the pervasiveness of such ignorance becomes more understandable but no less inexcusable.
Like most MHRAs, I am frequently asked what motivated me to become involved in the Men’s Human Rights Movement and why I am so proud of my affiliation with A Voice for Men. My principal motivation, which supersedes all others and led me directly to this site, is my passionate belief as a teacher of secondary school students in a co-educational secondary school that none of my students should ever have their dignity undermined by those who wish to impose their ideologies onto the curricula I am required to teach.
Feminist infiltration into the education system of New South Wales (NSW) was well underway when I was a secondary school student, and was completely under their control by the time I first walked into a classroom as a teacher. My belief that it is not the role of teachers to participate in the indoctrination of students—I consider it unethical—but to develop their own critical faculties and the skills to express them put me at odds with a system that was already saturated with feminist dogma. If A Voice for Men had been around 25 years ago, I might have been inspired to stay and fight on behalf of my principles and my students. Alas, Paul Elam was still in short pants in 1989, and I was just a voice in the wilderness. So, I decided to leave Australia to teach in a non-Western county where feminism had not yet reared its ugly head. The year was 1994.
Fast-forward to 2008. I had been happily ensconced as the only Western English teacher in a Band 1 (academically gifted) secondary school for a decade when my adopted country decided to overhaul its secondary syllabus, and I was invited to be one of the four teachers tasked with designing the curricula for three of the senior elective modules as well as the writing curricula for forms 1 to 6. I was thrilled to have the responsibility of ensuring that the new curricula remained dogma-free but had no idea that the ensuing five years would be the most arduous yet revealing battle of my life.
Each team member was responsible for six of the units in each module. We would send our drafts electronically to each other, allowing us time to prepare critiques that would be offered at each of the ensuing meetings. I could write a book about the staggering amount of outrageous misandry that certain members tried to sneak into the curricula. During the first year, I managed to block offending material by simply stating my refusal to allow the boys, whose dignity I was professionally entailed to defend as much as the girls’, to be so needlessly insulted and derided.
It wasn’t until the second year, when we were working on Social Issues, that it became immediately apparent which social issue some of the team members intended to be the focal point of the module. The avalanche of anti-male feminist material—from the wage gap to the inherent violence of men and boys—was so overwhelming that I found myself sitting at my desk in abject despair the day before the commencement of my Christmas holiday, not knowing how I was going to counter any of it. For no apparent reason, I idly Googled “anti-feminism,” and there, at the top of the page, was A Voice for Men. It was the answer to my prayers and the reason why feminism was not permitted anywhere near any of the curricula for which I was partly responsible and which has since been successfully implemented.
I spent my entire two-week holiday devouring every article, every comment, and every link to intelligent and erudite thinkers like Angry Harry, Alison Tieman, John Hembling, Dr. Helen Smith, and Erin Pizzey. I will be forever grateful to these wonderful people for their invaluable contributions in arming me not only with mountains of evidence-based research but also with the vocabulary with which to express my refutation of feminist ideology. “Why do you want to demonize your students?” actually produced gasps of guilty indignation. I discovered, among other things, that feminists really don’t like being accused of demonizing men and boys, even though they don’t seem to mind actually doing it.
But it is Paul Elam who is most responsible for the fact that tens of thousands of boys will never have to sit in any classroom of mine and be told, among other derogatory slurs, that they are responsible for domestic violence against women. I refer to him as Dr. Elam as a private joke to myself: he cured me of my miasma. My only regret is that I have not been able to express my profound gratitude to him, and the aforementioned MHRAs (Men’s Human Rights Advocates), for their powerfully positive influence much sooner. They all contributed to enabling me to squash feminist ideology into the oblivion it deserves and in helping me to fulfill my duty in maintaining the dignity of all my students, boys and girls alike. It is a responsibility that I take very seriously.
The battle to protect students from unethical indoctrination of feminist ideology continues, and it is nowhere more prevalent than in the original WRC’s success in foisting their gendered approach to the issue of domestic violence into the NSW school curricula. An examination of their “Breaking the Silence Schools Program” reveals the essential problem of allowing feminist ideologues to be in charge of this or, indeed, any kind of campaign designed to raise social awareness.
The webpage contains two videos designed to explain the purpose of this odious WRC and its relevance to the primary and secondary school curricula. Both of these videos ostensibly claim to deal with the issue of violence and bullying in general and how schools can address these issues. These are admirable goals that any reasonable person would support. However, it doesn’t take long to discover which group is targeted as the sole perpetrators and which group is assumed to be the perennial victims:
Breaking the Silence works to enhance respectful relationship education to prevent the perpetration of violence against women and girls.
Apparently, the perpetration of violence against men and boys isn’t deemed important enough to even be acknowledged, let alone addressed. What appears to be a worthy, if short-sighted, approach is soon revealed to be the kind of anti-male shame-fest that MHRAs have come to expect from feminist-supervised initiatives like the WRC—and why A Voice for Men needed to launch its own webpage to counter their bigoted lies and assumptions about this issue.
The first video, “What is Breaking the Silence?,” is introduced by Libby Davies, CEO of White Ribbon Australia—a woman who is often paid for giving speeches about “Violence against Women.”
Ms. Davies, filmed in noirish black-and-white, somberly intones the usual statistics about “one woman is killed in Australia each week by an intimate partner” and that “73% of intimate partner homicides are women.” The fact that, by her own admission, 27% of those homicide victims must be men is never mentioned, or at any time addressed, as though they simply don’t matter—well, not to her anyway or, indeed, to any of the other people featured in the video.
Dr. Dale Palmer, Principal of Endeavour High School, made this fair comment:
The largest sport we have is rugby league. We started because of some of the disrespectful behaviours from some of the sports boys in the school towards the women. The first evidence we had were disrespectful comments of a sexist nature to girls walking through the playground. The other thing that we found that was a problem was the girls were accepting of these comments. They didn’t like them, but they just thought that that’s the way it was.
He is absolutely right. Girls should not have to put up with verbal harassment, especially of a sexual nature, from boys, and boys should not be allowed to get away with making them. No one at A Voice for Men would ever dispute this opinion. However, Dr. Palmer goes on to add:
We talk about how we should treat each other. Boys and girls have a chance to say what they expect and it’s very powerful for boys to hear from girls what they expect.
Why isn’t it just as “powerful” for girls to hear from boys what boys expect? The message is clear: girls have expectations of boys, and boys are obliged to fulfill them. Boys don’t get to express their expectations at all. It is this kind of one-sided approach to “respectful relationship education” to which AVfM objects, not “respectful relationship education” itself. It doesn’t require a seismic shift in logical comprehension to understand this objection—unless you are a feminist, of course.
Ray Pooley, Principal of Sans Souci Public [Primary] School, makes this equally obtuse and unsubstantiated observation:
If you were to sit down with a group of students from our school, they would know that this is about boys and men not hurting girls and women. They know we don’t accept domestic violence.
Why isn’t it about “boys and men” and “girls and women” not hurting each other? The only reason why the students from his school “know that this is about boys and men not hurting girls and women” is because whoever facilitated their so-called education on the subject of domestic violence told them so. It is an inaccurate and dishonest approach to the issue that A Voice for Men would never adopt.
Andrew O’Keefe, one of the principal architects of the WRC, delivered this stunningly irresponsible piece of bigoted hogwash with an enthusiasm that is embarrassing to watch:
If in twenty years’ time we have a generation of boys leaving school who intuitively understand that violence is wrong in every situation and who always reach for a non-violent solution to their problem, and a generation of girls leaving school who know that they should expect respect in every circumstance of their life, then that will be the first generation of its kind, not only in Australia, but at any time, anywhere in the history of humanity. It is an exciting thing to be a part of that change.
Sorry, Mr. O’Keefe, but a generation of girls who “expect respect in every circumstance of their life” does not fill me with excitement—it fills me with horror. It is deeply depressing to consider the extent to which a generation of women who feel entitled to respect in “every circumstance of life” will abuse the power and authority that morons like Andrew O’Keefe are eager to give them. Are we to respect their “right” to make false rape/DV/sexual harassment allegations against innocent men? How about their “right” to sexually mutilate their intimate male partners who wish to end their relationships—should we respect that too? It is at moments like these that MHRAs wonder if well-meaning fools, like Andrew O’Keefe, actually listen to themselves when they make these kinds of pronouncements.
The second video, “White Ribbon Ambassadors Breaking the Silence in Schools,” is no less offensive in its determination to rob boys of their dignity. It is an insidious indictment of the fundamental flaws in the original WRC and the reason why it has no place in a school environment, or anywhere else for that matter:
Clint Newton, NRL (National Rugby League) player, White Ribbon Ambassador, and man under feminism’s thumb, made this deeply offensive statement:
It’s up to us as men to stand up and say we have to improve. We have a responsibility and a job there to make sure that the men that we come in contact with are respectful because … I think the world will be a better place.
Men and boys have to stand up and say that we have to improve. Oh, really? That, in a nutshell, is what the WRC is all about and their real purpose for invading schools across the globe: to make boys feel that there is something innately wrong with them and that this is the reason why they are responsible for all of the world’s ills. All participants in a campaign intended to impart such a deeply offensive and bigoted message to young boys ought to be ashamed of themselves for engaging in behaviour that can only be described as psychologically abusive.
Midway through the second video, a script is shown that begins by echoing the sentiments of the MHRM but ends with manufactured statistics that could only have been provided by feminist ideologues with an agenda to shame all of the boys who were required to see it:
It is a human right to be treated with respect, regardless of gender …
But Australia has a dark secret
1 in 3 women will experience violence in their lifetime
And one woman a week loses their life
In many respects, it symbolizes the manner in which what should have been a laudable effort to address the issue of violence and bullying somehow lost its way to become yet another attempt to exploit a serious social issue by infusing it with feminist dogma. This is a mistake that A Voice for Men has sought to rectify by approaching the subject honestly and objectively with its own whiteribbon.org / whiteribboncampaign.org.
If Paul Elam had the millions of dollars available to produce glossy videos and employ an army of “education facilitators,” as well as the power and influence to establish a blanket presence in schools, he would not have needed to launch whiteribbon.org / whiteribboncampaign.org in the manner which Amanda Marcotte predictably describes as “outright shocking in its ugliness.”
No, Ms. Marcotte—it is neither shocking nor ugly. Paul Elam did what he has always done. He has done the right thing with the limited resources available to him—something that would not have been necessary if feminist ideologues like you had addressed the issue of domestic violence honestly in the first place instead of using it as an excuse to attack the dignity of men and boys, including those to whom I have a duty of care that good people like Dr. Elam encourage and inspire me to fulfill with every ounce of energy and commitment I can muster. I do not expect you to understand anything that I have written because you are a blinkered bigot who intends to do harm to my students.
Not on my watch. Got it?
A Voice for Men has created its own White Ribbon effort to offer a more accurate and balanced perspective on the issue of domestic violence. It is an effort that I fully endorse for reasons that are inextricably linked to both my personal and professional ethics and beliefs. One hopes that those responsible for the White Ribbon’s “Breaking the Silence Schools Program” in NSW can be educated on where they went so horribly wrong in their approach to the issue and feel compelled to mend the error of their ways. No one at A Voice for Men is holding their breath on that score.