Another F-word: Flood, now Fisher

It would be difficult to imagine a male radical feminist more extreme in his views supporting elite white female supremacy than Michael Flood. However, the White Ribbon Campaign Australian appears to have found a contender.  A feminist by the name of Stephen Fisher has penned the “White Ribbon Policy Research Series No. 3” titled “From Violence to Coercive Control: Renaming Men’s Abuse of Women.”[1] Fisher, as far as I can determine from a quick Internet search, is a Ph.D. candidate at Deakin University in Victoria whose doctoral subject is listed as “Effectively communicating for gender equality.”

The introduction states that The White Ribbon Policy Research Series is intended to “present contemporary evidence,” however there is neither evidence nor research to be found, only discriminatory, misandric opinion, anecdote and unsubstantiated claims regarding the gendered nature of “men’s violence against women.” Not unexpectedly a paltry 3 references are cited.

White Ribbon has no interest in impartial research on family violence, or acknowledging the now widely accepted gender inclusive model of family violence that views “violence against women” as but one form of violence, and includes all the forms of family and relationship violence including those predominantly perpetrated by women (child abuse, elder abuse, lesbian IPV)[2].

Such an inclusive view that argues for an examination of the multifactorial personal and social determinants of violence of which gender is but one small part is contrary to the prevailing feminist ideology behind the White Ribbon Campaign that sees violence against women as the only aspect of family violence worthy of attention. The subtext of this philosophy is that all violence worthy of attention rooted in male privilege and patriarchal dominance.  So naturally they embrace any pseudo academic treatise such as this endorsing their prejudice.

Fisher commences with this gem:

“The choice of words is always a political, valueladen decision and based on theoretical premises.” 


And while his intent is to imply that terms such as Domestic Violence, Family Violence, and IPV are chosen to conceal the gendered nature of  “violence against women by men,” he neglects to mention that such terms have been used by the almost exclusively feminist researchers who have dominated this area for more than fifty years. Further, he betrays his intent in arguing for the renaming of family violence, which is for political and ideological reasons rather than for impartiality or intellectual integrity.

Violence is also an unsatisfactory term in Fishers estimation because it disguises the non-physically violent aspects of Family Violence “such as emotional, sexual, financial and spiritual violence.” Indeed, an inclusive view would acknowledge that it is precisely these areas in which women excel in their abuse of men. Notably women are the predominant users of “administrative abuse,” a term coined by Australian psychologist Elizabeth Celi [3], relating to the use of false or trivial protection orders, the police, the courts, the child support agency or other statutory authorities as tools of abuse. Most men will be familiar with the widespread abuse of sexual power by women, the withholding of approval and affection, wielded in a passive aggressive manner in manipulation of their partners to enforce conformity with their desires. Certainly coercive control would appear to be a reasonable descriptor for this predominantly female behavior.

Fisher would make the second wave feminists of the 60’s proud with his support for patriarchal conspiracy theory. He writes, “The issue is one of systematic power inequalities and a society that supports men’s entitlement to a range of gender privileges.”  But rather than enlighten us on what those supposed privileges and inequities actually are he stereotypes men in this way; “ The benefits to men are great: he is more likely to be serviced, have food prepared for him, have the house cleaned, have children prevented from disturbing him, have sex on demand.”  While such a “division of labor” may have been common in the past it is rare nowadays. Do we consider women who choose to work full time and partners that choose to be stay at home dads in this light? Of course not, it is exactly because of equality that some couples choose to reverse the traditional gender roles, and it will be real equality when as many men in relationships have the option of being homemakers and stay at home dad’s as women do.

Disguised abuse in public (a charmer) and overt abuse in private (a terrorizer) is in Fishers view a male-only strategy of abuse. He is clearly unaware of research showing gender symmetry in intimate terrorism [4],[5], and the association of Borderline Personality Disorder (a predominately female diagnosis) with this pattern of abuse. Rather than impartially and comprehensively assessing the growing literature on family violence, Fisher asserts that “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.”

Further we must allow our masculinity to be redefined because:

“The dominant sense of manhood in Australia is built on the idea of being tough, in control, competitive and smart. Coercive control is the logical outcome of enacting this unfortunately commonplace form of masculinity.” 


Is not the feminist ideal for women to be bold, independent, intelligent, success oriented, and so on, and if so why would this dominant sense of femininity not lead to coercive controlling behavior by women?  We all know the answer to that! It does, and this is likely why one in three victims of family violence in Australia is a man. Fisher is none too happy that a website exists [6] to inform the community about this because his is the only “proper understanding of men’s violence against women.”  And of course rather than argue for real gender equality, he concludes with a number of recommendations that should only be applied to men’s violence against women despite their applicability to violence between any family members. [7]

That this sort of adulterated, intellectually bankrupt trash can be passed off as a legitimate policy research paper by White Ribbon is yet another symptom of their terminal decay into ideological extremism.



[2] Understanding the nature and etiology of intimate partner violence and implications for practice and policy. Louise Dixon , Nicola Graham-Kevan  Clinical Psychology Review 31 (2011) 1145–1155






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