Remember that slogan the feminists invented, the personal is political? No it isn’t. It is mostly just personal. Take domestic violence, a cause dear to the feminist heart. Australia has now embarked on a campaign to eradicate domestic violence, using 100 million dollars of money that Mr Turnbull tells us is going to create a new ‘culture of respect’ for women. How he thinks 100 million dollars is going to create more respect for women in the online age of Tinder and Ashley Madison, in which women participate as enthusiastically as men, is anybody’s guess.
But who is counting the 100 million, even when the government tells us we have to spend less? Certainly no male politician. They are preoccupied trying to fling off the scourge of their maleness, sporting white ribbons and generally paying homage to the phony gender rubric which frames any discussion about domestic violence. Men are not allowed to question any of this and women are too hamstrung by the platitudes of feminists to query this agenda. So we are all obliged to treat domestic violence not as a practical problem of policing, but as a serious ‘gender issue’ about which men have to beat their breasts and women take the high ground as victims, then demand that governments should do something, even though government can do very little.
Of course government bureaucracy could and should be doing something to make intervention orders mean something.The number of frivolous AVOs is going up. We all know that they are frequently used in everything from neighbourhood disputes to ex-wives trying to keep their husbands out of children’s lives. But then there are serious cases, lumped in with the much less serious. No wonder the police can’t keep up and the mentality of ‘just another domestic’ has become entrenched. Which is where the system failed in the case of Luke Batty. Why do we need more money to tell us that a madman who had four outstanding arrest warrants and two intervention orders should not have been let loose to kill that child? At the inquest the police lack of action was criticised by the judge as revealing ‘a disturbingly relaxed attitude and a failure to accord an appropriate degree of urgency to the situation’. Obviously.
But according to the gender theorists who have taken over this narrative, including senior counsel in the Batty case Paula Shelton writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, the problem was not just that Luke’s father was mad and that the police failed, nor that the system actually includes the trivial with the serious, it is that we regard family violence as an ‘interpersonal issue’. What is more, if you listen to the domestic violence rhetoric, the campaigners want to broaden the definition of domestic violence and class controlling behavior as ‘violence’, a completely subjective notion that will do nothing to make policing real violence easier. I am sorry for girls that don’t realise that they are being controlled, but is that always the fault of the men?
Yes, according to the feminists, because this as a ‘gender’ problem. Abusers are usually male, therefore male equals abuser. Consequently the latest thing we need is to ‘teach men and boys’ not to be abusers. According to Paula Shelton ‘dialogue needs to take place about men’s sense of entitlement’. We have to get into football clubs, and pubs and schools and every other place where men might lurk trying to escape the tentacles of feminist outrage, doubtless nursing their waning sense of entitlement. In Victoria they have decided to ditch religious education in school time, for ‘relationships education’.
However, if you want to make this a ‘gender issue’ instead of an issue of practical policing, then what really needs to be exposed about this campaign is the amount of misinformation about the behaviour of men – and who really harms or kills children and what we really mean by ‘domestic’. There is a view in the public mind of dad, coming home drunk and beating up mum. But in suburban Australia that is not so common.
Here are some facts about domestic violence. Which women are more prone to violence? Unmarried women. Which men are more prone to dish it out, especially to children? To use the officialese, ‘resident unrelated males’- the boyfriend. Who are more likely to kill children? Mothers are. Who is the next most likely to kill them and physically or sexually assault children? The boyfriend. Who is least likely to kill, or to sexually or physically assault children? Their father.
Meanwhile, the worst, most shocking violence, physical and sexual against women and children in Australia, indeed anywhere in the west, occurs in indigenous settlements wracked with drugs, alcoholism, pornography with no intact families. But that doesn’t fit the gender rubric (or the racial one), so those terrible facts are ignored.
Sensible people would see these facts as pointers to the protective nature of the strong, natural family bond, and an increase in domestic violence as a symptom of decline of that bond, propelled by drugs and alcohol. But defending the nuclear, so-called patriarchal family isn’t part of any agenda, especially of the lobby groups who have actively sought its obliteration through gender politics and gender fluidity. Brain washing young people through the school system is their latest campaign.
But what of all the reports of women involved in domestic violence? Isn’t it becoming more common? Here is another uncomfortable fact about this campaign. Domestic violence is not increasing. Chris Lloyd is a professor of management (statistics) at the University of Melbourne. In an opinion piece for the Australian using ABS statistical surveys, he compared the 2005 and 2012 assault figures, and found:
‘Females assaulted by partners are relatively stable as a proportion of all assaults. The largest category by far is male stranger assaulting male victim, a category that received much publicity in the context of changes to one-punch assault laws… Violence by a stranger… on males is the largest category by far, about four times higher than partner violence on females… What I suggest is we should not be rushing to new policies on the basis that domestic violence against women is the largest crime category and that it is increasing. It isn’t.’
Rosie Batty says it is ‘about gender’, and therefore presumably a broad social and political problem. But it isn’t. It is about a system that’s broke, and about the personal failings of some men, and some women. 100 million bucks is not going to change that.
Angela Shanahan is a regular contributor
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