Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Women speaking up for men’s rights

As a fresh-faced 18-year-old Daisy Cousens left school firmly on board the feminism bandwagon. Like many millennial women she’d been seduced by what she now sees as an “entrenched victim mentality”, convinced the scales were tipped against her because of her sex. “I assumed I’d have to work twice as hard as men for half the recognition and that violent predators lurk around every street corner,” she says.

It took her years to discover she’d been duped. “I realised the feminist view did not reflect my life experiences. I grew suspicious. I couldn’t believe that somehow in Western society women were paid less than men or had fewer rights than men. And given my experience of men, I refused to believe there was an undercurrent of misogyny among all the wonderful men in my life,” says the 28-year-old, who is part of a growing global band of female activists speaking out about the demonisation of men. Some of the leading lights in this group will hit our shores next month to speak at an international men’s issues conference.

Cousens’s turnaround happened when she was working as a research assistant at the Menzies Research Centre, which led her to start asking questions. She found, for instance, that the much heralded “wage gap” largely could be explained by differences in men and women’s work and lifestyle ­choices. That was the beginning.

Cousens discovered a thriving online world questioning the feminist narrative and revealing the silencing of critical issues affecting men and boys. She’s now writing — mainly in The Spectator Australia and Quadrant — about what she sees as a “silent war on men”.

She is one of many women hosting screenings of Cassie Jaye’s controversial documentary The Red Pill, in which the young feminist filmmaker looks seriously at men’s issues and decides they warrant proper attention. Jaye renounced her feminism in protest against the way extremists were silencing discussion of such matters. Ironically Australia is the only country to ban a series of screenings in response to protests from small groups of feminists.

Cousens is confident of a full house for her screening, given the media coverage planned for Jaye’s appearance at the International Conference on Men’s Issues on the Gold Coast from Friday to June 12. The conference promises to be an interesting time for Cousens because, as a wannabe Honey Badger, she’ll also be meeting Karen Straughan and that’s as good as it gets.

Straughan, another speaker at ICMI, is one of the founders of the Honey Badger Brigade, a band of brash, witty female activists who’ve taken up the fight for a better deal for men and boys. Six years ago Straughan was a Canadian waitress and divorced mother of three who started blogging about how easy it would have been to use the family law system to destroy her ex-husband. She was astonished at how law and social institutions were stacked against men.

Straughan posted a blog (girlwriteswhat) that included this pithy summary of marriage today: “For women, marriage is all benefit and zero risk, and that’s why women are whining about men’s reluctance to tie the knot. But for men, it’s the other way around — no guaranteed benefit, and the kind of risk an adrenaline junkie would eschew.” Next came a YouTube video, Feminism and the Disposable Male, that has raked up more than 1.5 million views.

Through her social media activities, Straughan got to know other women interested in men’s issues, such as Alison Tieman who, with Straughan, started a Honey Badger radio show. Then there’s blogger Janet Bloomfield, whose take-no-prisoners writing style soon attracted a big audience for her JudgyBitch blog promoting “the radical notion that women are adults”.

When protesters threatened to shut down a men’s rights conference in Detroit in 2011, the Honey Badger Brigade flew in to act as “human shields”. It helps to have women involved because female activists can’t be dismissed as sad losers, suggests Straughan. “Men run the risk of being perceived as dangerous or threatening when speaking up,” she says, adding that male activists tend to be “mocked as whiny man-babies or dismissed as dangerous extremist reactionaries who want to make it legal to beat your wife”.

And the name Honey Badgers? That came from a funny YouTube video — The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger — that shows the vicious animal sticking its nose into bee-filled holes, gnawing on mice, tearing the heads off snakes and shaking off venomous cobra bites. It’s pretty silly, admits Straughan, but watch her shrug off the constant abuse she receives from feminists or reducing Naomi Wolf into a quivering heap on a television panel and you’ll see there’s something in it.

During Straughan’s visit to Sydney next month she will be appearing on Sky News’s Outsiders program, giving a talk at the Sydney Institute and doing a Q&A with viewers of Mark Latham’s Facebook page.

Then she’ll head up to the Gold Coast where she’ll join impressive speakers presenting at the men’s conference, including a striking number of women — such as Jaye, who is presenting a special screening of her movie.

Then there’s Erin Pizzey, world-renowned as the founder of Britain’s first women’s refuge, who back in the 1970s attracted the wrath of feminists by speaking out about women’s violence. Her determination to promote the truth about domestic violence — that it isn’t a gender issue — led to death threats, forcing her for a time to leave the country. She has been campaigning for more than 40 years about this vital social issue. Unfortunately ill-health has prevented Pizzey travelling and she’ll give her lecture via Skype.

Another Canadian speaker, Janice Fiamengo, is a professor of English literature whose hugely popular weekly YouTube program, The Fiamengo File, highlights the damaging impact of feminism in academe. She is scathing about women’s studies, which she believes has devolved into an intellectually incoherent and dishonest discipline replacing a callow set of slogans for real thought.

Local female men’s rights activists are excited about the chance to discuss with these luminaries how to get men’s issues on to the public agenda. Women such as Melbourne mental health advocate Rae Bonney, whose work with male-dominated workplaces reveals many of the contributors to the high male suicide rate, such as facing a biased family law system.

She says: “It’s both alarming and heartbreaking that so many of our social systems prevent men from getting the help and support they so desperately need. Every day I hear another story of a man who’s lost absolutely everything, often facing unproven accusations of violence and abuse.”

Bonney is on a high after hosting a recent Melbourne screening of The Red Pill, one of many I’ve organised through Fan-Force, a system that allows people to host local screenings of movies of their choice.

“We had nearly 200 people, including young women, couples and of course many men. There were a few tears and much applause before and after it ended. There’s a real sense that at last men’s issues are getting the attention they deserve,” says the delighted Bonney.


Regions may push Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk out at next Qld. election, says poll

REGIONAL Queensland is in revolt – and it’s poised to push Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk out of her plush Brisbane office

A ReachTEL poll of more than 3600 Queenslanders, conducted exclusively for The Sunday Mail, has given the first insight since the 2015 election into the voting intention of distinct areas of the state.

The poll has revealed that the minority Labor Government’s vote has nose-dived in north Queensland and the rest of the regions, opening the door for LNP Leader Tim Nicholls to take up office in 1 William St.

However, supporters of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party will decide a plethora of regional seats, and could return to the Queensland Parliament for the first time since 2009.

Job creation has surged to become the most important issue in north and regional Queensland, underscoring the need for the Palaszczuk Government’s final Budget this month to kick-start employment.

In north Queensland, Labor’s primary vote has sunk by 13 per cent to 27.6 per cent, imperilling the party’s seats throughout Townsville and Cairns. The LNP’s support in the north has dropped by 4.3 per cent. One Nation has consumed all the disenfranchised major party voters and is polling 18.6 per cent.

Throughout Queensland’s remaining regions, including western LNP strongholds like Southern Downs, Nanango and Warrego and coastal Labor areas like Gladstone and Bundaberg, the trend is similar.

The Labor vote has dropped about 9 per cent, reducing the party’s support to 26.7 per cent, compared to a 7 per cent fall for the LNP, which was left with 30.5 per cent.

One Nation polled a staggering 20.9 per cent throughout these areas, putting the party in the mix to win marginal electorates like Labor’s Keppel and the LNP’s Callide.

In southeast Queensland, the renaissance of the far-Right outfit has been less severe with the Labor vote down 5.5 per cent, the LNP down 6.6 per cent and One Nation polling 13.5 per cent.

On a statewide two-party preferred basis, the LNP led Labor 51 per cent to 49 per cent. The result could hand government to Mr Nicholls but the LNP may be forced to rely on crossbench support from One Nation and other parties.

However, the low primary vote of both major parties, the volatility of the electorate and the unpredictable preferencing patterns of One Nation supporters makes it difficult for Labor and the LNP to identify their weakest spots and forecast the outcome.

Despite Labor’s fall, Ms Palaszczuk remains popular and will be the party’s key asset at the next election, expected within six months.

Voters across Queensland seemed ambivalent about Mr Nicholls with almost 10 per cent indicating they had “never heard of him”.


Genitally mutilated African girls sent back to parents by Queensland’s Child Safety Dept.

Queensland’s embattled child safety department returned two young girls to their parents ­despite a doctor finding they had likely been subjected to female genital mutilation.

The Weekend Australian can reveal the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability only “temporarily” removed the girls — both preteens in April 2015 — from their parents for medical testing, after they were flown to Africa, allegedly to undergo the procedure.

Despite a Queensland paediatric specialist examining the girls and finding it was likely they had part of their clitorises removed, the department quickly returned them to the parents.

An investigation by Queensland detectives into the allegations led to police charging the girls’ parents — a man in his 50s and a woman in her 40s, at the time — in December 2015, with two counts of removing a child from the state for female genital mutilation.

The couple are the first people charged with the criminal offence in Queensland and are awaiting trial in the District Court.

A civil case in February established that “once the tests were completed and the outcome discussed with the examining doctor, the children were returned to their parents and the department’s intervention ended”.

The revelation is the latest in a series of scandals for the child safety department, including the deaths of 12-year-old Tiahleigh Palmer and toddler Mason Lee.

Mason, who died in 2016 under the care of his mother and her then-partner, was allowed to return home despite medical staff’s warnings to the department about abuse.

Queensland Minister for Communities, Women and Youth Shannon Fentiman told The Weekend Australian yesterday: “I believe we have to do everything we can to stop this barbaric practice. I am pleased the matter has been brought before the courts.”

A department spokeswoman said that, for legal reasons, it could not confirm the girls were still with their parents. “The department works closely with the Queensland Police Service to investigate, assess and respond to child safety concerns, especially when concerns involve possible criminal activity,” she said.

Police allege that in April 2015, the two daughters and two other siblings flew with their mother to the parents’ east African homeland to visit the children’s ­grandmother.

The sisters were then flown about 2000km north to another African country, where genital mutilation procedures remain culturally ­acceptable, and where it is alleged the procedure was conducted on the two girls.

The Weekend Australian can reveal that a report by the pediatric specialist who examined the children indicated they “most likely” had a “Type 1 female genital mutilation”, which involves partial removal of the clitoral prepuce — and/or part of the clitoris. The doctor also reported discussions with the girls that were consistent with them undergoing a genital procedure.

The offence of removing a child from the state for genital mutilation was introduced in 2000 and carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ jail.

The parents, long-time Australian residents, have been ­estranged since 2007, though they continued to share a house.

In the civil matter, the father denied involvement in arranging surgery on his daughters, claiming he understood the reason for the trip was for the children to visit their grandmother.

A January report by the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit at Sydney’s Westmead children’s hospital revealed 59 genitally mutilated girls had been seen by Australian pediatricians and children’s health specialists since 2010. The study showed almost 90 per cent those victims were born in Africa.


Sir Lunchalot gets 10 years!

Former NSW Labor minister Ian Macdonald has been sentenced to 10 years' jail over the decision to grant a mining licence to a company run by former union boss John Maitland, who will spend at least four years behind bars.

In March, Macdonald was found guilty of misconduct in a public office.

Maitland, once the head of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), was found guilty of being an accessory.

The decision to grant the licence was made in 2008, when Macdonald was the NSW minister for Primary Industries and Mineral Resources in the Iemma Labor government.

Macdonald was given a non-parole period of seven years, while Maitland was sentenced to six years in prison, and will not be eligible for parole until 2021.

Macdonald clasped his hands and folded his arms at times during the three-hour sentencing hearing in Sydney, and appeared composed when Justice Christine Adamson eventually announced the punishment.

In sentencing, Justice Adamson described Macdonald as "devious" and said he had betrayed the people of NSW. "The coal resources of New South Wales, which should have been used for the benefit of the whole society, were squandered by the criminal conduct of the very person who was trusted to safeguard them," she said.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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