ANTI-MALE BIAS EVIDENT

In an ABC opinion piece titled Male privilege has lasting effects on boys. I see it in court every dayMark MacDiarmid, “an independent children’s lawyer appointed to assist the Family and Federal Circuit Courts in some of the most complex and troubling disputes between parents in our community” and an amateur psychologist, pitches the feminist women-are-victims line:

The intimidation, the abuse of power, the misogyny, the objectification of other human beings: none of these behaviours seem to fall into the normal categories of acceptable social behaviour, but they are all too familiar to me as the behaviours that blight the lives of so many of the women and children I work with.

Misogyny is a central theme:

In heterosexual relationships, coercive controlling violence is primarily perpetrated by males, and can manifest as the perpetrator’s control of the economic, social, emotional and sexual life of the victim. The tactics used to gain this control include intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation, the assertion of male privilege, economic abuse, coercion and threats. Significantly, the male perpetrators of this form of family violence are likely to score above the average on measures of misogyny.

The tools for measuring misogyny, because they do not exist, are not mentioned, however.

The intimidation, the abuse of power, the misogyny, the objectification of other human beings: none of these behaviours seem to fall into the normal categories of acceptable social behaviour, but they are all too familiar to me as the behaviours that blight the lives of so many of the women and children I work with.

Then on to the alleged systemic violent oppression of women:

But individual behaviours are only part of the problem; how do we account for our collective blindness to violence against women for century after century?

We have only to look at the systemic inequalities between the genders in pay, in managerial seniority — in short, inequalities in power — to see the source of the hypnotism.

Rather than we men leaving it to women to have to point out to us year after year, generation after generation, that they feel that they have to defy gravity to get ahead in this world, let’s pull our collective fingers out and willingly, without having to be further pushed or cajoled, do our bit to dismantle the gendered landscape we all inhabit.

So let’s invoke a gay sado-masochist and an autistic genius:

Foucault encouraged us to think of power not as some kind of object, but as a description of a certain dynamic in human relationships. On this analysis, power is a field rather than a thing; and as Einstein was able to analyse gravitational fields topologically in his powerful theory of gravity, so we ought to be able to analyse various topologies of power.

Lawyer MacDiarmid, having totally lost the plot, now veers into fantasyland:

Now, just as balls roll down hills in the gravitational topology we inhabit, so in the cultural topology of gender power we so unthinkingly traverse men, on average, are paid more and occupy more influential positions than women. Women do more housework than men, are paid less for the same job and exert proportionally less social and economic power.

Not only do vast numbers of women inhabit this systemic gravity well, but they seem to be the only ones who notice that there’s something unfair about we men occupying all of the high ground.

Is it any wonder that this landscape gives perpetrators of the most appalling gender violence a free pass to social invisibility?

The robust data on intimate partner violence are clear: males and females are equal perpetrators, there being no evidence that misogyny and misandry are determining factors. As there are no data supporting his position, lawyer MacDiarmid must rely on anecdotal evidence.

Now, just as balls roll down hills in the gravitational topology we inhabit, so in the cultural topology of gender power we so unthinkingly traverse men, on average, are paid more and occupy more influential positions than women. Women do more housework than men, are paid less for the same job and exert proportionally less social and economic power.

Not only do vast numbers of women inhabit this systemic gravity well, but they seem to be the only ones who notice that there’s something unfair about we men occupying all of the high ground.

Is it any wonder that this landscape gives perpetrators of the most appalling gender violence a free pass to social invisibility?

Women and men receive the same pay for the same work and women exercise considerably more power in economic decision making.

MacDiarmid concludes:

But by all of us adequately fulfilling the emotional needs of the children in our lives, and by men tackling the blindingly obvious gender inequities in just about every area of society one might care to name, there’ll be no high ground for the Weinsteins and the other coercive-controlling perpetrators of this world to inhabit anymore.

Given his anti-male bias, it’s truly appalling that lawyer MacDiarmid provides any input whatsoever to “the Family and Federal Circuit Courts in some of the most complex and troubling disputes between parents in our community”. Justice is meant to be blind, not radically feminist.

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