Throwing domestic violence victims to the wolves »« Charting the decay of male beauty? Bring it on.

The fantastically fly new Freethought Blogs Friday Open Thread

Woohoo! As you’ve probably noticed, FTB has finally come good with the long-promised site overhaul.

I think the front page makes a lot more sense now, and everything is just a wee bit more stylish.

I am, however, all too aware of the first rule of the Internet, which is that NOTHING MUST EVER CHANGE.

So I will welcome your comments below saying:

“OMG this is the worst thing ever, you’ve made it look all wrong, why is the button to do wotsit over there when it is meant to be over here I like it over here I need it over here and the typeface looks all wrong and when I leave a comment it jumps up and down on my screen you have seriously RUINED this site, no, that’s not right, you have RUINED MY ENTIRE LIFE I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU!!!”

And by tradition, you must continue leaving  such comments for precisely 11 days, after which time everything will suddenly seem  normal and you’ll forget it wasn’t ever thus.

If you want to be more specific, in all seriousness we realise there are a lot of bugs and quirks and things to be ironed out, we are compiling a full list, so if you notice anything that’s obviously borked do let me know and I’ll pass it on.

—-

If you want a conversation opener that is a bit less meta…. I’m really pleased and grateful to Glen Poole at InsideMAN magazine  who has interviewed one of the authors of the recent British Academy report into prison reform which called for radical reform of prison policy, with a specific eye on male gender issues.

At the risk of sounding like I’m blowing my own trumpet, Professor Nicola Lacey of the LSE makes several points which I’ve been banging on about for years. Considering I have often felt like a voice in the wilderness, this has been a bit of an airpunch moment for me. Short report here and full interview here

Anything else interesting on your radar, my friends?

 

Comments

  1. Adam B says

    When viewing the site in chrome on android the ads at the bottom of the post overlap the places to enter your info for comments. Moreso when the phone is vertical and the width narrower.

  2. Ally Fogg says

    cethis… I don’t think that’s to do with the redesign, that’s always been my preferred setting in blogs. When I’m reading stuff I like to get a new tab from links as I often jump back and forward from one piece to the other. I realise other people have different preferences, so if there’s a groundswell of opinion that you’d rather I didn’t have the ‘open links in new tab’ button clicked I’m happy to change my habits.

    Adam B – Noted, thank you

  3. Marduk says

    Don’t have time to read it properly now but this is what everyone said when the Corston Report came out right?
    Yes, all good points about female offending and prisoners, completely agree, but nearly everything you’ve said here applies to male offenders as well. This new report appears, at least in the press release, to have much the same policy conclusions.

  4. Edward Gemmer says

    I may be just not seeing it, but it seems they got rid of the “recent posts” from the entire network. I liked that feature.

  5. says

    Hmmm…well, this probably makes bringing on new bloggers easier. As well as burying the posts of inactive bloggers. Though, I guess I’ll have to subscribe to RSS feeds of my favorite blogs so I’ll know more easily when they have new posts.

    Anyone know what’s up with the new logo?

  6. Carnation says

    I couldn’t access comments from my phone. I believe that this is part of an ongoing, well funded, well organised misandric conspiracy to silence me.

  7. Pen says

    I’m seeing a few technical glitches right now, but basically I like it the format. It would be nice if someone wrote a guided tour to explain the rationale behind the categories and how posts get assigned. It doesn’t feel intuitive yo me to have gender and sexuality in one place, race and social justice in another and I guess class/economic issues come… Under social justice? I expect I’ll get used to it. It looks nice and fixes a bunch of problems.

    Technical glitches: My ipad is formatting a few sub-important things in an odd way. Ads above comment threads… Also I absolutely could not persuade the login through wordpress link to work and had to login through google. The login link I used to use at the top of the page has gone.

  8. Ally Fogg says

    Edward Gemmer

    I may be just not seeing it, but it seems they got rid of the “recent posts” from the entire network. I liked that feature.

    That might be a widget that I can turn on somewhere. I’ll check.

    LeoBuzalsky

    Anyone know what’s up with the new logo?

    I believe the official explanation is that it is a reproduction of a handprint on a cave painting dating from about 20,000 years before God made the earth and stars or something like that.

    The slightly more honest answer is that it was the only proposed design that none of us actively hated.

    Personally I quite like it because it makes me think of someone saying “Miss! Miss! Me Miss! I know! I know!”

    Carnation
    Can you keep trying and have a play around to see if you can work out how to do it? Because you should be able to. If not, let me know which phone, OS etc and I’ll pass it on.

    Pen

    The category headings are always going to be a bit arbitrary – however we did it there were going to be quirks and inconsistencies. We ended up with a list where we all felt we’d be able to file our posts reasonably accurately somewhere, and that was the most important thing. I guess if you think posts are being wrongly categorised on the front page, tell the blogger, because he or she will be filing them like that.

    Noted on the iPad thing, will pass it on.

  9. Ally Fogg says

    marduk

    Don’t have time to read it properly now but this is what everyone said when the Corston Report came out right?
    Yes, all good points about female offending and prisoners, completely agree, but nearly everything you’ve said here applies to male offenders as well. This new report appears, at least in the press release, to have much the same policy conclusions.

    Dunno about ‘everyone’!

    It is certainly what I was saying, it may well have been what you were saying, but most of the liberal-lefty-reformist circles were so busy cheering Corston they failed to notice that you could say almost all of it about most male prisoners too. Indeed some of them got very shirty with me when I tried to point it out.

    Meanwhile most MRA types were simply condemning Corston as a ‘pussy pass’ report providing special favours for women and demanding it stop. I honestly can’t think of a single MRA who argued that Corston was a good thing which should be extended to men rather than a bad thing which should be ended for women.

  10. Ally Fogg says

    update, apparently we are already aware of all the problems mentioned above (including phone functionality) and our brilliant little web squirrels are scurrying busily to fix them ASAP.

  11. Carnation says

    Phone seems okay now. Was a Note 3, Android OS.

    My phone is as hip and fresh as my politics.

  12. WM says

    Ally I’d be quite surprised if any MRA anywhere has used the term ‘pussy pass’ about Corston, for the simple reason that it’s a British report and the phrase and American expression.

    However, with regards to this:

    . I honestly can’t think of a single MRA who argued that Corston was a good thing which should be extended to men rather than a bad thing which should be ended for women.

    There is at least some reasoning behind this attitude, on the simple basis
    that discrimination in the justice system may be regarded as a serious evil in itself.
    From this perspective, you ought to have reform for everybody or no-one.

    I mean say, hypothetically, that prison reform lobbyists suddenly got together
    and issued a statement that they’d done some focus group research, and
    they had come to the conclusion that it would be much easier to garner public sympathy for change in the justice system, but for black men only.
    (Not saying this is realistic, but a useful thought experiment.) This would be on the basis that it was widely appreciated that this group suffered from a range of social disadvantages which were far worse than the general population.

    Well, great, this might very well be true, but would you then back them in saying ‘right, we’ll secure prison reform for black guys immediately, and having done this, we’ll possibly look to extend this to other groups later, maybe a decade down the line’.

    I mean, surely not! You’d have to tell me, but I cannot think you’d tolerate
    such double standards for one second. So why should the case of women be any different?

    (Oh yes, some problems with what the Prof says too in her interview, about women offenders having more parental responsibilities, but you’ve dealt with that myth on other occasions so won’t go into that here. As for the ‘gender pay gap’ – Jesus, what irrelevant balderdash!)

  13. 123454321 says

    and while i’m at it, how has this 44 year old woman who sexually assaulted (not seduced as the article states) escape without a jail sentence?

    Reverse the sexes and even the way the article was written would completely change. Notice the following:

    “…school and teachers were forced to report the incident to police”.

    WTF.

    Does that mean they would have chosen NOT to report a female sex offender if they had a choice!!!

    The end of the article draws a better conclusion but, regardless, the woman gets away where a man would not.

  14. Ally Fogg says

    12345

    Assuming you are talking about this case then nope, I got nothing.

    From the reports, it appears she gave him vodka, which according to the sentencing guidelines is an aggravating factor. There would appear to be no mitigating factors other than a guilty plea.

    The guidelines say

    Type/nature of activity: Offence involving penetration where one or more aggravating factors exist or where there is a substantial age gap between the parties

    Starting points: Detention and Training Order 12 months
    Sentencing ranges: Detention and Training Order 6 – 24 months

  15. Jacob Schmidt says

    I don’t think that’s to do with the redesign, that’s always been my preferred setting in blogs. When I’m reading stuff I like to get a new tab from links as I often jump back and forward from one piece to the other. I realise other people have different preferences, so if there’s a groundswell of opinion that you’d rather I didn’t have the ‘open links in new tab’ button clicked I’m happy to change my habits.

    Given that CTRL + L-CLICK (dunno about Macs, but I assume they have a similar keyboard shortcut) achieves the same thing, that seems a little redundant. At best, you’ve achieved a function that was already easily done. At worst, you’re annoying people who don’t like it. It doesn’t seem to happen in chrome, and IE opens a new window. Speaking of IE, It surprises me exactly none that the formatting is wonky, with the post and comments appearing below the side bar.

  16. Prancing Wally says

    I think the front page makes a lot more sense now

    Huh. I don’t like it at all. Having a list of the blogs and the most recent articles worked fine. Now I have to scroll through various sections to see what’s new?

  17. Jacob Schmidt says

    They have illustrated it with perhaps the single most inappropriate and offensive stock image you could possibly imagine.
    I’m almost speechless.

    What the fuck were they thinking? Usually I can understand the twisted logic, but in this case understanding evades me.

  18. Ally Fogg says

    What the fuck were they thinking? Usually I can understand the twisted logic, but in this case understanding evades me.

    I was wondering that and the only thing I can think is that they used the keyword ‘maneater’ on the image library. Which tells you quite a lot about how they were thinking about the issue.

  19. says

    Hi Ally

    Thanks for sharing the Prof Lacey interview. I’ve said this before but I think it’s worth reposting:

    Problems where women are in the majority (eg primary carers) or in the minority (eg prisoners) are considered women’s issues

    Problems where men are are in the majority (eg prisoners) or in the minority (eg primary carers) are not considered men’s issues

    When men are in the majority – murder victims, workplace deaths, prisoners – it’s just considered normal – cos hey, men commit crime, get killed and fall off ladders – typical men!

    So we have a situation where some people are interested in prison reform and some people are interested in gender equality

    Unfortunately – and here comes a big generalisation to make a point:

    – those who are interested in prison reform aren’t interested in men’s gender equality
    – those who are interested in men’s gender equality aren’t interested in reform – they tend to want women to get harsher sentences to make it all equal

    (And this is what you’re pointing to when you say that you’ve not seen an MRA argue for the idea f a Corston for men)

    So our challenge, it seems, is to persuade prison reformers interested in men and to get men’s campaigners interested in reform.

    The report that prompted this interview was not a Corston for men—-it was a Corston for all prisoners but didn’t explore how gender was a barrier to helping men in this way. The interview was an attempt to ask the authors of the report to spend some time reflecting on the gendered nature of the challenges facing those who seek to promote reform and a reduction in prisoner numbers.

    Thanks for being a pioneer on this issue

    Best Wishes

    Glen

  20. Jacob Schmidt says

    There is at least some reasoning behind this attitude, on the simple basis
    that discrimination in the justice system may be regarded as a serious evil in itself.
    From this perspective, you ought to have reform for everybody or no-one.

    Frankly, in choosing between double standards and mistreating everyone, I’ll pick the double standard.

    Regardless, the response should be to fight for reform for everyone; to build on the momentum behind the current, more narrow reform attempt. Best case scenario, you actually succeed. Worst case scenario, everyone disagrees with you, and you tarnish everything, leading to no reform at all. Most likely, you’ll simply fail, but you’ll have injected a few talking points into political discourse, making momentum easier to build in the future.

    I can’t abide simply giving up and choosing the worst case scenario off the bat. It looks to me like tearing down the work of ideological opponents, rather than anything principled (then again, we are talking bout MRAs).

  21. Ally Fogg says

    Update,

    I’m assured that the Widget for ‘Most recent on FTB’ and ‘Most active on FTB’ will be restored to us soon.

    @Praincing Wally

    Hopefully this will address your issue, but the difference in the new front page is that everything listed is “most recent” – it is just that rather than one list they ar broken down into categories.

    The old front page didn’t differentiate between blogs which were being updated several times a week (or in Ophelia’s case several times a day!) and those which hadn’t been touched for months. Unless you knew all the content really well it was impossible to browse the latest blogs (other than by using the ‘most recent’ sidebar’)

  22. Carnation says

    @ Glen Poole
    @ Jacob Schmidt

    Prison reform is one area that is screaming out for committed, motivated, realistic advocates for men. There are some providers who provides rehabilitative services such as employability, but a paucity when it comes to healing the damage done that sees so many men incarcerated.

    When it comes to a conceptual analysis of the prison population, rooted in realism, some fundamentals are widely misunderstood. Few economic criminals are present (though some are). Virtually nobody is rich. Whilst some are violent, most aren’t. Virtually all criminals (including sex offenders) have been victims of serious crimes. In short, the line between criminal and victim is a thin one, and quite often overlaps. Many are institutionalised and have been in the forces or the care system.

    What these people need is recognition that they have been damaged, usually when very young, and they are in prison because they don’t have the tools/capacity for dealing with life.

    Reactionaries, be they ones with power (Tories, Daily Mail) or without (MRAs) need an “other”, a scapegoat, people or things to persecute and blame. Progressives realise that such bland thinking isn’t productive. It makes no fiscal, judicial or moral sense to be more punitive and harsh in the administration of justice, otherwise America would have much lower crime and Norway much higher.

    This is a left/right issue, not a gender issue.

  23. WM says

    “Progressives realise that such bland thinking isn’t productive.”

    Carnation, it would be great if self-titled ‘progressives’ were genuinely like this, except – ‘case you hadn’t noticed – Ally has already described attitudes in these circles upthread:

    “Most of the liberal-lefty-reformist circles were so busy cheering Corston they failed to notice that you could say almost all of it about most male prisoners too. Indeed some of them got very shirty with me when I tried to point it out”.

    From what I’ve seen, that certainly wasn’t just limited to the Guardian newspaper.

  24. Carnation says

    @ WM

    “Ally I’d be quite surprised if any MRA anywhere has used the term ‘pussy pass’ about Corston, for the simple reason that it’s a British report and the phrase and American expression.”

    Eh, have you read comments on this very blog from British MRAs? If you had, including some just last week, you’d realise that you’re very wrong – the ridiculous term “pussy pass” is trotted out as pathetically often in the UK as in the US.

    It’s more likely that not a single MRA suggested extending Corston for men simply because they are reactionaries who don’t care about the rights of prisoners. And they aren’t actually lobbying for anything.

  25. mildlymagnificent says

    What these people need is recognition that they have been damaged, usually when very young, and they are in prison because they don’t have the tools/capacity for dealing with life.

    I remember the tears in the eyes of our optometrist.

    I’d taken in our 9 year old who was a very, very good reader – with horrible handwriting and worse spelling – because she was suffering headaches at school. Turned out she was dyslexic (and so was the other one, You’d think I could have got one child who could spell like me rather than their dyslexic dad. No chance.) The optometrist was not a really congenial character in my jaundiced view. He was an old-fashioned, very catholic Catholic with very conservative ideas on just about everything.

    But he started talking about dyslexia generally and the effect it could have on people. Being a good Catholic, he did prisoner visiting. Being an optometrist, he did eye examinations for a whole heap of prisoners as well as boys at what was then the reform school. With the young ones, he tried to get reading programs going for them. But either they didn’t get them done or, more often, they weren’t maintained when they were released or moved on elsewhere. He reckoned that over 80% of the adult male jail population was functionally illiterate, and at least half of them had some significant visual processing issue that meant that it was harder for them to learn to read anyway than it was for the population at large.

    One of those boys that he’d identified years ago as dyslexic and later seen in prison as an illiterate adult recidivist criminal had recently been convicted of murder. There were tears in his eyes and his voice as he wondered aloud, for heaven alone knows how many times, what he could have done better or differently or something to make this kid’s life turn out otherwise.

    Prison reform is one area that is screaming out for committed, motivated, realistic advocates for men. There are some providers who provides rehabilitative services such as employability

    Employability is a big problem. Much bigger than it was 40 and more years ago. Nobody worried all that much about the fact most prisoners were illiterate. They’d get parole and the parole officer would just ring up the local council, get these blokes a job on the garbage trucks to run around picking up bins or digging ditches or street sweeping or similar unskilled, undemanding labour. Importantly, all these jobs were outside work which appealed strongly to people fed up with being locked up.

    Now those jobs are done by machines which require qualified operators and all jobs have much stricter safety standards than they used to. Not being able to read safety instructions is a barrier to employment all on its own – and there are fewer jobs of that kind anyway. A streetsweeping machine does more in a day than half a dozen of these blokes would have done in the same time.

    It’s not just ex-prisoners but lots of poorly educated or mildly impaired people who would benefit from some way of reconstructing the kind of jobs that equivalent people did quite successfully a generation ago.

  26. Lucy says

    ” I believe the official explanation is that it is a reproduction of a handprint on a cave painting dating from about 20,000 years before God made the earth and stars or something like that.”

    The ancient prints in caves were female (like the ancient skeletons of miners). Your new logo is a man’s. I suppose the heteronormatives have changed in the intervening years.

  27. says

    “Discrimination in the justice system may be regarded as a serious evil in itself”

    I still haven’t had a satisfactory answer to why women are being put through a justice system designed by men (to the complete and utter deliberate exclusion of women) and still largely run by men to reflect and further male social hierarchies in the first place. It’s got to be one of the mosh blatant forms of discrimination in society.

  28. mildlymagnificent says

    It’s got to be one of the mosh blatant forms of discrimination in society.

    Discrimination in the justice system. Surely this has to be the most glaring example of where the intersectionality rubber hits the road.

    Gender, class, race, colour, ethnicity, sexual preference, marital status, religion, ability in the English language/ regional accent, education, disability, intellectual disability, wealth, all the way through to tastes in clothes and grooming. All of these, and especially combinations of two or more of them, can affect how people are treated by courts and by police or other officials, whether as witnesses or as accused, plaintiffs or defendants.

    I know that women suffer disadvantage in this system – but it’s even worse for women of the “wrong” colour, class, educational attainment, sexual preference, lifestyle. That tells us that men can also suffer from the inbuilt, hidebound, class and religion biased legal system. The fact that some or many of these factors may have been ameliorated to some extent in recent decades doesn’t change the fact that a not clever, not well educated, man with visible tattoos and a distinct accent signifying a particular region or class will rarely fare as well within the system as an intelligent, well-spoken, pearls and twinset or business suit dressed woman with neatly coiffured hair. That’s much more about perceived class than it is about gender.

  29. Carnation says

    @ Ally (and anyone else that might want to get stuck in):

    Today’s article in the Guardian – “Crisis over domestic violence refuges”
    ( http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/03/domestic-violence-refuge-crisis-women-closure-safe-houses#start-of-comments )

    Is it just me, or is the coalition cynically using the men’s refuge argument as a basis to massively cut funding to vital services? I’m not seeing any male advocates who matter/have influence, demanding closures.

    Yet more catastrophic social collapse occuring, for which future generations will pay for in so many ways, including, but not limited to, financially.

  30. Jacob Schmidt says

    Is it just me, or is the coalition cynically using the men’s refuge argument as a basis to massively cut funding to vital services? I’m not seeing any male advocates who matter/have influence, demanding closures.

    It’s the same thing as prison reform: there’s no interest in actual improvement, just ideologues tearing down the work of political opponents.

    Honestly, the infrastructure for support already exists. Adapt it for men, advertise the services, and adjust for demand as you get better numbers. It’ll be rocky for a few years, but it will be far more efficient in getting men help than tearing down support for women.

  31. Carnation says

    “It’s the same thing as prison reform: there’s no interest in actual improvement, just ideologues tearing down the work of political opponents.”

    Agreed. It’s the Big Society being implemented – remove state involvement and hope (or not) for people to step in voluntarily and hope (or not) for the best. I’m guessing not.

    As Jake Burns said about life under Thatcherism “only the helpless get left at the gates” – it’s practically a scorched earth policy before the next election.

  32. Adiabat says

    Jacob Schmidt (34):

    It’s the same thing as prison reform: there’s no interest in actual improvement, just ideologues tearing down the work of political opponents.

    These decisions are being made by the local authorities, not central government. In fact many of the areas discussed in the article are under Labour (the current opposition party in the UK) control. So I doubt there is an ideological motive behind this, just a purely financial one.

    Councils are facing massive budget cuts in all areas of service provision and many of the closures are due to that. In addition they are also now legally required to provide services to men without any real increase in money. Essentially any given council has two options: 1) Take a small slice of the money that goes to women’s refuges and tender a contract to provide services to men. This is interpreted by women’s refuges as a ‘budget cut’ for them when really the same money is being put into services, but to different providers. 2) Ask existing women’s refuges to cater to men as well. In this case there is no “cut” but many of the existing providers are ideologically opposed to this. Those that blanket refuse to cater to men are losing their contracts and the money going to providers who will. (Given these two options you can now see why organisations such as Women’s Aid have been fighting so hard to prevent recognition and support for male victims of DV for the past few years).

    So you can see that the local authority is between a rock and a hard place. The best solution is to provide more money for services but under current ‘Austerity’ plans that is unlikely. It’s a shitty situation without an easy answer.

  33. Marduk says

    Jacob Schmidt

    On the contrary, I pointed out in an earlier thread that these groups would try to oppose tendering on spurious grounds just like this. That article is no better than a Daily Mail piece and largely written under the influence of lobbyists on nice salaries to try and protect their employer’s income streams (smaller charities mentioned here are just being used). There is even a document (or at least was) on the Refuge website setting out the same bullet points as an ‘freeze-dried’ advocacy position!

    “Specialist safe houses for women and children – which were forged out of the feminist movement in the 1970s – are being forced to shut by some local authorities because they do not take in male victims.”

    That isn’t actually true, what they mean charities that are ideologically opposed to men having needs have had their funding pulled and are suffering the consequences. They may or may not be shutting the “houses”, that is up to them. That sentence is written to make perfectly reasonable and indeed lawful equalities rules look ridiculous. Daily Mail tactics again.

  34. Marduk says

    @Adiabat

    An acceptable solution to this problem in the past has been partnerships between groups, its not about the literal house in a street having to let let men in, its about the organisations writing the tendering application following the rules.

    This is not new and it is not news. Although I don’t think it helped Refuge find partnerships after their director made inflammatory and bigoted comments earlier in the year.

    This is all an internecine 3rd sector thing, don’t believe the hype. The rich want to stay rich and unaccountable. So long as there is service provision I don’t really care that its run by some radical separatist group from the 70s or not, I just want quality and price, this not a ‘heritage’ issue. Blame Tony Blair, I do.

  35. Marduk says

    And this made me so angry I think I burst a couple of blood vessels in my eyes.

    “Sandra Rudd, president of Chester Women’s Aid, believes preventative work with perpetrators is a “complete waste of time” and has not been proven to work.”

    The preventative work mooted by the anti-scientific and purely ideological Duluth model certainly doesn’t work, nobody ever said it did (except feminist theoreticians). Other paradigms have been demonstrated to be much more effective but of course, they are other paradigms that Women’s Aid aggressively refuses to recognise.

    Being familiar with the area I also note something else.

    Former Councillor Rudd and her husband, Councillor Bob Rudd, or the Lord Mayor of Chester and the Lady Mayoress of Chester as they are currently known (Sandra is also the former Sheriff of Chester and the former Deputy and actual Lord Mayor of Chester herself, Bob was her ‘consort’, now its his turn) have been big noises in local politics for 20 years. However, reorganisation of the district has upset a few cosy arrangements [http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/news/chester-cheshire-news/labour-veterans-sandra–bob-5238632].

    This is actually local Tories and local Labour having a policy disagreement. I’m generally on the red team myself but I think readers should know this. I find the choice of identities assumed here (“Rudd’s refuge” vs. “the council”) rather dishonest somehow.

  36. Ally Fogg says

    Carnation (33)

    Is it just me, or is the coalition cynically using the men’s refuge argument as a basis to massively cut funding to vital services? I’m not seeing any male advocates who matter/have influence, demanding closures.

    I don’t think that is quite it, as I see it.

    There are undoubtedly huge cuts to DV services, and a lot of councils appear to be looking to cost cut by meeting their statutory obligations by cheaper routes, such as commissioning housing authorities to provide DV refuge services rather than specialist charities.

    But some of the DV charities themselves (such as Havens and some parts of the Women’s Aid federation) who never really wanted services to be provided to men in the first place and are quite resentful about the fact that any money is going to male victims at all are using this as an opportunity to scratch that particular itch and are effectively blaming male victims for the cuts in provision to all victims.

    A lot of what they say doesn’t add up. The equalities provision do not require anyone to provide services that aren’t needed. If charities are setting aside provision for men that has no take-up (as in the example quoted) I’d take that to mean the charity are doing a bloody awful job of reaching out to and engaging male victims. But also services should be tailored to needs, and there is evidence that men are much less likely to need refuge services in particular. That doesn’t mean they don’t need other services, such as legal and social support or counselling or whatever else. I would be very suspicious that in the specific example quoted in the article, the Havens have set aside a couple of hostel beds for men as a way of getting around their legal obligations to meet the needs of male victims (perhaps in cahoots with the local authority) rather than with a genuine intention of meeting needs.

  37. Jacob Schmidt says

    UK politics is something of which I am unfamiliar, so I will refrain from commenting on the specific politics of these cases.

    1) Take a small slice of the money that goes to women’s refuges and tender a contract to provide services to men. This is interpreted by women’s refuges as a ‘budget cut’ for them when really the same money is being put into services, but to different providers. 2) Ask existing women’s refuges to cater to men as well. In this case there is no “cut” but many of the existing providers are ideologically opposed to this.

    The Wolverhampton Haven, which has run the refuges for 41 years, is having its funding from the city cut by £300,000 and – as it struggles to maintain services – has been forced to reserve some of its places for men, even though it has had no male referrals to the accommodation so far.

    This presents a large problem to me. Services for men are going unused, and the money and resources are being wasted. That’s why I specified that these services should be advertised (heavily at that), so that men who want them but are unaware of them could be reached.

  38. Danny Gibbs says

    Ally:
    In related business, Thought Catalog have just put up a page of first-person accounts of men being raped by women, harvested from a Reddit thread this week.
    They have illustrated it with perhaps the single most inappropriate and offensive stock image you could possibly imagine.
    I’m almost speechless.
    http://thoughtcatalog.com/lorenzo-jensen-iii/2014/08/19-men-share-stories-of-being-raped-by-a-woman-nsfw/

    What catches my eye is that a lot of what those guys are describing is exactly like what women who have been raped by men describe.

  39. Ally Fogg says

    Jacob,

    This presents a large problem to me. Services for men are going unused, and the money and resources are being wasted.

    You’d think that, wouldn’t you?

    Except I’ve just been to the website for Haven Wolverhampton, and it is quite clear they are not providing any services for men at all. All over their website they are quite clear that they provide support for women and children. Only women and children.

    So it is hardly surprising that they’ve never had any referrals!

    Read the quoted section again, carefully. It doesn’t say what it appears to say on first glance. It doesn’t say that they have already been providing services which have gone unused. As far as I can work out, they are being told that if they want to keep providing the services in the future they will have to provide (unspecified numbers of) places for men. That number could be “Two men every five years” for all we know.

    Meanwhile the other example given, Coventry, is similarly interesting. I just found this press release from earlier this summer

    http://www.coventry.gov.uk/news/article/1074/councils_commitment_to_tackling_domestic_violence_gathers_pace

    Wednesday 18 June 2014
    Coventry City councillors have agreed to spend an extra £250,000 a year to support work to tackle domestic violence.

    The extra funding will be added to current funding of more than £1million a year to help launch new services from September.

    The services will include increasing the accommodation provided for women fleeing domestic violence from 40 units to 54. For the first time safe accommodation for men who are victims of domestic violence will also be provided.

    Which puts a distinctly different shade on things, don’t you think?

  40. Ally Fogg says

    Just to add, I’ve spent the last 10 minutes or so using Google as if I were a male victim of domestic violence trying to get help in Wolverhampton and/ or Coventry – trying to find a service I could use, a local number I could call, anything.

    Have drawn a complete blank.

    I would argue that if there’s a problem for male victims in those cities, it is not an excess of provision.

  41. Jacob Schmidt says

    Ally

    Fair enough. Poor reading on my part.

    I would argue that if there’s a problem for male victims in those cities, it is not an excess of provision.

    I don’t think there’s an excess of provision, but an absence of advertising what few services are available. Maybe that cuts both ways, but my impression is that the paucity is greater for services for men.

  42. Tmk says

    39@Marduk Oh, Sandra Rudd is my favourite from the article. The fragment you quoted ends with something i am sure Ally will love with passion

    Quote:

    “I feel we have gone back 30 years. Domestic violence is much more prevalent now than it has ever been

  43. David S says

    I think there might genuinely be a problem with services in Exeter. The refuge that used to exist was run by SAFE, who lost the contract when it was put out to tender. The refuge has now been closed, and it’s residents rehoused. However it sounds as if the new provider of services, splitz, will look, in future, to remove perpetrators from the home, and only attempt to rehouse victims if that fails. I’m not sure that’s a brilliant idea. Mind you I am getting my information from press reports, which may well be influenced by various interested parties.

    More details here:

    http://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/2014-02-27/lives-will-be-put-at-risk-if-refuge-closes

  44. mildlymagnificent says

    Oh for heaven’s sake. That Rudd woman is making the classic mistake of naive people when looking at divorce or rape or child abuse statistics. Every time there’s some change in laws or in social acceptance of talking about such matters, there’s a spike in offences reported.

    Some people are putting hands to foreheads and fainting on to their couches about the prevalence of child abuse. They fail absolutely to notice that a great number of reports – especially in places like Australia with our Royal Commission into dodgy institutions – relate to offences committed 20, 30 or more years ago. The statistics tell us that there is much less sexual abuse of children than there was 30 or 40 years ago. When no fault divorce laws are passed in any country, the number of divorce applications sky rockets for a few years. The world doesn’t end, the rate of divorce steadily drops back to what it would have been all along if those laws had been in force for decades or centuries.

    As for domestic violence, and for rape too, more women are now more willing to report than we were 30 or more years ago. Many hospitals and clinics now have policies requiring reports of suspected cases to police that the women themselves don’t initiate. Police are, in many places if not universally, much more likely to take reports of incidents more seriously than they have done at other times or in other places. Things have changed in a way that makes it more likely for DV/IPV reports to be made and for them to be recorded.

    I realise that Ms Rudd is a worker in this field rather than a researcher, but surely she should know this much about apparent increases in violence and related matters. (My own suspicion is that there is recently an increase – related to financial/ job stresses for the obvious GFC+govt policy reasons. She could have put a view like that even if she has no research to back up her view. It at least accords with bare common sense.)

    She has enough fodder for any amount of outrage anyway. The number of refuge beds in her area is being cut – by half. http://www.chesterfirst.co.uk/news/127025/axe-falls-on-women-s-refuges-despite-protests.aspx

  45. TMK says

    My personal suspicion is that she stopped being a social worker/victim advocate and is now simply professional fundraiser who only cares about funding her corporation.

    Professionalization of NGOs is a fucked up phenomen that is nevertheless well described.

  46. WM says

    Actually on reflection I’d just like to clarify that the position I laid out in post 14. is
    not my belief (i.e. that you should have reform for both women and men, or neither), and I did not intend for it to reflect the views of MRAs, either.

    It was more just to explain how you could have a coherent ethical stance, whereby you
    can be pro-reform but anti-discrimination. For what it’s worth, I don’t think you can
    generalise about the attitudes of MRAs towards prison reform (since they’re on
    such a broad spectrum from left to right). The only thing that seems to unite them is
    the anger about unequal treatment, and yes, there does seem to be a lot of frustration also about the indifference towards physical and sexual abuse within the male prison estate.
    Mind you – and I’ll acknowledge this is a blindingly obvious point – but I do think if
    the situation were reversed, and we had some kind of Alice In Wonderland universe
    where the ‘patriarchy’ actually acted as they were supposed to, and they had set in train reform for men whilst fogetting about women, then I cannot for the life of me imagine Ally then condescendingly saying to all the outraged women ‘hey come on, why can’t you just be good progressives and welcome these positive developments?’
    Weirdly, it’s only his fellow men that he likes to wind-up in this fashion! :)

  47. Carnation says

    “For what it’s worth, I don’t think you can generalise about the attitudes of MRAs towards prison reform (since they’re on such a broad spectrum from left to right).”

    Eh, not so much. They are reactionary, but some of them use the discourse of equality and social justice to try and steal credibility. They fail, miserably, however.

    “The only thing that seems to unite them is
    the anger about unequal treatment”

    That’s a very charitible assessment. I think what unites them is a lot more basic and crude, and a lot less noble.

  48. 123454321 says

    For Lucy from the other thread. Hope you read this:

    “A) the people who pay the most income tax are the people who receive the most income.”
    Yes Lucy, and income (money) is simply a mechanism which represents and equates with the amount of effort someone (or a group of people) applies to a work task required to support a sustainable society – money is a well-embedded and evolved measure of ‘worth’ invented by humans. So if men pay more tax because they earn more money, they’re probably earning more money because they’re contributing more to society in terms of relative time spent working or doing risk-based jobs that women don’t want to do (we’re talking ‘value’ here. I understand that looking after children is immensely important and way undervalued but when you think about it, society has evolved (until recently) in such a way that the male supports the female throughout child-bearing years and his hard-earned efforts (money) gets brought home and spent on the family in any case. So you’re talking shit.
    “B) the government can’t spend the money twice, men are already disproportionately subsidised by the tax system (including taxes paid by women) because of their extremely expensive criminal and anti-social behaviour. If men committed as few crimes as women there would be an annual saving of 42 billion pounds.”
    42 billion pounds is fuck all in the whole scheme of things. Women in the UK spend more than that each year on handbags, shoes and makeup. And stop trying to demonise men at every given opportunity because it’s this hateful tactic that contributes to the toxic which is poisoning and destroying society today. Besides, where sentencing is concerned women are more likely than men to be discharged or given a community sentence for similar offences and are less likely to be fined or sentenced to custody. Where women are sentenced to custody, on average they receive shorter sentences than men and are thus, due to these reasons, perceived via the stats to be the cleaner gender – a perception which you jump on the back of with your big loudhailer in order to publicly demonise men because it makes you feel good.

  49. 123454321 says

    Schala said (before it gets deleted):

    “Women are less likely to be suspected, arrested, convicted, sentenced and executed for the same crimes as men.
    So either men are overprofiled ad overpunished, or women are underprofiled and underpunished. Whichever you think is more fair. Very much especially for sexual crimes, where women get just about 0.1% of the consequences for probably a third of the crimes at least.
    See above. Even for sexual assault, women escape the consequences of this lesser crime, too. And in India, can still not be liable to commit it at all (it’s rape or nothing over there).
    The biggest double standard is for pedophilia, where even most of the research selectively ignores female perpetrators.”

    Well said, especially the last sentence, which highlights a vile double-standard.

  50. mildlymagnificent says

    I understand that looking after children is immensely important and way undervalued but when you think about it, society has evolved (until recently) in such a way that the male supports the female throughout child-bearing years and his hard-earned efforts (money) gets brought home and spent on the family in any case. So you’re talking shit.

    This is rubbish. In the early industrial era, women and children worked alongside men in the mills and the mines just as they did on farms and at home on piecework.

    You seem to think that the “history” of work and value is all about the experience of a handful of generations in a handful of countries in an abnormally egalitarian and prosperous time in the few decades following WW2. In some fortunate places like Australia, things were also better as a consequence of fair wages law from before WW1 where we had wages for men that were obliged to be enough to support the whole of the worker’s family in a measure of “frugal comfort”.

    Excluding the aristocracy, the gentry and the middle classes or whatever the equivalents might be in different places, most people most of the time worked their butts off for not very much regardless of being man, woman or child. Far too many of them still do.

  51. 123454321 says

    “This is rubbish.”

    I’m afraid not. Going back to when civilisations first began, on average and taking everything into account, women have spent far less hours doing risk-based, undesirable jobs during childbearing years.

    Not that what women do isn’t vitally important. It’s just that it’s deemed easier and less risky to change a nappy and make a dinner than it is to construct an infrastructure.

    There is always a logic behind a derived system of value and worth. It might not suit you, and I understand that part. But don’t talk to me about women doing the same jobs as men because overall it’s completely false.

  52. Adiabat says

    Continuing from http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2014/08/05/throwing-domestic-violence-victims-to-the-wolves/#comment-110753

    The Joshua Tree (94):

    That’s actually an interesting point but I question it’s relevance.The modern cultural landscape is startingly different to the one Pankhurst and company found themselves in. The comparison isn’t remotely valid. Basic human rights are enshrined in law for me and women now. They weren’t then. The workplace is open to men and women in a way that it wasn’t then. Of course male disenfranchisement existed on economic grounds, but the Suffragettes fight was for a very basic democratic right, denied on the grounds of gender.

    I don’t know what it is but I’m struggling to understand your point again. Yes, things are different. But what does that have to do with the fact that many of feminism’s successes took a long time to bring about as well? And that your criticism could’ve just as easily been made about them?

    Karen, true to form, blamed feminists/feminism for the huge failings of the organizations she is involved with.

    Look at the OP. I think it’s undeniable that Feminists are (rightly or wrongly) hindering the efforts of anybody trying to help men, at least in the area of DV provision.

    I asked her to recount her accomplishments for male victims and compare and contrast with her own. She hasn’t. I wouldn’t either: it’s embarrassing.

    And if you asked Pankhurst to do the same in 1917, 14 years after her organisation was founded (and a century after the start of advocacy for women’s suffrage), you would’ve had a similar response. Again, I’m struggling to discern what you think your line of questioning shows.

    The self-styled MHRM is essentially and fundamentally an anti-feminist collective of writers and their supporters. I cannot see any activism rooted in a desire to help vulnerable men – but like I said, I would welcome a correction to this point of view (I don’t think the sad story of Earl Silverman counts).

    Firstly, why don’t you think Silverman counts?

    Secondly, the MRM is diverse, and includes people who identify as both feminists and MRA’s. Each MRA likely has his or her pet causes, from DV provision to recognition of male rape victims to people who work to diminish the ability of feminist activists to hinder progress on the issues other people work on. The movement unites activists that would otherwise be entirely decentralized and powerless. That, if nothing else, should be respected and applauded.

    As for direct activism to help men, this depends on what role the MRM plays in the wider scheme of things: as an outsider I see them more similar with the Fawcett Society than, say, Women’s Aid. That is, they are lobbyists, not service providers: They seem happy to leave service provision to organisation such as AMIS and Survivors Manchester, while providing moral support and attempting to raise consciousness. And frankly: to divert criticism away from those organisations to the MRM, which is, for all their flaws, very good at ‘handling’ feminists.

    If your complaint is simply that they don’t do anything ‘on the ground’ to help men, then the same charge can be made towards the Fawcett Society and similar feminist organisations.

  53. says

    “this will be because women have always spent vastly more hours caring for children than men have.”

    Please tell me you’re not suggesting for one moment that, because women care for children more than men do, they should have a right to be let off the hook for abusing children? I know you’re not saying that.
    I mean, if women spend more time looking after children then surely the direction of scrutiny ought to aim towards women for a change. It’s about time. The current cultural behaviour has us thinking that because women look after children more, they must always be the goodies. This is not necesarily true. Women think they are exempt from scrutiny and this in itself is a social disgrace. Women get away with an astonishing amount of abuse and nobody bats an eyelid. Disgusting. The stats need to play catch-up.

  54. Ally Fogg says

    123…

    Nope. I’m suggesting that there is no reason to believe there’s any significant difference in the likelihood that a man or a woman will abuse a chlld.

    Nothing to do with people being ‘let off the hook’ or anything similar.

  55. mildlymagnificent says

    Not that what women do isn’t vitally important. It’s just that it’s deemed easier and less risky to change a nappy and make a dinner than it is to construct an infrastructure.

    Women certainly worked in the mines in England.

    Lord Ashley deliberately appealed to Victorian prudery, focussing on girls and women wearing trousers and working bare breasted in the presence of boys and men which “made girls unsuitable for marriage and unfit to be mothers”. Such an affront to Victorian morality ensured the bill was passed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mines_and_Collieries_Act_1842

    As for women’s work not being risky. Even once we get into recent centuries and and up till the middle of last century, laundry was some of the most dangerous, heaviest work ever done by anyone. At least as much opportunity for scalds and burns when wielding pot sticks laden with literally boiling linens as in intermittent pours in many small foundries. Changing nappies might be easy work, boiling them clean isn’t. Ever tried making soap from scratch? Boiling caustic solutions are no fun at all – especially considering how unlikely it would be for an ordinary farm- or house-wife to have protective clothing, let alone eye protection.

    Do I really need to talk about old recipe books telling readers to beat a mixture for 20 minutes? The writers really, truly instructed the cook to hold a gigantic bowl on one hip and wield a wooden spoon vigorously for twenty whole minutes to mix up large quantities of cake mix. (One of my grandmothers worked as a shearers’ cook from the time she was 13. Up at 3 am in the mornings to get the wood stove fired up, and hard heavy work for 10 or more hours following. I know what she had to do. There were no dainty flyaway sponges in her repertoire. )

  56. Schala says

    From #40

    But also services should be tailored to needs, and there is evidence that men are much less likely to need refuge services in particular.

    What evidence is there that men don’t need shelters?

    The only assumptions I saw to justify not having DV shelters for men were of the line of “men have more money, therefore can pay temp accommodations (like hotels)” and “men aren’t really afraid for their life, unlike women”. Both baseless assumptions based on stereotypes. Read the 19 men reporting rape thing, they’re very much afraid. That society wants an image of men as Superman who is never afraid and never beaten doesn’t mean men are actually that. It means society ignores those who don’t fit the Superman image as non-men.

    Men should also have services like help for lawyer stuff, restraining orders, getting back into some place to live, accommodation for their child or children, and therapy. All stuff your local hotel won’t offer.

    From #59

    Not that what women do isn’t vitally important. It’s just that it’s deemed easier and less risky to change a nappy and make a dinner than it is to construct an infrastructure.

    Except most women, historically, and even nowadays every women who isn’t well-off (and well pretty much all men too), worked outside the home.

    They didn’t make dinner, sweep the floor and change diapers. They did subsistence farming (family farm without a huge budget or land), including the heavy shit farmers do, without many modern mechanical tools. They also worked in manufactures (textile is well-known, but is not the only one, see Les Misérables, a pottery manufacture is where the mother of Colette worked, before having to resort to prostitution). They also worked as maids, and the hotel equivalent staff. They worked as cooks. They worked as personal teachers. They worked as elementary teachers. They worked as nurses. And they probably also had positions that are assistants of something (which may have been filled by guys too, think the job Carl did in The Simpsons, when Homer temporarily had hair – or the job of Smithers).

    All this is not at home most of the day. It likely was not done because of leisure but because of genuine monetary needs.

    The stereotypical Wilma Flintstones of the 1960s is basically an example of class privilege, first world privilege and white privilege (I guess also straight privilege, though many people who are not-straight married by social duty). Not of oppression. I know it’s weird, but feminist 2nd wave came into existence because some of those well-off SAHM got bored. Some of them figured working was fun, since someone didn’t let them do it. But the reality is that most people are not middle-class, or in the first world.

  57. Carnation says

    @ Schala

    Where have you been?! Welcome back. Still banging on relentlessly about shelters for men, I see. I haven’t bothered to do more than scan your walls of text, but the following confirmed for me your detachment from reality:

    “The stereotypical Wilma Flintstones of the 1960s is basically an example of class privilege”

    @ Adiabat

    ” … the MRM is diverse, and includes people who identify as both feminists and MRA’s. Each MRA likely has his or her pet causes.. ”

    Not so much. The lifeblood of the MRM is crass and delusional anti-feminism and misogny. As I have said before, remove that and the numbers would go from tiny to statistically insignificant. No feminist worthy of the name would have anything to do with the MRM, as it currently stands. The single, unifying “pet cause” for the MRM is a commitment to blaming feminism and/or women for society’s ills.

    “As for direct activism to help men, this depends on what role the MRM plays in the wider scheme of things: as an outsider I see them more similar with the Fawcett Society than, say, Women’s Aid. That is, they are lobbyists, not service providers”

    Lobbyists actually lobby – they don’t primal scream via blogs and Twitter.

    Oh, Adiabat, how I look forward to your lil messages.

  58. mildlymagnificent says

    I know it’s weird, but feminist 2nd wave came into existence because some of those well-off SAHM got bored. Some of them figured working was fun, since someone didn’t let them do it.

    Really? It wasn’t the “well-off” who wanted a diversion. It was all the teachers and public servants and nurses and other professionals who were literally sacked because they got married. They continued working as “casual” staff on lower pay with no benefits or leave entitlements thereafter. Apart from teachers, they tended to leave entirely once they had children. It was only teachers’ working hours that allowed them to continue.

    All these women wanted to continue working, and for full pay and benefits. A lot of men supported them. (Though it has to be granted. A goodly number of those men believed that women couldn’t work as well as men, so forcing employers to pay them the same wages would mean that employers would sack them in favour of employing more men. The objective being to ensure that they weren’t “taking men’s jobs” by undercutting them on pay.)

    Even when full time continuing work was so graciously allowed in 1966 in the Australian Public Service, we didn’t get equal pay for several years afterwards. So annoying every fortnight when the pay packets arrived, we’d been “granted” equal pay in 1969 but it was paid in gradual instalments so we weren’t actually receiving it until 1972. It was even later in the state public services and teaching.

    Of course, if a woman wanted equal pay in retail, she had to work in mens’ wear or in one of the areas where “heavy lifting” was required – like handling bolts of heavy curtain materials and the like.

  59. 123454321 says

    “Women certainly worked in the mines in England.”

    Yeah, yeah, yeah…whatever. But the ratio of men and women doing risky jobs such as mining is vastly scaled in favour of women taking up the less risky (and thus less valued) jobs. You know that.

    Women do do very valuable jobs when it comes to child-related activities, even if they’re staying at home. I don’t deny that. But money is not the only type of reward offered as part of an evolved and structured society. There are other softer benefits which are accepted as an equivalent to money….great benefits such as getting to stay at home and not having to do atrociously dangerous jobs! Men don’t really get those choices due to biology where as women do.

    It seems that feminists want the softer benefits AND the money and all the power as well as being in control of all the spending. That attitude has a name. In my book it’s called ‘selfishness’.

  60. 123454321 says

    …and I’d rather get scalded by some hot water than killed. How you can compare the jobs of men of the last several thousand years to that of women is beyond me.

    Women are (in general) valued and protected far more than men and receive (in general) far greater benefits than men. They are the ones with the end of the line spending power and they are the ones who are perceived as good and don’t receive the same level of scrutiny and punishment as men. The whole feminist thing is a complete joke – a bunch of clowns. Feminism is on the way out because men are starting to see right through the hypocrisy. The more I read, the more i think radical feminists are a bunch of self-important, misandric, hateful, ungrateful bigots who would trample down the male species at the first opportunity.

  61. Adiabat says

    Carnation (65): Have you ever considered the possibility that the reason you believe “The single, unifying “pet cause” for the MRM is a commitment to blaming feminism and/or women for society’s ills” is because you get all your information about them from feminist blogs, which only highlight the posts they make that are about feminism?

    I’ve just done one of my occasional forays onto AVFM, who I know you have a special hate for, to look at the 3 most recent news items (I’ve mentioned before how I do this occasionally to check if people’s complaints about MRA’s have any validity). They are:

    Forced circumcision in Kenya claims twelve victims
    Canadian Association For Equality: Men’s issues awareness around the world
    Four shared parenting orgs join forces

    The word ‘feminist’ or ‘feminism’ isn’t contained in any of the articles, and are only mentioned once in the comments on two of them; not at all in the other (and one of the usages is “Feminism is only a part of the problem” re: introducing shared parenting).

    You admitted the other day that you rarely, if ever, actually read MRA’s. Perhaps if you did your repeated assertions without evidence might be worth something.

  62. 123454321 says

    I also believe that most women are extremely hard-working in the workplace environment and just as productive as men, if not better. But employing women comes with additional risks. Women have more sick time off, ask to go part-time, leave on maternity etc. Those kinds of facts tend to get reflected in the evolutionary reward equations. But I guess feminist-led positive discrimination policies will put an end to any logic derived by virtue of evolution. Men will be denied the right to apply for a job and instead they can go freely apply for a distant miners job in the Outer Hebrides where they will have little contact and pretty much no say over the upbringing of their children, one of whom is probably, unbeknown to him, the child of the Best Man at his wedding. But hey-ho who cares cuz he’s just a man and let’s all concentrate on continuing to ignore half the population!

  63. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    I have a “special hate” for AVfM do I? Nope, you’re wrong again. The deluded pomposity of that blog amuses me. The Spearhead, when I read it, is more vitriolic. The average Reddit thread is more hateful than AVfM.

    I was hoping you’d pop up reciting this argument in support of your ideological betters at AVfM.

    So that’s the articles you saw there and that proves something? I did my own test…

    I checked a website that presents itself, like AVfM, as a human rights movement. Here are some of the articles either on the home page or within a click or two:

    “More accusations of corruption are once again adding to Mayor Rahman’s inglorious history of election fraud and voter intimidation.” (About allegations of corruption against a Mayor in London)

    “SUSPICIONS RAISED ABOUT NATIONALIST DEMONSTRATION ON 8TH OCTOBER…AND NEO-NAZI NAMED AND SHAMED” (An article condemning a racist march to be held in London).

    “Criminal Stupidity: Never was there more convincing proof of the truth of this statement than the shameful performance that London witnessed today in the form of the protest against the so-called Israeli terrorism in Gaza.” (An anti-Hamas editorial)

    So there you, that’s the English Defence League. Just a regular ol’ organisation that supports gay and women’s rights*. Hmm… See the flaws in your argument?

    Shall we try another one?

    These were on the home page (or within a click) of a major British political party:

    “NHS is actually thinking about giving free expensive IVF treatment to Lesbians”

    “Labour – “Socialists” backing big business?”

    “£1,112,477 spent by Barking & Dagenham council on external consultants”

    That’s from the British National party! Going by your rationale, they’re just concerned with overspending by council and the NHS.

    What do you think the undercurrent of both of these organisations is? Do you think it’s at odds with the public face?

    Yours is an exceptionally weak and delusional argument.

    I’m off to the gym, then for a pint of bitter. Ironic, isn’t it? I drink bitter, but I’m not. I’m loving and quite the humanitarian.

    Bye bye Adiabat.

  64. 123454321 says

    “I’m off to the gym, then for a pint of bitter.”

    So you spend money on going to the gym, then spend more money on drinking beer, which cancels out your efforts and leaves you worse off. Sounds like bad planning.

  65. mildlymagnificent says

    I also believe that most women are extremely hard-working in the workplace environment and just as productive as men, if not better. But employing women comes with additional risks. Women have more sick time off, ask to go part-time, leave on maternity etc. Those kinds of facts tend to get reflected in the evolutionary reward equations. But I guess feminist-led positive discrimination policies will put an end to any logic derived by virtue of evolution.

    This isn’t about women wanting things men can’t have. What we’ve always wanted is for all workers to have the same rights and freedoms.

    This was brought home to me quite forcefully back in the early-mid 70s. This was around the time we started getting things like flexible working hours and the opportunity for part time work in the professional career portions of the public service. Being a workplace union rep, I went along to union meetings where these things were discussed. I got a big reality check when the union reps there from other workplaces started in on the lines you’ve raised – that part-time work and/or flexible hours were women’s issues. It simply hadn’t occurred to me.

    The men – and they were nearly all men – in my own workplace wanted part time work for themselves, and they were pretty constantly on my case about how things were going on getting this through. They didn’t want didn’t have to work so many hours on part time studies to get their first or subsequent degrees. (Practically all of us studied accountancy, a good number wanted additional qualifications in law or economics or advanced degrees of different kinds.) Most importantly, we had plenty of “leave” provisions for attending lectures and tutorials during the working day. The killer was finding time and energy for assignments when we were already expected to put in 40+ hours a week. Being able to get the damned qualifications in fewer years of weekends lost to studies by taking on another subject each year was our prime target. The fact that some women might use these provisions for family reasons was an irrelevant distraction as far as they were concerned.

    Shift the focus along 15 years later to the mid-late 80s, and it was my husband who was complaining. We had two children and he wanted to be just as involved as I was with their care and their health. He was often criticised – sometimes subtly, often openly – for leaving the office “early” to pick up the kids from school or childcare. (There’s no such thing as “early” when you work in a flexible hours environment and there are no meetings scheduled at that time.) He also had great difficulty organising leave quickly when the kids were sick as well as in advance for things like taking a week to act as parent volunteer/ BBQ slave on school or sports trips. The thing that really got up his nose was that many of the people who expressed these views – were women. Both of us took work home from the office so that we could get stuff done in the quiet hours after the kids were in bed or before they woke up in the mornings. Of course, things were a bit hectic for whichever one of us had to manage the whole shemozzle when the other one was away for conferences or projects, but life is life and work is work – some weeks/months are easier than others. Hey ho.

    What we nasty feminists want, rather than “positive discrimination” for women, is for men and women alike to be able to manage their working and family lives as comfortably as possible. Both should be able to take time out when when children are born. Both should be able to fit in doctor appointments and school interviews regardless of whether they are a mother or a father. It really isn’t that difficult.

    (Some jobs are much less compatible with family life than others. But ordinary workers really don’t need to be subjected to the same limitations and availability obligations as fly-in fly-out miners or emergency services workers or obstetricians.)

  66. Carnation says

    @ 123454321 (please think of a snappier name?!)

    “So you spend money on going to the gym, then spend more money on drinking beer, which cancels out your efforts and leaves you worse off. Sounds like bad planning.”

    Quite on the contrary. I like to have a strong work/life/leiusre balance, and to that end combine socialising, exercise and work in any given day. I like being happy, so I mke sure that I do things that make me happy. Money isn’t really an object when it comes to peace of mind and holistic contentment, is it? And I pay for my gym membership in full, once a year, so I’m lighter than usual that month but don’t have to worry about it for the whole year.

    If you consume calories immediately after a heavy workout, you will burn them more efficiently. So it makes sense to consume them after a heavy workout.

    All thing in moderation, 123454321. A bottle of gin and an 8th of charlie used to kick off the weekend. That’s strictly for special occassions now.

  67. 123454321 says

    “What we nasty feminists want, rather than “positive discrimination” for women,”

    Most of the feminists with political power that I’ve heard spouting their stuff on TV and radio (there are many – men as well as women) support positive discrimination, which is why they’re being alienated by intelligent logical men and women who believe in democratic competency-based competition – i.e. who’s best for the job. Hmmm, thinking about it, perhaps the major parties are placing their bets on the fact that there aren’t that many intelligent people voting so they can get away with this nonsense in the hope that it’ll attract loads of women. Yeah, that’s a thought….and probably true.

    We need to stop banging on about the past in all honesty and concentrate on the present and future. Give me a list of opportunities that women don’t have in the UK today? As far as I can see they have all of the same options and choices as men, if not more. It’s boys and men who are drawing the short straw and persistently being ignored. Where they’re not ignored they’re besmirched, ridiculed and smeared with multiple coatings of tar just to make sure they remain dragged down to a level where people can ride right over them. Feminists look down on men as a whole and can’t differentiate between the fact that there are good men and bad men. To a feminist, ALL men are evil because a small handful of men rape. So some hateful feminists perpetuate the theory that all men are potential rapists and this is exactly the type of feminist behaviour which will contribute to their downfall. Feminist logic and the way they choose to advertise it is a complete joke and everyone’s getting bored of it!

  68. says

    “@ 123454321 (please think of a snappier name?!)”

    But it’s such a cool number – the square of 11111 which is the number of digits on each of our hands and feet. It’s also palindromic and alternates fluidly and non non-randomly between odd and even as you type it out up and down the keyboard. It’s also an ‘evil’ number because the sum of its binary digits is even – so watch out feminists!

    I could change to its binary form i.e. 111010110111100001101110001
    or perhaps its hexadecimal equivalent which would be 75BC371

    Which would you prefer?

  69. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    I’d prefer 75BC – it’s indicative of what year your politics belongs in ;-) (I jest…)

  70. Adiabat says

    Carnation (71): You made a claim (several claims actually) that you failed to support, so I looked myself and found your claim unjustified. It wasn’t a randomised in depth study and I never claimed it to be. But now we have your claim which you’ve provided no evidence for and we have the null claim, which has a little bit of evidence. So on balance a reasonable person has to accept the null claim.

    The burden of proof is on you to show your claims have merit. Otherwise they’re the worthless opinion of an individual who has already admitted he’s barely read any MRA’s and thinks it’s a good thing to lump all people who he disagrees with into one caricature. (Yet you still go on about MRA’s in nearly every thread, even bringing them up yourself when the discussion has nothing to do with them*).

    What do you think you’ve shown in your post? That some organisations “pretend” to care about other issues to deflect criticism? Sure, but it’s up to you to show that AVFM is doing this as well. Otherwise your “argument” could equally apply to any organisation.

    * Which is evidence that you are not the happy, content individual you say you are. If we compare what you say about yourself to your actual behaviour on this blog then, again, the evidence points to the fact that you are deluding yourself: You saying you’re ‘loving’ yet troll endlessly, insulting others; you say you’re ‘humanitarian’ yet refuse to try and understand other people’s point of view – preferring instead to think of them as one homogenous mass.

    Carnation (74):

    If you consume calories immediately after a heavy workout, you will burn them more efficiently.

    But that’s a bad thing. Depleted of available energy the body will desperately convert more food to its energy stores – sugars, carbs and fat. It’s also more likely to overcompensate, in anticipation of more extreme exertion, creating more sugars leading to increased weight gain and eventually to insulin resistance (read diabetes).

    And since you follow gym with beer, you in particular will end up with increased sugar levels as your body tries to compensate for the energy loss.

  71. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    “Carnation (71): You made a claim (several claims actually) that you failed to support, so I looked myself and found your claim unjustified. It wasn’t a randomised in depth study and I never claimed it to be. But now we have your claim which you’ve provided no evidence for and we have the null claim, which has a little bit of evidence. So on balance a reasonable person has to accept the null claim.

    The burden of proof is on you to show your claims have merit. Otherwise they’re the worthless opinion of an individual who has already admitted he’s barely read any MRA’s and thinks it’s a good thing to lump all people who he disagrees with into one caricature. (Yet you still go on about MRA’s in nearly every thread, even bringing them up yourself when the discussion has nothing to do with them*).

    What do you think you’ve shown in your post? That some organisations “pretend” to care about other issues to deflect criticism? Sure, but it’s up to you to show that AVFM is doing this as well. Otherwise your “argument” could equally apply to any organisation.

    * Which is evidence that you are not the happy, content individual you say you are. If we compare what you say about yourself to your actual behaviour on this blog then, again, the evidence points to the fact that you are deluding yourself: You saying you’re ‘loving’ yet troll endlessly, insulting others; you say you’re ‘humanitarian’ yet refuse to try and understand other people’s point of view – preferring instead to think of them as one homogenous mass.”

    You are wrong. The opposite is true.

    “But that’s a bad thing. Depleted of available energy the body will desperately convert more food to its energy stores – sugars, carbs and fat. It’s also more likely to overcompensate, in anticipation of more extreme exertion, creating more sugars leading to increased weight gain and eventually to insulin resistance (read diabetes).”

    You might well be correct in this. I am merely going on the words of my former personal trainer and I haven’t researched in depth if what he said was true or not. Nutrition and sports science are, surprisingly, quite contentious areas with lots of conflicting theories.

    This particular argument is ultimately irrelevant, however, as last night I went to the gym with the intention of upping my weights circuits – that is, exerting myself in the knowledge that I would feel the “burn” of temporarily damaged muscle tissue today. I wasn’t going for weight loss, as happily I am not in need to do so. In actual fact, I am trying to gain weight (for a sports tournament), aiming for 91kg. As you’ll know, muscle weighs more than fat, and it’s easier to build up than burn off. The residual cardio exercise would have, to a small degree, negated the weight gain caused by the consumption of three pints of Timmy Taylor’s Landlord and two pints of Black Sheep Bitter.

    This morning, I found myself craving sugars, which supports your earlier statement. Two banana staved off this craving, and I am looking forward to lunch. Tomorrow at 11am I will devote an hour to an intense exercise class, led by a trainer who is well known for pushing his clients. I will be thinking of you as I do my burpees.

  72. 123454321 says

    “I’d prefer 75BC – it’s indicative of what year your politics belongs in”

    Ah yes the era of Caesar the dictator (feminists would have loved him!). He got kidnapped in 75BC by pirates you know. But they let him go.

  73. Carnation says

    @ 75BC

    “Ah yes the era of Caesar the dictator (feminists would have loved him!). He got kidnapped in 75BC by pirates you know. But they let him go.”

    I didn’t know, tell me more?

    Exercise advice, Roman history – @ Ally, did you know that your blog would be such a font of knowledge?

  74. says

    “I didn’t know, tell me more?”

    I don’t think he was happy with the ransom demand. But instead of doing what most people would do if they were kidnapped – probably ask/beg for the figure to be reduced – he claimed it wasn’t enough and asked for it to be increased several-fold!

    He got away in the end but I don’t know any more than that.

  75. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat
    @75BC

    To be fair to my former PT, what he actually said was that that was the best time to eat, in terms of burning calories. I went right ahead and assumed beer was a food group.

  76. 123454321 says

    “I went right ahead and assumed beer was a food group.”

    Clearcut evidence of a deluded person wilfully accepting assumptions as a means of a route to a beer… or two :-)

  77. StillGjenganger says

    The geniuses at WordPress will not let me log in.
    If I comment without logging in, they say I am an impostor.
    If I try to log in or reset my password they say that this nick and email address is unknown.
    There is no email address to complain to.

    Can anybody help?

    Meanwhile I shall try as StillGjenganger

    Gjenganger

  78. Marduk says

    What an excellent piece by Professor Green in the Guardian today.

    In the ongoing grumbling about the Graun’s lack of coverage of “menz” issues it is often said “Well when we write those articles you lot don’t want them”. Unfortunately what they normally mean by that is that Zoe Williams or Hadley Freeman has had a go at discussing how they don’t understand football or something about leaving loo seats up which isn’t what was requested and usually misses the mark by a country mile.

    Professor Green is a rapper rather than the holder of a personal chair at the IoP but he wrote a very humane and authentic piece that folk have responded to. See, that wasn’t so hard was it, nothing terrible happened.

    I look forward to the next which on past performance will be in another three or four months time!

  79. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    Hear, hear. Excellent piece and surprisingly sensitive and understanding comments BTL.

  80. mildlymagnificent says

    Do you have anything like the beyondblue organisation in Britland?

    I’ve never been a fan of the bloke who started this in Australia, but it’s a great resource for everyone. http://www.beyondblue.org.au/ Look at the categories of people they offer to help. Men. women, children, immigrants, indigenous people, older people – there are services offered for everyone.

    Most importantly, they run regular tv ads directed specifically at men. They also run mental health publicity campaigns alongside all the other men’s health issues raised during the “Movember” campaigns every year.

  81. Marduk says

    MM: Not really, I mean there are lots of organisations but nothing on that scale, I get the feeling Australia takes depression and suicide a bit more seriously than the UK does. Maybe this is a cultural problem on our part, the other thought (probably wrong) that occurs to me is that rural communities tend to see this as a more serious problem. Farmers are, I think, the most at-risk group in society, are there more farmers in Australia?

    I think Australia is looked at as a bit of model for this kind of thing.

    Although the response of The Guardian to the ‘shedders’ movement was to laugh at it: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2011/nov/30/women-need-sheds-more-men

    We have a long way to go.

  82. mildlymagnificent says

    Yeah, we do take it seriously. For a long time, we had an approach that the best way to handle suicide was to leave it to Lifeline volunteers and never, ever to talk about it in newspapers because of the risks of copycats. Which was a real risk, by the way.

    As for the rural angle. We had lots of problems with farmers suiciding during our long extended drought earlier in this century. That’s when beyondblue first got going. Of course, we’ve now found that suicide is usually higher in rural and remote areas, just as many other health problems are consistently worse in those areas than in the cities.

    As for the Mens’ Sheds movement. That sprang up as an offshoot of older couples downsizing and moving into retirement villages (not nursing homes). Men who’d always had a kind of refuge in the backyard lost that along with access to workbenches and tools for doing the kinds of small, and not so small, projects and household repairs and maintenance they’d previously enjoyed. Very often, they ‘d also lost their contacts and friendships with neighbours, church, local pub when they moved away. Several of the shed groups now build models and toys for kids and charities, and the men involved enjoy themselves while doing it with a well established friendship group.

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