Feminist indoctrination in schools? The Telegraph’s tankful of bullshit.


Yesterday it seemed like everyone and their dog was pointing me towards the article in the Telegraph by Dan Bell of Inside Man magazine. “We must stop indoctrinating boys in feminist ideology” screamed the headline, followed by the standfirst: “Feminist organisations, backed by government policy, are teaching young boys at school to feel guilty and ashamed of their gender.”

I should be clear from the off the Dan is a mate of mine, I am generally a supporter or (and occasional contributor) to Inside Man, and the argument that is about to follow is one that Dan and I have had (literally) over a pint in the pub before, and may well do again. On that basis I am sure he won’t mind if I take it public, and explain why I believe on this issue he is not just wrong, but irresponsibly, damagingly wrong.

The basic claim of Dan’s article is that “feminist organisations” are, under the guise of sex & relationships workshops, indoctrinating school pupils in feminist ideology and shaming or terrifying young boys as a consequence. He offers four examples, the first of which is something called The Good Lad workshop which has migrated from Oxford University student union to a local secondary school.

Which local secondary school? Presumably a rough comprehensive, rife with teenage pregnancies and interpersonal violence? Well, no. Actually it is St Edward’s, or as the Tatler class call it “Teddies” – fees over £8,000 per year with another ten grand on top for boarders. The Good Lad workshops are run by Oxford rugby club types, and rather than presenting some angry radical feminists preaching about patriarchy, would appear to be more along the lines of a couple of hours chatting about how a good chap should properly behave around the fillies, what-ho.

The second example is only alluded to via an article last Autumn in the Times. The piece is paywalled, of course, but describes a lecture delivered by the RAP Project (standing for ‘raising awareness and prevention’.) Dan Bell quotes the Times article as “concluding– approvingly — that by the end of the session, the boys are “scarred for life”.

What has scarred them for life? Here’s the full quote from the Times.

We once spoke to parents, and a woman who was a mother and on the admissions board of a London university told us what young people need to realise when they apply is that we now have IT experts who can go through their IT history. Despite being head boy, if you have a history of sending explicit images, that would ruin your chances of getting that job.

Shocking but true. You are at a top school. Would you want your chances at 16 or 17 of becoming a lawyer or a doctor to be ruined?”

[snip]…

The hour is up. The children file out obediently. These are boys any parent would be proud of and they are also now scarred for life. Any time they imagine doing something furtive online, it will trigger the thought that adults of influence — maybe even some formidable American women — are seeing into their souls via their search history. Mission accomplished.”

Notwithstanding the rather silly journalistic hyperbole of the phrase “scarred for life” (scared for life might be more accurate) it is clear that this is not describing boys being shamed into believing themselves potential rapists or predators, but being rattled by some eminently sensible advice about the real risks of the real world as it now is, for better or worse.

Unlike some of the organisations mentioned, the RAP Project has a large and detailed website which explains what they do in some detail. Their principle line of work appears to be workshops with girls, rather than boys, and focusses on how they can “keep themselves safe” at risky times of life, including when partying, on a gap year, or when first arriving at university. Now my sharp-minded readers might, at this point, be thinking ‘hang on a minute, that doesn’t sound very feminist’ and you would be quite correct. I cannot find anything on the RAP Project’s own website or within any of the (many) pieces written about them elsewhere that suggests there is any ideological feminist basis to what they do. As far as I can tell, they appear to be roughly following the approach of Sexual Assault Resistance Programs, courses which focus on women’s self-confidence, self-defence and risk management, and which are most commonly derided by feminists as being ineffective at best, exercises in victim-blaming at worst. For good measure, RAP Project’s list of clients once again seems to be heavily weighted towards expensive private schools, rather than the mainstream of British education.

What are we left with? There are two other projects mentioned, A Call To Men UK, and the Great Men Value Women project. Both of these would appear to have an overtly feminist standpoint and I suspect if I were to sit in one of their sessions I would have a fair few differences of opinion, but what is their worst offence? Apparently it is telling boys that “preventing violence against women and girls is primarily the responsibility of men.” The horror.

What is also missing here is any sense of context or scale. There are literally thousands of organisations, of all types, offering workshops and materials to schools. Dan asks when we began allowing ideology to be taught in schools? The answer is the very day the very first school opened. What does he think faith schools are about? Free schools and academies reflecting the ‘ethos and values’ of communities? The entire Prevent agenda being pushed by the prime minister the very day his article ran? Amongst the organisations offering workshops to schools are many religious and social conservative groups, many of whom also mass-produce ‘educational materials’ and send them free to head teachers. The vast majority of the ‘workshops for schools’ sector is less controversial, of course. Some sense of the scale can be gleaned from this directory. Just how many schools are taking up the offer of ‘Great Men Value Women’ workshops compared to, say, didgeridoo workshops? I have no idea, but quite clearly neither does Dan. And yet I doubt he’d write lengthy essays about how the nation’s youth are being indoctrinated by aboriginal woodwind. 

There is one additional piece of evidence Dan Bell presents to demonstrate the encroaching terror of feminist ideology in schools.

In March, the Government announced the introduction of new consent classes for children aged as young as 11. The plans were launched on International Women’s Day and the PSHE guidelines repeatedly state they are primarily part of the Government’s A Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls strategy.

According to a “Fact Sheet” published by one of the guidelines’ key contributors, a top priority for the lessons is “challenging notions of male sexual entitlement” and the lessons should be seen “in the context of a society in which gender inequality is the norm… and girls and young women are subjected to high levels of harassment, abuse and violence – overwhelmingly from men and boys they know”.

Apparently, in the eyes of the government, schoolboys don’t so much see girls as their friends and peers, but as potential prey.

I had to read this section a few times to make sense of it, as it is so wildly misleading in conflating two entirely separate documents. The PSHE guidelines on consent, launched by the government in March, are written by the PSHE Association, an umbrella body of teachers and educators in personal, sexual and health education. The consent guidelines can be downloaded from here. It is a quite excellent piece of work and I very much hope it is being applied in my own sons’ schools. Not only is it current and relevant to our technological era, it is packed with sensible advice. Despite saying in the first sentence that it was commissioned as part of the government’s VAWG initiative, from that point on it is impeccably, studiously gender neutral and inclusive of diverse sexualities and gender identities. It talks throughout about ‘the person seeking consent’ and ‘the person giving consent’ and similar phrases.

The ‘Fact Sheet’ described by Dan Bell is produced by EVAW, the End Violence Against Women Coalition, an overtly feminist campaign organisation. Their CEO Holly Dustin is thanked in the acknowledgements of the PSHE consent guidelines, but she is not listed as one of the 19 authors of the document and, to be honest, there is barely a trace of their ideology anywhere within the PSHE guidelines. To imply that it is the EVAW Fact Sheet which is being distributed to and in schools with the blessing of the government is entirely untrue and highly irresponsible.

That word, ‘irresponsible’, is perhaps the best summary of Dan’s article as a whole. At the moment there is an ongoing battle to ensure proper sex and relationships education is delivered in every school, to every pupil, something which is (scandalously) yet to happen. Last week Caroline Lucas MP began yet another attempt to legislate for mandatory adequate sex education on the national syllabus, with issues of consent and abusive behaviour at its heart. Information and education are not only the best way to ensure that boys and girls alike have safe, happy, fulfilling sexual lives, but also to furnish them with protection from exploitation and abuse, whether by their peers or their elders.

Lined up in opposition to this is a ragbag bunch of religious fundamentalists and crusty conservatives, the kinds of idiots who believe that teenagers will remain chaste and pure in body and spirit until some evil liberal comes along filling their heads with sexy thoughts.

Right now, these people are marshalling every argument they can muster, however ill-informed, spurious or irrational, to resist the provision of sex education in schools. Dan Bell and the Telegraph have just provided them with a whole septic tankful of bullshit to bolster their case.

Decent sex and relationships education is needed by boys and girls alike. There are some real issues to be discussed in how simplistic readings of the Violence Against Women and Girls agenda can neglect and ignore the very real needs of boys, and indeed how the PSHE / SRE syllabus can do the same. It is vitally important that we critically examine and understand not only what is being taught to our children in our schools, but what is not. That process is not helped but is actively undermined by paranoid, fictionalised caricatures of what is happening in our schools.

Comments

  1. Thil says

    just my luck, you finally put out a new blog post and it’s when I’ve been up for 45 hours and literally can barely handle basic logic or even read without mental effort

  2. Thil says

    what’s with the font choice?
    “preventing violence against women and girls is primarily the responsibility of men.”

    in what sense? if you mean in the sense that people who commit violent acts against women are usually men (I assume that’s the case?) and it’s their responsibility to refrain, then yes that’s true but it doesn’t seem like a very realistic expectation considering the type of people we’re dealing with.

    if you mean men in general, I don’t see why I have any more or less responsibility than anyone else, male or female, to stop violence against women?

  3. Ad Verdiesen says

    you’re wrong to begin with, VOID!
    identity politics and sexuaalization are tools of postmodernism, to indoctrinate/brainwash with the pseudological LIES femini$$m-samesexuality-atheism.

  4. Common Sense says

    Come on, Ally. You don’t find it sleazy that there are workshops in schools that specifically and exclusively target boys, where they are “taught” how to respect women? As if they didn’t already know?

    This is from the same coalition that sought to “teach” men how “not to rape.” As if they were unaware of the severity of rape from the beginning and all they needed was a stern talking to. That also specifically and exclusively targets boys, making it seem as though men – or boys – are idiots that needs to be “taught” a moral lesson about rape and that men are only ever the perpetrator of rape and never the victim. These classes aren’t designed to teach men (boys) – they’re designed to shame them.

  5. says

    Thanks for the courteous introduction Ally, part of the point of writing about these issues is to create a discussion, so certainly wouldn’t expect everyone to agree.

    When we’ve discussed this before, I think at least in part at the core of our disagreement, is the extent to which you and I believe feminist and feminist-inspired conversations about gender in the education setting are, or are not, conducted with genuine concern for the wellbeing of both boys and girls.

    In my experience, personally and through people I have spoken with, they are not – rather they have tended to quickly turn into situations which boys are put in a position of being publicly blamed – regardless of whether they themselves have done anything wrong or not.

    This is even in context of discussions / sessions that are not specifically intended to address male behaviour around such a loaded set of issues as sexual assault and domestic violence.
    You may well have a different experience of course and see things very differently.

    I’m not just basing my views on my own experiences, the focus group of boys the article refers to, who were spoken to by Duncan Fisher, who is himself I believe very sympathetic to feminism, gave strong and un-guided testimony along these lines.

    One of the latest comments under the Telegraph article, also offers clear and calm testimony to his similar experiences.

    The key point my article is trying to make, is that in the context of this prevailing climate, and in the wider context of the fevered conversation about young men on social media etc. and their role in sexual violence, is that we should be very careful about deliberately singling boys out as part of ideologically-framed discussions around gender.

    (Incidentally, I know you have written yourself with some concern over the messaging and accompanying tone of the conversation around consent lessons when plans were first announced – for what it’s worth, in my view, the Telegraph article is essentially echoing those same concerns.)

    Again, I suppose this comes down to a matter of opinion, but in relation to the Times article, you don’t think it’s a problem for boys to be singled out and told about graphic sex crimes in their area, among other evils committed by their own sex, that they’ve had nothing to do with – I happen to think this sends a strong shaming message.

    In terms of the a Call To Men UK mission, you don’t think it’s a problem for young men to be told that crimes that they have nothing to do with, are their responsibility simply because of their gender, while ignoring the violence they experience as boys, whereas I do.

    In terms of the Great Men Value Women Project – seemingly the most interested in helping young men of the organisations I mention – the point I make, is that their emphasis on promoting feminism is made openly on their site with the link included in the Telegraph article. Again, you may think this is no bad thing, I happen to think imposing this particular worldview on boys is really problematic. As the title of their project makes clear – Great Men Value Women – it puts boys in the position of having to prove their worth to women, simply because they are boys.

    What other reasoning could there be for taking that position (and not the other way round), than the assumption that without this intervention the boys will automatically present some kind of threat to women?

    In terms of not critiquing other organisations that offer lessons in schools, that’s because those aren’t the issues that I am concerned with – by that logic, no-one would be able to write about anything unless they also wrote about everything else of importance too. Mostly though, the article as in a men’s section on a highly topical issue, in the particular field I am interested in. In that context, I don’t see anything wrong in focusing on it.

    One thing I would concede here, though, is that the throwaway sentence about us not finding it acceptable to impose ideology on children in any other context clearly isn’t accurate – there are of course many examples, mostly based on religion. If I wrote the piece again, I wouldn’t include that sentence.

    Your final key – and seemingly most serious — criticism of the piece, regarding the EVAW fact sheet, is actually wrong.

    In September 2014 Education Secretary Nicky Morgan did officially back the EVAW fact sheet on violence against women.

    Morgan said: “Ensuring young people receive good quality relationship education which teaches the importance of respect and mutual consent should be at the heart of this and the new factsheet from the End Violence Against Women Coalition helps to highlight the importance of this issue to teachers.”

    Here is the link to their press release, which in turn links to the fact sheet I quote from:

    http://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/news/172/education-secretary-nicky-morgan-backs-new-evaw-schools-factsheet-on-vawg

    Neither did the article say that the PSHE guidelines and the fact sheet were the same thing – I simply said the fact sheet was published by key contributors to the guidelines – which is true, as is the fact that its distribution in schools has government backing. Please can you acknowledge this in your piece and amend the sentence below:

    “To imply that it is the EVAW Fact Sheet which is being distributed to and in schools with the blessing of the government is entirely untrue and highly irresponsible.”

    In terms of EVAW’s influence on the guidelines, I asked the PSHE association who their key contributors were when on consulting on the guidelines, and they included EVAW in their response, which is in addition to the acknowledgement in the guidelines themselves. They would have been working in consultation on the guidelines at the around the same time as the publication of their fact sheet.

    In light of this, and the fact that their fact sheet was officially endorsed by the education secretary, I think it’s entirely relevant to point out EVAW’s key contribution.

    Most of all though, as with the rest of these programmes, the key question for the PSHE guidelines is, in light of the context of suspicion around young men that I refer to above, how will they actually be conducted? I genuinely find the idea of boys being asked to take on the role of a potential rapist and walk down a “conscience alley” – which is in one of the proposed lesson plans – very worrying in this wider context.

    As a final point, at no point in the article do I say, and I certainly don’t believe, that we shouldn’t help children to navigate healthy relationships. If I were to write the piece again, I would have given more space to stating that, so to be absolutely clear: I think it is a good thing that both boys and girls should be given the tools they need to navigate relationships safely.

    My serious concern is simply within the context in which this may be happening – a context that, in my view, is often far too willing to demonize boys and young men, while disregarding the issues they face themselves.

    Thanks again for the courteous response Ally, hopefully we can discuss this over a pint some time soon.

    Dan

  6. Ad Verdiesen says

    Dan, in the context of postmodernism healthy relationships are made impossible, wake up, stop behaving naiev&arrogant, postmodernism is a real&present danger for children, their future and the world!

  7. Wistilia says

    Inside Man ‘Dan’

    Excellent response and you are spot on with your concerns regarding this ‘feminist indoctrination’ in schools.

    I think Ally is usually very good on highlighting DV issues regarding men & boys, as well as women & girls.

    However, on this, he is very wide of the mark.

  8. Some Person says

    “Apparently it is telling boys that “preventing violence against women and girls is primarily the responsibility of men.” The horror.”

    Well, in my case, this kind of talk seriously inhibited (contributed to my inability, to be honest, still the opposite of helping to live a healthy sexuality) my ability to sexually and romantically interact with women for more than a decade. Scared for lie, scarred for life. I’m glad I found a way out of this eventually, partially. Some things I have come to fundamentally believe about “dangerous” male sexuality, thus my own, I will probably never be able to let go. You don’t need religious guilt when you got feminist guilt. Is there someone who helps more sensitive guys with this discourse? Who explains that women will *still* want *them* to do the heavy lifting in flirting? Who helps with getting a more secure personality and sexuality? That would be someone who’d be really helping. Feminism? In my opinion, not so much. #Notallfeminisms

  9. 123454321 says

    Usually find myself nodding along with Ally these days but not on this occasion, no, no, no. I agree wholeheartedly with Dan in every single respect. This one-sided strategy to manipulate and control boys is patronising, damaging, and clearly nothing short of segregation as it intentionally polarises girls and boys from an early age. Here we have yet another example of funding being channelled in a direction which promotes a ‘positive’ change in boys’ behavioural attitudes towards girls but ignores aspects associated with girls’ behavioural attitudes towards boys. There was absolutely no bullshit in Dan’s article, merely a recognition of the relentless feminist indoctrination operating deep throughout the veins of education. The more the narrative gets pushed by ‘authoritative’ figures as part of the education curriculum towards young, impressionable people at an early age, the more the feminist ideology will spread fear across society – fear which enables the matrix to capitalise on that fear by exploiting the notion that men and boys are so evil that even more funding is required to tame the evil beasts. Professionals, businesses, Government, charities including lawyers, writers, journalists, political parties, police, refuge, advertising, TV, media, training, education, therapists etc etc etc the list goes on…. are all benefiting from the exaggeration, lies and unwarranted attack on men and boys . No wonder they keep quiet. Shocking that people can’t see through this, shocking! Well done, Dan, for speaking out, you are at the leading edge of a well overdue paradigm shift.

    Ally, you have been drinking too many pints, it kills your brain cells! You’ll sober up 🙂

  10. Ally Fogg says

    Dan [6]

    Hiya mate, thanks for the reply.

    You are right that a lot of this is about legitimate differences of opinion, so I won’t waste energy reiterating what is already said, but let me clarify one point.

    I’m not suggesting that the types of organisation you describe in your article are offering the ideal or even sensible workshops and sessions. I don’t doubt all of them say some things that are dodgy, and I’d like to see any evidence from any of them that their approach is more effective than others. If I were a head teacher or school governor I very much doubt I would commission any of them out of choice, there are many, many other organisations I would turn to first to offer similar services. I’d even go so far as to say one of them (Call to Men UK) seem to push some lines that could be downright toxic.

    But that is not the point. The point is that there is not a shred of evidence that these organisations (or any others like them) have any significant reach into or influence upon any more than a tiny handful of schools in the country. Meanwhile the sensationalist tone of your article is clearly implying that this is a wide, national phenomenon.

    I have no problem with you taking issue with any of these organisations and their work. If you want to run an expose on some dodgy radfem group that are pushing poisonous ideologies on to innocent youngsters, then good on you – go for it. But it has to have actual names and numbers and evidence. But you haven’t done that. What you have done is smeared an entire sector. You have (inadvertently) undermined some incredibly good and important work by organisations like PSHE Association, Brook Charity, Bish Training and countless other organisations who are trying to make inroads into a school system and government that remains stubbornly resistent, and as a consequence you have made it a bit more difficult for boys and young men, not to mention girls and young women, to receive education and support that they want and need.

  11. William Collins says

    The stark and hideous intentions of the SRE programme are betrayed by the Q&A associated with the Factsheet on the EVAWGC web site, which states,

    “Delivering good SRE to every child will in fact increase disclosures of abuse. Teachers need to be trained to respond to this and support needs to be there for survivors as well as adequate interventions for boys who are at risk of abusing.”

    Only boys are acknowledged as potential abusers. One shudders at the totalitarian mentality behind the phrase “adequate interventions” – not for boys who have done anything, but for those who are deemed “at risk” of doing something – as judged, one presumes, by people with suitably approved ideological purity. It is presented to us as a fact that more abuse will be reported. It will. The very process will ensure it, and is intended to do so. God help our boys. They will be forced to play the role of the bourgeoisie in our very own Cultural Revolution.

  12. Ally Fogg says

    But again William [13], that is EVAW, it is not the Department of Education.

    Nobody has yet produced any evidence that the much-discussed EVAW fact sheet has ever been anywhere near a school. What I have checked and confirmed, is that the official PSHE guidelines on consent are written in a way that is diametrically opposed to EVAW and their ideology.

  13. nrjnigel says

    Dan you are quite right to raise the issue in the context EVAW. It does indeed influence content. I too have personal experience of some decidedly dodgy teaching of supposedly helpful lessons on these issues. Actually what I have observed is an expectation of resilience in boys compared to their female peers. In a way it seems much the same as usual in the expectation that boys will “man up” and just take criticisms on the chin. While schools agonise over “bullying” of girls by other girls about the smallest criticism of clothing or being left off a party invite list. Fortunately many seem to echo the view that it is “being shouted at for something I haven’t done” . In fact just another incident of hazing in the toughening up to be a man.

  14. says

    Hi mate too,

    Thanks for engaging and acknowledging that there are acceptable differences of opinion on the import of some of these messages.

    I’d certainly like to respond to some of your other points in more detail, a bit stretched right now though, so will try and get back on this thread tomorrow PM.

    I really don’t want to get into tedious nitpicking here, and it’s hardly the key point in this discussion, but as it’s a serious criticism of how I’ve reported the facts, one thing I would ask in the meantime, is that you acknowledge that:

    i) The EVAW fact sheet did have the backing of the government (as evidenced with link and quote above), which you say is “entirely untrue”
    ii) I did not say or imply “it is the EVAW Fact Sheet which is being distributed to and in schools” — these are my exact words: “According to a ‘Fact Sheet’ published by one of the guidelines’ key contributors”.

    As I say, will try and pick this up tomorrow.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  15. Birric Forcella says

    It’s incomprehensible to me that nobody ever considers that all these programs and lectures might have exactly the opposite effect.

    Until I was about 19 being gay was illegal in my country, and of course it was morally condemned, pretty much with the same rhetoric with which these days male sexuality is condemned by feminists in the Anglo countries.

    Well, all through my teens and on I was having sex with anything that moved in trousers, just for the hell of it. I must have seduced hundreds of my schoolmates, teachers, general population, clergy, pols, you name it. I saw it as a moral imperative to corrupt them all – when I read 1984, the Goldstein writings were a revelation.

    I had a choice, I could hate that state and its laws or I could hate myself – and fuck, I wasn’t going to hate myself.

    I reveled in the illegality and the immorality of it all. After all, it was the Sixties, even where I lived. Every time I had sex I did it with the clear and express intent of shitting on our crappy society and its rules. As it turned out, of course, history vindicated me gloriously.

    I’m sure a good number of boys who attend these erotophobic harangues these days have the same reaction – especially the emotionally alive and smart ones who can see though the bull.

    So, the more you tighten the thumbscrews, the more will bolt. I wouldn’t be surprised if 30+ percent of the boys today are opting out of the whole male shaming enterprise and take my route. It’s more fun and certainly more emotionally healthy. Many might not say so openly and lead a double life. This is not surprising since feminist ideology basically demands that men live a lie. Feminists really only have to blame themselves. Boys are the way nature made them – it’s feminists who want to butcher them into a lie.

    I mean, really, doesn’t it occur to anyone that people (boys) may have a different reaction from the one you are trying to force upon them? Boys may not always get terrified – they may turn into terrific enemies of feminism.

    As an aside about IT histories. I now advise guys to create as naughty a trail of postings as possible – of course with plausible denial. It seems obvious to me that in 10 or 20 years there will be a huge pendulum correction about today’s prudery and erotophobia. I can perfectly envision a time when pointing to naughty posting these days will mark you as a desirable, independent and creative employee, while a lack of such history may disqualify you as a boring troglodyte.

    Again, I can point to my own naughty history. Being openly gay early when it was still illegal and “immoral” made me a hero once it became accepted – with all the attending goodies that accrue to heroes in bed and elsewhere.

    Birric Forcella – Proudly using both heads.

  16. Ad Verdiesen says

    birric forcella, whatever postmodern pseudological LIES, whatever petty/pathetic ‘feelings&thoughts’, ‘being’ gay doesn’t exist as we all are hetero (xx/xy)..

  17. Birric Forcella says

    @ 19

    And that addresses my points . . . how? . . . If you can’t apply what I said mutatis mutandis . . . well . . .

  18. Ad Verdiesen says

    @20 and another thing, the reason why you ‘love’ to debate is to spread out cowshit, to talk right whats wrong, to deny truth with perverted lies, next claiming choice-respect-tolerance, next qualifying normal healthy humans as ‘phobics/racists’, thats despotism/fascism, after hijacking&raping freedom&truth, the world upside down, an insane reality, FU2! postmodern bigot!

  19. Ad Verdiesen says

    oops, am i now not political correct, do you feel insulted now? well, you know, truth may hurt, and for sure i’m never going to accept/tolerate your petty existence nor postmodern pseudological cowshit!

  20. Birric Forcella says

    @ 22 and 23.

    My head spins. I haven’t a clue what you are talking about.

  21. Ad Verdiesen says

    despite proudly using both heads? impostor, shame on you! or rather ur altered ego..

  22. Marduk says

    I’m not sure about the details of the present case but the wider issue is that we are stilling living with Blair’s 3rd sector where ideologues were basically licensed to take public money as service providers within public institutions. The Blairites either didn’t notice this came with baggage or I guess given their own links, approved. Of course they did eventually come to care when WA/Refuge lost grants to the Salvation Army which was an almost inevitable irony in retrospect but the outrage came far too late. This obviously went on to fatally undermine their ability to criticise Gove’s Free Schools.

    We saw this in police websites about DV for a while as the usual suspects provided “consultancy” (i.e., sold them their falsehood filled ‘fact sheet’ materials), although I’m pleased to say they have since been purged over the last couple of years and are now almost always strictly gender neutral and recognise anyone can be a victim of DV which is some surprising good news.

    I’m not sure whether its Dan or Ally who has the scale and urgency of the present situation right but I think the wider issue of ideologically driven 3rd sector “providers” being uncritically accepted to tender demands ongoing scrutiny (and this includes not just 70s radical feminist groups but religious groups, scientology etc). Divisive ideologies doesn’t belong in public service provision, the “spirit of 1945” is more than enough of a set of values to base delivery around.

  23. Thir says

    The PSHE guidelines don’t challenge the fact that women can’t rape men. That in itself proves how bullshit these guidelines are. How can you first make pupils understand that consent is important no matter what is your gender/sex and then don’t challenge the fact that women can’t rape? That’s utter nonsense.

  24. PeterD says

    Thank you for enabling this discussion Ally. Unfortunately I also think you have this slightly wrong. There are indeed strong links to VAWG and there is a letter from Nicky Morgan lending unequivocal support.
    There’s also an elephant in the room i.e the brand name “Good Lad” is remarkably similar to “Good Boy”. This is the brand name for a well known brand of dog treats which appears to vulnerable young eyes upon the shelves of every supermarket and pet shop in the land. “Good lad” conjours up a similar image, i.e being patted upon the head and begging earnestly as a reward for biddable, amenable behaviour like any other well trained and obedient little puppy . It is both denigrating and demeaning. It is redolent of master or mistress / slave type relationships and describes a servile role for the impressionable young minds that it is calculatingly aimed at. It is indeed brainwashing.

  25. 123454321 says

    Follow the money trail backwards if you want to sniff out where the real bullshit originates! It appears that money really IS the root of all evil. The more I think about this the more I realise how fucking offensive the programme heading “The Good Lad Workshop” is, let alone the frigging content! why don’t we see “The Good Girl Workshop” teaching girls how to treat men and boys? Nah, who would fund that, let alone understand or accept it! Smacks to me of how feminism indoctrination attempts to deviously control the perception of men and boys by covertly aligning their behavioural treatment with that of a fucking dog! I really have seen it all. I have no issues with teaching youngsters how to behave, even regarding gender issues, but it’s really irritating that we continuously have to put up with this one-sided, polarising, sectarian approach, which as Dan says, is shaming young boys into believing they are evil and useless compared to girls – the same boys who remain blissfully unaware that they could potentially be isolated and pointlessly murdered due to their attached penis as per the Srebrenica massacre a couple of decades ago but never mentioned in the media as being targeted simply because they had a penis – even 13 year olds!. Oh what fun it is to be male!

  26. 123454321 says

    “This is the brand name for a well known brand of dog treats ”

    PeterD – our thoughts just recently coincided as a brief encounter due to some bizarre form of quantum entanglement. This is exactly how feminism plays the subliminal fields. Those falling for this or even accepting it have white wooly coats, little horns and make barrrrr barrrrr noises.

  27. PeterD says

    123454321 – Not for the first time, i am again in awe of nature! But, we both also appear to be aware of immense power and potential for misuse of nurture.

    Whereas, the delivery of this message by a group of Oxford educated, rugby playing masculine types is portrayed by Ally as being a somehow virtuous delivery it can also be perceived as a deliberate and cynically planned strategy that is designed to pollute the impressionable young minds of half our population simply because they were born with a particular chromosome arrangement. This delivery can also be perceived as a thinly veiled attempt to underpin or lend credibility to an otherwise dubious message. I.e that the target audience is relatively worthless.

    The message is even more poignant and potent when there is an ever growing shortage of appropriate male role models within our education system.

    Whether the intentions are malignant or benign there is no justification for unleashing untried and untested methods upon our most vulnerable citizens. ALL our kids deserve better.

  28. 123454321 says

    Well, ‘The Ethical Slut’ is aimed at both genders and I’m not sure it gets sanction to be taught in schools?

    There are a myriad of books claiming to teach MEN how they should behave for the benefit of women, many having quite offensive titles such as “How to Train your Husband Like a Dog”.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1257089/How-train-husband-like-dog-An-hilarious-book-reveals-really-tight-leash.html

    Talk about conceited supremacy. This has to stop if feminists aren’t to feel thoroughly ashamed of the “progress” they’ve made. How people can let this slip by is beyond me. I feel so, so sorry for all those young boys out there growing up in such a hateful world of extremism and contempt.

  29. Holms says

    #28 Thir
    The PSHE guidelines don’t challenge the fact that women can’t rape men. That in itself proves how bullshit these guidelines are.

    Rubbish. The document, so far as I have read it, is consistently gender neutral:

    The guidance encourages non-judgemental classroom discussion, a key feature of high-quality PSHE education. It also seeks to reinforce three points of key learning for all pupils, which reflect the law as well as basic human rights:
     It is the person seeking consent who is responsible (ethically and legally) for ensuring that consent is given by another person, and for ensuring that that person has the freedom and capacity to give their consent.
     If consent is not clear, informed, willing and active, it must be assumed that consent has not been given. If consent is not clearly given, or is given and then subsequently retracted, this decision must always be respected. Since people can change their minds, or consent to one thing but not to something else, the seeker of consent must keep assessing whether consent is clear, informed, willing and active. Consent must be seen as an ongoing process, not a ‘one-off’.
     In healthy relationships, both parties respectfully seek each other’s consent and know that their decision to give or not give consent will be respected. A person is never to blame if their decision not to give consent or to withdraw consent is not respected.

    Person, person person, people, seeker of consent, both parties and person. How then does this exclude the possibility of a female rapist?

    ___

    Whatever our differences of opinion here, I think we can agree that Ad Verdiesen is nonsensical.

  30. 123454321 says

    The PSHE document which is gender neutral but COMMISSIONED and probably thus FUNDED??? (directly or indirectly) as part of the Government’s VAWG initiative. Oh, and plans LAUNCHED on International Women’s Day. How strange.

    Give up with the horseshit. They are indeed very careful with the obvious but take full advantage of every subliminal opportunity and every scrap of funding they can claw out.

  31. worksfromhome says

    #29 Peter D, #30 123454321
    I find claiming “good lad” to be demeaning a bit of a stretch. In my experience, young men routinely use “good lad” (see also, “top lad”) to congratulate each other. I rather see its use by the good lad workshop as an attempt to redefine its meaning by providing male role models (the rugby types Ally mentions); i.e. I’ve often seen “good lad” used to reward exactly the sort of behavior the good lad workshop is trying to work against, so presumably they are trying to reclaim what it means to be a “good lad”. Certainly possible that this could be misguided, but I can see why they think it might be an effective strategy.
    .
    Ally & Dan,
    I’m struggling to follow the kernel of disagreement Dan is troubled by, from what I gather the following is true:
    1. EVAW, an “overtly feminist organization”, produced a factsheet with a goal of “challenging notions of male sexual entitlement”.
    2. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan endorses the EVAW factsheet.
    3. The PSHE assoc., commissioned by the governments VAWG initiative, produced consent guidelines. Nicky Morgan was involved in this process and EVAW CEO Holly Dustin is mentioned in the acknowledgements section.
    It seems Dan is concerned that PSHE guidelines, by channeling EVAW, are going to shame/scare boys. Ally on the other hand sees no such link. Personally, I’m with (my characterisation of) Ally. If the guidelines are great, it doesn’t matter that someone in the acknowledgements wrote something less good. Also, describing someone in the acknowledgements as a “key contributor” seems a massive overstatement. In my experience, being in the acknowledgements, at most, means you might have looked at a draft once or twice, or discussed the topic over coffee. Furthermore, Holly Dustin or the EVAW coalition is not mentioned anywhere else in the whole document (including the references). So yeah, the link from the EVAW factsheet to the PSHE guidelines seems a massive stretch to me and so I don’t really get Dan’s concern, though maybe I have missed something.

  32. 123454321 says

    “….though maybe I have missed something.”

    yes, that’s probably most likely. Well done, there’s a good Lad!

    So you think it’s men who feel sexually entitled but never women? Is that akin to the same message that sees men being blamed for a rape culture epidemic that is supposed to be intertwined into the fabric of western society?

    All part of the fear factor that is actually far less intense than made out. I mean, I agree men like sex and I agree some men rape. But your assertions appear to support the fear factor narratives we’re all accustomed to which see ALL men labelled with a feminist constructed rubber stamp.

  33. worksfromhome says

    123454321 #38

    “So you think it’s men who feel sexually entitled but never women?”

    I don’t. My guess as to why you think I might is: 1 – you think that the attitude that only men feel sexually entitled underlies the EVAW factsheet (I haven’t read it, maybe it does), 2 – therefore, because I think the links between the EVAW factsheet and the PSHE guidelines are no big deal I must also have this attitude. However, this is not what I meant to argue. Rather, I think the links are no big deal because: 1 – they are so tenuous that even if the EVAW factsheet does suggest that only men feel sexually entitled there’s no reason to think that the PSHE guidelines do too, 2 – we actually have the PSHE guidelines and so can see for ourselves if they support this view. My reading is that they do not. They look good to me and I think it would be a shame for good guidelines to get thrown out due to minor associations with documents that are less good.

  34. Holms says

    #36 1234
    The PSHE document which is gender neutral but COMMISSIONED and probably thus FUNDED??? (directly or indirectly) as part of the Government’s VAWG initiative. Oh, and plans LAUNCHED on International Women’s Day. How strange.

    Give up with the horseshit. …

    The post I was replying to – Thir #28 – stated “The PSHE guidelines don’t challenge the fact that women can’t rape men. That in itself proves how bullshit these guidelines are.” and that statement was specifically what I had in mind while replying. You might have noticed this due to the fact that I quoted exactly that text and then replied to it? Anyway, pointing out that the language of the document takes care to never implicate any gender, and that any gender can transgress against the right to withhold consent, explicitly refutes Thir’s claim.

    But hey, feel free to go on another aggreived, rambling rant against whatever shit takes your fancy, as is your wont. Oh look, ‘good lad’ is demeaning because… something something dogs. Sure, buddy, you chase that frisbee red herring.

  35. 123454321 says

    “Oh look, ‘good lad’ is demeaning because… something something dogs. Sure, buddy, you chase that frisbee red herring.”

    Nice silencing tactics, Holms, you are a true master. But you know very well that “Good Lad Workshops” are all part of an intentionally demeaning strategy led by feminist friendly people who just lurrrv to humiliate men when they get half a chance. Even if they don’t act intentionally out of pure repugnance towards the male sex, they know very well that the reverse situation would simply not be tolerated. Which makes them part of a selfish, controlling, conceited, hypocritical, bigot brigade.

    Do you attend once or twice a week?

  36. says

    The PSHE document may be gender neutral in language, but that is in itself still insufficient.

    It is clear that an explicit mention of male victimization – and in particular by female perpetrators – is needed to overcome the commonly held view that such an act simply isn’t possible. Even the Office of National Statistics forgot to measure male victims who have been made to penetrate someone else in the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW). This even though making a man penetrate you without his consent is explicitly defined in the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 section 4.4.c-d as a crime punishable with up to life in prison no less.

    The cynical in me suspect that the PSHE document is simply gender neutral as that is the least the authors could get away with doing. Kind of like if the firedepartment said; “Ok, we will stop using the term fireman and will call it firefighter from now on. But we won’t change our recruiting strategy, nor will we feature any female firemenfighters in our promotional and recruitment material.”

    I hope I am wrong though. To assess my suspicion I have read the PSHE and looked at some of the underlying documentation/research it relies on. My suspicion were partly off. The PSHE certainly has room for improvements, but overall it’s a promising program. Much is left to the teacher though and some of the guidance is lacking or may lead the teacher astray unless they are mindful of the existence of male victimization and female perpetration. More on why I thinks so below (warning: long!):

    First off the introduction stresses that factors such as sex, sexual orientation, gender idendity and background remain important considerations when teaching about consent. They say the PSHE draws heavily on the “Sex without consent, I suppose that is rape” study from the Office of Children’s Commissioner. They point out that this study clearly demonstrate that young people’s understandign of consent is distinctly gendered and that they recommend that study as essential reading for teachers exploring consent.

    Let’s look a bit closer at that study. Very briefly they made 8 videos where a young actor told about a situation concerning consent.

    One where a boy had sex with an unconscious girl

    One where a homeless girl is offered a coach to sleep on, but is expected to pay with sex

    One where a girl accepted a drink from a man and didn’t remember anything more until she woke up at a friends house with evidence of sexual intercourse in her underwear, the friend had found her in a mess in the toilets in the club

    One where a boy manipulates a girl who fancies him to perform oral sex on him

    One where the girl tells how she was pressured into having sex with three boys

    One where one of the boys in the previous scenario tells how he felt compelled to have sex with her since the other boys would think he was a pussy if he didn’t. He now feels ‘weird’ about what he’s done.

    One where a boy goes to a gay club and is raped by an older gay man.

    One where a girl tells about when she and her boyfriend is making out, but decides not to have sex (The boyfriend moved her hand towards his penis, but noticed that she flinched and stopped).

    One example with a male victim and that is unsurprisingly a same-sex scenario.

    No scenarios where the boy is a victim of a woman, no scenarios (same sex or otherwise) where a woman disregards their partners consent. Yeah, it’s gendered allright.

    So, already we have established that despite their gender-neutral wording the most influential research the PSHE is based upon constrains the issue of consent to exclusively male perpetrators and male victims is only included in one same-sex case.

    So what does PSHE say about taking sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and background into account?

    A key principle of high-quality PSHE education is that it should be inclusive and relevant for all pupils. For this reason, the source material provided in this guidance is gender-neutral and does not refer to the socio-economic, cultural or family background of those involved or their sexual orientation. These factors remain extremely important, however, and you should bear in mind the following:

    * As set out above, young people’s understanding of consent can be distinctly gendered (in other words, consent is understood differently according to gender).

    * Young women are disproportionately more likely to experience situations in which their consent is not respected, and young men are disproportionately more likely to be the perpetrators in such situations. NSPCC research suggests that one in three teenage girls have experienced sexual violence from a partner; the same study suggested that 16% of
    boys had experienced sexual violence from a partner.

    * Pupils’ sexual orientation, gender identity and socio-economic and cultural background, as well as whether they have special educational needs or disabilities, may also have an impact on their understanding of consent and vulnerability to non-consensual situations. For example, LGBT pupils who are not ‘out’ may be more vulnerable to coercion, exploitation or manipulation from others who know their sexual orientation and gender identity and seek to take advantage of the situation.

    Which is basically saying: We’ve made it gender-neutral in language, but you should/can ignore that and keep in mind these gendered aspects: Consent is perceived differently by gender, girls are disproportionally victims, boys are disproportionally perpetrators (1 in 3 girls are victims, 16% of boys are victims). LGBT may be more at risk.

    Most of the document is gender-neutral in language, but there are some parts which are not:

    The section on “Pornography” had gender-neutral language, but state that young people’s interaction with pornography are distinctly gendered – again an indication to the teacher implementing the PSHE that the gender-neutral language should be disregarded.

    “Assumptions, myths and unwritten rules” has gender-neutral language, but note that many of the myths are heavily gendered (men can’t control themselves when aroused) and gendered double standards (stud/slut). No mention of the
    myth that men can’t be raped by women, that an erection means consent etc.

    Credit where credit is due:

    Lesson 2 does actually have a case where the pupils are asked to consider wether sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or background of the two characters make a difference.

    Lesson 3 also has a case where the pupils are explicitly told to consider the case where the person exercising pressure is female and the pressured person is a boy as well as ff and mm same sex couples.

    Lesson 5 does the same with a case on alcohol’s effect on the capacity to consent.

    Unfortunately lesson 8: Rape myths and victim blaming has a set of example statements up for discussion where several were specific for female victims while only one were specific for male victims. There were also some examples about male perpetrators, but none about female perpetrators. The one myth mention about male victims is that “Men can’t be raped”. Unfortunately the “reality” answer to that myth heavily implies that men can only be raped by men (victims are frightend that other will think they are gay). This is possibly due to UK’s narrow definition of rape – although this would be the section where it would be natural to bring up the issue of women having sex with men without the men’s consent.

    However, on the plus side there is some discussion about whether men can feel pressured to go further than he might want and whether it’s ok for a man to not consent.

    In all these above (lessons 2,3,5 and 8) pupils are encouraged to discuss whether there are any difference between consent for men and women and why. The PSHE does not state outright that there in principle aren’t any difference between consent for men and women so if the teacher themselves for instance believe the myth that women can’t make a man have sex with her without his consent then it’s a risk that that’s what’s going to be taught. In particular because the introduction stated that the issue is gendered and relies on and refers to a study on consent which paid little regard to male victims and totally disregarded female perpetrators.

  37. JT says

    @Tamen

    If we are to all believe in equality is it surprising if people from a certain gender, if in a position of power, might exploit it to favour their gender? The constant talk of the patriarchy points out that men do this. Maybe in some other areas it goes the other way. Here is a little video from Ontario, Canada.

  38. says

    If we are to all believe in equality is it surprising if people from a certain gender, if in a position of power, might exploit it to favour their gender?

    I think there are many other categories which comes higher than gender when someone on power exploit it to favor someone else. Nepotism and class being the two main ones which I strongly suspect dwarfs the gender one.

  39. Carnation says

    My automatic reaction to this article was that it’s another case of the Telegraph going to the same route as the pathetic Peter Lloyd, but I think it’s a bit different.

    I haven’t been to high school for 20 years, but, as is to be expected, the culture has changed hugely, for better and for worse.

    Better: I asked a friend’s daughter what the cliques were at her high school (my old high school), one of those she mentioned were “the gays” – openly gay boys and girls, out and proud and unbullied. This is something that made me so happy, and I dare I say proud.

    Worse: The widespread prevalence of easily accessible and extreme porn, and the proliferation of “sexting” and revenge porn among children too young ad inexperienced to know the inherent dangers of partaking.

    Quite clearly, a radical new approach to SE is required, and I am enthused that it incorporates relationship education.

    Now, I would ask Dan why he didn’t object to what was missing (if it was missing), for example, what a controlling relationship looks like, what is acceptable in terms of contact, when love stops being love and becomes obsession, dealing with rejection and the first broken heart – all of these affect boys as well as girls (in at least one case, arguably more so).

    The problem is not “feminist indoctrination” (a lazily stupid attention grabber), the problem seems to me to be an agenda that isn’t radical enough.

    Many males convicted of sex crimes seem to genuinely believe they are innocent – so is talking about consent, even enthusiastic consent, a bad thing? High school pupils are basically a fairly extreme microcosm of society, with all of its casual sexism and “patriarchal misandry”, so it stands to reason that males will be expected and goaded into pursuing females, whilst females will be policed and chastised for not meeting the same impossible expectations.

    Play the ball not the man, boys aren’t being told to be ashamed of what sex they are, they’re being asked to question their gender expectations – and, as we all know, these same gender expectations have caused the death, incarceration or ruin of far too many for far too long.

  40. Ally Fogg says

    Tamen [42]

    That was a really good post and there is not much I disagree with. As I have written many a time before (including in the link in the final para), I believe it is important and necessary that SRE recognises that boys can be victimised, can be vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, and may need support and help in dealing with that. It is also important that SRE recognises the diverse range of people who may be their abusers, and that certainly includes women and girls – not least female teachers and other ‘responsible’ adult women.

    I think there is a real opportunity at the moment for those of us who care about boys’ welfare and wellbeing to push that case forward strongly and coherently.

    It is really important to note that when I have made this argument I have had a lot of support, encouragement and agreement from the likes of Brook Advisory, Bish Training, Scarleteen, Sex Education Forum and NSPCC – in other words the types of organisations that we would need to bring with us to make it happen.

    In a nutshell I am saying both boys and girls should be properly educated in sexual consent, respect, relationship issues and personal sexual safety and integrity.

    Dan appears to be saying that unless the education provided is perfect for both boys and girls, it shouldn’t be provided at all.

    Meanwhile I fully accept that there are feminist lobbies who would like it to be the case that this stuff is taught tightly restricted so that only girls are ever victims and boys are only ever abusers. Those people (including EVAW) are wrong and should be argued against, but it is entirely false and irresponsible to suggest that they have already won the whole debate and got their way. They haven’t, as the official PSHE consent guidelines make clear. However I would suggest that for advocates for men and boys to throw a hissy fit and chuck out the baby with the bathwater will do nothing but make it easier for them to get their way.

  41. JT says

    @44

    Of course, I never said gender was # 1. But make no mistake it still is in play.

    “Birds of a feather, flock together”

  42. Ally Fogg says

    @Ad Verdiesen

    Might I politely suggest you go away and learn what postmodernism actually means and have a go at actually explaining what your point and position is, because at the moment you are doing nothing but fill up this comments thread with unintelligible spam.

  43. WhineyM. says

    Ally, you’re getting this completely the wrong way round.

    Dan has provided hard evidence that the Secretary of State for Education has officially endorsed a discriminatory, feminist approach towards these issues, by publicly backing the EVAW factsheet in teaching this subject. Now you say, that doesn’t matter, you want to see plentiful evidence that this is being applied in schools before you will take that seriously as a problem.

    Yet two words will demonstrate why this attitude is completely wrong-headed, and why it is the act of being complacent and of turning a blind eye which is actually the irresponsible and harmful route to take here: Section 28.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_28

    Section 28 officially sanctioned discrimination against a particular group in society, at a very high level and in a very disturbing way, yet from the outset there was always a similar controversy about its exact relevance and applicability when it came to teaching in schools (and especially with regards to PSE teaching ). For of course, it only ever applied to local authorities and not to schools, and so its direct effect in purely technical terms was quite strongly limited. In addition to this, sex education became directly regulated by the Secretary of State well before S.28 was repealed.

    Yet it remains that the government was giving a nod and wink to homophobic attitudes, just as Nicky Morgan is doing so now towards the gynocentric EVAW lobby. So just imagine a writer on the left warning that Section 28 encouraged serious discrimination in public life, only to be told: ‘what a tank load of irresponsible bullshit, unless you can provide lots of evidence that this is having a negative, practical effect upon teaching, I’m not listening. In fact you’re undermining all the great work PSE teachers do by pretending this is a problem when it isn’t’.

    But that would entirely miss the point. The basic principle is that as soon as you have discrimination against a particular group in society endorsed by government ministers – even on a symbolic level, like here – that in itself is utterly intolerable. It isn’t necessary to wait for documentary evidence of lots of incidents of the EVAW factsheet being used by individual teachers to come through first before you condemn it. If you truly care about discrimination, you have to condemn it from the outset.

  44. Ally Fogg says

    Whiney, that is utterly ludictous.

    When the government passes A LAW making it illegal for teachers to tell pupils that boys can be abused by women or anything similar, then the analogy to Section 28 might have some relevance.

    As it is, the comparison is arrant nonsense and actually pretty ignorant and offensive in how it underplays how viciously homophobic Section 28 was.

    As for Nicky Morgan “endorsing” the EVAW fact sheet, do you have any idea how many statements a government minister puts a name to in any given week?

    I’ve checked the quote from Nicky Morgan and it only appears anywhere in the EVAW press release, so I would be pretty certain that what happened is that EVAW wrote their document, got in touch with the Minister of Equalities and said “please will you give us a quote about this for our press release” which she duly did. Between you and me I’d be pretty surprised if she even read it, and would be very sure “her” quote was churned out by an intern to order. Bear in mind that the alternative for Morgan would have been headlines saying “Minister for Equalities refuses to endorse fact sheet on Violence Against Women and Girls”

    What Dan is clearly not appreciating about my criticism is that in he talked about PSHE consent guidelines being being launched on International Women’s Day and coming under the umbrella of VAWG policies and then immediately after talks about what is in the EVAW factsheet without acknowledging that the PSHE Consent guidelines bear ABSOLUTELY NO SIMILARITY to that document and indeed are extremely well-written and useful. So why link them at all? He then claims this means “in the eyes of the government, schoolboys don’t so much see girls as their friends and peers, but as potential prey.” This is way beyond 2+2=5.

    To be honest you, and others on your side of the argument, sound remarkably like conspiracy nuts joining disparate dots to prove that the entire world is being run by the Jews and the lizards and anyone who points out that you are talking fanciful, paranoid bollocks is clearly part of the conspiracy.

  45. Carnation says

    @ Ally Fogg #52

    At the risk of putting a cat among the pigeons…

    Those that “sound remarkably like conspiracy nuts” are in a bit of a pickle – the fact is that a significant number of feminist/feminist inspired concepts can and should aid, support and educate boys (enthusiastic consent being one of them), but to acknowledge that is to disown the rabid, dogmatic anti-feminism that is the cornerstone of their belief systems. This belief system totally obliterates any notion of actually changing things to support males, in favour of “fighting” a usually imaginary enemy.

  46. 123454321 says

    Tamen @42

    You are spot on with your post and this correlates exactly with what I know to be true i.e. teenage boys are being shown these videos at school. I also know they are noticing (curiously), but not yet questioning outright, why the roles shown in these videos are always so one sided. The boys are too young to know quite what to make of all this. But it’s only a matter of time before these youngsters read the internet, grow up, become lawyers, politicians, media company directors etc. and put an end to the skewed nature of these extremist teachings which are as fundamentally manipulated as the recent CPS achievement in successfully hoodwinking the entire population.

    I hope before watching the videos these role model teachers are ensuring that the boys give up the best seats for the girls, which I know is still often the case. Anything else wouldn’t help reinforce the narrative notions the institution is trying to implant.

    Did you know that some teachers are so fucking devious that when releasing queues of children, without actually saying “girls go first” they resort to “those wearing some pink” or “those with long hair” or “those with white socks” or ” those with pierced ears” go first. Yeah, that’s the nature of what we’re dealing with here!

  47. 123454321 says

    Carnation – do you actually ever read the thousands upon thousands of comments on the internet these days whereby men and boys (and also lots of women) are plainly sick to death of the way men and boys are treated by every institution, the media, politics and society in general. Do you label all of these people as conspiracy theorists then, or do you think they have a point? Also, do you really believe that if these people were to just shut up and go away, things would miraculously get better for males because this ‘cornerstone of feminism’ which clearly already exists with significant social power – and incidentally gets millions of pounds of funding – would suddenly start helping men?

    Cuz if that’s what you’re thinking, you’re deluded. The only reason journalists are beginning to talk about the appalling state of affairs with regards to men and boys is because they are seeing a tidal wave of support coming from the internet via nature of such comments. These journalists, like Dan, are starting to wonder just which side they ought to be supporting going forward. I’ve seen many columnists change their views over the last few years and trust me, Carnation, it’s got nothing to do with your efforts.

  48. 123454321 says

    @43 JT,

    That video infuriates me. I wonder who dreamt that up and funded it?

    It’s no wonder that men and boys lack self-esteem and feel the way they do. Kick a dog when it’s a puppy and you raise a snarling beast. This is a perfect example of the skewed nature of the life we lead today. Can anyone post a similar video with the gender roles reversed in every single scenario? No? Thought not!

  49. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    How are you? It’s been a while.

    “do you actually ever read the thousands upon thousands of comments on the internet these days whereby men and boys (and also lots of women) are plainly sick to death of the way men and boys are treated by every institution”

    You mean MRA blogs and/or the Daily Mail?

    No, I don’t.

    And because I don’t, I have a balanced world view and can see things objectively. I am not hamstrung by a rabid, dogmatic anti-feminism.

  50. mostlymarvelous says

    William Collins

    The stark and hideous intentions of the SRE programme are betrayed by the Q&A associated with the Factsheet on the EVAWGC web site, which states,
    Delivering good SRE to every child will in fact increase disclosures of abuse. Teachers need to be trained to respond to this and support needs to be there for survivors as well as adequate interventions for boys who are at risk of abusing.”

    I’m in Australia so not familiar with education or other policies in Britain, nor the VAWG. I haven’t read all the posts in detail, but this one needs a response.

    This has always and everywhere been a problem in sex and/or relationships and/or safety programs being taught in schools. It’s one of the reasons a lot of primary teachers are reluctant to be the ones delivering the programs and prefer outside experts to do it.

    Everyone knows that – at some point – one or more kids in the class are likely to indicate pretty clearly to someone who knows the signs that they’re leading towards a disclosure of abuse, usually of themselves, usually within their family (or sports team or neighbourhood or church or club). (A similar thing can happen, but more rarely, when delivering anti-violence programs to adult groups, but that’s abusers disclosing more often than victims.) That’s just a statistical probability given the numbers of kids that are abused.

    A program that doesn’t train the trainer to recognise and deal with this entirely predictable event isn’t worth the powerpoint slides it’s written on. You have to keep the child’s confidence in you as a reliable adult who will take them seriously and simultaneously prevent them from disclosing too much in front of other kids. Kids who tell other kids that they’ve been sexually abused by an adult or another older person are likely to become targets of pretty nasty bullying far too often. The teacher has to manage the process so that the student is protected during the lesson (from themselves/ the other kids) while not giving the game away but the child remains willing to talk their issues through with an appropriate adult. A pretty delicate balancing act.

    Sexual abuse of boys has been declining for many years – but it’s still more common than most people think. (See the Australian Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. A lot of the cases being reviewed are very old. Too many are from this century.) Children who are “at risk” of abusing are often identified in the schoolyard – age-inappropriate sexual knowledge, totally inappropriate “games” they want other children to play with them. I think the issue with abused boys is that more of them act out publicly than similarly abused girls. A lot more girls are inclined to self-harm privately rather than publicly reenact their abuse. Alert adults can usually spot changes in behaviour – withdrawal into quiet solitude or sudden outbursts of temper – which turn out to be prompted by sexual abuse. It’s a bit more difficult when a kid has been abused for as long as they can remember so there are no recent changes to observe. Sometimes the changed behaviour shows up at school when there’s a different kind of change at home. My husband had to walk away, walk out of an art classroom, where an enraged, distressed 14 year old girl was literally ripping the place apart before the others were due to arrive. She’d been abused by her father for years. The new problem was that he was transferring his attentions to her little sister and her previous strategy of trying to protect the younger girl and ‘keep it all in the family’ was falling apart. When he raised the issue of her behaviour in the staffroom it turned out that everybody knew the circumstances, the family had already been reported to child protection by other teachers, but the case hadn’t progressed far enough to get the kids away from their father.

    Just like others, though, I’ve been guilty of not noticing what becomes glaringly obvious in retrospect. A few years ago, when one of our tuition students eventually admitted that an uncle had been regularly abusing both him and his brother, for years, a whole lot of random memories of his sometimes erratic behaviour (he was genuinely a case of ADHD) and inappropriate sexual jokes suddenly fell into a more coherent pattern. We weren’t the only ones. None of his family members nor his or his brother’s regular teachers had ever picked up on it, but ,,, that doesn’t help with the nagging guilt it arouses. He was a lovely kid, an absolutely charming, intelligent, knowledgeable teenager, with some learning and behaviour issues that seriously affected his school life. We were glad that our usual approach of treating students properly rather than presuming they were merely badly behaved meant that we hadn’t added to his distress. He did relax a bit once everything was out in the open, though the court case was pretty stressful. Must have been hell on wheels for the parents who’d regularly sent the boys for weekend stays with their uncle, though.

    (I’ve not been able to revive my mildlymagnificent wordpress identity on my new computer, so I’m mostlymarvelous, at least for the time being.)

  51. Ally Fogg says

    12345 or anyone else.

    Genuine question, I am not being snarky, I’m trying to work out exactly what your position is.

    What is your precise problem with the video in [43]?

    1. Do you think it is wrong to tell boys that sexual harassment, rape, exploitation etc does happen and is wrong?

    2. Do you think it is wrong to suggest that it is the right thing to do to intervene when they think something like that might be about to happen?

    3. Do you think it is wrong to ever talk about violence and sexual abuse of women and girls without giving equal and parallel attention to violence and sexual abuse of boys and men?

    4. Do you think that even talking about violence and abuse committed by boys and men is tantamount to slander and defamation of an entire gender?

    Because I have to say I don’t think any of those positions are rational or tenable, indeed I’d go so far as to say they are completely fucking batshit. I’m wondering if you can explain some other position I am missing.

    Just to reiterate my own position – I have no problem with the video above, but would dearly love to see far more educational efforts around male victims as well. But we won’t get those by denying or downplaying the necessity for campaigns on VAWG.

  52. mostlymarvelous says

    Ally

    In a nutshell I am saying both boys and girls should be properly educated in sexual consent, respect, relationship issues and personal sexual safety and integrity.

    I sort of agree, but this doesn’t go far enough.

    Leaving this sort of concept until school has progressed to the stage of teaching and discussion of sex or relationships is leaving it a bit late. Children, tiny children, should be brought up knowing that if someone is hugging, tickling or kissing you and you want it to stop or you don’t want it at all, then you should be able to refuse and to have that refusal complied with. They should also be taught that if a little friend at kindy or the playground doesn’t want to be hugged, cuddled, tickled, pushed, grabbed or kissed, then they must respect that. (For many people, the biggest problem here could be grandparents or Aunt Ermintrude who insist that all children must submit to unwanted physical contact. Teaching them that blowing kisses is an adequate substitute is often a task beyond normal human ability.)

    Once you’ve established a lifelong practice of maintaining your own boundaries and respecting other people’s boundaries, learning that this also applies to sexual relationships is just one further natural step on a familiar path. The ideas in “consent education” should not be novel or foreign concepts. They should be all of a piece with a student’s understanding of how social and personal interaction should be conducted generally.

    Of course, it still has to be taught at school because, just like a whole lot of other stuff, families differ from each other in how they do (and often don’t) socialise their children.

  53. Carnation says

    @ MainlyMagnificent

    Your comment made me think of this article:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3094545/Rape-childhood-s-publishing-sensation-year-brutal-abuse-Britain-s-exciting-pianist-prep-school-PE-teacher-tried-ban-book-it.html

    This quote in particular jumped out:

    “Among all the press that was starting to happen at that time, I did a newspaper interview. In it I mentioned the sexual abuse that had happened at school – it was a short paragraph in a double-page piece.
    The head of the junior school from back then saw it and got in touch with me. She told me she’d known that some kind of abuse was happening (even if, in her naivety, she hadn’t thought it was sexual), that she used to find me sobbing, blood on my legs, begging not to go back to gym class.
    She’d gone to the head of the school who’d said, in true 1980s style: ‘Little Rhodes needs to toughen up. Ignore it.’ Which she did.”

    He survived, and actually thrived. The prisons and streets house many of those that didn’t.

    I agree with everything that you said.

  54. 123454321 says

    1. Do you think it is wrong to tell boys that sexual harassment, rape, exploitation etc does happen and is wrong?

    No, it’s not wrong, but it’s not right to show only one side of the coin. I would expect to see a reference to male rape by a female perpetrator, or perhaps the way males can be exploited sexually or preyed upon as a sperm donor who could be ousted from his offspring after having been forced to pay child support for 18 years? Maybe, just once in a while? After all it’s quite common for boys to fall for this unfortunate set of circumstances. You not want your sons to be warned about this from official sources. We all know kids don’t listen to their parents!

    2. Do you think it is wrong to suggest that it is the right thing to do to intervene when they think something like that might be about to happen?

    No it is not wrong to suggest intervention, as long as it is safe. What about introducing a clip incorporating public violence interventions involving female on male abuse? That would make me feel better.

    3. Do you think it is wrong to ever talk about violence and sexual abuse of women and girls without giving equal and parallel attention to violence and sexual abuse of boys and men?

    No, so long as there is a balance. But there’s not.

    4. Do you think that even talking about violence and abuse committed by boys and men is tantamount to slander and defamation of an entire gender?

    We are seeing repetitive, continuous, unparalleled reinforcement from every angle of virtually every official institution that all the talks must surround male perpetrators and female victims. You KNOW that, Ally. Let’s see some balance and I’ll go away, as most people who are sick of this would probably agree. A continuous, relentless barrage of one-sided rhetoric is indeed tantamount to slander and deformation of an entire gender by nature of blatant, wilful neglect.

    “Because I have to say I don’t think any of those positions are rational or tenable, indeed I’d go so far as to say they are completely fucking batshit.”

    Oh, ok, so you think remaining quiet and allowing the same old neglectful approach to continue will help men and boys? You don’t want to see any of the funding or efforts redirected? You think the people who make these videos and promote them will suddenly start redressing the balance? I’m sure they, too, think that any challenge to strike a balance is batshit. And that, Ally, is exactly why we are where we are!

    “Just to reiterate my own position – I have no problem with the video above, but would dearly love to see far more educational efforts around male victims as well. But we won’t get those by denying or downplaying the necessity for campaigns on VAWG.”

    EVERYTHING stems from funding based around a set of requirements based around widespread acceptability based around cultural valued set by what we are told again and again and again by those who shout the loudest. I am NOT suggesting downplaying VAWG, for example. You know I have never said that. I just want some balance. Why can’t we have some balance? Can you not see the link between wilful neglect and the consequential damage to the neglected?

  55. 123454321 says

    Ally, please point me to one single official video in the name of education shown to youngsters at school which shows all scenarios using female perpetrators and male victims. I’d be really happy if you could and would probably make me feel a bit more relaxed.

  56. Ally Fogg says

    12345…

    Thank you.

    Then is it fair to say (I’m genuinely trying not to put words in your mouth here) that you do not have any problem with the video, its message or its content? Your only objection is that it is only half the story, you think there should be other messages highlighting that boys can be abused too, and their abusers can be female?

    In that case, I completely agree.

    However that looks to me like you are saying “there is an important message that girls need to hear, and an important message that boys need to hear. But unless we have both, we shouldn’t have either.”

    That strikes me as wrong, both morally and politically. Morally wrong, because you are saying you wish to intervene to prevent something happening which could reduce incidents of abuse and exploitation.

    Politically wrong, because it makes it look like you are actively opposed to efforts to eliminate or reduce violence against women and girls.

    Can you not see that?

    In answer to your other question, no, I am not aware of any equivalent videos that highlight the issues of the exploitation and abuse of boys, including or specifically by women. And I would wholeheartedly support any efforts to produce such materials and get them included in the package. That is what I think is needed, and judging by your answers above, so do you. However we will not bring such videos or other materials closer to reality by objecting to similar materials about girls.

  57. 123454321 says

    “However that looks to me like you are saying “there is an important message that girls need to hear, and an important message that boys need to hear. But unless we have both, we shouldn’t have either.”

    Ally, if you look carefully at what I say, I don’t actually say what you’ve just suggested. When I see that video it reminds me that there is open, wilful neglect of men and boys – and that’s what infuriates me. We need BOTH sides of the story to be told, whether that be mixed into one video or spread across several, some being dedicated to boys, some to girls. Having neither, I agree, would be wrong. But equally, intentionally aiming at one audience only is bigoted when looking from a higher perspective. Like I keep saying, follow the money trail back and you’ll arrive at Bigot Palace Headquarters – visibly lined with 24c gold from top to bottom. Money, money, money. Why don’t boys get a share?

  58. JT says

    Ally

    The 2 problems with the video is that the content is one sided and that it is funded by the Ontario government, who, when I last checked, got their funds to finance it from both genders of the province. Now, why do you think they did not include any instances of woman being the perps? Also, how do you think it would fly if a video was made exclusively with men as victims?

  59. Whiney says

    @52 Ally, have to say, I’m rather amused by your getting all Daily Mail on my ass here, by writing ‘A LAW’ in capital letters, as if that made any difference to the practical consequence of the legislation as it affected teaching in schools. In this context in makes no difference whatsoever. As described in my post, the significance as far as classroom teaching was concerned was symbolic, as it was targeted at local authorities, it became completely superceded by the authority of the secretary of state, and what’s more entailed no specific criminal offence.
    As for this ‘ignorant and offensive’ stuff and nonsense, this is the typically air-headed argument of the kind that you will often get from a Guardian journalist, that their offence is of a greater magnitude than your offence, so therefore they are right. Sorry, not buying this at all: homophobia isn’t necessarily worse than misandry, serious as it is, you have to look at context as well. The fact of the matter is that we now have a serious crisis in the way that victims of domestic abuse are being spoken about in public life, and this involves extremely high profile institutions, such as the CPS and Newsnight, who then won’t even back down or admit there is a problem. (You don’t need to believe in David Icke lizard-people in order to acknowledge that this is an accurate and fair description of what is going on right now.) When this is compounded by the Secretary of State for Education publicly backing a ‘factsheet’ from a biased organisation, which appears to be similarly discriminatory in its content, this can only add insult to injury.

    I simply cannot accept this idea that a public statement from a minister should not be regarded as representative of what they think or believe. Presumably, next time Downing Street issues a statement, I shouldn’t take it to represent David Cameron’s politics, because it’s probably ‘only a spokesman’. Fact is, you often need to pay attention to media sources to find out what’s going on with policy, as it’s pretty rare for initiatives to be announced first in parliament these days.

    There’s clearly a lot of discretion in terms of exactly how the PSHE guidelines are applied, and that Morgan has given a green light for EVAW materials to be used in classrooms is a very worrying sign. What, after all, is there to stop such information being used in schools right now, no matter how liberal or measured the PSHE guidelines are?

  60. johngreg says

    Oh, goody. Questions. I love answering questions that help clarify both for me and for others what my position/perspective is on issues like this, especially here at FTB where no one other than Ally ever actually asks such questions because clarification is, generally speaking, an FTB verboten thing.

    1. Do you think it is wrong to tell boys that sexual harassment, rape, exploitation etc does happen and is wrong?

    No, not wrong.

    2. Do you think it is wrong to suggest that it is the right thing to do to intervene when they think something like that might be about to happen?

    No, not wrong

    3. Do you think it is wrong to ever talk about violence and sexual abuse of women and girls without giving equal and parallel attention to violence and sexual abuse of boys and men?

    Hmm. I find that a difficult one. Provisionally, Yes, but sometimes No. That question requires a world full of grey area Yesses and Nos to answer. I guess, like number 4, it requires some grey Yeses and Nos. To ever talk that way? No, not ever/never. But it seems to me that in most instances the purpose of the exclusiuon is to rewrite history, fact, and reality. Generally or, as I said above, provisionally, I think it would be a better case to replace “boys/male” and “girls/female” with people; have discussions about violence and sexual abuse against people, not genders. Ideally speaking.

    4. Do you think that even talking about violence and abuse committed by boys and men is tantamount to slander and defamation of an entire gender?

    No, not really. But it really depends on the structure of the discussion, doesn’t it.

  61. says

    Ally: I think not including male victimization is harmful in three ways: The two most obvious being that it erases male victimization and leaves male victims with inadequate tools to handle the fallout from what happened to them and that it erases female perpetration – leaving girl at greater risk of becoming perpetrators. The third not so obvious harmful side-effect is that I think having one’s own consent recognized and respected is almost a prerequisite for respecting other’s consent. So in fact a one-sided campaign is in my opinion less effective at protecting girls/women than a real inclusive campaign. I write “real inclusive” because I think most people would recognize tokenism and that tokenism is not going to cut it.

    Now, I don’t know whether these three harmful effects is smaller, equal or larger than the positive effect a one-sided campaign like the Canadian has, But I suspect it’s not quite as clear-cut as you appear to think,

    Nevertheless, presumably nearly all here agree that male victimization and female perpetration should be included in a meaningful way. If one could achieve this I suspect, Dan, you Ally, any MRA and feminists worth their salt, I and many more would be happy.

  62. Ad Verdiesen says

    stop spewing words, making pseudological epistles, to talk right whats wrong, asif reasonable&human, asif caring&loving, to indoctrinate children with sickening&maddening postmodern LIES, bigots!

  63. 123454321 says

    100% agree, Tamen. Being encouraged to have respect for one’s self is a critical prerequisite to respecting others. Boys are not encouraged to respect themselves; they are taught to respect girls because they are girls, but not themselves, because they are boys. Girls are encouraged to respect themselves because they are girls, but rarely taught to respect boys, basically because they are boys. I think there are some obvious benefits for girls with significantly damaging outcomes for boys and society as a whole. If the education system was to recognise boys’ issues by introducing a more balanced campaign demonstrating respect for both genders, many of the issues we all argue about would slowly erode over time. But I can guarantee that 1. nobody would fund 2. even if funds were available, nobody would get support from Government or education authorities, and 3. even if it got that far, feminist lobbying would block any positive, meaningful progression and make it absolutely impossible to reach a balance by lying and manipulating statistics like we’ve all witnessed and become accustomed to. And the track record of success is remarkable.
    If you want some evidence of how the male voice gets banished into oblivion, take a look at this:

    http://therightsofman.typepad.co.uk/the_rights_of_man/2013/02/the-48-mens-human-rights-sites-feminists-seek-to-censor.html

  64. Ally Fogg says

    Tamen, good post again.

    Everything you say is true. It harms male victims to be excluded, it is negligent to exclude male victims, therefore we should fight for male victims to be included in such lessons and such materials.

    It may well make it more likely that some girls / women will behave in abusive or violent ways, which is a very good reason why we should include female perpetrations.

    I really, strongly agree with your point that including different abuse dynamics in the whole mix would in fact also provide better protection to girls and women too. That is a point that is really central to my beliefs.

    So I have no argument with any of that.

    My point is that you, me, everyone here who cares about this issue should be fighting to get those videos made, fighting to get that information included in the syllabus.

    But that is not the approach that seems to be favoured by Dan Bell and those supporting his article, including lots of the commenters here. They seem only interested in tearing down the messages on VAWG, which will do nothing, literally nothing to protect men and boys. It is an entirely negative approach, which is why I think it is not only morally wrong, but politically wrong too, because it is quite clearly unwinnable.

  65. mostlymarvelous says

    One comment about that #WhoWillYouHelp video.

    We adults might be seeing it in terms of male/female or sex or coercion and not much more. I suggest it’s likely to be more than that.

    It’s about bystander interventions. Many schools nowadays base their anti-bullying programs around bystander roles and behaviours. Maybe other countries also have community wide projects like this one from the Alannah and Madeleine Foundation in Australia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyukkOiayt4
    (btw, Alannah and Madeleine Mikac are not feminist icons. They were just little kids when they and their mother were killed by the gunman at Port Arthur almost 20 years ago. http://www.amf.org.au/OurHistory/)

    When you set that #WhoWillYouHelp video within a wider context of educating kids that they can do something when they observe victimising, abusive or bullying behaviour of any kind, it’s not so much about the specifics of who’s doing what to whom. It’s about making choices when you see someone being victimised in any way.

    Do I help a bully/ abuser – when keeping quiet amounts to enabling them? Or do I find a way to help a target of the bullying/ abuse/ other nasty behaviour?

  66. JT says

    It’s not negative or morally wrong to remark about videos or programs that miss an opportunity to show that both genders are vulnerable and in need of support or help when it comes to abuse or bullying, especially if it’s our tax dollars being used. It makes more economic sense and at the same time shows everyone, as in male or female, that our governments understand the magnitude of the effects. By the way Ally, not everyone Is cut out to be an activist. This is one reason why I appreciate what you do. I tend to do it on a much more personal level.

  67. Ad Verdiesen says

    good grief, all these words, to irrationally/imaginary talk right whatrs wrong, or to oppose,
    opinion addiction? whatever, truth alone can prevail!

  68. eye4beauty says

    *Decent sex and relationships education is needed by boys and girls alike.* Haha! Well, it’s obvious what you mean, but allow me a facetious little play on grammar here. No dispute with ‘relationships education’ being needed, unless one is one of the religio-feminist fundamentalists, but a very big developmental/entitlement can of worms with the first noun-clause of the sentence. I’m strongly inclined to say it is a ‘need’, as opposed to a ‘want’, not least for an adolescent boy. A girl, maybe not: she perhaps just needs to feel attractive of body and valued as a person, and is happy to bide her time, because she is the gatekeeper with the power to do so (what the hell else is feminist consent dogma reinforcing, if not that?). A boy needs validation of HIS attractiveness, his very masculinity no less, by fucking. Nothing less will do, all else is an inadequate substitute. That’s the way I always felt, anyway, albeit not necessarily articulate it at the time (I’m 47 now). The longer the failure to achieve the promised land, the more embedded the persona of inferiority and failure in the would-be man – for life. Being liked as a friend does not cut it (OUCH), but being admitted into the holy grail of her knickers is a ‘higher like’. It is being liked as a ‘man’, one’s essence, not some kind of pet. I’m sure not all men feel/felt this way – the apparent 21st century proliferation of manginas evinces that – but it seems to me if you’re gifted (cursed?) with a strong sex drive, worst still if coupled with an aesthetic disposition, then it’s inevitable.
    Heck, no I’m not being facetious. No two ways about it, we need a comma after sex. Only the little matter of pushing that past the feminists now. I like to think in 50 years time one of the activities of an attractive educational support worker, on behalf of those shy souls who are lagging behind, will be to provide… time I turned in perhaps.

  69. Holms says

    #41 1234Nice silencing tactics, Holms, you are a true master.

    Note that you have not actually been silenced. The fact that you replied to, and called out, my supposed ‘silencing’ of you disproves that I silenced you.

    But you know very well that “Good Lad Workshops” are all part of an intentionally demeaning strategy led by feminist friendly people who just lurrrv to humiliate men when they get half a chance.

    The rhetorical tactic of claiming that the other person ‘knows’ their own position to be wrong – and hence claiming that they secretly concede their position in an argument – is a massively disingenuous one. I don’t ‘know’ that the workshop is part of an ‘intentionally demeaning strategy’ in the slightest; in fact, I believe your assertion to that effect to be a load of crap.

    The Good Lad Workshop name is based on the fact that a certain subset of men like to call themselves Lads, plus the fact that is is a workshop promoting good behavior. See where the name comes from? It has nothing to do with dog food for fucks sake.

    ___

    #42 Tamen

    Gender neutral, mostly constructive, but less than perfect? Agreed.

    ___

    #43 JT

    I think that while that ad would be greatly improved by even a single male victim / female agressor scenario, it still provides good information without as it is. It is less good than it could be, but to throw it out entirely on that basis strikes me as strange.

  70. StillGjenganger says

    @ ReliablyMarvelous 59
    No time to engage properly so just a quick one

    It is not hard to think of a child or two you know that obviously has some kind of problem. But how do you know what is the cause? Some people are just not good parents – too self-obsessed, negative, troubled, whatever. I carry the odd problem from my childhood myself, without ever having been abused. So, as a mere civilian, do you try to start an abuse investigations every time you see a child with problems? With the risk of causing stress and trouble for the child and everybody else for no gain, if whatever the problem is it is not abuse, and the only possible solution – taking the child into care – would cause more damage than leaving things alone? Or what do you do?

  71. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally 76.
    No time to engage properly (sorry). But can I give you a comparison? Suppose that you have a program of crime prevention, how not be a victim, how not to be a perpetrator, etc. – and it just so happens that all the perpetrators are black and all the victims are white? All black rapists and white maiden victims? Would you still say that this is good and necessary and people should leave it in place and just fight for having some additional material with white perpetrators too? Or would you try to close it down first? If you think the two cases are too different to make a valid parallel, why are they different?

  72. StillGjenganger says

    @eye4beauty 80
    Indeed, we need a comma after sex. Nice, relevant point. Now prepare for the backlash.

    As for the ‘manginas’, how sure are you that they have different desires – and not just a different strategy?

  73. JT says

    #81

    Holms, nowhere do I suggest throwing it out. I’m just critical of it for equalitarian reasons. My 18yr old daughter was too. If you ever want to hear a critique about certain types of feminism I should let you hear her rant about ‘twitter feminists’. 😉

  74. mostlymarvelous says

    Gjenganger

    So, as a mere civilian, do you try to start an abuse investigations every time you see a child with problems? With the risk of causing stress and trouble for the child and everybody else for no gain, if whatever the problem is it is not abuse, and the only possible solution – taking the child into care – would cause more damage than leaving things alone? Or what do you do?

    As a ‘mere civilian’, you’re in a less good position than a teacher or nurse who’s up to date with their mandatory reporting certifications. (I think they’re required to re-qualify each couple of years or so here.) And someone who’s unfamiliar with kids generally, or doesn’t know a particular kid on a longer term basis, may misjudge a situation for various reasons.

    However, when you look at younger primary children it’s pretty easy to judge totally age-inappropriate sexual knowledge and behaviours. It’s not just norty werdz. What teachers can tell you about the worst of this ghastly stuff would turn your hair white or send you bald overnight. Especially when you’re dealing with younger school age kids, it’s not just sexual abuse you’re worried about, it’s violence in the home or neglect or other forms of abuse. A lot of 5 and 6 year olds can act out in surprisingly extreme ways if their living circumstances are extreme. It could be sexual abuse but it could just as easily be the result of persistent neglect or of witnessing – or being involved in – violence. One preschooler we dealt with had tried to intervene when his father was strangling his mother. Some children have bloody awful lives.

    You may not be able to start an abuse investigation but it’s worthwhile reporting. Your report may be the only one and, therefore, unlikely to be acted on seeing as it’s not coming from a mandatory reporter. otoh, your report may the twenty-seventh such report which could be a final straw tipping the scales towards an investigation. Removing a child from the home is only a possibility a long way down the track.

    Stress and trouble for the child?
    If their behaviour or demeanour is so far out of the norm as to provoke someone to make a child safety report, they may need an educational and/or mental health and/or family counselling assessment anyway. They very likely need some kind of help.

  75. 123454321 says

    mostlymarvelous
    “When you set that #WhoWillYouHelp video within a wider context of educating kids that they can do something when they observe victimising, abusive or bullying behaviour of any kind, it’s not so much about the specifics of who’s doing what to whom. It’s about making choices when you see someone being victimised in any way.”

    Yes, but it’s the underlying, subliminal messages painted around our impressionable society that we should be worried about. Only ever being bombarded with one side is highly damaging and untrue.

    StillGjenganger @83 explains it perfectly with this gem. What subliminal messages would this send out to our young folk:

    “Suppose that you have a program of crime prevention, how not be a victim, how not to be a perpetrator, etc. – and it just so happens that all the perpetrators are black and all the victims are white? All black rapists and white maiden victims? Would you still say that this is good and necessary and people should leave it in place and just fight for having some additional material with white perpetrators too? Or would you try to close it down first? If you think the two cases are too different to make a valid parallel, why are they different?”

  76. 123454321 says

    “The Good Lad Workshop name is based on the fact that a certain subset of men like to call themselves Lads, plus the fact that is is a workshop promoting good behavior. See where the name comes from? It has nothing to do with dog food for fucks sake.”

    BULLSHIT. It’s a purposefully, condesending, patronising and demeaning heading which looks completely and entirely feminist-derived to me. “Great Men” sounds fucking awesome and I might even attend myself, but “Good Lad” is akin to a fucking dog treat and you KNOW it! If I were sitting at the head of the Exec. table on that particular day at the marketing strategy meeting and someone came up with that little gem I’d chuck ’em a tin of chum and tell ’em to fuck off back to their kennel with their tail between their legs!!!!!!

  77. StillGjenganger says

    If you see stuff that would turn your hair white, it rather does make sense to report it. The question is how far out of the norm things need to be before you should act. The kind of thing I had in mind was children with clear self esteem issues, evidence of stress, a parent with dismissive and abrupt interactions with the child, … One example had interactions with various therapists and social workers through the school system, and duly became pregnant at sixteen or so. One is still in primary school, otherwise a well functioning child, we’ll see how that goes. Now if you are a teacher you have good reason and opportunity to discuss whether little Johnny has a problem and what should be done about it. As a ‘mere civilian’ calling social services on your neighbours is a highly aggressive act, and my inclination would be to stay out of it unless you have rather more to build on. But I am open to advice.

  78. Ally Fogg says

    Gjenganger

    If you think the two cases are too different to make a valid parallel, why are they different?

    I think it is different because gender plays an important role in sexual and relationship violence. It is perfectly reasonable to conceptualise male violence against women and girls as a distinct phenomenon and address it as such. (Note, this is not to say it is the only form of interpersonal violence and abuse or that other types should not also be highlighted and addressed.)

    In that sense, I think it is more similar (although still not directly equivalent) to a campaign against racist hate crime. Does all racist violence have white perpetrators and non-white victims? No, but those which do have distinct social and psychological roots and it makes sense to consider them as a distinct phenomenon, so I wouldn’t have any particular problem with a campaign against racist violence which was specifically aimed at white perpetrators.

  79. 123454321 says

    “(Note, this is not to say it is the only form of interpersonal violence and abuse or that other types should not also be highlighted and addressed.)”

    Yes, how about lesbian violence education? TV media is very politically correct these days. It seems that for every running series (regardless of type) of, say, a dozen programmes, at least one or two of them appear to select a gay couple. I see nothing wrong with that, although I’m not sure that the ratio is properly representative. I don’t know the stats, perhaps someone could help, but I’m guessing that around 1% of couples living together are gay? I really don’t know. IF that is right then the media has no qualms in engaging with overrepresentation. My point is that why can’t that same philosophy of overrepresentation be applied to violence against women and girls videos by including lesbian violence? I’m guessing that would not be tolerated because that would see a female as a perpetrator. Sigh.

  80. StillGjenganger says

    Ally 91
    Not unreasonable, but I am trying t figure out the implications.
    Does it amount to saying that if men are violent or whites are racist it is because they are men (whites), whereas if black people commit crimes, or Muslims commit acts of terror , it has nothing to do with the groups they are members of? And if so is that a judgement of fact – we know why people act and these motivations happen to come out of the data – or is it a value judgement – certain groups deserve blame, but others, counting as oppressed, do not?

  81. Ally Fogg says

    Does it amount to saying that if men are violent or whites are racist it is because they are men (whites), whereas if black people commit crimes, or Muslims commit acts of terror , it has nothing to do with the groups they are members of?

    No, more like the exact opposite of that.

    People commit crimes for many reasons, including (but obviously not restricted to) many that relate to their position within economic and social structures. So there are reasons why kids from Pakistani backgrounds are disproportionately likely to get involved in terrorism-related activities and reasons why kids from African-Caribbean backgrounds disproportionately likely to get involved in street gangs. The reasons why a Bangladeshi gang attacks a white kid are not the same as the reasons why a white gang attacks an Asian kid. The preventative solutions, therefore, are also different.

    The same can apply to intimate abuse and relationship violence. Not always, but commonly enough that it is worth considering the phenomena separately.

  82. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally 94.
    Now, that really does make sense. And I agree. Different groups have partially different sets of motivations and tendencies to different kinds of bad behaviour: Male violence, white or Asian racism, Muslim religio-poitical violence, Afro-Caribbean gangs, black crime (in the US at least black people do get disproportionally in conflict with the justice system), ..That being so, the preventative solutions are different. But there remains a tension between treating a group for its specific problems, and singling it out as particularly criminal, violent etc. A school-wide anti-gang program or anti-crime program that only featured members of specific ethnic minorities would have the side effect of stereotyping, and even accusing, the members of said minorities. A program against male (and only male) violence also has the effect of spreading the opinion that ‘men are violent’ (and women are not). I remain suspicious that a crime prevention program that featured only black people (even if this group had specific crime problems that required specific solutions) would be met with much less tolerance than a program against(only) violent men.

  83. Ally Fogg says

    I don’t really disagree with that, Gjenganger, which is why I say (yet again) that it is really important that we also have materials showing other dynamics too.

  84. eye4beauty says

    StillGjenganger [84]. Quite right, I’m far from sure. I generalize. Just as with vaginas, ‘manginas’ come in all shapes and forms. I believe I can pin it down safely to the following, though: those men who would deny the fact of erotic success as necessary to a young male’s’ development are one or a combination of 1) smug in their own sex lives 2) low on sexuality 3) martyring themselves to the cause (of womanhood). It seems to me an unspoken conspiracy of schooling, misandric feminists and chaste activists is attempting to condition future generations of males to see sex not as a need (which would sound far too close to being a human right), but as a privileged appendage to the greater concerns of ticking educational boxes and becoming the next generation of workers to prop up the strawberries and cream brigade. At a grass roots level, this manifests as “Pull your socks up, boy, focus on your exams, and don’t be so obscene and objectifying as to think sex is important.'”
    This fails to address the widespread malaise that the boy cannot ‘focus’ because he is feeling unhappy, inadequate and confused. Step in the irrelevant and patronizing educational support worker to confuse him even further. Until the simple truth of a (heterosexual) male’s needs are addressed as at least a joint departure point, as opposed to only women’s health and safety concerns, I’m afraid any of these developmental ‘workshops’ are just so much bollocks. Rapists will be rapists, and the majority who are decent guys will remain just that, spending their lives evolving coping strategies for their discontent.
    This would seem to be an impasse against the the valid concerns of consent and harassment. With a bit of imagination, and a willingness to meet anywhere near half way, it need not be. Firstly, if a boy can’t be taught the necessary social skills to make himself appealing and successful with the persons of his desire (I do not say ‘objects’, note, because I believe most are genuinely beguiled by the confidence, sweetness and foibles of girls not merely their snatches), or girls can’t be encouraged to be more liberal without an accompanying sense of surrender or shame, then the conclusion is unavoidable – yet that which dare not be spoken: he needs a professional substitute. I’d put her on the damn curriculum.

  85. Paul says

    The reasons why a Bangladeshi gang attacks a white kid are not the same as the reasons why a white gang attacks an Asian kid. The preventative solutions, therefore, are also different.

    That’s a massively contentious statement Ally.

    A while back Lee Jasper,the former Race Advisor to Ken Livingstone when he was Mayor of London,caused controversy when he stated that Black and Asian people in the UK can’t be racist.Certainly that triggered off a debate in my own community and if my experience is anything to go by opinion is split right down the middle.

    Whilst racism clearly impacts far more on the lives of Black and Asian people i’ve no problem accepting that Black and Asian people can also be racist and that racially motivated crimes can occur every which way.Using your example I therefore believe that it’s possible that a Bangladeshi gang could attack a White kid for the same/similar reasons a White gang could attack a Bangladeshi kid.

  86. Holms says

    # 88 1234
    BULLSHIT. It’s a purposefully, condesending, patronising and demeaning heading which looks completely and entirely feminist-derived to me. “Great Men” sounds fucking awesome and I might even attend myself, but “Good Lad” is akin to a fucking dog treat and you KNOW it!

    I just finished telling you that I didn’t ‘know’ any such thing – meaning, I didn’t agree with it – and that it was a stupid and dishonest tactic to use. The fact that you are using it again suggests that you really aren’t worth talking to, you either have comprehension problems or a lack of good faith intent to communicate.

  87. mostlymarvelous says

    Gjenganger

    The kind of thing I had in mind was children with clear self esteem issues, evidence of stress, a parent with dismissive and abrupt interactions with the child,

    Seen more of those than I can count.

    Sometimes a service like the one we used to run is enough, all by itself, to restore a kid’s sense of self-worth and confidence. We worked on the principle of students gaining confidence through demonstrated competence. They’re the ones who have problems at school, often as a consequence of their family and personal circumstances. Of course, urging parents to get these kids to bed at a sensible hour was often beyond us even though it was the biggest issue for many of them. Disorganised, stressed people aren’t too good at this stuff.

    Sometimes it is just school. One parent turned up – after a single session’s tuition with my husband – with a lovely gift because “You’ve given me back my lovely daughter”. More often, it’s family stuff that gets in the way of schoolwork. One kid managed to improve her maths skills by 4 whole years in the space of 6 months, her family and step-family had finally got themselves sorted well enough for step-mum to bring her along and encourage her with catching up the years she’d more or less lost.

    Some of the kids with “just school” problems were absolute demons everywhere except with us. When you see kids misbehaving, and it’s not simply being a bit of a scamp or getting over-excited, that’s often a sign that they’re out of their depth in any of several ways – which can be traced back to feeling “stupid” because they can’t do certain schoolwork. Sometimes all that’s needed is a referral for vision testing. Surprise, surprise, they’re as blind as a bat and have been for the whole 4 or 5 years they’ve been at school. But the failure to learn to read, and constantly misreading maths problems, has a huge impact on their self-esteem and their own judgment of their capacity to learn. So they learn to clown around, act up and generally make a pest of themselves to draw attention away from their school failures.

    When kids use insults or bad language directly towards their parents, a casual observer might think that is an example of a horrible kid with feckless, irresponsible, out of control parents. However, at any one time we always had at least two students with ADHD who could be deeply, desperately awful, absolutely vile, to anyone and everyone if they were overdue for their medication. Come to think of it, lots of these parents are at the end of their tether a lot of the time with these kids – because the parent forgot to give the medication at the right time or they’re disorganised and stressed and everything’s out of whack for other reasons. If anyone tries to tell you there’s no genetic component to attention/ concentration problems in students, I have a lovely bridge which has just recently become available for a very low price to the right buyer.

    (Anyone who objects to ADHD kids being medicated with Ritalin has never observed the near-magical effect of the medication kicking in. The foul-mouthed, insulting, anti-social outcast of 20 minutes ago transforms into a diligent student eager to help with sorting the coloured pencils or fetch the globe for a tutor working with another student on a comprehension exercise about the seasons. Butterflies emerging from cocoons are nothing compared to watching this happen. We never had one who did the reverse but friends of ours did. A dreamy, vague, never did a page of work in her life, scarcely put pencil to paper, student transformed, pretty well overnight, into a cheerful, energetic Now I’ve finished this, what’s next? student by the simple expedient of a correct dose of stimulant medication. Bloody marvelous.)

    Dismissive, abrupt parents? I’ve even had parents accuse a child right in front of me of stealing a prize (trivial $2 shop novelty items) I’d given them because they couldn’t possibly have earned it. They’re too stupid, too lazy, too messy. I’d point out that we had given her/him the prize because … look at all these stamps and stickers, they’ve got to 60 so it’s time for a little prize, Isn’t that wonderful! All the time trying to give the hint that now’s the time to smile and hand out a bit of praise. These parents would harrumph at me as though I was an idiot for doing this. The one good thing was that most of them kept bringing the kid back, probably because kids really honestly loved coming. Times like that I wished I really was a school teacher. At least I’d have a staffroom to go to and have a right royal rant about nasty parents undoing all the work I’d put in to build up the kid’s confidence. They’d be happy and relaxed for an hour and a half with us, then deflate like a balloon when Pruneface McParent turned up to ruin their day all over again.

    Unfortunately that sort of problem doesn’t lend itself to mandatory or any other kind of reporting.

  88. 123454321 says

    Perhaps we could see some balanced funding supporting video education, aimed at girls, around the subject of neonaticide, filicide and infanticide, after all, this subject should be close to the heart of girls, arguably perhaps more so than boys, especially when looking at the stats.

    How many children are killed by their Mothers compared with, say, the number of women killed by their male partners per week? – DV stats which are FREQUENTLY voiced as part of educational campaigns. Are there any videos about infanticide being taught to girls in schools? If not, why not?

  89. Ally Fogg says

    Paul [98]

    I don’t agree with the statement that black (or other non-white) people cannot be racist, however I think it is a mistake to believe the psychology and social aetiology of racial prejudice or hatred is identical in both cases and it would be a huge mistake to imagine that the type of anti-racist activism one would need to prevent one type of racism would also be effective with the other.

  90. mostlymarvelous says

    Are there any videos about infanticide being taught to girls in schools? If not, why not?

    Afaik, they don’t even mention post-partum psychosis in ante-natal classes for pregnant adults. Just as they don’t mention amniotic fluid embolism in those classes. Both of those things are extremely rare, so I suppose that’s excusable. You don’t want to scare people completely out of their wits about things that are both rare and unpreventable – and in the case of embolism, with an extremely high maternal fatality rate. Childbirth is scary enough without adding unnecessary, unsolvable worry.

    However, post partum depression is fairly common and it is not a simple ‘baby blues’, buck yourself up within a couple of days transient event. (There’s also the issue that gestational thyroiditis is under-diagnosed which means that by the time the baby is delivered a woman is primed and ready for major depression if she isn’t already overtly depressed.)

    Some, but not enough, parent/ante-natal programs warn people about the signs of post-partum depression. I confess to a bit of a horror of cheerful, Not-a-problem! advocates of breast feeding and other infant care matters who underplay the impacts of fatigue, loss of sleep and general stress of caring for an infant who may be healthy but is not, by any measure, an adornment to a lifestyle. (My first child suffered badly from reflux, not enough for hospitalisation as one friend’s child did, but enough that caring for her was absolutely terrifying for anyone who wasn’t used to a baby who couldn’t be laid flat on her back and who choked whenever she woke or was picked up or had her nappy changed. Apart from that, she generated mountains of washing by the simple expedient of smallish quantities of vomit on everything – I even had to keep a separate basin of clean warm water ready to wash/wipe her off after her bath as well as taking a change of shirt/jumper for myself when we went visiting. My record was 25 large loads in one week. She was exhausting to look after. I was more or less oblivious to how extreme this was at the time. The only baby I’d had much to do with before then was my god-daughter – who was diagnosed with cancer when she was barely 3 months old. )

    Other babies with similar or lesser problems, or no problems at all, cause stress, fatigue and distress by the simple process of disrupting sleep and destroying all semblance of a family’s previous routine. Women should not be expected to bear all this with a smile and a song and a denial that it’s all too much for them. It is too much to do alone and unaided in too many cases.

    More support for families with newborns – provided routinely rather than on demand – would identify parents, not just mothers, at risk of harming their children. At least they could identify families that needed help of any kind. (For my second child I had a volunteer come to the house three times a week to bathe the baby. This time it was me with the health problems rather than the baby. All organised by our nurse/childcare visitor, a service no longer provided as it was then.)

    Educating men about the warning signs of psychological symptoms in mothers of infants would help as well. Getting them to take their wife/ partner/ friend/ sister/ neighbour to a doctor rather than urging her to lift her game and clean up the house/ keep the baby quiet/ look after the other kids better/ go back to work/ make proper meals would be a good start.

    One area that needs attention at a much earlier stage than ante-natal classes is neonaticide. These are babies killed within 2 days of birth – usually in secret. These mothers never went near an ante-natal class, many didn’t even know they were pregnant. Some of them are intellectually disabled or, perhaps, marginal, but they’re generally not psychotic or depressed. Just emotionally disengaged or in mortal fear of family, parents usually, finding out. Preventing these killings has to start way back in sex/ relationship ed in schools. How to recognise that you’re pregnant and what to do about it. Most, if not all, of these women could, or should, opt for early termination.

  91. StillGjenganger says

    @MostlyMarvelous, 123454321
    Beuatiful, informative and constructive, your post 103. But I think the two sides are talking past each other a little, as did Ally and I.

    One side of this is practical. What are the various problems, and what can we do about each. Ally and MM concentrate on this aspect (and are hugely informed and constructive, as always). But there is also a signalling aspect. The ‘good lad’ program (?) and MMs pregnancy preparation might well both be practical approaches to their respective problems. But the one gives out the message that men are violent, selfish creatures that need to put a rein on their evil natures to earn some basic approval. The other gives out the message that women are basically well-intentioned people with huge problems to face, and need preparation and help from others to face them. This kind of ‘men bad – women good’ signal can not simply be dismissed. It may be a different problem, but it is a problem. In the area of race relations this kind of thing is certainly taken seriously, with black history months, role models, racial diversity considerations everywhere etc. You can certainly think that gender representation has less priority than rape prevention, in a given case. But you do have a duty to consider both.

  92. StillGjenganger says

    @Holms 99
    I do not want to get In the way of a good slanging match (and ‘you KNOW that’ is indeed poor style). But whatever the thought processes that came up with the ‘Good lad’ name (maybe “They are lads, that is OK, let us teach them the good way to be one) the phrase is patronising. It positions the speaker as older, more competent and powerful, in a position to make judgements, and the spoken to as younger, less competent, subject to judgement, and having his worth determined by others. It may well be used among equals too, but if so it is ironical, much like black people calling each other ‘nigger’. The term ‘good lad’ does not focus on who you are or want to be, but on other people’s approval.

    One does rather get the suspicion that whoever came up with that name do have a very patronising attitude to young men. At a minimum they are amazingly tone-deaf for people who invent PR campaigns.

  93. Ally Fogg says

    Just for the record, I also think the name “Good Lad” is bloody awful.

    But as I hopefully hinted at in the OP, I’m not entirely sure it was ever intended to appeal to plebs like me.

  94. PeterD says

    # 105 & 106

    I’m glad there does seem to be a consensus that “good lad” (sic) is a piss poor name. As a rule, I like my child education interventions to do exactly what they say on the tin. Aping the name of popular doggy treats or a commonly used term of endearment (amongst non-plebs) is not a good start. Just like the term “old boy”, outside a narrow demographic, it carries entirely different connotations.

    Why couldn’t the dismally unimaginative and ineptly named “good lad” (sic) program have been a joint one between both the Oxford University’s rugby sororities and fraternities? Just a thought since we are mostly coeducational nowadays.

    Having said that though I think that it is incumbent upon anyone wishing to embark upon education programs in schools to firstly demonstrate that their program is effective. Too much education has been driven by ideological gut-feeling instead of well-informed factual research. Secondly, candidates will also need to adequately demonstrate that the kids who will have already been properly educated will not be harmed by an intervention that could be completely superfluous to their educational needs. Research is what Universities are supposed to do best and it should not be too difficult for OU, of all people, to put the cart in the right place.

  95. StillGjenganger says

    @107
    So you are saying that among toffs ‘good lad’ actually carries a different meaning? Interesting – from a psycholinguistic perspective. Even OK,I suppose, as long as they stick clearly to the in-group with it.

  96. mostlymarvelous says

    Gjenganger

    This kind of ‘men bad – women good’ signal can not simply be dismissed. It may be a different problem, but it is a problem.

    I’d say the main problem is static in the ‘signal’.

    People who are inclined to dismiss or dislike messages about the problems and circumstances of either men or women are also inclined to mis-hear, or not hear at all, the content of the message that the other person or group is trying to convey.

    It gets a bit tedious having to repeat over and over again that women are equal to men in every way, including their capacity for nastiness – to men or to anyone and everyone. The fact that there are, obviously, differences in the way this plays out for individuals in different families and relationships should be taken for granted but it seems that doesn’t work. Many of the men who discuss these things seem unable to do so unless people on the other side of the argument concede, right up front, that women are (for instance) just as violent as men. And this is plainly contradicted by hospital and police statistics. Women don’t inflict serious injuries or cause the deaths of their partners and other family members at anything like the rate that men do. It would be a nice change if some men would simply acknowledge that and then not move on to accuse women of the exact same kind and extent and severity of violence as men are obviously responsible for. They’ll happily agree with statements that women are much more responsible – and nasty – in depriving men of contact with their children much more often than men do to women and in ways that men don’t, but they seem unable to tolerate the same kind/extent of difference in the other direction when it comes to violence.

    When we get to other issues with women and men, both sides tend to extrapolate from their own negative individual experiences to the whole of the other group. Sometimes understandably so, other times not so understandable.

    My first marriage was to a violent drunkard, and I was afraid of practically all men for years afterwards. Had nightmares on and off for 30ish years. (Luckily I’d been friends with the man I eventually married for years and years from before I married.) Men who’ve been married and divorced from nasty or grasping or violent women often have similar negative feelings about all other women. Sometimes, men in online discussions – and a few in person – have directly accused me of being nasty or grasping in my divorce and/or, even worse, of “deserving” the violence I experienced during that marriage.

    It may be that other women have directly accused such men – online or in person – of being violent/ selfish/ greedy/ irresponsible in their marriages or in their divorces. But I don’t do that, and I’m occasionally driven to not participate in this particular commenting group for fear that it might get to direct personal accusations rather than blanket accusations against feminists generally. (I know Ally would take firm action if that ever happened, but that would be too late for me.) I might say that the arguments against ‘feminists generally’ sometimes get to feeling pretty close to personal accusations but they’re not overt, they’re mostly expressed as presumptions. I stay away when I’ve felt that dropping sensation in the pit of my stomach. It’s not exactly the same as my response to a raised hand or a sudden movement (for whatever reason) but it’s bloody close. I know that might be an entirely individual reaction but it’s also not uncommon amongst violence survivors – and there are lots of us. That’s another kind of static I suppose.

    I don’t expect kid glove or ‘static’-free treatment on line, but it would nice not to feel as though I’m barely tolerated by most people here as an individual representative of an evil cabal of single-minded demonic man-haters.

  97. StillGjenganger says

    @DefinitelyMarvelous 109
    I persist in thinking that men (like black people) have an image problem that is damaging them. Of course we also have the lions share of the management jobs (unlike black people), but one does not negate the other. As a (female) Danish journalist put it: “Name a characteristic that is clearly male and clearly positive” – her audiences took a long time to come up with any. The net result is a bit like “genders are completely equal – except that men are often worse than women”. It might be easier to face up to some quite justified criticisms if this was not the case. Also it does lead to some double standards in debate. The female commentator who described herself as ‘a bit slap-happy’ would have condemned the criminal violence of any male who behaved in the same way.

    So, there is a real problem. What you describe is another problem, I think – and likely a bigger one, in day-to-day debate. Some of it is a matter of presuppositions. If someone sincerely and unconsciously think that violence is something that men do to women, this will show in their speech. And people who might just about be able to deal with the message, will notice and react to the basic assumption that is showing through (maybe without the speaker noticing it). But, as you say, mostly it is a matter of hypersensitivity and ingrained anger, or about reacting to personal memories rather than the things in front of us. And you are absolutely right here. It would be really great if we could get away from the hurt feelings, defensive attitude. and counterattacks long enough to deal with some facts Like the fact that men cause more and more serious damage in domestic violence than women do.

    Yes, there are a lot of aggressive and unpleasant debaters here (and more elsewhere). I have mostly trained myself to ignore personal attacks on me, but then I do not have your past. Which, BTW, I had heard about but sort of forgotten. My main impression of you is of an interesting, logical and courteous person. And people with your calm, command of fact and argument, and openness I sort of assume to be robustly in control, rather than vulnerable. I shall try to bear it in mind (though I hope and believe that the main problem here is neither me nor you). Can I say that being reminded of your past does not diminish m respect for you?

    Do you really feel that it is most of the debaters here who ‘barely tolerate you as an example of an evil feminist’? One would hope that at least some of us on the men’s side could distinguish between the problematic ideology and the individual they are talking to. Anyway, if you have any tips on how I, personally, could improve my act, please let me know and I shall make a half-hearted effort to follow them.

  98. mostlymarvelous says

    Gjenganger

    Do you really feel that it is most of the debaters here who ‘barely tolerate you as an example of an evil feminist’?

    Not most of the debaters probably. But from time to time you’ll see a host of comments in a particular thread, or consecutively cluster for a period of time in some threads, coming from a like-minded group assembling a sizable storm cloud of rage froth about favourite (or fantasy) feminist fiends. I sometimes get the feeling that I’m ignored or discounted on the NAWALT or NAFALT basis. And, for the most part, I prefer it that way. (Not All Women, Not All Feminists, Are Like That for those who’ve missed out on this acronym.) I certainly feel a bit guilty or disappointed in myself sometimes for not picking up on some of the more egregious rubbish. But it’s usually beyond me.

    As for being robust. I am pretty robust in fact … when I represented other people as a workplace union rep I was near-as-dammit-is-to-swearing fearless marching into managers’ offices on other people’s behalf even though I would later go home and tremble in the boozed up face of FreeWithHisFists. (Though, like many of them, he was more inclined to remind me verbally of his power to hurt or injure than to lash out very often. A stone cold sober man shaking the ladder while you’re painting a ceiling is a pretty good reminder that you’re vulnerable all the time. Pushing the door off its hinges and walking straight over it, not at all sober, to get inside the house when the keys are too much bother gives a pretty good jolt of recognition of the differences between you in physical strength.) Pretty good at helping other people or standing up in meetings dominated by men pushing a point on behalf of my members, also mostly men, not so wonderful doing anything in my own behalf.

    I’m also a fairly robust veteran of the online climate wars – one memorable insult was being called a “Lysenkoist whore”. But I found that genuinely funny, along with all the other not-quite-so-memorable insults and accusations that used to come thick and fast on the climate science battlefield. Now it’s down to a few diehard dullards by and large. Neither robustness nor resilience needed.

    As for you personally … by and large you’re pretty ok afaics. I haven’t noticed you letting yourself get carried away towards overstepping the boundary into all feminists are all wrong about all the things all the time territory that some other commenters seem to flirt with.

  99. Paul says

    102 Ally

    I can’t be arsed to rewrite my post which has disappeared into the ether.What i was basically saying was that whatever the differences in the causation of racism and racially motivated crimes any differences in response should still be underpinned by the belief that ALL racism and ALL racially motivated crimes are equally unacceptable.

    I

  100. 123454321 says

    The Outstanding Male Workshop
    The Male Excellence Workshop
    The Magnificent Men Workshop
    The Spectacular Men Workshop
    The Men of Distinction Workshop
    The Exceptional Man Workshop
    The Unprecedented Man Workshop
    The Pioneering Man Workshop
    The Stellar Man Workshop
    The Sterling Man Workshop
    The First-Class Man Workshop
    The Superlative Men Workshop
    The Remarkable Men Workshop
    The Incredible Men Workshop
    The Sensational Man Workshop
    The Fine Man Workshop

    The Good Lad workshop
    The Good Kipper Workshop
    The ‘Be Good’ Whippersnapper Workshop
    The Juvenile Male Brush-up Workshop
    The Male Adolescent Training Workshop
    The ‘Training for Lads’ Workshop
    The ‘Tuition for Lads’ Workshop
    The ‘Education for Chaps’ Workshop
    The ‘Morals for Boys’ Workshop
    The Good Boy Workshop
    The Good Dude Workshop
    The Man-up Workshop

    Great posts by MM and StillG – agree with every word. I detect an inference. Sorry if my style doesn’t meet with your tastes.

  101. StillGjenganger says

    @123454321114
    Thanks.
    Since you raised it, yes, I do think that you are pushing some points too hard, and getting into some sterile arguments I would try to avoid (as this one with Holmes, not that I am any fan of his). On the other hand, I get where you are coming from a lot of the time, we are from the same side. I was not particularly gunning for you in any of these posts.

  102. 123454321 says

    Thanks, StillG, I agree with you. The style I choose is merely a vehicle to help make a noise about the thousands upon thousands of men and boys, now and in the future, who feel angry, frustrated, isolated and ignored but unfortunately appear incapable of sticking up for themselves. As soon as they do try to stick up for themselves they are quickly slammed and trounced with a cannonade of shaming tactics from diehard feminists, white knights or people who think they can offer a more subtle strategy (strategies, incidentally, whereby I have never seen a favourable outcome for men and boys), until they are silenced. I believe many of these men and boys don’t have the tools to communicate effectively, nor do they have the patience or stamina. The anger, disillusionment, rejection and general feelings of disenfranchisement they have stored up inside most probably comes out in other more environmentally harmful and unhealthy ways – suicide, DM, homelessness, crime etc. all of which affect society overall – including women. I have actually come to the conclusion that men will NEVER be able to help themselves as very few are willing to shout about what THEY need themselves. They appear programmed and indoctrinated to protect women at their own expense, regardless, and I’m afraid I DO believe feminism has taken significant advantage of this. As a consequence of men’s inadequacy to help themselves, coupled with feminist organisations taking advantage of the situation, the charity/Government/business funding split between male and female victims remain significantly skewed, but I guess the situation is empirical evidence in itself of how society favours the female variety. There are a number of other factors to blame, too, IMO, such as the media and people’s apparent inability to question what they are told via news channels. The whole shenanigans is a perpetual merrygoround (more appropriately named “moneygoround”) fuelled with plentiful supplies of unashamed disdain. Feminism has harnessed incredible power over a number of decades but chosen time and time again to exploit the set of social circumstances I describe above by channelling ALL funds towards looking after the interests of only one gender. This is what is killing feminism – t’s becoming a betrayal unto itself. It’s only a matter of time before the pressure valve bursts and those associated with feminism will become utterly embarrassed, uncomfortable, ashamed and disappointed with the current outcomes compared with their original desire to create “equality” using the power they had. It’s unsustainable for the CPS to lie and it’s unsustainable for only boys to be depicted as perpetrators whilst girls are portrayed as victims in EVERY single educational video. It’s unsustainable to continuously attempt to change the behaviour of boys whilst leaving girls to their own devices and it’s unsustainable to keep telling boys and girls how evil boys will become when they grow up. When feminism finally (it won’t be long) discovers the link between the harsh nature of its biased strategies and the disadvantages brought to society as a result, it will be feminism itself (in a completely different guise and probably with a different name) that releases a new strategy, acting far more appropriately on behalf of EVERYONE across society. Only then will we see the funding redirected and that will be final proof that women hold all the power over men. Shocking, sad, but true.

    In the meantime, keep making noise until they learn to listen!!

  103. StillGjenganger says

    I can see a number of points where we disagree – in all respect.

    – Feminism is not a conspiracy and it is not a crusade for equality. It is simply (the equivalent of) a trade union, fighting for the advantage of its members. Back when it started, fighting for women was the same as fighting for equality, and now when that is no longer necessarily the case, people still retain the mindset, and the political advantages. There is nothing strange, or shocking, or unsustainable, in a trade union fighting for its members in disregard of non-members, or playing fast and loose with the truth, or claiming idealism and equality as a cover for what is (often) pure self-interest.

    – Feminism is not going to get a change of heart on the road to Damascus and suddenly fight for the equality of everybody, any more than the printers’ or miners’ union (or the CBI) ever did. So, if we do not like where things are going, we need to do politics. Start a competing organisation. Think it through and decide what our interests are (some will be shared with a lot of feminists, some will be opposite), put up a presence that shows that non- (or anti-) feminists have valid and reasonable claims, that feminism is often wrong, and start unravelling the cloak of ‘fighting for good’ that it has appropriated.

    – Too much MRA stuff now is either shrill or aping feminism. It is not enough to point to something feminists are doing and screaming that it is not fair, and that we want the same as they have. In all kinds of areas, language policing, custody, rape v. consensual sex, gender differences in various parts of society, the job market, …, we need to decide what we actually want. Do we think, e.g. that sex with a man or woman over the drink-and-drive limit should count as rape? Or do we think that people of both sexes should take more responsibility for what they consent to, drunk or not? Or do we think that the obvious differences between the sexes warrant a solution that is asymmetrical, and if so which one?

    – Shouting is not going to help (except to vent our feelings). Doing politics means coming up with a position that people can find convincing, that is hard to dismiss as the ranting of idiots (not that some will not try, but why make it easy for them)? And part of that is accepting the obvious. For instance that for all the cultural dominance of feminism men do have a fair few advantages still, in the job market for instance. And that (on currently available numbers) men still commit more and worse violence than women.

    Now, if I was able to actually do any of this, I could even be a useful person. AlI can do for now is to say that being loud may actually be counterproductive.

  104. Arakiba says

    “Feminist organisations, backed by government policy, are teaching young boys at school to feel guilty and ashamed of their gender.” – Why shouldn’t they be made to feel that way? Men as a class are responsible for the vast majority of violence, murder, mass murder, wars, and criminal activities in general. They should be ashamed.

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