Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Govt attacking 'traditional masculinity'

Extension of the government's 'It's Not OK' anti-violence strategy was released yesterday. The campaign has run since 2007 but it is now turning it focus wholly on 'gendered intimate partner violence.' Men as perpetrators.

Some extracts:
The campaign has re-set its strategic intent, with the next phase strengthening its focus on preventing violence by men, who generally cause most harm, with evidence suggesting gender inequities are a fundamental driving factor. 
Did they miss a word out? I would have prefaced 'harm' with 'physical' myself.
Factors associated with practice of violence
Women’s lack of autonomy and male dominance of decision-making in public life,
families and relationships.
Question: How many women do you know that 'call the shots' or 'wear the trousers' in their families? In my experience it's almost the norm. And that is not a slur on women.
The traditional societal construct of masculinity, and social norms around adhering to that construct, are identified as key factors in the prevalence of violence and a primary focus of this strategy...  Social norms that promote male domination, aggressive and stoic male relationships and acceptance and minimisation of violence against women have a strong influence on behaviours. These norms create an environment within which violence is condoned, enabled and promoted...There is a clear link between the more strongly held ideas of traditional masculinity and a greater likelihood of an individual man using domestic violence against women.
An end to traditional masculinity? An end to a man supporting and protecting his family?

The left has already gone a long way in this aim by robbing many men of the role of fatherhood. They are now actively encouraging mothers to not even name the fathers of their children. But maybe my idea of traditional masculinity is awry.

I grew up with three brothers and a Dad who was always there for me. They all embody my idea of traditional masculinity. Steady, stoic (is there something wrong with being stoic?), sensitive but not given to over-emotionalism, dutiful, good-humoured and loyal.

For balance the writers do add:
 Not all men are violent, and women can be violent too, but there is overwhelming evidence that family and sexual violence is largely gendered in terms of victimisation, perpetration and impacts.
There had to be a BUT.

Perhaps I shouldn't let this stuff bother me. Maybe it's about a community and culture I don't understand. But a gut feeling persists that government intervention only drives a wedge between men and women. For instance, with benefit-dependence dressed up as female financial independence, many boys have grown up in homes without fathers, exposed to disinterested non-fathers or their mother's anti-male attitudes. The wedge between male and female is driven yet deeper leading to a greater gulf in the next generation.

Here we are today. Feminists still waving the gender inequality banner as a reason for male violence when it's feasible that decades-long policy changes made in the name of feminism have actually fueled the problem.

And you know why we get all this tosh from the public service - yes, you are paying for it - Because of traditional masculinity. Thinking men just switch off, stolidly take it on the chin, and peacefully retreat a little more into their self-imposed quietude...


Desperado said...

I was interested in their definition of masculinity, and came across Jewkes, Flood and Lang, (2015):

“Not all masculinities of men who use violence are hegemonic. In most settings there are exaggerated masculinities that caricature the masculine ideal, emphasising power and force” (p.5). It goes on to state these are often the result of abuse and so on.

Be nice if they made the distinction in the NZ report. Masculinity set up as a societal villain.

Brendan McNeill said...


You are right to be bothered by this narrative. You say you grew up with a father and brothers who were always there for you. This used to be the norm, however, in our brave new world, too many young men (and women) are raised in dysfunctional 'families' where there is no father or responsible male role model in their lives. This is particularly true for Maori.

Consequently, young men (and women) are raised in a context where they do not learn self discipline, deferred gratification, hope for the future, the value of education, reward for effort, respect for others and the rule of law. They are disproportionately affected by 'family' violence, sexual abuse, addiction, educational failure and State funded poverty.

Successive Governments have funded this dysfunction through entitlement welfare until this present day, where we now have tens (hundreds) of thousands of New Zealanders who have embraced learned helplessness - an entrenched inter-generational, underclass of our own making.

None of this will change until those who are most affected, and that is Maori, begin to own up to their failures, and call out those in their midst who are predominantly responsible, and that is feckless young men who (to be fair to them have few role models) must be held accountable for the mayhem they are causing for their own people.

There is no political solution to this problem. The only answer is a transformed life that takes place following an encounter with the Living God, through the person of Jesus Christ. That is my experience, and my prayer for those whose lives are blighted by family violence and inter-generational dysfunction.

Julia du Fresne said...

By far the worst domestic violence is inflicted in our common first home, the womb, by abortion; inflicted in the first instance by women who may genuinely believe they are forced to do it and probably lack the traditional male support which would obviate it, but still take the decision to kill their own child.
And one reason for the lack of that traditional male support is sub-conscious but very real resentment inherited from fathers whose other children were killed by abortion, perhaps without the fathers' agreement, and their own resentment at the loss of siblings to abortion.
Abortion violates the law of 'do unto others as you would have them do to you'; the result is seen in operation in our society, at full and malevolent force.