Earlier this week, whilst on Twatter, I came upon a retweet which contained some footage of a program on one of our commercial channels, in which there was a conversation between the people there about the supposed effects of feminism on Australian men.
Exciting stuff I know.
The show had a panel of guests, Miranda, Rory, Van and Mark onboard to discuss the topic.
It all kicked off with the question, captioned at the bottom of the screen asking-Are men second class citizens? Do women get preferential treatment from society? All the while footage from an advert showing a man physically abusing a women in a house was played in the background.
Great start to the segment don’t ya think?
The first question went to a female journo named Miranda Devine who was asked if the current social attitudes in respect to this issue treated men poorly. She accepted this point and spoke of the attitude towards men that depicts them as all potential abusers.
And then that’s when it started to fall apart.
The male host of the show suggested that this aspect of feminism wasn’t the mainstream feminist attitude regarding this topic, which Miranda was quick to counter. The female host also offered her opinion along the same lines, which Miranda clarified her point the that popular depictions of men in DV scenarios always had them as the aggressor.
And then we had for the second time in under three minutes, a mention of the gender pay gap. And unpaid domestic work. And some numbers on DV stats. All to buttress the rejection of the idea that men are treated as second class citizens in respect to these situations.
It was at that point a Guardian Journo, Van Badham jumped into the conversation. She was quick to tell all who she was and what she does. And then went on to claim she was an advocate for the “full” rights of women and worked to bring attention to the societal traditions that privileged men over women. She then went on to claim that Miranda was mischaracterising the feminist movement and was also paranoid.
To me that seemed kinda “full retard”. And we know ya don’t do that right?
Van Badham then went on to claim an association with other mainstream feminists, like Clementine Ford, suggesting that these people have never demonised men at all. And then she went on to talk about DV and societal violence suggesting that the stats prove that the overwhelming perpetrators are male and that there is a definite gender/cultural issue to be dealt with.
As we all recognise…
Another male journo, Rory Gibson, was then asked his opinion and he went on to say he didn’t believe that men were being treating unfairly but suggested that there was an attitude from feminists that wanted a gender apartheid in Australia. At this point Van interjected calling it “garbage” to believe this.
Her response(again) verged on Ad Hom. Not a good look IMO.
Rory went on to say if you looked at the feminist media depictions of men in Australia, you could be forgiven for thinking Aussie men were lowlifes. Van continued to interject with her claims that he was incorrect and misrepresenting her work.
Methinks I’m gonna take a closer look at her work and see for myself if her claims hold up. I know her “associate” Clem has been called out on this type of thing before.
And the pay gap was trotted out again. Van went on to claim that Rory was speaking to women that suffered from this after he claimed that the pay gap was, in his words-crap.
Again, no real dissection of those stats and what they really represent but a web search and a couple of hours should do the job a seeing through the inference feminists suggest.
The male host of the show went on to question how someone could claim the pay gap wasn’t real by appealing to the authority of Government statistics on the subject.
Objection! Appeal to Authority!
And then Mark Latham chimed in suggesting that the male host didn’t understand the substance of the pay gap equation. The host rejected the claim saying the stats accounted for hours worked etc.
Again, another vague claim made in the heat of the moment.
The claim was further put, by Van, that the pay gap exists for females entering the workforce in their teens. She went on to selectively claim a right wing belief about women leaving work due to child bearing as a false contribution to the gender pay gap issue.
How could you argue with that! They’re just teenagers aren’t they? They don’t all take time of for the kiddies don’t they?
Mark Latham then responded with a claim that the wage gap for uni grads was 2%. He was questioned as to why he chose that group, to which he replied- that they were the ones who were coming into the workforce. The conversation then went onto the issue of class issues, which I’d interpret as an appreciation of socio/economic conditions.
That lasted about 5 seconds. Which is sad really because that would have been more useful.
And then we had Mark and the male host carry on a bit about Latham’s grasp of statistics.
The female host then asked Latham if he thought men felt threatened by women earning money and “not needing a man” as it may have been in that past. He rejected this idea in saying that most men were doing fine and tended to ignore the leftist/feminist appreciation of women’s conditions. He went on to express concern about males keeping up in the eduction system saying that only 40% of uni grads were male. And that the concerns about the position and future on men in Australia weren’t appreciated by Van et al.
He did come across dismissive, which could’ve been construed as an Ad Hom attack on Van. It was a little sloppy in delivery. Not that He seemed to care.
It was at this point the male host started to devolve into the angry man. He attempted to upbraid Latham being rude to a guest on the show (while ignoring Van’s attack on Miranda and Rory). And Latham responded in kind. They started to bicker while everyone else looked on.
Sanity was restored by the both hosts with a refocus via an acknowledgement of men’s concerns but again questioning the challenges levelled at feminism.
Van said something about segregated trains and assault.
The question was put to Rory, what was it that men would like to see to make them feel that things were fairer. He relayed how, with his work, he has recently had to start defending men and himself in the media more and that he wanted an acknowledgment of men’s roles and potential.
He alluded to the demonisation of men as destructive in the pursuit of a fairer society.
Van then started to interject over the top of Rory, asking who is demonising men?
Good question Van, maybe we could ask one of your colleagues? Or maybe consult one of your write ups? Or the current DV campaign ongoing in Australia?
The conversation than acknowledged the important role men played and that while some men weren’t living up to this position, it wasn’t justification for demonising all men.
Miranda then went on to say that this was not what people were concerned about. She suggested that masculinity was starting to become something that had to be apologised for in society. She referenced the current DV campaigns depictions of violence as being not statistically realistic.
The issue of personal safety (of women only) on public transport was brought up, again Miranda suggested that it wasn’t an issue with men but of a failure of the police being able to do their job properly. The issue of the demonisation of men, due to the feminist view of violence in the community wasn’t where the problem was.
But somehow this is lost upon the producers of the title to the segment.
The male host went on to say that having gender segregated public transport was a demonising to men as having a police force was to everyone.
False dichotomy…perhaps? The police don’t actively target one gender do they?
Van said something about men being the main perpetrators of violence.
Because women’s violence isn’t something we need to worry about too much. They’re the weaker sex aren’t they *sigh*.
Mark then interjected with a suggestion that the male host didn’t realise the realties of these of public transport to which the host congratulated him on attacking him personally.
And that was it. The segment ended with everyone but the hosts and Van having a smile on their face. Said it all really but it was a somewhat interesting look into the contemporary conversation about this topic that did nothing to alleviate my concerns about this issue.
If anything, Van Badham’s display gave access to the methods her crowd uses to steer the conversation. I can’t say it left me respecting her efforts at all. As I noted she went on a full attack against any in depth discussion of what she believes.
This approach shows an insecurity and her reliance on the implying the wage gap as discrimination against women as well as citing Clementine Ford as a colleague didn’t do her any favours.
As for Mark and Rory, I think on this one, they needed to clean up their delivery with a greater emphasis on the facts and pursue their line of inquiry more insistently when they’re debating someone. I’ve witnessed Latham conduct interviews where he did this and it was devastating to his opposition.
I’ll have a look at Van et al’s work at a later date and examine their claims in detail.
Should be fun I reckon.
Also. Look the show up. It’ll make your head spin if you have a grasp of the topic.