How welcome it was to read in the NZ Herald of Wednesday 23rd November 2011 an article by Family First’s Bob McCoskrie headed “Why I won’t be wearing the White Ribbon”. [Family First NZ is a registered charity with the Charities Commission].
It is of course a practice each 25th November marked by some men to show that they do not condone “men’s violence against women”, and apparently led by the Families Commission. However McCoskrie maintains that “this is a family violence issue, not a gender issue.”
I couldn’t agree more, and sent off to McCoskrie the following:-
“Congratulations on your superb article in today’s (Nov. 23rd) NZ Herald. It is a breath of fresh air after over thirty-odd years of rabid feminist propaganda.
I believe this has done nothing for the domestic violence problem and gravely defamed good family men in the process. “
For years I have endeavoured to show that feminist, anti-family women’s refuges – recipients of monstrous amounts of public money – should not be presented as the only places for such troubled women to go to for help; that there are pro-family, church-based ones also, and that women in such need should also have this choice open to them.”
Talk about the hackneyed socialist cry “a woman’s right to choose”! In this respect, sheer hypocrisy more like! “
The McCoskrie article was followed next day in the Herald by a response from Families Commissioner Carl Davidson, who opined that the former “is likely to be a lone voice” with his decision not to wear such a ribbon. Oh yes? Thankfully not all have been taken in by the ongoing ideologically driven hoopla which has surrounded the domestic violence issue for the past thirty-odd years.
I suggest the situation will be similar with this Davidson article. For example, we are told, without any hard evidence whatsoever, that there is “good science” behind the White Ribbon scheme : rather than blaming men, the plan is to show men “how they can be part of the solution. It uses the strength of men to bring about an end to all violence,” and similar waffle.
Interestingly enough, just five years ago (13th November 2006) the Herald was reporting a vastly different matter, but hardly more complimentary, pertaining to the Families Commission :
“Domestic abuse campaigners accused of bias”. Two top health researchers, Professor David Fergusson and Associate Professor Richie Poulton, had accused the Commission of “ideologically driven bias in presenting domestic violence as a problem of men battering women.” etc.
So much for that criticism of the McCoskrie article. Similarly with the sarcastic and highly devious blast on Scoop 23rd November, as well as in the Herald two days later from Women’s Refuge CEO Heather Henare. According to her, for McCoskrie to be wearing a white ribbon, and therefore to be making a public statement against violence would have been “an act of gross hypocrisy….after he campaigned to legalise parents smacking their children”! Her garbled logic to support this astonishing assertion is infantile and fallacious to behold: “How can someone who didn’t support a bill that would give children the same rights as adults against harm, in the same breath debate whether or not they would support an anti-violence campaign?”
Henare then plays the “ignorance” card. By McCoskrie focusing upon gendered violence in NZ he simply does not understand what domestic violence means, and here the ideological dimension really reveals itself. She quotes the old and hackneyed radical feminist dogma that “domestic violence entails a systematic pattern whereby one person exerts power and control over another. The victim lives in fear. Overwhelmingly this is about a man’s violence towards a woman.”
“Power and control” of course are the telltale clues here, indicating as they do the fundamental ideological influence of the Duluth Model which scandalously underpins and drives all NZ family violence public policy and the broad Women’s Refuge movement, as well as similar movements overseas.
Although NZ media appears not to reveal any such information, there is copious scholarly discussion of it overseas, such as, for example, by Cathy Young and Bert H. Hoff. In Young’s 1999 article “Domestic Violations” (1) she gives a precis of a 1998 article by Hoff, “What’s Wrong with the Duluth Model?” (http://www.vix.com/menmag/batdulut.htm) Young explains:-
“(The Duluth Model) is the approach most widely used for perpetrator treatment-but it gender-polarises the ‘people problem’ of domestic violence. It blames and shames men. It’s based on ideology, not science. It ignores drinking, drugs and pathology. Only one cause, only one solution. There’s no real evidence it works. It ignores domestic violence by women. Women who need help can’t get it. It’s taught by wounded healers.”
Young quotes from Hoff’s article : how supporters of the Duluth Model “don’t hesitate to call it a ‘sociopolitical model’, but San Jose therapist Eric Towle calls it ‘a radical feminist re-education camp’, where ‘battery’ is equated with ‘masculinity’. The goal of such sociopolitical therapy is to ‘challenge sexist expectations and controlling behaviours that often inhibit men, and motivate them to learn to apply newly learned skills in a consistently non-controlling manner.’ “
Also from Hoff : “The model was developed, not by a team of psychologists and research scientists, but in consultation with ‘a small group of activists in the battered women’s movement’ and ‘more than 200 battered women in Duluth (USA).’ Amy Holtzworth-Munroe, associate professor of psychology at Indiana University, says (US) ‘states are basing rigid treatment policy on rhetoric and ideology, not data’.”
In summary, then, with such disturbing facts as these which lie suppressed behind the family violence/Women’s Refuge movement, it was entirely predictable that an uproar would be raised in some quarters about McCoskrie’s NZ Herald article opposing the movement’s emphasis upon male violence instead of violence in general and have to be attacked and attempts made to discredit it.
Nevertheless, perhaps the sixty four dollar question is this : for how much longer must the NZ public be kept in ignorance by media cover-ups about this scandalous state of affairs, this pernicious and treacherous attack on culture, and be expected to fund such a fraudulent and burgeoning “anti-violence” industry in the process?
Opinion Piece Author: Barbara Faithfull B.A. (Psych.Anthr.)
25th November 2011
- Cathy Young : “Domestic Violations” in April 1999 Reason magazine.