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In 1971 Erin Pizzey founded Chiswick Women's Aid, the first refuge for battered wives. Her 1974 book "Scream Quietly or the Neighbors Will Hear" brought the issue to the attention of the public.

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Herald Sun - Exposing the anti-male myth

Posted by Erin Pizzey Sunday, May 27, 2007 10:11 PM
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Interview with Australian columnist Bettina Arndt

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21788998-5000117,00.html

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5 Responses to “Herald Sun - Exposing the anti-male myth”

  1. aman Says:

    I know its not your area of expertise but do you think you could write a post about women’s history in general. I mean, do you think women used to be oppressed in the west and are still oppressed in some parts of the world? That they never were oppressed? What exactly. You seem honest.

    In your post on Bahrain you indicated that their society was unfair to women in at least some ways. Too often feminists seem to mistake establishing part of a society is unfair to women with establishing that the entire thing is, when it could be that some parts of society are also unfair to men and that it all balances out on net.

  2. erin pizzey Says:

    In my blog This Way to the Revolution I am in the process of writing up my experiences when I first went to America to lecture and to help set up refuges/shelters. In the next blog No. 7 I will be taking an overview of what I had so far discovered and the thoughts that I had then about how and why we ended up with this absurd idea that only women are oppressed and that only women are victims. A very short answer to your question is that evil exists in this world and it is a personal choice to do and to act to destroy others - both men and women are equally capable of violence in personal relationships and the future for the preservation of the family across the world depends very urgently upon men and women joining together to say that all violence is unacceptable.

  3. a man Says:

    I was always taught that, before the 19th amendment granted women’s suffrage, all women, or virtually all women, were opposed to the way society was run and especially women’s place in it and that those same women all desperately wanted the vote in order to enact change, and the men at the time kept them from doing so in order to continue oppressing and exploiting them. This is actually total nonsense. In the United States, women did not want to vote (in an 1895 Massachusetts referendum on the issue open to women less than 4% of the eligible women voted) and when they did vote they voted identically to men for 60 years (from 1920 to 1980). I thought that this maybe indicated that feminists were as full of lies about the past and other countries as they are about contemporary America. But you definitely think that there is a very real history of female oppression, even if they’re only one of many groups to be treated that way. Is that what you’re saying?

    I read through the “This way to the Revolution,” and the two things you mentioned about women in other countries were selective sex abortions and less access to education. Its worth noting that, even if one supports abortion they still ought to be opposed to larges numbers of selective sex abortions becauase it throws off the sex ratios. If the ratios are thrown off in “favor” of men, as they are in India and China, this means that large numbers of men won’t be able to find wives and their lives will be diminished below what they would have been otherwise. The opposite would be true if there were a surplus of women. But unique to men, is the fact that a surplus of them can widespread societal instability. Large numbers of young men unable to find mates will almost certainly turn violent. This will negatively effect everyone, men and women alike, but it will probably be worse for men. Men in general are more violent than women (outside the house at least), they generally direct their violence more towards other men than women, and this is exacerbated when men are competing for mates. This is something you see across societies, and, I believe, even across species of mammals.

    So, if you proceed form the pro choice presupposition that abortion isn’t something something horrible done to the foetus, than the negative consequences of selective abortion of females primarily negatively effects men, not women. Its a way that those societies are unfair to men. If you pay attention, all the feminist rhetoric about this issue is stolen from pro life (anti abortion) activists. They say that the imbalanced sex ratios are evidence of “lost women” who upon conception have an inalienable right to exist that is snuffed out by a sexist society. Theres nothing wrong with being anti-abortion, but the feminists making this argument are not. In the US, feminism and abortion rights are very tightly intertwined. They’re just using the anti abortion rhetoric because they refuse to either a) sympathize with men or b) accept that these abortions could be being done for any reason other than exploiting women in order to bestow privilege on the men. Now my argument is muddied a bit by the fact that some of the imbalance is caused by infanticide, although my understanding is that that infanticide is actually only responsible for a very small portion of the imbalance. And its certainly possible the attitudes towards women that cause them to be aborted make things bad for the girls who are born, but thats not what the feminists are arguing.

    The other thing you mentioned is education. In order to learn the truth about the women’s suffrage movement, I basically went to the primary sources and read the various arguments given by the different sides. One of the arguments in favor of suffrage was that, at the turn of the century, the average woman actually had more years of education than the average man. While men were more likely to go to college, they were also more likely to be taken out of school early to work. I assume that this was not done out of malice towards them or to give women the upper hand, but simply an outgrowth of the economic reality of the time. It was what men needed to do to support a family and contribute to society.

    I recently read a book called “Nectar in a Sieve” which is the story of a poor Indian farmer’s wife around the time of the partition. Early in the book, her father teaches her to read and write, and upon seeing this her mother says that she think the entire thing is a waste of time and that she never found any need for those skills and didn’t see why her daughter would either. I think that for very poor people, who don’t have the resources to educate all their children, giving an education to the men who will become primary providers is justifiable. I think education is incredibly important and that we shouldn’t loose sight of the fact that lives of those girls (and the smaller number of boys who are similarly denied an education) are going to be diminshed, but I also think its a mistake to loose sight the fact that it is probably ultimately justified to deny them those opportunities, just like it was to do the same to the American men at the turn of the century, even if I dont know enough about the America of 1900 or the India of today to really know what is and isn’t appropriate in those societies.

    Separately, but related to domestic violence, I really think that one of the reasons it has such centrality among feminists is that, in addition what you’ve written about in regards to it being a source of money, it also provides a much needed missing link to make their conception of history plausible. As far as I can tell, men (as a group) didn’t ever really force women (as a group) to do anything. Women didn’t want to work and didn’t want other women to, they didn’t want to vote and didn’t want other women to, those Indian women think its totally appropriate for men get more education, etc. Domestic violence (or as they call it the “enforcement of the patriarchy”) provides them with semi (although not really) plausible way of saying that men really were forcing women into their role even if theres no record of it. There is something similar in regards to their theories about rape, which in their minds is the “means by which women are forced into folds of the patriarchy”.

    I guess this was stuff I had been churning over in my mind for a long time because I definitely did not intend to write a comment this long.

  4. erin pizzey Says:

    I don’t dwell much on the past or the whole fundamental issues because it is the now and tomorrow that I try to think about. Men and women have been bitching about each other since time began but what we have to aciieve now is peace within the family. I often think that the past is encoded in chemicals of the brain - it doesn’t actually exist - we can learn from the past but to dwell on it can often lead to very negative thoughts and behavior. Now that we know that violent and dysfunctional parenting dmages the brain in early childhood what we need to do is to educate people from a very early age about their responsibility for their actions.
    Thank you for your posat and you have obviously given the subject much thought and I read it with interest.
    Once we can finally remove the huge barrier of the so called ‘patriarchal theory’ of domestic violence we can move on and share a movement where men and women look for peace within the family.
    As far as I am concerned there will be no world peace until the peace begins behind the front door. Happy warm loving children grow up to be loving parents. It can’t be any surprise for people to read that Hitler, Stalin and most blood thirsty tyrants (including Sadam Hussain) were all battered children.

  5. Jane Says:

    I have just read some of your material on this page and others. What you have said about violence being equal I totally agree with. My relationship with my husband has been rather violent but always from my side.
    I was married before this time but there was no violence there which I cannot understand because I love my second husband, I just felt sorry for the first.
    I have never taught my children to be violent so why have I become that way.
    I know just how important men are to their familys and it is a breath of fresh air to find some one who understands this. Most women with whom I have spoken have done nothing but berate the position of men with in the family.
    Thank you for the chance to see a little sanity and understanding in a world that has otherwise washed its hand of two parent families.

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