Friday, December 29, 2017

With humble apologies for a long absence, I offer this video as a first 'hello' as I step back into the gender equality discussion.

My hope is to contribute, once more, to a debate and discussion that will help to bring peace to a squabble that should be a productive pursuit of societal growth and development as we apply what we have learned from the mistakes of our past in order to establish a brighter future, for everyone.

In this video I explain why I have been absent from a discussion that I believe is extremely important (but it is an absence I fail to reasonably justify, especially after such awesome support).  I also explain a little about the book I am writing and what has kept me engaged with awareness of gender equality issues -even in the times when I have been absent from the discussion.

I appreciate that I will need further support to gain momentum once more and that this relies on the grace of those I have let down in my silence.  I ask for it, nonetheless...and would appreciate any support and interaction you would like to offer.



Thursday, January 8, 2015

Embracing difference and achieving equality. Please share.

Let Feminists enjoy their ivory towers and let's get on with creating a society representative of both genders.

The debate between the sexes has raged on for decades and it seems necessary to acknowledge that, to some degree, neither side will buckle to the other.  The reason for this, obviously, is that we each have our own views, our beliefs and our own cause.  A staggering amount of research and statistics are available that prove, beyond doubt, that institutional and cultural prejudice exists against men, so we must ask ourselves why the feminist movement, and individual feminists, refuse to acknowledge this.

My argument would be down to the natural tendency of us all, as humans, to favour information that supports our own preconceptions and our idea of the truth and to discredit that which threatens it; this is well known in psychology and is called "confirmation bias".

Perhaps one of the first lessons in research, science and experiment is to acknowledge our bias, prejudice and the simple fact that we are, most likely, looking into something in order to prove ourselves right.  It can be an incredibly difficult task to remain objective when faced with data that conflicts with, what we know in our core and very being, is correct.

Confirmation bias is no more evident than where emotional investment and identity is at stake.  It is one thing to objectively hold a viewpoint and opinion and face the challenge to change that, but it is quite another when it threatens a perspective and 'truth' that we have attached to our idea of 'who we are' and 'what we are'.  I am a "Christian".  I am a "Feminist".  "I am a...."  What we are saying is that we have made a belief a very definition of who we are and, perhaps, why we are here.  This truth belongs to me, defines me and more than that, it IS me.

We might, then, understand the conflict of the Creationist when faced with the evidence of the Big Bang and evolution.  It doesn't just threaten a fact within his mind, it threatens the core of his beliefs, who he is, what he is, how he got here.  Better to discard the information and evidence and explain it away: better to protect oneself.  Emotion before objective thought.  Self-preservation before truth.

This is true, also, of anyone adopting beliefs and ideas with which they invest themselves on an emotional level and on a level of identity: "This is me", "I am a...."

I bought a fantastic book, "Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men?  A Debate" by Warren Farrell and James P. Sterba.  The reason I bought it?  I liked that it was a book devoted to discussion.  Both sides were represented.  As a complete work, it was without bias, which is the objective manner in which I aim to approach the gender equality discussion.  I ran a bath, made a mountain of bubbles, threw on some tunes, had a couple of candles flickering and readied a short whisky (which is perhaps the most stereotypically "manly" thing about that whole event, but I was happy).  All that remained was to get the book which had arrived that day.  I bought it for objectivity, with a noble and, perhaps, pious, idea of just how fair I would always be in my contributions to the discussion.  As I approached the bathroom, the book in hand, my curiosity got the better of me.  I would read every word in that book, but I couldn't wait to find out what its final answer and conclusion was to that question that was burning in my mind: Does feminism discriminate against men?

Padding toward the warmth of the bath, I flicked to the last page.  It was going to tell me just how right I was.  I had independently researched so many factors in this debate and formed my own conclusion that Feminism does, indeed, discriminate against men; and I was about to read, in black and white, just how intelligent, thorough and brilliant I had been in my efforts.  It was going to agree with me...and what a joy the book would be to read as the candlelight flickered on the bubbles, as I sipped on my cheap whisky, knowing that with every passing word, I was getting closer to that last page, where it reads in stark black and white lettering: YOU WERE RIGHT, CHRIS!

"Given that feminism has not discriminated against men, the future of feminism and men looks very promising indeed, especially if men in sufficient numbers come around to endorse the feminist ideal of equality, so that it can be legally enforced."

I huffed, I puffed, my brow creased and I glared at the page before casting the book down onto a stack of towels and opting to read a sci-fi novel.  How could it say that?  How could a book claiming to look at the real facts come to that conclusion, in light of everything I've researched, every discussion I've had with broken fathers who are unrepresented in the law and every mind-numbing examination of statistics?  How could a credible study of all the information available to us come to such a ludicrous conclusion and say that I am wrong?  They'll publish anything these days!

With one foot plunging through the bubbles and half a mind to get some more whisky, I looked at the sci-fi novel, with disgust.  Not just because it was proving to be an awful read, that caused me to consider that perhaps I could write fiction, but because I suddenly came face to face with my lack of integrity.  Holding that awful sci-fi novel as a preferred option to facing whatever truth may be found in my previously planned bubble bath reading time, I saw bias.  Prejudice; against truth and knowledge and wisdom.

I picked the book up again and resolved to find out why I might be wrong. Why did my research and my own mind lead me down a wrong path?   I was, perhaps, to be challenged to question whether I was wrong, but that should always be the case, if my previously noble and definitely pious (proven by this point) notion of objectivity was to be believed.  I was, perhaps, to find out that I was wrong: but am I seeking truth, or self-affirmation and sense of belonging in a community?

As it turns out, I had been a silly buffoon.  The book is, indeed, designed as a debate.  Warren Farrell, in opposition to feminism, went first; and if you'd like to read his summary page, you'll find it on page 111, in the middle of the book.  James P Sterba then took his turn, concluding on the page that confronted me with an ugly side of myself.

Even with the most noble intentions, my own bias, my own prejudice for the truth I believed in and my own sense of self-preservation got the better of me.

I do not tell you this to, simply, disgrace myself.  Rather, I admit to it as an example of how we all, whatever side we're on, are susceptible to that very real, very tangible, but often unnoticed in ourselves, discrimination against real truth and real knowledge.   What is our goal?

I did read through that book and it remains my favourite, simply because it includes both sides of the argument in a concise and fair debate.  It's not like trying to make sense of the issue as one person speaks about the wage gap and another brings up the disposable sex, before someone then brings up the lack of education for girls in third world countries.  Even that last sentence was confusing!  Read that book.  Each subject is represented by one side and responded to fairly.  The only question that matters is about how we will read it.

Through my own disgrace, I realised I had to acknowledge my prejudice and bias and read Farrell's arguments with a mind of questioning and criticism and Sterba's arguments with an openness to whatever truths might be found in his interpretation of the available data.

Truthfully, I do not think that an acknowledgement of personal bias and a genuine pursuit of truth will ever be found in the proud, emotionally-invested, career-feminists such as Valenti, Chemaly or Greer.  All they see is that which supports their own sense of self, sells their books and keeps their articles popular.  To some degree, perhaps they don't even choose to be blind to the very real facts of male discrimination.

For the same reason, I don't think there is any reversal of major feminist organisations, such as NOW, or even websites such as  How many feminists who confront their own confirmation bias does it take to reverse the ingrained assumptions and direction of a moneymaking, job-safe feminist organisation?  None: they get fired.

I would hope that any MRAs or humanists would engage with all topics in the gender equality debate as individual evaluations of discrimination, each deserving their own objective study, research and conclusions.  Should we study an issue and objectively conclude that feminist claims were correct, would we allow that admission?  I would hope so.

Still, I have to say it as I perceive the situation.  The prejudice against truth will continue, the emotional investment and bias toward one's own truth will always result in two sides of an argument. Like the Protestant and Catholic churches, we must learn to live and communicate together, rather than spending all of our time and energy trying to pull down each other's steeples.

What we can demand, though, is an unbiased government.  It is not their job to support either 'movement' or express any bias, or wear any campaign's T-shirt.  What we should demand of them is that, while bias may exist in co-existing MRA or Feminism, it should not exist in the government or in laws.

Let the feminists enjoy their ivory towers and their personal affirmation of their own righteousness, seriously, leave them to it.  Let us, instead, focus on taking what we know...what we objectively know...and demanding objective action from our government, not from feminism.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Men Aren’t Victims: Just One of Feminism’s Lies - by Chris Good

Within minutes I found myself passing the university bars. Music pounded through the night air with the sound of enthusiastic chatter from punters.  Dodging a taxi, I crossed the road and continued toward the shop.  My nose throbbed and blood still trickled down over my chin onto my, already, stained T-shirt.  I'd given up wiping it away with my wrist, it wasn't stopping.  

Head down, I attempted to pass a group walking toward me, but suddenly felt hands on my shoulders. 

"Oh my god, mate, are you okay?" 

I tried to tell them I was fine, but they were having none of it.  The guy was a paramedic and stood me to the side.  His girlfriend dug around in her bag for tissue which he used to help me.  I explained that I live nearby and was heading to the shop when some men decided they were jealous of my face and thought they'd mess it up.  They insisted I notify the police.  I didn't.  

The truth is, I had been assaulted by my girlfriend in our kitchen.  It wasn't the first time she'd punched me.  It wasn't the first time I had lied about it.  And later that night, it wouldn't be the first time I'd return home to her apology and give her a forgiving cuddle.  

I can't speak for other men who keep loved ones and strangers in the dark about the violence they experience; I can only assume we have similar reasons.  I was sure it wouldn't happen again, at least, that's what she always said.  I didn't want others to think badly of her for that mistake.  I didn't want her to get into trouble, I loved her, after all!  I'm known for articulating myself rather well, but it's difficult to make sense of that mishmash of feelings to help you understand.  I guess I was protecting her and was also embarrassed to say that I had been hit and a girl; I am a man, after all!  

As I received treatment on the street from an off-duty paramedic, who believed my shameful lies, my housemate returned home to find my girlfriend crying and blood all over the floor.  He assumed I had hit her and left.  She insisted he didn't phone the police, which he agreed to when he realised she had perpetrated the violence.  Apparently, that didn't warrant the notification of our law enforcers.  

I'd like to say that if this happened in public, perhaps just one person in a crowd might decide I need help; that someone might take me aside and ask if this happens behind closed doors.  That someone might tell her how terrible that behaviour is.  Truth be told, it happened in public a few times. 

One night, in a club garden, she launched at me and planted two smacks to my face. I didn't hit back, but I defensively pushed her away and she fell off her heels and onto the floor.  The men and bouncers who had watched her attacking me suddenly found their 'go', and I was wrestled to the wall and ordered to wait for the police.  After we broke up, she saw me in that same bar and, in front of at least thirty people, threw my own drink over me and extinguished her cigarette...on my chest.  She stomped away, enjoying the cheers and the drama, as I stood grimacing through the laughter of onlookers, wiping my face and telling my friend that I was 'fine'.  

I'm asked why I stand against feminism.  I have justified this in two articles, thus far, but let's really look at why it is a biased and destructive force in our society.  While it claims to be the 'fight for equality', I find myself bewildered that simple investigation into the issues it raises and statistics it skews in favour of its arguments, can make it so glaringly obvious that, amongst other atrocities, it readily ignores considerable needs, because they are the needs of men. 

It's unnecessary, really, that I bring up statistics, because if I ask you to honestly consider whether you've seen more women or men instigate violence toward the opposite gender, I know what that answer will be.  So do you. 

It's actually a cultural norm; film and television have always considered it acceptable and sensational for a woman to finish a verbal argument with a slap, a shove, or throwing an object, and still do!  I saw a boy, in school, endure over a minute of assault from a girl before finally hitting back, once.  She got sympathy while he took his scratches, pulled hair and bruises home, with suspension.

But, if you want statistics, since the 1970's, studies, for example by Straus, have demonstrated that both genders initiate intimate partner violence to an equal level, or it even tilts the other way: 

More recent and varied studies, such as the The Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project, have indicated rates of female-perpetrated violence are higher than male-perpetrated violence (28.3% vs. 21.6%, respectively).  Still, even most recent statistics have to be interpreted with the knowledge that our culture is one where women are encouraged to speak out about intimate partner violence and abuse, while men aren’t.  

While feminists rage about men being the perpetrators of domestic violence against decades of significant statistical data, and additionally fail to highlight that violence by women toward men is acceptable, unchallenged and, even, glamourised in our entertainment and media, can anyone call the movement a 'voice for equality'? 

Moreover, with a skewed perspective of the problem and with half the victims silenced, how can we effectively educate for prevention and provide effective intervention?  

Feminism is not the answer.  We need to protect people.  Not women.  Not men.  People.

Violence and abuse are crimes.  No victim of crime should be without help, refuge or support.  No victim of crime should feel silly or responsible.  Victims of crime need help.  Victims of crime need a voice. 

If you've experienced or seen female to male violence, however small the incident,  please document your account on the new All For Equality blog where you'll find the "Violence between men and women" page.  You can do so anonymously, if you wish, but in deciding we are #AllForEquality we can make positive changes for everyone, but in order to be heard, we first need to speak.

Additional note:
All for equality is about raising the issues that affect men AND women, to see both genders unite against crime.  A page will, soon, be available for women to document their experiences of abuse and I would hope you feel this site is a safe place to do so.  

Find Chris Good on Twitter: @goodwayround

Why Feminism is NOT the 'fight for equal rights' - by Chris Good

It's fair that I respond to the criticism that my previous article, “Why Feminism Needs To End: It’s Time To Work Towards Equality”, received from feminists.  I believe an honest dialogue and mediated discussion is how we can move onwards toward a fairer equality campaign, and thank everyone for their feedback, thoughts and opinions. 

The arguments against the article were:  

1) Feminism IS the fight for equality
2) Man-hating (misandry) is extreme feminism, not feminism

So, is feminism fighting for equality? With respect, no, it isn't.  Here's why. 

The fight for 'equality' of the first two waves of feminism fought to raise the standing of women in society where there were clear and vast imbalances.  Men in all eras of history were also imprisoned in gender roles and forced to live and act accordingly, but it's right that women's liberation movements fought for balance in democracy, the right for women to work, earn, own property and shape their own lives.  In order to fight for equality, the woman's rights needed to be elevated to that of a man's.  In that era and political and social climate, fighting for the rights of women was, indeed, "the fight for equality".  

The new wave feminists constantly declare the fight for equality despite glaring oversights.  Why?  Today's feminism fights a new and changed Western world with an old definition of what it means to fight for equal rights.  Fighting solely for the rights of women was relevant to the first and second wave of the movement that were staring at glaringly biased legislation and cultural values, but in today's changed world it is not only outdated, but misplaced.  

Both genders, as citizens, now have equal rights.  There are further developments that deserve attention for each gender, so a campaign should be run by both men and women who, together, tackle highlighted equality issues that affect men and/or women; it would be wrong to fight for, only, the rights of women, as feminism clearly does today. 

We heat a room when it's cold, but there comes a point when the temperature simply needs regulating to maintain a comfortable environment for everyone.  To continue heating it, would become too hot. Too extreme.  Where this wave of feminism is still cranking up the dial on the thermostat, past 22 degrees to Max Women's Rights, it's becoming uncomfortable. 

Furthermore, in claiming it is the fight for equality and, yet, only advocating for women, feminists show the movement as stubborn-minded and prejudiced, acting upon illogical, biased and, therefore, extremist values.  A movement is its voice in the media, and ours is constantly bombarded with the notion that women are the only oppressed gender while men are the perpetrators of rape, rape threats, domestic violence, cat calling, sexual objectification and with headlines such as 'a sea of misogyny', 'men should just shut up' and 'men avoid housework and don't do their share'.  This can only have one outcome: suspicion, dislike and blame toward all men.  

As one example, of many, Jessica Valenti is a prominent feminist voice.  Writing for The Guardian, her biased, angry and mocking attitude toward men is clearly evident.  That The Guardian continues to print her shamefully biased, opinionated and personally prejudiced 'views' is questionable on their part. (I do not, of course, condone any written, verbal or physical harassment or abuse). 

This biased media position is instigating change upon men and women 'on the ground', trying to live their every day lives.  From this media, women are 'finding out' about the world around them, the men in their lives and attitudes they should adopt.  I've heard a feminism empowered woman mention that her husband would soon be home from a 14 hour shift, but exclaim, 
"Why should I have to make dinner just because I'm a woman?"
I know I'm not the only one who can see how wrong that is...and why.   

I wish I could concede that this voice is 'the extreme minority' deviating from a more moderate form of feminism, but today's vocal and prominent feminism is the extreme. No branch of feminism condemns it and stands for a more balanced and regulation focused pursuit of equality, by also advocating for men's rights.

A minority of men are guilty of major sex and abuse crimes, or even harrassment; how dare anyone, or especially the apparent movement for equal rights, imply that the majority of non-offending fathers, who love their children, have no right to voice the discrimination they face in courts, simply because some other men in society are criminally minded toward women?   Feminism overlooks significant gender equality issues, <em>contributes</em> to the demonisation of the male and uses that as a further reason for men to be silenced.

"How about more than a billion men who aren't fanatical, who don't punch women, who just want to go to work, have some sandwiches, spend time with their children, and don't do any of the things you're saying of all Men? It's stereotyping."  (They are great words, Ben...I stole them.  Much love.)   

I am an advocate for women's rights.  I have daughters and hate the thought of them facing discrimination, harassment, catcalling...or whatever else.  I want to help create a society where they can safely prosper and choose whether they work or keep house, or both.  But I have a son too, and I reflect on the discrimination I, and others, face because we are male.  I do not want him to experience that which I have seen and felt.  

So, I cannot stand by and watch feminism create such bias in our society.  Call me an egalitarian, a humanist, an equalalalist (I made that one up), but I am an advocate for men's rights too...and that means I'm certainly not a feminist.

Find Chris Good on Twitter: @goodwayround