Many people have been shocked by recent media stories about the shaming of boys in schools. Recently a teacher at Como Secondary College in Perth stormed into a change room and told boys celebrating a soccer win that they sounded like “a bunch of testosterone-fuelled misogynistic boys.”
That followed the recent shaming of boys in two Victorian schools, where boys were required to apologise for “men’s violence” and denounced as “male oppressors”.
It is odd that so many react with surprise given that shaming of boys as “toxic, violent and dangerous” has been happening for years in Australia and is part of school curriculum in many states. With all the interest in the new national curriculum and concern about the growing influence of identity politics in schools, it is telling that no one is focusing on the widespread infiltration of feminist ideology into school programs with male-bashing now part of school teaching across the country.
It’s all part of the feminist campaign misrepresenting domestic violence. Everyone must have seen the dreadful government television advertisements claiming to reduce domestic violence through promoting respect for women. Little boys slamming doors in girls’ faces. Rough boys behaving badly, men abusing and terrifying women.
This propaganda falsely claims all domestic violence is due to misogyny and disrespect for women – even though there is no good evidence to support this assumption in egalitarian countries like Australia. When the Turnbull government started pouring millions of dollars into that advertising campaign, David Leyonhjelm grilled education bureaucrats in Senate Estimates, asking for the research evidence supporting the campaign. After stalling for months all they could come up with were international studies showing the connection if you include deeply misogynistic countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. There is no data supporting the link in countries like the UK, America or Australia.
This male-bashing campaign ignores forty years of international research showing the complex causes of this social problem. Causes may include mental illness, drug and alcohol problems and exposure to family violence where mothers are just as likely to be violent as fathers.
Research shows that in violent homes it’s not just the dad who is aggressive. Mothers are just as likely to be violent. Look at this important study from the Australian Institute of Criminology which asked young people whether they’d ever witnessed their dads bashing their mums, or the other way around. Whilst the author, David Indermauer, trumpets the finding that almost a quarter of the kids had witnessed their fathers attack their mothers, he totally buries the most important result.
Almost the same percentage had seen their mothers attacking fathers as had seen their mothers being abused by their dads. It’s not surprising that our authorities ignored this research finding and have not conducted similar research since. They are too busy singing from the feminist song book.
This reciprocal violence is also exactly what the huge body of international research has been showing. There’s been well over 1700 research studies showing most violence is two way, involving male and female perpetrators.
Here’s Canadian Psychiatry professor Tonia Nicholls explaining the results.
Across Australia we have programs in schools which teach children a very different view of domestic violence, which deny children’s own experience. We are teaching kids that their mother’s violence doesn’t matter – even though children are more likely to be abused or even murdered by their mothers than their fathers. We are teaching them that we don’t care about girls who abuse other girls, or women who attack men; that we only care about men’s violence.
Tragically, that means boys who are being abused don’t dare speak out. Think about how many male victims appeared before the Royal Commission into institutional sexual abuse talking about experiences that happened when they were boys which they never dared reveal. We are still silencing boys who are abused – emotionally, physically or sexually – by adults, their parents or other kids.
That’s a disgrace.
For years I have had teachers and other experts approaching me about this issue, leading to a series of YouTube videos: one with a teacher denouncing Victoria’s Respectful Relationships programs; another showing the systematic denigration of males in South Australian school child protection courses. Then there’s White Ribbon which runs programs across the country denying women’s role in family violence and labeling men as the sole aggressors.
I’m now working with a new organisation, Mothers of Sons, which is speaking out about injustice towards men and boys. This is a group of ordinary women whose sons have suffered extraordinary ordeals in our anti-male legal system and workplaces. Do have a look at the website and listen to some of their shocking stories. They are also running a very lively Facebook page, posting all the news stories about what’s happening to men in our society.
Mothers of Sons has just launched a new campaign to stop the shaming of boys in schools.
Take a look at this brief video giving you a glimpse of what’s going on in our schools.
You can also go the Mothers of Sons Facebook page and watch the launch of the campaign, where we talked to teachers and other experts and exposed the damaging impact of this anti-male propaganda in our schools.
The plan is to put the call out to parents, as well as teachers, ex-teachers or ex-pupils, to contact our team who will help them compile evidence of shaming programs in their schools that we can then present to local media. Parents are often too nervous to speak out for fear their sons will be targeted, but they can remain totally anonymous whilst Mothers of Sons deals with the media.
We assume that given the current media interest in boy-shaming there will be small town newspapers that will be happy to feature stories about their local schools, and hopefully we’ll find some stories deserving national prominence.
All the information for parents who wish to come forward is now on our the Mothers of Sons website home page. You will see that we’re asking people, ideally, to provide evidence in the form of photos of relevant pages in school curriculum, or videos/photos at White Ribbon events and similar activities.
Here’s your chance to take action if you have been shocked to discover this is happening in our schools. Think hard about the people you know who have children at school, or else parents whose children have left school in recent years, ex-teachers, or ex-pupils. Alert them to the information on our website or share the meme on social media.
There’s also a flyer you can download and print out to put up on community notice boards or hand out at sports events or similar activities attracting parents.
The shaming of our boys will continue unless the silent majority shows we want this dangerous propaganda removed from our schools.
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Bettina Arndt AM has become a recognised commentator on gender equality issues with a special focus on the injustice promoted by radical feminists. They were outraged when she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2020 Australia Day Honours "for significant service to the community as a social commentator, and to gender equity through advocacy for men". Follow Bettina's work at BettinaArndt.com.au.