Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Where have all the real men gone?

Marc Alexander is a founding member of the Christchurch Men's Advocacy Network



MARC MY WORDS 10 June 2005

Where have all the real men gone?

There is more difference within the sexes than between them.

Ivy Compton-Burnett

What do our Prime Minister, Chief Justice, Governor-General, Speaker of the House, Chief Executive of Telecom NZ, and 60 per cent of those with degrees and post-graduate qualifications, have in common? They are the so-called weaker sex – the tender gender. These days it seems like it’s getting harder and harder to be a man. Either we’re too in touch with our feminine side (and therefore must be gay) or we’re misogynist macho red-necks whose idea of the perfect woman is pregnant, stupid, and in the kitchen. The men in between aren’t considered ‘balanced’ but wishy-washy and confused. And why shouldn’t they be?

Male role models are distinctly unreal. Males are scarce in all the places that matter. They’ve been chased out of kindergartens, primary schools…and increasingly from their role as fathers. And it starts with the young; we’re now called birthing partners not fathers! We have become so PC that we can’t discriminate against any alternative domestic arrangements!

Whatever happened to gender equity? Men are now relegated to lifting heavy things, being blamed when the toilet seat is left up and are a convenient excuse when our corporate partners want to opt out of social engagements.

Career days now display feminine icons in our schools. This is the result of our seemingly enlightened anti-gender stereotyping approach. We see motivational posters of women doctors, lawyers (as if we need more of them!), and engineers.

What we end up with however, are not more doctors, lawyers and engineers but sex-change operations paid for by a government run by a woman.

We have a Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the National Council of Women but no male equivalent of either. Despite the closing of the gender gap Women’s Affairs Ministry head Shenagh Gleisner isn’t thrilled. Why? We pursue breast screening and pap smears – expecting men to contribute financially with their taxes - but do nothing to set up a similar scheme for prostate cancer. It is a strange irony that we spend millions of dollars on women’s pre-emptive health issues yet remain silent on equally serious male concerns. There should not be a competition for resources or public support; these are inclusive and legitimate public health concerns.

The New Zealand Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development (NZPPD) has released a document entitled ‘Creating a Culture of Non-Violence’; this of course, is a fine and noble ideal we should all aspire to. But there is a “but”…On the inside cover is a quotation from none other than the Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, “Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation. And it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace”.

The first sentence of the Executive Summary begins , “Violence against women…” Oh oh! And on page 12 we have a list of risk factors associated with violent behaviour by men (according to the Davies submission) which includes the observation that “men who behave aggressively on the sports field are more likely to beat their partners.”

Now I have done some research of my own (Justice with Both Eyes Open – Hazard Press); I am no apologist for the inescapable fact that men are disproportionately responsible for most of the crime and violence in society. A Law and Order Select Committee briefing on Vote: Corrections tells us in black and white that while there are 425 women prison inmates, that figure is dwarfed by a total of 6,383 male prisoners.

Don’t get me wrong, we men should take responsibility for what we do wrong. It is a terrible testament that Women’s Refuges exist because of men’s anti-social and abusive behaviour. But men should not be tarred and feathered because they are men. We have created a generation that is close to assuming that all males are just a testosterone hint away from causing all the ills of society. Men are being stealthily emasculated by an ideology that seeks to replace the natural order of things. No longer do we take for granted that children need both their mothers and their fathers. For example, the taxpayer becomes the breadwinner through the Domestic Purposes Benefit (DPB). A daycare centre takes over the role a stay-at-home spouse used to assume. Valid choices have been eroded. Even marriage has been challenged! Not content with Civil Unions as an option, the extreme feminist agenda wants nothing less than gay marriage. Marriage between a man and a woman is the last remaining bastion of civil society that clearly identifies a historically enduring male-female relationship. How do I know about this challenge? People who went along to the 2005 United Women’s Convention say they witnessed Marilyn Waring break down and lament my colleague Larry Baldocks’ Marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment Bill, as being a ‘filthy little amendment’.

The first such convention back in 1975 highlighted some real discrimination; women were economically discriminated against; rape was hard to prove; and battered wife syndrome was a concept that was laughed at. Trouble is…we have not dealt with the inequalities but have moved to punish men for being men. We have forgotten the cause and gone after the symptoms…as long as it plays rugby, drinks beer by the bucket load and whistles at young women.

We have tried to get rid of score keeping on our sons’ sports fields, we have; replaced the six o’clock swill with dainty designer ales or, better still, a sauv blanc, and we call men’s hormonal outbursts sexual harassment.

Some changes were needed. We needed balance. But balance has been discarded even ignored, and now it is all about advancing a well coordinated women’s agenda that implicitly renders men impotent. It is not necessary for women to achieve their potential by denying men theirs. No wonder we are having trouble asking for help with our marriages, our role as fathers, and our prostates.

Feminism may be a nice idea…that is, if the idea is to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of both genders and to blend them for the benefit of both. The so-called feminist agenda has been captured by those who do not perceive a productive mutually beneficial synergy but a war in which for women to get ahead, men must be conquered. The idea seems to be that ‘man’ and ‘masculinity’ has become separated concepts; that we can legitimately talk of one without the other.

If a man speaks in the forest, and there’s no woman around to hear him, is he still at fault?


"From a Grass Hut … to the Beehive" by Marc Alexander

A Politically Incorrect Cookbook

Order your copy: www.Marc-Alexander-MP.org/cook_book.htm



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news