If I had read the following slogan while I was still trapped in my first marriage I probably would have believed it. At that time in my life my true authentic self had been eradicated by long term coercive control. I had been abused to a point that I had learnt to accept, as a method of survival, what my then-husband believed.
It was simply safer that way.
And he would have unquestionably supported the men’s rights group, Brotherhood of Fathers when they say this:
He would have enthusiastically jumped on the men’s rights bandwagon and pointed the finger straight at women who in his mind, leave perfectly good marriages and take his money and his children with them, leaving the man devastated, poor and alone.
Without question, he would accept that in Australia, 21 men tragically take their own lives because women prevent them from seeing their children. It’s a devastating thought. But it is true?
Let’s examine the facts.
The most recently available data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that about 41 Australian men tragically end their own lives each week. About half of those men are aged between 25 and 64 and it isn’t a stretch to say that most men who are suffering family breakdown would fall somewhere in that age bracket. For the sake of fairness let’s assume that 21 men who have at some point in their life fathered children make the devastating decision to end their own lives each week in Australia.
For the Brothers to be right, all of the men in that 25 to 64 age group to take their own lives must be driven to it by a gynocentric family court system that, in its distorted thinking, makes a sport out of depriving children of their fathers. For their assertion to ring even slightly true, this must be the reason that these men take this devastating step.
They must ignore existing mental health conditions, alcohol abuse, economic stress, and issues that are specific to indigenous men and LGTBQI people. They have to overlook the number of suicides that occur in remote parts of our country and those from the prison population.
They have to ignore the facts.
They must retain their tunnel-visioned focus, because without that, they have nothing.
They have nothing because there is no data to back up their assertion. Men, and people generally, make this tragic decision for a multitude of reasons.
And the Brotherhood of Fathers know it. But like MRA groups everywhere, they don’t let facts get in the way of a good story.
How men’s rights groups abandon the men they purport to be helping.
This morning as I was scrolling through Twitter I came across this piece of pure gold from one of the male writers that I admire the most, Mark Greene. I strongly encourage you to check it out for yourself, and his book The Little #MeToo Book for Men.
Here’s a screenshot from part of this very short video.
It makes for confronting viewing. For me though, a woman who spent more than two decades living under the tyranny of a man who undoubtedly lives in the “Man Box” that Mark is talking about, it offered a fascinating insight.
Men desperately need our help. They need it because they are suffering the consequences of a culture that has eradicated crucial parts of their nature at an early age.
Men who are in their forties and fifties now are living with the consequences of the culture they grew up in. From early childhood young girls of this generation were encouraged to forge deep relationships, while boys were taught to be tough and avoid emotions.
By the time they reached middle school they had learnt suppress their natural feminine side and to avoid anything other than surface bonds with other males. To show emotion, or to treat women with genuine respect was weak, sissy or worse, gay. At this age men learnt to partake in sexist locker room talk that glorifies treating women as sex-objects and little else. Around this age male suicides outnumbered female at a ratio of about 4:1.
It certainly isn’t women or feminism that is to blame for that, it’s toxic hyper-masculine culture.
These men grow up despising anything sensitive, emotional or feminine. They turn into men who have been conditioned to despise women. They learn that they have two choices in life.
To dominate or be dominated.
It’s hardly surprising, when you consider the points Mark makes, that we have such an epidemic of violence against women. Men have been taught hate in themselves anything remotely emotional or feminine. By extension, they have learnt to hate us.
Those men took those views into their marriages, and sooner or later, the women they marry, and treat like crap because that is what they were taught, escape and run for the hills.
These men struggle with mid-life dating because women who have probably been through it all before, have learnt to recognize the warning signs. Men with misogynistic views are repulsive to women.
So these men end up bitter and alone.
I don’t profess to know the details of why so many men tragically take their own lives, but what I do believe is that to suggest that every man between the ages of 25 to 64 who makes this tragic decision has done it because of a gynocentric family law system hell bent on depriving men of relationships with their children is nothing short of ridiculous.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Brotherhood of Fathers spent their energy looking into the real issues, rather than attacking the women who leave them.
But helping men isn’t the point, is it?
This post was previously published on Medium.
You Might Also Like These From The Good Men Project
|Compliments Men Want to Hear More Often||Relationships Aren’t Easy, But They’re Worth It||The One Thing Men Want More Than Sex||..A Man’s Kiss Tells You Everything|
Join The Good Men Project as a Premium Member today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
A $50 annual membership gives you an all access pass. You can be a part of every call, group, class and community.
A $25 annual membership gives you access to one class, one Social Interest group and our online communities.
A $12 annual membership gives you access to our Friday calls with the publisher, our online community.
Register New Account
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: Shutterstock