A Red Flag from White Ribbon

Written by Jasmin

Red Flag Day

It was announced yesterday that as a result of a recent article published in The Australian that Dr Tanveer Ahmed had been asked to stand down from his role as Ambassador for White Ribbon.

There is a clear and consistent message from White Ribbon that they do not now, nor will ever accept that violence and abuse against men is a significant issue and that women are also responsible for violence and abuse in the home.

Dr Ahmed’s article was well received in the expansive circles of Men’s Rights around the globe.  They briefly saw a glimmer of hope that White Ribbon may be able to see reason and logic that a man’s rights to live a life free from violence and abuse also matters.  This could have been the first significant cog in a very large wheel of change.

Instead however, White Ribbon waved yet another red flag and showed their hand that they would prefer to see the bloodshed of men continue, than concede the glaring statistics and balanced perspective of their own respected advocate, that men are also victims of violence and abuse.

For them, men must be silenced at all costs, they must subscribe to the radical feminist view point that all women are victims and that when a man needs services, support or to protect his rights that he must only do so if it doesn’t disrupt the voice of feminine victimhood. Men must truly be forgotten and silenced in the dialogue about Intimate Partner or Domestic Violence.

Recently, I was asked for a definition of Domestic Violence.  A quick google search bought me to this quote from the ACT Domestic Violence Service which is representative of most opinion on the subject of DV or IPV.

Domestic Violence can include physical, verbal, emotional, economic or sexual abuse. For example: hitting, kicking, punching, choking, damaging property, yelling, insults, threats, bullying, withholding and controlling finances, unwanted sexual acts, forced sex.

I defy anyone to tell me that women are not capable of these acts, yet the quote continues.

Women and children are the majority of those who are subjected to abusive and violent behaviours in the home from their male partners, or fathers and stepfathers. Domestic violence cuts across all sections of the community. It doesn’t matter what your ethnic or religious background is, whether you are Indigenous, or if you have a high income or are on benefits. It doesn’t matter if you have a disability or are young or old, and it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight.

According to this, it only matters if you are a man.

For people who use violence, a useful definition of violence is any action which is experienced by your partner as intimidating or causing fear and therefore having the effect of your partner limiting what they say or do.

This is the Radical Feminist view that men are the perpetrators of abuse which thereby precludes organisations like White Ribbon from campaigning to stop ALL abuse.

While we are tired of asking the questions about why they chose to protect one half of society and not the other, it begs the question to me of why any man would chose to support White Ribbon in Australia.

For those of us that advocate for men’s rights, this could be another sad and frustrating day.  What I see however, is that White Ribbon have proved our point loud and clear and this now gives us a forum to create more change by highlighting their myopic, sexist and bigoted viewpoint.

I applaud Dr Ahmed for acknowledging by his own volition that men are forgotten in the discussions about Domestic Violence and I admire him greatly for continuing to make the stand in face of much pressure from White Ribbon, that this cause matters.

In whatever way you can, please share your support for Dr Ahmed. I will be sharing this post and comments to this blog with him over the coming days.  There is also a Change.org petition which can be found here

Photo Credit Gerry via Flickr

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About the author

Jasmin

Jasmin is a specialist men’s coach who supports men in all aspects of relationships, but specifically those who are going through high conflict separation and divorce. She is also a dedicate advocate for services for men and their children who have been victims of domestic violence and abuse.

Jasmin helps men who are struggling and feeling lost and alone, to move to a place of acceptance and confidence so they can move ahead and live a life consistent with their values and beliefs. She believes strongly in the power of overcoming past hurts through empathy and compassion.

She is a mother of two, author, presenter and coach. She lives in the idyllic coastal town of Merimbula, NSW, Australia.

*All written material on Relating To Men is subject to copyright to the author.