Over the last 3 years, ‘Relating To Men’ has created a significant body of work that has contributed heavily to dismantling many of the common and damaging misconceptions about men; particularly in relation to their status as sole perpetrator of domestic violence and the risks they present in shared parenting.
On reflection, I have spent countless hours scrutinising data from the Australian government and its various agencies, and I have torn apart the deceptive lie peddling of organisations pushing an ideological agenda which has destroyed many a decent man and their families.
I think it is fair to say I have been a dedicated campaigner for the rights of men and boys to be recognised as of equal importance to society as they are for women and girls. I say that as a mother of both a young son and daughter.
When I first came to the MRM I was heavily cautioned by Dean Esmay, then of AVfM, that as someone who held such a strong position of compassion that I would be vulnerable to crucification by the feminist left, anti-men brigade. He cautioned me to use a pseudonym and that I would need balls (ovaries) of steel to handle what is their now well known strategy of swarming vitriolic hatred and harassment against anyone that dare to speak out and say the truth.
At that time I told Dean and others in the MRM that they perhaps had compassion confused with weakness. I am not the type of person to walk away from a fight, and never have been. I am compassionate but I am not weak. Being compassionate does not mean being walked over.
However, Dean was right in one regard and I have gone on to be crucified but not just by man hating feminists. Whilst for the best part of 18 months I have been targeted in an online attack by feminists, I have also increasingly come under fire by the MRM, particularly those within the MGTOW and AuMRA community.
It appears that speaking the truth in front of these ideologues is only acceptable when it fits their agenda. The irony of the similarities between feminism and ‘menism’ is not so astonishing when you stop to think of it. I originally came to the MRM to be a voice of reason, but I have learned that when that reason means speaking out against damaging negativity from within their ranks, I am slandered in a way that used to be exclusive to daring to question the methods of the sisterhood. These two ideologies really are two cheeks of the same arse.
In the past, I’ve been accused of having a secret agenda; of being some kind of spy for both sides depending on who’s talking. I’ve risen above it because I’ve never had an agenda other than to see a fairer world for men and I know many of these people are paranoid and sometimes, let’s say a little delusional in their hurt.
While ‘Relating To Men’ has always been my business, the vast majority of the oft exhausting work has been voluntary. The reward for which is nothing more than seeing people’s lives get back on track. When that reward is tempered by an equal or greater amount of attack, it starts to make you seriously consider if you’re spending your time wisely.
As a trained Coach I have a particular skill-set, which benefits men in moving away from trauma or pain to a place of more peace and confidence.
The core reason for my advocacy has been that service provision for men must be proportional, and it must be respecting of men’s issues and the way men heal as being different to women’s.
My empathy and compassion and love for working with men has only grown over time.
Even when faced with indisputable evidence of violence that some of those I’ve helped have indeed perpetrated, I’ve maintained they are deserving of being helped rather than vilified.
However, the majority of what I have seen and heard are experiences that I believe to be from men who are completely un-deserving of what happened to them.
I have held the phone and listened to men cry for an hour before they could utter their fist coherent word. I’ve been called upon to talk to men while standing on a chair with a rope around their neck, or gassing themselves in motor vehicles. To the best of my knowledge they are all still here. Some of them now are living happily and finally co-parenting their children.
I’ve also spent countless hours talking to women. Mothers worried about their suicidal sons, wives about their husbands. I’ve held a grieving daughter in my arms as she released the tear filled emotional pain of having lost her father from whom she was alienated by the courts, to perfectly preventable suicide. It was only in his death that she learned of his struggle to be in her life.
It is my firm belief that those working in productive roles in the MRM have made significant headway over the last few years and I think that is highly evident in the number of journalists we now see going against the grain and speaking up for men.
I have watched the narrative get changed online from being one of very few voices to one of many thousands. That is probably the thing I am most proud of in that the confidence level has risen where many more are prepared to speak out because some of us blazed a trail.
However there is a downside. The elephant in the room has now become the MRM.
While there are factions of ugly rabid feminist commentators, so too are there those in the men’s community that act identically but for the benefit of a complimentary demographic. Sadly, in my experience this last few years, this appears to be growing, despite the significant advancements we have made.
Recently, in watching this get to the point of being detrimental to the greater cause I have begun to realise that many in the MRM are at the tipping point of becoming what they most despise. It is the war of two sides, both of which use previous attacks as justification to continue the attack back. The resulting status quo of this endless shooting war is now, to me, the antithesis of where the men’s movement in Australia should be heading if it wants to be taken seriously.
I came to the MRM to minimise judgment and generate empathy for men’s issues. I began a strong focus of raising awareness and I’ve pretty much taken it on the chin for everything thrown at me for my efforts.
However I now draw a line on the sand.
Far too much of the MRA community in Australia has become exactly what the feminists say of them: vengeful and toxic.
Instead of expressing gratitude, they post hate. Instead of lifting each other up, they will tear out the heart of the person next to them all for the sake of ‘winning’ a debate. Instead of asking questions to clarify, they jump to far-fetched conclusions.
This is not what I have spoken up for.
One such recent attack on me has caused me to reflect upon how deeply this sickness is engrained within the MRM. When villagers run to their pitchforks and readily crucify a decent person on the back of some cooked up allegation or other, the time comes to wonder if the people really deserve the help they are being given. Don’t get me wrong, the lines of men and boys needing help only ever gets longer, but the bodies ‘supposedly’ representing them… maybe not.
As a result, I will no longer be writing on men’s issues and will return to my business as being a coach, speaker and presenter.
I remain deeply connected to the factions of the broader men’s movement which are still doing positive work and I will continue to work in conjunction with those and others in relation to men and boys wellbeing and their improved outcomes in society.
There is a great deal ahead on my agenda to look forward to in working with men and in an educational capacity for those working within the therapeutic fields.
However I will no longer be an advocate in a community that has become what it says it despises.
My work here is done as I have completed what I set out to do in raising awareness of the issues no mainstream media would previously touch.
With the support of those who have shared my work we have reached hundreds of thousands of people and opened eyes previously closed. I’m proud of what we have achieved together, and I thank you wholeheartedly for your significant role in helping make it happen.
I wish nothing for others that they do not wish for themselves or that which they bestow upon others.
This will be the last article posted for Relating To Men for the foreseeable future.