1

"Once a man could look forward to starting a family and the dignity that came from being the provider. Forget it. At best as a man you're decorative, look after the kids and earn a bit sometimes; at worst you're a write-off.       Women are elbowing the men out. The boys get anxious, the girls swagger. The male suicide rate goes up, female down. Twenty-eight per cent of us now live in single person households - a lonely and unnatural state - and most of the 28 per cent consist of young men. It is strange that it is left to a woman to suggest, in the normal nurturing way, that men start some kind of movement to promote their gender's status and self-esteem - call it masculinism, brotherism, machoism, what you want - and some mark of the success of the feminist movement, that it needs to be done." - Fay Weldon, "Fay Weldon on the dangers of turning men into an underclass", Mail on Sunday, 4may97, p41.

2

"No woman teacher, however able, can identify from her own experience with the problems of being a boy and growing up into a young man," - June Smedley told members of the Professional Association of Teachers. Anthea Millett, chief executive of the Teacher Training Agency, [said] she was 'very worried' about declining numbers of men entering the profession. "In primary schools, if we go on at this rate we shall have no men left in the profession by 2010. It is a very serious problem." "Men are deterred from applying for jobs, particularly in infant schools, because of the concern created in society about the relations between men and young children," Elizabeth Arnold-Davis .... told the conference. "Small children want to touch people and men are very wary of this."

Marjorie Withers .... said men were being put off because of a climate of suspicion. "They worry about contact with young children and the problems that could arise with false accusations." - Daily Mail, 31july96.

3

".... widespread fearfulness in which it is unthinkingly assumed that allowing any child to be in the unsupervised presence of a male may expose it to the danger of sexual abuse, while any woman leaving her house is likely to be assaulted in the street. These excessive fears are aided and abetted, Carol says, by the anti-porn feminists." - Antony Grey in New Humanist, May95, reviewing Avedon Carol, "Nudes, Prudes and Attitudes", pub. New Clarendon, 1995.

4

"The key to the garden gate is the belief that men have ruined everything, but women, through their special attributes, can solve the world's problems. Ironically, this belief extolls the ideals of femininity that earlier feminists fought so hard to escape." - Rene Denfeld, "The New Victorians", pub. Simon & Schuster, 1995, p166.

5

"Babies have been drugged to prevent them from crying or locked in cupboards as punishment. Anne Waddington, a barrister specialising in cases involving the abuse of children and a founder of the pressure group, says prosecutions are very rare. And, she adds, most nannies who are responsible for maltreatment are neither psychotic nor sadistic. 'These young women are simply given responsibilities beyond their ability. It is hard to say how often these incidents occur, but abuse is by no means infrequent ....'" - Bill Frost quoting Anne Waddington, "Policing the nanny's status", Times, 22july97, p17.

6

"Women fight just as dirty as men in the workplace and bedroom, they just don't want to admit it. .... The fundamental lie of sisterhood, that women co-operate but men compete, creates a separate and unequal moral standard for women's professional conduct that is self-defeating." - Kate Fillion, "Myth of female virtue laid bare", Sunday Times News Review, 27apr97, p6,

7

"Despite widespread worries about unemployment among young males, it wasn't possible to find a single school initiative, let alone a local or national policy, directing boys into careers in education or welfare, although girls are still enthusiastically directed towards careers in science and engineering. When the no-go areas for boys include, as is the case today, family services (primary schools, nurseries, social work) this can have a negative impact on ordinary father-child relationships. .... Soon it is thought that only abusers will choose this career and, by extension, it begins to appear as if every man with an interest in children, including fathers in their own homes, is an abuser. .... the more ordinary fathers back away. .... Female professionals usually have little inclination and less understanding of how to engage men....

'In autumn 1990, I was walking up the Holloway Road with my mate, and we were both carrying our babies in slings on our chests. This car went past with these young blokes in it, and they slowed right down, rolled down the windows, and yelled "Child-abusers!" Nothing like that happened 16 years ago when I was going round with my first son, doing much the same things. I think attitudes have changed. I think some men are scared to be seen being intimate with their children.' - Phil, 43, father of two (two families)"

- Adrienne Burgess, "Fatherhood Reclaimed", pub. Vermillion 1997, p171.

8

".... men wanting to play a full role in nurturing children, .... Just think of the institutional barriers that those men face..... fathers now felt unwelcome at childcare gatherings. .... Think above all of the fears that any man who really gets involved with children, particularly young children, is either gay or a paedophile, or both." - Dominic Kennedy quoting Patricia Hewitt, Neil Kinnock's former policy co-ordinator; "Give fathers more rights, childcare forum is told", The Times, 1may96, p8.

9

"A judge was entitled to dismiss a father's contact application .... following threats by the child's stepfather that if proceedings continued he would reject the child and the mother." - Kate O'Hanlon, Barrister, Law Report, The Independent, 25june97, p17.

10

"We would rather talk vaguely of a new underclass than look at a new underclass of young men that is constituting itself before our eyes. .... I'm not a female supremacist and if we carry on producing hordes of moronic men we will suffer. .... If those men in power cannot address a changing world, how can we expect powerless boys to be anything but disaffected. Meanwhile it is left to women to worry about this; but you can't expect us to do it for ever because, as you know, ruling the world is a time-consuming business." - Suzanne Moore, "Why I feel sorry for the boys", The Independent, 22nov96.

11

"Large numbers of unattached and predatory males who have never taken on the responsibilities of family life, or who have been ejected from families, now meet the classic conditions for the creation of a 'warrior class'." - Patricia Morgan, "Farewell to the Family?" pub IEA jan95; back cover.

12

"The feminist resistance to any discussion of fatherhood has been defensive, and sometimes downright offensive when it shades into virgin-birth fantasies about the total redundancy of men." - Ros Coward, "Make the father figure", The Guardian, 12apr96, p17.

13

"Over half the children of divorced parents, and that comes to nearly one hundred thousand children each year, soon lose contact with one or other parent; because of the way the law operates it is most likely to be the father. The legal system, and the lawyers who operate it, often create such acrimony between divorcing couples that it makes all hope of future co-operation almost unthinkable." - Anna Ford, "Men", pub. Corgi Books, 1985, p130.

14

".... contact orders .... are in practice unenforceable, and where such an order is flouted for no good reason the parent seeking contact has no remedy. .... The father seeking contact is powerless if the mother refuses to release the child in compliance with an order. .... Parents seeking legitimate contact enforcement, and the courts they resort to, are engaged in a charade." - Jasmine Salisbury, a magistrate serving on the family panel, The Independent, 12jan94.

15

"Getting a fair deal for fathers is going to be an uphill struggle. It threatens deep emotions and entrenched interests. But the case is overwhelming." - Anna Coote (Deputy Director IPPR), "Feminists must back fathers", The Independent, 17may96.

16

"....we are surrounded by a Salem-like frenzy concerning sexual matters, orchestrated all over the Western world by coalitions of feminists, socialists, ecology-freaks, greens and so forth, intent on creating a statist matriarchy. They are pretty damn successful. .... I simply don't know how men can function in this matriarchal nightmare.". - Barbara Amiel, "Tough times for men in the sex war", The Sunday Times, section 3, page 5, 10oct93.

17

"We believe we live in a liberal society. But our definition of liberal has become corrupted. .... Diane Blood, whose inalienable right to a child was held to justify administering an electric shock up the backside of an unconscious and dying man to retrieve his sperm without his knowledge or consent." - Melanie Phillips, "The soul of man under new labour", The Times, 14may97, p18.

18

"The question I have tried to answer is 'What would Britain have to be like before women could rule?' The answer is: finished. It would mean the end of civilisation as we know it." - Germaine Greer, "Come the revolution Britain would be a third world country without prestige or clout. .... the threat of invasion would be constant... if women were in charge. ....", Sunday Times magazine, 3mar96, p26.

19

".... But in the meantime, the professional complainers are having a field day. This is one area where I would accept that men are being disadvantaged. The feminist complaint lobby has the media so cowed that any BBC programme which does not fill its quota of female "spokespersons" puts itself in jeopardy. (I am not exaggerating.) The absurd result of this is that women commentators like me field dozens of requests from television and radio to take part in discussions, not necessarily because we have the appropriate expertese but because we have the right genital plumbing. Desperate programme researchers respond to my suggestions of male colleagues with the piteous admission: "But we need a woman". Perhaps the cruellest irony is that the barrel-scraping to which this policy leads will so obviously backfire on women - as equal opportunity law already has. If a less good woman is preferred to a better man, then her presence can incur only contempt. And that can only make it harder in the long run for individual women who want to be promoted - or listened to - because they deserve to be." - Janet Daley, "The prattle of the sexes", Daily Telegraph, 7may96, p18.

 

20

".... the cultural traits of the revolutionary left, old rules of unreconstructed Marxist 'revolutionary' behaviour, survive vestigially in some circles of the women's movement, long after others, including those in socialist countries, had stopped finding them attractive." - Naomi Wolf, "Fire with Fire", pub. Chatto & Windus, 1993, p73.

21

"She says: 'My quarrel is with feminists. Feminism is a Marxist movement, founded out of hatred of men and a desire to destroy the family. It has nothing to do with the average woman, women like me who are content to be at home with their children. .... The feminist movement, with its separatism and its lesbians, was such a waste of time.'" - Jane Kelly (on Erin Pizzey), "Feminism has been a disaster for women", Daily Mail, 5feb96.

22

"Tania Hunter has evidence to prove [Adrian] her husband's innocence - he was alleged to have begun abusing Anna when she was 14 - and Anna herself has long since withdrawn her allegations. .... 'I was with five other women having the same treatment. We egged each other on to say wilder and wilder things. I was reading about sexual abuse .... The crazy thing was that once I'd made the accusations, they wouldn't let me climb down.' .... social services visited Tania .... and urged her to consider leaving Adrian. .... Dr John Gwatkin .... concluded that there was 'not a shred of evidence' ...." - Cassandra Jardine (interviewing Anna Hunter), "Why I falsely accused my family", Daily Telegraph, 22may97, p19.

 

23

".... Sadly, the feminism that took up the cause of women's psychological and physical health in the Seventies and Eighties has sometimes degenerated into a rigid insistence that incestuous sexual abuse is at the heart of every woman's story, that women need to be 'protected' from their own sexuality, and that women's wrongs can all be explained by their sexual victimisation in childhood. .... .... behind the confused woman who believes her father raped her (and she had forgotten it until a kindly therapist unearthed the trauma), there lurks the same desire to project sexual feelings outward, on to some evil transgressor. .... .... it has become acceptable - indeed the sine qua non of feminism - to scream 'rape', and to blame some authority figure for the perpretration of one's own darkest fanatasies. .... .... a kind of millennial witch-hunt is in progress." - Erica Jong, "Women being unreasonable and paranoid?", The Observer, 1june97, p15.

24

"If the New Labour Government is too full up to pay for Women's Issues, it means it doesn't rate Women's Issues, and I'm mightily relieved to hear it. Perhaps Tony read those tiresome announcements from the DSS with the same gloom as I felt. Try reversing the gender, and you see how ludicrous they are. Imagine Harriet appointing, say, Michael Meacher as a new Minister for Men. He could form a new Men's Unit to promote Men's Issues across Whitehall, and create a new bond of trust between men and government." - Vicki Woods, "I didn't vote for sister power, Tony", Sunday Telegraph, 15june97, p37.

25

".... .... a special minister whose role will be to ensure policies that 'uncompromisingly' support the half of the population that already has serious advantages over the other half. These advantages include living longer, learning to talk earlier, learning to read earlier, .... gaining better results in public examinations, and being vastly under-represented in the ranks of the imprisoned, the vagrant homeless, the alcoholic and the young unemployed. There is no justification whatever for having a 'Minister for Women' .... to ensure that women will be further advantaged. It is unjust and insulting -especially to the ranks of young unemployed men whose very considerable problems ought to be at the forefront of the minds of all serious public officials concerned about the future of our country. .... .... the traditional family unit .... has suffered the most unfair discrimination, to the point where even the word 'marriage' is banned in some public documents. .... the vision of a minister announcing that unfairness is being deliberately planned has a peculiar nastiness. ...." - Joanna Bogle, "A minister we do not need", Daily Telegraph, 5june97, p29.

26

"Groups of 12 women selected at random from the electoral register are to be put up at hotels while they consider new Government policies, under proposals being drawn up by Harriet Harman, the Social Security Secretary and Minister for Women. The 'citizens' juries' would assess the impact of legislation on female voters and help to create a 'bond of trust' between women and Government. .... The Government wants to take their views into account when drawing up legislation. Ministers are keen to ensure that policies on 'women's issues' such as child care, domestic violence and health are popular with the people they will affect. .... the Prime Minister is determined to capitalise on the support of female voters who backed him in unprecedented numbers." - Rachel Sylvester, "Women get first say on new policies", Daily Telegraph, 29july97, p1.

27

"Studies in America suggest that children brought up by only their mother are four times more likely to drop out of school, become delinquent or commit suicide as children brought up by their father. Research indicates that that is a ‘more important factor than poverty’ in determining a child’s outcome. One study found that 80% of pre-school children admitted to psychiatric hospitals came from single-mother homes - although about 15% of children live with only their father .... .... Henry Biller .... said delinquency was ‘three to four times as frequent’ in children in the care of only their mother. ‘We are talking about drug use, criminal behaviour, school drop out, unmarried pregnancy, .... Paternal deprivation is much more of a problem than maternal deprivation.’"

- Rachel Sylvester, The Sunday Telegraph, 3mar96.

28

"Sirhan and Oswald, both reared under the maternal shadow, grew to be quiet, controlled men and dutiful sons. Estranged from their fellows, fathers, and normal male associations, they joined a rapidly growing breed - the 'feminised male' - whose normal male impulses are suppressed or misshapen by overexposure to feminine norms. Such assassins often pick as their targets the most virile males, symbols of their own manly deprivation. .... These rebellions are alarms, alerting us to the social forces that dangerously diminish manhood and spread alienation and violence." - Patricia Cayo Sexton, 'The Feminized Male", pub. Random House, N.Y., 1969, p4.

29

"Anyone setting out to identify the causes of underachievement among Westindians in British schools must first have some knowledge of Westindian children and their culture. .... .... in 1969 ....the attention of the general public was first drawn to the sorry predicament of Westindian schoolchildren in the UK. .... ....65% did not have their biological father living with them as part of the household. .... 47% did not know where their father lived." - Ashton Gibbon with Jocelyn Barrow, "The Unequal Struggle", pub. by Centre for Caribbean Studies, 1986, pp 19, 31 and 83.

30

"Sir, .... As deputy chairmen of the Croydon juvenile bench I kept records of the family background of the children brought to us for over a year; 84% came from broken homes. I dealt with 21 cases of ‘baby battering’ in the criminal court; in only one case was the male who was co-habiting with the mother the father of the child victim." - Dr. Margaret White, JP, "Child victims", The Times, 23sep94.

31

"It might seem logical, then, to try not to push men to such a point that they feel like litting out in large numbers. Yet that is what women seem to me to be doing. All around me .... men who are cracking, who are at last very angry. .... Decent, clever men who for 20 years have felt respect for women are suddenly suspecting that it might have been misplaced. They have had enough of pretending that women are interesting when they aren't. .... They have had enough of women's cries of unfairness: women have indeed had a very bad deal, but that does not mean that everything is men's fault. Nor can any one man be expected to expiate for all the evils of late capitalistic democratic life, .... Men have had enough of watching their words in case some frivolous and half-educated woman calls them sexist, especially when they have spent 20 years washing up for Women's Liberation. .... .... Feminists have been talking for some time of a male backlash against them. I don't think we've seen anything yet, but I suspect we are just about to. And I'm afraid what we will see is men not lashing out but litting out altogether." - Minette Marrin, "Why men won't take feminism", Sunday Telegraph, 20oct91.

32

"What is staggeringly obvious is that to be the victim of female sexual abuse today is to be as isolated and helpless.... three-quarters of the men who contacted kidscape found no one willing to help or believe their stories. .... they pretend that their abuser was actually a man, in order at least to obtain some measure of help." - Alix Kirsta, "Deadlier than the male", pub. Harper Collins 1994, p282/3

33

"Dr Sally Santel, a psychiatrist, observed, ...., Feminist psychotherapy - now bidding for recognition by the American Psychological Association - is .... a political exercise masquerading as a clinical experience. .... the emotion that surrounds the issue has made any sensible discussion impossible. Cathy Young, author of Beyond the Gender Wars, has monitored the tear-stained distortion. When the [1994 Violence Against Women] Act was being passed, .... even the usually reliable Associated Press reported; ‘once every five seconds a woman is punched or kicked or held down and pummelled.’ That was based on figures that included ‘throwing things’ as battering. The scale of the battering industry’s claims have given a loathsome crime the familiar plausibility of an urban myth. .... There is proof that some men who have never threatened violence have been driven to such distraction by injustice that they have gone on to kill." - Ivo Dawnay, "Husbands take a beating by law", Sunday Telegraph, 8june97, p31

34

".... A country which allows this situation to grow year by year is on a collision course for disaster. A society which finds any criticism of the situation hard to take is being hypocritical and irresponsible.... generations of children are roaming run-down council estates like packs of wild dogs. .... Single mothers are not necessarily defenceless creatures. Often they are tough, ruthless, greedy and exploitive and they’ll carry on being like that until they’re stopped." - Lynda Lee-Potter, "This feckless, reckless road to disaster", Daily Mail, 4June97.

35

".... heroines who .... are realising that they may never meet the right man and settle down. .... Jane Green, author of Straight Talking, .... 'My generation is facing a completely different set of problems from my parents' generation. They took it for granted that they would get married and have children. We have to realise that we may never get married and that even if we do, it probably won't end happily ever after.'"

- Julia Llewellyn Smith; "Novels cut out sex and happy endings", Sunday Telegraph, 15june97, p3.

36

".... a good argument can be made that the bourgeois family has been the only institution sufficiently dynamic to engender the social processes making for both modernization and economic development." - Brigitte Berger, "The Bourgeois Family and Modern Society", from "The Family: Is it just another lifestyle choice?", ed. Jon Davis, pub. IEA 1993, p9.

37

"In 1993, my first term at university, I was having a long discussion with one of my lecturers about some aspect of the course, and we went to his office.... I remember thinking, 'This is what university life is about' - discussing ideas with those who know the subject, outside the confines of lectures. .... Prof. Cottingham has admitted that it was 'an error of judgement' to allow his two students back to his room. But the caution that may protect lecturers from future charges of harassment will further destroy the fabric of university life, and make the intellectual bonds that used to form between tutors and their students impossible. .... the destructive consequences of rules that now govern the relationships between tutors and students everywhere, and make spurious charges of harassment sound acceptable. Now is surely the time to question these rules, and the paranoid climate they create within the walls of academia." - Jennie Bristow, "Rape and harassment on campus: the truth", Daily Telegraph, 23june97, p24

"Mrs. Cottingham has had to reassess her lifelong espousal of feminist values. .... 'For the last 25 years I have been teaching feminist theory. All this has completely ruined my thinking on that. These are destructive women. It's been a complete set-up. .... There has to be some way of protecting men against these sort of accusations.' .... Dr. Onora O'Neill, principal of Newnham College, Cambridge; .... 'He is .... the very last person to prey on members of the opposite sex.'" - Steven Morris quoting Myra Cottingham, wife of lecturer falsely accused of sexual harassment; "It's the men who need protecting", Daily Mail, 22july97, p5.

38

"The reaction to Cottingham shows .... that most women - while wary of providing an escape route for real harassers - are swapping blanket feminist solidarity to entertain the possibility of innocent, maligned men, and the posing of an important question. Why have we become so quick to use laws and tribunals meant for our protection to make a point, .... play a prank or deal with an episode that needed no more than a firm refusal? The assumption is that we are constantly engaged in a war of attrition with men." - Lesley White, "Women with a terrible habit of hate", Sunday Times, 27july97, sect.5, p5.

39

"It is absolutely outrageous that I am permitted to know these men's names and not the names of the women who accused them of such a serious offence. This unjust law seems to be based on a strange alliance between old-fashioned chivalry and modern, politically correct feminism. Kind-hearted but infuriatingly patronising male traditionalists view women as sweet, weak, dim, infantile and needy of protection under all circumstances. Meanwhile the more extremist members of the sisterhood regard every single man in the universe as a potential rapist, and every woman alive as essentially honourable and incapable of evil. Hence this legislation that shields women from embarrassing publicity and implies that men deserve humiliating exposure because they are guilty of rape until proved innocent. .... I'm a feminist. But I'm also the mother of a nice son, the daughter of a compassionate man, the sister of pleasant brothers, the wife of a gentle husband and the cousin, friend and niece of many jolly decent blokes. And I cannot endorse a law that regards male feelings and reputations as irrelevant. Some women may be fragrantly fragile little lotus blossoms. But a fair number are vicious poison ivies." - Donu Kogbara, "Innocent victims of a rape trial", Sunday Times, 16mar97.

40

"Even very young women can be exquisitely cruel. Moreover females can spice their sadism with skills of manipulation unknown even to the cleverest man. We lose sight of one of the eternal verities if we blind ourselves to this fact. .... .... female violence is increasing as chivalry and restraint decline. Accepting that women are morally no better than men will be one step towards dealing with it. Understanding that women can destroy their loved ones will be crucial too." - Rosalind Miles, "Regiment of women monsters", Sunday Telegraph, 3aug97, p26.

41

".... girls who have been attacked by other girls simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. .... Women's Lib is partly to blame for the change. I fought for that cause through the sixties. Girls and women should not be downtrodden. .... But that does not mean we should be aggressive and violent to anyone who seems weaker than us. The problem is that women, in their bid to become more equal to men, have taken on the most unattractive yobbish tendencies. Women appear to have mistaken male assertion for outright aggression. .... The present generation of rude girls is already becoming the next generation of rude mothers. What will their daughters be like?" - Michelle Elliott, "So why are our young women behaving so badly?", The Express, 6june97.

42

"For one reason or another I have been thinking a lot about female solidarity this week ....

.... No one believes that it is legitimate for women to go around stabbing men, but without understanding the appalling circumstances in which these things happen, we can not easily make a judgement. ....

....

....

.... Revenge is always sweet; it's even sweeter when you don't have to leave the house to get it." - Suzanne Moore, "Look what's under the patio", The Guardian, 18may95, p5.

43

"I am talking now about these altermaters who lured me and so many others into feminism, only to abandon us when our problems became too adult for their adolescent frame of reference. When we left the foreground of their favourite fairy-tale, and walked into a pair of shoes they were too afraid to retrieve from the shadows.

"Why did they seduce us in the first place if they didn't intend to see us through? Why have they abandoned us? Why do they refuse even to admit that this is what they've done? .... I feel betrayed by the feminist movement, it's not because of its original promises, but because I put too much trust in a collection of ideas that were .... not as reliable as advertised.

".... It is as difficult for feminists to accept feminist legacy as it is for feminists to accept the so-called patriarchal legacy."

 

 

Reflections on Reflections

Violent Reflections