November 25th is White Ribbon Day in Australia, a day devoted to ending domestic violence against women. This year – the 25th has already drawn to a close in Australia – there were reportedly hundreds of White Ribbon events held across the country, including a massive march in suburban Sydney that drew thousands of participants.
White Ribbon Australia, which describes itself as “Australia’s only national, male led Campaign to end men’s violence against women” calls on men to “swear never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.” It helps to coordinate events in schools and workplaces, and has gotten support from police departments across the country as well as from various branches of the nation’s military.
It’s also gotten the attention of the folks at A Voice for Men.
Not that long ago, as you may recall, everyone’s favorite Men’s Rights hate site set up its own phony White Ribbon website in an attempt to push its own noxious views on domestic violence, undermine real White Ribbon organizations worldwide – and to do a bit of fundraising of its own. (AVFM, perhaps fearing legal reprisal, has since taken down the “donate” button it used to have on the site.)
Now AVFM has decided to take White Ribbon Australia on directly, declaring November 25th to be “White Ribbon Fraud Day.” That’s right: the group that just set up a fake White Ribbon website is accusing the real domestic violence awareness group of fraud.
AVFM’s head boy Paul Elam declares in his typically overheated prose that
Profiteers have now industrialized battered women, reducing them to storefront mannequins for the sake of lining their pockets. …
One of the most deplorable examples of that in existence today is the so-called “White Ribbon Campaign.” … Their modus operandi is to paint a false picture of the problem, identifying its sole source as abusive men and its sole victims as helpless women. It is a calculated deception that flies in the face of virtually all known credible research on the issue, but it is a financial windfall because female-only victims and male-only perpetrators have proven to provide the best incentive for inspiring well-meaning people to give money.
Perhaps the worst of the worst in this worldwide consortium of con artists is the White Ribbon Campaign in Australia.
Never mind the actual domestic violence survivors (not mannequins) who show up and speak out at White Ribbon Day events. Never mind that Elam’s notion of “credible research” on the subject of domestic violence is considered by most DV experts as seriously flawed.
And never mind that Elam himself seems to think that the best “solution” to domestic violence perpetrated by women against men is for men
to beat the living shit out of them. I don’t mean subdue them, or deliver an open handed pop on the face to get them to settle down. I mean literally to grab them by the hair and smack their face against the wall till the smugness of beating on someone because you know they won’t fight back drains from their nose with a few million red corpuscles.
And then make them clean up the mess.
So the idea that Elam is some sort of moral authority on the issue of domestic violence is laughable.
But let’s hear him out anyway.
Elam’s “smoking gun” against White Ribbon Australia? That after a cursory examination of the group’s publicly available financial records
we have found no evidence that White Ribbon Australia has ever contributed a solid nickel to a single service for actual victims of domestic violence. That includes female victims.
Well, Paul, that’s probably because THAT’S NOT WHAT WHITE RIBBON AUSTRALIA DOES. There are numerous groups in Australia that do provide direct support to victims of domestic violence; White Ribbon Australia links to many of them on its website.
But, as the group makes plain on its website, it doesn’t provide direct assistance. Instead, it “work[s] to change the attitudes and behaviours that lead to violence against women.”
What does this mean? Well, in addition to White Ribbon Day events (and other events held throughout the year), the group organizes programs in schools and workplaces, recruits and works with corporate partners, and trains Advocates and Amabassadors to speak out against violence against women.
The efforts of White Ribbon Australia and other DV organizations to raise awareness are bearing fruit; indeed, the Australian government earlier this year pledged $100 million to step up the fight against domestic violence.
A Voice for Men, meanwhile, has set up a phony website to undermine these efforts.
I think it’s pretty clear who the real fraud is here.