Mark Latham: “domestic violence as a coping mechanism”

Mark Latham in his own words, for those of you unable or unwilling to listen to it, we did it so you don’t have to.

Latham objects to using racial epithets, because he used to be able to say things and they were “harmless”.

The full broadcast also included Latham’s views on racist epithets and “the elites” inflicting political correctness upon us:

You can say negro, not mean it to have any malice or bad intent against black Americans, but according to Australia’s race discrimination commissioner, Dr Tim, it’s racist, so our lifestyle and our language is being redefined here, and being sanitised to the point where blandness will rule and everybody’s got to be like Tim Soutphommasane apparently. This is an attempt to socially engineer us all to be just like him and his mates. And it’s just plain wrong.

The full transcript of his discussion of domestic violence and left feminists is below:

I’d like to have a conversation about the domestic violence debate, because I’ve watched this closely I’ve spoken to a lot of women, professional women, as to what’s happened in recent times. And a lot of them are asking, “where’s this come from?”

Surveys show women are safer than ever before, that, sure, there are some unacceptable incidents of domestic assault in the community, but they're no worse than they were 20 or 30 years ago. Why this big national push?

A lot of it of course has come out of Rosie Batty's role as a spokeswoman for the feminist movement, the left feminist movement. She went through a tragedy at the beginning of last year, but a lot of Australian are asking how did that tragedy where a lunatic drugged out father sadly maliciously killed his own son, how does that morph into a generalised campaign against all Australian men?

That's the thing that worries me about the domestic violence campaign. It's being run for political reasons. It's left feminists pushing what they call definition of patriarchy. They think Australia is a patriarchy. Now, what do they mean by that? According to them, patriarchy is a social system where all men are genetically engineered to dominate women.

Now, what sort of Australia are they talking about? Maybe they’re talking about Australia in the 1940s and 50s, but it’s not the Australia I know. And the women I talk to, it’s not the Australia they know.

Most women are saying, that feminism, to its credit, in the 60s made huge advances, in workforce participation and education, we’ve now got the great statistic in Australia that last year, 60% of our university graduates were female. So if there’s patriarchy, where men automatically dominate women, the blokes who are running the university systems are doing a really lousy job. 60% of the people coming out of it are women. And they’ll get great jobs in the future. It’s not uncommon now to have female dominated professional work places, and that too is a wonderful advance.

So I worry that the domestic violence debate is being used as a Trojan horse to push a left wing feminist position, saying that we’re a patriarchy. There’s a demonization of men here, where if you listen to Rose Batty, every man is a potential wife basher, every woman is potentially at risk.

If you actually look at the statistics, domestic violence in Australia is very much concentrated in poor underclass communities. For every domestic incident in a middle class community, there are 10 in a public housing estate and 25 in an indigenous community.

So let’s get away from this nonsense that every woman is at risk and every man is a potential wife basher, that’s not the case. The case is that it’s a concentrated problem that needs a concentrated targeted solution. And I worry, that in the demonization of men, that Rosie Batty is causing more harm than good. Because the patriarchy argument is that men beat up women in some cases because they hate them, that men naturally hate women.

But I don’t think it’s about how men look at women, it’s about how the men look at themselves. Blokes have lost self-esteem, they’ve lost their job, they’re welfare dependent, and they’ve got other troubles, drugs, alcohol, in their life. It’s that loss of self-esteem where I think they use the domestic violence as a coping mechanism to get over all the other crap they’ve got in their lives. So demonizing men and making them feel worse about themselves is not going to solve the problem that’s targeted and concentrated in certain communities.

Now, Rosie Batty has been out there generalising very much along these lines. Let me quote what she said at the Press  Club in June: "From the moment you (meaning men) breathe you have your male sense of privilege and entitlement that you view through your lens and you don’t know any different, while as women, we know our place".


Well, that’s not only offensive to men, and wrong about men in Australia. Most of who these days, I think, have go no sense of male privilege and entitlement. They’re open, they’re willing to promote women, and encourage women on merit, in all walks of life, and to say “women know our place”, well I don’t know women who “know their place in society”, the women I know and respect are positive people who stand up in their own merit and get things done, because they’re capable. Not because they’re male or female, but because they’re capable, ambitious, doing good things for good reasons.

So, this 1960s view of patriarchy is well out of date, demonizing men I think actually makes the problem worse, and if you want a solution, then deal with the men in the public housing estates and the aboriginal communities where the problem is targeted, do something about their self-esteem, their employment, their life chances and you would find that, by attacking poverty, rather than attacking men, you’ll get a far better solution than the nonsense we’re hearing  from Rosie Batty and the other left feminists.

The left feminist argument is that every man is, potentially, a wife basher, is an offender, and the evidence shows that a lot of men don’t fall into that category. Clearly a majority of men don’t fall into that category. We’ve got a positive attitude about women, we’ve got more men wanting to look after the kids at home, share parenting duties, support their wives career, as I do in my own personal circumstances. So men with a positive attitude to women and actually encourage them to pursue all their lifestyle shouldn’t be demonized and placed in this category of being a potential wife basher, because the problem is concentrated in certain areas so you need a concentrated solution.

Common sense would tell you that, and demonizing all men just opens up gender wars in Australia and I just think this is the wrong approach and it’s not driven by the evidence, it’s driven by an outdated, left feminist ideology, which is about patriarchy, instead of a common sense understanding of how our society is changing for the better.

Jane Gilmore

Jane Gilmore is a former Editor of Women's Agenda.

Twitter: @JaneTribune



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