“Hi Everyone, I have just completed a skype interview with Lorraine Finlay, a very brave law lecturer from Murdoch University in Perth, about proposed changes to sexual consent laws in NSW. Lorraine is a former WA State Prosecutor and co-author of the 2015 book “Criminal Law in Australia”.
Everyone knows the word “misogyny” and its overuse is epidemic. Ever since Julia Gillard used it (wrongly) to put down Tony Abbott in the Australian parliament, it has gained status as the “goto” put-me-down against men.
Its actual meaning is all about “hating” women, but her use has extended its meaning to “entrenched prejudice against women” and even any remark that criticizes or suggests any imperfection.
Worried chaps really do have something dreadful to fret about. A University of Cambridge study released this week claims that men who suffer from anxiety are more than twice as likely to die from cancer as men who don’t. What’s more, the study of nearly 16,000 Britons found that chronic anxiety affected only men in this way. Women seem to be immune.
This is how it used to work: John would do something well, and as a consequence his self-esteem would build. His parents loved him (to them he was “special”) and supported him, but didn’t see the need to keep telling him that “ he could do anything”. He was good at some things, excellent at a few, and more or less average at others. He also knew that there were limits to his options and got some help in to choose directions for his life and career. Oh, and he was called John (or Andrew or David) not Zed or Xendu!
From their looks you can tell that they are thinking “ Mum is so hopeless, but let’s try to be nice to her”. Then Dad appears, making breakfast, organising lunches and checking school uniforms before setting off for his day at work. He is impressive.
The Twittersphere would shake with outrage at the portrayal of women. It is sexist, misogynistic and degrading. It would last about 2 microseconds before it was taken down. There would be complaints to the media regulators and the press would be in morally “super indignant mode”.
The graph shows the rates of suicide by gender in specific age groups. Here is the challenge: Make a one sentence summary of what you see.
It is so glaringly, “in your face” obvious: the thing that stands out is the massive difference in suicide rates between men and women. Men are suiciding at many times the rate for women and the rate is increasing, yet this result is not getting much prominence in the media. It is almost taboo to focus on the figures showing that this is a huge issue for men. We look at bits of the data that give some sort of edge to women: for example, that for young women, the 15 – 19 age group has the most suicides and this is not the case for men, although in that age group men still have a higher rate than women. This analysis is true, but deflects attention from the significant statistic that at every age men are suiciding at far greater rates than women.