Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Lost Men

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  • Neil, in reply to Sacha,

    We have all encountered research about the gendered distribution of violence. ‘Vengeful’ or ‘obsessive’ behaviour I would like to see some evidence for.

    There’s research availabile online and almost daily evidence of male violence motivated by revenge. But if you have a different view I’d be happy to engage.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to nzlemming,

    It’s always been this way in NZ. Mental illness was something that you hid away, in asylums or in cottages out the back of the farm. The whole “man alone” bullshit was about striving and winning against the environment, other people, the Wellington rulemakers etc. Nothing’s changed except that we closed the asylums and put people on the street where they can be seen.

    Truth in that - but still, things have changed. I grew up with a strong sense of a govt 'safety net' - and no sense that only winners mattered and failure was a crushing personal responsibility. I don't think today's teenagers feel the same way.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Hi Dennis, I hope my hesitancy in replying isn’t taken as anything but indicative of exactly how objectionable I find your position on this.

    The problem has emerged due to inaccuracy of language usage. The original meaning of racism is belief that one race is superior to the others.

    Excluding words which have undergone semantic shift basically obliviates the entire language.

    Back in the colonial era it was conventional to believe the white race was superior.

    Presuming we are now sufficiently decolonised, ignoring what’s right in front of our beaks:

    Brash said that in 1840 Maori were “a stone-age people”.

    Having linked to a couple of remarkable essays on the topic by Moana Jackson and Leonie Pihama last time we clashed on this topic which you appear to have disregarded entirely, I’m not sure where to even begin:

    I’m aware that younger generations in recent decades have tended to view and call anything they don’t like racist, so as to devalue it as a technical term. A symptom of collective brain death?

    Beyond being an abhorantly dismissive statement, what I’m hearing is that you feel that indigenous people and POC’s perceptions of racism are inferior/less valid than your own. This form of white supremacy is familiar – akin to those cis women of influence sneaking around behind the scenes on the twittersphere DMing trans women to splain what transphobia is/who is transphobic/who may or may not be criticised etc. Which we call trans-misogyny and which you again may refer to as ‘Collective brain death’.

    In this case we’re not talking about a fringe perception, the current Justice Minister has called this

    It was last year derided by Labour leader Andrew Little as racist. “This only works as an idea if you’re prepared to overlook the first 100 years of New Zealand’s history, ignore the fact that there were land confiscations, that there were unlawful detentions of Māori people, that there was discrimination and racism against Māori people in the early part of our history."

    Your derision of the perspectives of ethnic minorities with regard to racism reminds me of this.

    fascism is a revolt BY THE RULING CLASS. It’s not a revolt against the status quo so much as a violent reassertion of the status quo.

    In that regardless of how you might consider yourself to be and talk yourself up as a “radical” on this issue, your opinion and hegemonic dismissal of the perspectives of tangata whenua is fairly stock standard conservative position.

    One takeaway I have is that you see this as an issue of individualism – something to add to the CV:

    I was the only Green Party member who stood up…

    My first demo in 1970 was a march against apartheid in Auckland led by Trevor Richardson

    ignoring the fact that at the time there were probably similarly conservatively drifting centrist liberals claiming "that’s not what racism meant in my day," you seem to insulate yourself with the notion that your work is done, that you stood up to racism, in 1970 or in 1990 and that as such you’ve now earned the right to disagree with and disregard ethnic minorities when they speak of racism, because their definition no longers fits in *your dictionary*. So you feel you no longer need to listen. Which entirely ignores the fact that these are wars – and in wars the lines shift – and you’re now on that side. You’re now the white moderate MLK identified as the biggest threat in writing from Birmingham Jail (thanks KR!):

    I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;"

    Or as you put it:

    The extremist trend has gone too far and must be rolled back!

    Which does in a way tie in with the highly problematic suicide causality implied by Mayor John Engen in the video Russell posted:

    "If my boss is a woman what does that mean for me, if my boss is a Muslim woman what does that mean for me?"

    Both in their way representative of this oft repeated maxim:

    “When you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”

    That’s just my impression of where you’re coming from. People of pedigree and privilege doing what they can to maintain the hierarchical structures from which they benefit.

    For me it’s impossible to ignore the timing – to overlook that these are – as Russell suggested back in early 2017 – “interesting times” – today no less so. As the GOP’s leadership is put to referendum, as you defend the integrity of those campaigning to remove Māori seats.

    At a time when the air is awash with the dog whistles of bigots, when the rational man genre is enjoying a resurgence in popularity

    “The move to MMP has coincided with the growth of identity politics, which has a tendency to formalise and reify the fracture lines of identity groups as the basis for political action, rather than to break down group barriers, emphasise a common humanity and seek shared ground.”

    when wise men like these talk of identity politics being a threat to democracy, it’s not the gays or the disabled or women for whom the whistle pips.

    Even Fukuyama isn’t sufficiently beholden to his neoconservatism to entirely misrepresent the nuance of the current situation.

    “Trump instinctively picks these racial themes in order to drive people on the left crazy and they get more and more extreme in their response. I think he sees an opportunity to divide people and make the Democrats less united as a competitor.”

    But anyway, for those who can see through Brash, and who wish to guarantee Māori voice in parliament, submissions are now open.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Neil,

    The research I am aware of (not a specialist topic of interest) finds no gendered difference in motivations of revenge or obsessiveness. However, I do not need anything further from you on the topic.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Truth in that - but still, things have changed. I grew up with a strong sense of a govt 'safety net' - and no sense that only winners mattered and failure was a crushing personal responsibility. I don't think today's teenagers feel the same way.

    The safety net has definitely been whisked away.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Sacha,

    Men appear to get greater satisfaction than women from witnessing painful retribution, according to a brain scanner study published today.

    Not sure why you keep going for snark. It seems like an important element of men’s behaviour especially in this age of Trump.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Neil,

    That link didn’t work for me but here’s another summary, here’s the study (cohort of 32), and here’s a recent article about the research leader Tania Singer:

    But inside her lab, it was a very different story, eight former and current colleagues say in interviews with Science. The researchers, all but one of whom insisted on remaining anonymous because they feared for their careers, describe a group gripped by fear of their boss. “Whenever anyone had a meeting with her there was at least an even chance they would come out in tears,” one colleague says.

    Singer, one of the most high-profile female researchers in the Max Planck Society (MPG), sometimes made harsh comments to women who became pregnant, multiple lab members told Science. “People were terrified. They were really, really afraid of telling her about their pregnancies,” one former colleague says. “For her, having a baby was basically you being irresponsible and letting down the team,” says another, who became a mother while working in Singer’s department.

    The conclusion of that Guardian write up:

    "They consistently rated the fair player as being more agreeable, more likable and even more attractive than the unfair actor," said Dr Singer. But she added that other studies would need to be done as the tests may have been slanted towards men for presenting a physical rather than, say, psychological, punishment.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Neil,

    an important element of men’s behaviour

    an important element of people's behaviour.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Sacha,

    We have Women’s Refuge not Peoples’ Refuge.

    The argument is one of variance in a population. Men being predisposed to certain behaviour doesn’t imply some women can’t act in a similar manner.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Neil,

    My genuine feeling is that you showcased how out of your depth you are in discussing sex or gender are when apropos of nothing you called trans women men.


    Incidentally as Erin Pizzey who started the first women’s shelter has recounted – the reason we don’t have ‘peoples refuge or ’men’s refuge’ is because it’s not that marketable.

    Erin: Well, now just imagine, I mean, two people on my board—well three or four of them—were millionaires. Yeah, and they were very protective of women. And when you present them with the fact that men equally need protecting, they’d sew up their pockets. What I did then—I couldn’t keep the house open because none of us had any money. What I did … a very nice woman created charity shops and we called them Men’s Aid and that employed a man to go and see every single man who wanted to see us.

    Dean: I see, but you haven’t been successful in continuing that sort of thing?

    Erin: No, I managed to open the house and some men were ready to come in, but I couldn’t get a penny from anybody.

    Dean: You couldn’t get a penny from anybody—for helping men? Still can’t really?

    Erin: No you can’t.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Neil,

    Men being predisposed to certain behaviour

    .. is what you have not established evidence of. Gendered violence is fraught enough without misleading ourselves about aspects of it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to mark taslov,

    Mark, I gather that you have taken what I wrote quite personally. Since I didn't frame it so, I'm puzzled about that. I take the point that we all have attitudes and opinions deriving from our cultural niche & developmental trajectory, and I'm not aware of any bias against those I'm unfamiliar with.

    I realise it may be just a question of temperament, and some folk get more emotional about social commentary & political analysis than others. I'm considerably more dispassionate nowadays. I was extremely angry & hostile as I entered adulthood long ago. I've been in victim sub-groups - I understand how they generate beliefs that shape our world-view.

    So nowadays I accept that all we can really do is our best, to find common ground where possible, and build consensus on that. Human nature drives us to try and persuade others at times that our view is better than theirs - I try to avoid that but if it seems that I'm doing it then I must accept that others can misinterpret my intent in those instances. Best to then just agree to disagree rather than argue particular points, I feel. So I'll just offer the observation that the meeting of minds only happens when people are ready, willing and able, and the time is right for it.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Mark, I gather that you have taken what I wrote quite personally.

    Dennis, thanks for your response, I genuinely didn’t. I’ll readily admit – based on feedback I’ve received throughout the years – that despite my ambitions, I’m not particularly able when it comes to conveying my tone accurately in written form, I generally just tend to turn the volume up to eleven and hope something lands.

    For clarity; I see views like yours on this topic regularly, and simply put, as far as I’m concerned this is a form of gaslighting:

    I’m aware that younger generations in recent decades have tended to view and call anything they don’t like racist, so as to devalue it as a technical term. A symptom of collective brain death?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Sacha,

    I’ve provided evidence which you choose to ignore.

    I’m not sure what you are arguing though, you mention « gendered violence » - are you arguing that there is a different pattern of violence based on gender or not?

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Attachment

    Mark, I gather that you have taken what I wrote quite personally.

    On the other hand, what Neil has been writing I take very personally, because I’m acutely aware of how the type of absolutist gender binary agenda he’s pushing destroys lives. Our threshold for ‘evidence’ has sunk to extraordinarily low levels it seems.

    I can recognise the bias and follies all too well – a couple of week’s back he’d have had us believe Narcissistic Personality Disorder was the exclusive domain of Jami-Lee Ross or white males or that JLR was the only abuser or bed hopper in Parliament. Marama Davidson set things straight on the latter points and most research indicates that NPD affects something like 6% of the population i.e. about 200,000 New Zealanders.

    With regard to gender/sex, the barrow he’s pushing is very much the cisnormative soup du jour, a symptom of top down messaging which has long since and continues to dominate gender discourse in 2018 Aotearoa e.g. when the Prime Minister was asked on 19 January:

    Are you going to find out the baby’s gender?

    Without hesitation, nor attempt to correct the journalist she erased the lived reality of every trans person in the country (12:05) by promptly responding

    Ah we already know

    Because cis people by and large maintain that they do know the gender of babies and furthermore that sex and gender are to be conflated. So it wasn’t unusual that the PM chose to only "acknowledge those women" (11:45) who’d given birth before her rather than inclusively acknowledging everyone; the men and other gender minorities who’ve gone through similar.

    Similarly it wasn’t unusual that leading up to the birth the couple continued to entertain by indulging the media a number of times as to whether or not they’d revealed the baby’s sex – going to some substantive lengths to play up the importance of the sex – instead of making an attempt – in keeping with Labour policy of empowering and ensuring that ’Rainbow New Zealanders can live in safety and dignity’. of dismissing this salaciousness by acknowledging that genitals are an inadequate gauge for ascertaining gender, that the sexing of infants, the expectations and imposition which accompany this active engagement in fomenting cissexist ideology and assiduously maintaining cisnormative narratives causes harm for gender minorities, GNC and intersex people in the community.

    In the video, prior to the first punch, a girl calls out: “Are you a boy or a girl?” the victim responds: “Does it really matter?” “Yeah it does”, a girl says before the victim replies: “No, it doesn’t” then she is punched.

    So yeah Dennis, that’s the kind of stuff I take personally. Incidentally yesterday was intersex day of remembrance and solidarity as yet the Government of kindness or whatever continues to ignore the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s recommendations calling for an end to the colonial practice of Intersex Genital mutilation in New Zealand.

    • implement a child rights-based health care protocol for intersex children that guarantees the rights to bodily integrity and self-determination

    • investigate incidents of surgical and other medical treatment of intersex children without informed consent, and provide redress

    • educate professionals on biological and physical sexual diversity and consequences of unnecessary interventions on children

    • provide free access to surgical intervention and treatment related to their intersex condition for 16 to 18 year old intersex children

    It doesn't matter how many teachers or teachers assistants we've got if they're not teaching the truth.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    oops – some corrections needed in this paragraph:

    Likewise it wasn’t unusual that leading up to the birth the couple continued to entertain by indulging the media a number of times as to whether or not they’d revealed the baby’s sex – going to some substantive lengths to play up the importance of the sex – instead of making an attempt – in keeping with Labour policy of empowering and ensuring that ’Rainbow New Zealanders can live in safety and dignity’ – to dismiss this salaciousness by acknowledging that genitals are an inadequate gauge for ascertaining gender, and that the sexing of infants – the expectations and imposition which accompany this active engagement in fomenting cissexist ideology and assiduously maintaining cisnormative narratives – causes harm for gender minorities, GNC and intersex people in the community.

    In the video, prior to the first punch, a girl calls out: “Are you a boy or a girl?” the victim responds: “Does it really matter?” “Yeah it does”, a girl says before the victim replies: “No, it doesn’t” then she is punched.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Neil,

    I’ve provided evidence

    No, you have provided us with nothing but your reckons ever since this claim:

    Males do have a tendency to become obsessed, to hold grudges and to seek revenge. That’s genetics.

    If you want to come out with something like that, put some links where your mouth is. This is not a site where such an assertion is accepted just because you say so.

    Or expect nobody here to take you seriously. Your choice.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to mark taslov,

    To be honest, differentiating sex & gender is not something I've thought much about - although I see why it would be ultra-important for some. And a vital part of identity politics. My own relevant personal experience is merely having a strong sense of having been female in my incarnation prior to this one.

    Also, one of my astrologer friends from the eighties became an alternative therapist and she uses a hi-tech diagnostic system that supposedly reads relevant past lives as context for current life situations (along with more than a dozen various organic or biophysical functions). Yeah, as a physics graduate my sceptical side reserves judgment, but a lifetime of investigating alternative belief systems keeps my mind open. Anyway, on five different occasions in recent years it has referred to a different past incarnation as female - my friend says such a consistent pattern hasn't happened to any of her other clients. Various different foreign ethnic contexts in different periods of history. How it rationalised relevance was in each case quite illuminating, so my inner bullshit detector gave it cautious approval...

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Again what astonishes me is how you buy into all that, yet when a Māori person calls Don Brash racist you discredit it as ‘brain death’.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to ,

    People will make of it what they will, Steven. Not my problem. What's your problem?? Have you no insight into the spiritual dimension of the world? Do you deny that it exists? Many do. Nothing wrong with that, of course...

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to mark taslov,

    Ah but I didn't actually do so. Read it again. Asserting something is vastly different than raising the question. You must be aware of that. Perhaps you were misrepresenting me inadvertently?? So easy to be seduced into subjective reactions and lose the connection with what folks are actually saying.

    The sociopathic tendency of leftists to demonise rightists via lying about what they say or believe is a blight on politics. To me it isn't just unethical, it's immoral. And I'm not even on the political right. Just prefer fairness for all.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Thanks for your response Dennis. The speciousness reminds me of a younger me on these boards – a bad habit fomented by an inability to publicly address certain aspects of my lived reality in local cyberspace due to fear motivated by trauma punctuated conditioning. A tendency I feel – with the patience and goodwill of the community here – I’ve largely managed to move beyond.

    As I said earlier – and I’m not straying from this – I see your discrediting of people calling Brash a racist as gaslighting – which – as I also said earlier – I have considerable experience of from all sorts of people – caregivers, teachers, journalists, you name it, cis folk stepping up to gaslight me is the story of my life.

    People feel entitled to set me straight on all manner of things related to who they think I am, or what I experience, to school me, humiliate me on what cissexism or transphobia is because they ’wrote a book about it’, to chastise me for using this pseudonym because they read it as male and they’re trans-misogynists whose feminism involves trying to correct trans folk with regards to who they think we are and should be. These are your heroes, community leaders, political movers and shakers, the establishment, the elite.

    I’m not talking about Dennis Frank on various New Zealand left wing websites – I’m talking about high profile celebrities who’ve gone out of their way to gaslight me about my experiences of sexual assault, or sexual violence; an Auckland Local Board member who retweeted cissexist material sexualising pubescent boys on Twitter, and who when informed about this, appended a disclaimer (about the cissexism) while continuing to disseminate the cissexist material sexualising pubescent boys; folk with a feminist ideology similar to Neil’s – prepared to go to similar lengths to protect it from being challenged by those with experiences it erases. Folk who third gender us when the prospect of us talking about non-heterosexual IPV we experience conflicts with heteronormative narratives and agendas.

    I’m talking about primary school teachers who tell our parents ’your kid’ll grow out of’ being trans, I’m talking about a rapist who implied they assaulted me because they thought i’m a NAZI. I’m talking about you and your false equivalence of with regard to reincarnation, neglecting that such a scenario would likely entail every single person – on good odds – having been reincarnated a female at one or multiple points rendering the entire strawperson moot to the equation. I’m talking about being chased around the house by my wife with a carving knife and having experienced IPV in this relationship for 7 years with nowhere to turn or escape to because the Government never came through with either its welfare reforms nor its rainbow policies nor the requisite progressiveness to even acknowledge these issues exist.

    When you’ve passed Gaslighting 301 and you’re onto the Post-Grad and you’re clear beyond a skerrick of uncertainty that the cavalry are not coming to the rescue.

    We all do it to some extent – every single one of us – at some time or another – we second guess others’ perceptions – generally relatively innocuously and other times with disastrous effect – and so when you get on the gaslight like this;

    I’m aware that younger generations in recent decades have tended to view and call anything they don’t like racist, so as to devalue it as a technical term. A symptom of collective brain death?

    Well you can call that what you want – justify it as you feel you need to – but I’m done with it – you don’t wanna show me nothing, but you’re telling me everything. I’m acutely aware even discussing this stuff how painful it is listening to “allies” waffle on – how white this site is – and how ultimately I’m just giving you oxygen when I should be – as the HRC suggests – giving nothing to racism.

    Don't @ me.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Sacha,

    If you want to come out with something like that, put some links where your mouth is.

    I have provided one link and referenced the Dunedin Longitudinal study whose finding on the genetics of male antisocial behaviour is relevant.

    If you feel that those two sources are problematic I’m interested to know why.

    There is also the daily evidence of males acting more aggressively than women. Which has been the case for a long period of our history and in by far the majority of societies.

    I’m surprised this is in any way controversial.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Neil,

    Parts of your claim remaining somewhat controversial are that “holding grudges” and “seeking revenge” are not synonymous with “aggressive behaviour”, nor are they exclusively male preserves, nor do they form any part of the Dunedin Longitudinal study’s findings.
    Accepting that males do tend to show more aggressive behaviour on average than females – even there, the mechanism is still not exclusively genetic; it also is influenced by socialisation towards gendered patterns of behaviour (and learned behaviour will also be influenced by different cost/benefit results of aggressive behaviour for individuals with larger muscle bulk, which of course is gender-associated).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1942 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to linger,

    the mechanism is still not exclusively genetic

    No it’s not and what aspects are are of course to be remedied by social action – which is what I would say liberal democracy is. Just that attempt to counter our worse nature.

    But what is considered to be socially caused has to an extent an underlying genetic component. Our social environment is other people who are influenced by their genes. Our emotions are a product of our brain structure that eveloved to enable us to live in groups.

    Obsession and revenge are common elements of male violence. There’s some evidence that this has a genetic component – linked to above. It’s not straight forward but any slight variance would throw up particular individuals in large populations. Many of the mass shootings in the US are by men with obsessive grudges. That they are so lethal is a product of the social environment – easy access to guns - with a social remedy.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

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