Blaming all men is a huge mistake

 

OPINION

There are two phases in the 21st century cycle of outrage.

The first is the hysteria, which engorges itself like an ever-expanding balloon filled with helium and horseshit until it explodes and showers everyone with crap.

The second is the truth, which inevitably sinks like a stone.

There have been two salient examples of this in the past two weeks but, for the first time, it offers a quiet hope.

Long-suffering readers will recall a recent piece I wrote questioning precisely what political or policy breakthroughs Greta Thunberg and the climate strikers thought they would achieve with their street marches and angry chants. For those keeping count, the result so far is zero.

Instead the protest morphed into the evermore extreme actions of the Extinction Rebellion activists, who have perhaps done more than any human beings on the planet to turn ordinary people against the global effort to tackle climate change.

Incredibly these numbnuts even physically prevented people from taking trains, despite this being the very form of transport they are constantly urging people to use.

Little wonder that would-be passengers on the London Tube who were saving the planet one ride at a time ended up taking these douchebags down. Little wonder an old white activist who claimed to be progressive ended up being exposed by a young black commuter for shutting down the very rail system she had used to get to her point of protest.

Extinction Rebellion protesters call for action on climate change during a rally in Trafalgar Square, London, this month. Picture: AP Photo/Matt Dunham
Extinction Rebellion protesters call for action on climate change during a rally in Trafalgar Square, London, this month. Picture: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

And little wonder a political strategist friend of mine who had proudly taken part in the climate strike march, which was a peaceful and non-disruptive affair, later publicly denounced the Extinction Rebellion movement for doing enormous harm to the climate change cause.

As usual, the more extreme the outrage, the more wrong it turns out to be.

The other watershed moment that sank to the bottom of the sea was a landmark study by the Australian Institute of Criminology that examined 39 quantitative studies of domestic violence over the past decade or so, entitled simply "Domestic violence offenders, prior offending and reoffending in Australia".

Astonishingly, given the amount of publicity and so-called "research" this life or death issue has received in recent years, the study noted in its opening statement: "To our knowledge, there has been no attempt to develop a comprehensive understanding of what characterises domestic violence offenders and offending across Australia."

In an effort to actually tackle this problem, it combed through almost 3000 records and more than 300 papers from almost every conceivable agency and source, painstakingly eliminating those that were not scientifically sound, such as sources more than 30 years old, those not from Australia and those based on non-hard data, such as focus groups and interviews.

The evidence from this comprehensive, fact-based and tragically unprecedented analysis was clear and overwhelming. There was a massive concentration of domestic violence in disadvantaged and indigenous communities and that alcohol was also a driving factor.

Perhaps most significantly, despite the prevailing narrative that domestic violence is a simple male versus female issue, it found that in fact it was a tiny minority of men who were responsible for a vastly disproportionate amount of abuse.

"There is growing recognition that domestic violence offending is concentrated among a relatively small group of offenders or couples," the AIC found.

One 2016 study it cited "found that a very small minority of repeat offenders (2 per cent) were responsible for half of all harm (50 per cent)" and another 2017 Northern Territory study "found that eight per cent of couples accounted for 27 per cent of the harm associated with domestic violence".

The conclusion was unequivocal: "First, a very large proportion of offenders involved in domestic violence incidents attended by police, and who then move through the justice system, are recidivist offenders."

Moreover, these were concentrated in the poorest and most long-suffering communities, as the AIC found and stated again and again.

"The likelihood of domestic violence reoffending appears to be higher in more socio-economically disadvantaged communities," the report said.

And again: "Those in highly disadvantaged areas were also at a greater risk of violent domestic violence reoffending compared with those in the areas of least disadvantage."

And once more: "Perpetrators of physical violence were found to have higher levels of unemployment (a 2007 study) and were more likely to be from more disadvantaged areas (another study from 2016)."

It literally could not be clearer.

And yet only four of the 39 studies the AIC analysed even looked at the socio-economic status of offenders - compared to 21 that focused on gender. Apparently most of the academic research over the past decade is either oblivious or wilfully blind to the most critical factor in this scourge.

By contrast, I and precious few others have been crazybrave enough to publicly draw attention to the fact that poorest communities are hardest hit by domestic violence. And it is a matter of public record that whenever I have said or written precisely what the evidence shows I have been summarily crucified by self-proclaimed progressives, including suggestions that I am a closet abuser myself, that I should be bashed or defiled and veiled threats from activists saying they knew where I lived or went to the supermarket.

Meanwhile these same so-called progressives are happy to consign poor and indigenous women to their deaths in their darkly narcissistic campaign to argue that they are no more at risk than upper-middle class professionals because it is simply men that are the problem, not broken communities. This is the deadliest of lies.

As a result you won't see or hear these progressive gender warriors championing the findings of this most comprehensive and belatedly groundbreaking study, because they know they are condemned by the truth.

If they had any decency they would hang their heads in shame for abandoning the most vulnerable women in our society for the sake of a few retweets and an undergraduate ideological war. But the fact is they have no decency, nor any shame.

Still, I promised a happy story and so it is. Because, as the outrage subsides and the evidence rolls in, it will become evermore clear that the social media arbiters of social justice are mindless hypocrites far more obsessed with their own pontification than the real problems besetting society - not to mention wholly unaware of what those problems even are.

And as the outrage is constantly disproved and defrocked, not only does the emperor have no clothes but the emperor has been stripsearched at Splendour and found to be carrying not so much as a disco biscuit up the jexy.

The truth will out, the truth will prevail, and the truth will put the horseshit in the pail.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au In an emergency, call 000

Joe Hildebrand co-hosts Studio 10, 8.30am weekdays, on Network Ten | @Joe_Hildebrand


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