Thursday, March 30, 2023

Lindsay Mitchell: Responding to Marama Davidson's dogma

Green's co-leader Marama Davidson just keeps digging the hole she is in deeper. First she showed her bitter antipathy towards white CIS (same gender as birth) men. Then she walked it back to all men.

Last night on TV1 News she said, “…overwhelmingly it is men who are the biggest threat to women and children when it comes to violence and I needed to make that clarification.”

Marama is the Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence and says she wants us to have these “hard and uncomfortable conversations” (which is reminiscent of what Metiria Turei fatefully wanted when she publicly confessed to ripping off the benefit system.)

But back to Marama. Forget for a moment the offence intended and taken, is her revised statement true?

If Police, Corrections or Oranga Tamariki stats are put up as evidence, the court would find in her favour. More men are in prison for family violence convictions than women; police arrest more men than women for family violence and more men commit physical abuse against children than women (though not “overwhelmingly”. If other forms of abuse are considered women outdo men. Take for instance a quote from MSD gang research which revealed, “The alleged perpetrator of abuse or neglect of gang member’s children was more often recorded as the child’s mother than the gang member father.”)

Sticking to the term ‘violence’ though, a vital point must be made. The NZ Police state:

"Most reported family violence is committed by men against women and children, although women, like men, can assault children. A growing number of men say that female violence against them is not treated as seriously as male assaults on women. International research indicates only about 20% of family violence incidents are actually reported. So a lot is happening in our community that the Police don’t know about."

The majority of family violence goes unreported. So what do we know about unreported violence? One source is longitudinal studies. In New Zealand the best known of these is the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study which has followed a large cohort of children born in the early seventies and continues to publish data.

It looked specifically at physical partner violence when the cohort reached their early twenties. The United States justice department published the findings and compared them to their own:

Click to view

Women were the greater perpetrators of physical partner violence which included choking, hitting, shoving, throwing objects, threatening with a knife, kicking, biting, shaking, etc.

Are the results reliable? According to the brief, “Couples’ responses to the interview showed that agreement about whether specific abusive behaviors had happened was poor, as has been suggested by previous research. Study members and their partners did not agree about whether, for example, one of them had tried to strangle the other. However, agreement improved dramatically when the individual items were summed into scales that counted the variety of different abuse behaviors performed in the past year. Although members of a couple may not recall exactly the same acts, they can agree on whether or not abuse took place and on the extent of the abuse. Agreement was even stronger when random measurement errors were removed statistically.”

This is thirty years ago though. To check for any substantial change a 2016/17 version of the US National Family Violence survey is available. Again, the symmetry between the genders is strong.

For women, 42% reported experiencing any ‘physical violence’ by an intimate partner in their lifetime. For men the rate was 42.3 percent. (Women were more likely to experience sexual coercion or stalking than men.)

As well as evidence from the Dunedin project, Professor David Fergusson directed the Christchurch Health and Development Study which tracked 1,265 children born in 1977 and in 2005 found that men and women reported similar experiences of victimisation and perpetration of domestic violence. According to the Otago Daily Times:

University of Otago Professor David Fergusson, an expert on domestic violence, said the public perception that men were the perpetrators of most domestic violence was the result of biased publicity.

"The proper message is that both gender groups have a capacity for domestic violence [and] women probably perpetrate more assaults on children then men do," Mr Fergusson said.

Unfortunately, Prof Fergusson is no longer with us, but I can attest to his frustration at being routinely ignored by politicians and feel duty bound to recall his work in this area.

The more recent longitudinal study, Growing Up in New Zealand may in time provide a source for actual experience of partner violence but at this stage the participants are only just entering adolescence.

Then again, with ministers like Marama Davidson it’s unlikely to be used to further our understanding of the real world. The last four days have shown that her negative view of men is fixed and she won’t be searching for any evidence to the contrary.

Excitable dogma may be an asset in an activist but not in a minister. She should go.

Lindsay Mitchell is a welfare commentator who blogs HERE.


Anna Mouse said...

This is the inherent problem with ideolgues.

They can never see the forest for the trees.

That is they adhere to the idea as an absolute and can never countenance anything that is not 'the idea'.

Anonymous said...

Fact checking by Katie Kennie in Stuff yesterday : It’s important to note there is a complex intersection of historical and contemporary factors at play here, including the ongoing impact of colonisation. As a recent Cabinet paper points out: Western approaches to responding to violence have not been effective for Māori.

Robert Arthur said...

It is the self righteous arrogance which makes the prospect of co governance, whereby maori will have total control, so terrifying. As especially with all senior maori, she will have been thoroughly incdoctrinated with the decolonisation mantra. Hence the automatic blinkered response against whites.

Anonymous said...

Also from Katie Kennie: New Zealand European” men make up the majority of the male population and are responsible for the majority of reported family violence offences.

Anonymous said...

Ross Calman just given honorary degree for Maori studies by Uni of Canty quoted in Stuff:
“For me, Te Rauparaha was a remarkable leader who was also involved in some very violent campaigns.

“But it’s important to understand the historical context for those events and to explain those nuances and provide more information for people trying to interpret these events today.”

Wording used in historical information through a European lens often focused on the negative aspects of Māori custom like slavery and cannabilism, despite the fact all people had dark things in their past, he said.”

So this justifies extreme violence?
Te Rauparaha was, in his day, one of the most brutal of all Maori warlords.

For example he slashed open the belly of a pregnant woman, tore out, cooked and ate her foetus.

And this violence, this embedded tribal warrior culture is a colonial issue?

Anonymous said...

Stats with regard to males assaulting females are easy to obtain. There is a specific charge called "Male Assaults Female" and the Police have those figures readily available. However, when a female assaults a male, there is no specific charge for that and that type of assault is lumped in with any other type of :common: assault. And when asked under the OIA, the Police say that it's too complicated, time consuming and expensive to do.

Empathic said...

Davidson was wrong, one might say lying, on all counts. Dept of Justice conviction figures show clearly that the largest proportion of violent offending is by Maori men. Intimate partner physical violence is committed at least as often by women against men as the converse, though men commit about 80% of the more seriously injurious violence including homicide. Lesbians commit more intimate partner violence than other groups.

The woke brigade will claim that Maori convictions reflect racism by police and Courts, but this has not been proven. Studies showing that Maori are sentenced more harshly than non-Maori for the same crimes failed to control for offenders' history of previous offending. The Maori offenders had more previous offences so obviously their sentences reflected that. However, it may well be that police pay more attention to Maori than others and this causes some increase in the number of Maori prosecuted, though for significantly violent offending that's unlikely to be much of a factor.

The feminists claim that female violence towards male intimate partners is always in self-defence or at least due to 'slow burn' provocation from repeated violence against those women. The concepts of 'predominant aggressor' and 'primary victim' were invented, with ridiculously invalid categorizing criteria, to perpetuate this falsehood, ignoring the many clear examples of revenge for unfaithfulness, drunken or drug-addled rage over some disagreement, and other motivations.

Police Safety Orders and Family Court Protection Orders are predominantly made against men, but that doesn't reflect the true picture. Police will use a 'Safety Order' to order the man out of the home even when he's the one bruised and bleeding while she has not a scratch, and he's reasonable and calm while she is belligerent and unreasonable. 'Protection Orders' are issued almost routinely and do not require any evidence at all beyond an allegation and having the right boxes ticked. Allegations from women against men are usually accepted without question whereas allegations by men against women are often treated with doubt.

Anonymous said...

I just don’t get it. Why is violence a cis white man/colonial problem? Why can Rubashkyn say : When asked whether she thought her behaviour set a dangerous precedent, Rubashkyn’s response was she considered the dangerous precedent to be people spreading “hate”. Yet she has assaulted some one with a different perspective to hers and has now skipped the country. She seems to think the anger towards her is because of who she is when, I suspect for many, it is for what she has said and done. Yet she does not identify as a person spreading “hate”. I just don’t get it.

Sven said...

Maori culture is still based upon, me big you small take that and shut your mouth, not much has changed since the arrival of white people, and yes whites have a good history of me big you small, we all carry a nasty streak in our souls.