Latest blog entries

Why focus on violence against women, rather than all violence? by Michael Flood

Campaigns focused on violence against women, such as the White Ribbon Campaign, often face two questions: “Why not *all* violence?” “What about violence against men?” So here is why.

Focusing a campaign on violence against women in no way means that this is the only type of violence that occurs, it is the most common form of violence, or other forms of violence are unimportant. It simply means that violence against women is an important social problem that deserves attention.

A feminist ethic for men dating women by Michael Flood

What does a feminist ethic for dating look like for heterosexual men? Here are some tentative notes. They are intended for men dating women, and focused on initial dating rather than ongoing relationships.

There are some basic principles that should guide men’s involvement in dating:

Violence against women: 7 problems with a focus on telling women how to maximise their own safety by Michael Flood

1) Focusing only on telling women how to maximise their own safety fails to hold perpetrators accountable for their behaviour, and locates responsibility with the potential victims.

2) Women *already* use a multitude of such strategies.

3) It accepts that some men will use violence, rather than focusing on how to prevent and reduce this, and places the burden on women to police and limit their lives.

The "Karen" meme: feminist critiques by Michael Flood

The “Karen” insult is increasingly common in popular culture, and has been subject to some feminist critique.

Consent apps and sexual violence prevention by Michael Flood

Consent apps have been proposed by the NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller as a strategy for reducing sexual violence (March 17 2021). However:

Consent apps are useless, and indeed dangerous. They don’t address how: Consent can be forced or pressured. Capacity to consent can be undermined by alcohol or drugs. Gender power differentials mean women often ‘consent’ to sex they don’t want.

MRA graphic, “Feminist Quotes by Leading Feminists”: cherry-picking, misrepresentation, and invention by Michael Flood

One popular MRA meme is titled “Feminist Quotes by Leading Feminists". It is a perfect example of the MRA misrepresentation of feminism. Either these people aren’t leaders, or the quotes are fake or from works of fiction (novels), or the quotes are taken out of context, or the piece is obscure and has no influence or currency in feminist politics and theory, or the quotes are accurate but representative of a particular strand of 1960s, 1970s and 80s radical feminism.

Men, Gender, and Healthy Masculinities by Michael Flood

What does 'gender' have to do with men? How might men have a role in building gender equality? How we engage men in this work? What do people mean by 'toxic masculinity', and is it a useful phrase? What do we want instead? How do we encourage healthy masculinities among men and boys?

White Ribbon’s demise in Australia by Michael Flood

The national violence prevention organisation White Ribbon Australia has gone into voluntary liquidation. The organisation was shut down on October 3 2019.

Open letter to US Senators from the The North America MenEngage Network (NAMEN) by Michael Flood

Feminist and profeminist activists have been protesting against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court. The North America MenEngage Network (NAMEN) has circulated a letter to US Senators urging them not to vote for Kavanaugh. The letter reads in part,