Roxon’s new Men’s Health Ambassadors are frothing homophobes/misogynists

I’ve been ranting about this on twitter, but most of you aren’t there. I’m completely bemused, gobsmacked, and hornswoggled by Nicola Roxon’s new Men’s Health Ambassadors. They might not be salaried, but they’re going to get their travel expenses paid as they go around preaching what they believe is best for men’s health.

The general concept? Terrific. All for it.

The media is all over the appointment of Julia Gillard’s hairdresser to the role, but I’m not too exercised about that. What am I pissed off about?

Fatherhood Foundation president Warwick Marsh and Lone Fathers Association president Barry Williams.

These are two of the authors of the crap spewing forth from “Gender Matters”, about how homosexuality and transgenderism and feminism are Wrong and a Creeping Menace to the Family. They might be a hate group that decorates their propaganda with pictures of ickle bitty babies – but they’re still a hate group.

And it’s unthinkably inappropriate and insulting for our Health Department to be recognising them as “leaders” and paying them to preach their brand of hate. This is the Howard government’s style, and while we knew Labor was going to be somewhat socially conservative, this is completely beyond the pale.

I hope this gets reversed quick smart. Write to Roxon here.

More at Crikey.

Categories: gender & feminism, health, Politics

Tags: , , , , , , ,

29 replies

  1. Last two links both to Crikey, L.

    Also: jaw droppingly not-on.

  2. i can’t believe the world today had such an epic story about julia gillard’s boyfriend being one of these ‘ambassadors’ and didn’t even *mention* this!! fucking hell. thanks for letting us know, lauredhel.

  3. I hope Roxon has made a genuine mistake.

  4. Fixed, Amanda. I hope this is just some kind of horrible mistake too – though the Department page does say their organisational affiliations. Could their vetting really be that poor? (I suppose that’s less-bad than them doing it intentionally.)

  5. From direct experience, many ( not all) members of lone fathers are perpetrators of domestic violence who get together to compare stories of their ‘unfair’ restraining orders and generally whine about their ‘psycho bitch’ ex-wives. The whole purpose appears to be an exercise in denial.
    This is an outrage.

  6. A-HA! My local hospital had one of their posters up in the waiting room about “Ways to be a Good Father”. My partner and I spent manymany visits trying to figure out just what was meant by “teach the differences between being a boy and a girl” apart from the logistics of peeing standing up (which they probably didn’t mean. It wasn’t that kind of poster).
    Thanks for the heads up.
    That website is all sorts of creepily queer (and not in the fabulous, sequin-and-or-leather-covered way). ”…it is imperative to promote heterosexual marriage and the biological two-parent family. The evidence makes it clear that these two institutions provide the best environment for individuals, for societies, and for children.”
    Apparently the current model of marriage is so in danger now that it needs to be ‘promoted’ like a new brand of shoe?

  7. Christ on a bike. Don’t they vet these people properly? I’m sure there are some men running single dads support groups somewhere in the country that aren’t based upon the whole evil-gay-feminazis-stole-my-children schtick.

  8. Bloody hell. That website could almost be a comedy piece if the repercussions of that ‘information’ being spread weren’t so serious.

  9. Oh, craptions. Why is it men’s advocates can never seem to just advocate for men without spewing shit about women and LGBTs?

    Apparently the current model of marriage is so in danger now that it needs to be ‘promoted’

    If it’s such a robust institution then why would it apparently be threatened simply by not legally suppressing all alternatives?

  10. I sent my email yesterday. I hope Williams goes soon. Why is our Federal Government offering their support to homophobes? Why were these people chose to lecture about healthcare if they think homosexuality is a disease? *is depressed*

  11. That’s good news that Marsh is out. I don’t understand why Williams is still in, just because he has supposedly – what, just today? – decided to publicly “distance himself” from the “anti-gay” comments in the Why Gender Matters booklet.
    This is Williams:

    Mr Williams, president of the Lone Fathers Association, rejected any suggestion he was homophobic.
    “Look I have nothing against gay people. This story has been set up by a few extreme feminists who hate our guts,” he told The Australian Online. “That’s because we believe in shared care when marriages break up.
    Mr Williams said “some my best friends are gay people”. “If I was against gay people I would have had nothing to do with them,” he said.
    “There’s just two extreme feminists who have their nose out of joint because the Government is starting to listen that kids need both parents.”
    “It’s not that I am against gay people. I’ve got no real opinion on gay men becoming dads. I do believe children need a mother and a father, I will be honest about that.”

    (Which ‘two extreme feminists’? Anyone?)
    And in The Age:

    ”I have nothing against gays … I admire a lot of really good gay people and have some gay friends,” Mr Williams said.
    “Last year my brother died of cancer and there was a lovely gay couple that looked after him. I’m an indigenous person so I don’t discriminate against anyone.”

    If that hasn’t convinced you, Williams himself authored a submission to Parliament just this year on de facto family law reform:

    However, by their nature, same-sex domestic relationships cannot ever be a copy of
    heterosexual relationships whose purpose (inter alia) is to perpetuate the human
    species. To pretend that they can be is to store up trouble for the future by failing to
    give proper recognition and responsibilities of biological parenthood. […]
    The reality is that two men, or two women, by themselves, are not capable of
    procreating children, whereas a couple made up of man and a woman can. There is a
    fundamental difference between the two cases. Therefore, to claim that the first case
    and the second are essentially the same, and must therefore be treated the same, or
    there will be “discrimination” against one of them, is essentially absurd.

  12. Doesn’t he understand the difference between procreate and raise?

  13. !@^$#^!@#!
    And in other news, women can’t be racist because they’re oppressed and would never discriminate against someone else! *headdesk*
    What the feminists dislike is your enshrinement of gender roles that create the poisonous cults of femininity and masculinity that makes life miserable for everyone, jackass. Feminists want parents to share care and don’t like gendered distribution of labour. The creation of a straw feminist doesn’t distract from the fact that if you weren’t a homophobe, you wouldn’t have put your name on that toxic report.

  14. And in other news, women can’t be racist because they’re oppressed and would never discriminate against someone else! *headdesk*

    Yep! The only people who could ever be prejudiced anywhere in the world ever are white cisgendered slim young-ish heterosexual well-educated able-bodied wealthy male citizens who subscribe to the dominant religion of their society!
    Everyone else is a pure angel of social justice!

  15. I think Williams’ nose is out of joint because there is a growing number of psychological studies showing just how stressful shared care is for children when they are required to pack up and move house every week or fortnight. It doesn’t suit very young children at all. No doubt this is a vast feminist conspiracy. I am surprised there are only two in the cabal though. Was he perhaps talking about Professor Anne Mitchell?
    He’s a bigot. If he had problems with the appalling opinions in “Why Gender Matters” then why did he associate himself with it in the first place and only repudiate those opinions when they threatened his new found status. If the government is serious about men’s health they won’t alienate gay, bisexual and transmen by keeping him on board.

  16. And he’s dissociated himself from homophobic views by way of misogynist feminist-bashing. I wrote to Roxon yesterday to point out that men’s health meant *all* men’s health and that associating it with homophobia lent support to homophobic bigotry and violence, and risked mental health issues in boys coming to terms with any queerness.
    I wrote again today to say that allowing a men’s health ambassador to publicly make anti-women statements (such as contemptuous straw-person dismissals of feminism) to decry the homophobic views he has repeatedly put his name to endangered the government being seen as linking men’s health with misogyny, and prioritising men’s health over and above the very real domestic violence issues in this country. Goddammit, I’ll write every day for the next five years if I have to. This shit makes my blood boil.

  17. There’s more at Crikey:

    In 2006, he was a co-signatory of a response to “the anti-male UN report on ‘Violence against women’”, which argued that reporting of domestic violence was biased against men, including several claims that women are greater perpetrators of domestic violence than men — such as “a recent international study of severe violence among dating couples, 55% was mutual violence, 16% was male ­only, and 29% of violence was female­ only.”
    Saliently, the response also claimed that domestic violence programs “have been shown to result in widespread violations of due process protections… weaken families, bias divorce proceedings, and deprive children of contact from their fathers.” […]
    The Lone Fathers’ Association has given space to Marsh in its newsletters to promote his views on “gender disorientation pathology” and criticise attempts to end discrimination against same-sex couples as “evil”. Williams himself has criticised same-sex couples as unable to provide appropriate “mental and moral development” for children and unequal to heterosexual couples.

  18. Yes, I went really quickly to his group’s site to see if I could grab something he’d written on there, but I couldn’t find anything authored by him. First article though was all about women sexually abusing men/boys and several other things that rang MRA alarm bells. I’m sending another damned email though with that DV stuff above. Fair dinkum.

  19. At least Roxon has dumped Marsh and apologised.
    It seems to be becoming increasingly clear to me that Williams’ “repudiation” is a matter of mere form.
    ABC News: “Co-authors defend sacked ambassador over gay slur

    Ms Roxon earlier described the document’s controversial claims about homosexuality as “abhorrent”. Mr Williams also stated that he in no way endorsed them, but moved to defend Mr Marsh.
    “I don’t believe that Warwick Marsh and his wife have discriminated against anybody because they aren’t those sort of people. They’re church people and they’re damn good people,” he said.

  20. Yeah, church people are known for not discriminating against anyone other church people.

  21. “It seems to be becoming increasingly clear to me that Williams’ “repudiation” is a matter of mere form”
    You don’t say! No really, I meant gays are abhorrent in a NICE way…

  22. And “I *said it* right, but it’s only those f*cking b*tch feminists who are making it out like it’s a BAD thing”. Cool. Defend your homophobia with misogyny. Toolbag.
    There’s been no attempt to acknowledge the seriousness of the claims he and Marsh made (re homosexuality leading to child abuse etc), just an ‘Oh, my best mates are gay!!’ (and are you scared they’ll abuse drugs and/or your children??)
    It appalls me that society lets this sort of response pass for an apology.

  23. Mr Williams claims he’s not anti-gay.
    He claims that he put his name to the gender matters document without reading it, and now repudiates it.
    Then, Nicola lets him keep his job.
    I suggest that Mr Williams isn’t all that scot-free just yet… read the attached letter:
    Gay and Lesbian Equality (WA) Inc.
    PO Box 420
    Telephone: 0417 890 111
    [trimmed in moderation – Rod, can you please link to a copy of this on another blog or site? Thanks. ~L]

  24. Here you go:
    That’s where you can find this message in full.

  25. Nice one Rod, has the Minister responded? I don’t see how she can let that him go on.

  26. The minister has not responded as yet to our raised concerns.
    I note, however, that Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has asked a question in Parliament yesterday (Wednesday 3 December 2008) and made a follow-up statement on the answer given.


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