White Ribbon Australia—and 50 shades of betrayal

WRCA-header

White Ribbon Australia is currently making ‘news’ for all the wrong reasons.

First to come to my attention was Clementine Ford’s most brilliant, and word perfect article in Daily Life, titled “White Ribbon Ambassador Tanveer Ahmed’s dangerous message on domestic violence“, in which she expertly exposes Ahmed’s ’emasculation’ and ‘disenfranchisement’ excuses (for male violence) as the woman-blaming anti-feminism that they truly are. The article in The Australian by Ahmed is unfortunately subscriber-only, but it will be recalled that just a few short weeks ago, that same paper were slammed for the misogynist obituary of writer Colleen McCullough—editorial oversight, my (fat) ass.

Yes, we still very much live in an anti-woman world, where mainstream newspapers can regularly publish misogyny, and think they can get away with it. Is this really the sign that we live in a world of ‘male emasculation’? No, quite the opposite, it shows how far we have to go in societal attitudes towards females.

We feminists expect far better, from males and male organisations that call themselves allies, and especially from non-white males, who will have experienced racism by virtue of their birth race, just as we females experience lifelong misogyny and sexism, by virtue of our birth sex, the sex caste. White Ribbon Australia, if they wish to retain any credibility, need to remove Ahmed as an Ambassador, and disavow his words, in the misogynist rag that is The Australian.

Some background on White Ribbon Campaign:

White Ribbon is Australia’s only national, male led Campaign to end men’s violence against women.

Vision
All women live in safety free from all forms of men’s violence.

Mission
Making women’s safety a man’s issue too.

The campaign works through primary prevention initiatives involving awareness raising and education, and programs with youth, schools, workplaces and across the broader community.

Globally, White Ribbon is the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women. Originating in Canada in 1991, White Ribbon is now active in more than 60 countries.

White Ribbon began in Australia in 2003 as part of UNIFEM (now UN Women), formally becoming a Foundation in 2007.

No mention of male-excusing in the mission statement. And as an autonomous entity organisation set up to end Male Violence Against Women, you are left to your own devices, to educate men and boys, about something any decent human should already know. Except when you fuck it up, then expect to be called out by feminists.

White Ribbon Australia is funded from various streams:

WRCA-funding

And it is the latter category of Events that next comes to our attention. On the WRCA site, WRCA actively court people and organisations to host fund raising events for the organisation. While this next event does not appear on WRCA’s ‘official’ list of fund raising events, and appears to be by outsiders organising on behalf of WRCA, it is truly a shocker.

This event is a movie screening, in aid of WRCA.

50 Shades of Grey screening: Fundraising Event for White Ribbon
Girldownunder
Friday, 13 February 2015 from 6:45 PM to 10:00 PM (AEDT)
South Yarra, VIC

Event Details
This is a screening of the upcoming movie 50 Shades of Grey, based on the best selling books by E L James.

Curious? Watch the fantasy, discuss the reality.

We have chosen this movie as we feel it is a great conversation starter for what is healthy versus what is abusive in relationships, and we have invited a professional Dominant as a speaker to lead an open discussion at the end of the movie in an adjacent location.

Proceeds raised from this event are going to White Ribbon Australia (www.whiteribbon.org.au), a male-led campaign to end men’s violence against women. Fundraising reg #22135.

Passionfruit, The Sensuality Shop, is a generous sponsor of this event, as they are all about addressing intimacy, sexuality and are keen on raising awareness of violence against women. Passionfruit will be providing some delightful goodies for ticket holders, as well as generous discount vouchers for their store! Please visit our sponsor at their website: passionfruitshop.com.au

Please note that although the movie has been given an official classification of MA(15+) we feel the themes covered are more suited to an adult audience of 18+. We request that all attendees of this event be aged 18 years or older.

Did WRCA seriously authorise this fund raising event in their name? Because, oh-my-god, have you dudes lost the plot in the Elimination of Violence Against Women? It seems so. Surely WRCA can not have missed the stream of feminist criticism on this book/movie, and the years of feminists denouncing BDSM as a form of Male Violence Against Women?

If WRCA have authorised this fund raising, hoping that it slides under the radar for some quick cash, then WRCA are sadly mistaken. It is Dirty Money. Tainted with continued sexual objectification and subjugation of females. Glorifying Violence Against Women as sexual ‘play’.

And no, having a ‘dominatrix’ (I assume, the blurb merely says ‘a dominant’) ‘explain’ how BDSM ‘fantasy’ differs from reality, is seriously perverted as a fund raising exercise. Even the named sponsor, a sex shop, sells BDSM supplies, and has half their website front page taken up with a sexually objectified woman. It is well-known (by feminists at least) that BDSM-lite (the fluffy handcuffs bullshit) is merely the first stage in the erosion of boundaries into full-on BDSM, and many women end up getting trapped in ‘the scene’.

If, on the off-chance, WRCA did not authorise this Dirty Money fund raising event, then you need to get the Victorian Police Fraud Squad to investigate, as well as having your organisation’s name removed from the event page, or pages.

So, White Ribbon Campaign Australia, it is time to seriously clean house. None of this dodgy backdoor funding, none of this loose-cannon male-excusing Ambassador stuff, conduct yourselves with the feminist principles and integrity with which the organisation was started. Radical feminists adhere, as much as possible within personal circumstances, to the principles and ethics of feminism. We expect the same from male allies. Most radical feminists work for nothing, we don’t get paid for what we do, we do it out of commitment for the Liberation of All Women from Male Domination. Most services for battered women probably run on less money than the WRCA educational organisation. And we don’t take Dirty Money.

White Ribbon Campaign Australia—shape up! Or ship out.

__________

ETA: A great post illustrating ’50 abusive moments’ (I am sure just the tip of the iceberg) in the book. This woman blogger deserves a medal for wasting so many hours of her life, to summarise many of the issues, disguised as ‘fantasy’ or ‘love’, but are in fact, all part of VAW.
http://theramblingcurl.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/fifty-abusive-moments-in-fifty-shades.html

And finally, an internet meme (from here) that sums up why “50 shades” is all shades of wrong, as far as eliminating violence against women goes:

50-shades-meme

 

UPDATE 12 Feb: According to this article, WRCA issued an event number
http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/bizarre-white-ribbon-50-shades-of-grey-fundraiser-sparks-alarm-20150210-13azyz.html

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12 thoughts on “White Ribbon Australia—and 50 shades of betrayal

  1. Thanks to “Dana”, here is the article from behind the paywall. I have no respect for this misogynists’ publication’s paywall.

    Men forgotten in violence debate

    Tanveer Ahmed
    The Australian
    February 09, 2015 12:00AM
    3 comments

    THERE is too little acknowledgment of the importance of male disempowerment in debates surrounding domestic violence. Gender relations have changed dramatically in the past few decades, but discussions about family violence are stuck in the mindset of 1970s radical feminism.

    This emphasises power inequality in gender interactions and on perceived societal mess­ages that sanction a male’s use of violence and aggression. The focus is on male villainy, denial of biologically based sex differences and a cult of victimhood. This is part of a broader movement that defines normal maleness as a ­risible kind of fatuous and reactionary behaviour. As US anthropologist and masculinity expert Lionel Tiger, who coined the term “male bonding”, says: “We have a psycho-prejudice, in which the norm is the female norm and what boys (and men) do is seen as ­socially disruptive.”
    The Prime Minister’s move to acknowledge the Australian of the Year award to Rosie Batty and community outpouring on domestic violence through a COAG committee is worthy, but it risks becoming dominated by ­radical feminists and a worldview around the powerlessness of women.

    The focus on female disempowerment alone will not achieve an improved existence, since they are often surrounded by disempowered men. Men for whom the security of unionised labour in the manufacturing industries is becoming a distant memory are experiencing a huge displacement from modern economic trends. It’s been replaced by casualised, service-oriented work with relatively low wages. In essence, their work has been feminised.
    British social researcher Paul Thomas questioned British youths of different backgrounds for a study in 2010. He found white, working-class men feel they are the real outsiders and disenfranchised from opportunity.

    Likewise, family violence within newly arrived ethnic groups is often related to the sudden dilution of traditional masculinity, leaving men lost and isolated, particularly as females enjoy greater autonomy and expectations. This is primarily positive, but a greater acknowledgment of the huge displacement such men endure from the cleavage of the institutions of family, clan and tradition in less than a generation may help alleviate their sense of humiliation.

    Despite the cries of domestic violence being an epidemic, we should also consider that fatherlessness could fit such a category, with 40 per cent of Australian teenagers living without their biological fathers. It was Margaret Mead who said fatherhood was essentially a social invention. But as the Left increasingly dilutes the notion of biological differences in sex, amusingly illustrated by Greens senator Larissa Waters imploring parents not to buy gender-specific toys for Christmas, we are downplaying the notion that fathers are even desirable.

    Statistics don’t lie. It is true one woman a week dies at the hands of a partner, current or former. As part of a broadbased strategy, it is critical that improving arrest and prosecution rates, establishing shelters and abuse hotlines, pushing for state provisions against stalking, and creating protections for immigrants all have the goal of getting victims out of abusive ­relationships.

    But the broader movement that has long fought against violence towards women remains stuck in a view of gender relations from decades past, which will limit its effectiveness in stemming the problem in an inclusive way.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. There was apparently an update on the events page (I do not have the URL, but it is from a credible source). The actual events page, as I was writing this post, has now been password protected, however, the title of the event is still visible.

    My emphasis:

    “This is Girldownunder, the organiser of this fundraising event. I am an individual person, a wife and mother of 2. The fundraising event was my idea, not a promotional event run by White Ribbon. 50 Shades of Grey is the most popular fictional book in history, and the movie is likely to be similarly popular. I see many, many problems with the story and themes within the book, but it’s not a topic that I can talk about with people in my every day life. I wanted to organise a discussion group or book club type event, where we could watch the movie and have an informed discussion about it afterwards, highlighting the problems of how abuse is sometimes romanticised and glorified in media. I decided that it would be good if I could raise money and awareness for a relevant cause, and picked White Ribbon as it is an organisation I strongly believe in. I recruited two friends to help me with the organisation and planning, and we registered our event with White Ribbon last week. Our aim was to get a group of 20-30 for our discussion group. We count amongst our friends and attendees victims of abuse, who are supportive of what we are trying to achieve. It was not my intention to traumatise anyone by donating the funds towards WR. I have not heard from WR directly in regards to objections to this event, but we will be holding our discussion group whether or not the White Ribbon organisation accepts our donation. We will be in touch with them tomorrow morning to discuss this. Thanks for your comments, I am taking them all under consideration.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • So according to the organiser, WRCA were contacted by her/them last week, and the event registered.

      It’s a bit of a no-brainer response WRCA, “thank you for your proposal, however, we feel that both the subject of the film, and the main sponsor, are not inline with the aims and principles of our organisation”

      Takes five minutes, or less.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I can verify this statement, it was sent to me via email as well. The ‘Dominant’ was indeed a man. The organiser sent an email since stating s/he has closed the event and is refunding monies due to a hate campaign against her. S/he said s/he fears for the safety of attendees. I asked for clarification on who may have threatened violence as those of us opposing the event wouldn’t advocate violence in a pink fit. No response. Nasty business.

      In the meantime Tanveer Ahmed has tweeted a quotation from star anti-feminst Camille Paglia which states :
      “We have allowed the sexual debate to be defined by women and that’s not right. Men must speak and speak in their own voices, not voices coerced by feminist moralists.”

      The man does not need “training” he needs instant dismissal and WR needs to be dismantled.
      Thanks for this piece Davina.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Spin, welcome.

        “due to a hate campaign against her”

        This is a typical response (reversal to a degree) by bdsm supporters (and yes, she would have been at least bdsm-lite, not ‘neutral’). They always insist that feminist (verbal or written) objections are “threats”, when all we do is outline how misogynist (and violent) the whole thing is, and threaten exactly nobody.

        As for Ahmed, well a snoopy dance moment the other day, when misogynist rag The Australian dumped his sorry ass for plagiarism (and note, not the MRA-style misogyny!). I don’t think anyone has heard a peep from WR Australia about his ambassadorship. We are still waiting with baited breath.

        http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/feb/16/columnist-tanveer-ahmed-sacked-australian-plagiarism-allegation

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A female person claims she decided all by herself to create an event which does not discuss the deliberate eroticisation of male sexual violence against women in that pornographic film Fifty Shades of Male Sexual Violence (sic). If this female person wished to raise public awareness (meaning focusing on normalisation and promotion of male sexual violence against women and girls) then she should have instigated a panel of real Feminists who would analyse how and why this women-hating film is not ‘romance’ or even ‘sexy!’ No need to show this vile film and thereby increase the filmmakers’ profits.

    It doesn’t take ‘rocket science’ to create an event which does not pander and promote mens’ belief that women and girls only exist for males to rape; sexually torture because said male sexual violence against women is being deliberately promoted as ‘romance/sexy!’

    White Ribbon Campaign Australia also forget the original White Ribbon Campaign was created by two pro-feminist males who believed men had to challenge other mens’ women-hating beliefs and hold men accountable for committing male violence against women and girls. These men also publicly stated and enacted that they would actively listen to Feminists and learn from them – not arrogantly presume ‘because we are males we are the experts on male violence against women and girls!’

    But that male ideology was swiftly ‘cast aside’ because once again pseudo pro-feminist males are openly supporting their Male Supremacist brothers by claiming men are victims too and that unknowable and unnameable entity is responsible for victimising the poor men!! These lies are not new – the men who profited by their male created Slave Industry also publicly claimed they were being ‘victimised’ because they were merely affording those non-white women; children and men a better life under slavery by providing them with food and a place to sleep! Missing from these male claims was the enslaved womens’ and mens’ lived experiences but that wasn’t important or relevant according to those benevolent (sic) white men.

    So nothing new under mens’ myopic view of their male world because at the core is mens’ belief the male sacrosanct right to oppress and control women must not be eliminated because only males are human. Ergo males have right to accord themselves socio-economic power over that supposedly non-human sex caste named females!

    Yet men continue to demand their male right to be called and accepted as ‘Pro-Feminist men’ and take umbrage when we real Radical Feminists (not the innumerable fake feminists who continue to pander to the men) are sceptical of mens’ lies (oops I mean mens’ truths) they can be and are actively pro-feminist males who really understand the politics of institutionalised and individual male oppression of all women and girls!

    White Ribbon Campaign Australia is just another Male Supremacist profit driven organisation which actively promotes male domination over women is mens’ sacrosanct right!

    This extract supposedly states mens’ White Ribbon Campaign actively listens to Feminists and does not arrogantly believe men are the experts on what supposedly constitutes male violence against women and girls.

    ‘What are your relations with women’s groups?

    We acknowledge the expertise and central role of women in challenging violence against women. We encourage our local groups to have an ongoing dialogue with women’s groups in their community.

    We have worked closely with rape crisis centres, womens’ shelters, and many other groups on a variety of issues.

    When we first started, some women’s groups had questions about the role and intentions of the WRC. There were concerns (which we shared) about the disproportionate media attention in our first year.’

    http://www.eurowrc.org/02.faq/10_faq_en.htm

    But mens’ words are easy to utter but rarely do men enact what they claim as evidenced by that male supremacist organisation White Ribbon Campaign Australia.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Dave, thank you for all your hard work and research! Great post, as always!

    @Hecuba-
    “A female person claims she decided all by herself to create an event which does not discuss the deliberate eroticisation of male sexual violence against women in that pornographic film Fifty Shades of Male Sexual Violence (sic). If this female person wished to raise public awareness (meaning focusing on normalisation and promotion of male sexual violence against women and girls) then she should have instigated a panel of real Feminists who would analyse how and why this women-hating film is not ‘romance’ or even ‘sexy!’ No need to show this vile film and thereby increase the filmmakers’ profits.”
    —-
    Yes! I was thinking the same thing! Who wants to bet that everyone involved in handing out the “goodies” and even the speakers will be women?
    Why? Because men have hired them to coach and convinced women: “See, these women LOVE being abused by men! Look how happy and sexy they are! Don’t you want to be like this too?”. It makes it less obvious and more difficult to attack men [the ones behind this nonsense] when you see women ‘running’, ‘planning’ and handing crap out for this event; Put the women in the frontlines as shields to protect the precious patriarchy.

    Also, many women will be confused as to what is abuse and what isn’t. These men have hired these women to sell the idea of: “If it makes him hard then it’s healthy!”
    And surely if a woman is saying this, then it must okay to trust her and can’t be misogynistic at all! And even if you find it misogynistic, just blame her and take all your anger out on her because she was the one who put this whole event together in the first place…A perfect no win for her! Yay!

    Dear word is he a tricky little devil…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Pingback: Why There Should NEVER Be Any Men Anywhere in Feminism | radicalwitch

  6. Pingback: White Ribbon Australia—Update | Radfem Groundhog Day

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