Dear Sonia: Men Talking about ‘Gender Issues’ (aka Violence)

So, Sonia, you want men to talk about gender issues (Orchard, ‘I wish men were as interested in discussing gender issues as women are’, Daily Life, 2 Sep 16).  By which you meant, to quote you, ‘Why aren’t men discussing how they’re  feeling?’, eventually, why do men behave ‘appallingly’ and – rather conclusively – that men have ‘a warped perception of what a man is supposed to be’ (a rather biased conclusion when you ask for a discussion!).

OK, I’ll talk.  But first, I don’t think I’m your ‘normal’ man.  I think I’m pretty feminist and egalitarian (setting myself up here…).  I don’t like lots of men’s interests and pursuits (heavy drinking, men only groups, being out with the boys).  But I do have some things about me that I don’t like that are very ‘male’.  I don’t understand these aspects of me and I don’t think you, or women generally, understand them either.Read More »



Clementine Ford is an outspoken Australian feminist opinion writer. I’ve admired her work for some years because of her ability to get underneath conventional thinking about social relationships, to argue for women’s rights to determine their own agendas and behaviours and to call out men, particularly straight white men, for their sexist or misogynist attitudes.  Her writing is full frontal, confronting, insightful and accurate, if unpleasant (for men) to face.

As a result, she receives a torrent of online abuse, mainly from men, telling her what they want to do to her, or what she should do to herself. Personally, I couldn’t take it.  I stopped corresponding with a close friend when I received a single personally abusive email.  Yet she has no choice but to ‘take it’ if she wants to keep publishing her confronting feminist views.Read More »