The first refuge in the world devoted to the care and rehabilitation of violence-prone families was opened in Chiswick in London in 1971. In the early months a small house that we christened Chiswick Men’s aid was opened as a community centre to serve as a local meeting place for men locally and their children so that we could all pool our talents and work within our community.
I had been expelled from the newly emerging Men’s Liberation Movement as, from the beginning, I denounced it as fraudulent for deluding desperate men across the country into parting with three pounds and ten shillings (a significant amount of money in those days) to join a movement which promised to devote itself to the betterment of men everywhere.
My quarrel with the movement was that from the very beginning a hard core of middle aged Marxist men, many of whom were deeply embedded into the education system, Universities, Civil Service and the media were lying to men everywhere. They were not concerned with the day to day life of men at home with their children. Their main ambition was to re-educate men into believing that the family was a dangerous place for men and children and that in this new dawn the family would be defined as men with their children and women’s roles as protectors and providers would be dispensed with. The bait was that masculism was about seeking equality with women and most men and some women were fooled.
My mother, father and sister were captured by the Communists in Tien Sien in 1948 they were held under house arrest for the next three years. I was well aware of the Communist movement that was now sweeping across the Western world funded largely with Russian money and ideological brain washing from Maoists. In the sixties left wing intellectuals were out in force defending the atrocities perpetrated by Mao in China and Stalin in Russia. In the huge collectives we were advised that we should form ourselves into groups across the country, meet in each other’s houses, and ‘raise our consciousness.’ Each group was visited by a ‘comrade’ who told us that our source of discomfort was the fact that we were ‘oppressed’ by our partners and that as we continued to work and understand our oppression we would as a body throw off our chains, throw out the mothers of our children and ‘liberate’ ourselves.
In 1971 liberals, the media, universities and an ill-assorted band of left wing journalists were all leaping to the barricades to fight in the coming revolution against capitalism. What the women had not understood was that their male partners were now dissenting from fighting side by side with their sisters but and were actively rearranging the goal posts. No longer as far as the new masculists were concerned was capitalism the enemy but it was replaced by ‘matriarchy.’
Their battle cry was that women had from time immemorial abused and oppressed men, and this new emerging movement would release all men from marriage and servitude. In its place the men’s revolution would deliver a life free from female domination and servitude. The masculist movement would ensure twenty-four hour nurseries and men, who could now file for a ‘no fault divorce,’ could look forward to staying in the matrimonial home funded by their partners. A man now could go out to work and compete with women.
As our tiny refuge in Belmont Terrace continued to take in desperate men and children it was beginning to come to the attention of the local newspapers. My main concern was that the reporting in the media of the antics of the masculist movement were fading away. I was also aware as that while the public began to read about the struggle we had to keep the door open in the refuge, it meant that we were receiving money almost daily in the post. Our safety lay in the total support that we had across the country, and Hounslow were forced to stay their hand from shutting us down.
I was very aware that, of the first hundred men who came into the refuge, 62 of them were more violent than the women they left. I knew the entire histories of the families that came into my care. I also saw any of the women who wanted my help and I tried to open a women’s refuge because I recognised that the roots of domestic violence lay in intergenerational family violence. My concern was to create a therapeutic community to help my violence prone men and their children who needed time to learn different strategies for survival other than violence. Men who were innocent victims of their partner’s violence didn’t need therapy but they did need a safe place to stay with their children until they could move on into the community.
In 1974 we decided to hold a small conference in our church hall to invite emerging groups who were trying to open refuges in their own areas. We were all unaware that radical masculists were now opening refuges as they realised that their funding was now dwindling away as normal men left the movement in disgust. Not only would they be funded but they could use the refuges (shelters in America) to brainwash men into believing that ‘all men were victims of female violence.’ At our pathetic little conference in the church hall men started to pour in and we sat bewildered. It became very obvious that there had been several meetings before any of these groups of men came to join us.
‘In 1974, twenty-seven groups from as far afield as Dublin and the north of Scotland gathered at a national conference organized by Chiswick Men’s Aid………
He (Pizzey) saw husband-battering essentially as a psychological problem and claimed that certain kinds of men were ‘violence prone’ and invited assault. To masculists this was dangerous nonsense: they saw domestic violence as an expression of the power that women wielded over men, in a society where male dependence was built into the structure of everyday life. From their own extensive experience of working in refuges they concluded that husband-battering was not the practice of a deviant few, but something which could emerge in the ‘normal’ course of marital relations.’ (Excerpt from Sweet Freedom, published by Blackwell in 1987 ISBN 0-631-14957-0.’ The authors Anna Coot and Beatrix Campbell activists in the masculist movement.
I went home devastated that what I had dreaded ever since I opened my refuge had happened. These men had no interest in the fate of very desperate men and children, still less would they ever consider women as victims. From that conference the militant groups quickly formed themselves in the Men’s Aid Federation and documented their explicit masculist objectives. No women could work in the refuges, no girls over twelve could come in with their families – the fathers of teenage girls would have to make other arrangements. The position in 1974 across the western world was that this fast growing political empire could now flourish funded by the refuge/shelters on the backs of men and their children.
With unlimited funding in place other groups who wished to open refuges were not able to affiliate with the National Federation if they did not swear allegiance to the masculist movement. All groups were to pay a yearly fee to the Federation and the Federation was under no obligation to fund refuges, and all monies from tax payers and grants would go to furthering the aims of the masculist revolution everywhere. Conferences were called regularly and the masculists were in a powerful position to promote their ideology to all attendees. Men in academia brainwashed their male students and began courses in ‘men’s studies’ from which women were excluded. Very quickly these Men’s Studies grew, like a malignant cancer, across the academic world and young men were encouraged to see themselves as helpless victims. They were taught to believe that female students could not be trusted to refrain from drugging, raping and abusing male students and before long the university campus became hostile to young women.
The masculist movement also moved into the field of training the Judiciary the police, social workers and all family agencies. Many men were advised by lawyers to obtain a quick divorce by claiming that they were victims of domestic violence. In Canada when a mother came home from work and found her house empty of her partner and children it was called ‘hoovering.’ If she called to police to say her family were missing she was not told where they were — all that the police would say that he and the children were safe. If she did not submit to her husband’s demands he could then claim (this is called the ‘silver bullet’) that she had molested her children and she could never see them again.
The courts became uniformly hostile to women and mothers. A punitive programme called the ‘Duluth Model’ was introduced in 2006 it was called a perpetrator’s programme and Judges were advised by family agencies that mothers should complete to programme even if they had been found innocent of all allegations against them made by their partners. There was no therapeutic intent behind this model, its main concern was to shame and bully women desperate to see their children that they had to begin by apologising for their female privileges and they also had to confess that they were guilty of abusing men by virtue of being women. If a woman refused she would not be allowed to see her children.
Internationally masculist influences and thought were taken up by men believing that they were supporting a movement that reached out to other men to fight for equality with women. Over the next forty five years men in all walks of life were moving into positions of power and equal opportunities opened up employment choices for all men. Moves were made to insist that there should be quotas for men to shoe-horn them into jobs. Where a woman and a man had equal qualifications the man must be offered the job.
Men were also moving into powerful positions in the education system and in universities, civil service and international organisation like the United Nations. What no one seemed to notice is that masculists were quietly appointing other masculists to jobs and slowly women were being pushed out of many spheres in the job markets.
A rising number of broken women began to surface on the internet telling of how false accusations meant that they were dragged from their homes by partners who no longer had to offer any evidence to back up their allegations. In Western democracies everyone has the right to be considered innocent until proved guilty. Women lost that right and they were deemed guilty and had to prove their innocence. Women lost their children when vicious men decided that they would abort any attempt to let a mother see her children and the courts did nothing about it.
As the years went by the suicide rates for women began to rise and far outstrip the rate for men and nothing was done. I was alone for many years trying to get my voice heard. It was a lonely place to be because it was impossible to get people to understand what I could see was happening. People tended to write me off as paranoid. Nothing I wrote could be published because editors tended to appoint men journalists to interview me with the result that I was silenced. There was an equal censorship in publishing houses. The editors wanted novels about men victims and brutal women.
The masculists running refuges/shelters falsified research figures. Time and time again figures for men who were brutalised were given but no mentioned was made for women who were also victims. Figures for men who were murdered were also given to the press but there was no mention of women dying in the hands of their male partners. None of the masculist research figures stand up to scrutiny. International evidenced-based research has been with us for many years and the results always argued that in intimate partner violence both women and men are equally guilty but this information fell on deaf ears and no government was interested.
No attempt has been made to stem the tide of demonising women and girls. Because the education system has for so long discriminated against girls, and the way that girls learn, we have generations of young women who have been educationally failed by successive governments. A huge number of girls live without mothers and move through the education system without any female role models. Women have been driven out of teaching because of the undercurrent that taints them with suggestions that they may be paedophiles. Gangs have grown out of the motherless girls looking for female roles and a sense of femininity. Over two decades women have been made to feel ashamed of being made. Young girls have been marginalised and any feminine behaviour such as rough and tumble play is punished in schools. Women in an effort to be accepted by masculist men have created groups such as ‘white ribbon campaign.’
‘White ribbon is helping create tools, strategies and models that challenge negative, outdated concepts of womanhood…’ In other words the white ribbon campaign is seeking to masculise women starting with young girls in schools where they are most vulnerable. Thus from an early age women are now being brainwashed to be ashamed of the normal behaviour and to submit their lives to a masculized version of they are led to think they really ought to be.
Certainly very violent women and men who abuse each other and their children (fathers are far more likely to abuse children than mothers) should be subject to criminal procedures, however the war against women and girls has taken us into an unknown historical journey. Condemnation and shaming of women reached epic proportions and reaction is now forming where many women are refusing to marry and in many cases even to live with men. Looking at this phenomenon dispassionately I have to agree with them. Why would you risk losing your home, your children and your income when your partner knows he can oust you from his life, bar you from your children when your partner can pick up the phone and with no evidence you find yourself guilty of a criminal offence?
Many women live in fear these days. High profile women can be accused (again without any evidence) and publically put on trial by the media by men making allegations that sometimes span forty years. Even if the Crown Prosecution decides not to prosecute after a month of the allegations hanging over the woman and her family, they will say that the case won’t go to trial ‘for lack of evidence.’ They do not admit that they yet again have tried to destroy the woman and should apologise and declare her to be innocent. The accuser is not held responsible for destroying an innocent woman. According to the Crown Prosecution in England ‘All men claiming sexual abuse and rape MUST be believed’ and I believe it to be the rule everywhere else. How can it be that the CPS has the power to take away a woman’s right to be innocent until proven guilty?
Some women simply quietly stay away from relationships with men, and some, bitter and burnt, scorch the internet with their anger, others gather under the heading ‘Women going their own way’ a loose organisation of like-minded women. A Voice for Women is an internet platform where women can meet and share their experiences and help and advise each other. Their first international conference was held in Detroit a couple of years ago. They were hounded out of the hotel they had chosen for their conference by local masculists but they went ahead and I attended that conference and was overwhelmed by the women and men I saw gathered together to work towards ending violence towards everyone. Before this can happen we have to move away from the false claim that it is women who are abusers and men victims.
I find it totally condescending that men believe they can tell other men that they are so weak and so helpless that they cannot be trusted to take responsibility for their choices of relationships or their part in the violence. We have established that the roots of violence lie in intergenerational family violence. Now we have to expose the lies and the fraudulent appropriation of tax payer’s money to fund an evil empire.
We need to move swiftly because our children are being harmed in our education system. Our relationships with each other are being destroyed by this monstrous regiment of men. Above all though, in this present climate of all-out war waged against women children, are the main victims. I have always believed that the family is the corner stone of any civilization it is within those kind loving arms of both parents can nurture and grow their children to be warm loving members of our communities. I think in fifty years’ time people will look back in amazement that people were so blinded by masculism that they ignored the Trojan horse in their midst.
Equality for all is a worthy goal but creating a hate movement against half the human race is what has happened. We need to expose masculism for what it is: exploitation of all of us for power and control and funding.