‘Violence against women is one of the great shames of Australia. It is a national disgrace,’ said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in September last year.
And the Prime Minister has a clear understanding of the causes of this violence. “Violence against women begins with disrespecting women,” he said.
As far as it goes, it’s a solid analysis. But the practical side needs work.
For example, why is Turnbull’s government tolerating US pick up artist Jeff Allenrunning secret seminars in Sydney and Melbourne to, as Allen puts it, ‘teach men to nail whores’?
For those who don’t keep up with the odious little world of Pick Up Artists, Jeff Allen is the wingman to Julian Blanc, who is an ‘executive coach’ at a company called Real Social Dynamics (RSD) that systematically teaches men to physically and emotionally abuse women to manipulate and intimidate them into having sex. It claims to be the largest men’s dating company in the world.
In December 2014, following a public outcry, Blanc was stopped from running his seminars in Australia and deported by the then Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.
Jeff Allen, for your information, is a man who calls his car a ‘rape van’ and has a picture of a ‘paedophile bear’ painted on its side.
Some of the tactics taught by Real Social Dynamics’s ‘coaches’ include choking women, and using a chart designed to help women identify domestic abuse as a checklist on #HowToMakeHerStay.
The ‘checklist’ includes: use coercion and threats, use intimidation, use isolation, deny, blame and minimise, and most telling of all, use male privilege.
Melbourne man Matt Jowlett started a change.org petition three days ago calling on the Prime Minister and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to deport Allen. The petition has attracted over 57,000 signatures at the time of writinng.
That the petition attracted so many supporters is heartening, but so far the government has been unmoved.
For a government that claims to be concerned about violence against women, stopping men like Allen from holding ‘seminars’ that encourage violence against women should be a no brainer.
Call me cynical, but I suspect that the government might have been a tad quicker off the mark if Allen was a religious leader with a Middle Eastern sounding name and appearance who was spouting similar hatred and domination of women.
After all, we hear a lot about the radicalisation of young men. We fear that Australian boys will be given the motivation, skills and sense of entitlement to enact terror.
And rightly so.
But what do terrorists do? They incite hatred of particular groups and adherence to ideologies that devalue and degrade those groups. They feel entitled to use innocent people for their own ends. And they achieve their ends by instilling fear in people that they will be the next victim.
The teachings of Real Social Dynamics are not dissimilar. The organisation appeals to young men and gets them to subscribe to a philosophy of hatred against women. They promote the systematic use and harm of women.
The key difference is that the ’cause’ of Real Social Dynamics is profit, and their adherents fit the bill of nice respectable middle-class men. But the outcome is much the same: encouraging the abuse and violence against certain groups.
And that violence is real. A man kills a woman every week in Australia — and thousands more are terrorised, threatened, wounded and displaced.
That RSD considers Australia to be fertile ground for their teachings is yet more evidence of the national disgrace that the Prime Minister spoke about.
As he said, violence against women begins with disrespect.
Let’s be clear: this isn’t a case of freedom of speech. There is nothing to be gained from debate about whether it’s okay to abuse women in pursuit of male pleasure.
And if we’re serious about tackling violence towards women then putting out spot fires is not good enough. Our leaders need to send a clear and consistent message that Individuals such as Allen and Blanc are not welcome in this country. And we shouldn’t have to refight this fight every time someone wants to spread their hatred of women in Australia.