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David Penberthy’s bizarre attack on MRAs

David Penberthy’s bizarre attack on MRAs published on

Today, at antimisandry, I bumped into a bizarre rant  called“If all else fails, embittered blokes blame the women.”

In this article Australian “journalist” David Penberthy,  calls the Men’s Rights Movement a bunch of whiners and then proceeds to, er… whine about our efforts to make the world a better place for men and boys.

Before getting to the article, a little background info on Dave himself: Penberthy was for three years the editor of a fish and chip wrapper called The Daily Telegraph ; he was once forced to pay damages to Muslim cricketer Bilal Shafayat after referring to him as a member of Al Qaeda on “The Punch” website, and he once called for NSW’s Labor Premier to quit, citing some poll wherein his mouthbreathing readers said the premier should do so. Democracy be damned! If the low-browed knuckle-draggers who dribble their orange juice over The Daily Telegraph say he must go then he must go!

Now to the offending article itself.

Penberthy starts off by attacking Robert Bly’s book “Iron John”, which I personally thought was a waste of time and paper – any book written by a middle aged man who goes on about his Iron John and his Golden Ball has midlife crisis written across it just as loudly as any set of hair plugs or sleek red Porsche does. The problem is that Penberthy brings up Iron John in order to portray a minority of the movement as representative of the whole, and he does so in order to call the majority of MRAs   “maladjusted men” who “ sniff each other’s armpits, channel negative energy into circles of hate and howl at the moon because Mum had them circumcised.”

He then proceeds to support the old feminist chestnut of “Men have it all “with this explanation as to why there is supposedly no men’s movement in Australia…

“This is probably because most Australian men have nothing of any real magnitude to get off their chest, or simply find that the odd night at the pub or the occasional fishing weekend provides ample therapy for any lingering sense of gender injustice. “
Yes, Australian males are doing just fine – apart from the boy crisis; suicide and murder rates four times higher than those of women; copping most of society’s violence while the minority of victims who are female get most of the help, and dropping dead several years earlier than women even if we are lucky enough to avoid being slaughtered in the name of neo-conservatism.

He continues…

“But a lot of it is a combination of excuse-making and blame-shifting by men who’ve probably made stupid choices, or just haven’t got their act together, or have destroyed their marriage and lost contact with their kids through their own alcohol abuse and domestic violence.”

Ah, see! Unlike the poor oppressed women who can blame anyone and everyone for their problems, with males it’s all our own fault. It’s not the legal system, it’s not people like him littering the media with anti-male propaganda, it’s because we are defective! Notice that no evidence is given, no studies on what percentage of women file for divorce due to some kind of abuse, he doesn’t even go for the old tactic of citing a few blokes he’s met and then portraying them as the rule rather than the exception – perhaps using it twice in the same article would be too obvious even for a writer of his rank.

“And a distressingly high portion appears to be unadorned misogyny, where men will seize on any suggestion that women can ever face a specific kind of hardship as a result of public policy, health issues, crime or the economy.”

Precisely how is misogyny – the hatred of women- supported by these complaints? He doesn’t say, he simply places these statements where the premises of the argument should be and lets his readers take his word for it that there is some sort of logic happening here.

“The hostility is at its most pronounced in the following areas:
* Illness: Even something as noble and benign as Pink Ribbon Day is held up as a sinister plot to draw more attention — and more donations — to the issue of breast cancer at the expense of the desperately unsexy prostate cancer. This (obviously) male condition has become the (allegedly) unsung cause of choice for angry men who feel that all the support and coverage is going in the direction of the fairer sex. “

Again, no evidence is given as to why these complaints are not justified, I suppose simply the idea that it brings out male “hostility” is enough to discredit the ideas put forward, at least to the typical unthinking tabloid reader.

“* Crime: The idea that domestic violence and sexual assault has been somehow exaggerated or even concocted, while the men who are apparently victims of such treatment by women go unheard.”

Once again, no evidence, just “I’m telling you in the right tone, with words that push the right buttons, so just believe me.” Anyone who looks at the official statistics as opposed to whatever feminist Kool-Aid this joker has been swilling will see that these problems have indeed been exaggerated. Ask your wife or girlfriend “Have a third of your close female friends told you they’ve been raped?” and unless you live on the edge of purgatory the answer will be a big NO.

Penberthy ends his string of unsupported assertions with this rather ironic call to greater sociability…

“The saddest aspect in reading the missives from these angry men is the way their sense of isolation comes through. Many of them are in a predicament of their own making. But that should not absolve us from trying to find a way to bring them back into the community, perhaps initially by suggesting that sitting alone in front of a computer, randomly venting their fury, is the least social way to take part in society.”

No, Dave, the least social way to take part in society is to be a racist muckraker who tries to override democracy, and who writes garbage like this about a topic of which he is clearly ignorant.

This whole prohibition on men “whining” is a truly puzzling one as we are allowed to complain, though not as much as women, in areas where the complaint does not pertain to our maleness. In Aus Asians and blacks can complain about racism for example, but the males amongst them are not allowed to complain about losing their kids after a divorce. Black men in America are allowed to complain about old movies where they are portrayed as buffoons because if their color, but not allowed to complain about modern sitcoms where they are portrayed as being fools due to their sex. The whole thing is very weird, but whatever the full cause of it is, part of the problem is clearly obedience – most people, men included, do what they were raised to do and are what they are told to be.

There is nothing strong or manly about obedience, nothing macho about letting society kick sand in your face year after year, and there sure as hell isn’t anything smart about seeing the world through those cracked glasses your feminist Professors gave you when you were too young to know the difference between Vegemite and possum shit!

As for David Penberthy and all his ilk, I have this final piece of advice –
if you’re too weak to complain, then at least be strong enough to stay out of the way of those who are not.