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Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

Just rebuttals

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Christine Willmot, Sunrise Beach

It was gratifying to read Ray Moynihan and John Bailey expressing disgust at the rumination of Charles MacFarland (letters 21/28 November) about ‘what it is about women that makes some men so violent’.

It is great to have more and more men coming forward to support women in our struggles against misogynistic opinions. Even though Charles’s letter was an easy target – with its simplistic premises, absurd generalisations and muddled thinking – it’s still heartening to have men share the outrage and insult that such opinions cause.

A recent article in the SMH by Dr Michael Salter (Associate Professor of Criminology at University of Western Sydney) frames the question differently from the one that Charles puts forward. He asks how, exactly, can men and boys prevent violence against women? And what action should men and boys take to prevent violence against women?

He suggests obvious things such as becoming aware of privileges that accrue to men and letting go of gender stereotypes.

In this case, I would add speaking out against deliberately, or even just thoughtlessly, sexist writings.

I hope the movement of men taking responsibility continues to grow and that more men come to see that ‘The best way that men can help prevent gendered violence is to collaborate with women to build families and communities we are proud to be a part of: where violence and inequality have no place, and everyone wins.’ (SMH 23 November 2018.)

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