If a particular problem persisted that was apparently bad for society. Then logic suggests attention given to that problem would eventually be about actually resolving that problem. We have had the cant and rant of feminism on domestic violence and abuse for the last 40 odd years. In the same period we have experienced an open and sustained attack on the strength of nuclear and blood extended family from this ideology.
The ideologically driven social messages alongside feminist ‘foot soldiers’ have infiltrated both political wings (especially the left) and all manner of social policy to the stage of becoming social orthodoxy in our society.
The why in not actually ever resolving various social problems is contained in who benefits from the continuation of social problems? Since the early 1980’s New Zealand has shifted from a state directed capitalist marketplace to a neo liberal marketplace in common with the western world. The protection of workers and their families has gone and become that of units of labour efficiencies with the drive towards maximising stock holder profit. Many jobs in manufacturing and the trades (a mainstay of average education male employment) have been lost off shore to cheaper labour sites like China.
For feminism advancing the cause of female supremacy and most especially as defined in the labour market, there is absolutely no incentive to reduce male/female relationship conflict. In maintaining this conflict there is routine dismissal and the ignoring of current more humanist research on many issues. Logical and rational debate is quickly shut down with an array of illogical argument bolstered by shaming language that serves to move anti-feminist debate quickly to that being deemed anti-women.
Feminism was simply an agency for neo liberal marketplace change NZ. The agenda of neo liberal reform of the marketplace had nothing to do with social reform or betterment of humans. It only function is to have more people doing more work (but often paid less to ensure unit price reduction), paying more taxes and consuming more products. It is plain to see, by even the only vaguely interested observer of economics that male/female relationships coming and going benefits consumption. The two parent three child home potentially becomes two single parent plus kids two homes. With lawyers, real estate agents, social workers, psychologists, medical professionals, police and all manner of manufacturers and retailers of consumer goods (new bed, tv, fridge, etc etc) being involved in the process.
Academic education has become the nirvana for workers and the emphasis of education has been focused towards the female. By such mechanisms as changing the way subjects are taught and accessed by an increasing disproportion of female teachers.
At the same time ordinary wage rates relative to those needed to support an average family home reduced to the point where two parents’ are required to be in the labour force to support what one parent could prior to 1980’s marketplace change. This no doubt adds psychological pressure to two working parent homes, the introduction of the Domestic Purposes Benefit (DPB) in 1972 became an attractive mechanism that has clearly contributed to family breakdown decisions by far more couples than the bad marriages it promoted to ‘help’ end. Workers at the bottom end of the work market have little financial advantage (if any) over what the DPB offers. The ‘i’m bored’ is easily catered for as 75% of marriages are ended by women.
In 2010 NZ had the third highest number of lawyers to head of population. Women as lawyers have risen from 21% of total in 1990 to 45% in 2013. The majority of new admissions to legal practise have been women since 2000 with the percentage around 60% each year. Lawyers currently practising by admission year 2012 is a 60% female to 40% male. 17% of MP’s are lawyers. Barristers as percentage of lawyers rose from 4.5% in 1990 to 14.2% in 2010 with a slight drop back following changes in the amount of legal aid funds ‘floating about’ and an additional course requirement called ‘stepping up’. 31% of lawyers work in family laws some of the time. Some percentage of other legal work would relate to marriage/relationship formation and break-up. These being 42% of lawyers working some of the time in property, 37% in civil litigation, 36% in trusts and estates and 21% in criminal. (1)
We have a youth dysfunction statistic, the highest rate of teen suicide in world. We have as a criminal indicator the 4th highest rate of incarceration in world behind US, Mexico and Poland. We have as a family dysfunction stat, 24% of families in NZ are single parent (similar to US and UK while Germany has 14%), 40% plus for Maori.
In the ten years between 1986 and 1996 children in sole parent homes rose 57% to 190,000. “…the number of sole-parent families has grown rapidly over recent years. This has important implications for the welfare of children, given that sole parents tend to be disadvantaged in terms of employment, income, education and housing when compared to partnered parents.” 68% of these sole parent homes had previously been in marriages or defacto relationships. In the six years between 1990 and 1996 sole parent families in the bottom 20% of all household incomes went from 50% to 56%. (2)
By the 2000’s shared care was usually considered best for the children, yet in 2009 80% of child support payers were fathers. The traditionalist man as ‘beast of burden’ continues but for the state as the new alpha male to a growing number of women. The 2006 census showed that 18% of families were one-parent families with children (this does not account for newly blended family arrangements).
A 1998 study of children whose parents had separated found that 52% of adolescents sampled had seen their father in the last year. This means a staggering 48% of children have not seen their father in the last year. A 2004 study found that one in 10 children born after 1970 had lived in a blended family by the age of five, compared with one in 20 children born before 1970. Just under 40% of children (I would add that this is probably of all children) spent some time living with their mother only before they turned 17. A 1995 study showed that up to two-thirds of mothers who separated found a new partner within five years. In 1986, for couples with a child under five, 59% of mothers and 0.9% of fathers were at home full time and not in paid work. By 2001 it had changed to 38% of mothers and 3.4% of fathers. (3) The most likely place for child sexual abuse is in the solo-mother household where there is exposure to unrelated adults (7).
In Scotland “…there were 5,235 whole time equivalent (WTE) qualified social workers in 2009 compared to 5,072 the previous year, an increase of 3.2 per cent…Overall, the number of social workers is now 35 per cent higher than a decade ago. (4) A social worker study in the US indicated four out of five social workers were female and that this percentage was increasing (5)
It is costing the state more money to train a greater number of doctors because a greater number of graduates (more of them are female) are choosing to work less hours over their career than the norm of the past with a higher percentage of male graduates. Doctors derive more work from social dysfunction than in a situation of social harmony. With the percentage of population likely to need medical intervention increasing with disadvantaged households and further that these households will on average account for more police and legal profession hours.
It is in government that social policy evolves and in NZ women make up 59% of state sector employees, 52% of school boards, 44% of health boards while being 46% of the work force.(6) According to US voting trends women are more likely to vote for leftish social policy parties versus men for conservative economic based parties. Interestingly the actual split of gender of voters in NZ is not readily available. My suspicion is that more women vote which would account for the lack of voice given to men’s issues.
Clearly social dysfunction is good for business and good for workers in those fields. There is self interest at play to not resolving our so called social ills. As for the argument of relationship dysfunction being good for the consumerist economy. I am personally reminded of this every time I buy the third or fourth copy of a music cd and this years $30 op shop mattress to replace the two $1500 mattresses bought in the last 15 years!
I have used NZ stats where I have found something related or other western country stats where they seem applicable. There has been thinking amongst MRA’s for some years that gender stats that do not support some feminist argument are simply not collected.
2. http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/children/nzs-children.aspx 1999
6. http://www.neon.org.nz/documents/HR%20Women_screen.pdf (2008)