Associate Professor Betty McLellan and Dr Greg Canning [Sourced from Townsville Bulletin]
What happens when men finally realize they can no longer suppress women’s speech? When their counter-arguments prove to be unsubstantiated and factually incorrect? When they’re forced to accept that nobody takes the word “misandry” seriously, because while “misogyny” evokes the horrors of witch-burnings, female genital mutilation, honor killings, suttee, forced lobotomies and Chinese foot-binding, “misandry” only manages to evoke the image of an overweight white dude who hates his ex-wife and gets off on punching his perceived grievances into a keyboard…?
So what happens when an academic has trouble accepting that certain sentences, containing certain information, are factually correct, simply because he doesn’t like what they say? The answer to that is he does what men have always done: he attempts to use his male privilege to get the woman who wrote them hauled out of her job.
But when those pesky facts persist and it turns out her words are truthful, leaving him without a leg to stand on…what then?
Then, the only way to save face is to resign:
“JAMES Cook University is embroiled in an ugly battle of the sexes which has resulted in one academic resigning in protest at the lack of discipline of his “extreme” feminist colleague.
JCU school of Medicine adjunct senior lecturer Dr Greg Canning has quit his teaching job of 10 years, claiming the university failed to caution Adjunct Associate Professor Betty McLellan, who he has accused of publicly practicing sexual vilification.
Dr McLellan, from the School of Arts and Social Sciences, is a feminist ethicist and psychotherapist, with more than 20 years experience. She has written several books, and regularly contributes opinion pieces to radical feminism websites such as the Coalition for a Feminist Agenda.
Dr Canning, who is a men’s health advocate, said he took great offence to some of Dr McLellan’s writings. An opinion piece, written by Dr McLellan on website Radfem Hub titled ‘The Question on Nobody’s Lips’, states “even with all the evidence we have that something’s not quite right with the male of the species, there is still impenetrable resistance to focusing on men’s behaviour and asking: what is it about men?””
In fact, there is no such thing as the “battle of the sexes” because this term suggests there are two equal but opposing forces struggling for power. What is actually taking place all over the world today is men’s oppression of women, otherwise known as patriarchy, “rule of the father”, a social and political structure which has persisted for millennia because of male violence, but which is gradually coming to an end due to women’s relentless and ongoing struggle to be liberated from male dominance.
But I digress.
The point Betty McLellan in fact made in her Radical Hub article was that we should now start talking about what men do, and have done, to women. She declared that it is high time for us all to pull our heads out of the sand and begin addressing men’s behaviour; that we must look at the statistics in the cold light of day and ask ourselves why male violence is so prevalent, and then take that thought further by contemplating why society is in denial about it.
Why, for example, are we happy when our daughter announces her engagement, when we know that a woman partnered with a man is more likely to be beaten and murdered or to end up sinking into depression than a single woman? In her 2011 Hub article Dr McLellan posed us this question:
Even in the face of horrendous violence by men against women and children (Darcey Freeman; and Tania Simpson and daughter Kyla Rogers) along with allegations of high profile men raping and abusing women (Dominique Strauss-Kahn; Silvio Berlusconi); even with all the evidence we have that something’s not quite right with the male of the species, there is still impenetrable resistance to focusing on men’s behaviour and asking: what is it about men? It seems that the only people with the courage to ask that question are radical feminists.
The ability of mainstream, including mainstream feminists, to ignore the elephant in the room is mind-boggling.
The thing is that patriarchy depends for its very existence on the notion that men are our heroes, our protectors, our leaders and, because of that, it is imperative that men be portrayed in a positive light at all times. Any unacceptable behaviour didn’t actually happen, or is a false accusation, or wasn’t their fault, or is a cry for help, or should be seen as a mistake by ‘one bad apple’, or blah, blah, blah.
Freud was someone who couldn’t bring himself to admit the reality staring him in the face: that men rape children. He couldn’t help but know from all the stories he heard from his women clients that fathers sexually abuse their daughters. He knew it. The evidence was right there and very convincing. But he couldn’t bring himself to say it. “Men wouldn’t do that”.
McLellan does not call for women to retaliate against men. She does not even call for men to temporarily stop their war on women by asking them to abstain — as a class — from rape for one day, as Dworkin famously did (in vain.)
No, instead her article identifies a precise problem, which is that we are all supposed to ignore and minimize men’s behaviour. Or failing that, we’re to pretend that women are also doing it to the same extent as men.
She also mentions Freud, a man whose influence lingers over society still. It took a radical feminist (Kate Millett) to pick apart his erroneous theories, crushing each one like grapes underfoot, before society began to admit they’d made rather a big mistake by taking him seriously. Before that, his work had been seamlessly incorporated into mainstream psychology.
Even today, Freud is referred to as the “Father of Psychoanalysis” and a countless number of sources describe his legacy in these favorable terms. “Father of Covering up the Sins of the Fathers” would be a more apt description, due to the fact that the basis of his work was to assert that women lied about childhood sexual abuse. Ironically, at the beginning of his career he expressed dismay that so many men had been raping their daughters, and he diligently documented his findings. What surprised him the most was the sheer number of women that were reporting the rapes. But because he could not face challenging an establishment over which the fathers in question had substantial influence, he recanted his original findings and blamed the daughters.
Freud was another man who didn’t like facts when he saw them, and for that he will go down in history as being nothing but an old fraud.
It seems to me that as patriarchy falls it is becoming harder and harder to cover up the rot that is concealed within its structures. History is being made. Male dominance is flailing. We are now approaching the age of reason, perhaps the Enlightenment: a new age, in which a man who throws a temper tantrum can no longer use his male privilege to remove a woman from her job, and in fact, where his complaint is openly regarded as ridiculous. Dr. McLellan expresses surprise at Dr. Canning’s unwarranted attacks, but seems fairly unfazed and unperturbed by the incident. Let’s get back to business and press on with liberating women her manner seems to imply.
“Dr Canning made an official complaint to JCU, accusing Dr McLellan through her activities and writings of breaching the university’s guidelines for ethical conduct and bringing JCU into disrepute.
JCU, however, reviewed his concerns and found there was no evidence Dr McLellan had breached the university’s code of conduct, nor brought it into dispute.
Dr Canning handed his letter of resignation into the School of Medicine last month. He said while university management did not overtly condone the sexual vilification of men, failing to even caution Dr McLellan was a “reprehensible moral and ethical shortcoming”.
Dr McLellan said it was ridiculous to suggest she supported violence against men, or vilified them.
“I don’t support violence from anybody to anybody: men, women, anybody,” she said. “How am I vilifying anybody, really?”
She believed Dr Canning was going over the top by resigning from his teaching position.
“It speaks of a man, really, who is fairly desperate because he’s not getting his own way,” she said.
“He’s not able to silence a woman who has an opinion.”