[Shining the light on Men’s Health & Well-being in Australia]
~ MHA Articles ~
[ Quote – “Any Bloke can Father a child, but it takes a special man to be Dad”! – B Bennett ]
[ Quote – “Whatever is True, Whatever is Noble, Whatever is Right, Whatever is Pure, Whatever is Lovely, Whatever is Admirable – if anything is excellent… think about such things”. ]
[ ANGER: (pocket oxford Dictionary) extreme or passionate displeasure, old Norse (Scandinavian meaning) angr – Grief ]
[ Behind every good man… is a better woman – Partner, sister, mother, relative, employer, employee, neighbour, friend… ].
Comment – You are not your thoughts:
You are not your pain. You are not your depression or anxiety. You are not your sadness. We all have negative thoughts. We all have sadness and pain, that at times, totally takes over both our minds and our body’s.
Don’t try to push the pain or thoughts away. Sit with the pain and be kind to yourself. Tell your inner self that it’s okay to feel these things. Only then will the pain and feelings leave.
Don’t try to push the pain away with unhealthy things like drugs, alcohol, eating, being busy or excessive exercise. The pain will only get worse if you do this.
Have faith that if you allow yourself to feel the pain and the bad feelings, only then will they leave.
Pain comes in waves. Sometimes these waves can be unexpected and you can be confused and you don’t understand why the pain and bad feelings have come up. Don’t judge them, just allow yourself to feel them.
The quicker you allow yourself the time to process the feelings, the quicker they will leave. Ride the waves. As you get used to doing it, you will realise that the waves of pain/sadness become less frequent and not as strong.
Don’t be afraid.
When they come and you can’t seem to shake them, try to visualise your thoughts washing away and leaving your body.
Stop what you are doing, close your eyes and breathe.
Breathe all the way in and breathe all the way out imagining the thoughts leaving your body.
Remember this will pass. The bad feelings don’t last forever.
Be gentle with yourself and remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
Remind yourself that it’s normal to have negative thoughts and that we are all our own worst critic.
Try to do something small to get out of your own head.
Take a warm shower, make a warm drink, go to gym, call someone to talk. Anything that will ease the noise of your own mind.
Talk to someone or write down your thoughts and feelings. Get them out. Leaving them in, will only make them fester and get worse.
Remember you are not your thoughts. You are loved more than you will ever know and you are not a burden.
People love you and people want you here, no matter what your mind tells you. Sometimes we need to just forget about today and try again tomorrow.
A Darwin female barber – pro men…
Darwin Star Barber owner Joy Arnott has had an anti-discrimination complaint lodged against her for refusing to do a woman’s hair… she states she is “pro-men, not anti-women”. The dispute had been raised after she told a customer that she only cut men’s hair. In Facebook posts Ms Arnott argued she offered “specialist services of ladies haircuts (for) only $1000”. “Women do not have the right to take up space everywhere, just because they are women,” Ms Arnott told The NT News.
The complaint is under investigation by the Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission. The Commissioner was unable to comment on the matter. The barbershop’s website described the business as: “Darwin’s premier Barbershop for men”. “A place where men can get a great cut and shave, enjoy the conversation, the music and a beverage,” the site reads.
“I think [men are] entitled to have a space that’s designed for them, women don’t have the right to just come in and take up space everywhere because they’re women,” she stated.
[ Source – News.com.au – See here. ]
An “only in Australia” moment…
North Adelaide Noarlunga Oval – A large brown snake became an extra body on the ground to cause havoc at a SANFL game – but this time there was no need for a tribunal hearing. The dangerously evasive recruit forced play to halt in the second quarter of the trial game between South Adelaide and the reigning premier Roosters after a boundary umpire saw it sneak into the forward pocket at the southern end of the ground.
As the players quickly parted, the large brown snake slithered across the ground and officials decided to take the halftime break a bit earlier than the timekeepers had planned as they called in the services of a snake catcher. South Adelaide chief executive Neill Sharpe said it didn’t take long for the players to react when the venomous intruder started making its way across Noarlunga Oval.
“The boundary umpire noticed it and then the players noticed it and it was right on halftime, so we decided to go in (to the rooms),” Sharpe said. “It made its way across the oval and by that time we had called the snake catcher and they came and grabbed it. “The girl who turned up to grab the snake just jumped out of the car, picked it up by the tail and put it in a bag and it was all done. “The players couldn’t quite believe it and nobody was too keen to go near it.
Source: News.com.au/sport/sportslife. [ link now closed].
March for Men event… held in Melbourne (Aug 25th 2018)
[ Picture: FacebookSource: Facebook ]
Sydney Watson, describes herself as a “conservative political commentator”, brought men and women together to march against what she sees as “an assault on men collectively”. In particular, she takes issue with the narrative that has emerged declaring men need to change their behaviour, not women.
“… it’s felt like there has been an assault on men collectively,” she said in a video promoting the event. “I know that this has upset a lot of men and women alike and a lot of people are very distressed that they don’t feel as though they can support men’s rights, masculinity and men in general without being judged.
“I want Australians to rally together for masculinity, for men’s rights and just to demonstrate that we know that men matter too. “I want to make it abundantly clear that the purpose of this rally is not to hate on women, diminish women’s rights or to make any negative statements about women.” She said the fight for women’s rights is harming the fight for men’s rights. “Society is unlikely to be functional if we continue to put down one entire gender in order to prop up another.”
Australians have been repeatedly reminded how undesirable it is to be a man. After weeks of attacks from the media, from politicians and from interest groups — enough is definitely enough!”
Ms Watson shared a Facebook post by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews in June in which he made a point of singling out men. “Women don’t need to change their behaviour. Men do,” the Premier wrote. Ms Watson said she was “absolutely seething”. “This post is sanctimonious and patronising. I, for one, am absolutely sick and tired of men collectively being demonised at every turn and at every opportunity. “I’m getting so sick to death of this narrative that all men are violent. Because it is a horrific and unjust lie.”
Another video on Ms Watson’s YouTube channel is titled: “Dear feminists, here’s why you are hypocrites.”
“A woman rapes a man and nobody wants to call a spade a spade and call it rape,” she said. “I’d really like to know why it is that we downplay female-perpetrated violence. “Is it because it doesn’t fit into the male perpetrator/female victim paradigm? Or is it because society feels a need to shield women from criticism?”
IDENTITY POLITICS AT ODDS WITH LIBERAL DEMOCRACY
Author Stephen Chavura, teaches politics and history at Macquarie University, Campion College and the Lachlan Macquarie Institute.
Those who feel excluded from these norms based on their professed identity seek to change the prevailing culture and make it more “inclusive”. This is the essence of identity politics. And yet identity politics coexists uneasily with liberal democracy, and for good reason. Culture is to a great extent carried along by the words we use, “male and female”, “husband and wife”, “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Australia Day” and so on, and the texts, images, movies and songs we encounter. This is why identity politics must be at odds with liberal democracy, for if culture is to be made more inclusive then what we can think, say and see needs to be more tightly controlled.
In other words, freedom of speech and thought are part of the problem rather than the solution. The same-sex marriage debate in Australia confirmed this, for many citizens sincerely believed that Australians had no right to a public debate in the first place. Bill Shorten spoke for many when he castigated Malcolm Turnbull back in August as the person who ”licensed this debate”. Recall the boycott of Coopers beer by some pubs back in March. Same-sex marriage was the focal point of a “light-hearted” discussion over a Coopers beer organised by the Bible Society between MPs Tim Wilson and Andrew Hastie. Within minutes of the Bible Society uploading the debate, a storm of Twitter protests ensued, resulting in Coopers disassociating itself from the video and pledging its support for same-sex marriage.
The problem with Coopers, the Bible Society and advocates of a plebiscite was never that they criticised same-sex marriage. The crime was that they dared to suggest that anyone had the right to debate the issue in the first place. One of the most prominent activists of the Yes campaign, Michael Barnett, summed up a common attitude to the legitimacy of public debate in his tweets to Coopers Brewery: “So you’re saying it’s acceptable to debate the merit of supporting discrimination @coopersbrewery? Seriously?” Of course, the very issue in the debate was whether traditional marriage unjustly discriminates in the first place.
Barnett had the right to make his statements, but apparently he thought those with whom he disagreed had no similar right. He was not alone. The case made against Coopers and the legitimacy of a same-sex marriage debate was that inevitably things would be said that would be detrimental to the mental health of members of the LGBTQI community, which could lead to an increase in self-harm. But these sorts of catastrophic harm arguments are very dangerous for freedom of speech and, therefore, democracy.
Of course the state should be concerned about mental health and suicide, but its approach to these matters needs to be sensitive to other goods that are profoundly beneficial for societies, especially freedom of speech. Indeed, I invite LGBTQI rights advocates to name all the countries without a robust tradition of freedom of speech that have strong and effective LGBTQI rights movements. There is a democratic danger of linking what we can say publicly to mental health and other social maladies such as ethnic alienation from national culture.
Identity politics correctly assumes that for many of us part of our self-esteem comes from being integrated into a wider community or culture. However, if the wider cultural norms conflict with one’s own identity as transgender, or genderless, or gay, or Muslim, or indigenous, then one can feel alienated. If one also believes one has a right that the wider culture embrace their identity, then this exclusion has all the weight of an injustice, and the person either becomes increasingly alienated from mainstream culture or seeks to manipulate culture, and therefore control others’ speech and information.
Enter Safe Schools here in Australia, demands to widen 18C to include anti-Islamic speech, and demands to change the date of Australia Day. The conflict between identity politics and freedom of speech in a nutshell is that freedom of speech means unpredictable speech, and unpredictable speech means no guarantee against words that will emotionally wound, or the emergence of cultural norms that will exclude. Thus, to enjoy a life free from the anxiety of offence and cultural exclusion, speech and even thought needs to be controlled.
This is why movements to snuff out cultural oppression, unlike movements to snuff out political oppression, see freedom as the problem rather the solution. That is, they are deeply illiberal. Certainly this mood against liberal democracy is taking hold among sections of the youth in the US, Canada, Britain and Australia. One of the great challenges for developed societies going into 2018 and beyond is the extent to which they can accommodate millennials’ longing for inclusiveness while at the same time convincing them that the difficult task of balancing inclusiveness with freedom of speech and other liberal rights is worthy of their efforts. If this can be done then we would have achieved definite social progress.
But if not, then the future of liberal democracy becomes uncertain, for there is no shortage today of counter movements willing to take its place. Furthermore, recent debates in Australia over race, gender, sexuality and Islam have revealed no shortage of martinets who are willing to beat our brains and hearts into shape, always for the sake of love, diversity, and equality.
Source: Stephen Chavura
Suicide Row – An Anti Suicide Play for Men
Late in 2017 playwright Michael Griffith put together a play about some of the stuff that push men over the edge… initially launched in Melbourne (1-12th Nov 2017), it is hoped later to have the play tour Australia.We are aware of the gravity of Men’s issues.
About Suicide Row
After finding themselves stuck on the way to the after life, four Australian men discover that their individual suicide attempts have miraculously failed. But if this isn’t the end then why are they stuck? The Gods never reply. And as time slows and as hindsight drags in an inescapable tide of regret, these men come to wonder if in order to escape this frustrating nothingness and return home, does life expect them to do something first. If so, what?
The play, aimed at men, both young and older is powerful but not bleak, funny but not black and while it has a clear anti-suicide message, it does not preach.
Any money raised will be spent on the following:
– Paying the actors
– Production team
– Rehearsal room hire
– The set
– Theatre venue hire
– Marketing and promotions
We believe this is a very special and important play and we hope that in this first season it will not only be seen as such, but will attract community interest and further funding to see it tour. Further reading here.
Back in the old days, riding a bike usually meant lumbering along on a machine with no gears, a basket hanging off the front of the handlebars, and a playing card or two taped to the spokes to produce that cool motorcycle effect. Nowadays, there’s a whole new breed of bikes available to suit practically every situation and terrain you’re ever likely want to tackle. You have the choice of touring bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes and specialized track racing bikes – to name just a few of the varieties available. So if you haven’t ventured out for a spin on two wheels since Santa brought you a bike for Christmas, maybe it’s time to give it a go. Cycling is empowering. Pedalling along a country road or along a city bike trail rouses your spirit and awakens your senses. And it’s difficult to hate those thighs as you joyfully roll up the driveway after conquering a challenging ride.You’ll find cycling is as gentle on your body as any physical activity can possibly be. There’s a saying in sports medicine circles: Even if you can’t run, walk, hobble or hop, you can ride a bike. Simply because cycling isn’t a weight-bearing exercise, it’s super easy on your joints – even the troublesome achy ones. It can be a wonderful, pain-free way to exercise and lose that unwanted weight. In fact, you can easily burn around 500 calories on just an hour-long ride! So whether you’re looking to ride for fitness, weight loss, or to simply get away from it all, why not contact a local cycling group and enjoy life on a bike with a bunch of new friends.
Having won the Wellington provincial 100 Mile Road Championship in 1976 and selected to represent Wellington for many years at National Championships, Olympic & Commonwealth Games trials, Bob made the move with his family across to Melbourne in 1978 to further both his cycling opportunities and those of his young family who were about to commence their schooling. Now, having won more than sixty Club, State and National Championship medals including seven Australian National Championship Titles over both Road and Criterium disciplines in mature age veteran competition, Bob Lewis still enjoys nothing more than getting out on his bike with his cycling mates. As a member of the Eastern Veteran Cycling Club as well as a founding member of the Warby Ghostriders group who regularly cycle the Warburton Rail Trail and the many fine city trails around Melbourne, Bob is always happy to pass on his cycling knowledge and riding tips to anyone thinking of taking up cycling to improve their health and at the same time enlarge their circle of friends.
Warby Ghostriders Group: www.ghostriderscycling.com
Eastern Veteran Cycling Club: www.easternvets.com
Caulfield Carnegie Cycling: http://www.carnegiecycling.com.au/
Testimony of Blue Wiggle Anthony field.
AS an entertainer he inspired thousands of children to sing and dance in the aisles but after the concert the Blue Wiggle, Anthony Field, would retire to his dressing room and break down. Overweight, suffering from clinical depression, crippled by pain from infected teeth and swollen joints and deaf in one ear the children’s entertainer suffered in silence for eight years before finally seeking help.In Men’s Health Week the man behind the blue skivvy is appealing to other men who are depressed or in pain to speak up, tell a friend, talk to a doctor or ring a helpline to get assistance.“Ten years ago Murray helped me by saying – are you okay, are you well?” says Field.“The Australian thing is to keep it in, don’t talk about it, she’ll be right mate but that’s not good.“Talking to someone is the first step, talk to your friend, then someone professional.”
Field is promoting health fund Medibank Private’s 24/7 helpline and says the anonymity of a phone call is sometimes a good way for men to take the first step to get help. He says his father kept his health problems from the family. “My father had a stroke, we took him to the doctor and found out he had prostate cancer. We didn’t know about it,” he said. Men don’t talk about their health because they feel ashamed it makes them appear weak, that they are letting the team down, he says. And women can sometimes make it hard for them to speak up. Field’s wife used to joke that he had selective hearing. “Women love to say that,” he says.
It turned out Field did, in fact, have a hearing problem and he now wears a hearing aid. The Blue Wiggle suffered in pain and struggled with depression for eight years before he sought help in 2003. He saw a psychologist, started taking anti-depressants, lost 16 kilograms, had teeth removed and replaced with titanium implants and saw a naturopath. Ten years later he says he’s drug free, eating well, on the right track and in the middle of a punishing concert tour. “I’ve turned 50 and can do handstands and the splits. I’m enjoying it too much to give up,” he says. A Galaxy survey of over a thousand Australians has found only one in four men would tell their partner if they had a cold and only 9 per cent would tell their friends. Conducted for Medibank Private’s 24/7 helpline the survey disproves the myth that men exaggerate the symptoms of the common cold into man flu.
One in two women tell their partners when they are feeling ill and women are 10 per cent more likely to take a day off work if they get a cold, the survey found. More than four in ten men claim they are not badly affected by the sniffles and more than half of them won’t take medicine to relieve the symptoms. Dr Georgia Karabatsos says the common cold and ‘man flu’ are often joked about. “But for some men this can lead to them feeling unable to discuss their health,” she said. ‘It is really important, as a nation, we don’t let the Aussie male stereotype put pressure on the male population to stay silent about ill health or abnormalities.”“The Australian thing is to keep it in, don’t talk about it, she’ll be right mate but that’s not good”.
[ Article from the Daily Telegraph: written by Sue Dunlevy, News Corp Australia Network – ]
Suicide Prevention at Bluescope steel plate Mill…
[ News ABC ] – Back in 2015 Lifeline targeted men to become counsellors and “help-seekers”, and is visiting the industrial heart of Wollongong. Within the Bluescope steel Factory… “We’re concerned about it from the point of view of our workforce, but also from the perspective of the community as well,” he said. “We have a service we fund if someone wants some help, and we provide that service on a confidential basis. “It’s something we’re conscious of and have been doing so for a few years.” Mr Nowlan said he had noticed a gradual improvement in men feeling more comfortable opening up about mental health issues within the blue collar manufacturing workforce. Read more here…
TOOWOOMBA HELD A CITY FREE FROM PORN RALLY – Oct 11 2016.
We had prayed for this Rally at all our prayer meetings over a few weeks, and a few of us “older prayer warriors” that have been involved with City Women since it started, prayer walked the area from 6.15 till it started at 7 am. The wind was blowing a gale to start with and there were heavy clouds hanging over the city, but we prayed them away, and by 6.45 the sun came out and it was an absolutely beautiful morning. We were getting more and more excited as men started to arrive from 6.15am on, and they just kept coming and coming. A sausage breakfast was available put on by the ‘Men in the city’ so people gathered around the bar-b-que and talked. There was a lovely family atmosphere from the beginning, and it stayed all through the meeting. It was absolutely amazing!
We were especially excited to see a whole lot of grade 12 School Students there from different schools as well as men of all ages. We were a bit worried when we saw 5 motor bikes arrive, as we had heard rumours that there could be some opposition to the Rally and protesters had said they would come and create a disturbance. Fortunately they turned out to be from the GOD SQUAD, and there was no disturbance at all. One of our younger Pastors was the MC and the Mayor had called the meeting. He is a wonderful Christian man and has supported this move from the very beginning, so he opened the meeting with an excellent talk about the impact Porn has on our city and his desire to see that lessened. He pointed out that it was the first step of a long journey, but he was 100% behind it.
A very courageous woman then spoke about the effect her first partners porn addiction had on their marriage and her personally, and how she had struggled to regain her self-confidence since the breakup of that relationship. She has only just married a beautiful man 2years ago who respects and supports her, and he had encouraged her to be brave enough to speak about her previous experience in this gathering. A man also spoke openly about his pornography addiction which has started quite innocently by finding a porn magazine on the road. He spoke honestly about the effect it had on his marriage, and his consequent divorce. He had since had counselling and older stable men had been able to “walk beside him” in his recovery, so as he said there is a way out of this addiction.
The former CEO of the Heritage bank has brought together a group of concerned citizens to fight this as well as many other serious issues that are destroying our families to day. They call themselves Toowoomba Together and he was able to bring startling statistics that prove that the main cause of domestic violence is caused by porn addiction. Also that most kids by the age of 11 have viewed porn somewhere as it is so readily available on social media. It was clearly pointed out that there is help for anyone who is struggling with this addiction and the Mayor led the whole group of men in this pledge: “I acknowledge that viewing Pornography promotes exploitation of women and violence against women and it damages family life. I commit that I won’t view porn and I will help to create a city free from porn.
It was not possible to count the men attending the Rally but there would have been at least 200 or more.