This is the text of Gil Ronen's lecture at Ariel University, 29.4.13 (the text is the original text prepared for the lecture — some changes were made at the last minute due to time constraints and other factors, so the lecture in the video is not exactly the same).
Let me introduce myself: I am Gil Ronen, father of Erez and Tami, founder and Chairman of the Familists.
I would like to try and make sense of what we have already heard today and what it is that we are seeing here.
Let's start with a quote from John Stuart Mill's "The Subjection of Women," which I think is a very relevant one to this conference.
"In every respect," writes Mill; "In every respect the burden is hard, on those who attack an almost universal opinion. They must be very fortunate, as well as unusually capable, if they obtain a hearing at all.”
Now, I should say that I stole that quote from the opening pages of a new book called – The Privileged Sex – by Prof. Martin Van Crevelt, which is coming out soon on Amazon and which I highly recommend, and it applies to Martin himself, who is a pioneer of scientific criticism of genderist claims.
It applies to Prof. Murray Straus, our guest of honor and keynote speaker here, and it applies to Prof. Sarah Ben David.
Prof. Ben David has been absolutely fearless in this fight and it is for this reason that we, the Familists, intend to nominate her for the next Israel Prize for Criminology.
The quote also applies to Mark Langfan of New York, a true patriot, whose generosity has helped make this important conference a reality.
This conference that we are in is possibly the most liberated international university-sponsored conference on the subject of family conflict in the history of the world. I am very proud to be one of its parents.
Now, as I said, we call ourselves familists. We believe in familism. So what is familism?
Familism is the approach that views men's rights and obligations, women's rights and obligations, and children's rights and obligations within the framework of family, and views the family itself as a valuable unit that needs to be maintained.
The opposite approach is the genderist approach. The genderist approach is an approach that involves identifying with one gender and then organizing as a gender and proceeding to fight the other gender for power. This is an approach that is reminiscent of class warfare and I want to quote Professor Ruth Wisse of Harvard who summed things up when she wrote of the movement:
"Women's liberation, if not the most extreme then certainly the most influential neo-Marxist movement in America, has done to the American home what communism did to the Russian economy, and most of the ruin is irreversible. By defining relations between men and women in terms of power and competition instead of reciprocity and cooperation, the movement tore apart the most basic and fragile contract in human society, the unit from which all other social institutions, draw their strength."
So you see, what we are talking about here is a very serious matter, that goes beyond the scope of academic research.
The smoking gun
Prof. Straus. You have shown us two presentations in one. The first is an academic presentation about intimate partner violence. The second, is a cry for help. It is a cry for intervention. In the second part of your presentation before us, and in other presentations in the same vein that you have made over the years, you have essentially told us the following:
"Some force, which I – Prof. Straus – decline to name, is preventing me and my colleagues from doing our jobs.
"We have reached certain findings. We wish to publish these findings. But a force stronger than ourselves, which we do not have the tools to deal with, is systematically hindering our ability to carry out our research on the topics we choose to study, in accordance with our academic and scientific standards. The same force has been misrepresenting – our findings – through malevolent deeds like publishing only one column of data out of two columns, in a way that changes the entire nature of the findings."
Obviously, you never said all of this in quite this way, but this is how I understand the message you are delivering between the lines.
This is an obvious case of fraud. It is obviously a racket of a criminal nature. You are the whistleblower and you have provided us with a smoking gun. And the obvious question is – who is holding that gun?
Who is behind this? Well, Prof. Wisse used the term "neo-Marxism."
Dr. Don Dutton, of the University of British Columbia, referred to Marxism in this context in the conference titled "From Ideology to Inclusion" that you were a part of, Prof. Straus, which took place in Sacramento in 2008.
Erin Pizzey, the indomitable founder of the first shelters for victims of domestic violence in Britain, who was the guest of honor at that conference, has pointed directly to Karl Marx, and she has done so over and over again – and she was an insider. She was there when it happened.
So the politics are in there, any way you look at it, Prof. Straus, Prof. Ben David, Dr. Levy, Dr. Aviad, Dr. Bonny Noach. And there is a saying, it takes a nail to drive out a nail. That is why I think it is legitimate and even required of you, morally and professionally, to work with whoever can deliver the goods and free you from this yoke of violent oppression. And I think it is necessary also that you provide whoever is willing to offer this help, whatever assistance he or she requires. Otherwise this entire field of research is debased and your life's work has been wrenched away from you and used as a tool of oppression.
I say oppression because there are people in this hall whose children have been deprived of the right to be raised by a loving father, through the influence of the manufactured statistics that have your name stamped on them, Prof. Straus. Besides the fact that these children miss their fathers terribly, they are at a far greater risk of all kinds of social deviance, as a result of being separated from their fathers.
From dropping out of school, through unwanted teenage pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse, criminal activity, all the way down to falling victim to abuse of various types and serving time in jail, children who grow up without two involved parents in their lives are at far greater risk, and this is not a manufactured or inflated statistic, it is not a cherry-picked statistic. We are not Marxist or neo-Marxist liars out here.
False statistics in Israel
I want to talk about Israel for a while and then make the connection to other countries.
In 1998, an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Domestic Violence was convened, in order to coordinate the way government branches deal with complaints about domestic violence. The Committee was headed by then-Head of the National Insurance Institute, which is Israel's welfare institute, Dr. Yigal Ben-Shalom. Providing academic background for the committee was Dr. Orli Ines-Kenig, who received her doctorate in social work from Haifa University.
In the introduction to the Committee's report, your name appears, Prof. Straus. Next to it is the claim that 27.8% of American women were hit at least once in their lifetimes by their husbands. This supposedly comes from research you published in 1986. Based upon this supposed finding by you, the person who wrote the introduction to the Committee's report supposedly did some extrapolating and found that there are between 150,000 and 200,000 battered women in Israel.
I assume that this person was Dr. Ines-Kenig, because the same paragraph appears verbatim in a document signed by her, which gives instructions regarding the proper way of treating violent men at hostels like Beit Noam, a representative from which addressed this conference earlier today.
This magic number of 200,000 battered women has been circulating in Israel since at least the 1990s. It started out as 100,000, then climbed to 150,000, and quickly reached 200,000. This number appears in dozens, if not hundreds, of explanatory notes to pieces of legislation, and comes up regularly in speeches, lectures, articles, media programs et cetera on the subject. This happens especially on March 8th, which is International Women's Day – an old Soviet holiday that has recently received new life in Israel and is marked by the Knesset – and on November 25th, which was declared as the Day of the Struggle for Elimination of Violence against Women, by the United Nations, in 1999.
The number is a factoid. It has no base in research other than that extrapolation from a finding by you, which – based on what you have just told us – is actually part of a pattern of deliberate misrepresentation of findings that were made by you and other researchers. The misrepresentation is not just reflected in the number of battered women but in the basic picture of domestic violence as being one and the same as wife battering.
I should say that these scare numbers are not the only means of propaganda being used against men here. To reach maximum efficacy, the scare numbers are combined with a press that has been trained to magnify cases of spousal murder by men, in a way that creates hysteria. Cases of spousal murder are front page news here, and they are often the top headline, topping even the Iranian nuclear danger.
Men as enemies of the state
Once men as a group have been stigmatized as violent, they – or should I say 'we' – have been marked as somehow less human than the rest of us – or should I say 'the rest of you'.
They have been marked out as enemies of the state – in much the same way that the bourgeois were marked out as enemies by the class warfare mechanism, or the way the kulak farmers in the Ukraine were marked out as enemies in the Soviet Union, as part of the forced collectivization that left millions of men, women and children dead of starvation in the 1930s.
And once you are less human, it is okay to push you out of your home without any proof of wrongdoing; it is OK to push you out of your children's lives forever. It is OK to arrest you and put you in a prison cell with murderers and rapists. It is OK turn you into a person with a criminal record. It is OK make you a child support slave, regardless of your earning power. Here in Israel, it is not uncommon for the court to garnish a man's disability stipend for the benefit of child support, even if that is his sole livelihood. Judges occasionally tell men to go sleep on a park bench, after garnishing their entire salary.
Now, if you push a child's daddy or mommy out of his or her life, and in this case we are talking mostly about daddies, that child is at far greater risk, period. Over the years, millions of children are affected by the fact that your name, Prof. Straus, along with others, has been hijacked to serve as a stamp of authority for false statistics, and when I say millions, I am still talking about Israel alone.
How many millions of children's lives have been affected by similar falsification of data in the U.S., and the rest of the world? After all, similar things to what I have described are happening all over the western world, although each country is different. This disease strikes different societies in different ways and latches on to their weaknesses.
The good news about how bad things have gotten is that there finally is a wide scale awakening now, after decades in which this problem was allowed to fester and simply viewed as an unchangeable evil. There is a new term out there which is gaining currency: MRA, or men's rights activist. Dr. Warren Farrell and his excellent books exposing the inaccuracies promoted by the genderist propaganda machine have had a gradual galvanizing effect.
The need for Family Science
Prof. Janice Fiamengo of the University of Ottawa has been saying in a powerful way recently that the Gender Science departments are not really about science but are, rather, the academic arm of a special interest lobby group, as she puts it. They are not about scholarly research but about indoctrination, she says, and there is no place for them.
In the book of Genesis – in Hebrew, Beresheet – the Bible tells the story of Joseph, or Yosef, whose brothers threw into a hole in the ground, leaving him to die. This happened at Dotan, about 40 kilometers north of here. The verse in Chapter 39 says that, quote, "the hole was empty and there was no water in it."
The Jewish sages over the centuries asked themselves why the Bible did not just say that the hole was empty? Why did it have to add that there was no water in it? And one of the sages explained that by saying that there was no water in it, the Bible was actually saying that the hole was full of snakes and scorpions.
Other sages then came along and drew the conclusion that when you leave an empty space somewhere, and you do not fill it with something good, it will fill up with something bad. In other words – nature abhors a vacuum. In this case, the vacuum has a moral nature.
For this reason, I want to suggest that the pro-family movement should not strive to close down the Gender Studies departments, or Gender Sciences as they are known here, but to widen and change them into departments that study Family Science, or even Family and Gender Science. Family Science would study most of the subjects that Gender Science deals with, but unlike Gender Science, it would be scientific.
As regards violence, it would not take research results that have two columns of data and delete the second one. It would leave in that second column and deal with reality.
And it would not just deal with intimate partner violence. It would also deal with violence toward children.
As I said, this conference that we are in is possibly the most liberated international university conference on the subject of family conflict in the history of the world. And yet, we do not have a speaker on violence against children. This is not because of any bias by us, on the steering committee. Rather, it reflects the current state of research, which is preoccupied with pitting women against men.
It is a very sad state of affairs, and it needs to change. As you may know, most of the violence against children is perpetrated by women, making this a useless subject for gender propaganda.
Useless for Gender Studies, but very central in the as yet unborn field of Family Science.
As regards earnings, Family Science would not just fill the air with statistics that show that women earn less than men on average. It would also ask what drives men to earn more? It would ask men about their sense of responsibility as breadwinners. It would map out how much of an average father's earnings go to buying his own stuff, and how much goes to buying his wife's stuff and his children's stuff, and the entire family's stuff. And it would ask the same question about women's earnings.
It would find out, scientifically, if maternal instinct actually exists. It would find out if chivalrous instinct actually exists. Do men have a protective instinct? Why was it, as Prof. Fiamenco has pointed out, that 75% of the women aboard the Titanic survived, but only 18% of the men survived?
As regards sexual relations, Family Science would not just deal with rape and harassment, but also with courtship. What is courtship? What is the male role in courtship? What is the female role in courtship? If we are going to study sex, let's study it properly. How does it happen? How much verbal communication is there, for instance, in the process of getting from point A to point B to point C in most normal sexual encounters?
If you listen to the Gender Studies staffers, you'd think that normal procreation either does not exist, or it involves a stork flying in from the clouds with a baby. Because in their eyes, the entire physical part of sexual relations between men and women is tainted with criminality from the get-go.
Family Science would try to map out this normal process in a realistic and scientific way. And then, that research would be published and it would reach the lawmakers. And the laws we draw up could be based upon this realistic and scientific picture of what constitutes normal and acceptable sexual practice.
Prof. Ben David has been discussing the need for establishing an institution that would provide therapy, mediation services, as well as public education on matters relating to family relations. I think that is a supreme need and I would add that the same institution needs to have a scientific backbone in the form of Family Science, and that this family science also needs to be proactive vis-à-vis the media and government. Otherwise, I am afraid the genderist forces will simply shut us down. They are not very tolerant of dissent, Prof. Ben David, and I think we may see examples of this intolerance in this very conference.
Men's rights and family values
I mentioned the term MRA and I want to turn now in conclusion to the MRAs who are out there, some of whom may be watching or reading this, and to concerned people in general.
I have spoken to Dr. Warren Farrell and I asked him what he thought of the term familism, and I must say his reaction was very enthusiastic. I think that in order to make this rising MRA energy effective, it needs to be channeled into a worldwide pro-family movement.
You may ask, how are men's rights and family values connected? It’s simple.
When a man and a woman join to form a family, that partnership has got to involve mutual respect. Respect means, among other things, that one partner may not hit the other. That is an act of extreme disrespect and it is very hard to forgive. It also means that one partner may not cause the other to be taken away by police if there is not a very good reason for it. That is also an act of supreme disrespect, and it is just as hard to forgive.
That is the connection.
I have heard Erin Pizzey saying more than once, including in conversations with me, that men have a problem rallying around the flag of their own rights. Men will give money to women's shelters but they will not contribute toward shelters for men, for instance.
But what men do rally around is leadership. Men see themselves as leaders and they instinctively see their role as one of providing stability and order in society.
Stability and order.
That is why I think we need to start thinking more and more of a world family movement, based upon Family Science. The flag of family is a flag of leadership. Imagine the Titanic as it sank into the frozen ocean seas, with the women and children safe in the lifeboats, and perhaps you will see the very same flag flying overhead. I believe that good men will rally to this flag, and a place populated by good men is also a good, safe place for women and children to be.