The case has parallels in Australia, where our own male feminist badge-waver, the White Ribbon Campaign, has fielded fresh criticisms of its own. The Australian recently reported that the White Ribbon-accredited Royal Australian Navy bestowed full funeral honours to a man who brutally murdered his wife. In October, high-profile White Ribbon Ambassador Hazem El Masri was charged with domestic violence against his wife. And back in 2013, the AFL – long-time supporters of White Ribbon – had teams play for a White Ribbon cup after Stephen Milne was charged rape. Saints captain Nick Riewoldt supported Milne and advocated for him to continue playing, saying, “Milney is the absolute heart and soul” of the club.
The list of failings of White Ribbon champions go on. It’s not hard to see the White Ribbon as an exercise in male self-congratulation, with little substance. And it’s not hard to see the link between the questionable merit of the campaign, and the creation of Deen’s feminist image: both demonstrate the remarkably low standards men are held to.
As former Victorian Police Chief and actually legit good bloke Ken Lay said in his Our Watch address on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the bar is set so low for men that “we congratulate each other for not being monsters.”