Open Letter to Maribyrnong Mayor Martin Zakharov

gender bigotry declaration

In Maribyrnong, the “thoughts, ideas and opinions” of “mothers, daughters and sisters” are “heard and respected”. My thoughts, ideas and opinions got me arrested by the police. Is this misandry? Why wasn’t my goal of a better relationship with Indonesia which I have worked towards in unique ways for 3 decades “celebrated and supported” as opposed to what happened in 2016?

 

Dear Mayor,

Thank you for your honesty in acknowledging that the police actions initiated against me from within the ALP and Maribyrnong City Council in 2016 were unnecessary and unfair.

It has broken me to be arrested as a result of trying to talk about ways I wanted to help Australia have a better relationship with Indonesia.

The resulting PTSD leaves me unable to get income and I am resigned to death because fairness for me in modern Australia looks impossible.

While I am still alive, please attempt to publicly address all the following unanswered questions ASAP.

I direct them to you, an elected representative I know, not some bureaucrat incapable of caring about me.

I do this as early in your term as Mayor as I can. My PTSD stopped me writing this last week.

I ask these questions of you because of the human decency which I, as a midwife, believe you may have inherited from your mum, Senator Olive Zakharov.

I sought answers to the first three questions in an open letter published on November 8th 2017. That’s how long it took me to recover enough from the trauma of July 2016 to be able to write publicly about it.

  1. With respect to the 2016 action against me, what are the implications for democracy when an elected representative can be up for reelection and facing the possibility of a formal complaint from a citizen voting in that round of elections and then Personal Safety laws are used by the police to threaten that voter with jail if he mentions the candidate online or contacts her?
  2. How did Personal Safety legislation and police intervention come to be a substitute for a complaints process at local government level?
  3. Why is it that in discussions with police, I was never allowed to see the full argumentation for the charges against me and the evidence for the “personal safety” concerns which were allegedly justified by my conduct, the sending of electronic communications when I lobbied an ALP politician?

Unanswered questions to Daniel Andrews from the 8th of February, 2018 redirected now to you:

  1. Premier Andrews has boasted that Victoria is the most “progressive” state in Australia. Is pre-election police protection of an ALP candidate from showing respect for patriotic lobbying what is meant by “progress” here?
  2. Will you, Martin, as the elected head of government in Maribyrnong, unequivocally support gender equality for men?

From an email of 5th March 2018, unanswered by the recipients, your predecessor as Mayor and the Maribyrnong CEO.

  1. How many women in Maribyrnong have been murdered by their partners or been the victims of domestic violence in the past decade and in each of the past five years and what are the equivalent figures for men in Maribyrnong?
  2. How many men have committed suicide in Maribyrnong in the past decade and in each of the past five years and what are the equivalent figures for women in Maribyrnong?
  3. Who makes money from suicide in the City of Maribyrnong?
  4. Does any of this money come to Council?

Democracy, civilised humanity and human rights are life or death for me now.

Your predecessor in 2015, Mayor Nam Quach, wrote that my art: “……. provided a unique expression of Indonesian humanity, history and culture, with the underlying theme of an appreciation for the Indo-Australian relationship. The Bahasa phrases used, referring to ‘kesatuan’ and ‘keragaman’, certainly reflect the strength and unity found within diversity, striking a chord to the spirit and values we share here in the City of Maribyrnong.”

As a fellow independent artist, Martin, you have made a good little contribution to 3 of my 5 art displays at places important to 4 heads of government in Indonesia, art displays where shared Austral-Indonesian history, democracy and human rights were and are vital themes.

Now, instead of us working together for Australia for those values through art, the above questions arising for me from undemocratic Maribyrnong human rights violations from within the ALP against me, must be addressed.

 

Written and authorized by Geoff Fox, Maribyrnong, if that’s what’s necessary this week.

Too Many Men Want To Die: #metoo4mentoo?

My fellow western men, we must tell our stories: when we are silent, we die.

We have as much right to #metoo as women do.

This poem is my story of unresolved PTSD induced by police state practices in Australia in 2016:

Untitled

GEOFF FORKS DAY

(#metoo for men too)

Remember. Remember. The 5th of November.

I remember childhood, when Stranger Danger hadn’t been invented: the streets were free.

I remember Repat: nursing with the diggers and then Brisbane midwifery: in being with women ….. for twenty eight years I had felt free.

I remember Morotai, Douglas MacArthur’s waterhole, where I am proud to see my dad look good, but Maribyrnong took me down: was that cos I was free?

I remember these 28 months of too much wanting to die …….

Can men like me be free

with women now?

Or has hatred

grown too strong?

@ us too?

Geoff Fox, 5th of November, 2018, Australia.

Relevant link:

https://tujuhbelasan.net/2018/10/17/austral-indonesian-tujuhbelasan-1-my-dad-in-morotai/

Prosaic explanations:

  1. I studied General Nursing at Heidelberg Repatriation hospital where there were many war veterans (diggers in Aussie parlance) and followed up with midwifery in Brisbane. The Old English word “wyf” meant “woman” and the “mid” syllable means “with”. Think of the modern German word “mit” meaning “with”. A midwife now is someone who is with women in pregnancy, birth and breast feeding.
  2. I have created an art display at General Douglas MacArthur’s waterhole in Morotai in Indonesia. My Dad was in Morotai in WW2. His image is now part of the sacerd heart of this grassroots art display. It means a lot to me. I wanted to share and replicate my Morotai achievements in Maribyrnong. I was arrested by the police.

MERDEKA ATAU MATI …….. “YOU’LL NEVER CATCH ME ALIVE” CRIED HE

“Merdeka atau mati!” (which is best transcreated as “Freedom or death!”) was a slogan of the Indonesian Revolution of 1945-1949. It was a key part of the spirit of rebellion against colonial repression. Pictured above is Bung Tomo, circa 1947, a hero of the Indonesian revolution famous for his insistence that the war cry “Freedom or death!” was a non negotiable principle of the new Republic Of Indonesia. The slogan still inspires this nation, which I call my second home and where I find a profound sense of freedom denied to me in my country of birth.

Australia’s unofficial national anthem, “Waltzing Matilda” is the story of an itinerant swagman (hobo) who “steals” a sheep that wanders into his camp.The “swaggie” chooses suicide by drowning ahead of arrest by the constabulary siding with the rich squatter (pastoralist) to whom the sheep probably belonged. I have read that the penalty for sheep stealing was hanging.

Waltzing Matilda is an allegory about social justice which came second out of four songs in a 1977 plebiscite to decide on a new official national anthem. The swagman’s final words are “You’ll never catch me alive.” In this defiance there is both a celebration of the spirit of freedom and tragic loss of life. For Australians, Waltzing Matilda is a song that lives at the very heart of our sense of our identity.

Personally, I have been a midwife for 3 decades but now events outside midwifery have plunged me into a horrific 16 months of psychological torment characterised by far too much suicidal ideation.  Am I alone in this experience?

I now find myself forced to ask a question which is completely different from the wonderful working life of harmony with women which I have been privileged to enjoy: “How many men are being driven towards suicide by modern feminist tyranny?”

Professor of English Janice Fiamengo of the University Of Ottawa responds:

 

“Dear Geoff,

I like how you have worded this question: an underlying problem is our modern empathy gap. Harms to women are considered far more serious and worthy of public outcry than harms to men.

In the world of the past, the world of my favorite writer, Jane Austen, there was recognition of men’s sacrifices to build civilization. They sacrificed in war, in their labor, in their heroism, in their defense of women and children. This was a part of the social contract between men and women; men did these things, and they were honored for them. Women recognized men’s sacrifice, and they in turn sacrificed a part of their autonomy in return for men’s protection.

In the world we live in now, too many women no longer honor men or recognize any of their sacrifices, but they still expect men to provide for them (whether as husbands/partners or through their tax dollars in use by the state) and to support laws such as equity hiring and divorce provisions that disadvantage men and advantage women. At the same time, men are now publicly defamed and belittled as rapists, sexual harassers, and stalkers who need to constantly apologize for their so-called “privilege.”

 

Australian psychologist Bettina Arndt described the modern world like this in the keynote speech at the International Conference on Men’s Issues held on Australia’s Gold Coast in June 2017:

“We live in a time where women’s needs and women’s wants are given endless priority over men’s. We face a constant stream of propaganda demonising men and praising women.

Men are on a very short leash always in trouble for not doing enough. Everywhere we see puritanical women judging men.

Across the world the most extraordinary changes are occurring in the rule of law. The basic assumptions about being innocent until proven guilty are totally discarded in order to shaft men.

A huge social betrayal rolls on. The effrontery of this industry is truly remarkable.

Six men kill themselves every day in Australia and no one cares. We have to keep asking: “What is wrong with you, you mothers of sons, you daughters of men, you women who have loving men in your lives. Why don’t you care about them?” “

 …………………. watch this space for further responses to my question: “How many men are being driven towards suicide by modern feminist tyranny?” ………..

Geoff Fox, Java, Indonesia, this post begun November 22nd 2017 completed ????????