George, a major donor to J4MB, recently bought two tickets for two evenings of talks given by Steve Biddulph, a 64-year-old Australian psychologist and ‘gender expert’, in East Grinstead. In the end an unplanned business trip meant he couldn’t attend the talks, so he offered me the tickets, and I gratefully accepted.
The start of Biddulph’s Wikipedia profile:
Steve Biddulph (born 1953 in Saltburn, England) is an Australian author, activist and psychologist who has written a number of influential bestselling books; and lectures worldwide on parenting, and boys’ education. His books argue for a more affectionate and connected form of parenting, and the importance of role models in children’s lives. They acknowledge gender differences but do not see these as immutable.
His effect on schooling has been to increase the number of parents delaying school-starting, especially with boys, and the increase in single-sex classes in co-educational schools, particularly in the early puberty stage, around age 12-15.
The two evenings’ talks were, ‘Raising Boys’, and ‘Raising Girls’. I sent George my impressions of the talks, and he suggested I post them online. Here they are:
George, thanks again for the Steve Biddulph tickets. I took a long-standing supporter (another Mike) along with me, he was very appreciative too.
Biddulph permitted a Q&A on neither night, so I couldn’t raise the points you did in your document. Suffice to say he simply didn’t cover any of that territory.
80-90% of the audience on both nights were women, and there was no criticism of women for destroying their families or denying children access to their fathers. On the first night he spoke at length about the importance of teaching boys to respect women, not a word on the second night about teaching girls to respect men.
Maybe because of the primarily female audience, the content on both nights was anecdote-rich and evidence-light – he was largely telling women what they wanted to hear, not what they needed to hear, and of course they revelled in the flattery.
Numerous anecdotes about the negative impact of fathers not spending more time with their kids, without recognizing many would love to spend more time with their kids, but are unable to do so because of work commitments, often to keep their wives in the style she demands.
There was some good content, but overall it was lightweight and casually misandrous all too often, while never being misogynistic. Bizarrely, he ended the second talk with the statement, ‘Third wave feminism will sort out the problems facing men and boys’ (or words to that effect).
Both Mike and I made our views known to him on our way out the second night (he was by the exit door, signing books for a queue of people). Mike made an impromptu but impressive loud attack on feminists as the destroyers of families.
Biddulph alluded to not doing such tours for too much longer.
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