Waging Peace in the Battle of the Campus

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About Glen Poole

Glen Poole is an international expert on men and boys and author of the book Equality For Men. He is Director of the consultancy Helping Men, UK co-ordinator for International Men Day and host of the National Conference for Men and Boys in Brighton and Hove. You can follow him on twitter @equality4menUK and at www.equality4men.com.

Comments

  1. “Free speech has always been limited in Canada to exclude hate speech. Iain cannot see it as misogyny because he fails to recognize male privilege.”

    Fails to recognize a concept he disagrees with, and that makes it misogynist? Denying privilege as a concept is not hate-speech, does Ron deny female privilege? Female privilege is easily proven (selective service, conscription, right to opt out of parenthood, less likely to die by violence, etc).

    “That is how privilege works; it disallows critical thinking about our own actions.”"

    If I said feminists are privileged, does that mean they cannot be critical of their own actions? (for arguments sake, not ACTUALLY saying that).

    “I do not define anything done by the protestors at the event as extreme. ”
    Pulling a fire alarm RISKS LIVES because the fire trucks are away on a bogus call which they HAVE to check out, which TAKES TIME, REDUCING the capacity of the fire brigade to help others. Even children can understand this simple concept! It’s also a fineable offence.

    I can’t help but feel Ron was casting strawman’s like “They discuss equality without first recognizing the need for equity, and they posit men’s issues largely as the fault of women. ” and this attack “Many of their speakers, such as Warren Farrell are deeply misogynistic and hateful towards women. ” Can he prove Warren Farrel is misogynist?

    As for Iain, “This completely ignores the fact that most domestic violence is reciprocal, and dismisses male victims by telling them they could have stopped it.” – Studies I’ve seen have it roughly 50:50 between reciprocal and non-reciprocal, could he post the stats he refers to?

    • Iain Dwyer says:

      Hi Archy,

      I’m on my phone right now so I can’t link directly, but my numbers come from Statistics Canada, and the number is 44% reciprocal if memory serves, so it would have been more accurate for me to say that reciprocal violence is the most common.

      • Iain,

        I dont know if this is what you refer to, but there is this anyway:

        “Among men, 6.0% or about 585,000, encountered spousal violence during this period, compared with 6.4% or 601,000 women.

        About 57% of women who had experienced an incident of spousal violence in the five years prior to the survey reported that it had occurred on more than one occasion, as did 40% of men..”

        http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/110127/dq110127a-eng.htm

        • @Iain, thank-you.

          @Ed, having roughly equal numbers of abuse victims doesn’t prove reciprocal actions though.

    • From Wiki, so take it with a grain of salt if you must:

      “In May, 2007, researchers with the Centers for Disease Control reported on rates of self-reported violence among intimate partners using data from a 2001 study. In the study, almost one-quarter of participants reported some violence in their relationships. Half of these involved one-sided (“non-reciprocal”) attacks and half involved both assaults and counter assaults (“reciprocal violence”). Women reported committing one-sided attacks more than twice as often as men (70% versus 29%). In all cases of intimate partner violence, women were more likely to be injured than men, but 25% of men in relationships with two-sided violence reported injury compared to 20% of women reporting injury in relationships with one-sided violence. Women were more likely to be injured in non-reciprocal violence.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_domestic_violence)

      For an academic Canadian reporting on IPV in Alberta, where Earl Silverman opened MASH: http://www.fact.on.ca/Info/dom/kwong99.htm

  2. OirishM says:

    Yeah, I’m still with CAFE on this one more than any other side. Poor show.

  3. Christopher J Thompson says:

    Great work Glen Poole! Here is a discussion I had with the “specialist” on Mens Issues at Montana State University and, while it failed to discover any common ground, I suppose we need to be thankful the conversations are even occurring…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk1SCh5TQMs

  4. Wayne Campbell says:

    A very interesting and spirited discourse sirs. I have also done some research on mens issues namely in Masculinity and Schooling. I also wrote an article for one of local newspaper for International Mens Day 2012.
    See may read it.

    Time to give men attention!
    Published: Saturday | November 17, 2012 10 Comments

    Wayne Campbell, Contributor

    Monday, November 19 will be celebrated globally as International Men’s Day. For far too long, this very important day has not found the buzz it deserves.

    The theme for this year, ‘Helping men and boys live longer, happier, healthier lives’, is appropriate, given the ongoing debate regarding the minimal attention a significant number of our males pay to their health. By now we should have realised that for any society to have harmony in gender relations between both sexes, there must be the requisite awareness and support to those issues surrounding and impacting our boys and men.

    As a society, we have not paid sufficient attention to those issues affecting our males. It is not enough for men only to have a male desk within the Bureau of Women’s Affairs to deal with male issues. The time has come for the Jamaican male to have his own ‘bureau’. The time has also come for the necessary funding and staff to be put in place to ensure that boys and men live longer, happier and healthier lives.

    If our men live longer, it’s very likely that family life and the role men play in community and family will be strengthened.

    universal issues

    There are a number of universal issues men and boys face, especially from a health perspective. Some of these include lower life expectancy, difficulty accessing mental-health services, educational disadvantages, the lack of male role models, and the tolerance of violence against men and boys.

    From the moment a male is born, he can expect to live a shorter life than his female counterpart in most countries of the world. In Jamaica, the life expectancy rate for males is 71.5 years compared to 75 years for females.

    In Jamaica, men, for whatever reason, tend to shy away from going to the doctor or the health practitioner. As men, we usually wait and wait until the pain has become unbearable and intolerable before we seek out medical care. This tendency certainly has negative implications for the quality of life for our men.

    It can be argued that men are socialised to be rough and tough. A male who is always going to the doctor is not viewed favourably by other males, as this is not considered macho. As a result, many men suffer in silence from various health issues. Men are always the last to go to talk with a counsellor or psychiatrist because of pride and the male ego.

    Additionally, the accessibility and affordability of mental care should be of grave concern. Not enough public-sector mental-health facilities exist in our society.

    Caribbean females are largely outattending and outperforming their male peers at all levels of the education systems and in almost all disciplines. The root of this problem runs deep in the prevailing ideology of the sexual division of labour in which men are assumed to be breadwinners and, therefore, they do not devote sufficient attention to invest in education.

    Data from the Ministry of Education Statistics Division show that boys have a higher dropout rate than girls, especially at the secondary level. If our boys and men are underperforming, this will impact their quality of life in terms of their economic chances.

    needed: more good men

    The need for positive role models for our young men cannot be overstated. We live in a society where male leadership is lacking. Our institutions of socialisation such as the school and Church themselves struggle with the problem.

    With more and more families being headed by females, there continue to be the urgent need for men of good character to mentor our boys. A mother cannot teach her son how to be a man. Too many of our males have abdicated their roles.

    Every year, more than 500,000 people die from violence and 83 per cent of them are men and boys. There is clearly a need for a campaign for the elimination of violence against men and boys globally. There should be zero tolerance of violence against any male, regardless of his socio-economic background, sexual orientation or political affiliation.

    Addressing each of these challenges male face will greatly assist men and boys all over the world to live longer, happier and healthier.

    On this very important day, let us celebrate our collective masculinity, while recognising our differences as men. Let us reclaim our roles in our families as we work towards improving gender relations and promote unity in the Jamaican society.

    Wayne Campbell is an educator. Email feedback to [email protected] and [email protected].

    • In 2004 it was more like 18million men, and around 4million women that died from violence.
      http://www.who.int/entity/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/DALY6 2004.xls

      • Hi Archy

        Thanks for being a stickler or good statistics and I think you’re getting too things mixed up from the same report on this occasion

        Wayne’s referring to deaths and is correct

        You are referring to the DALY estimate – which is an estimate of how many healthy years of life are lost – not how many people die

        Using either measure men and boys are the overwhelming victims of violence accounting for more than 80% of deaths worldwide and more 80% of healthy years lost through violence, war and conflict

        Thanks for your contribution as always

        Glen

        • Oops!, didn’t realize that. Thank-you.

        • Saitek says:

          The DALY estimate is a slight of hand trick to increase the numbers for women to make it look worse than it is. By using ‘health years of life’, it completely fails to take into account that men die sooner because of things like lower investment in their health care , etc.

    • PS: Thanks for that contribution from Jamaica Wayne

  5. Mike L says:

    I have two thoughts.

    The first is that I’m not sure there is any way to move past this when one of the sides seems to be automatically assuming the other is operating in bad faith. I don’t know what to do about that. There is no way to rebut the “You’re being disingenuous!” argument, because it’s not an argument; it’s an ad hominem attack. If one of the sides thinks it passes for “argument” I’m not sure that discourse is productive at this time.

    The second thought may be off-topic, so I apologize in advance.

    Majoring in economics, I was well aware that progressives often accuse economists and students studying economics of becoming “indoctrinated.” Adbusters ran a piece in 2008 that basically argued that prominent neoclassical economists (Gregory Mankiw was specifically targeted) produce “propaganda” and that students don’t so much learn as become brainwashed.

    What I’ve seen here (and elsewhere), is that the opposition to groups like CAFE overwhelmingly comes from people that study a handful of subjects: Sociology, Gender Studies, and similar Area Studies.

    Yet no one seems to have brought up the question of indoctrination. Is it possible that people like Ron think the way they do simply because they’re been stuck in a Sociology echo chamber for the past several years? Is it too late to have dialogue at this point, because the alternative viewpoints needed to be expressed back in sociology 101? Keep in mind that I’m not saying this idly – I’m saying this as someone who has personally been accused of being “stuck in a neoclassical economics echo chamber” because of my own chosen area of study.

    • Hi Mike,

      The indoctrination point has crossed my mind, but I didn’t want it to be the focus of the article . In an early draft of my replies I wrote about the student unions who organized the opposition to us. They’ve been widely criticised for being insular and opposed to new voices. I ended up cutting that part since it didn’t flow with the points being made and student politics are not very interesting.

      • Mike L says:

        Thanks Iain,

        I completely understand, and I’m sorry for bringing up something out-of-scope. It’s just something that occurred to me “in the moment” so to speak.

        Really, you should be commended for trying to open up a dialogue at all. I don’t know what it will accomplish, but there’s no question in my mind that we have to try.

    • Mostly_123 says:

      Mike, in regard to the second thought of your OP, I think I get where you’re coming from – please see my reply to Danny’s May 5 post.

    • My girlfriend likes to routinely tell me of the “friends” she loses due to speaking about men’s issues. These are usually people she volunteers with in some social service sector or other. There are those of us in the social services who agree with the MHRM, or at least see the value in it, but those who are vocal about it are few and far between.

      I was “indoctrinated” in a feminist lens, but most of my professors who I spoke with agreed with my perspectives of men’s issues and the feminist lens. Some of the students I went to school with (the White Ribbon Campaign’s Jeff Perera, for example) did not.

  6. Hank Vandenburgh says:

    I think I support Iain. A problem with the Left (which in a couple of weeks of soul searching, I’ve decided I’m still “in”) is that we’re still trying usually to find the correct line. I don’t think that there is one. But too many of us try to find the absolutely correct analysis for the right teleology (e.g. the liberation of women.) I love Herbert Marcuse, but his tract “Critique of Pure Tolerance” (which I think Ron implicitly agrees with) is very close to fascist. It allows for the shouting down and muzzling of opponents. I also don’t agree with “privilege” discourses, believing as I do that they don’t allow for the infinite crosscutting that in fact exists. The main “privilege,” I think, that’s important is the 2% versus anyone else.

    • One huge problem with the kind of ethics used by Ron and by significant chunks of feminism is that it’s extremely unrobust. Even accepting the assumption that such actions are justified against someone who’s wrong about a fact that can potentially hurt too many people acting on means accepting that you are always one factual error away from being a monster.

    • I’m very left wing, and I associate with the MHRM. One of the tactics I find of the opposition is to paint the MHRM as right-winged, since that immediately conjures thoughts of them being anti-women, pro-capitalist, pro-life, etc. It allows them to paint the MHRM in a nice tidy pre-conceived box, rather than acknowledging that there are many within the MHRM who come from a huge array of intersectional diversities.

      The same can be said of feminism. For example, I have seen pro-LGBT feminists, while I have also seen feminists opposed to homosexuality (such as this self-identified christian feminist http://jmuwomensstudentcaucus.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/my-view-as-a-christian-feminist/)

  7. swanson says:

    So Ron believes in the patriarchy theory: that all women are oppressed by society and all men unjustly privileged and powerful. I disagree with that view, but I can respect it. However, he also thinks that refuting this patriarchy theory is hate speech and therefore justifies slander, blocking entrances, false alarms and other illegal actions. I can not respect that. To Ron, any speech he strongly disagrees with is hate speech. I see no reason to try work with such intolerance.
    I very much respect how CAFE supporters conducted themselves against the hateful protesters. I also admire how CAFE is rebutting feminism, but is more than just that, investigating issues such as male suicide and education. Surely this will make a better world for men and women.

  8. ZimbaZumba says:

    Attacking groups with such venom, because you disagree with the way they approach a matter of social concern, at first sight seems puzzling. Expecting an acceptance of ‘male privilege’ before your words enter the world of socially acceptable discourse, perhaps the most puzzling of all. This type of rhetoric is merely an attempt to frame the debate. Even high school debating teams knows ‘he who frames the debate wins the debate’. Categorizing Warren Farrell as “deeply misogynistic and hateful towards women” really doesn’t say a lot about Ron Couchman imo. He is either astonishing ill informed or indulging in good old fashioned demonize the enemy rhetoric. The protests at these meeting are, again, good old fashioned meeting breaking. All of these tactics come from the venerable, and tried and tested, tradition of political authoritarianism. Historical examples of which from both the Right and Left flood to mind.

    Iain Dwyer did not say it but I will, Couchman and his crew are ideologues. The their ideological stance takes primacy over the problems they are addressing. Dwyers’s non confrontational attitude to Couchman was politically astute, he came over as reasoned and mainstream; Couchman did not.

    The core of this issue s that people in Ron Couchmans political circles know that Men’s groups organising in universities is their death knell. University Mens groups in Canada, USA and UK are being vigorously opposed by the more radical left; probably elsewhere as well. The National Union of Students (UK) even has a publicly available document on how to stop Mens groups from forming.

    The key to a grassroots movement taking off is getting organised in Universities. The feminist movement has been good at this, they even have created departments largely teaching their world view. Universities offer a continuous stream of young mind eager for views to form an identity around. People are more likely to retain long the first opinions they first here. Universities offer a social environment for like minded people to regularly mix and hatch out new ideas, so furthering a movement. Students make a lot of noise. Most importantly, students aren’t always students, they become people of influence who run our world and mold our world view.

    The more reasoned mens groups have ideas that are reasonable and entirely palatable to the mainstream, and also strike a chord with many. Couchman and his ilk are doing all they can to stop the word getting out. Once the fire is lit there is no stopping it. What CAFE is doing is probably historical and a turning point. The time is right and they are doing it right.

    • John Anderson says:

      There is currently a debate within the feminist community discussion feminism’s “branding” issue. I think that’s an appropriate way to phrase it as feminism as practiced by many seems to be an attempt to enslave the mind, but I digress. Anyway this is a response to a Huffington Post poll that found that 80% of people believed in gender equality, but onlt 20% identified as feminists.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/16/feminism-poll_n_3094917.html

      Feminists assume it’s a PR or “branding” issue because they think people believe that people believe that feminism supports gender equality. Problem is many times feminists don’t support gender equality. I brought up the issue of the SFU men’s center in class. There were about 40 people 70% women. Everyone supported creating a men’s center at SFU nostly because there was a women’s center, but partly because men were under represented in school. I like to point out the time our professor asked the class whether women were under represented in higher education and git a resounding NO from the class. My favorite comment was just look at this class.

      I’ve often warned feminists that looking at things “through a feminist lens” often blinds people to the reality that’s there. Most people see things as they are. Most people are fair minded. Feminists stand on the wrong side of history on many issues. It’s not a brand issue that they have. People are challenging their core beliefs and it doesn’t match up with what they’re advertizing.

  9. ZimbaZumba says:

    Should read:- ” People are more likely to retain long term the opinions they first hear”

  10. “Men’s Rights Activists also need to talk about men and men’s issues without women being your reference point or source of blame.”

    But presumably RON it remains ok for Pro – Feminist Men to continue to blame patriarchy and male privilege for female oppression, and to break the laws of civil society to do so. Like no feminist ever blamed men and masculinity for their issues? How about some equality here – feminism IS to blame for some problems men currently face and we have the same right to name and shame those responsible.

    Get used to it the non feminist revolution is spreading like wild fire!

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/east/monash-university-sexist-cupcakes-furore-whips-up-stalkerspace-facebook/story-fngnvlxu-1226634052752

  11. Doug Spoonwood says:

    Look at this Anti-MHRA guy.

    “First of all, they do not attempt to avoid slinging mud, in fact they do the exact opposite. They just couch it in political correctness. ”

    Since when has any men’s issues group *ever* come as politically correct? And how in the world do they come as politically correct when they state or imply that *institutionalized* feminist gender equality programs for DECADES have, at best, repeatedly ignored an important facet of gender equality?

    “I do not define anything done by the protestors at the event as extreme.”

    Since when is pulling a fire alarm not extreme? Since when is blocking doors to an event in a deliberate event to shut it down, not extreme? Since when is quote mining not extreme?

    “I believe very strongly in direct democracy. If we believe something is unjust or harmful we have a duty as citizens to resist it in whatever ways we have available to us.”

    *Whatever* ways we have available to us? So, *any* tactic goes? And *belief* suffices for using such a tactic? Apparently, the “known” good ends of ideological feminism justify whatever means you want to use politically. So, it doesn’t matter if someone gets seriously hurt, or someone dies.

    “This is what the students opposing the CAFE event were doing. I stand in strict solidarity with the protestors of the event at U of T, and I do not judge the actions of individual protestors. I support a diversity of tactics. I do not feel CAFE is extreme either. I believe they have good intentions but are misguided, misdirected, and angry in their framing of the issues and their tactics.”

    CAFE is angry in their framing? What does that even mean? I do know that the protestors included people who had megaphones and shouted through them, who pulled fire alarms, who quote mined Warren Farrell, who used straw-man tactics against the openly gay Paul Nathanson, who presented political arguments in the form of questions at the Janice Fiamengo event, who chanted repeatedly outside the lecture room of the Nathanson and Young talk (I recommend their books on misandry), who had bludgeons banging the floor, who shouted curse words at several people including a woman reporter, and the anti-MHRA guy talks about CAFE as angry in their framing *as if* the protestors weren’t angry?

    Well, I admit that after reading that guy, I personally feel angry. And how couldn’t I feel that way when he speaks in a such a highly misleading way, and clearly supports *whatever* means that will achieve his political goals? I find what he approves of as sufficiently immoral and irresponsible.

  12. Free speech has always been limited in Canada to exclude hate speech. Iain cannot see it as misogyny because he fails to recognize male privilege. That is how privilege works; it disallows critical thinking about our own actions.
    How exactly is pointing out that a large portion of domestic violence being reciprical hatred against women? Also in regards to critical thinking about one’s owns actions do feminists and those that align with them allow for such thinking as well?

    When we see people pulling fire alarms and creating new rules and policies for the express purpose of blocking the creation of men’s spaces (that’s a reference to Ryerson University) what force is at work when those actions are taken?

    When it is said that it’s irresponsible for someone to organize male only spaces without reaching out to women first what force is at work?

    Pro-feminist men, myself included, are addressing the same issues but in a way that is complimentary to feminism, and not using men’s legitimate issues as a form of feminist backlash. Men’s Rights Activists also need to talk about men and men’s issues without women being your reference point or source of blame.
    As usual, feminists are right and MRAs are wrong. Those of us who don’t talk about men and men’s issues without blaming women are often actively ignored for the convenience of being able to generalize all MRAs as bad.

    • Mostly_123 says:

      Welcome to the world of Canadian academia-
      - A place where, yes, failing to recognize a concept that feminism posits, or to disagree with it, makes it misogynistic. And misogyny is hate speech. Therefore, to question feminist ideological interpretations is not just bigoted and immoral; it’s against the spirit of Canadian law, Canadian values, and shouldn’t even be considered part of free speech. To question that would be to defend hate speech itself. That’s the rhetorical architecture they have built and reinforced; feminism, unlike other ideologies, is no longer to be put through the same (or for that matter, ANY) intellectual scrutiny: It’s too important, too imperative for that. And this persistent mindset is making for fertile ground for undisciplined ideologues and hyperbolic group-think. The bar has already been set low, and it’s going to go lower, because they aim is to set it lower.

      Even the normally sympathetic Maclean’s magazine commented on it in passing-        

      http://oncampus.macleans.ca/education/2013/03/11/why-womens-studies-needs-an-extreme-makeover/

      • Hank Vandenburgh says:

        I believe in a socialism that would control corporations and their lock on the state. At the same time, I’d like to see us move away from our attempts to control culture so much. This means I don’t want the personal to be as political as some do. As a member of the New Left in the 60s-70s, I think the best thing was the idiosyncratic creativity by women by women and men then. So I’m a cultural libertarian at the individual level. I don’t buy all that much the essentialist feminist vision of men. Yes, some men are tendentially a-holes, especially in groups, but women have shown that they can be such too.

  13. Look, either feminists “have men’s issues covered” or they don’t. They don’t get to say “not our problem” one day and then through a fit when men go “you’re right, we’ll take care of this.”

    You can’t go “ugh whatabouttehmenz?” one day, then declare “Feminism helps men too!” the next.

    it seems to me that feminism wants it both ways, they want to not do anything for men, but they want to retain the monopoly on the conversation, and then *claim* they “help men too.”

    That’s not going to fly anymore.

  14. “…by failing to also recognize male privilege they are doing damage to the credibility of the men’s movement, and in the process creates unnecessary friction with women’s organizations.”

    One could easily flip the genders and say this about the self-identified feminists who oppose the MHRM. “…by failing to recognize female privilege, women do damage to the credibility of the women’s movement, and in the process create unnecessary friction with men’s organizations.” To deny that women, particularly white upper-class women, also have privilege is misguided at best, and dishonest at its worst.

    “…cannot see it as misogyny because he fails to recognize male privilege. That is how privilege works; it disallows critical thinking about our own actions.”

    This statement means Ron also cannot disagree with my above statement, as disallowing the thought that women also have privilege, to not be critical of their own actions or those of other self-identified feminists, reeks of privilege.

    “CAFE are anti-feminist, that isn’t the same thing as not being a feminist. Frankly I would love to sit one on one with many of them in a personal setting and have an honest, open, and compassionate discussion about many of these issues in a space neither party would feel defensive.”

    When I had a conversation with protesters at the Fiamenco event, I was told that I sounded like a feminist by at least one of the protesters. I am a social worker, which is predominantly a feminist-perspective field. I also had this conversation with protesters at one of CAFE’s events, a space where they were actively speaking against what was going on and trying to be intimidating. I was able to create this kind of a space in a space that they were trying to taint from being anything of the sort. As such, how is it that CAFE are the ones who are promoting hate and being anti-feminist? (for my article on my conversations with protesters: http://eyeofwoden.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/janice-fiamengo-the-protester-variety-show/)

    “Men’s Rights Activists also need to talk about men and men’s issues without women being your reference point or source of blame.”

    And yet you don’t have an issue with feminism placing men/patriarchy as its reference point or source of blame. We acknowledge it is more complex than that. Can you?

  15. The feminst movement completely ignores the whole idea of male disposability, has sat by for the last 30 years while the male suicide rates have continued to climb and vocally opposed the canadian equal parenting bill (C-422).There is no “common ground” when you see half of the population as inherently evil.

  16. Michael says:

    Wow, these 2 guys are at complete opposites. How could anyone, other than George Mitchell (Northern Ireland peace negotiator) sort out the complete polarisation of views?

    As a member of the MRM, I obviously am biased for CAFE.
    That said, Ron comes accross as very intelligent person. It seems that he has totally taken in the feminist idealogy. I am also aware that I am subjective in my views which would closely align with Iain’s.

    The real problem is to get the 2 sides talking and finding ANY common ground and building on that. Perhaps inviting both to go along accompanied by their opponent to meetings of the “other evil side”?

  17. Megalodon says:

    I do not define anything done by the protestors at the event as extreme.

    The phrase often used to describe speech that is too dangerous to be permitted is “shouting fire in a crowded theater.” Personally, I think the phrase is cliched and has been overused beyond coherence. But it is useful for consideration of this incident.

    Ron Couchman would have us believe that speech is pernicious and unacceptable “hate speech” when it refuses to accept and concede to feminist ideological stipulations before addressing men’s issues.

    Yet when a militant feminist protester actually pulls a fire alarm in a crowded theater with the deliberate intention of disrupting and disbursing the assembled people, he says there is no problem at all. She almost literally fulfilled the “fire in a crowded theater” adage, except she falsely sounded a mechanized alarm instead of shouting “fire.” Apparently, she was just engaging in commendable “direct democracy.” That Couchman actually asserts that the men’s interest groups were the more dangerous and disruptive presence is just surreal.

    • Mostly_123 says:

      “Ron Couchman would have us believe that speech is pernicious and unacceptable “hate speech” when it refuses to accept and concede to feminist ideological stipulations before addressing men’s issues.”

      Yes, exactly! That’s the nail right on the head. Oh, Canada.

  18. When I have time I will try to write and submit an article addressing all of the questions. I am about to go to the office now so I cant address many points here. All of them are worth engaging with even if i dont have time now, so I will, I just cant immediately. I did want to address this one.

    “But presumably RON it remains ok for Pro – Feminist Men to continue to blame patriarchy and male privilege for female oppression, and to break the laws of civil society to do so. Like no feminist ever blamed men and masculinity for their issues? How about some equality here – feminism IS to blame for some problems men currently face and we have the same right to name and shame those responsible.

    Get used to it the non feminist revolution is spreading like wild fire!”

    Feminist doesn’t blame men. Just because the random odd person claims to hate men and claims to be feminist does not mean feminism is about that at all. In bell hooks’ “feminism is for everybody”, she argues that men are not and were never the enemy, but rather, a socialized patriarchy. patriarchy =/= men. women can also support patriarchy and its equally toxic.

    We have to be careful about classifying every women who voices her opinion as “feminist”.
    women and feminists are also as diverse as men. Patrarchy is the reason men are socialized to be breadwinners, and often feel unable to stay at home and being loving fathers. Feminsts have never prevented this, as one example. In fact they encourage it.

    For those wondering what other orgs I have worked with in the last, I also support The Men’s Project, and 1in6.ca both of which support male survivors of trauma. The fact is I work at improving the material conditions of men every day, and advocate for support services for men every day, and at no time has my work come in conflict with feminists. I will give more detailed examples or other issues misframed when i get the chance.

    Ron

    • It is not the “patriarchy” (read: men) that has made men feel they need to be bread winners, it has been society as a whole. The men in gatherer-hunter societies did not force the women to gather and raise the kids while they risked their lives to go off and hunt. It was what worked for the group as a whole. Society evolves just as individuals do.

      I can’t speak for everyone else, but I for one never label a woman’s voice as “feminist” unless she herself identifies as one (and feminists may consider doing that for MHRA’s as well). Even if a woman identifies as a feminist, I still only refer to her as a self-identified feminist, to stave off the knee-jerk reaction of “not all feminists are like that”, and instead allow feminists the space to also criticize the person, not the ideology. However, rarely do I see feminists speak out against these kinds of people as much as I see them supported (i.e. the protesters at CAFE’s events in Toronto, and particularly “Big Red”, who screamed out a list from a feminist rag at their last event).

      “It is obvious that many women have appropriated feminism to serve their own ends, especially those white women who have been at the forefront of the movement.”
      -― Bell Hooks, Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism

    • Megalodon says:

      Feminist doesn’t blame men. Just because the random odd person claims to hate men and claims to be feminist does not mean feminism is about that at all. In bell hooks’ “feminism is for everybody”, she argues that men are not and were never the enemy, but rather, a socialized patriarchy. patriarchy =/= men.

      A distinction without a difference. Feminists argue that patriarchy is some encompassing, institutional, systemic, structural ideology, etc. which socializes and inculcates all persons and establishes men as its class beneficiaries. All men are “structural” beneficiaries of patriarchy and all men supposedly have “structural” privilege over women, even if they are ostensibly disadvantaged and even if they fall all over themselves to be “feminist allies.” Under this formulation, all men are “enemies” whether they are witting or not. It is almost like some concept of original sin in which a person cannot help but commit oppression and violation because some corrupting, hierarchical force envelopes and inculcates him from conception.

      women can also support patriarchy and its equally toxic

      True, but usually such women are discounted or mitigated as victims in the thrall of patriarchy, who are brainwashed into supporting the oppressive system. Men who support patriarchy are usually considered culpable and blameworthy agents and beneficiaries, whatever the extent of their complicity in patriarchy. A patriarchy supporting woman would probably have to rise to the level of Phyllis Schlafly before being condemned as some culpable agent.

      We have to be careful about classifying every women who voices her opinion as “feminist”. women and feminists are also as diverse as men.

      Feminists say that all MRA’s and the MRA movement must answer for every internet posting from any self-identified MRA. Why should feminism have the privilege to dismiss and disavow any self-identified adherent who says unsavory things? Anyway, some of the most pernicious and destructive precepts of feminism do not arise from kooks like Valerie Solanas. They come from people like Catherine MacKinnon who have authored much of the contemporary feminist ideological cannon. Some of the militant street screeds are just shrill representations of arguments made decades ago in feminist law journals.

      Patrarchy is the reason men are socialized to be breadwinners, and often feel unable to stay at home and being loving fathers. Feminsts have never prevented this, as one example. In fact they encourage it.

      Feminists have not objected to men being “stay at home” fathers per se. However, feminists have lobbied and militated to make sure that any father is a subordinate and secondary parent to his children, whose role and involvement is at the discretion of the mother. Feminist groups vociferously oppose and denounce any kind of principle of equal or shared parenting in domestic relations law. If a mother decides she wants primary or total custody, a man is not supposed to dispute that. According to feminists, if any man disputes a woman on custody or wants more custody than the woman prefers, that man is a presumptive abuser who only wants custody for some power-relation reasons. Or at least they want the law to be based upon that premise. So some feminists may encourage men to be “loving fathers,” but if the mother wishes to dismiss or remove the father from his children’s lives, then that is a prerogative the feminists wish to maintain, and it is just not a man’s place or a court’s place to question a mother’s reason for doing so. Because that would be retrograde, oppressive, and anti-feminist.

    • Mostly_123 says:

      “Feminist doesn’t blame men. Just because the random odd person claims to hate men and claims to be feminist does not mean feminism is about that at all. In bell hooks’ “feminism is for everybody”, she argues that men are not and were never the enemy, but rather, a socialized patriarchy. patriarchy =/= men. women can also support patriarchy and its equally toxic”

      Ron,

      The problem I have here, and with ideologies in general, is less an issue of whether their proponents allow me agree or disagree with their conclusions. 

      It’s more of an issue of the very validity of the subjective observations, assumptions, suppositions, and prejudices upon which the conclusions are founded. A logical conclusion built on a flawed premise is just as invalid as an illogical conclusion built on a sound premise. 

      But agree or disagree an ideology’s conclusions, it’s still a one-sided debate.    

      In other words, if I am engaged in a debate with someone about, say, the nature of the universe, and the only alternatives they give me are to agree with or to disagree with the notion of a heliocentric model, then I am still constrained; because by simply engaging in that debate I have already accepted the notion of a heliocentric model as a proper & valid matrix for a relevant discussion cosmology: I am still participating in a dialogue exclusively on their terms, be it in agreement or disagreement within the labyrinth of those terms. But the labyrinth itself is the fallacy. 

      What feminism ‘blames’ or does not blame is irrelevant; feminist ideology may (or may not) be internally consistent, but that’s not the point – gender alone is simply the wrong matrix itself for examining power relations. IMHO.   

    • Astrokid.NJ says:

      Feminist doesn’t blame men. Just because the random odd person claims to hate men and claims to be feminist does not mean feminism is about that at all. In bell hooks’ “feminism is for everybody”, she argues that men are not and were never the enemy, but rather, a socialized patriarchy. patriarchy =/= men. women can also support patriarchy and its equally toxic.

      @Ron: What nonsense.
      What does LEADING feminist organization NOW has to say very recently, in its Fall 2012 Newslatter http://www.nowfoundation.org/issues/family/FamilyLawNewsletter-Fall2012.pdf
      On Page 1, Intro:

      This Special Report of the NOW Family Law Ad Hoc Advisory Committee focuses on the destructive ability of abusive parents (usually the father) – aided by fathers’ advocacy groups or fathers’ rights groups – to deny the protective parent (usually the mother) custody of minor children. Discussed in this issue is how abusers deny custody, and the damage it causes to a half million or more children exposed to continuing physical, psychological and sexual abuse.

      There you go.. the abusive parent is usually the father and the protective parent is usually the mother. This is mainstream feminism, for last 50 years.

      Anti-Science and Anti-common sense as well.

      NOW TO DENOUNCE SO-CALLED PARENTAL ALIENATION (SYNDROME)
      2006
      WHEREAS, the term Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) was created by the psychiatrist,
      Richard Gardner. It is used as a tactic in courts by litigating attorneys as a defense strategy for batterers and sexual predators that purports to explain a child’s estrangement from one parent, or explains away allegations against the estranged parent of abuse/sex abuse of child, by blaming the protective parent;

      THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW)
      denounces Parental Alienation Syndrome and recommends that any professional whose
      mission involves the protection of the rights of women and children denounce its use as
      unethical, unconstitutional, and dangerous.

      Yeah.. Feminism can go on demonizing men and denying science, and we will keep quiet and not say a word about them.
      Glen Poole,
      Good luck working with these “moderates”. After all, they are more amenable to discussion than us MHRA “extremes”

  19. “I do not define anything done by the protestors at the event as extreme. I believe very strongly in direct democracy [aka anarchy]. If we believe something is unjust or harmful we have a duty as citizens to resist it in whatever ways we have available to us.” – Ron Couchman

    1) I do consider them extreme. These are the same tactics used by Lenin’s Cheka, Hitler’s SA and McCarthy’s Senate Committee; shut up the dissenting voices and you win.
    2) By the logic in Couchman’s third sentence in the quote above, Couchman unknowingly but explicitly voices support for murderers of abortion clinic doctors. Great morals, Ronny.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] has pervaded every contemporary agency with power over our lives and thought, from family courts to the schools, and that men must organize and agitate for equality for ourselves and for boys, to reverse the [...]

  2. [...] death of men’s shelter champion Earl Silverman, as well as Iain’s recent debate at the Good Men Project. Plus, CAFE Ottawa Director Ryan Browne’s interview with University of Ottawa English [...]

  3. […] wrote about the story at the Good Men Project and facilitated a public discussion between two men on opposing sides of the […]

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