Are men oppressed? Male rights activists maligned as ‘sexists’ fight to have movement recognized on campus





Dr. Miles Groth, a professor of psychology at Wagner College in New York, poses for a photo after speaking at the University of Toronto about issues that men at university face, on Sept. 27, 2013. An ideological divide is opening up, on Canadian campuses especially, over the question of organized activism for men's issues.


At the latest battle in the emerging campus war over men’s rights, as a man in a pink keffiyeh, with a pink hammer and sickle on his chest, shouted slogans through a pink megaphone at a group of men’s rights activists who marched on the Ontario legislature to denounce the oppressive effects of feminism, it was tempting to invoke Henry Kissinger’s quip about the Iran-Iraq War: “It’s a pity they both can’t lose.”

A poster is displayed     THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill GravelandA poster is displayed

in Calgary on Monday, April 22, 2013 at the launch of the "Don't Be THAT Guy" campaign. The campaign targets men and talks about sexual consent.

Neither side made an articulate case through their mutual loathing. One men’s rights speaker called for armed resistance, and one male feminist counter-protester evidently did not grasp the difference between “suffering” and “suffrage.”

And yet, as a series of hotly protested campus lectures in recent months has illustrated, there are real constituencies behind these extremist combatants. An ideological divide is opening up, on Canadian campuses especially, over the question of organized activism for men’s issues.

After years of campus discord over abortion, Zionism and white privilege, this new war is taking shape over the claim that men suffer systematic oppression comparable to the social inequalities that gave rise to feminism.

From anti-rape campaigns that stigmatize all men as potential rapists, to pedagogical strategies that favour the learning style of girls and women, and the explicit denial that men are even capable of being oppressed unless it is on grounds of race, class, disability or homosexuality, men’s issues advocates say males are becoming a campus underclass, under-represented in the student body, and vulnerable to the same marginalization that women have faced. In response, they have been maligned as sexists, shouted down as hate mongers, and explicitly banned at more than one university.

Posters put up around the University of Alberta campus and possibly downtown last July use images from the Don’t Be That Guy campaign and change the text to send the opposite message, said Lise Gotell, chair of the U of A’s department of women’s and gender studies.


“We’re not funded by the patriarchy,” said Michael Cavanaugh, director of marketing and communications for the Canadian Association For Equality (CAFE), which acts as a national support group for campus men’s issues groups, and is fundraising for a men’s issues centre to be created in Toronto. “Quite frankly, no one will come near us.”

That stigma is widespread, according to Miles Groth, a psychologist, philosopher and men’s issues advocate at Wagner College in New York. Universities are becoming like seminaries, he said in a recent lecture at the University of Toronto. “A [feminist] belief system operating in the back orders the curriculum.”

Lionel Tiger, Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and best known for coining the term “male bonding,” has acknowledged the project of men’s issues seems “faintly satirical,” like the set-up to a punchline. At worst, it can seem like “white rights,” a common racist slogan.

Quite frankly, no one will come near us

It is this worst-case interpretation that is often used by opponents to shout down the mainstream, such as the Ryerson University student politicians who spiked a men’s issues club, to be run by two women, on the grounds that it sounded like a hate group. Likewise, in denying status to an anti-abortion group, Brandon University’s Student Union decided it would be redundant “since the Women’s Collective deals with all gender issues.”

Just as abortion is a central theme of women’s issues, so does suicide (which men achieve more than women, though attempt less), hang over the whole men’s issues debate, as a motivating factor for activism and an extreme case study in why men need a place to go for help for their particularly male problems, as hard as that can seem in the modern culture.


Lionel Tiger, Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University in New Jersey is best known for coining the term “male bonding.”


In response, feminist advocates say these groups have wrongly identified feminism as the cause of their problems, and that while the patriarchy still exists, the matriarchy is a sexist fiction, a straw woman.

“I am a firm believer in the argument that patriarchy hurts men too,” said Steph Guthrie, a feminist organizer in Toronto who has spoken against the rise of men’s rights activism. “I do not deny that men face challenges in this world as a result of the way our culture socializes gender and masculinity. But these problems are not the result of women’s empowerment or increased independence. They are the result of a system that propagates rigid and toxic gender ideals.”

As with many hot button issues, campus battles can start to look like proxy wars, and Ms. Guthrie pointed out that many men’s issues supporters at campus events look like they are far too old to actually be students. And just as some well-intentioned Christian groups have damaged their credibility by aligning with U.S. anti-abortion zealots such as the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, whose Genocide Awareness Project explicitly compares abortion to the Holocaust, so too have several men’s issues clubs shot themselves in the foot by partnering with groups like A Voice For Men, the frequently misogynistic anti-feminist group that descended on Prof. Groth’s event in Toronto last weekend. The partnership clouds the campus context with broader complaints about adult men’s issues, like procedural bias in criminal or family court, or workplace issues in which men tend to face greater physical risks.


Other groups take it even further, such as the so-called Red Pill movement, a web-based collective of men who believe they, as a gender, are socially disenfranchised, and those who cannot see this are, like the humans in The Matrix movie from which it takes its name, blind to the reality of feminism’s wickedness.


“I didn’t want to agree with anything the men’s rights movement had to say,” wrote Huffington Post Canada news editor Michael Bolen this week, in coverage of Prof. Groth’s talk. “I had already decided the word ‘stupid’ would figure prominently in my headline.”

Instead, to his surprise, what he found was “a group of men who just wanted to talk.” The problem is that many of their fellow students do not want them to.

Policy documents presented this summer to the Canadian Federation of Students, for example, refer to an increased presence of what it calls “Men’s Rights Awareness Groups,” calling them “hateful” groups that justify sexual assault, challenge women’s “bodily autonomy” and “provide environments for sexism, patriarchy and misogyny.”

“There are genuine women’s issues that are far more profound, that affect all women, not just small numbers of women. The same can’t be said of men,” said Michael Laxer, a frequent political candidate for the NDP, and now the Socialist Party of Ontario. He said there is a question facing campus feminists, about whether they should combat the men’s movement via counter-demonstrations, or by building a bigger, stronger, more radically engaged feminism. As he put it, there is a shift from trying to win battles, to trying to win hearts and minds. That may explain the fizzling of the counter-protest to Prof. Groth’s talk, unlike others in which police have had to be called.

Plenty of movements have opposed feminism, Mr. Laxer said, on the grounds of tradition and family, or faith and general cultural conservatism. But the men’s rights movement promotes a narrative of reverse sexism in which women have become oppressors, and men the oppressed.

This is “really kind of absurd,” he said. “This is not the fault of feminism. It’s not the fault of women. It’s not the fault of feminists… People are oppressed for a variety of reasons,” like class, race, or sexual orientation.

“These are very real things that affect millions of men, but they don’t affect them because they’re men. It’s not because they’re men. That’s the thing. What the men’s rights narrative does is erases real issues facing men … and replaces them with this false narrative that it’s because of women or feminists,” he said. “By doing that, they undermine men’s issues greatly.”

National Post




Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

Congratulations to Joseph Brean and the National Post for yet another great article on the taboo subject of mens rights.


We live in a corrupt country where fathers, men and children are devoid of legal rights unless it involves a feminist view of the world.

Take Spousal Support. In Ontario, only a handful of men have ever received spousal support or receive custody of children.

Underbelly Judges encourage the underbelly of the legal profession to fabricate evidence. Take Marguerite Isobel Lewis, a lawyer for the Ottawa Children's Aid Society. She personally fabricates evidence in the court room.

Then there is Ottawa Police Det. Vanderzander, he personally fabricates evidence against male victims of domestic violence. What does the Ottawa Police Chief do in the face of irrefutable evidence? nothing.

Judges when provided with irrefutable evidence of criminal offences committed by lawyers, police and child protection workers do NOTHING.

The judges of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice actually collectively, set out to punish any male, who dares to mention that a lawyer fabricated evidence or that police officer or the worst of the worst, a Child Protection Worker, actually fabricated evidence.

The Judges of the Ontario Superior Court operate a form of censorship. No one is allowed to state that a Lawyer is a fabricator of evidence. They simply make orders that are as certain of incarceration of innocent fathers for no other reason than "speaking out".

Fathers in Canada are treated in a similar fashion as H.i.t.l.e.r Treated the J.e.w.s.

What is disturbing is that the senior lawyers in Ontario, the ones who are next in line to be judges, refer to the Childrens Aid Societies as "The

They should replace the Ontario coat of Arms with a S.w.a.s.t.i.k.a.