Agent Tungsten reporting from the University of Toronto protests against the Canadian Association for Equality’s talks on misandry and misogyny
My First Time – Agent Tungsten
So how did I live this long without ever really encountering Radical Feminism before? Easy: I’ve got a great bullshit detector and whenever I came across something like that it was very easy to dismiss and move on. Frankly, I was too busy living my life to waste time with it. Some would say I should have seen it in college, but college for me was working full time and going to school at night and on weekends. Prior to going to college, I always had a full time and a part time job. My mother taught me to be self-sufficient and never expect anyone else to support me.
One of the core tenets of my life has been a belief in free speech (as long as that speech does not promote violence). When I saw the activities at Dr. Farrell’s talk and the box cutter wielding thugs harassing John Hembling (aka John the Other aka JtO), I was furious. No one has the right to stifle free speech, plus, I couldn’t believe anyone could so thoroughly dismiss their own hypocrisy. So when I heard that JtO, Dan, and Christian were going to last Thursday’s talk sponsored by CAFE, my first thought was that they needed female bodyguards to keep the white knights at bay. My second thought was that I could do it, so I volunteered.
Off to Toronto Thursday morning, where I met the guys on my team for the first time. We arrived well before the protestors and just talked and got to know each other while we waited. Once the protestors arrived and got themselves organized on the grassy knoll we strolled over to get our first look. I wasn’t impressed.
Some wore disguises, some didn’t and it took them some time to get their chants in sync. While I appreciated the sign naming John and myself, I did wonder what their “Feminist Welcome” would be. JtO engaged them in conversation and I talked to a self-identified gay man who wanted to tell me about the feminist experience. I really couldn’t help it, I laughed. There was so much hypocrisy, so much flawed rhetoric, I laughed quite a bit that day.
Originally I felt that my role there was just to record the happenings, stay in the background, and to be a witness, if needed, if anyone on my team was accused of any wrongdoing. I became much more involved than I intended, because when faced with such hypocrisy and such blatant lies, I had no other choice.
The videos I took are all up on Dean Esmay’s YouTube channel. Please excuse the quality, I had never used a camcorder before.
Since I prefer to look at the positives, I’ll give you a few examples of the good things I saw:
• During the “women hold up half the sky” chant, a woman walking down the street looked over and questioned “then who holds up the other half? We need both men and women!”
• The promised “physical confrontation” never materialized. (Although intimidation was certainly attempted.)
• I had real conversations with at least three or four of the protestors. I didn’t even attempt it with “Big Red”, I learned long ago not to bang my head against a brick wall.
• I saw doubt in the eyes of a couple of them–doubt about what they were saying. It was as if they spent so many hours furiously agreeing with each other that they never considered there is a reasonable opposing argument and didn’t know what to think.
• The “Shame on you!” guy took one of the Men’s Rights March 2013 Internet statements I was handing out and promised to take it home and read it.
• One of the protestors promised to actually read Warren Farrell’s book, “The Myth of Male Power” and come to her own conclusion on the out-of-context, mined quotes often used against him.
• Contrary to what “GenuineWitty” reported on another site, I didn’t see a single MHRA that could be considered “extremist”.
• Many of the protestors talked to and listened to JtO.
I showed my videos to my 15 year old stepson (he had already seen other videos of the protest on Reddit) and we had a very honest and enlightening talk about it. I am very happy to report that he has learned critical thinking along the way. He was both amused and dismayed at the lack of logic and thought, and the lack of a basic grasp of history and math displayed by these college students.
My conclusion is that I hope that those willing to listen will consider what they heard and continue to do the hard work of thinking about issues and coming to their own conclusions based on their own research, reading, and thought. And in the words of JtO to the young man who told him to go to Hell, I wish you all find Health, Happiness, and Love.