Bad Doggies, Good Doggies.
If you’ve been observing the MHRM in the past few weeks, you’ll have noticed an awful lot of hoopla surrounding efforts to form men’s issues groups in and around Toronto, Ontario. The discussion focuses on who is and is not allowed to regard themselves as human beings worthy of human rights, endowed with a right to free expression and capable of freely associating with whom they choose. Apparently a vocal subset of citizenry in Toronto and surrounding cities are firmly bent on disallowing any such exercised rights by those they deem to be: “the bad people”. Perhaps not even actual people, just men.
CAFE, the Canadian Association for Equality has produced and presented a series of lectures from speakers like Dr Warren Farrell, Dr Janice Fiamengo, and in an event scheduled for tomorrow, Drs. Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young. All of these events address issues of human rights concerns for men and boys in Canada and wider western culture.
Of course, all of this has angered and offended a collection of individuals calling themselves variously, the University of Toronto Student Union, the comically named Ontario Anacho-Communist Collective and a recently vocal Revolutionary Students Movement. The dramatically named RSM has this week published their intention to escalate their radicalism, and to condemn as well as “physically challenge” whoever they identify as a Men’s Human Rights Activist(the RSM’s statements omit the word “human” from that identification, which they probably have some reason for doing).
However, the University of Toronto Students Union, University of Toronto gender studies students and others have consistently attended the events and speaking engagements produced by CAFE to oppose and protest against academics speaking on issues like male disenfranchisement in education, the epidemic of male suicide and the public acceptability of hatred toward men and boys as a biological demographic.
Actually, to call opposition to these events “protest” isn’t quite adequate. Harrassment, vandalism, assault (including assault on Toronto Police brought in to protect lecture attendees from harm) is what’s been demonstrated so far. One young man attending the lecture by Dr Farrell was there seeking understanding of why two of his friend committed suicide. The “protesters” of that event, knowing nothing about him besides his intention to hear the lecture, hectored him with the accusations “You are scum, fucking scum, child rapist, rape apologist scum”, punctuated with flying spittle.
But all this bad behavior was recorded on video by at least one person not sympathetic to organized public violence, vandalism, assault and harassment. That video, by Stephen Brule, went viral. Another organization with no tolerance for hatred, violence or organized harassment or any other criminal behavior did what the main-stream media has so far singularly failed to do.
A Voice for Men engaged in the revolutionary act of citizen journalism. We discovered the names of the vandals, the harassers and those organizing suppression of free expression, and we published their names. Of course, this description makes it sound like what we did was difficult. In reality, the individuals participating in violence, censorship, harassment, and vandalism bragged about it on their respective Facebook and Twitter pages. We republished their bragging and said in effect “this is not acceptable or civilized behavior”. We said what the main-stream media has so far been unwilling to say; that violence, street harassment, assault and the organized plans to conduct such actions are criminal.
We used words like thug and bigot, which we stand behind; which we will use again as needed and appropriate.
Obedience training now available at the University of Toronto
Indeed, after our reporting on the hate fuelled and violent public antics of U of T feminists at the Warren Farrell lecture, these same “protesters” dialed their behavior way back. They didn’t event physically assault anyone attempting to hear Dr Janice Fiamengo speak. Of course they did attempt to derail her address by setting off a fire alarm in the lecture hall and also used the question period after Dr Fiamengo’s presentation to launch inane diatribes about how men addressing their own human rights concerns are “racist, sexist, homophobic, trans-phobic, cis-phobic, et-cetera”.
After the public spanking by AVFM of the “protestors” at the November 2012 Warren Farrell lecture, Janice Fiamengo’s “protestors” were, in fact, positively subdued. Although evidently capable of learning with the assistance of some behavior modification from AVfM – they still behaved poorly. They even wore masks, an obvious and overt demonstration of consciousness of guilt.
For this continued, albeit diminished inability to adhere to civilized, legal behavior in public, we had to roll up a newspaper and swat the bad little doggies on the nose again.
Having raised several puppies myself, its never an enjoyable task to push a little dog’s nose into its own pool of piddle on the floor. It would be cruelly irresponsible, however, to allow a puppy, or indeed an infant, to maintain and develop antisocial behaviors.
In the excitement surrounding the upcoming presentation by Drs Nathanson and Young, individuals self identifying as “Revolutionary Student’s Movement” have published an unambiguous intention to harass and physically assault anyone they recognize as a human rights activist addressing the issues of men and boys.
My silky terrier, Moosehead, used to bark through the fence at our neighbors, often for no obvious reason and late at night. This would wake me and likely wake the neighbors as well. I loved that little dog, but it took the application of a plant sprayer to train her that my voice through the window saying “Moose! Quiet!” meant it was time to stop barking at the neighbor and come inside. After being told to be quiet, Moosehead would always bark just one more “yap!” at the neighbors before coming inside. But come inside she did.
The Bad Little Doggies in Toronto will likely attend Thursday’s presentation by Nathanson and Young, and will almost certainly make clear their disagreement that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right in Canada. But like a bad little doggy smacked (gently) on the nose when it pees on the rug, those who don’t yet apparently grasp that men’s rights are human rights are learning, slowly, to be good little doggies.
I am certainly looking forward to watching the video of the lecture, and of whatever coverage is given to efforts by protestors to “condemn” and “physically challenge” attending Men’s Human Rights Activists, including the coverage by AVfM’s team in Toronto.