The Toronto Pride Parade banned the Canadian Center For Equality (CAFE) for life this year. But Jacob Gal, head of the York Pride Fest, reached out to CAFE and invited them to join the York parade on June 20, 2015 in Richmond Hill, north of Toronto.
Justin Trottier, one of CAFE’s founding members, informed Gal of the Toronto Pride decision and, after looking into the background and details of the “controversy,” Gal concluded that the exclusion was unjustified. Gal was pleased to welcome CAFE to his event in Richmond Hill and, after the event, went even further, saying that he would be pleased to partner with CAFE in the future since they shared common goals.
Gal learned that Toronto Pride organizers, like executive director Mathieu Chantelois, were concerned that CAFE was not catering to every group but was primarily focused on issues affecting men. But Gal pointed out that many, if not all, of the groups participating in Pride parades target specific demographic groups. Gal indicated that specialization is often necessary in order to better meet the needs of a particular demographic, adding that if he excluded specialized groups, there wouldn’t be much of a parade left. Gal also noted that Toronto Pride in fact welcomes many other specialized groups, but singled out CAFE for exclusion without justification.
Toronto Pride also accused CAFE of being misogynistic (Toronto Star article), but Gal pointed out that the accusation of misogyny is liberally and inappropriately applied today as a kind of generic slur devoid of substance, and he referred to a recent example in a local high school.
I first learned about the Canadian Association For Equality (CAFE) almost three years ago when I was filming “Broken,” a short documentary about two men after divorce.
Trottier invited me to interview Dr. Warren Farrell, a well-known author and recognized authority on men, fathers, and gender issues, who was giving a lecture at the University of Toronto. A group of feminists protested the lecture; they blocked the entrances and exits to the venue, intimidated attendees, and chanted slogans until the police were called to physically remove them. Since that inaugural lecture, feminist groups have targeted CAFE in a manner that can only be described as “bullying with a vengeance.”
CAFE says that they champion equality for all, but they also publicly recognize that issues affecting men are ignored, under-reported and/or under serviced: there are no men’s shelters, the male suicide rate is alarmingly high, the homeless are mostly male, and prisons are filling up with men whose crimes appear to be “breathing while poor.” With this in mind, CAFE decided to open the Canadian Center for Men and Families, the first of it’s kind in Canada. Feminists derided this effort and attempted to have CAFE’s registered charity status revoked.
CAFE has also hosted lectures on misandry in the media, violence against aboriginal men and boys, male suicide, the experience of males in university, moving beyond misogyny and misandry, and more. But instead of celebrating and supporting an organization that is working hard to expand the public discourse and provide desperately-needed services to men of all sexual orientations, these feminists remain obsessed with frustrating and dismantling CAFE, and shutting down their events. This group of feminists shut down talks by Dr. Janice Fiamengo, Dr. Paul Nathanson, Dr. Catherine Young, Dr. Warren Farrell, and more. They used smear campaigns to have CAFE’s Equality Day evicted from Toronto Island, to have CAFE banned from the Toronto Pride Parade, and to cause trouble for CAFE’s organizers in their private lives. These feminists seem to be connected with Vice, Toronto Pride, and NOW magazine (see also 2014). What could possibly explain this commitment to destroy CAFE?
Ideological feminists see CAFE as a threat in the same way that anyone who benefits from a lie feels threatened by someone who speaks the truth. CAFE has hosted speakers like Dr. Janice Fiamengo and Karen Straughan, both of whom are critical of feminism for its role in demonizing men for profit. The inescapable reality exposed by critics of feminism is that feminists have spread fear and hatred of men for many years by lying about statistics and gender-relations issues: the “1 in 4” statistic from Ms. Magazine, the claim that Domestic Violence is one-sided male on female, the “Pay Gap,” and so much more.
Fiamengo has even clearly explained that feminism expands by claiming to represent every identifiable demographic group, whether they want to be included or not: women, lesbian, gay, trans, bi-sexual, people of color, differently-abled, etc, etc. There’s room for everybody … except, of course, straight white men, who are scapegoated as the cause of every problem from car crashes to bad hair days. This is the only unifying feminist theme: straight white men are the source of all that is bad. The all-consuming cultural-imperialist goals of feminism require an enemy, the “Patriarchy ™,” which is code for straight white men, the only identifiable group excluded from the suffocating arms of feminism.
Feminists are utterly and willfully blind to the nuances of the historical power held by men and women. They have donned special victim-goggles through which to view the world – goggles that filter out all male suffering, all male sacrifice, all male-specific strengths and talents – and all female privilege – leaving only the “woman as victim of man” meme. This reaches comical extremes when people like Hillary Clinton proudly exclaim that “women have always been the primary victims of war.” But to be more specific, feminism has morphed irrevocably into “everyone is a victim of the heterosexual-white-man,” which is classic scapegoating behavior.
Groups like A Voice For Men (AVfM) are even bolder in identifying the deceit of feminism. Many writers and thinkers published on AVfM have concluded that all cultures in human history can be characterized as being “gynocentric,” which means “putting the needs of women first.” This is evident in common phrases like “women and children first” as practiced during crises like the sinking of the Titanic, and as seen during virtually any emergency to this day, including fires, sinking ships, money for medical research, or psycho-shooting-sprees in which men have used their bodies as human shields for their wives and girlfriends.
It’s not hard to understand why gynocentrism was necessary for survival in the wild and dangerous world that we have now largely domesticated: any society that failed to protect women, or to prioritize their needs, would have perished. Men had to protect women and compete for their affection as much as they needed to build civilization. “Gynocentrism” is far more powerful at explaining human history than the “Patriarchy(tm),” can ever pretend to be. Ironically, some thinkers are even pointing out that it is the very gynocentric nature of society that enabled feminism to flourish in the first place. After all, would an oppressive patriarchal society not merely squash the cackling chickens as they hatch? The squawking feminists not only hatched, but were protected, obeyed and given resources, and for over 40 years feminist demands were treated more like commands to be obeyed than requests to be considered. Feminism’s expansion of power was speedy and easy. In other words, exactly what you would expect in a gynocentric culture, and some have pointed out that feminism looks increasingly like gynocentrism on steroids.
Thinkers like Fiamengo and Straughan, and groups like A Voice For Men are beginning to question and criticize feminist claims and assumptions, and CAFE has hosted lectures by those who recognize that feminism plays a role in creating and/or exacerbating issues that affect men. This conversation is creeping into mainstream, and that is what terrifies feminists, whose response is to ramp up the rhetoric in an attempt to virtually outlaw criticism of feminism. It is now routine that anyone connected to a group that criticizes feminism is accused of misogyny, and then vilified.
Feminists in Toronto have been doing this to CAFE since it’s inception. But some people, like Jacob Gal of York Pride Fest, are starting to think for themselves. They are reclaiming their identities from the feminist cultural imperialists, and this is a mark of maturity. The strength and maturity to stand up and say “I can think for myself, I can decide for myself, and I can speak for myself,” … and act accordingly.
I hope this is a new trend.
[Ed. note: this post originally appeared at Studio Brule and is reprinted here with permission.]