Author’s note: I have recently submitted this essay to one of Canada’s national newspapers, The Globe and Mail as they are looking for what are called Facts and Arguments Essays. I wrote this after reading the I mourn the passing of my dear friend Feminism. I hope it is published, but in the meantime, you can read it here and at Men’s Human Rights Ontario once it goes live. I’d like to thank Dannyboy for choosing to run it as well as Dean Esmay for allowing me to present it on A Voice for Men.
Editor’s Note: After the publication of this article on Men’s Human Rights Ontario‘s site, two different emails were sent to Sammy and also to the theater troupe he works for:
Sent: Sunday, November 17, 2013 7:21 AM
Subject: Fwd: Sammy Allouba
Sammy, you need to be more careful.
From: Concerned Citizen [email redacted]
Date: Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 8:33 PM
Subject: Sammy Allouba
To: [email redacted]
It’s quite distrurbing that one of your cast members is posting pro-rape and anti-female articles all over his public networks.
His YouTube rants about the “Male Rights Movement” including him discussing posting victim-blaming pro-rape articles:
Retweeting offensive articles such as this on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sam4reel
When my rights are raped for the sake of rapes that never happened I #blamefeminism and liars
Retweeted by Sammy Allouba
And sharing pro-rape articles on Facebook:
[links to supposedly pro-rape articles on A Voice for Men]
It’s truly disgusting and I hope you’ll not let an individual like this be a part of your community.
What follows is the article that caused the veiled threats and attempts at intimidation by opponents of human rights. As a response, Sammy has chosen to just get more visible in the Men’s Human Rights Community. We commend his courage. The more of us who take a public stance, the stronger we all become. Welcome to the civil rights movement of the 21st Century, Sammy. As always is the case, the establishment and all right-thinking decent people oppose us. After all, we threaten the status quo and the powers that be.
By the way, any readers here may also want to subscribe to Sammy’s YouTube channel.
Anyway, as of this writing, it does not appear that the Globe & Mail has published the shocking letter below.–DE
Imagine for a moment you have an idea, an opinion. So you then decide to explore that idea a bit further and discover that you’re not alone in that there are others who not only share it, but provide some insight into other related issues. These ideas are backed up by well-researched, well-thought out papers and studies, some of which are governmental in origin.
Once you feel you have a concrete base on which to back up your idea, you present it to other people who may not have heard it before. Instead of rational responses, however, you are met with hostility, anger, resentment, personal attacks, and shaming. You are told that you are hateful, have personal issues, that you need help, and that you need to stop saying what you’re saying because the people you’re speaking to feel offended and hurt by something that is challenging the way they’re used to seeing things.
In my brief experience as an MRA, that’s exactly what it’s felt like.
MRA stands for men’s rights activist as someone who follows the MRM or men’s rights movement. It is a movement that has been around since the 1970s and only wishes to provide a voice for men who do not have a voice with which to speak out. I have enjoyed my time so far with the movement because I do believe in the issues it is combating such as biased family courts, larger percentage of homeless victims being male, false allegations of sexual assault that ruin the lives of young men, and the general bias in popular culture which portrays fathers as neglectful monsters, and portrays men and boys in general as violent, stupid, or sexually-driven monsters.
As I matured through high school, I noticed moments in which boys had to deal with questionable double standards. The most common example of this would be that a man never hits a woman, but she is free to abuse him as much as she sees fit. It became worse when I went to university. I went to Ryerson from 2005 to 2009 studying criminal justice. As I progressed through my academic career, I was searching for identity. I eventually discovered the White Ribbon Campaign and because I have a female cousin who is a three-time victim of domestic abuse, I saw merit in signing up.
I took part in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event and subscribed to the idea that violence against women in particular was a serious issue that wasn’t receiving the attention it needed. However, I never called myself a feminist. I rejected the label because for whatever reason, it just didn’t sit well with me. I wanted to be known simply as “a guy who believes in women’s rights” but that didn’t agree with some folks. Eventually I stopped my volunteer work with the Campaign only because I was fast approaching my graduation and wanted to focus on my studies.
One thing though that I could never really shrug off was what I perceived to be a heavy anti-male bias at the university. For example, in any sociology class I took, the consensus was always that white men are the one and only reason why society has problems, women are always oppressed, victims to the grand design of patriarchy, and must be placed on a pedestal if they are to move ahead in life. Other events included the popular Take Back the Night event, designed to help women who feel in danger at night, a crusade against the infamous rape culture feminists talk about in their discourse. I was never comfortable with such events because I saw them as ways of making men out to be natural-born criminals. They unfairly targeted men as if they are the only ones capable of sexual assault – which, as anyone who has seen government statistics on sexual assault can attest to, isn’t true.
There were also smaller cases like a first year criminological theories professor I had who cracked a joke when she was having issues getting a microphone to work before the start of a lecture. She proudly exclaimed, “I’ll bet a guy designed this!” to which she received a loud, approving laugh from the class. But that made me wonder. Had that been a male professor making the same claim but replaced “guy” with “gal” or some other female pronoun, would he have been met with the same response? I highly doubt it.
The hostility and anger that I have been met with as an MRA has only given me further reason to continue to speak up for marginalized men in society. This is also in addition to being the son of a father who has been homeless for the past year and for now, I am in a position where isn’t much I can do to help him for a number of reasons. When I eventually found out what his situation was last summer when I saw him for the first time in over two years, I realized how little support men receive from society, especially in the form of government support and funding for men’s services. It breaks my heart knowing that he can’t get the help he needs. Men’s rights are human rights and they deserve help and support just as much as anyone else.