Editor’s note: the new blog, Men’s Human Rights – Ontario, deserves to be on everyone’s reading list. This is one of several strong posts to be found there and AVfM is delighted to reprint it. – AL
THE GLOBE & MAIL is broadly considered as the newspaper of record up here in the Great White North. Their brand of journalism is viewed as socially responsible, liberal, progressive, and intelligent. They don’t do kneejerk reactions. They see deeper into issues. They don’t involve themselves with titillating gossip, or with the obsessions of the tabloid hoypoloi. Yes – the Globe and Mail are definitely a notch above. Indeed, so committed to equality, and equality of opinion, are the thought leaders at the Globe & Mail that they actually allow readers to submit essays to their website. This democratization of opinion is welcome indeed. Unlike traditional letters pages or comment sections, this allows readers (as writers) to not only form a more substantial piece – but also to form the context of subsequent discussion.
It is truly by, and for, the people.
However, this approach can only be described as truly democratic if it’s actually representative. Need it be said, representation is the defining purpose of democracy. Therefore, all opinions should be catered for – even those that our betters at the Globe & Mail might not agree with. But this isn’t happening.
It’s not happening in the user-submitted content or in the content generally put out by the Globe and Mail, and this is a situation replicated in the liberal media around the world. Despite their claims of adherence to principles of fairness and objectivity, the reality is that they’re plainly biased and routinely ignore or demean opinions that differ to theirs.
On November 4 2013, the Globe and Mail published a piece by Wendy MacGregor entitled “I mourn the passing of my dear friend feminism.” MacGregor bemoaned the morphing of feminism from something that she perceived as worthwhile, into some kind of drunken, twerking, immature brat. Her article – self-contradictory, illogical, and awash with cringe-inducing pathetic fallacies – was the equivalent of trying to dead-eye a beer can from 100 yards with a blunderbuss.
It was an exercise in futility.
Ms. MacGregor is clearly not a professional journalist, nor does she appear to be a person in the routine habit of writing every day. There’s nothing wrong with that. There is a problem though, when the Globe & Mail is willing to publish logically flawed, poorly-written articles. It’s an even bigger problem when someone comes along who wants to talk about the flip side to that particular grimy coin – and is ignored.
Sammy Allouba, 26, is a regular guy. He’s not just a regular guy though – he’s a nice guy too. He loves dinosaurs, MMA, and is an active and tireless volunteer in his community. He gets up each morning at 5:00am to work a regular, blue collar job. He gives a lot of himself and doesn’t ask for much in return. He’s just a good person, and when he read Wendy’s article, he was compelled to reply with one of his own:
“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…. 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.”
It’s a pretty bleak perspective, but as any MHRA will testify – it’s a rite of passage. This is something that all MHRAs experience – rejection and ridicule. What sets Sammy apart, however, is that he is part of another group that has experienced not just what he describes as “willful ignorance” but a more vindictive and sinister form of attack.
Representatives from Men’s Human Rights Ontario met with Sammy at a recent academic lecture at the University of Toronto. It was agreed during that meeting that Sammy should publish his counter article on our site as it was unlikely that the Globe & Mail would do so and more importantly, it was an honest, bloody brilliant article (if you haven’t read it yet, you owe it to yourself to do so.) On November 16 the article appeared here: http://www.mhro.ca/?p=461. Neither Sammy nor Men’s Human Rights Ontario was aware though, that he was soon to be targeted in a cowardly, disgusting fashion.
“It happened the same day – the sixteenth,” said Sammy. “I’ll admit I was a little bit frightened, when I read the first email. My heart was pounding quite a bit because I was concerned – not for me – but for the group that I volunteer with. I don’t want them to come under fire for any beliefs that I might hold.” Sammy needn’t have worried however, his colleagues pledged their support to him and were disgusted by the attempt to tarnish his reputation.
Those beliefs that Sammy mentions, amount to a heartfelt belief in the principle of equality for all. None of the social media postings that Sammy made could be considered, even in the most obtuse fashion, to be hateful to women, or even to feminism – a fact that left Sammy a little confused. “What I don’t understand is that nowhere in the article do I bash feminism. All I said was here is my experience and this is where I am now,” said Sammy.
It’s pretty reasonable. What’s also reasonable is Sammy’s path to the MHRM, populated as it was with a series of commonsense observations, a path that so many people have, and continue to take each day.
“It’s hard for me to recollect what exactly made me join the MHRM. It’s the culmination of events leading up to winter of last year. At one point I came across Karen Straughan’s Video on the disposable male I thought ‘this was kind of interesting’ and I wanted to learn more.
‘That led me to the video on the Warren Farrell protest at UofT and the more I read into it the more I agreed with what guys like Paul, Dean, and Karen were talking about and I wanted to be a part of that. And then of course, what happened with my dad; that gave me more of a reason, shall we say, when I began to experience it firsthand. I realized, you know what, ‘there’s a problem here’ because let’s say for a moment that the roles were reversed, and this was my mother I was dealing with, there would be any number of support shelters she could turn to; government assistance would have been an easy grab for her – it wouldn’t have been a problem. But when I looked at my father and saw he was struggling, it was easy to see how little help men received when in situations like this.”
Hardly the words of frustrated basement-dwelling neckbeard. Hardly the words of a sexually frustrated fascist. Hardly the words of a serial misogynist. Hardly the words of someone who is “pro-rape.”
But that shouldn’t come as a surprise – at least not to anybody who’s been involved in the MHRM for more than twenty seconds. Our opponents are losing. We know this. They know this. They will use any tool at their disposal to save their pathetic skins. The attack on Sammy is typical. And to the anonymous coward, skulking behind some computer screen somewhere looking to damage, and hurt people I, and everyone at Men’s Human Rights Ontario want to say ‘thank you.’
Thanks to you – we now have another member.
It is with great pleasure that we announce the addition of Sammy Allouba to the ranks of Men’s Human Rights Ontario.
It was your email that made Sammy’s decision to join our ranks an easy one. It was your bigotry – your hatred – that gave the MHRM another member. And not just any member at that. Sammy is a smart, driven individual who is going to make a serious impression – not just here in Ontario, or Canada, but further afield.
To you, coward, libeler, bigot – we want you to remember that fact.