My buddy Tim Legere has written this guest blog entry he calls "Issues faced by Boys and Men". The following words belong to him.
On Thursday April 4th, I attended a seminar at the University of Toronto titled "From Misogyny & Misandry to Intersexual Dialogue".
It was described as:
A conversation exploring the effects on both men and women of our current approach to gender and how we might foster a genuinely intersexual – and intersectional – dialogue that is both broad and deep, while incorporating all aspects of personal and social identity
The main presenters were:
Dr. Katherine Young and Dr. Paul Nathanson, authors of the books “Spreading Misandry” and “Legalizing Misandry”.
Organizers of the event were:
Who am I? Why did I go?
I’m a 50 year old separated Dad of two kids. During the last eight years I have become aware of serious issues that face Boys and Men and require society’s understanding and action. I went to this seminar to understand how these challenges might be solved and perhaps help to make the world a better place for my children.
What are some of the problems of Boys and Men?
- Fathers receive shared custody of their children less than 10% of the time
- 71% of all High School Dropouts are from Fatherless Homes
- Only 42% of Bachelor Degrees are earned by Men
- 85% of all Children that exhibit Behavioral Disorders come from Fatherless Homes
- 30% of those named as Fathers who test for Paternity find they are not the Biological Father
- 40% of Domestic Violence Victims are Men
- Government funding for Prostate Cancer is 60% less than the amount for Breast Cancer despite Diagnosis Rates being Identical
- 80% of all Suicides are Men
- 94% of Industrial Deaths and Accidents happen to Men
- 97% of Combat Deaths since the 1st Gulf War have been Men
The links to the source of the above statistics can be found on the following website: http://www.avoiceformen.com/activism/about/
Aren’t Men Privileged and the Beneficiaries of the Patriarchy?
MHRA’s contend that much of Feminist Theory is incorrect. Simply holding an opposing viewpoint to Feminism does NOT make MHRA’s anti-women or misogynists. MHRA’s outline some of their beliefs here (as composed by Dean Esmay).
It should be quickly apparent that this topic is NOT something that can be compressed into a sound bite or a 1-2 minute video. It requires significant reflection to understand ALL sides of the arguments before forming a thoughtful opinion.
What happened at this Seminar?
Doctor Young and Nathanson were prepared to discuss both Misogyny and Misandry and propose how different groups (e.g. Feminists and Men’s Human Rights Advocates or MHRA’s) might come together and discuss how they could “tackle” problems.
Unfortunately, staunchly Feminist groups disrupted the seminar by protesting loudly outside the auditorium, presumably setting off a fire alarm (which caused a delay, required a costly response from the fire department and potentially endangered others with a real emergency) and taunting MHRA’s with various shaming and derogatory chants and posters.
Personally, I was very disappointed that the protestors did not attend the seminar, pose questions and generally engage MHRA’s in a more reasonable manner. During the break I watched as several MHRA’s attempted to discuss issues with the protestors. It is my opinion that the MHRA’s were respectful, posed thoughtful questions to protestors and then backed up their positions with studies and statistics. When a Protestor could not answer a MHRA’s question they tended to respond emotionally, attack the MHRA (instead of debating the issue) and then change to another topic.
It seems that any attempt to meet and discuss perceived issues facing Boys and Men are viewed by Feminist Groups as being Misogynistic and therefore these events must be protested. My question to them is what happened to the rights of “Freedom of Speech” and “Opposing Viewpoints”?
The following are a few videos taken during this Seminar.
Feminism versus Freedom of Speech (NSFW)
- Dialogue Confronting Sexism proceeds while Protestors Scream to Shut Down Event
- Lecture – Parts 1 to 3 (Long)
What Needs to Happen Next?
Professor Young and Nathanson discussed a number of things to assist with an “Intersexual Dialogue”. The following are four items that I recorded and I hope match their suggestions.
- People expect to be listened to. Listen carefully
- Employ a Non-Hostile Etiquette
- Discuss the Future (not the past or who is more of a victim, etc,)
- Be Empathetic
I thought this was pretty good advice.
Have there been other Seminars and Lectures with similar Results?
Yes. The following were both delivered on the University of Toronto campus.
- Doctor Warren Farrell’s Lecture on the “Boy Crisis” (December 16, 2012) – Note: Verbal Abuse at 3:56
- Doctor Janice Fiamengo’s Lecture on “What’s Wrong with Women’s Studies” (March 7, 2013)
Want to learn more?