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University of Calgary “Men’s Rights” Film Screening Will Feature Dialogue Between Feminists and MRAs

MEDIA ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

University of Calgary “Men’s Rights” Film Screening Will Feature Dialogue Between Feminists and MRAs

CALGARY, AB — (March 7, 2017) – The Canadian Association for Equality, a national educational charity working to integrate boys and men into the cause of gender equality, will turn its upcoming screening of The Red Pill at the University of Calgary on Wednesday March 8th, into an opportunity to find common ground between feminists and men’s rights activists.

CAFE will moderate between MRAs and feminist thinkers from the University of Calgary, who will be invited to a post-film dialogue aimed at exploring our common humanist values.

“When it comes to gender, strong feelings can sometimes get in the way of the kind of dialogue which could lead to real progress on behalf of both men and women,” said Justin Trottier, CAFE Executive Director.

“We see that in unnecessarily vitriolic comments or online harassment targeting feminists. We also see it when radical feminists pull fire alarms and harass members of the public at events focused on men’s issues like fatherlessness and the sexual abuse of boys. Neither of these actions is acceptable or helpful to the cause of mutual understanding.”

CAFE values equality, tolerance, respect, dignity and diversity.

“We may take on topics some find controversial, but we do so because these topics are critical to our culture, even if their sensitive nature means they are often ignored or marginalized,” said Trottier. “We should be willing to criticize any gender ideology, whether feminism or men’s rights, but we must be careful that we never vilify each other.”

The Red Pill documentary follows independent filmmaker Cassie Jaye, a feminist sceptical of the legitimacy of men’s issues, in her journey of enlightenment as she is awoken to discrimination faced by men and boys. The film won ‘best of festival’ at the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema.

For further information, contact

Justin Trottier
Executive Director,
Canadian Association for Equality
jtrottier@equalitycanada.com
(416) 402-8856

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Book Review: Wrongful Allegations of Sexual and Child Abuse

Book Review: “Wrongful Allegations of Sexual and Child Abuse”

by Clary Jaxon, CAFE Volunteer and Advocate for men wrongly accused and wrongly convicted of sex crimes

January, 14, 2017

In a bewildering time where the social mantras ‘believing all survivors’ and ‘women (and children) never lie about being sexually abused’ have taken hold of the Western systems of justice, community policing, politics and the media, the recent UK release of the book entitled “Wrongful Allegations of Sexual and Child Abuse” is aptly timed. The originations and consequences of these mantras are meticulously scrutinized and thoughtfully analyzed with a lengthy disclaimer that it is not meant in any way to discredit or belittle true victims of sexual abuse.

The point of the book is to shine a spotlight on a dark corner of social theory and policy that gets little exposure or public discussion in any meaningful way. Wrongful allegations of sex crimes do occur. Wrongful allegations can and do lead to wrongful convictions. Such a conviction can be a lifetime sentence expanding beyond any amount of jail time. In Canada, for example, any sex crime conviction involving a minor automatically excludes the convict from an eventual pardon (record suspension), and often results in a lifetime obligation to the Sex Offender Registry. Once such an accusation is made, particularly against males, whether prosecuted or not, it is akin to wearing a pejorative scarlet letter and can lead to further shunning and even violence inflicted upon the accused and their loved ones. For the wrongly accused and their loved ones it is an existence more isolating and traumatizing than one can imagine. The book delves into this misery by including statements from victims of wrongful allegations and their supporters.

While the book acknowledges this problem as an international one, it mainly focuses on the UK and the US. The parallels to what’s going on in Canada are undeniable. The book does make mention, however, of an important and relevant Canada Supreme Court Decision.

In Chapter 6, “Rape Culture Narrative, State Feminism, and the Presumption of Guilt,” the discussion of due process conflicting with rape shield laws highlights the case, R. v. Darrach (2000, SCC) where the Supreme Court dismissed the defendant’s argument that his constitutional rights to a fair trial were violated by the rape shield provisions. The highest court of Canada ultimately ruled that the interest of the public is to ensure sensitivity is extended to complainants, and that that sensitivity should override the state’s obligation to provide the accused with a fair trial and (condescendingly) “the most favourable procedures that could possibly be imagined”. Thus in Canada, this precedent contributes to the difficulties in overturning a wrongful conviction where the only evidence in court was the testimony of the complainant. The book discusses the hopelessness of exoneration while offering solutions to prevent such tragic miscarriages of justice from occurring in the first place.

Ros Burnett, Editor of the book and Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford, UK, does a wonderful job of rounding up highly respected and credible professionals from the US, UK and New Zealand (sharing similar common law legal structure as Canada) as contributors to this book. Given Burnett’s prior experience as a Probation Officer, it makes her own contributions to this topic all the more insightful. The contributing roster includes psychologists, law professors, sociology professors, defence attorneys, criminologists, and some from social work and forensic psychology disciplines who all have eye-opening insight on how complaints of sexual assault or child abuse have moved from objectivity to subjectivity. This subjectivity has resulted in the erosion of the fundamental principles of justice we expect to be upheld and the contributors do not shy away from making this point.

Here in Canada, all too often the people dominating discussion and policy-making on the touchy topic of sexual abuse allegations are sponsored by the government in one way or another, skewing the realities of wrongful allegations. So it is extremely refreshing and due time to have a reference book such as this that honestly talks about the fallibility of the justice system, misguided police officers, harmful social policies based on errant moral crusades, and the devastating human consequences of wrongful allegations and convictions.

In conclusion I would urge that this book (available on Amazon.ca) be absorbed not only by the Canadian public, but by Canadian journalists, police officers, politicians, attorneys, law students, and judges. Our legal community, politicians, and media have yet to be propelled to effectively and frequently counter-balance arguments of treating alleged victims of sexual abuse with kindness and fairness against the realities of wrongful allegations and convictions of innocent people. As discussed in the book, the media in particular has a powerful influential role in swaying public perception. After all, it is members of the public that will eventually have a role in deciding the fate of the wrongly accused by becoming police officers, prosecuting attorneys, defence attorneys, jury members and judges.

Men’s issues returns to Ryerson University!

MEN’S MENTAL HEALTH: A SILENT CRISIS

 

 

 

Featuring McGill Psychiatrist Dr. Robert Whitley and his team making the case for a men’s health support group at Ryerson University.

“Take it like a man” is not good enough. Men account for over 75% of suicides. Yet men under-utilize mental health services and sometimes engage instead in unhealthy behavious that put themselves or others at risk. Efforts to address this crisis have been blocked at Ryerson. Let’s address these problems together for the good of all students.

Join us for a free event that is open to all!

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 7:00 PM
Rogers Communications Centre (RCC), 80 Gould St, Ryerson University, Room 2014

Info & Registration: http://ryersonmia.eventbrite.com

CAFE Montreal Is on the Map!

A huge congratulations to the entire CAFE Montreal team on their landmark event for men’s issues awareness Saturday night.
The screening of The Red Pill film was extremely well received by the audience of some 400-500 people.

Three of our CAFE advisors – Barbara Kay, Paul Nathanson and Robert Whitley – joined Sophie Durocher to form our insightful post film panel. Some of you may recall Sophie as the author of an article in the Journal de Montreal the week before the screening entitled Le film qui fait trembler les féministes (The Film That Makes Feminists Tremble). http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2017/01/11/le-film-qui-fait-trembler-les-feministes. Sophie proved to be a force to be reckoned with as she passionately defended men’s issues and called out the deplorable efforts at censorship too often committed under the cloak of equality.

We also enjoyed considerable media interest in the event. In addition to Sophie’s article, our own Montreal co-director Martin Gareau appeared on a Radio Canada debate
http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/medium_large/2016-2017/chronique.asp?idChronique=426891 where as the conversation slowly and inexorably drifted back to feminism, he reminded the listeners that they were actually convened to discuss men’s issues! And we had ACE Media covering the event for a forthcoming CBC documentary on the evolution of feminism.
Here are a few photos to give you a sense of the experience. A big congratulations to Martin, Kriss, Dan, Frederic, Benoit, Marcel and the entire Montreal team!
Inline image 1Inline image 2Inline image 3Inline image 4Inline image 8Inline image 6Inline image 7Inline image 5

Justin

The Red Pill: A Review

The Red Pill: A Review
Paul Nathanson [2017.01.19]
The Red Pill’s title refers to a scene in The Matrix (Wachowski Brothers, 1999). Neo, the protagonist of this science-fiction feature, learns that he can take two pills, a red one that will wake him up to reality or a blue one that will allow him to stay asleep and therefore unaware of reality. The Red Pill aims to wake up viewers to a disturbing ideology that currently governs relations between men and women.
Director Cassie Jaye demonstrates in this documentary that she is not only able but also willing to question her own assumptions about both men and women, listen carefully to others (including her presumed enemies), analyze information to reach her own conclusions about truth and even revise her own identity accordingly. Jaye clearly relies on moral and intellectual integrity, which makes her stand out in world that, by and large, relies instead on ideological cynicism and political expediency. And yet she implies, correctly, that anyone who actually wants to learn, not merely to confirm biases, can do the same thing.
Jaye herself is a significant presence throughout the film. As one way of coping with increasing confusion and ambivalence, she includes her own video diary. This film works to the extent that viewers identify themselves with her, not with people who have already made up their minds (in which case the film would have no purpose beyond providing emotional comfort for those who have already chosen identities).
Much of the film focuses on feminist protesters—most but by no means all of them are women—who oppose the presence of men’s-rights activists as speakers at public venues such as college campuses. Without bothering to read what the speakers have written, much less listen to what they say, the protesters scream at these “misogynists” and “rape apologists,” drown out their words, occupy buildings, pull false fire alarms and so on. It is surely worth noting here that protesters eventually prevented the screening of this very film at a theater in Ottawa.
No viewer will remember or even hear all of the statistics (such as the ones on boys and men who drop out of school, commit suicide, succumb to drugs or disease and neglect, experience paternity fraud, lose the right after separation or divorce even to “visit” their own children, get arrested after calling the police to report abuse by their wives or girlfriends, find themselves drafted into battle, do society’s most dangerous jobs, end up in jail after turning against a society that ignores them and so on) or all of the arguments (about freedom of speech, for instance, and double standards). But that makes no difference, because many viewers will nonetheless come away with at least one idea of profound importance: that truth and justice are far more complex than any ideology can allow.
This film consists almost entirely of interviews, or “talking heads,” although it does include some cinematic news footage and other “visuals.” On her quest for the truth about men who demand rights as citizens and as people, Jaye—a feminist—interviews both men and women. Most of the latter, but not all of them, lead or work at established institutions or movements (such as Ms Magazine, the Feminist Majority Foundation, State University of New York at Stony Brook, the National Coalition for Men and A Voice for Men, Men Going Their Own Way). These folks definitely do not all see eye to eye about everything. Some men (Warren Farrel and Paul Elam among many others) and women (notably Erin Pizzey and Karen Straughan) discuss the urgent needs and problems of men. Other women (notably Katherine Spillar) and men (notably Michael Kimmel) simply deny that men have any distinctive needs or serious problems except those of their own making (as if that disqualifies them from compassion). The film’s website lists all participants.
If this film has any flaw, it would be the absence, apart from unnamed background figures, of those whose primary contribution is to challenge the orthodox doctrines of “patriarchal theory” by defining “misandry” as the sexist counterpart of misogyny and placing gender in the much broader contexts of history, cultural anthropology, religious studies, popular culture and so on. Also absent, apart from unnamed background figures, are the organizers (such as Justin Trottier and David Shackleton) of the Canadian Association for Equality, which brings a very diverse group of men together for practical projects that benefit men and boys. But no film (or review) can say everything.
To conclude, it should escape no one’s attention that The Red Pill made its debut (at least in the United States and Canada) within weeks of Donald Trump’s election. Why is that link significant? It’s because both presidential campaigns featured gender. At the last moment, someone revealed an old video of Trump boasting in very lewd terms about groping women who, according to Trump, had welcomed his advances. Next, several women accused him of groping them against their stated wishes. Immediately classified both implicitly and explicitly as “rapes” or “sexual assaults” (by journalists, activists and bloggers), Hillary Clinton’s supporters not only branded Trump a “misogynist” but also suggested that he is Everyman (even though he is clearly an “alpha male” and therefore, by definition, can hardly represent all or even most men). Whether Trump actually hates women and plans to persecute them is another matter entirely. I mention the election here only to illustrate the fact that our society is profoundly polarized not merely over Trump in particular but also over sex and gender in general. (Most people no longer know how to define “sexism” or even “misogyny,” to judge from the accusations against Trump, and no longer expect these words to involve hatred or the intention to harm.) Fallout from the election indicates that cultural warfare will prevail for years to come and that misandry will be the keystone of a worldview that demonizes men and therefore happens to illustrate The Red Pill’s underlying context.
Paul Nathan is Advisory Fellow to the Canadian Association for Equality and the co-author, along with Professor Katherine Young, of Spreading Misandry, Legalizing Misandry and Sanctifying Misandry.