Equality means equality for everyone.
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
Canadian Association for Equality
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 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
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.