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: News and Blog

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!
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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.

CAFE Day at Parkdale Community Breakfast

Today was CAFE Day at the Parkdale Community Breakfast. Hayden and I represented CAFE and the Canadian Centre for Men and Families by preparing and distributing breakfast to about 60 men of the Parkdale neighbourhood in Toronto. We met some amazing volunteers who proudly sported the CAFE colours, as you can see from the photos below! We also engaged with many of the men by passing out literature and discussing the services we offer. The ability to access free services geared to men seemed to resonate with many of the folks I spoke to and we look forward to returning again soon to continue building these relationships. Thank you to the leaders and volunteers of this terrific service. A wonderful way to start the day!

Justin

From a female partner of a wrongly convicted man

My thoughts on the Healing Journeys Conference for male victims of abuse

I am the female partner of a wrongly convicted man.

Men who are victims of trauma believe, as a man, they could have controlled the situation but they can’t. Men in prisons suffer trauma intensively because it is much more intense when ones life is fully controlled by prison staff.

Where men were sexually abused, the abuse traumatized them to the extent that it was confusing for them to start a relationship or approach healing from a skilled based perspective. They are drowned in their trauma.

Many men in prison are sexually abused. There was a health Fair at Warkworth Institution and the pamphlets they gave out along with condoms were all about “helping” inmates to protect themselves. The catch phrase on the cover of pamphlet was “Watch your Ass” with the back of a female butt in underwear. (to arouse men in prison no doubt) On the inside, there were 3 glossy colour photos of male buttocks in very provocative form.

They were really just advertising and promoting sexual activity in the prison and using images to entice men rather than just merely warning them of the safety issues, like a REAL Health function would do.

Some of the inmates were actually disgusted and walked away but others of course would think nothing of raping a man 1/2 their age.

Here is a link from 2010 about giving out condoms.
http://www.communitypress.ca/2010/08/09/free-condoms-for-inmates-cost-almost-120000

There are many approaches to healing in oneself: such as breathing methods, meditation, prayer stillness, quietness to lower the heart rate. Men are capable and once can use these skills, they can learn to maintain a calm. But in prison, this type of therapy is rare unless they are fortunate enough to have a good therapist at the prison or they have learned to discipline themselves prior to entering the prison.

There are just a lot more issues to deal with when you are living in an institution. When in distress, you don’t know what to focus on so you need to focus on something during this time and once in a cell, it is not as easy as it would be in a better environment in a better visual setting. Also important is getting the right food and getting the right sleep when you are under stress but when you are in a prison you are on high alert at all times.

Prisoners are always on the edge of hell and heaven managing it in an environment that is unnatural so this increases the risk. Managing stress is also linked to having a routine which in some ways (though limited) a prison does actually provide, however chained. Supports are essential, but even professional advice is not always useful unless the man has the community support behind him. Additionally, therapists need to learn the issues that men go through in order to help them. Women can have good insight into helping men but they are not men so can not always look at pain thought a male lens.

When it comes to suicide, men will succeed in a prison. They have the means to kill themselves so this is very dangerous. Isolation is one of the factors that brings men to a suicidal state but if they speak of suicide in a prison, they can be put in isolation so it is very difficult to get help once you’re in an institution. (again it depends on the staff and whether they have a strong inmate committee)
Chaplaincy programs are very valuable for men but prisons are known to cut this off as well. Dealing with suicide properly, whether in prison or not, depends on what type of assessment there is. A good assessment is a tool that is used in prison and hospitals but some of them are not always accurate. I was told by one of the speakers that http://cssrs.columbia.edu/ is a good scale.

CAFE Calls for Open Minded Dialogue in Response to Censorship and Polarization on Canadian Campuses

CAFE Calls for Open Minded Dialogue in Response to Censorship and Polarization on Canadian Campuses

Statement issued Monday, November 28, 2016

In recent weeks, Professor Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto has become a controversial figure due to his stance on several issues at the intersection of freedom of speech and identity politics.

Reasonable people may disagree on the best way to simultaneously protect the rights of transgendered individuals while also protecting the rights of academics to express unpopular viewpoints. However, we must all accept as our starting point that it is wrong to engage in tactics of intimidation, harassment or aggression in order to silence dissent, and that we must all be held to these same standards.

In the midst of the wildest disagreement on possibly everything else, we must all unite in our effort to build a university campus that remains a safe place for open dialogue even – and especially – on sensitive and politically charged topics.

The Canadian Association for Equality is an educational charity guided by values which stand firmly on the side of protecting individuals from harassment, hate and discrimination as well as promoting equality of opportunity for all.

CAFE has decided to release this statement as a result of the lessons we may draw from our own history, for some of our own events have been subject to riotous behaviour on the part of our critics. These unsuccessful attempts to derail CAFE’s message that gender equality must be inclusive of all genders have taken the form of aggressive bullying, violations of the University of Toronto Policy on the Disruption of Meetings, and unlawful behaviour such as pulling fire alarms and blocking emergency exits.

We are now seeing the same unacceptable acts of aggressive intimidation in response to the comments by Professor Jordan Peterson. We are not commenting here on the particulars of Professor Peterson’s beliefs or ideas, because to do so would be beside the point. Bullying, harassment and violence are wrong no matter who those acts are committed by, and we must all condemn this behaviour. It’s that simple.

Such acts are especially repugnant at a Canadian university. Whatever your views of Professor Peterson’s position, it is not only the right but the highest duty of university professors to pursue truth through research and debate. Professor Peterson has been careful to articulate his point of view in a civil, clear, responsible and rational manner, and while others are free to disagree strongly with him, his unpopular beliefs should not subject him to administrative censure or student mobbing.

We support Professor Peterson’s right to discuss and even to advocate his viewpoint just as we support the right of his critics to fully argue their position in response. We are heading in a dangerous direction if we do otherwise. These efforts at censorship, which are fast becoming the new norm at Canadian universities, must not be allowed to go unchallenged. Efforts to keep students free from hurt feelings are instead leading us to a more polarized, dangerous and aggressive campus.

CAFE supports valiant work now underway to respond to these developments not with further polarization but with opportunities for open dialogue and engagement. We applaud the University of Toronto for organizing a public forum to debate the issues raised by Professor Peterson.

Our own organization will do its part to foster dialogue when we screen The Red Pill on Sunday, December 2nd at 7:00PM at the University of Toronto. The film starts with the assumption that feminists and men’s rights activists exist across a chasm. Then, through the efforts of the film’s protagonist to engage in mutual understanding, the film provides a lesson in how open-minded dialogue may lead to the discovery of unexpected common ground between once rival ideologies.

We sincerely hope such a lesson is quickly heeded, and we promise to continue to work to preserve Canadian campuses as truly safe spaces where ideas may be expressed freely without fear of intimidation.