Equality means equality for everyone.
A special message from Phil Johnston, CAFE Vancouver Branch Director:
Since 2014 I’ve been proudly volunteering for CAFE Vancouver as it’s Branch Director to give voice to men’s issues in hopes that the message “equality includes everyone” is heard and understood. That’s why I knew participating in the RUN4HOPE was a perfect fit. Though, some people wouldn’t agree with me.
This Sunday, May 7th at 7am, Jeridan Kowal and myself will be running a half-marathon on behalf of CAFE and proudly flying it’s colours to raise awareness of men’s issues, and particularly men’s mental health (more on that in a moment). I have a favour to ask, but first a couple points:
Firstly I want to thank Jeridan for supporting me and dedicating himself to our running program that has resulted in me shedding over 25+ pounds! Having him in my corner made all the difference when rain, taut muscles, or just a plain bad mood tempted me to cancel a training session.
Secondly I want to dedicate my run to my brother Russell, who was diagnosed with severe depression in his early teens. He was not alone in our family in being kept company by this “black dog” (my sister, mother, and myself also have wrestled with it) but, by far, he was the most impacted. Russell is intelligent and kind, but has chosen to withdraw from the world for over 20 years as a means of coping. I run in hopes that he, and others like him, will find his voice and re-emerge into the world on his terms, with no apologies.
I believe better resources are needed to address men’s mental health issues – and that’s why all donations to our RUN4HOPE fundraiser will go directly to funding a Vancouver Centre For Men & Families to be opened in 2018.
Please support team CAFE in the RUN4HOPE marathon and let’s make a difference together.
On April 23rd 2017 at 13:00 the Montreal branch of The Canadian Association for Equality (C.A.F.E.) continued The Necktie Campaign at place Émilie-Gamelin in Montreal. To learn more about the Campaign, click here.
C.A.F.E Montreal gathered in support of Lydia Daniels’ efforts to open our government’s exclusive $54 000 000 Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women to include her son and other indigenous boys and men. Males are 71% of the murdered Indigenous population while the number of missing Indigenous men isn’t even known because the RCMP has declined to collect this data.
We asked “Do indigenous men and boys matter? Why does our government espousing gender equality exclude the males from the inquiry? Is this gender based violence? Is this equality?”
Several Indigenous men gathered around us and gave us words of praise and encouragement. I asked if they wanted to be interviewed on camera. Their eyes started to tear up and I could recognize the look of helplessness. (I’ve seen it on so many fathers facing the family court and the loss of their children.) The three men sited a lack of faith that anyone, especially the government, cares about them.
by Daniel Bonin, Canadian Association for Equality – Montreal branch
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.