Leah McLaren: How men’s rights groups are distorting the debate about equality:

Ms. McLaren’s article featured in the Globe and Mail entitled, How men’s rights groups are

distorting the debate about equality, is yet another example of misinformation and conjecture

regarding the Canadian Association for Equality.

Ms. McLaren has never attended at our office, spoken to any of our members or attended any of

our events. It is likely she has never reviewed our blog or our social media postings.

Ms. McLaren does admit to reviewing our mandate. Unfortunately, she states our mandate, does,

“the opposite – by stoking anger and self-pity in the minds of a small and troubled minority.”

Who exactly is this self-pitying minority group she is referring to? Is she talking about father’s

who have not been able to see their children for over a decade because of unbalanced judiciary

policies and legislation? Husbands who find themselves cuffed and accused of domestic violence

having never laid a finger on their spouse. Or is it the men who find themselves rotting in a jail

cell waiting for bail, accused of a sexual offence where the complainant has suddenly withdrawn

consent? Then Ms. McLaren is absolutely right these men would be angry and very likely

troubled. Just as any individual would be.

Ms. McLaren insists like so many of our critics that we have official charitable status. Yes, we

do. Moreover, given the fact we are not-for-profit and don’t enjoy anywhere near the financial

support of many other organizations we are not entirely sure why this is relevant. Also, just for

the record yes Revenue Canada is very much aware of who we are and what we do.

She points out that we are “actively” supported by A Voice for Men. Any organization is free to

support the Canadian Association for Equality. Moreover, we are not entirely sure what Ms.

McLaren means by active support. Does that include retweeting our tweets or ‘liking’ us on

Facebook?

Ms. McLaren in three paragraphs expresses her disgust at a billboard that does nothing but point

out that women can and do physically attack men. Has Ms. McLaren ever met a man who was

attacked with a knife by his girlfriend? Has Ms. McLaren ever met a father or husband who was

almost run over by his wife?

If we doubt Ms. McLaren she says we can ask any cop about these stats. Police officers who

have no choice but to press criminal charges on nothing more than a statement. Charges that can

at a later date be acquitted, stayed or even withdrawn.

Yet, these stats do not find their way into the public record.

Furthermore, she says we can also ask any social worker about these stats. In the alternative, I

would ask Ms. McLaren to speak to any of the fathers, husbands and men who have attended our

centre. Where they have openly discussed how workers at Ontario’s Children Aid Society

refused to listen to their version of events. How said social workers blindly accepted their

spouses version of events describing domestic violence when in fact it was the mother who was

abusive. How in some situations fathers have provided Children’s Aid Society with audio and

video of their abusive spouse only for workers to not even review it. How workers at Children’s

Aid Society have in some situations exaggerated their reports about the father’s including his

lifestyle or drinking habits.

Ms. McLaren concludes, “I’m all for men and all for equality. But let’s stop joking around about

the real problem here and do something to achieve it.” The logical question would be what

should we be doing? Apparently, our establishment of a pro-bono legal clinic isn’t good enough,

nor are our mental health sessions. Apparently, discourse about parental alienation, father’s

rights and criminal and family court isn’t good enough.

We extend an open invitation to Ms. McLaren to attend at our centre on any day of her choosing

and to speak with one of our Board members. It is wise to speak and meet with the people and

organization that you choose to criticize before you do.