Thank you to Greg Reilly for sharing his letter to the Honourable Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Children and Youth Services, regarding the lack of shelters for male victims of violence as well as the gender discrimination that occurs in some stores.

Please follow Greg’s example and contact the Minister or your local MP, MPP or City Councillor today.

Dear Minister MacCharles,

Thank you very much for your reply. (I’m having a very hard time getting one from my own MP Yasir Naqvi.)

I appreciate those services but I think the services for men are still very lacking. I think there should be shelters where male victims of violence and abuse can go. They don’t have to be for men only. They could just be shelters for any victim of violence or abuse.

I still have the problem that I can’t get a massage at the clinic of my choice. They won’t serve me purely because I’m a man. That’s their open policy (Anna Belanger and Assoc. in Ottawa). It’s the one I want to go to because it’s by far the closest and it’s got the best reputation. When my back is very, very bad, it isn’t easy for me to get anywhere. They do exactly the kind of massage that I need, but they only do it for women.

In the current political climate I think this is egregious. We all understand the uproar at the laws about letting businesses in Illinois refuse service to gay people and I understand that it comes across differently from a political perspective when it’s a man that is being discriminated against, but essentially it’s the same thing. It hurts me personally and as much as it would hurt a gay person, a black person, or a woman. And is discrimination against men really the right way to deal with discrimination against women? I think trying to balance wrongs by allowing wrongs in the opposite direction would be extremely foolish. Isn’t it better just not to allow any discrimination?

When I brought this matter up with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, they told me they wouldn’t do anything for me because men haven’t historically been discriminated against. I think that’s just politics and I think it’s deeply wrong. It’s discrimination against me by the body that is supposed to deal with discrimination! It’s not the rule of law.

Thanks so much for your attention.