Applaud the Best. Cringe at the Worst. It’s CAFE’s 2016 Media Retrospective!

Men, Gender and the Media: A 2016 CAFE Retrospective

Here’s our annual round up of the best and worst of last year. Thanks to your suggestions, we’ve assembled a list of important stories relating to men and gender, with a special focus on the quality of the journalism and reporting.


1.The Red Pill premieres in Canada! Much of the coverage was open minded and fair, including these two articles in English and French media.

Open minds needed, not closed ears (Editorial, Ottawa Sun)

La vraie égalité hommes-femmes (Sophie Durocher, Journal de Montreal)

“C’est un documentaire fouillé, bourré de statistiques, qui cherche tout simplement à donner la parole à des hommes… sans pour autant être un réquisitoire contre les femmes.”
(Story suggested by Taurean Clarke from Toronto.)

2. The Vancouver Sun’s Douglas Todd wrote a series of excellent articles on men’s issues over 2016, including

B.C. aboriginals urge all genders be included in murdered women’s inquiry

Fentanyl deaths: 4 of 5 are males, mostly young

Douglas Todd: B.C.’s domestic-violence programs work on ‘false’ theory

3. A national story on CAFE’s own domestic abuse program was published in newspapers across Canada.
Sun Media: Men Also Suffer From Domestic Abuse
“Domestic violence against men is frequent and significant, and a rarely acknowledged fact.”

4. CAFE member Igor Serebryany received significant media coverage for his fathers group in Russia
“A group of divorced Russian men have banded together to battle for equal child custody rights. The Russian legal system, they say, is stacked against them, and they have no intention of surrendering. We meet them and hear their side of the story.”

5. There was overwhelmingly sympathetic coverage for the push to include boys in the HPV vaccine program.
WATCH: 13-year-old boy pushes B.C. government to expand HPV vaccine program

(Story suggested by Kevin Kiejko of Calgary.)
6. A Canadian study on the health of fathers was widely and positively covered

Single dads rate their physical and mental health low: Parenthood stresses can be as bad as for single mothers, researchers say (CBC)

“We know that, in general, men are more reluctant to seek health services, especially mental health, because of the stigmas attached,” she said. “We need to pay attention to the physical health and mental health of single dads in the same way we do with single moms.”

CAFE’s Justin Trottier was interviewed on this story on CFRB Newstalk1010.


7. The Ryerson Student Union (RSU) denied ratification to the Ryerson Men’s Issues Awareness Society. When criticized, the RSU President told the Ryersonian student newspaper that RSU executives received death threats from CAFE. The Ryersonian published these bogus and unsubstantiated claims. Under pressure from CAFE, The Ryersonian finally investigated, ultimately concluding that they had been lied to by the RSU, stating in an email to CAFE that RSU executives “seem to have fabricated some of what they told our reporter.”

The Ryersonian was forced to publish a correction, but they declined to call out the RSU for lying to the student newspaper and instead continued publishing similar claims without investigating their veracity.

>Update: RSU president says she received rape and death threats on a weekly basis

Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Bartlett received rape and death threats after the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) published her name and contact information in its newsletter. The Ryersonian found no evidence that CAFE had done so.

8. This one could easily be mistaken for something out of The Onion.
How to help boys do better at school: Stop giving them a leg-up in the outside world

I can tell you in one word why I think boys do worse than girls at school, and here it is: patriarchy.


9. We advise you to take a deep breath before reading this one. Seriously.
Agony of being a 50/50 mum: Women once held the upper hand in custody battles. Now fathers are winning EQUAL access… and mothers are struggling to cope

Imagine, then, the agonising pain of being privy to your child’s life for only half the time. The milestones missed. The lost cuddles before bedtime. The long nights spent wondering if they are sleeping sweetly or crying out for Mummy. This is the reality for Britain’s growing legion of 50/50 mothers, who divide their time with the children equally with their exes. It’s a growing phenomenon that – on the surface – might seem the fairest way for separated parents to organise their lives. But it comes at an emotional price for the mothers involved – and the consequences for children are as yet untold.
(Story suggested by Kevin Kiejko of Calgary.)

10. The last “ugly” story is the mess that was the conflux of gender identity politics and the reporting of gender in the U.S. Presidential election.
From accusations of sexism against so-called “Bernie Bros” to Madeleine Albright’s comments that  “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women,” to Donald Trump’s inexcusably sexist language and the unfortunate way this was used by both his supporters and opponents to suggest all men engage in such unacceptable “locker room talk.”

Bernie Bros out of control: Explosion of misogynist rage at Nevada’s Dem chairwoman reflects terribly on Sander’s dwindling campaign

Madeleine Albright: ‘There’s a special place in hell’ for women who don’t support Hillary Clinton

But to end on a positive note, this mock debate was intriguing!
What if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Had Swapped Genders?

A special thanks to everyone who contributed to this Top 10 List!