Two weeks ago the University of Toronto Men’s Issues Awareness club, in partnership with CAFE, hosted a conversation between Drs. Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young. The event itself went very well. They discussed the content of their books, and revealed some information that would be in their fourth book, due out next year. We encourage everybody to watch the videos linked above. Our original version had poor audio but thanks to some of our volunteers we have been able to improve the quality.

One of the reasons for the poor audio quality was the actions of those protesting our event outside. As usual, while they did delay us getting our message out, ultimately their only real success is attracting attention to our cause and marginalizing themselves.

We’re happy to report that although the protest was unruly (including using a megaphone in the hallway right outside our rented space) the threat of militant action did not materialize. There was a lot of noise, but no one took any violent action. For that we are grateful. As with our statement prior to this event, and back in December, we reiterate our condemnation of harassment, threats, abuse or other forms of violence.

In that vein, we have learned that there has been an attempt to publicize the identity of one of the protesters at our April 4th event, along with flooding her with vitriolic messages online. CAFE has long maintained the position that disagreeing with somebody does not justify any kind of harassment whether it is as mild as name-calling or as severe as a threat of violence. Many of our members request anonymity, especially after recent events. If this person wanted her identity known she would have revealed it.

It would be hypocritical of us to criticize protesters for their aggressive tactics if we did not do the same for those who claim to support us. CAFE is committed to raising awareness and educating people about the issues faced by men and boys. Attacking people hurts that goal. The actions of that person speak for themselves. It’s hard to believe anyone would be convinced by the strength of her argument, and it is her argument that we’re interested in.

To anyone who wants to advocate for men: the best way to do it is to stay calm and stay on message. Remember, it isn’t just the person you’re speaking to that you’re trying to convince: it’s also anyone who is listening, and you never know which video is going to go viral.

Overall, we’re very pleased with how this event went. Our moderator Edward did an excellent job keeping discussion moving, and our guests had many interesting things to say. We’re planning a few social events for the summer that will be members only and we’re already preparing an even more active year on campuses in the fall.

To our supporters: thank you so much for the kind words, online and off. It means a lot to hear from you, and we are looking to branch out across the country, so if you have a few hours a week, please contact us.

To our critics: it’s much easier to have a dialogue if one person doesn’t have a megaphone. You’re welcome to come inside our events, and that way you won’t disrupt a class writing a test upstairs.