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On April 4th, the Men’s Issues Awareness Society (MIA), a student group at the University of Toronto, will be hosting their next event. A campus based offshoot of the innocuous sounding Canadian Association for Equality, these campus based Men’s Issues Groups are cropping up on campuses across the country and proliferate the rhetoric that the hardships men deal with are the result of feminism and the growth of women’s rights. While young men do deal with suicide and incarceration, as women do, these issues are not the result of feminism or victories for the women’s movement, and it is disingenuous for them to claim as such.
Focusing energy on supposed false accusations of rape while 1 in 3 women will be sexually assaulted in their life is unacceptable. Claiming that incest could be seen as a positive thing if women weren’t socialized into seeing themselves as victims, as one of their event speakers did, is disgusting. To suggest that issues of equality for men and women are on a level playing field is to deny the historical and continuing societal and institutional oppression of women, the prevalence of gender based violence against women and the double burden of domestic and paid labour, amongst other things.
Previous events of the MIA have included author of “The Myth of Male Power” Warren Farrell, who stated “before we called it date rape and date fraud, we called it exciting” and Professor Janice Fiamengo, who suggested that women's studies programs have a political agenda that has negative consequences for men. Their event on April 4th includes the authors of “Speaking Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture” and “Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination against Men" and may seem innocent enough to some, but is part of a larger effort to indoctrinate men (and some women) into understanding men’s troubles as the result of women’s achievements, and not through the lens of capitalism and patriarchy, white supremacy and heterosexism.
Meanwhile, the University of Toronto has been quite accommodating to the Men’s Issues Awareness campus chapter, despite their targeting and online harassment of female members of the University of Toronto community. When students and community members confronted the event where Farrell was invited to speak, the University defended the Men’s Issues group’s right to free speech, while campus and Toronto police shoved and assaulted protestors.
If the University of Toronto administration plans to do nothing while this group spreads hatred against women, we will not do the same. They can continue to hold their events, but we will be there every single time to confront them!
No Sexism here! Misogyny not Welcome! MRAS Go Away!
Thursday April 4th
Meet at 6:30 PM
Ramsey Wright Laboratories
25 Harbord Street (the corner of Harbord and St. George street)
* Look for the banners and flags*
* We know that everyone has different ways of confronting this shit, and we hope that participants in this event can respect how individuals decide to resist*
If you belong to a campus or community organization that would like to speak at the demonstration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Men's Rights Activism: