One of the most predictably salient features of hate movements is how completely out-of-touch with reality their narratives are. They depend on the big lies, and their followers believing them, to survive.
Sometimes, however, their attempts to stretch their false persecution complexes (and all hate movements depend on these...as they have to assert the absurd idea that those who are victimized, be it people of colour, Jews, women or whoever is the scapegoat, are actually those who are doing the victimizing) are even more than usually farcical and ridiculous.
A good example is this the recent A Voice for Men (AVfM) "outrage" at a panel that I was a part of this past Monday.
Organized by OPIRG TO this panel sought to combat the attempts by misogynists, in alliance with the American based hate site AVfM, to establish so-called men's rights clubs on campuses in Canada and specifically at U of T. They have done this under the guise of a supposedly "moderate" group, CAFE, that now has plans to have a speaker on campus who thinks declining male enrollment in university can be partly attributed to attempts to fight rape on campus by women. Seriously.
These same groups are planning an event at Queen's Park on Saturday that seeks in part to expose the "fact" that "men are subject to rampant false sexual, Domestic Violence and rape allegations".
But, it seems the "scoop" of the week for them, was their "infiltration" of a "secret feminist meeting" by some coward that they have called "Agent Green". Honestly. It would be hard to make this up!
Of course, as I have linked to above, this "secret" meeting was actually a highly publicized event that was advertised all over U of T campus as well as online through social media and that was open to the public with no restrictions at all. They have a very odd definition of "secret". Due to the fact that women at U of T have been intimidated and harassed by these groups, the organizers requested that it not be recorded; a request that we all suspected would not be and that was not, respected.
"Agent Green", like James Bond, managed to make his way into the dangerous public "secret" assembly and, well no doubt soiling himself with fear the whole time, recorded a public event that had a virtually full capacity attendance. What a brave guy! Well done!
So, as it is now all over Facebook and Twitter and there is no difference anymore, here without further ado is the recording of the "secret" feminist meeting. It will make it very clear, from the excellent panel and audience discussion why we need to fight the Men's Rights Movement and its radically reactionary agenda.
Please note that you have to skip to the seven minute mark. It would seem that Agent Green is something of an amateur and was too scared to turn the recording device on in the public hall itself. So the first part are sounds of him breathing heavily and his pants swishing while he set up his sting. That took real courage.
The rest is a fantastic discussion and panel dealing with the MRA. Glad it is "out there"!
Please note: The sound quality sucks, which likely has something to do with the idiocy of how it was recorded. The points come through well though. Thanks "Agent Green". Your role playing at being a CSIS guy paid off well. You are going to get our ideas out to thousands of people that would have never heard them.
What’s Wrong with the MRA? The Problem of Men’s Rights Organizing
Speakers: Steph Guthrie (Academy of the Impossible), Jeff Perera (White
Ribbon Project), Ashleigh Ingle (Graduate Student Union, University of
Toronto), Michael Laxer (Rabble)
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, room 2211
252 Bloor Street West
Men’s Rights Activists are cropping up at North American universities,
building their “social movement” under the guise of promoting free
speech and equality. In actuality, what the MRAs promote and peddle is
anti-feminist and misogynist ideology and politics. Their proponents
have gone as far as to incite harassment against those who speak out
against them and websites like A Voice for Men have publicly slandered
and targeted women. Last year, students and community members in
Toronto challenged the MRAs by protesting their events on the University
of Toronto campus. Since the MRAs consider the University of Toronto to
be a key recruiting ground for their cause, and we’ve seen how the
University of Toronto administration is all too happy to host them here,
this panel will present a case for why Men's Rights organizations and
activists are dangerous and why we should build towards an organized
feminist movement that can respond to them.
*There will be no
video or audio recording of this event. Any oppressive language and/or
actions will not be tolerated, and those engaging in such behavior will
be asked to leave the event*
Perera is a Community Engagement Manager for the White Ribbon Campaign,
the world’s largest effort to engage men in re-imaging masculinity and
help end gender-based violence. Jeff also founded Higher Unlearning, an
online space to explore how ideas of gender & masculinity play out
in everyday life.
Steph Guthrie is a feminist advocate and
community organizer who uses social media and interactive events to
spark and sustain conversations about gender justice, labour, politics
and education. She is a faculty member and lifelong learner at Academy
of the Impossible.
Ashleigh Ingle is a feminist and an
anarchist who organizes with working people and students at the
University of Toronto and in the community. She is the current chair of
the Women and Trans people caucus of the U of T Graduate Students'
Union. She participates in grassroots feminist organizing at the
University and hopes to see the response to the presence of MRAs to be
the creation of a militant feminist movement capable of responding to
the manifestations of white supremacy and patriarchy faced by students
and workers at the University of Toronto and beyond.
Laxer is blogger for rabble.ca, a two-time former candidate and former
election organizer for the NDP, was a socialist candidate for Toronto
City Council in 2010 and is on the executive of the newly formed
Socialist Party of Ontario.
Update: After the MRA rally in Toronto on September 28 ( a rally that was a total fiasco, as you can read about in this manboobz post) some photos were posted of the rally on Facebook. As an FYI to anti-MRA activists and other feminists for future events you hold, the man wearing the Men's Rights Edmonton placard on himself was at the public Disorientation 2013 anti-MRA panel. Could he be Agent Green? He clearly is not a feminist ally! (Should the above link to the photos no longer work, I will upload a photo of the door crasher).