Don’t give men’s issues groups more ammo

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After a two-year lull in men’s rights organizing on campus, the Men’s Issues Awareness Society is set to proposition the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) for official club status — and the funding, room access and other perks that come with it.

Men’s issues, men’s rights, “meninism” — the movement goes by many names — has gotten pretty bad press, with Vice and Jezebel criticizing its frequent anti-feminist bent and all-too-common forays into outright misogyny. The Southern Poverty Law Centre recently called A Voice for Men, one of the most prominent men’s rights websites, a full-on hate group.

RSU rules bar campus groups from actions that clash with its policies, and many of those policies embrace feminism.

Obviously, the RSU can’t give official recognition to anyone who preaches outright misogyny or propagates hate speech. But there’s a danger lurking here: if feminism becomes a litmus test for club status, the RSU risks playing right into the men’s rights narrative.

The more unsavoury tendencies of the men’s rights movement thrive on a persecution complex: a deep-seated paranoia that feminists have it out for men, suppress dissent and dominate campuses everywhere.
Kevin Arriola, the founder of Ryerson’s fledgling men’s group, seems to want to play it safe.

He’s (mostly) avoided controversial topics and says he wants to discuss high incarceration and suicide rates, and the problems men face in the education system.

We should remain skeptical about his motives, especially since he’s also broaching the much more contentious issue of domestic violence. But some of these are actual issues.

If the RSU rejects a group that’s called itself “neither feminist nor anti-feminist” or campus activists try to shut down its events, they might really be giving a propaganda weapon to the more dangerous people that, I’m hoping, Arriola is not one of.

Read another editors’ opinion on this issue from Issue 4.

6 Comments

  1. “We should remain skeptical about his motives, especially since he’s also broaching the much more contentious issue of domestic violence.”

    What would you suggest his motives are? pro-domestic violence? I am going to assume not. My guess is he wants to reduce Domestic Violence by looking at the problem from another standpoint. This can only be good

  2. This article cites a factual inaccuracy. AVfM was never called a hate group by SPLC.

    https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map (Centre it on Houston, the base of AVfM, and Ctrl + f search for keywords like “Voice”)

    And if feminism is a litmus test for club status, the RSU doesn’t risk playing right into the men’s rights narrative, it CONFIRMS the narrative. It supports it. It proves it a truthful and rational perspective.

    “A deep-seated paranoia that feminists have it out for men, suppress dissent and dominate campuses everywhere.” Yikes. What distortion. This would be an observation of the most banal kind, not a paranoia or misconception.

    This article tells you nothing except for the sorry state of the quality of thought present on Canadian campuses.

  3. Feminist claims, like the Wage Gap or a rape epidemic on campus, are demonstrably false.
    Men’s issues, like an average life-span 7 years shorter than women, or a decrease in male enrollment in universities, are demonstrably true. So why enshrine falsehood and ban truths?

  4. This entire article is an example of the slippery slope fallacy and mischaracterization many feminists complain about. Slow news day?

  5. The RSU DID deny their application. This article is biased against anti-feminism.

  6. Poorly written article.

    Shameful that this is even published. Though of course “Joshua” has every right to publish it.

    1. Nothing can be guaranteed of whether any group (including female groups or African Society or Asian Society) can actually be free from hate speech.

    2. There are legit issues that are separate to men. Women have their own issues as well as men.

    3. Not allowing a men’s group to pass is sexist because it goes against the definition of equality. Are we not fighting for equal rights? This is very oppressive. How does one not see that this is sexist?

    4. Why the heck is the school approving this? Who are these people that are in such high positions that are incompetent?

    Ryerson should probably be put as one of the worst schools to go to in maclean’s because of its oppressive environment towards men.

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