Mens Rights Montreal

Not background noise

Saturday was the first meeting of Men’s Rights Montreal which I and Murray Pearson organized in an effort to reach out to our local community by organizing events that will bring awareness to men’s issues in the form of activism and volunteering in local outreach programs in the name of men’s rights.

 

Mens Rights Montreal

Murray, Kristine, Hughes, and Joel

 

 

I highly recommend creating a Meetup group in your area if you have not already done so. It is easy and quite affordable to do, and it brings together like-minded people for a great cause such as men’s rights.

After the meeting I accompanied Murray to the Metro Train to say goodbye. After he left I met three wonderful men (Marc, “Joe-Shmoe”, and Marvin) who were panhandling in the Metro Station and sat with them for about an hour as they eagerly spoke to me about their experiences and shared some hearty laughs.

 

Marc, Joe-Shmoe, Marvin

Marc, Joe-Shmoe and Marvin

 

 

“Joe-Shmoe”, as he called himself, is a Native American who suffers from a mental illness. He is quite a jolly individual who loves to talk. He told me about a recent accident he suffered when a truck struck him in the street and injured his leg. He explained that the driver compensated him for his injury by giving him his hat, which he now treasures immensely.

 

Joe and his hat

Joe Shmoe and his hat

 

 

Joe’s best friend is Marvin. Marvin also suffers from a mental illness as well as a pronounced speech impediment. He’s a quiet soul who told me that he had recently been attacked by two men who split the back of his head open on a pay phone in the Metro Station. He ended up getting over sixty stitches to the back of his head, which he showed me.

When I asked them about the local men’s shelters in Montreal, Marvin and Joe both explained that they do not like to stay in shelters. They said that it was safer to sleep on the street because the shelters are rife with lice and crabs, and they are at risk of having their possessions stolen from them in a shelter. They explained that they only go for meals during the day, but that they never sleep there even in extremely cold weather.

Marc is a quiet one, but his story is quite different from that of Joe and Marvin.

Marc ended up homeless and on the streets after he got divorced. He explained that he lost everything in the divorce and could not keep up with the alimony and child support payments. He eventually had no choice but to live on the streets.

Marc has been homeless for over a decade. He relies on shelters for meals, hot showers, clothing, and a bed on extremely cold nights.

 

Marc and friend

Marc giving a friend a 40 of beer.

 

Marc likes to take care of his friends on the street. He is the one who handles all the money that they collect and makes sure that it is spent on food and beer before anything else. He buys his friends beer and shares what he can with others he knows. He is a generous man even though he has little to give or share. He knows the value of a kind gesture and a well placed smile. He is a small man with a huge heart.

These three men are but a tiny example of the thousands of homeless men out on the streets in Montreal, and other major cities across the country. Men that have been forgotten and shunned by society. Men that fell on hard times and had no one there to help them when they needed it. They are the background noise in a bustling city that no one notices.

But you can help these men and it doesn’t take much to make a difference in their lives. A kind gesture, a smile, a moment of conversation. An acknowledgment that they are human beings that matter and have not faded into the background. A few hours of volunteering at a local food bank or shelter, or even sending a donation to an organization that helps the homeless helps them remember that people care, and that they have not been forgotten.

These men are examples that life can be cruel and that sometimes you can be caught in a horrible situation that is beyond your control. No one is immune to becoming homeless, and it can happen to anyone at any time. We need to remember that men such as these never wanted to be homeless, but circumstances beyond their control eventually led to their being out on the streets.

These are the men that society failed and forgot. These are sons, brothers, uncles, fathers. These are human beings that deserve our compassion and understanding. These are people with names and stories to tell. Lend them an ear and let them remind you what it means to be a human being.

 

 

  • http://shiningpearlsofsomething.blogspot.com Suzanne McCarley

    Thanks for this post, WB, and thanks for the reminder that we don’t have to look far at all, to see the men that society prefers we not notice. They really are everywhere, because those out on the street are just the teeny tiny tip of the iceberg.

    For every man who sleeps in the subway, there are thousands who are one small misfortune away from that very existence.

  • napocapo69

    Good to see you gather in person, and Kristina you are doing a great job.

  • http://www.genderratic.com Typhonblue (Asha James)

    I’ve noticed that there are a lot of upper class, high earning men who absolutely despise homeless men with a profoundness that’s startling.

    To me it’s obvious why. These upper class, high earning men know homeless men are a stark reminder how much they’re actually valued by society when they fail to be upper class and high earning.

    Us women should remember when we show compassion to unfortunate men… we have the luxury of feeling it.

    • Theseus

      Great insight, and it makes sense. They despise what they fear can happen to themselves.

      • MGTOW-man

        …and they cram their heads in the sand.

    • OneHundredPercentCotton

      That’s a most profound observation, Asha. It’s not just upper class men, I think it’s most men (that aren’t in that situation) in general.

      I was on pretty friendly terms with several homeless guys who stopped into chat where I work on a daily basis. I live in a town that’s actually PC benevolent toward its homeless.

      The homeless guys I’ve come to know best are from wealthy families back east, are highly intelligent, artistic and very politically savvy if not a bit paranoid. None will give a “real” name out of fear of The Government.

      They are also mentally ill and self medicate with drinking and drug. It’s such a tragic waste.

      • harrywoodape

        @cotton
        Speaking as a man…I think you are generalising unfairly. I care about homeless men. I think just as many women are completely clueless and unempathetic towards homeless…actually quite a bit more. You see women can afford compassion since it is much less likely that they will ever be homeless as long as the platoon of men around them look after them. It must be intoxicating to spend a few moments with them talking to them like they are actually human beings and then congratulate yourself for feeling compassion.
        Here is a generalisation of mine…most women I know are far more concerned about the right lip gloss and yoga than they care about homeless men.
        If women really cared about homeless men, then they likely wouldn’t discard the men in their lives in favour of support payments.
        Ladies, if you really care about men that are homeless…marry one…buy him a home….treat him nice…and love him unconditionally. Better yet, don’t help make men homeless in the first place.
        Seriously, finger pointing at men’s lack of compassion for the homeless, while patting yourself on the back for feeling “compassion” is obtuse.
        Who builds the homeless shelters? Men.

    • Kimski

      And, might I add, how much their sense of security is based on a womans mere whim. The vast majority of homeless men I talked to, while being homeless myself, had been royally screwed by wives and girlfriends. You wouldn’t believe some of the life stories I heard from these men, so I’m not even going to go there.

    • napocapo69

      Good point.

      A question, for all. Anyone knows why the overwhelming majority of clochards are men?

      According to wikipedia the situation is 58% men/42% women in Australia, while in USA is 64% men/36% women.

      Not a rhetorical question. I’m serious.

      How is it possible that in a society of privileged men, over the 60% of clochards and 95% of detainee, are men?

      • Grumpy Old Man

        The things that make you sit back in your chair and go hmmm.

      • Mateusz Wacek

        The real answer, I would guess, would be a variety of factors. Men have more obligations to spend money on others, such as through child support and alimony. Men can be kicked out of their homes far more easily than women. Also, women are more likely to be sympathized with. A man down on his luck doesn’t elicit the same feelings as a woman down on her luck. He’s told to man up and get a job (even if there are no jobs available, or if he lacks the education and experience for the ones that are available), while she can claim to be a victim of the system, and get help.

        As for the feminist answer, patriarchy. That’s the answer to everything. Men are sleeping on the streets only so they can more easily find women to rape.

      • Bewildered

        Because according to current,popular wisdom men are dumb,stupid and useless.

    • http://manamongoaks.com/index.html Ray

      “…upper class, high earning men know homeless men are a stark reminder how much they’re actually valued by society when they fail to be upper class and high earning.”

      He parks his car in the strip mall parking lot, then hastily walks through the dim morning light toward the brightly lit shop and the smell of fresh brewed coffee. The hard driving alpha male (rushing to get to work on time, and weighed down with thoughts of the day’s responsibilities) goes for his morning fix of caffeine at his local coffee shop, seeing, but never seeing, the homeless man (“bum”) begging just outside the coffee shop door every morning.

      Fear that the homeless man’s fate might befall him drives the success-oriented, alpha male to deny this disposable man exists in his space and time. Creating as vast a distance as possible between his own tenuous success and the homeless man’s failures denies the fears and vulnerabilities that lie just below the tenuously successful man’s facade of success.

      Each day, a little more humanity slips away from both men.

      • http://pinterest.com/zetapersei/male-privilege/ Perseus

        Yeeeeaaaap

    • http://pinterest.com/zetapersei/male-privilege/ Perseus

      • Murray Pearson

        HOLY CRAP. Never heard that song. Thanks, Perseus!

      • xtrnl

        Sorry, had to downvote you since this song has the lyric “and she dreams of cutting off his balls”.

    • Steveyp333

      eh, I’m not so sure why men should be singled out on that count, as if there aren’t plenty of wealthy women that despise the homeless?

      Actually many of them are probably wealthy thanks to putting a man on the street in the first place :/

      • OneHundredPercentCotton

        I know wealthy women who throw them a buck out the window.

        Feels good to “help” a man out.

  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

    Booyah!

    • harrywoodape

      You could type “Hello” and get 17 upvotes.

  • Theseus

    Great article Wooly B.

    Marc is a living example of how a functioning and contributing member of society can fall in such a deep shit hole ( due in large part to the our lovely court and “justice” system) that emotionally, mentally, and financially it becomes damn near impossible to dig your way out.

    I am reminded of these so called conservative traditionalists that say they are pro-men, but are the first ones to call these guys bums and tell them to “go get a job”.

  • keyster

    A man with a high school education or less used to be able to get a job in a factory or in construction. He’d marry young and raise a family. Those days are all but gone. Now it’s a struggle just to feed himself – with odd jobs and hand-outs.

    It would be nice if our mainstream media would do a report on this, with some obligatory anecdotal stories and such. It’s sometimes mentioned in passing or glossed over, but single moms struggling for work/life balance is a topic that sells. Broken men on the streets, unloved and devoid of hope is a real downer. Best they remain in the shadows where we don’t have to consider them, while a heroic mom somewhere tries to squeeze a Pilates class into her hectic schedule.

  • http://gloriusbastard.com/ JJ

    I am trying to start a club at the college I am taking classes at. I have a meeting on the tenth with a faculty member who may hopefully sponsor me?

    Honestly, besides giving statistics, this article is highlighting a key point we all have missed. SERVICE to others is what is key. It takes a while, the service will not make you rich, and many people (cough*feminists*cough) will look down on you and fight you for funding.

    However, you can never wash away the pain if you are not willing to look it in the eye; and try your hand at fixing the pain one person at a time.

    If and when we show up to fight feminists in the public eye, and their media can no longer silence us; it will be key that we have people doing this important work.

    Have no fear, you may not be right for this sort of thing; but all of us in the men’s movement need to budget for just us! When we work at anything, we need to try and do business with each other.

    We can’t do that if we don’t know who we are. I have been looking for people in my area, Wisconsin, and I have not found any willing to work with me. Many who are suffering the same things at the hands of family court like me, talk a good game but will do nothing.

    If even a few of us got together and did something for just a few hours a month, we would start to get well known. Also, working with those who deal with this on a daily basis already is a great idea.

    If we want to make a difference, then we need to get out and make one.

    Otherwise, we are just bitching.

    Great job to Kristina and friends for taking such an awesome initiative!

    Hoorah.

    PS: Those in Wisconsin willing to work with me, email me at jjrockmale@gmx.com and let’s get started.

    • The Real Peterman

      Good luck JJ, I hope you get sponsored!

    • onca747

      Brilliant, JJ

  • Flo604

    Maybe I will attend one of these meetings one day… but yesterday wasn’t that day for me… too busy I might say as an excuse, shame on me.

  • Near Earth Object

    Working on this story, Kristina, must have been particularly rewarding.

    Well done!

  • DeclanLyons

    Great article, WBB.

    Men like are so easily forgotten and discarded. This why you are so valuable to the MRM.

    • http://manamongoaks.com/index.html Ray

      Agreed, and thank you Kristina.

  • Kimski

    Thank you so much for this initiative and the article itself, Kristina.

    Back in the early 90′s, I was living on the streets for 17 months as a homeless. I wouldn’t have been sitting in my cozy cottage in the countryside, looking out over a fjord where my boat is lying during the season, had it not been for another man reaching out.

    He basically offered me a room in his basement that got me off the streets, and made sure that I got employed pretty quickly, by pulling on favours from his social network and friends.

    One of the reasons that I’m here today, is to try to help preventing that my initial fate falls upon others, by way of my support, and I also never fail to empty my pockets of any loose change, whenever I meet a homeless man today.

    I only wish I could do more.

    When you’ve experienced that kind of life, even for a short period of time, you know just how much even a little help is appreciated. I still owe a huge amount of gratitude to the guy who once helped me, and I probably would have been dead today, had it not been for his help back then.

    He died a couple of years back from a heart attack, but I’d like to think that I’m repaying him in my own way, little by little, every day.

    • The Equalizer

      That is very touching, Kimski. So many of us would not be here but for kindnesses and interventions such as the one you described.

      And a beautiful article Kristina.

    • mstewart

      What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing. These are the little things that temporarily restore my faith in individual humanity.

  • http://salientsight.com/ergot/ Limeywestlake (Neil Westlake)

    You are doing great work, Kristina and I am very appreciative of your efforts. Like yourself, I make time for activism – despite working 70 hour weeks in a high-stress environment. I make the time, because I cannot fucking stand the misandric miasma, this society in which we live. Activism keeps the bile down.

    CAFE Vancouver has its first meeting tomorrow. I want to do whatever I can, to make sure it can spread its message more efficaciously across this land. Wish us luck.

  • http://salientsight.com/ergot/ Limeywestlake (Neil Westlake)

    Forgive me if I am wrong, but I think I recognize the gentleman next to you as being the man in the ‘Madame Justice’ video. Please, if you can, tell him to look after his health and to make his overall wellness – physical, mental and emotional – a priority. He seems to me like he is someone deserves a better life ahead of him; we need guys like him to stick around for the long-haul, don’t we?

    • Murray Pearson

      Good recognizing! Yes, indeed, that’s me in the Good Job, Justice video. Kristina is really helping me to come out of the invisible bomb shelter I have been cowering in for too long.

      • http://salientsight.com/ergot/ Limeywestlake (Neil Westlake)

        Nice to make your acquaintance, Murray.

  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

    Kristina,

    You are what a Men’s Human Rights Activist looks like.

  • OneHundredPercentCotton

    clochards plural of clo·chard
    Noun
    (in France) A beggar; a vagrant.

    I like it! Gives me an idea…

    Maybe instead of calling our homeless men “bums” we should Frencify the name to”clochard” to make it the newest hep and trendy “victimhood”.

    Women would “go homeless” in droves….!

    • Theseus

      Yeah, a for short time. Then those same women, after using filthy port-a-potties and dirty bus depot restrooms for about a week, would be banging down the door of their former residence and privileged lifestyle to be let back in. Lol

      Kind of reminds me of “Black Like Me” where the (disguised) white author lived like a black man in the pre-civil rights era south; however after a brief period, he went through withdrawals and begged his complicit friend to be let back in the white world.

    • Stu

      No, they would just pretend to be homeless, and you would see fashion hanging in women’s clothing stores with…genuine imported french stains, and rips, designer frayed garments. The Gucci “Bag Lady” series making a big splash on the cat walks.

      • OneHundredPercentCotton

        ‘Homeless’ doll costs $95
        By ANDREA PEYSER

        Barbie she’s not. Meet Gwen Thompson, the newest addition to the American Girl canon of dolls — the wildly successful, extremely expensive brand of faux children that are sold out of a four-story town house in the heart of Fifth Avenue.

        Little children as young as 4 are addicted to these pricey little monsters. It’s like middle-American crack.

        You have an African-American doll, an American Indian doll. A Jewish one. A doll who “lived” during the Great Depression, and one from the Roaring ’20s.

        And while you were snoozing, the creators of American Girl, which is sold by Mattel, got bold. They engaged in all-out political indoctrination.

        Snuck into the collection is a doll that comes with a biography that is weird and potentially offensive enough to keep Mom running to the Maalox. Gwen, you see, is harboring a terrible secret.

        She is homeless. A homeless doll.

        In the history books that come with every American Girl doll — bringing to life these little monsters until impressionable little ones believe they are actual people — you learn that Gwen’s father walked out on the family. Her mother lost her job.

        As the little kiddies learn to read about this doll as if she’s a human being, one learns that, as fall turned into winter, Gwen’s mom lost her grip.

        Mother and daughter started bedding down in a car.

        For $95 — more than your average homeless person would dream of spending on a rather mediocre baby substitute — Gwen Thompson can be yours. A mixed message if ever there was one.

        …….

        But what is Mattel subtly selling along with its outrageously expensive progeny?

        It seems obscene that a company that prides itself on teaching impressionable children about history and grooming — you can have your doll’s hair done for $20! — should engage in political preaching.

        What message is being sent with Gwen?

        For starters, men are bad.

        Fathers abandon women without cause.

        She’s also telling me that women are helpless. And that children in this great country, where dolls sell for nearly 100 bucks a pop, are allowed to sleep in motor vehicles. But mothers don’t lose custody over this injustice. Because, you see, they are victims, too.

        So take a close look at what your daughter is playing with. Barbie, the feminists long complained, gave girls body issues.

        But she never attempted to politically indoctrinate me.

        I’ll stick with the thin girl.

        • feeriker

          Sick, sick, SICK…

    • Bewildered

      ” Women would “go homeless” in droves….! ”

      HA ! HA! HA! LMFAO!

  • Murray Pearson

    Fantastic work, Kristina — now I wish I hadn’t hopped on that train, and that I had hung out with you and Joe and all the Atwater Boys. You rock!

    • Stu

      Spotted you as soon as I saw the picture. Good job on the video.

      • Murray Pearson

        Holy crap, all of a sudden I am a celebrity. I need to work on my Paris Hilton impression.

  • http://feministlies.wordpress.com/ Theaverageman

    This is a fantastic article Kristina.
    The story about Marc is frightening and is exactly why we need equal parenting/divorce law reform in Canada.

  • http://manamongoaks.com/index.html Ray

    “These are the men that society failed and forgot. These are sons, brothers, uncles, fathers. These are human beings that deserve our compassion and understanding. These are people with names and stories to tell. Lend them an ear and let them remind you what it means to be a human being.”

    Amen. http://tinyurl.com/bu4gt6n

  • knightrunner

    Kristina; you are not qualified to organize a MRA meeting because you are not a patriarchal oppressor trying to hold on to your privilege. ;)
    Its great to see MRA’s getting together. Well done to you and all the MRAs in Montreal.

    A homeless guy gives what little he’s got to help someone else. Wow! This literally brought a tear to my eye. What were feminist saying about men and masculinity again?

    • knightrunner

      Anybody in or around west Tennessee give me a yell. Knightrunnermra@gmail.com Or look me up on skype.

    • Bewildered

      This is anectodal evidence hence it doesn’t contradict what we are claiming ! :wink: :evil:

  • Codebuster

    And while all this is going on, we have affirmative action prioritizing the least dangerous, most comfy jobs for the provided-for sex, who have the option to work if they want, whether part-time or full-time, or to stay at home if their fancy takes them.

    How many of us men have applied for jobs, say, in government, and never got a reply? And how many women? I’d love to see a study on this. Remember Dr. Janice Fiamengo in Toronto when she said that one of the things that inspired her interest in men’s rights is how men were routinely passed over for jobs in academia, in favour of women? I say it’s happening all over the place, not just academia… except of course, in the dangerous or dirty and unpleasant jobs like mining or garbage collecting.

    Affirmative action costs lives. And still feminists whinge about being discriminated against.

  • Grumpy Old Man

    Something hit me hard. Not sure if it is the article or the comments or a combination of both. I need to figure this out. I’m not prone to fits of tears.

    Thx WBB

    • http://manamongoaks.com/index.html Ray

      You’re not alone brother. It’s okay. We are men, not machines, and a lot of the remnant of men who are left are very tired of the “get tough or die” male role, that society and feminists love to exploit.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mODOSsFo5wc

  • Murray Pearson

    Well, I *was* in a position probably not too different from Marc; and, while I didn’t end up living on the street (my mother would find this embarrassing so she throws cash at me to keep me afloat) I certainly felt that the suffering I endured as a consequence of REFUSING to meet violence with violence has contributed greatly to my mental health woes. I often wonder what would be different if I had just killed her when her homicidal intentions became unambiguously clear. Good job, Justice.

    • feeriker

      I often wonder what would be different if I had just killed her when her homicidal intentions became unambiguously clear. Good job, Justice.

      And I often wonder if resisting this urge, however justified by circumstances, out of fear of consequences that we believe would be worse than death or serious injury, brings on long-term mental and physical health issues that are worse than organic disease.

      • Murray Pearson

        I would have to say that it does; I would also have to say that long-term survival becomes extremely unlikely for people caught in that trap. I have nearly died 8 times.

  • AntZ

    Beautiful. I wish I could find better words to say it.

  • harrywoodape

    My ex used to donate money to charities and proclaim this as evidence of her great humanity and goodness…it was money that I had earned and given to her. We were tight money wise while she donated our money to foster children in Africa.
    She made me homeless for a brief period of time but I got back on my feet….I had a son to be a father to and HE needs me. She continues to try to make me homeless but I take care of my business and look after myself…as a man must do in order to survive.
    She has more free time on her hands than I do and thanks to my support payments…more disposable income.
    I’m sure she expresses great caring and superior compassion for homeless men. I have no doubt that they would love her chatting them up and that many bystanders would instantly proclaim her as more caring and generally nicer than me.

  • http://www.avoiceformen.com Dr. F (Ian Williams)

    Thank you Kristina.

    This story is a gem from a gift.

    Just beautiful.

  • Roderick1268

    Good work Kristina, meeting offline is the way forward.
    It is amazing who you will meet, – we are not alone!
    Rod mralondon.org

  • DavidicLineage

    Well I’ll be jiggered pink. I thought my city was destitute of MRAs. If y’all do it again, I think I’d want to participate. I take it y’all meet near McGill station?

    • Murray Pearson

      Not far — right above Atwater station, actually. Right between the two stations is Guy-Concordia, which is where Anthony Synnott works; and I am doing my sincere best to get an appearance (or many) from him soon!

      Feel free to sign up at the Meetup site — you don’t necessarily have to RSVP to the next event. But signing up will get you in touch with our own wee Ministry of Propaganda. :-)