Peter J. Reilly is a US accountant who claims to have extensive experience of taxation and dealings with “high net worth individuals”. He is a regular contributor to Forbes.com, and believing himself to be a white knight in shining armour, has just stepped up to defend the honour of Radfem organiser, Cathy Brennan. He is also a man who has very suddenly become aware that he is standing in the middle of a minefield, and doesn’t know what to say or do next. Let’s help him to decide!
Dear Mr. Reilly,
I am writing to you about your article on Forbes.com in which you describe your recent interview with Cathy Brennan, one of the organisers of Radfem 2013.
In your article, you openly admit that you don’t really understand the issues involved, but step up to offer Cathy Brennan your support by claiming that radical feminists deserve respect. You also state that MRAs are the only people who refuse to acknowledge that radical feminists “have a worthwhile viewpoint” because they don’t like to have “nasty things said about them.” Furthermore, you say yourself that your analysis of the situation is that of an idiot. I suspect you were attempting to be disingenuous here, however, I am going to agree with you on your last point.
Last year, the Conway Hall convention centre in London rejected Radfem’s 2012 booking citing the UK equality law after protest by transgender activists. Radfems typically refer to themselves as “TERFs”, or trans-exclusionary radical feminists. In other words, they do not recognise male-to-female transgender individuals as women, and their 2012 event was advertised as being open only to “women-born women”. Cathy Brennan, herself, has a documented history of espousing hate toward transgender women; see below.
Until February 2013, Cathy Brennan owned and ran a website called the “Radical Hub” (aka “Radfem Hub”). This served as a collective blog for her cause, and the articles it carried discussed gendercide and the genetic modification of males, as exemplified by Vliet Tiptree (aka. Pamela O’Shaughnessy, a Californian author of crime novels) in her article titled, Radical Feminism Enters the 21st Century. Other posters called for the killing of baby boys at birth (see below) while still others argued that they should be deliberately denied care or nurture.
Men’s human rights activists kept a dossier of articles, posts and screen-shots. They are too numerous to include here, but allow me to provide a quote, below, by Danielle Pynnonen, a child care worker who identifies herself as a Radfem organiser on Mumsnet under the handle “allectoTauniallectospoison”.
Most radfems campaign against any funding or recognition for male victims of domestic violence and abuse, insisting that domestic violence is suffered exclusively by women. Almost all argue that children should have no rights to a relationship with their father. Over the last few months, radical feminists have violently demonstrated in Toronto, Melbourne and Paris, in one case abusing attendees and threatening speakers at a conference on tackling male suicide.
The London Irish Centre, the original planned venue for 2013, rejected Radfem’s booking earlier this year after a protest by MRA London. As the organiser of this protest, I can attest to the fact that it was peaceful, without incident and ended with a cordial conversation with the centre’s director. As you are aware, Radfem 2013 found a new home at the Camden Centre, who chose to ignore UK equality law and flout their obligation under the “No Delegation” clause of the Public Sector Equality Duty.
Mr. Reilly, you accuse us of trying to shut-down Radfem 2013 so that, as you put it, “our ears won’t burn while they say nasty things about us.” On the contrary, we have used the controversy as a means of exposing these bigots and their ideology, and we make no apology for this.
At the time, I discussed the merits of trying to insist that I attend the Radfem 2013 event myself with Erin Pizzey, patron of MRA London and founder of the first ever women’s domestic violence refuge in 1971. We decided that it would not be safe to do so even if, in the unlikely event, we were granted admission. Erin had previously been the subject of death threats and had fled the country in 1980s after being forced out of her organisation by radical feminists. Furthermore, shortly after the London Irish Centre protest, which took place months before the event itself, MRA London members were subject of an anonymous complaint to the police over alleged violent behaviour, an allegation even the director of the centre refuted.
You may believe yourself to be chivalrous and virtuous in your support for Cathy Brennan. You should not, however, expect anybody to respect you for this. Radfem members are, in fact, fully-fledged human beings, not weak, helpless women in need of your protection. As such, they should be accountable for their own views and actions, just like everybody else. Furthermore, I can tell you now that they don’t regard chivalrous men, such as yourself, as noble or virtuous — but only as useful “idiots”.
It angers me immensely, when wealthy male “idiots”, confusing their social privilege (or entrepreneurism) with feminist notions of gender privilege, believe that their sense of guilt can be relieved by “stepping up” in order to push down those under-privileged males beneath them. (Erin, herself, notes that she had no difficulty in soliciting donations from wealthy men to support women’s refuges, but when she tried to open one for male victims, they suddenly stopped caring.)
Outside your circle of “high net worth individuals”, there is a sea of broken men out there. Certain outdated notions of chivalry, combined with years of negative stereotyping by gender ideologues, means that society is utterly blind to their suffering. Indeed, I could fill a book with it, but let me say that while society refuses to let women fail, the choice facing many men today is often one of suicide or homelessness.
Here in the UK, according to the charity CALM, it is suicide that is the biggest killer of young men, not accidents or illness. Likewise, it is men who make up the overwhelming majority of the homeless and rough sleepers. And yet, when do you hear the issue of “homeless men” ever being addressed? Whenever male suffering is at issue, men are hidden behind gender-neutral terms such “the homeless”, “homeless people” and “rough sleepers”.
Mr. Reilly, let me ask you, how do you think such men end up being homeless? I’ll give you a clue — the primary cause is not recession, but domestic violence. Homeless men are the dirty secret that society refuses to acknowledge, they are the human overflow of male targeted abuse and childhood neglect — the little boys who were once denied care and nurture.
What people are now starting realise is that, when their little boys grow up, society will no longer see them as human beings, but as “just men” — utilitarian providers lacking in human worth and legitimate targets for social hostility and discrimination. While your wealth may protect you, if the wheels ever came off your own life, you will discover just how little intrinsic human value you have in this society as a male. For example, when a man is physically attacked, abused, and even horrifically mutilated, he is not seen as a human being in need of care, but as a source of fun and ridicule. Where do you think this will end if people like you continue to give credence to the ideologies of people like Brennan?
We in the men’s human rights movement are not a bunch of angry misogynists, but are simply trying to improve society’s negative stereotypical view of males, so that boys growing up today won’t have to face a dystopian future.
Mr Reilly, you have no idea what have blundered into, have you? Maybe you should just close your eyes and go back to helping “high net worth individuals” avoid paying tax.
Men’s Rights are Human Rights