Neither did I. At least, I didn’t know it until having it screamed at me by the protestors of the Nathanson and Young talk at the University of Toronto.
Lord of the Flies. This is the only comparison I can make that will convey a sense of what I just experienced tonight. As predicted in an article published earlier today on AVfM, a contingent of 70 to 80 radical feminists converged on the CAFE presentation of Drs Nathanson and Young. I had arrived, along with fellow MHRAs Dan Perrins, Christian Chiasson, Agent Tungsten and a handful of others, eager to hear Dr. Nathanson and Dr. Young speak. We loitered near the building’s entrance, drinking coffee and meeting each other face to face – most for the first time. About an hour prior to the scheduled start of the CAFE presentation, the feminists arrived, equipped with placards and signs on posts, from the direction of Spadina Avenue. Weirdly, on observing a handful of Men’s Human Rights Activists, they veered away from the building’s entrance and took up a position on the boulevard at the end of the block.
We were puzzled by this. After a few minutes, I made my way down to the grassy knoll at the end of the 100 block of Harbord street where I discovered that chanting in rhyme appears to be what now passes for a serious rebuttal to the Men’s Human Rights Movement. “MRA’s telling lies – we wont fall for your disguise!!”
I asked what lies. They chanted louder. I didn’t ask what disguise – that much was obvious. Many of the protestors, particularly the male feminists in attendance, wore full face masks like low rent extras in a Hong Kong Kung Fu flick. I asked questions. What is it you object to? Are you protesting the authors of Legalizing Misandry? Why are you wearing masks?
The masks were apparently worn to prevent MHRAs from identifying, harassing, stalking and interfering with the employment of “legitimate protesters”. I was not aware we did that and challenged this assertion with requests for specifics, examples or even a cited source. Apparently if I don’t supply the evidence in arguments made against me I am beyond any help of gods or men. I tried, without success, to engage any of the apparent leaders of the rhyming chanters in discussion.
The insistence ensued that I (as well as others at AVFM) personally harassed, stalked and interfered with the families and employers of those violent bigots who assaulted and harassed attendees at Dr. Warren Farrell’s November 2012 lecture, and apparently has more to it than histrionic narrative building. It was preemptive rationalization and projection and what should be expected from those who claim the sky needs to be held up by women or by men.
“Don’t believe MRA Lies! Women hold up half the sky!”
And no, I don’t know what “hold up the sky” means either.
Dialogue is the opposite of war,however, and the subject of tonight’s CAFE presentation.
“From Misogyny & Misandry to Intersexual Dialogue”
“We don’t speak to you scum” was about the most civil reply I could elicit. Several signs naming me personally as well as referring to the dog-training metaphors of my recent writing on AVFM was heartening. At least I know my writing has an attentive audience. One poster repeatedly claimed that M(H)RAs referred to feminists as dogs to be trained, betraying purposeful self selected victimization of the canine metaphor. No, little femmies, we’re not saying you are actual, literal untrained house pets. Puppies are cuter and not generally driven by such purposeful malice.
After repeated attempts to engage civilly with children of the leisure class met with nothing other than more accusations screamed in rhyme, we withdrew to find our seats for the scheduled lecture.
MRAs! – No way! Shame on you promoting hate!
Shame on you and the U of T for allowing misogyny!!
This is the caliber of counter argument against a human rights movement seeking to address issues such as male homelessness, suicide, educational disparity, sentencing disparity, healthcare disparity, family court discrimination, paternity fraud, lack of reproductive rights, forced conscription, child soldiers, incarceration for profit, genital mutilation and employment marginalization among other problems.
One poster read “Misogynist Rape apologetic Assholes”.
Wow, well argued. Convincing too, especially the rhymes and near rhymes.
Predictably, they set off the fire alarm. Yet again. That’s right, men addressing male human rights issues must not be allowed to meet or speak. They must be stopped at every turn because of Patriarchy! And Penis!
I had 50 conversations like this:
Him: “You’re a rape apologist”!
Me: “Dude, I’m a person. I’m a human standing right here. This is me”.
Him: “Fucking MRA rapist”!
Me: “I’m a person in front of you, standing here. Are you really telling me I’m a rapist”?
Him: “Your website supports rape so you do too”!
Me: “I write for AVFM, and nobody there supports rape. You’re accusing a real person (me) of a violent crime”?
At this point – his brain made a “click” noise. I’m sure I heard it. CLICK!. He then indexed the next accusation, just as if his rape-apologist narrative had never happened.
Him: “You’re a privileged, sexist, sick and twisted cis-gendered privileged white male and you should be put down”! Yes, he really said that.
Me: “What on earth makes you think I’m “cis gendered”?
I hear his brain go CLICK again as the next accusation indexes into place.
Him: “Well you’re a sick, privileged white overlord scum”!
Me: “Why must you reduce me to a racial stereotype, can’t I just be human”?
Him: “You’re a hatemonger racist”! I had to cut him off here.
Me: “Nope, we’re going back one. You called me white scum. What does my ethnicity have to do with anything? I don’t care what color you are. It’s a trivial detail”.
Him: “How dare you disregard something so fundamental to my identity”!
And on it went. He accused me of every egregious category of bigotry he could think of. Each time I demonstrated the illogic and simple falsehood of each accusation, like a talking doll with a pull-string in the back of his neck, he indexed to the next attack, with seemingly no awareness of what he’d said seconds earlier. One argument of this pattern would be surreal. I had over 50 conversations of this shape, each with different individuals. Some of the accusations even circled around to repetitions of themselves.
When, after the fire alarm was sorted out, we returned to the lecture hall to proceed with the presentation, the “protestors” waited a discreet four or five minutes before following us in as far as the outer hallway where a dozen police halted their progress where, of course, they began chanting again.
Having stripped off the cardboard placards, they now carried 4 foot long 2 inch by 1 inch wide wooden sticks which they used in unison to hammer on the floor in tempo with a chant of:
“MRA’s telling lies! We wont fall for your disguise!! Boom boom boom.” Those without wooden clubs kicked doors and lockers, matching those hammering the floor with wooden clubs, and shouting: “We wont fall for your disguise!”, while wearing bandanas and black balaclavas.
I could not make this up.
“We have clubs and crazy eyes! A scene right out of Lord of the Flies!” That’s my rhyme. They didn’t chant it but it would have been fitting.
I walked into the middle of this mob and stood, waiting for whatever was next. To those who got right into my face I asked, “What if you’re wrong”? This just made them shout their rhyme about lies and disguises louder while hiding behind their disguises. Nobody struck me or anyone else with a club, although after this bit of drama several other MHRAs suggested I had put myself in unnecessary danger. I reserve my disagreement. Considering this display of attempted intimidation I can only imagine the outcome had the same event occurred without multiple camera-equipped Men’s Human Rights activists to guarantee public accountability of whatever transpired.
After the presentation’s many delays only about 6 people had an opportunity to pose questions. One of whom was a man who had previously been seduced by a self avowed feminist. Her stated goal in life was apparently to bed as many men as possible in order to level false accusations of rape against them for her own satisfaction. The false rape accusation phenomenon was something at least 6 attending protesters insisted to me in the most urgent tone cannot, does not, never has and never will happen and doesn’t exist.
After the question period, Dan Perrins interviewed Dr Paul Nathanson before both Nathanson and Young were escorted by multiple police officers to their cars. Roughly 20 officers attended, including 3 undercover officers. The threat of violence by campus feminists was taken seriously.
I’m flying back to Vancouver tomorrow where I regret the necessary admission that Feminists in my home town are not sane either, and likely just as dangerous.