(July 10, 2013 Washington DC)
News outlets all over Canada including the Huffington Post and CBC are on fire covering a recent poster campaign waged by none other than Men’s Rights Edmonton. The “Don’t Be That Girl” poster (a parody of the now famous “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign) was spotted by professor Lise Gotell, chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, on Monday at the University of Alberta. She promptly alerted the campus police, who in an act of brazen censorship are taking down the posters, and contacted the local media. At last count there were over 20 major national and local sources reporting on the issue all just within the last 24 hours. The number of articles is expected to rise.
“What they’ve done is they’ve taken four of the posters we created and they’ve manipulated them,” Gotell said reporting to the Edmonton Journal.
“These posters, I think, are quite troubling … What’s been done to transform an anti-sexual-assault campaign into a rape-apologist campaign is just deeply offensive.”
She did not explain how the poster was “manipulated” in an attempt to create a “rape apologist” campaign or even why the posters were offensive. She did however intimate that the posters could possibly be a violation of copyright laws.
“My position is that this demands some kind of a legal response. There are clear intellectual property issues,” Gotell said. “When someone has manipulated our images to disseminate such an offensive message, of course, we should respond to this in a very clear way.”
Kristopher Wells, of the University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, said of the then unknown Men’s Rights Edmonton: “They’re obviously not supported by any organization,”
Other groups were very quick to make statements to the press as well. “I want to make it clear that that is so inaccurate,” said Karen Smith, executive director of the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton to CBC news. “It just doesn’t happen. Nobody would report sexual assault needlessly because it is a grueling process to go through.”
Even Alberta Town Council member and Mayoral Candidate Don Iveson condemned the Don’t Be That Girl messages.
“It’s not funny and it’s cowardly,” Iveson said in an interview with The Province. “If there’s someone who wants to debate these issues, a real person who wants to debate these issues, they should come out and we should be talking about sexual assault in Edmonton, because it’s a real issue. It’s one of our crime indicators that’s rising, and it’s very troubling. The tactics are cowardly and the issue is not a laughing matter” he continued.
Contrary to Ivenson’s assertions, Men’s Rights Edmonton has been frantically at work talking to news sources hungry for information about the group. A member of the group said in an interview with AVFM News that they had been responding to many requests from the media in the last 24 hours. “Basically we have had media people calling us all day and asking ‘what are you guys all about, what are you all doing, what are you hoping to achieve with this campaign?’” he said. “Thus far I have spoken to Global Edmonton, City TV, 630 Ched, C TV, Metro and I’ve left messages with CBC and we are going to be on 770 Talk Radio’s “The Rob Breakenridge Show” When asked about the charge of cowardice and unwillingness to debate in public he responded, “It’s interesting that they say that because that’s what men’s rights groups have been trying to do. But look at what happened at the University of Toronto and that didn’t work out so good. It resulted in feminists bringing bludgeons, disrupting the event, and pulling fire alarms. Every time we try to meet these people and have a discussion in public the response is juvenile and idiotic, and they attempt to censor discussion and inhibit free speech.”
Karen Straughan, AKA “Girl Writes What”, spokesperson for Men’s Rights Edmonton and contributing editor of AVfM, plans to produce a video statement and is expected to appear on a local morning radio talk show. All this in addition to a formal statement soon to be published on the Men’s Rights Edmonton website.
Editorial note: These events are, by far, the most widely covered men’s rights efforts by the media to date. For the next several days members of Men’s Rights Edmonton and by extension the broader MHRM will have exposure they have never had before. It is important that those reading this post contact the above mentioned news sources and educate them about our movement in order to strike the iron while hot. Below are links to other articles concerning this issue and their numbers are growing by the hour. Lets keep it going, shall we!!!!