The following are my raw notes (and the notes of others) regarding the anti-MRA event held at the University of Toronto on 9/23/2013. This is not intended to be a coherent article, but rather, a compilation of information for anyone who wishes to review, research, post, and/or comment on this event, which was entitled What’s Wrong with the MRA? The Problem of Men’s Rights.
In the MHRM, we have a near constant mantra. Always Be Recording. The thinking is that this keeps everyone honest and above board. The event organizers for this meeting had a decidedly different approach. No Recording Allowed. The intent, of course, being deniability of their words and actions. Another one of the many differences between the MHRM and feminists.
So, being the community minded people that we are, we decided to help the good feminists realize the value of transparency and openness.
The first hour of the meeting was organized around several different speakers; the rest of the meet was a Q&A period.
Our Agent Green infiltrated the meeting and captured an audio file of the approx. 2 hour event. I tried to upload the audio file of the meeting (VN810047.mp3) into these notes but it is too big – this website’s limit for media uploads 64 MB, and the mp3 is 175 MB. It can be downloaded here:
EDITED TO ADD (9/26):
I mirrored this on zippyshare if anybody is having to wait too long for Google
The first 7 minutes can be skipped – to avoid detection, Agent Green activated his recording device well before entering the meeting.
For those folks skilled in audio processing, James Huff says that “If you need to run a noise removal, your sample can be found at 2:36-2:37 On those marks only.”
Event Description/Speaker Bios
from James Huff:
What’s Wrong with the MRA? The Problem of Men’s Rights Organizing Speakers: Steph Guthrie (Academy of the Impossible), Jeff Perera (White Ribbon Project), Ashleigh Ingle (Graduate Student Union, University of Toronto), Michael Laxer (Rabble) Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, room 2211 252 Bloor Street West
Jeff Perera is a Community Engagement Manager for the White Ribbon Campaign, the world’s largest effort to engage men in re-imaging masculinity and help end gender-based violence. Jeff also founded Higher Unlearning, an online space to explore how ideas of gender & masculinity play out in everyday life.
Steph Guthrie is a feminist advocate and community organizer who uses social media and interactive events to spark and sustain conversations about gender justice, labour, politics and education. She is a faculty member and lifelong learner at Academy of the Impossible.
Ashleigh Ingle is a feminist and an anarchist who organizes with working people and students at the University of Toronto and in the community. She is the current chair of the Women and Trans people caucus of the U of T Graduate Students’ Union. She participates in grassroots feminist organizing at the University and hopes to see the response to the presence of MRAs to be the creation of a militant feminist movement capable of responding to the manifestations of white supremacy and patriarchy faced by students and workers at the University of Toronto and beyond.
Michael Laxer is blogger for rabble.ca, a two-time former candidate and former election organizer for the NDP, was a socialist candidate for Toronto City Council in 2010 and is on the executive of the newly formed Socialist Party of Ontario.
My raw notes for the first hour of the meeting:
(My comments are in parentheses.)
7:00 – Meeting begins.
8:10 – Recording is forbidden.
8:50 – Brief intro about “respect”.
9:30 – AVFM their worst enemy. (We soft pedal rape, evidently.)
9:50 – AVFM cyberbullies and physically assaults students at UT. (No examples given – Assault? Really? That remark is slander.)
10:10 – First mention of free speech.
10:30 – The Groth lecture event is on the 27th.
10:40 – what are the MRAs?
11:03 – Disruption.
Speaker Lindsey ?? (female) takes over.
12:00 – Someone might be recording, so be careful!
12:31 – Free speech and open dialogue.
13:00 – Speaking policy during Q&A (very hard to hear.)
Steph Guthrie takes over speaking.
14:30 – patriarchy harms men and boys as well.
Grievances and safe spaces for men and boys would be acceptable.
15:00 Instead MR Groups Foment anger and aggression. Targets feminism as the roots of men’s problems.
15:35 She thinks we want to hurt her. She thinks she is on our side in a strange way. (She is delusional.)
Michael Laxer takes over speaking.
16:20 History of MRM. And their narrative.
16:51 Men combat feminist gains from the beginning. Started with traditionalism.
17:40 More traditionalism.
18:02 MRM is different – shares some things with traditionalism but it is a radical movement.
18:34 MRM sees women in control; feminism in control.
19:00 Paul Elam / AVfM is the extreme. According to MRM, men now face systemic oppression.
19:30 MRM thinks Gender is the struggle, not class.
19:50 MRM like far right groups who cry reverse racism.
20:20 CAFE’s speaker Dr. Janice Fiamengo a racist, because Horowitz website.
21:00 MRM frames as a human rights movement, freedom fighters, liberating men.
1970’s – fathers’ rights movement – bias of family courts – ideological antecedent.
22:00 1990’s – Myth of Male Power – Warren Farrell. Farrell dismissed the idea that men have power.
22:30 Patriarchy’s expectations on men.
23:10 Internet creates Manosphere – SPLC monitors as potential/de facto hate sites.
24:00 Gutteral hatred from AVfM (no examples given)
24:45 According to SPLC, Elam’s mouthpiece AVfM is dishonest.
25:20 Register-her.com is anyone Elam sees as an enemy.
25:55 Targets women overwhelmingly & individually. The red-headed feminist. Vile Death threats. (no proof)
26:30 Now targeting Lise Gotel.
26:51 Manboobs is fantastic resource website. (Incredible lies follow regarding “Don’t be that Guy”).
27:50 97% of rape accused are men and convicted! (What a fucking liar.)
28:30 CAFE claims to be moderate; it is not. Because CAFE does Podcasts with AVfM, they must be almost the same.
29:15 AVfM sees CAFE as fundamental.
29:40 Quotes Paul Elam – “Canada’s future is our future.”
30:00 AVfM more successful in Canada.
30:30 All MRM have a set of myths. (1) That there are men’s issues; these ignored; feminism at fault
31:06 (2) Myth of false rape accusation.
31:12 (3) Myth of DV equal between men and women.
31:16 (4) Myth of Male Suicide
31:28 (5) Myth of Family Court/Custody.
32:00 This is the RED pill – it is a dangerous narrative.
32:05 These myths are all LIES! [Light Applause.]
Jeff Perera takes over speaking.
32:50 My big theory: Life sucks. Pieces to a puzzle to make life not suck.
33:45 White ribbon. Getting to the destination.
34:28 Car commercial on Superbowl.
35:00 Man slapped by woman. She is a fiat car!
35:28 Men idiots and bumbling fools; woman is a car.
35:55 A conversation about us together men women and tradition.
36:25 Dreams/Traditions for men. Climb the flawed ladder that we are meant to fail. Men’s identity.
37:00 Privilege w/o power. (How the fuck does that work?)
37:30 Women are the rungs on the power ladder. (Not cars, I guess).
38:00 Toxic ideas of manhood – to not be a woman.
38:50 Men suffer too. So, we should help women.
39:20 Men should create spaces where women empower themselves.
39:35 “I don’t have to be the man in order to be a man.”
Ashleigh Engle takes over speaking.
40:30 AVfM secretly taping. I am Ashleigh Ingle, a feminist. I don’t give two fucks.
41:20 They are not Men’s rights – they are misogynistic organizations.
42:00 We are pissed about misogyny. That women are at fault. (Conflates women and feminism over and over and over).
42:40 Start out nice – become Violent and misogynistic. (no proof).
43:00 False rape.
43:40 We organized and let them know we don’t tolerate misogyny.
44:10 Farrell says Incest is positive. (liar)
44:25 Admits to blocking doors. (illegally)
44:50 MRAs not a real threat. They are stupid trolls. (which is why we are convening a secret meeting about them)
45:30 They could become threat. (Make up your mind – you can’t have it both ways. Either MRM is a threat, or it is not.)
46:00 Lack of radical feminism causing MRM. (Exactly backwards.)
46:30 They occasionally sound legit.
47:00 We must defend confrontation.
47:15 Smashing patriarchy.
47:20 Free speech. Bullshit!
47:55 Must stop their free speech through “standards”.
48:12 Get the fuck out!
48:42 Administration sided with misogynists.
49:04 You are not allowed here!
49:20 Many are afraid – confront those hateful ideas; stop ideas.
49:50 Systemic oppression of white jokers.
50:15 Sexual Assault of Women in Male dominated fields face Harassment.
50:35 Militant organized resistance. Police presence.
50:50 Gives space to MRM for events; bills feminists for police.
51:15 Epidemic of sexual harassment at Uof T.
51:45 Administration won’t protect us from their free speech.
52:00 We’re not victims. (really??)
52:10 Mobilize our Collective power.
52:27 MRM tries to look pathetic. This is their strategy.
53:10 We feminists are scary.
53:25 We use inflammatory quotes stupidly – we normalize their message.
54:00 They have real problems but are wrong to blame feminism.
54:41 Women didn’t create incarceration. (They just never experience it).
55:10 Poor racialized men will not be helped by eliminating feminism. That is misogyny.
55:20 Men fighting feminism is by definition misogyny.
55:40 Women must fight MRM.
56:00 Men gain from feminism. (How?)
56:30 Fuck yes misogynist should fear feminists.
56:50 Men must be accountable to women’s standards. (so, no free speech for men)
57:50 Men are recording this event! Be careful!
59:20 For the Q&A, privileged White Men move to end of the speaking list! (They say this with no irony at all).
Q&A Period begins.
Dannyboy 1:27:55 Ashleigh ” we’re going to need to find a way to make nuanced arguments that aren’t like lies or disingenuous” (might be tough given you’re trying to defend feminism)