The following is my coment under a National Post article “Men’s issues group taking Ryerson University’s student union to court over club status.”
It sounds like Ryerson University’s student union has taken a political position and defined “equity” to suit that position, rather than operate under a non-discrimination policy. That would explain why its administrators are pulling excuses out of thin air for this decision. Denying an equal platform to a club because of its policy of gender-politics-neutrality is discriminatory, especially when the student union’s approval of feminist organizations gives voice to a what is arguably a non-neutral, gendered perspective on human rights (feminism.) It’s apparent that campus feminists’ real objection is to the idea of men’s interests and welfare being independently supported and independently included in on-campus human rights discussions.
The student union seems to have resorted to falsely framing “discussing issues specific to men and masculinity” as “rape apology,” and flat-out lied about MIAS’s associations in order to create the illusion of a case for denying them equal treatment to other campus groups. Feminists seem to hate it when they are criticized in association with feminist groups and individuals who have agitated against things like equal treatment for male victims of female sexual violence perpetrators. Despite having significant ideological overlap (Patriarchy theory, Rape culture theory, economic complaints, gender role theories) feminists faced with such criticism demand to be treated as completely separate entities, neither responsible for nor involved with such bigotry. MIAS has stated that they are not associated with A Voice For Men, yet campus feminists feel entitled to decide their association for them in order to excuse shutting them out.
Even if the group had some association with A Voice For Men or any other organization, and even if A Voice For Men were radical (they’re not,) that still isn’t an excuse to de-platform a group whose administrators have stated they are not anti-feminist. As the above paragraph demonstrates, feminist groups which base their theory and activism on feminist Rape Culture theory are, by Ryerson’s student union’s demonstrated standards, associated with establishment feminists who oppose recognizing male victims of female perpetrators, because the assertion that rape is prevalent in our society rests on statistics from their research, which is based on defining the crime to exclude female perpetration against male victims. Nobody is claiming that because some feminists won’t acknowledge male victims, feminists should be denied any platform for discussing female victims.
All feminists whose ideology is based on Patriarchy theory are, by Ryerson’s student union’s demonstrated standards, associated with radfems who advocate gendercide, because those groups also base their ideology on Patriarchy theory. Nobody has proposed de-platforming clearly more neutral but still Patriarchy-theory-based campus feminist groups because other Patriarchy-theory-based feminist groups advocate mass murder. It is dishonest, then, to de-platform an apolitical men’s issues group because of your disapproval of any other men’s issues group’s speech.
That smacks of deciding that either human rights discussion and initiatives should exclude men, or that proponents of a female-focused political ideology are entitled to pick and choose which human rights apply to men and who gets to talk about them.
It’s shameful and disgusting to see it happening in what should be a haven for academic and intellectual development. A university should be a forum for open exchange and discussion of ideas. Ryerson’s student union is stifling that discussion to protect subscribers to a belief system from exposure to ideas they might disagree with. Such restriction destroys one of the most valuable characteristics of post-secondary educational institutions. This does nothing but turn the learning environment at the university into an academically-focused nursery for the emotionally underdeveloped.
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