International Mens Day 2014

One of our members was scheduled to deliver an address at Belfast City Hall this past International Mens Day, but was abruptly informed at the eleventh hour that his speech had been cancelled.

The reason for this cancellation was apparently several complaints made against the group that had invited MHRI to speak, Mens Rights Northern Ireland, by the "Belfast Feminist Network" under the leadership of one Kellie Turtle, who in her private closed discussion group expressed outrage that there was even a Mens Day in the first place:

Kellie Turtle
November 11 at 11:05am
"I know it's galling to most that this event is even happening as it totally ignores the nature of gender inequality in society and the fact that it is women who are disadvantaged due to our gender, not men."

I'm not sure how that sits with - and this is a direct quote from their letter, referencing the duty of the government not to support groups which cause division - "BCC as a public body with good relations duties under Section 75", but I suspect not very well. Having revved up the troops with this stirring address, the BFN proceeded to email as many councillors with offcolour complaints as they could find, all the while snickering amongst themselves about IMD also being "world toilet day".

The complaints they made against MRNI were wide ranging and often contradictory if not flat out wrong; in one part of the letter they sent much is made of concerns about workplace safety while in the next part they seem to think that the very idea of men being worried about women in dangerous jobs is sexist, rounding all of this off with a triumphant quivering finger pointed at MRNI's lack of support for the HeForShe campaign, wherein men are called to support women in what looks very like a traditional protective chivalric role.

They even complained about MRNI highlighting the fact that the gender pay gap is spurious nonsense - the bottom line is that when men and women of equal experience and with equal qualifications are compared, there is no pay gap. In fact even in bizarre feminist terms there is no pay gap in Northern Ireland.

Over and over the letter repeats this peculiar notion that being opposed to feminism is being opposed to women. It's really not hard to understand why this is wrong, one is an ideology, the other is a gender.

Perhaps this is why the overwhelming majority of women don't identify as feminists - which according to feminist dogma would make them misogynists who hate equality - and enormous movements like Women Against Feminism exist. Neither, needless to say, does feminism have much to do with equality. That would be egalitarianism.

And the final objection to MRNI's participation in IMD is apparently regarding domestic and intimate partner violence.

"This contains a common practice among the MRA movement which is to use the word ‘crazy’ when talking about women. The fact that they use this word as a noun (rather than a description for example ‘crazy woman’) has a particularly dehumanising effect.  Women are no longer viewed as people but merely ‘crazy’."

Admittedly salty, but the message is clearly not about all or even the vast majority of women despite the attempt at misrepresentation. So men it seems should stand up against domestic violence from men, but not from women, who are as likely or more likely to be the primary abusive aggressor in relationships. And that's before we get into the prejudice displayed by her automatic assumption that "crazy" is female.

He for She is fine, but not He for He. What was that about good relations duties under Section 75 again?

We have responded to Belfast City Council's cancellation of the MHRI talk in the strongest possible terms, lodged an official complaint, and are considering all of our options at this time.

Meanwhile we are pleased to present for your enjoyment the speech that was to be given in Belfast City Hall.

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