In the news on August 22, 2013, Dr. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of the status of women announced the Government of Canada’s support for a movement by the White Ribbon Campaign and the Toronto Argonauts in which they claim to:
“engage men and boys in reducing violence against women and girls in the Toronto area”
The government of Canada is providing $600,000 for the 36 month project entitled “Huddle Up and Make the Call – A Gender-based Violence Prevention Project” to teach young men and boys they are all potential abusers. The White Ribbon Campaign with the Toronto Argonauts Football club is delivering this message in secondary schools in the greater Toronto area.
In other news: a study from the University of California, Davis has found that a male-biased sex ratio does not lead to more crime. The study found that rates of rape, Sexual assault and homicide are lower in societies with more men than women.
Kristin Liv Rauch, a postdoctoral researcher and co-author of the paper stated “You may actually adjust your behavior according to the circumstances, when men are abundant, rather than rare, they often switch their strategy to compete in nonviolent rather than violent ways. They tend to pursue females in more of a courtship manner that would lead to long-term relationships and marriage, in an attempt to secure a partner in a depleted market.”
Schacht, Rauch and Borgerhoff Mulder’s study has important policy implications. For example, “tough on crime” policies that incarcerate increasing numbers of men might be contributing to higher rates of violence, rather than alleviating them, the authors said
The study is an eye opener to human behaviour interpreting actions based on social environment.
A school in Michigan was recently ordered to remove a new set of bleachers from their baseball field, due to a conflict with title IX. Parents of the students funded, and built, the new seating themselves, after some of them were having difficulty seeing through the chain link fence. However, their triumph was not to last.
The government ruled that this was a violation of title IX because the new seating was for the boy’s baseball field and was now much nicer than the seating on the adjacent girl’s softball field. Instead of upgrading the girl’s field, they were ordered to tear down the new bleachers.
This came after an anonymous complaint. We must ask how seating that was meant for parents and spectators, interferes with student participation. This is the state of our educational system. They are punishing those that have, instead of helping those that don’t.
The National Coalition For Men are calling foul on a martial arts class in Glendale, California. The service has been offered free of charge on state property during the month of April. There’s just one problem – you have to be a woman to attend.
This is the first time the NCFM has issued a letter asking the state to open the classes to men and boys. The letter states that the lessons, funded by the Commission on the Status of Women,
“violate a host of federal and California anti-discrimination laws.”
These laws in particular deal with government agencies participating in activities that prohibit participation on the basis of gender. Further research is needed to determine if there are federal laws in place to allow the women’s class to continue.
On April 4th, 2011, the US Department of Education issued a proposal in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter. It was a call to action which suggested that because 1 in 5 students were said to be sexually assaulted, and that new standards should be set in place to combat the problem of victims failing to report their rapes. The general effect of this proposal lowered the standard by which we use to convict a person of rape on a college campus. It replaced the “clear and convincing evidence” standard with a lower “preponderance of evidence” standard, which only requires them to be just over 50% sure to convict someone of rape.
The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act that went into effect last month promises to change all that, by bringing back a standard that demands evidence for such convictions. However, it faces opposition from a student of the University of Virginia. The victim claims that her case was handled poorly. They suggest that even a preponderance standard isn’t enough to protect the rights of victims in these cases.
If the preponderance standard is insane, then a bill proposed in California is practically a nightmare. The passing of which, would require men to provide proof of enthusiastic consent when facing allegations of assault. This bill would also eliminate the very concept of non-verbal consent within sexual relations and demand that men have proof of consent throughout sex.
This means that, even if a woman climbs on top of a man, and has sex with him without a single word, it will be rape of the woman in the State of California. If a law like this passes, it will be an enormous step backward for human rights and gender relations. If this happens, not even video of our sexual encounters will be enough to protect men from false allegation. Let us all hope it never comes to that.
Assaulting men to sell yogurt
An Oikos Yogurt commercial review by: Jessica
Open scene: we see an attractive woman approaching the check out at the grocery store to purchase some yogurt. The deviant male cashier looks her up and down, saying “Someone bathed in beautiful, Oikos girl!”
The woman looks on coyly, saying “Once you go Greek…”
The cashier informs her that “It’s on the house.”
The woman says “I’ll pay you back real soon!” as she winks and walks away, glowing in the triumph of her sexual prowess.
The depraved male offers up a catcall as she walks away.
We cut away to learn that the woman is not who she appears, but rather her less attractive friend masquerading in her likeness.
We cut back to see the actual attractive woman innocently approaching the checkout to purchase some yogurt. Suddenly, the predatory cashier grabs her and throws her against the counter, where he proceeds to mount her and writhe upon her body against her will.
What an outrage! How dare this company portray a woman as a mere sexual object! And as if that weren’t bad enough, glorifying harassment and sexual assault! This company should be boycotted! They should submit a formal apology for their blatant misogyny and depiction of harmful Patriarchal archetypes that demean and normalize violence against women!
Wait, that’s not how it went down? The genders were reversed, and a man was portrayed as a sexual object who was harassed and assaulted by a woman? Oh, well then… false alarm. Obviously this woman was simply empowered by expressing her sexuality and subjugating her Patriarchal oppressor. As you were.
This is not an isolated occurrence with Dannon’s Oikos commercials. In at least two others, men are viewed as inadequate, even repulsive, until Oikos comes to the rescue and turns them all into John Stamos. That’s right, we need to dismantle those harmful beauty standards that are placed on women in order to ensure their health and well-being, but it is entirely acceptable to state that “In a perfect world, every man would look like John Stamos.”
It’s difficult to actually treat men like human beings, who also deserve to be valued for their character and merits rather than their appearance alone. Instead they rely on lazy stereotypes, using the harassment and assault of men as a punchline. It requires more work to recognize the humanity of men, but the high road pays off in the end.
Links to the commercials:
- Badger Pod Nerd Cast 5: Hannah vs. The Bear - July 22, 2014
- Honey Badger Radio: Men’s issues conference–An orgy of misogyny! - July 10, 2014
- Honey Badger Radio: Elliot Rodger, the new face of the men’s rights movement? - May 29, 2014