FATHERS FOR LIFE - WEBSITE
June 17, 2003
by Carey Roberts
The Canadian government recently published a report that recommends monitoring and prosecution of gender equity advocates under federal hate crime laws.
Titled "School Success by Gender: A Catalyst for the Masculist Discourse", the report takes on the growing awareness of the problems of boys in schools. Indeed, the report shows that boys are lagging behind girls on the full gamut of educational indicators:
Boys are more likely to be held back a year in elementary grades. The high school drop-out rate is 50% higher among boys than girls. While 71% of Canadian girls matriculate in college, only 55% of boys move on to higher education. But nowhere does the report sound a clarion call for teachers to pay more attention to the educational needs of boys. No, the disparities that affect males should not concern us.
Instead, the report makes the argument that the real problem lies with the gender equality advocates who aim to "challenge the gains made by women and discredit feminism." The report, issued by Status of Women Canada, cost Canadian taxpayers an easy $75,000.
The report notes that Canadian men are almost five times more likely to commit suicide than women. The essay shrugs off this statistic with the comment, "Socially, should attempting or committing suicide create some hierarchy of concern?"
But if women were knocking themselves off five times as often as men, I'm willing to bet that Status of Women Canada would be singing a different tune.
The report admits that men die five years earlier than women, and notes that female life expectancy has risen by 2.3 years from 1981 to 1997. Then the report reaches the illogical conclusion, "The real question we should be asking is what has caused women's life expectancy to stop rising over the past two decades."
Stop rising? Since when does living 2.3 years longer equal no progress?
The report's coup de grace is found in its chilling proposal that "consideration be given to whether legal action can be taken under section 319 of the Criminal Code" against gender equality advocates and organizations. Section 319 is Canada's hate crime law.
Appendix II of the report fingers the prime suspects -- over 90 gender equity groups like Fathers for Justice and the Canadian Committee for Fairness in Family Law.
Groups with subversive-sounding names like Children for Justice and Kids Need Both Parents also made the list. Apparently Status of Women Canada worries that a growing cadre of children are becoming anti-feminist, too.
More disturbing is that the message of gender fairness has spilled across the border into the United States, as well. The Mankind Project, Dads Against Discrimination, and 31 others -- the Canadian government needs to keep tabs on them, as well.
Among the American conspirators is Christina Hoff Sommers, author of the highly-acclaimed expos?, The War on Boys.
But I am upset that the report does not blacklist me. I believe in equal rights and responsibilities of the sexes. I advocate that men and women should equally enjoy the benefits of medical care. I believe in equal pay for equal work. And I think that boys should have the same educational opportunities as girls.
And I haven't exactly kept my beliefs a secret. A variety of newspapers and Internet sites have run my articles over recent years.
So I want to ask Status of Women Canada a question: Why are you discriminating against gender equity advocates like me? Please put me on your blacklist.
Open Letter to Secy. Jean Augustine
November 4, 2003
by Carey Roberts
Dear Madame Augustine: This past summer, your office published the report, "School Succes by Gender: A Catalyst for Masculinst Discourse." (PDF file)
Under the guise of "research," the report called for the leveling of charges of Hate Crimes, under section 319 of the Canadian Criminal Code, against a broad variety of individuals and organizations that work for gender equality as it applies to males.
On June 16, I wrote a column in which I pointed out that the report failed to list my name, in spite of my extensive work on behalf of gender equality. I concluded my article with this request: "Please put me on your blacklist."
I then sent this article to you at email@example.com.
Four months later, you have not added my name to the blacklist.
I don't know if you are aware, but your report has triggered a furor among human rights and gender equity advocates throughout North America.
The House of Commons debated whether "a project that is a poorly-disguised attack on men and the family unit" was worthy of a $75,000 government grant.
On June 8, Ted Byfield, columnist for the Edmonton Sun, pointedly asked his readers, "How did I not make this list?"
In its July issue, the Canadian Watchdog Newsletter published an article, "Status of Women Canada Creates a McCarthystic 'Hit List' of Men's Groups." Author David Murrell described the report as "full of one-sided, poorly researched arguments." He concluded, "here we witness anti-male bigotry, not funded out of some extremist group, but by the Government of Canada."
Internationally-known feminist Wendy McElroy devoted one of her columns to the report. Titled, "Feminists Slurping at the Public Trough," Ms. McElroy accused the report's authors of creating hysteria and "double-thinking double-speak."
Attorney Steve Imparl made the observation that the report "is merely a man-hating polemic, riddled with incredibly sloppy writing, pathetic organization, logical fallacies, irresponsible generalizations, and a biased, ranting style that is totally inappropriate for expository writing." (www.mensnewsdaily.com/archive/j/imparl060803.htm).
Dr. Warren Farrell, a recent candidate for the governorship of California, was one of the persons included on the report's blacklist. In his response, Farrell pointed out that feminist efforts to reduce contacts between fathers and children end up hurting not only children, but also end up imposing an unfair burden on the mother of those children.
And in the current issue of the Everyman journal, editor David Shackleton laments this report is reminiscent of "Periods in history when whole societies abondoned themselves to irrational feelings of victimhood and entitlement."
Secretary Augustine, this report is not merely an example of inept scholarship. And it does not just represent a gross misuse of taxpayer money.
Rather, it represents a chilling encroachment on the most important of all rights, the freedom of speech. Because if gender equity advocates cannot speak out against injustice without the fear of legal sanctions, then Canada has traveled much further down the road of totalitarianism than most of us realize.
Secretary Augustine, human rights advocates around the world are waiting to hear whether Canada will acquiesce to this intolerant rant. Your silence to date can only leave the impression that you condone the hateful recommendations of this ideological tract.
I respectfully await your response.
Carey Roberts is a researcher and consultant who tracks gender bias in the mainstream media.