Ryerson Students' Union blocks men's issues group - Macleans.ca

Ryerson Students’ Union blocks men’s issues group

Whatever happened to debate?


Anjana Rao, left, Argir Argirov and Sarah Santhosh tried to start a Men's Issues group (Stine Danielle)

The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) takes issue with a men’s issues club. If it were not so serious, it would be laughable. An organization that collects hundreds of thousands of dollars in mandatory levies from Ryerson students is afraid of three students—two of them women—starting a men’s issues group.

Despite the constant rhetoric about diversity, equity and inclusion, the RSU cannot tolerate ideologies that run counter to its own. The irony of this patronizing attitude towards campus freedom is hard to miss. It’s as if the spirit of closed-minded religious dogma has jumped into bed with modern political correctness to prevent blasphemy against RSU ideological orthodoxy.

The principle is this: if you challenge official narrative, you don’t have the right to speak. But this is supposed to be a university—a place where we learn and debate in an open environment; where those we disagree with are challenged, not with censorship, but with other ideas. To agree to disagree and to respectfully debate—this is true tolerance.

Perhaps the RSU thinks we’re not up to the task. And like vulnerable children our cradle-minding executive must protect us from “dangerous” ideas.

As reported in The Eyeopener, president Rodney Diverlus cited a lack of compliance with RSU policies as one of the reasons this club was not allowed. Perhaps this is because the RSU conveniently amended its relevant policies beforehand, effectively stonewalling the creation of this club.

Some fear that the discussion of men’s issues will somehow silence women’s voices. But surely talking about men’s health, violence among men, and male reproductive rights isn’t so appalling that it must be stamped out like heresy. And if, horror of horrors, such a group ever decided to critique modern feminism, is that not a legitimate discussion to have at a university?

No one is saying women’s issues shouldn’t be discussed. But if women’s issues can be discussed, then the tent ought to be large enough for men too. After all, one of the official equity services offered by the RSU is the Centre for Women and Trans People. This isn’t only a student club, but also an official arm of the RSU.

We must acknowledge that, on a diverse campus like Ryerson’s, there are varying opinions on gender issues. These are informed by our different social, cultural and religious backgrounds.

Intellectual maturity is demonstrated by listening and debating. Resorting to fear mongering and politicking to silence differing opinions is ignorant.

Of course, it is appropriate for the RSU to have general policies. But as an organization that exists to represent all students at Ryerson, it’s the union’s responsibility to encourage an environment where all voices can be heard.

Personal ideology must not be used as a means to justify limiting academic or campus freedom. As long as this club is not advocating anything illegal under Canadian law, that ought to be good enough for the RSU.

This commentary was first published in The Ryersonian student newspaper.


Ryerson Students’ Union blocks men’s issues group

  1. Feminists know their cherry-picked stats and claims of wanting equality while their actions prove otherwise can’t survive against any criticism so they do what do what any ideological movement does when the truth threatens to enlighten those that have been fed this misinformation their entire lives…they resort to censorship.

    • Thankfully, someone is finally sticking up for men: MANHOOD101. COM

      • MANHOOD101.COM has nothing to with men’s rights.

      • …Goddamnit, you assholes are everywhere, making MRAs look like hateful lunatics. Why don’t you just piss off?

      • I find the idea of a ‘men’s issue club’ as equally silly as a woman’s issue club. Why not have a people’s issues club? Or how about a ‘We’re all in this together, so lets all please just get along’ club?

        But seriously, I read stories day after day of the PC mentality go so completely bonkers at ALL universities. It has become a complete joke. The Universities are a joke, the student unions are a joke, and the campus administrations a joke. The people that defend this mental illness that forces the students to embrace ‘diversity’ just so long as your idea of diversity doesn’t conflict with the PC-rule book of accepted forms of diversity. A few examples of this would be: 1) pro-choice, 2) pro gay, 3) Anti Israel, 4) pro-feminist/anti-male, 5) anti-capitalist, 6) anti-Christian, 7) anti COMMON SENSE!

        Speak outside the lines of those 7 topics and you are called a heretic, expelled, censored, or arrested. You are shouted down, intimidated, and subject to mob-like swarms bordering on violence. Free speech is attacked every single time any speaker dares to challenge that PC code.

        Prohibiting a ‘Man’s Issue Club’ is just the latest form of PC hypocrisy on any meaningful ‘diversity’. No, they don’t want anybody wandering off the ‘PC/Feminist plantation’

        They aren’t fooling anybody, only themselves.

    • You are out of your mind insane. This group and groups like it are fronts for some really ugly attitudes and rhetoric with regard to women. If MAMBLA or a neo-Nazi group wanted to hold a lecture or conference at the university, would you not try and have it stopped? It’s the same thing with these MRM crazies.

      • This is absurd. Have you actually held any sort of intellectual debate, or held a single conversation with a real life person interested in men’s issues? You will find people like me, a man who was raised by two women, fought for women’s rights, who also believes there are issues that affect men, just as their are issues that affect women. This is not an unreasonable or crazy statement. These boogie men front organizations you speak of, if they even exist, are microscopic in comparison to the millions of men that just wish there was an open discussion involving their place in the world. Don’t close your brain off just because you were taught to regurgitate buzz words by people who are scared of honest discussion.

      • Got any actual evidence that this group displayed any of the attitudes or behaviours you accuse them of?

      • I’m sure they exist stan, but the problem is, if someone on the MRA side says anything like that, they’re claimed to be the ‘true’ face of the movement by feminists. However, when people on the feminist side makes a hateful statement, such as the assertation that all men need to die, they pull the ‘no true Scotsman’ fallacy.

  2. Good analysis. Thank you.

  3. I can only hope that the general population of the university actually catches on to what hateful bigots their representatives are being.

    If it’s anything like LU, we only had about 6% of the population voting for the student union… the only people who seem to run , or even care in the first place are the people who seem to love to be able to go on massive powertrips and push their warped ideologies.

    Anyway, it’d be nice if all the male (and female) students withheld their student fees and told the administration that they refuse to fund a group that is actively discriminating against half of the student population.

  4. Yep. Looks like you have a problem with your student’s union. Is the student body really united by this union, or subordinate to it?

  5. Good-hearted men and women around the world are noticing a distinct scent coming from feminist ideologues, and it does not smell like equality.

    Men and women can help each other, but to do so we will probably have to either reform or abandon the Feminist movement, which has a history of aggressively resisting gender equality.

  6. MRAs shouldn’t really be complaining about the lack of debate since they are too cowardly to put their own delusional views under public scrutiny during a live debate.

    The irony here is that the cowards in the MRAs are crying like little girls that they aren’t given a voice to speak WHILE ACTIVELY SUPPRESSING FREE SPEECH, DEBATE, AND ANY DISSENTING VIEWS IN THEIR OWN HYPOCRITICAL FORUMS.

    • What the hell are you talking about? Feminists are more than welcome to come to MRA spaces and debate as long as they don’t harass other posters.

      The only time I have ever heard of a feminist being banned from an MRA space was Dave Futrelle being banned from AVfM because he was mocking users rather that debating.

      Contrast this with suspected MRA’s being physically kicked out of real life discussions without having said a word and I think you may be a hypocrite.

    • MRA’s are suppressing debate? Are you serious? The MRAs are dying for a good debate. If I recall correctly, it was a bunch of feminist groups that blocked an auditorium and prevented people from entering to see a speaker at UofT. It was the same feminists that yelled insults and threatened people, and spit on them. People had to be escorted in under police protection. Yet you’re telling me, all they want is a debate? Then why are they trying to shut it down? Also, I’ve never seen MRAs shut down dissenting opinions. Go on any forum, you will receive a rational reply. Post something like that on a feminist forum – you’ll be banned in seconds.

    • Oh look…a manhood101 spammer spouting the usual lies and ad hominems. Ho-hum.

    • All lies and shaming language. Is that all you’ve got? Go dry up and blow away.

    • What a joke, Darby. MRAs has been seeking debate for decades while feminists refuse to debate. And look at all you do, call names like a little kid. That’s typical. Our issues are all over the internet. Try http://www.ncfm.org and look under “Issues.” I debated feminists twice on national television. Maybe you’re the “coward” with your silly name-calling.

    • This is untrue. A prominent Canadian MRA blogger and vlogger called John The Other was going to engage in a public debate but feminists sent the (female) organiser threats on facebook (more info here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bgqJ7xhQcU). Also, here is a debate that English MRA Tom Martin had with feminists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3vTGPsqbZ0 My personal favourite part was when the feminists adamantly claimed that males can’t be raped. It’s a shame that nobody told my female rapist this before she repeatedly raped my childhood self.

      Oh, and isn’t calling MRA’s “little girls” for crying, misogynistic and doesn’t it perpetuate the gender stereotypes that feminists purport to be fighting against?

      One last thing, who are the professors that are teaching this hatred of men and boys? Why are they too cowardly to give public interviews instead of hiding behind teenagers?

  7. I cannot agree more.

  8. What are they going to do next, block a white pride group? Wait…

    • Yeah, do wait… do “Anjana Rao, left, Argir Argirov and Sarah Santhosh tried to start a Men’s Issues group” sound like “a white pride group”? You’re going to have to try a litle harder with your dishonest smears, I think.

  9. Exactly right, Blueoak. And the two are incomparable. White people don’t make the vast majority of homeless adults, dropouts, job deaths, prisoners, etc., and white people are denied equal rights in child custody, criminal sentencing, public benefits, forced labor laws, etc. etc. Totally ignorant comparison by those woh fear a balanced dialogue on gender. Thank you, MRAs, for doing what’s right in the face of such reactive idiocy.

  10. Anybody who’s interested in the pay-gap argument:


    This is a very interesting talk (format-wise) by Dr. Warren Ferrel, the guy that the feminist group protested at the U of T campus.

  11. I don’t understand this world anymore. When growing up in the 90’s I thought men and women were treated equally in Western societies but the older I get the more I see there’s a huge bias against men in politics and national organizations.

    I don’t know what I ever did to deserve unequal treatment. Guess being born as a boy is enough. It’s making me quite angry lately.

    • Tom- this is an honest question: did you ever prove your identity to AVFM? Reading through the comments, AVFM seems to be accusing you of impersonating Tom Martin. Banning you for having different views is not respecting the open marketplace of ideas that I expect the MRM to be. Banning someone for committing fraud is something different. This is actually a somewhat important issue to me, and I’d be interested in knowing if you ever provided your bona fides.

      • AVfM has booted Tom Martin (once ‘celebrated’ for suing LSE on AVfM), Angry Harry (called – by Paul Elam – the ‘Father of the Modern Mens movement’), he has told MANY MRAs to get lost….myself included.

        As far as I’m concerned, he’s the most dishonest, slimy man in the whole movement.

  12. > Complaining about MRAs

    > Compares them to “crying little girls.”

    Feminists sure like to pick and choose when gender-specific slurs and stereotypes are permissible, don’t they? What, little boys don’t cry?

    Egalitarianism > Feminism

  13. I guess this is a sign of the times. When I saw that a group wanted to discuss men’s issues, I thought about things like prostate cancer, diet and health strategies, the changing face of male employment, the role of a man in modern relationships, stuff like that. But after eading the comments, it looks like people think a men’s group only wants to talk about women. Guess I am old fashioned- I don’t see feminism as being a men’s issue.

  14. Perhaps Mr. Greenfield would like to include the text of the club’s proposal as well as the University policies in question before and after the alleged amendments? You know, some actual relevant information that might help his readers form their own opinions, instead of just stamping his feet and making grandiose statements about persecution and unfairness while pretending everyone should just automatically adopt his opinion without any analysis of their own.

    • Dear Chip, What I wrote was an opinion piece and it was as such that it was published in the Ryersonian. If you would like non-opinion piece coverage of this story please google articles written by The Eyeopener, another Ryerson student-written newspaper. And I believe some of those articles were re-published published on Macleans On Campus.

      As for the actual text please check out this article. http://theeyeopener.com/2013/03/new-rsu-policy-challenges-new-mens-issues-group/


  15. I’ve been following the nascent Men’s Centre movement at SFU and now here at Ryerson, and it’s been with great dismay that I see this kind of step being taken by the RSU. When all your arguments against the project are suppositional, based on future behaviours the RSU thinks will happen, rather than any truly objective standard that requires some evidence to enforce, then it’s high time to look in the mirror and ask yourself precisely how “progressive” you really are. If free speech is only for those you agree with, it’s not free speech in the end, is it?

  16. The social justice ideology (collectivist persecution of a target group, group guilt) demands that monogamous families be eradicated so that the doctrine of “polymorphous perversity” (Norman O. Brown and Herbert Marcuse) can reign supreme. White heterosexual males are the target group and as such its members are not, according to the dominant ideology of Frankfurt School progressives, deserving of civil rights.

  17. Serious kudos to the RSU for taking a stand against sexism. Make no mistake, sexism is what the Men’s Rights Movement is all about, however nicely they try to dress it up sometimes. All you have to do is scratch the surface of the MRM and you’ll see the bigotry underneath. Just witness A Voice For Men’s open support of the site Register-Her.com, which is specifically oriented around harassing women. Or go to any Men’s Rights forum and see how much of the talk is about hating feminists and how little is about genuine positive steps which could be taken to resolve the issues the movement purports to take seriously.

    We don’t need a Men’s Rights movement any more than we need a White Rights movement or a Straight Rights movement, and it’s good that the RSU sees it. I think most people do.

    • Based on the comments seen in this same blog, I think you´re wrong about the “most people”.

      Also, you´re making the classic mistake of conflating feminism with women. Feminism is an ideology, just like communism or capitalism, and being against it doesn´t mean someone is sexist or full of hate.

      Also, please show how register-her is oriented around harassing women when it is merely showing public information and pictures. If someone is ashamed to having their face and ideas and opinions posted for everyone to see, there is a problem with the person, not the site.

      Also, please provide evidence that no steps to resolve the issues are being taken. As this protest shows, modern feminism is a huge impediment to solving men´s issues and as such is legitimate to talk, discuss and debate it.

      Your “you hate feminism = you hate women” argument is not going to fly very well here, you should reserve it for other spaces where emotions are preferred over facts and evidence.

    • “We don’t need a Men’s Rights movement any more than we need a White Rights movement or a Straight Rights movement…”

      What you think people “need” and what people have the right to do are two different things. There are a lot of things people don’t “need.” We could do without baseball and hockey. Yet we still manage somehow to let players play those games.

      If students are paying fees, those students should have the right to form a group.

    • Was this a Mens Rights Movement or RegisterHer group?
      Are you making up evidence that in any case would be irrelevant?

  18. If you want to start a group to address issues like prostate cancer, you’re a “neo-Nazi.” Makes sense.

    “Feminism is about equality.” Yep, sure is.

  19. For everyone who doesn’t have the privilege of going to Ryerson let me tell you a bit about RSU: they’re a bunch of boys and girls who get away with whatever they want. WHY? because they are a group composed of females and gay males. No one dares say anything against them with fear of being labelled misogynist or homophobic when the reality of the matter is they’re just a bunch of immature idiots who like to spend our tuition gardening and throwing karaoke nights at the RAM. (that by the way objectify transgendered individuals, but somehow that’s OK.) They use their ‘minority’ status as individuals as a shield for this kind of outrageous behaviour. As a woman I find they way they treat and portray males on campus absolutely disgusting.

    Their hypocrisy is an insult to all students, but WE need to get over our culture of hyper-political correctness and feel OK about criticizing RSU for the idiots they are, without they fear of being labelled homophobic, racist, or misogynist.

  20. The Men’s rights revolution has arrived. Now. You cannot stop it. Men are waking up. Deal with it. We will break your narratives. We will resist your hegemony. We will get our issues into the public eye and with the force of a tsunami we will change everything.

    And we will WIN. The more you resist, the more publicity we get.

    In 30 years time our agenda will be mainstream and the shrieking morons with bullhorns trying to shout us down and shut us out will be looked on with bemusement and contempt.

  21. Years ago, York was the butt of most jokes about political correctness. Now that RyHi has been deemed a university, it has replaced York as the clown of Toronto universities. University politics is a cesspool, with only the doctrinaire Bolshies participating.

  22. SHUT UP!!!!!!
    There, that explains it.

    The only question left is: Does going to universities like Ryerson actually make you dumber?

  23. I was a bit disappointed not just by the decision itself but by the logic behind it.

    At best the RSU seems to be rejecting this group based on “possible” ties to extreme MRA groups but have yet to show not even the smallest bit of evidence of these ties. It seems clear that there is no actual evidence so Diverlus is using possibility as a crutch so that they can block the group without providing actual evidence.

    By the way does anyone have any contact information for Santhosh, Rao, or Agirov? I’d really like to speak to one of them about this.

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