Greetings and welcome to the official launch of Men’s Rights Melbourne, Victoria’s newest, and to our knowledge, only human rights advocacy group focusing on the grossly overlooked needs of Australian men and boys.
Before I start covering the goals and aims of our new group, there is one very important issue that I want to clear up first:
For a brief period in early 2014, there was another Men’s Rights group also operating under the name “Men’s Rights Melbourne”. That site has since closed down but I want to make it absolutely clear that the current Men’s Rights Melbourne has no connection whatsoever to that other group. None of the people that were involved with it are part of our group and we do not endorse anything that they may have published during their active lifespan. Theirs was a completely separate operation to ours and we have nothing at all to do with them.
Now that that’s out of the way, I can begin.
The first thing I want to do is to give a shout out to the good people at Men’s Rights Sydney, without the help of whom none of this would have been possible. They recently helped to organise an incredibly successful meeting here in Melbourne during which they worked with us to map out the best way to set up our group which will, with any luck, set us up to emulate their success. On behalf of everyone here at Men’s Rights Melbourne I want to thank them for that as well as for their ongoing help and support.
So, what was the motivation behind my decision to start a men’s rights group in Melbourne? Well, I’m glad you asked:
Although I had been vaguely aware for many years that there was something deeply wrong with the way our society viewed gender issues, it wasn’t until early 2013, that I really became active as an MHRA. I had just gotten out of a terrible relationship and whilst licking my wounds and reflecting on the events that lead to the relationship’s demise it occurred to me just how easy it is to fall into depression and how little anyone is willing to listen to the expression of men’s emotional pain.
Not long after this, I happened to be watching a video by the Amazing Atheist that was critical of the way that a group of feminist protesters had seriously disrupted a lecture at The University of Toronto that was being promoted by the Canadian Association For Equality, otherwise known as CAFE, because they claimed that CAFE was a sexist misogynist organisation. One of the feminist protesters in attendance was the now infamous Chanty Binx (a.k.a. “Big Red” – NSFW). I could not believe her vile behaviour. The fact that she felt that she was justified in berating these men, just for wanting to discuss the issues that affected them, outside of the narrow lens of feminism, revealed to me an incredible sense of entitlement and a massive lack of empathy.
At the end of this video, TJ (a.k.a. The Amazing Atheist) invited people to take a look at CAFE and decide for themselves whether or not they were sexist, which I did. Of course I found out in very short order that sexist was the last thing you could describe CAFE as. In researching them I also came across the YouTube channel of Karen Straughan (a.k.a. Girl Writes What?) who is responsible for bringing so many men into the Men’s Rights Movement that I like to refer to her as the movement’s gateway drug. Soon afterwards I found Paul Elam’s videos and, from there, A Voice for Men.
After I had been following A Voice for Men for a while, and had some conception of just how deep the rabbit hole of misandry and gender politics went, my knowledge of, and interest in, the issues facing men and boys grew rapidly and I became more and more focused on trying to help spread awareness of these issues. In following A Voice for Men and participating in their forums, I came in contact with a number of other Australian MHRAs and through discussion with them, the idea of Men’s Rights Melbourne was born.
Although we we have big plans for the future, we are well aware that we still have a lot of work to do just getting everything up and running. At the moment we are attempting to achieve this by generating high quality original content for our website on local, national &, where appropriate, international issues and on recruiting a pool of regular contributors to generate this content. We already have several contributors but we will need more if we are to maintain a steady output of new articles.
Once we have the site up and running, we will then be able to turn our attention to real world activism & awareness raising. I can’t disclose all of our plans publicly just yet but I can tell you that as soon as we get up and running we intend to focus on…
- Running poster campaigns designed to raise awareness of men’s issues in the general public
- Attending Feminist-sponsored events such as The Slut Walk and Take Back the Night, sometimes just as a spectator, sometimes to investigate and ask questions. It is not our intent to disrupt these events however, we take the concept of free speech seriously here at Men’s Rights Melbourne.
- Lobbying businesses that raise money for charity to expand their list of causes to include more campaigns that assist men and boys
- Holding regular real-world meetings of local MHRAs to discuss issues, organise campaigns & events and simply to socialise.
- Working in concert with other regional Men’s Rights Groups under the banner of Men’s Rights Australia to undertake large national and international activism campaigns.
Even at this early stage in our evolution we have already gathered a small but dedicated core group of activists working towards these goals but we are definitely going to need a lot more help if we are going to make a significant difference in the lives of Australian men and boys. This being the case, if you are in the Melbourne area and you can assist us in any way, we would appreciate it greatly if you would please contact us. It doesn’t matter whether you want to be heavily involved in our real-world activism efforts, write articles for the site, are interested in joining others on postering runs, or simply just want to come along to our monthly meetings and have a few beers with like-minded people. Whatever your level of intended commitment, you will be welcomed with open arms.
If you live somewhere other than Melbourne and would like to get involved, please contact Men’s Rights Australia. Men’s Rights Australia are currently in the process of attempting to seed a men’s rights group in each capital city and need to know how many interested parties there are, and which city or regional centre they live in, before they can start planning or allocating resources and setting priorities.
Finally, regardless of whether you live in Australia or not, if you have any article writing, graphic design, film making, or meme creation skills, and are willing to volunteer those skills, Men’s Rights Australia also want to hear from you as they are in desperate need of your expertise so please email us.