Well this happened sooner than expected…
So, it turns out that we can’t have a meeting to discuss the issues men and boys face without you feeling the need to “infiltrate” our open-to-the-public meeting. Disappointing but not particularly surprising.
After observing your behaviour on the day and reading your VICE article, it’s abundantly clear that you arrived with an agenda to push and intended all along to simply slander us, a bunch of strangers some of whom had, by your own admission, clearly been deeply hurt, without displaying so much as a shred of compassion for your fellow man, just to get a cookie and a pat on the head. This, Kane, is exactly why most men don’t want to talk about these issues publicly, because cynical slugs like yourself will never miss an opportunity to kick a man while he’s down.
You were obviously disappointed to find that we weren’t all angrily discussing what horrible evil bitches all women are. It must have put a real kink in your plans to find that we were nothing but calm, polite, welcoming and devoid of almost all anger. Undaunted though, you managed to find a way to continue with your agenda by making fun of us and implying that we were somehow paranoid, pathetic, or otherwise silly.
You made several references to us being similar to children, even though, ironically, the bulk of our chat was on the topic of fair and equitable parenting rights. You missed no opportunity to deride all the men there and did your level best to make us sound like an homogenous pack of disorganized losers who need a support group, regardless of reality. What you failed to realise, and still fail to realise, is that the MHRM is very much about supporting and helping men and boys through difficult situations (someone has to be!). It’s also about us being open to anyone who comes to us openly and honestly looking for information or discussion about the issues we support (pssst that could have been you Mr. “infiltrator”). If you had presented yourself honestly and just said that you were skeptical of the need of a Men’s Rights Movement, we would have been open to that too. I am absolutely sure that any of the guys there would have been more than happy to answer any questions you might have had. Instead though, you stuck with your pre-planned agenda and teased and belittled all of the people there for no good reason other than apparently thinking that feminism is beyond all criticism, and you scoff at the idea of people wanting to keep their identities hidden even though they clearly have very good reason to.
Let’s be honest. You know damn well that the meeting you “infiltrated” had little in common with the description you painted of it in your article and if we had said anything even remotely controversial, you would have mentioned it. However, the best you could manage was that feminism was compared to communism and you had to omit the fact that the person who raised that topic was an ex-communist in order to make it sound controversial.
That’s pretty pathetic mate.
You also made fun of the way we introduced ourselves (comparing it to an AA meeting if I recall). Well Kane, hate to break it to you but this is exactly the way 1st meetings for anything are generally conducted. It’s a trope for a reason.
However, as egregious as this may be, it pales in comparison to your stunning lack of journalistic curiosity and integrity. I can’t express how disgusted I am by your utter disinterest in actually understanding what you were witnessing. You consistently got it wrong over and over again simply because you obviously had no idea of the context in which the events you witnessed exist. You did this so often that it strains credibility to suggest that this is merely accidental.
Why didn’t you ask us any questions? Why didn’t you bring up any issues for discussion? Why didn’t you show even the most basic curiosity? It would have been really nice to have the opportunity to discuss the issues we support with someone who disagrees with us but, despite having the perfect opportunity handed to you on a silver platter, you just couldn’t be bothered.
It really is a shame that this could not have been a positive experience for us all and a learning experience for yourself. We would have been only too happy to discuss these issues with you. But perhaps it’s not too late…
I would like to invite you to visit us again and to attend our next meeting, this time as yourself rather than as an “infiltrator” so that we can actually discuss the issues and you can find out what we are really about.
I hope you will accept our offer.
Mens Rights Melbourne.