It’s About Time Men Had A Say In This World!

Finally a lone, brave voice appears to defend the downtrodden in a world filled with oppressors.

I’m on bended knee to praise you, Alison Tieman. Heaven knows that with Canadian men constantly being discriminated against, abused and assailed on all sides by our hate-filled female overlords, us guys desperately need heroic collaborators like yourself, working on the inside of the halls of female power.

In the latest issue of Verb, Tieman defends the posters she put up in Saskatoon and Regina on behalf of A Voice For Men, an entirely reasonable website. (Those posters helped us make the national news, people! We should be ever so proud!) The posters, if you haven’t seen them, point out that Canada is the “worst country in the world to be a man” — because of the rampant, radical feminist movement that holds sway over this country, of course.

This must have been very hard on Tieman — really, as a member of the ruling matriarchy that so obviously runs Canada, she could’ve simply stayed quiet and raked in the money, respect, prestige and safety that comes from being one of the favoured gender. Instead, she chose to fight for those of us under constant threat of unfair wages, sexual exploitation and everyday discrimination — us men.

Again, thank god for her.

But make no mistake, it’s going to be a massive struggle, with little hope that we men (hee hee — rhymes with “semen,” which is just the kind of utterly hilarious joke that we’re apparently not allowed to use anymore) will ever be able to attain equality in Canada. I mean, just look at the stats:

—Men make only 19 per cent more than women when it comes to wages in this country! To be fair, at least we’re not Norway (where men make only eight per cent more than women — ack!). But oh, to dream of Japan (an eminently fair 29 per cent!).

—There’s an obviously discriminatory number of women in our federal Parliament: 76 of the 308 members are women. That’s almost a full 25 per cent–and it’s an all-time record! Ghaa!

—Luckily, not one of the S&P/TSX 60 companies — the 60 largest publicly traded companies in Canada — have a female CEO (CBC). Whew! But don’t get too complacent, men: no less than 11 per cent of the board members on those companies are women! Can complete female domination of our stock market be far behind?

So kudos to Ms. Tieman for standing up to the ultra-radical feminist puppetmasters in charge of this nation.

Kudos also to intrepid Verb reporter Adam Hawboldt! It clearly took a ton of courage for him to ensure — over the angered complaints of his radical feminist publishers, no doubt — that this Verb article was based on only one source, Ms. Tieman. I mean, had he allowed himself to be bullied into any sort of standard journalistic credibility by including an opposing view (most likely a damn liberal arts professor or other so-called “expert”) for even one single quote, the story would have been ruined with things like facts, figures, statistics and — you know — reality!

Well done, freedom fighters!

(Oh, just one more thing: if you’re clicking the Verb link, be ready for a bit of frustration, because Verb’s website isn’t a real website, just a .PDF of the paper. There’s a joke to me made there about that being appropriate–Verb’s not a real newspaper either!–but I certainly won’t go there.)

Author: Chris Kirkland

Chris Kirkland is the editor of Planet S magazine in Saskatoon. He likes cats, beer, cigarettes and the New York Islanders.

33 thoughts on “It’s About Time Men Had A Say In This World!”

  1. This is just more lipservice from the Matriarchal Media Party. Sure they say it’s a “Voice for Men”, but how many men’s voices are heard in that story?

  2. There was probably a way of making whatever the point was without drowning it in sarcasm.

    As a supporter of women and men, and prairiedog magazine fan, I wish you’d take a higher road in your ongoing tiff with Verb.

  3. Hi Reader–and thanks for commenting! A couple of points that I’d throw out there in rebuttal (’cause I wrote this blog post, for better or worse!)l:

    First up, I’m actually with Planet S magazine in Saskatoon (yup, we’re all owned by the same people, but nope, that doesn’t make us “agreement automatons”), so I have nothing to do with the “tiff” that prairie dog might be having with Verb.

    Second, you’re probably right about the fact that these points could’ve been made without sarcasm. I could’ve said things like:

    –A Voice For Men is a horrible, misogynist bunch of pricks who can’t stand the fact that women want to be equal–the horror!!! Just look at their website, and Google the things they’ve said in the past.

    –Sarcastic voice or not, the stats I mentioned and linked to are… well, actual stats. Hard to argue with those, I think.

    –Verb just published a single-source article on this apparently controversial (I say “apparently” because it seems ridiculous in the face of every bit of reality–see stats quoted above), which is seriously not cool, not in line withy any journalistic standard, not at all credible and basically just not cool.

    Soo, to sum up: I thought sarcasm was the most polite way to go here. Sorry if it offended you–cheers!

  4. Chris, you’ve missed the point in your blog and response. I’m not offended but I’m sad at the continuing missed potential of PD/PS.

    You drove me to Verb to check out the article. It was harmless but fair, and it didn’t resort to the cheap sarcasm and baseless mud slinging that seem to be the rising theme of PD, You talk about it not being in line with any journalistic standards and credibility, but I think that’s wrong and ironic given your undignified response. It could have gone further and presented some counter. But the issue was never its relative strength or weakness.

    Getting with the times, women have plenty of opportunities and have achieved supremacy in many situations. The majority of Canadian provinces have female premiers. Men do appear to face some major inequities in the justice system. You don’t need to write about that or even care about that. But your claim that Voice for Men are “a horrible, misogynist bunch of pricks who can’t stand the fact that women want to be equal” seems wrong and a bit deranged.

    I did notice Verb is a very cluttered paper. Most of that clutter is paid ads, which I suspect is what keeps refueling the PS/PD hate.

    Too bad, because deranged and foul content is a deterrent to advertisers. I’m in no way saying you should pander to advertisers, but when people know that at any moment, there could be a deranged and foul utterance from PD, it does make even the most open-minded of advertisers think twice.

    Even taking issue with a paper like Verb lowers PD’s dignity anyway. What’s next, you going to go all Godwin’s Law on those Java Express sheets with the outdated margin liner jokes pulled out of 1950’s paperbacks? See… sarcasm is like spice, better when it’s not overdone!

  5. “a horrible, misogynist bunch of pricks who can’t stand the fact that women want to be equal” seems to me a more than fair assessment of a group that puts up posters proclaiming “Canada is the most frightening place to be a man.”
    That’s one of the dumbest, most irresponsible lies I’ve ever read, and I’ve read the first five pages of John Gormley’s book.

  6. Reader: thank you for the comment.

    I agree with Chris: Adam Hawbolt’s story is brutal and demands rebuttal.

    The truth is, for all the mild-seeming language in Adam Hawboldt’s article, A Voice For Men is a hate group*, not an organization dedicated to advocating for men in distress. AVFM makes insane claims of misandry and possesses a paranoid delusion of a society that persecutes males. This is a group that’s clearly committed to undermining women and discrediting legitimate complaints over the lingering second-class status of women in society (which Chris provided several excellent examples of).

    The group SHOULD have immediately lost all support after they postered Saskatoon with rape-skeptic posters. That’s a pretty damn evil thing to do given the numbers of unreported and un-prosecuted sexual assaults in this country.

    We do indeed dislike Verb — it is, as you would seem to agree, a cowardly, dopey and lifeless publication–but we generally leave them alone. But the paper coddled a hate group. What’s next? Will they interview Jim Pankiw about First Nations issues? Will they call up Bill Whatcott to chat about straight rights?

    Verb should have known better than to give a AVFM propagandist an unchallenged platform.

    Reader, I encourage you to read Paul Dechene’s excellent feature from earlier this year on the reality of anti-feminist hatred online, and to educate yourself further on this topic in general.

    I’d also encourage you to get on the Google and look more closely at the “harmless” group you’re defending.

    *A Voice For Men and its founder, Paul Elam, have been written about by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, a U.S. organization that tracks extremists such as anti-government militias and the Ku-Klux Klan. Not good company.

  7. Stephen,

    I won’t be baited into praising AVFM. But I won’t let slide your mistruth that I called them “harmless” or defended them. I said an *article* which looks past the sensationalism of the Saskatoon poster headline was harmless. I like to read about who did it and why, and then reach my own conclusion about whether they are on or off their rocker.

    So when you misrepresent me, you dilute your valid points.

    The fact that there are some situations in Canada with great bias against men is true. Acknowledging that fact doesn’t preclude or minimize the issue of misogyny. Comprehending both ideas simultaneously is a result of the education that you slyly try to imply I’m lacking. But your reaction illustrates why few would even dare mention those issues, lest they be misrepresented and vilified.

  8. Your claim regarding Verb that “you generally leave them alone”, that doesn’t ring true either. Otherwise how would the public know that you seem to have a ceaseless grudge against Verb?

    You call AVFM a “hate group”. But does it make you the leader of a “hate group” if you lead the group that hates Verb? Personally I find the characterization histrionic in either usage.

    The positive outcome is that in an effort to prove how you don’t constantly rag on them, we’ll probably see a reduction in the frequency going forward, which benefits everyone.

  9. “You call AVFM a “hate group”. But does it make you the leader of a “hate group” if you lead the group that hates Verb?”


  10. And actually, Reader, please click on Carle’s link and read the piece at the other end. It’ll give you detailed, footnoted documentation on how vile A Voice For Men really is–which should help you to understand why Verb’s “harmless” article is anything but.

  11. As much as you try to misrepresent me as defending AVFM, I am not, nor is this really about AVFM. I critiqued Kirkland’s sarcasm of your competitor Verb.

  12. Good afternoon Reader. I’m really not trying to misrepresent you or bait you and I’m glad that you’re not deliberately defending AVFM (though you kinda sorta are, a bit, by defending that article). And I acknowledge that you called the article harmless, not the group — I misread that. Sorry.

    All that said: Your advice to leave Verb alone is bad. Media criticism is something we do and Verb doesn’t get a pass when it does something evil because it’s a competitor. Also, sarcasm, lame jokes and nerdy references are among the idioms we work in and will continue to be because it’s fun to write that stuff and, for a lot of people, fun to read.

  13. Hi Reader. Just wanted to jump in here. Something you mentioned has been bugging me…

    “You drove me to Verb to check out the article. It was harmless but fair…”

    Actually, that article was only fair to A Voice For Men. The other side — the feminists that AVFM is waging a troll war against — were absent except to act as a straw man for yet another AVFM attack.

    And I would argue that that makes this article far from harmless.

    If you check out the links that Carle and Stephen posted above, you’ll find that AVFM is at the centre of some pretty nasty, misogynistic business. It only takes a bit of Googling to find that out.

    Which brings me to the issue of single-sourcing.

    I ranted in the Prairie Dog back channel about there only being one source for this article but I’m not actually across-the-board opposed to single-sourcing an article. I do it all the time as there are places where it’s appropriate. If you’ve only got 200 words and just need to explain something then getting a contact close to the subject to present it in their words is usually fine. I don’t see the need to get multiple points of view.

    But when you’re taking on a controversial, hot-button topic, if you single source your article, you’re implicitly taking a side.

    And that is why I take issue with that Verb article which you call harmless but fair. Considering how easy it is to discover the firestorm of controversy that AVFM sits at the centre of, and seeing as Verb chooses to ignore all this and depict AVFM as nothing worse than the producer of a few cheeky posters, then it seems pretty obvious that Verb is throwing its lot in with A Voice For Men and siding against feminism. And I believe that’s a position worthy of criticism. Probably even mockery.

    And as such, I second Steve’s comment about how media criticism is in the job description they hand out to alternative newspapers. In fact, it appears three times, in bold type. So if we’re going to take other media outlets to task when they say sexist or boneheaded things, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we gave Verb a pass when it decides to be a friendly forum for this kind of simple-minded, sexist nonsense.

  14. To Paul I would say that yes, we’re finally on track to discussing the actual issue.

    Was Verb fair? I was worried when you rolled out single-sourcing, because if anything, PD is single sourcing central, which you did concede.

    The article was about who put up the posters and why. That thesis was covered. It could have been slightly improved with a blurb about AVFM controversy, though that would be kind of like requiring a disclaimer that says winter has a reputation for being cold.

    It never seemed to pretend to be a comprehensive study of AVFM or all matters related to feminism, anti-feminism and para-feminism.

    The other point is how can PD would claim bashing Verb is “media criticism” when you generally don’t even give Verb minimal regard as “media”.

  15. Stephen, you say Verb doesn’t get a pass *when they are evil*. I think you misfired here, and they weren’t very evil.

    I also don’t think you aren’t objective regarding Verb, so you bash them all the time, and hope that every so often it was deserved.

    You uphold sarcasm, lame jokes and nerdy references as fun to write and fun to read. Everyone has their own idea of fun. I find the mean spirited, vulgar and unjustified slams aren’t fun to read, and it appears advertisers agree.

    I know the PD is a direct reflection of your beliefs so I’m not optimistic things will change. But I hope that a few of your staff are like me, and they read what I’m saying, and they start to influence PD toward less of a hateful tone.

    It’s possible to be forthright and critical without being mean, and arguably, the more pragmatic approach would increase PD’s credibility and marketability, helping extend your message and purpose at a time when it’s badly needed.

  16. Hi. Reader you are so right, (especially with yer last paragraph ), I am usually quite wrong. I don’t know about any advertising issues..but Prairie Dog Magazine has so much more content, that the verb & UGG the metro can’t touch with a yard stick let alone a ten ‘ pole..

  17. Kudos for the Metro for having a crossword puzzle that be completed inside an hour. I want a 90 minute PD Xwerd puzzle..

  18. Thanks Ron.

    Though there’s something I’ve been wanting to get off my chest about Metro for a while now… I like it. They have good reporters who come out to city hall meetings and ask good questions in scrums. Alyssa McDonald’s city hall stuff is definitely worth a read.

  19. Ron: try the New York Times puzzle in the QC each week, and the L.A. Times one in the coloured comics section of the L-P Weekender. If you’re a real addict, buy NYT puzzle collections, not the easy ones, and ration yourself.

  20. I find Metro a bit jarring, as the valid localized bits (per Paul) are sandwiched between all the generic stuff, so your mind is doing gear changes every page.

  21. Whoa. You hate Metro. You hate us. But you’re lovin’ on Verb. I don’t get you, Reader. Don’t get you at all.

  22. Paul Dechene: “You hate Metro. You hate us. But you’re lovin’ on Verb. I don’t get you, Reader.”

    Yeah that would be odd if I said that. But I didn’t.

  23. I don’t understand Paul’s comment either. It’s like he’s stopped taking Reader seriously.

  24. That would be too bad, because Reader has made some good points, but then, one of PD’s tactics, when truth begins to hurt, is to derail the discussion with what may in some circles pass as humour.

  25. I suspect Reader has a lot of experience with derailed conversations. He’ll be okay.

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