The plight of men

Somebody called Robert Cribb wrote a silly piece for the National Post in 2011 about men being the new underclass. (Jesus christ, people. Really? Are you serious?) He talked to Justin Trottier. There is a picture of Justin Trottier on it. Justin Trottier is front and center.

First for a sense of the careful thinking and research behind the article:

Proposition: In the shifting modern narrative of gender politics, men are the new women.

The once fortified white male empire, bowed and beaten by generations of women scorned by its bloated superciliousness, has born sons they barely recognize.

We, the offspring of assured, confident, self-realized men, are emerging as a new underclass.

Statistics Canada has gathered the data.

About 60 per cent of university grads today are women.

Following graduation ceremonies that have the feel of sorority house parties, the professional outlooks for women are on the distinct upswing compared to men, national data shows.

Right, and little things like goverments and the military and religious institutions and corporations and popular culture and a few other things being firmly dominated by men – those don’t count, because university graduation ceremonies “have the feel of sorority house parties.”


So then Justin Trottier comes in.

There is another side to the gender shift: A growing revolutionary man-power backlash.

Toronto’s Men’s Issues Awareness Campaign, for example, is a fledgling pushback to the male feminization trend that seeks a realignment of the gender power scales.

“In gender issues, it’s not as simple as women are always victims and men are always the victimizers,” says Justin Trottier, the 28-year-old leader of the campaign. “There’s a far more nuanced debate that we should be having.”

Listen to Trottier for a while and you’ll start to recognize some of the same language uttered by feminists a generation ago.

“We’re about equality and equalism,” says Trottier, who recently ran unsuccessfully in the provincial election as a Green Party candidate. “Look at the landscape and for all our talk of equality, it’s ironic that our societal investments have really been on women’s issues. We should be equally open to appreciating men’s issues.”

Compare, for example, public and private donations for male versus female health programs such as gender-specific cancer research, he says.

Or consider the array of publicly funded programs for immigrants to Canada.

“We see plenty of services for women but we don’t see them available for men,” he says. “These are stark differences.”

Then, to stretch the point, he raises the issue of public investment in shelters for domestic abuse victims.

“They are almost entirely set up for women victims but if you look at the statistics, there are a surprising percentage of cases where men are being victimized.”

Well just push the women out then, and take the shelters for men. It’s only fair.



  1. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Ugh, what a bunch of whiny pissants. “Oh, men aren’t getting *all* the attention anymore? We’re having to let someone else have a say? Misandry! MISANDRY!”

    Related: I think mealymouthed apologists and faux-contrarians – no matter what the topic – have ruined the word ‘nuance’ (and its derivatives) for me forever. The moment I hear/read it I immediately lose any faith in the intellectual honesty of the person using it.

  2. says

    You know what it’s exactly like? In fact it’s probably just plain the same thing. That study someone here mentioned a week or so ago, that found that men see 20% women as 50% women, and 50% women as almost all women.

    Even that doesn’t work for the Catholic church though.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    … it’s not as simple as women are always victims and men are always the victimizers,” … “There’s a far more nuanced debate that we should be having.

    He said that with a straight face? Move over, Buster Keaton!

    His conclusions do make sense, of course, if we include among “men” those men made of straw. A battered straw men’s shelter anywhere near Trottier, no matter how large, would fill up overnight.

  4. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    Men being abused is a serious issue. As such, the MRAs, if they actually gave a shit, would do what the feminists have for decades: poured their own money, blood, sweat and tears into building and operating shelters. Women’s shelters didn’t fall out of the sky, and don’t get much in funding if any. But of course, getting off their asses and away from their keyboards would require actually caring about men who are victimized beyond dragging them out as props in their crusade against women.

  5. hjhornbeck says

    A 2008 StatsCan study shows that, over the previous two decades, the gap in average hourly wages between men and women has been steadily shrinking. The 75.7 cents women earned on the male dollar in 1988 inflated to 83.3 cents by 2008 — nearly a 12 per cent jump.

    “Between 2000 and 2008, average total income for Canadian women increased at almost twice the pace as it did for men,” StatsCan research concludes.

    And the news for our later lives hasn’t improved much either, lads.

    Waaaitaminute, the wage gap is decreasing, and this is a problem for men?! That very same research shows male wages increased 1.3% over the same time period, so this isn’t a zero-sum thing, this is a reduction in systematic discrimination.

    And even that’s misleading, as that research focused exclusively on wage differentials. If you look at income differences, women earn 66 cents of income for every dollar a man earns, on median. The different number is due to women taking more time off to do childcare and housework, as well as a difference in higher education enrollment.

    We still have a helluva way to go to reach equality…

  6. rq says

    60% women = sorority house party? I thought sororities were all women…
    These people seem to have issues with the term ‘equality’ and the concept of math.

  7. Amy Clare says

    Gah, there was an article last year on Guardian CiF along similar lines, a response to what Diane Abbott MP said about ‘masculinity in crisis’, and it basically argued (or tried to) that men are oppressed by women now because women talk and men are silent because they’re too scared to say anything (doesn’t look that way if you watch House of Commons footage but that must be the exception that proves the rule, amirite?). It said even CEOs of companies had no power in their own home because of their wives’ terrible matriarchal presence and how silencing and oppressive it all is! Imagine!!

    The commenters LOVED it of course.

    Oh wait, here it is! I found it:

  8. sacharissa says

    Of course masculinity is in crisis. “Masculinity” has usually been defined as being powerful and active, while femininity was associated with being submissive and passive (obviously there was more to both but that’s another discussion). Women have challenged their role and that meant challenging the attitude that men should have most of the power. The man is no longer head of the family (although the attitude is very persistent), women now do “men’s jobs” and some men do “women’s jobs”. What’s more plenty of men are now much more free to act in a way that is more conventionally feminine.

    Sadly some men don’t like those changes and they do get mixed messages about their role, as do women. However, the answer is only to accept that there is more than one way to be a man. The outrageously camp fashion designer is as much a man as the traditionally blokish builder.

    If there is a serious problem in masculinity it probably also has a lot to do with the fact that violence is still seen as manly, especially in the media but is generally frowned upon by law and society.

  9. Amy Clare says

    My point was though, that whether or not you accept the idea of ‘masculinity in crisis’ (I’m not sure I do, or rather, I’m not sure it’s a crisis), the author of the article I linked to tried to blame women, and in particular a ‘hidden matriarchy’ for silencing men who apparently desperately want to talk about their masculinity. It’s another strand to the MRA view that’s quoted in the OP.

  10. Athywren says

    I love how the commenters on these kinds of issues love to argue that X is the new underclass. Because there must always be an underclass – improving things for women means making it worse for men! There’s only so much quality of life around, and we’re stealing it for the wimminz.
    Sure, MRAs do bring up valid points – there are issues that men face! It’s just that we don’t face them because of chromosomes. There are homeless men? Yes, there are, but that’s not a men’s rights issue, but a homelessness issue – homeless women may benefit from women’s shelters, but those shelters exist for reasons other than homelessness. Men in dangerous jobs are treated as disposable? True, but it’s not because they’re men, it’s because we treat the people who do those jobs as disposable. True, they’re mostly men, but that’s because women are considered weak and pushed out of such jobs. That’s companies treating their workforce as resources rather than people, and men facing a tangential consequence of misogynistic views.

    Bleh. Transient MRA commenters, if you ever read this, give up on the woman-hating, and get to work with dealing with the actual problems. Work to provide shelters for homeless people – fight for jobs that pay a person enough for a home, and for more jobs, making them available to the homeless. Promote safety and healthcare in dangerous workplaces. Fight for the rights of the people whose struggles you’re co-opting as “men’s rights” issues. And stop pretending that you’re advocating for my rights until you do any of this, because, right now, you’re fucking not. You’re just making me ashamed of our chromosomal association.

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