Ottawa Citizen
Saturday, December 08, 2001

Insulting men won't stop abuse

Richard Whitbread
The Ottawa Citizen

Re: The war on women,

Dec. 6.

While I have empathized with all victims of violence, not just female, I found myself slowly turning off my sympathies while reading Donna F. Johnson's article. I don't support violence against anyone. But when ultra-feminists continually go to the press with complaints that men are turning away from their movement, while in the same article, men are being generalized, and then vilified, what results could she otherwise hope to garner?

She attacks some fathers' rights groups stating that they "have waged an all-out war on battered women," when most are actually waging a war against a completely unbalanced judicial system that views fathers as walking cheque books, with no rights except the right to pay. And yet she wonders why many men are turning away from her feminist movement.

The ultra-feminists fought, under the guise of victims' rights advocates, to install a financially burdening and largely ineffective firearms-control legislation by generalizing all gun owners as ruthless, violent men, ready to be the next Marc Lépine, never considering that many law-abiding firearms owners, the majority of whom would never commit these acts, would be insulted and alienated.

She summarizes her alienation of even more men by stating that "pornography stems from the contempt and hatred of women," when even the most moderate and non- violent of men would have to admit to having viewed material of this nature at one time in their life.

So the estrangement of men from the feminist movement continues. Not because all men are violent and harbour a "contempt and hatred of women," but because one can only be insulted by such stereotyping for so long before one says "to heck with it -- let them fight their own battles." It is apparent that they do not want to meet in the middle as equals. They want the pendulum swing all the way to their side, just to compensate for the sins of my father and his father before him.

I am one such voice that used to be heard supporting the equality of all people regardless of gender that will no longer be heard. I am tired of apologizing for acts I have not committed, for attitudes that I don't have, and that I happened to be born male.

Ms. Johnson might well remember that when she is trying to gain support, she might try shaking hands with the moderate male, instead of slapping him in the face. It just might make for a better introduction, and a longer lasting relationship.

Richard Whitbread,


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