The Gazette (Montreal)

Ex-teacher has Enough! of certain feminists

Essay argues discourse can be harmful. Public reaction causes school officials to disassociate themselves from remarks

SUE MONTGOMERY
The Gazette
Friday, October 25, 2002
Montreal Gazette

Enough! That's the title of a retired teacher's rant about how those darn trouble-making feminists are to blame for boys doing more poorly in school than girls.

In his 15-page screed, which serves as the introduction to, of all things, the latest guide to Quebec's CÉGEPS, Pierre de Passillé's anger toward women is felt from the title right through every exclamation mark and capital letter that follows.

His diatribe elicited so much reaction to the offices of the Service Régional d'Admission du Montréal Métropolitain (SRAM), the centralized admissions office for French public CÉGEPs (as well as John Abbott), they put out a statement dissociating themselves from what this dinosaur had to say.

For the past 40 years, notably in Quebec, says de Passillé, a certain feminism has told men and boys that they are violent, irresponsible, insensitive, absent, mean, lack emotion and commitment, have Mickey Mouse communication skills, are abusers, incompetent, morons and zeros.

Guess we should've just shut up, taken the beatings, raised the kids and paid the bills, instead of pointing out that something was wrong with this picture.

This "anti-male" feminism is in the minority, he says, but nonetheless, it is thundering, negative and unproductive, wrecking the rapport between men and women and destroying the self-esteem of numerous boys.

Good, "pro-women" feminism, on the other hand, "could" (don't want to give it too much credit) explain the incredible progress girls have made in the classroom. That support, which allowed girls to develop independence, dignity, confidence and so on, was never offered as strongly to boys, says de Passillé.

It's enough to make you cry for these poor little fellas who haven't had a break in their lives. But where, Mr. de Passillé, were the men who could have provided such support?

(I would've put such questions to the author directly but the people who published the book could only provide me with his E-mail address and he didn't respond. Who knows, perhaps because of all those nasty feminists, he doesn't know how to operate a computer.)

It's a certain pernicious, excessive feminism that's infiltrated Quebec laws and institutions, probably without our boys even being aware of it, he continues. But "no doubt they still feel that men aren't getting the respect they deserve and that their dignity and integrity are often attacked."

Particularly since the 1989 massacre at the École Polytechnique, it has become impossible to talk about scholarly deficit among boys, he claims.

He quotes Le Devoir's Christian Rioux who wrote on March 29 that he'll never understand the feminist appropriation of the tragedy. Marc Lépine could have just as easily gone after politicians, homosexuals, heads of big business, his neighbours, his mother-in-law or our children. . . .

Rioux says, and de Passillé agrees, that there's a limit to enlisting the crazies and their victims in political battles.

The fact is, Mr. de Passillé, Lépine didn't go after any of the above. He deliberately targeted women and the so-called feminists he despised. Why? Because they had succeeded where he could not.

It's this kind of pernicious propaganda that de Passillé is trying to pass off as some kind of scholarly argument that helps turn women into targets of animosity.

With the decline of traditional values, young people can no longer find firm ground and many seem disarmed, he laments. Except, of course, the young girls who had the chance to find solid ground in the feminist movement. That solid ground wasn't offered to boys who were neglected and devalued by feminism.

He calls for the immediate creation of a Secrétariat à la Condition Masculine and a Conseil du Statut de l'Homme. Notwithstanding the fact that almost all our institutions, and certainly our political system, are already dominated by men and have no problem looking out for their interests, I say be my guest.

If you think that will help your poor, downtrodden, feminist-whipped boys, go right ahead.

Our society has to start telling these guys, he says, that they are capable, not culpable.

"Until now, a certain feminist discourse said to boys: BECOME GIRLS! But testosterone doesn't agree."

How did this crap make it into a guide meant to help students chart out their academic and professional path?

The SRAM chose the subject, they asked de Passillé to write the essay, and "exceptionally" they published it in its entirety "because it came from a former secretary general of the SRAM."

Both the executive director and the chairman of the board, who are men, were in "meetings" in Quebec City yesterday and according to a secretary (a woman), they couldn't be reached.

They've done a cowardly retreat to the hills, letting this dangerous message that "how dare girls be allowed to do better than boys" get out there.

What were they thinking?

smontgomery@thegazette.southam.ca

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