The Honey Badgers interviewed Justin Trottier, the spokesman for the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE). I have followed CAFE for some time. They appear to do great work in helping men and boys in Canada, from creating services for fathers to pushing for increased recognition of male victims of abuse. CAFE initially received hostile responses from Canadian feminists, many of who mobbed any conference or talks CAFE gave on college campuses. The organization also faced bans and blocks from speaking at certain events, including being barred from a gay pride parade the group previously marched in.
The bulk of the complaints about the group hinge on the group’s focus on men’s issues, which their critics label as “misogynistic”, often without providing any evidence of a sexist view of women. It is a rather bizarre situation in which an organization attempting to help men essentially faces attacks for doing the very thing its critics claim no men’s rights group ever does: actually try to create services for men and boys.
According to Trottier, the situation has improved. While feminists do still attack them, CAFE has managed to get broader support from the police and various government bodies and officials, particularly when it comes to assisting fathers. The situation is not the best, yet it does show that the attitudes are changing, largely because groups like CAFE do not go away.
Allison Tieman suggested that the changes in the last year might have been due to situations like Gamergate, specifically that the focus on that issue took some of the heat off of groups like CAFE. I think that is possible, however, I think the most likely impact, if any, is that people saw that those who truly care about these issues are not going to back down. That was a hard lesson for progressives and feminists to learn in regards to Gamergate, hence the incessant negative spin on the movement. The same happens with men’s rights groups, and yet those groups are still active.
For those honestly concerned about addressing civil issues, there is no reason not to take men’s rights groups seriously.