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MRAs coming to Winchester University

(75 Posts)
winchfem Wed 27-Feb-19 01:54:45

Hi everyone,

I've name-changed as this is quite outing, but I wanted to ask for some support regarding a problem at my university. I've learned today that two members of Justice for Men and Boys, namely Mike Buchanan and William Collins, have been booked by a member of staff to give talks on the first of March. Many people I know have rallied to create a petition which might at least postpone these events if not cancel them completely. I was hoping, if you can spare the time, that some users in this topic might be able to lend their signatures?

The petition can be found here.

I really appreciate it if you can but have no hard feelings if you can't, it just seemed like the best place to ask. Thanks in advance.

ColeHawlins Wed 27-Feb-19 02:00:37

The problem with objecting to their talk is that it plays into the general practice of "no platforming" that is currently holding sway in academia.

I think it's much healthier to host and hear a range of views, however fringe or abhorrent they might be to individuals (with the proviso that no laws are broken).

I'd be more inclined to check whether the invitation is consistent with general practice at Winchester, or whether other speakers have been no-platformed, and if they have, complain about the inconsistency.

I'd also be pushing back against any MRA message via pickets and student media, but not actually protesting their presence, per se.

MrsTerryPratcett Wed 27-Feb-19 02:03:01

What Cole said. Find out if they no platform Muslim, Jewish, right-wing or feminist speakers generally.

Picket away, preferably with funny signs that make them look like the nobbers they are.

DancelikeEmmaGoldman Wed 27-Feb-19 02:06:42

That’s no different to no-platforming feminist speakers.

Surely better to not-protest their attendance but publicise why their ideas are repugnant. And attend the event and ask questions.

If we are really in the side of free speech, we have to be willing to hear things we profoundly disagree with.

The problem with no-platforming is that it becomes difficult to articulate exactly what your points of disagreement are, because it’s so easy to just not listen or engage.

SignMeUp Wed 27-Feb-19 04:02:13

I'd find out what their talking points will be and create leaflets to counter them. I would definitely attend and ask questions. Make them admit they hate women in their own stupid ways
Better to let them "expose" themselves, and counter protest or ridicule.
Don't no platform if you value free speech.

IamThereforeIdontIdentify Wed 27-Feb-19 04:11:28

Agree with other posters. Don't no-platform them. Expose them for who they really are.

MsJeminaPuddleduck Wed 27-Feb-19 05:28:57

What Cole said

donquixotedelamancha Wed 27-Feb-19 06:46:56

Many people I know have rallied to create a petition which might at least postpone these events if not cancel them completely.

Why? Genuinely why would you try to stop someone speaking in public (at a university of all places) unless they are promoting violence?

We're British. We don't shut people up, we take the piss.

YANBU to think them fools (I've seen one interviewed, he's an idiot) but YABU to call it hate speech and say they should have the right to assembly removed.

NotTerfNorCis Wed 27-Feb-19 06:54:53

Buchanan is not a skilled debater, although he has a few years experience now. He always seems to be talking from a pre-rehearsed script. If you look at his website, you'll see it's full of stories denigrating women as a class: 'one woman did something stupid/bad somewhere in the world, therefore all women are stupid/bad!' If you know Buchanan's ground he should be easy to trip up in debate.

Collins comes across as more intellectual on his site. He was good at presenting existing, respected arguments in an intelligent-sounding style, then twisting them to suit his MRA purposes. Someone who wasn't well informed, or who wanted to believe, might be convinced. I remember a story that Collins wrote once. It imagined that all males died overnight. Collins was describing a terrible human tragedy but you wouldn't have known it. The point of the story was how selfish and useless women are. His female characters aren't that bothered about the men dying, but civilisation quickly falls apart, and the women are reduced to waiting for one of them to give birth to a boy child who will save them all.

DonaldTwain Wed 27-Feb-19 06:58:44

Is there even such s thing as Winchester university?
Who knew?

DonaldTwain Wed 27-Feb-19 07:00:13

Well bugger me with a fish fork, there is.
If that’s the level of booking these two fruit loops are getting, I don’t think world domination is imminent. Turn up and take the piss.

NotTerfNorCis Wed 27-Feb-19 07:04:29

By the way, Buchanan himself is very anti-debate. I used to argue with him and his cronies online. They used insults and intimidation to try to make people back down. I won one of Buchanan's 'gormless feminist' awards! (That used to be 'stupid woman' before someone persuaded him it looked a bit sexist, even for him.) Buchanan genuinely seemed to think that giving someone an 'award' meant he'd won the argument and definitively proved them wrong. So do be aware that anyone who does engage with these MRAs might well be in for some online vilification and abuse. Having said that, the pool of Buchanan's followers is so small, you've got to ask yourself if that matters.

adultFemaleElf Wed 27-Feb-19 07:16:02

I do not support no-platforming.
Even when I disagree with the person being no-platformed.

feministfairy Wed 27-Feb-19 07:19:46

Great comments.
Do as women's groups currently meeting in the UK do when discussing the removal of women's rights - engage in respectful debate.

ToeToToe Wed 27-Feb-19 07:31:48

Mike Buchanan has visited Mumsnet before grin

He was roundly handed his arse on a plate by the fabulous women (and some men) here.

He stood for election in the W Mids. He got 150 votes. Lost his deposit. wink

Ignoring him is far, far more powerful than protesting him. If you protest him you give him power/publicity. He's just an angry man. Angry at the small strides women have made towards equality.

LangCleg Wed 27-Feb-19 08:20:42

We're British. We don't shut people up, we take the piss.

I concur!

Don't try to no-platform, OP. It does not lead anywhere good.

Whatisthisfuckery Wed 27-Feb-19 08:31:51

I agree with all the above. Don’t no platform them. Let people hear them speak and make up their own mind. Any undergrad worth their salt will be able to take their ideas apart and dismantle them. Sun light is good, letting these idiots become martyrs is not. How can we crush harmful ideas if they’re not aired out in the open and challenged?

RiverTam Wed 27-Feb-19 08:37:17

agreed, don't no platform them. You;re at university, which should be a bastion of free speech and you should be able to robustly debate these people.

But I would get assurance from the university/union that if they allow MRAs a platform that they don't de-platform women speaking about women's rights.

VickyEadie Wed 27-Feb-19 09:38:42

I'm entirely against no-platforming. If Winchester University has previously no-platformed feminists (or anyone else), I'd be using that at some point to bolster the argument that some people are making value judgments on everyone else's behalf, which is very, very dangerous indeed.

SleepDeprivedCabbageBrain Wed 27-Feb-19 09:41:20

No platforming is bad. If you believe in your argument, go and make it!!

ToeToToe Wed 27-Feb-19 10:04:00

You just have to remember the uproar when Nick Griffin was on Question Time - lots of people calling for no-platforming then.

But that TV appearance finished him and the BNP. He was shown up to be the utterly vile individual that he is.

Mike Buchanan is fairly similar - utterly vile, and far less known that Nick Griffin. Most people will have never heard of him. Let him have his little talks. Better still, go and challenge him - he really shows his true colours when confronted by a woman.

LizzieSiddal Wed 27-Feb-19 10:14:02

Go along with questions. Make him look like the tit he is.x

BettyDuMonde Wed 27-Feb-19 10:32:18

I’d try and get one of the current women’s org speaking tours to come along on the same day, personally.

Book another room on the other side of campus and see how opposition to both pans out. Could be great for publicity for feminist talking points!

ChattyLion Wed 27-Feb-19 10:34:04

Turn up and take the piss.

This sounds like the best tactic IMHO

ChattyLion Wed 27-Feb-19 10:36:59

And/Or have a different petition which doesn’t seek to stop these creepy men speaking but which does outline clear objections to their ideas and get people to sign that as signatures of support. While underlining that they are welcome to put their views up for debate at the university.

theOtherPamAyres Wed 27-Feb-19 11:07:09

There's nothing wrong with the idea that men should highlight what they see as 'injustices' and discrimination.

In fact, it's a good thing when they want to discuss, debate and talk about perceived injustices.

Before prejudging the speakers, I would want to hear what they had to say and consider their evidence. Even if I didn't like what I heard, I defend their right to speak.

I don't want to see censorious, authoritarian no-platforming. A diverse and inclusive society has room for everyone.

NotTerfNorCis Wed 27-Feb-19 18:32:42

Buchanan is saying on Twitter that the talk has been cancelled because of the petition. He's posted the content online if anyone is curious.

RiverTam Wed 27-Feb-19 18:38:01

I don’t think that is a good outcome, tbh, and certainly doesn’t help women battling against beingno platformed.

NothingOnTellyAgain Wed 27-Feb-19 18:46:16

Intetesting that the success of no platforming feminists has led to this.

We (women in general) have protested and in some cases stopped mra speaking, that pua recently women complained and I think he was barred from coming into country (would need to check) also there was a lot of hooha about Mike tyson coming, from feminist groups.

There needs to be a line. Problem is it came and bit us in the arse.

I would say that more hardcore mra s do incite crime against women and I don't think they should have a platform for that.

BernardBlacksWineIcelolly Wed 27-Feb-19 18:50:53

Mike Buchanan talks about himself in the third person! Of course he does

BernardBlacksWineIcelolly finds it strangely satisfying

NotTerfNorCis Wed 27-Feb-19 18:51:40

From what I've seen, MRAs incite less violence than TRAs. They certainly loathe feminists and blame us for everything wrong with the world, but they don't often threaten to punch us or wish a few of us in the morgue to scare the rest.

MargueritaPink Wed 27-Feb-19 18:52:33

I believe that proper permission had been obtained, but in the event there was a student-led petition against it. The result was that Eric was put under a lot of stress over the matter and I and the other invited speaker (William Collins) volunteered to pull out from concern over Eric

Spectacular own goal Winchester students. You have managed to make him the victim.

I've read his speech. Most of it is very easy to counter.

I take his point about AWS, which I do not support, and that like for like job comparison have the potential to be not at all like for like. He also has a point that screening for prostate cancer does not have anything like the profile for breast or cervical cancer

But the rest? If students could not have debated and challenged It- poor show.

BernardBlacksWineIcelolly Wed 27-Feb-19 18:55:24

This is a man who believes that unless a man has signed a contract to agree to conceive, he shouldn't have to support his offspring

what with men having no opposable thumbs so being unable to put on condoms

winchester students, taking the piss out of this chap would have been both a public service and properly fun. shame

NothingOnTellyAgain Wed 27-Feb-19 19:01:12

NotTerf some are pro rape though.

MRA is a broad church. Eliot Rodger was one. Some are very very dangerous men, some know how to just walk the side of line on the side of the law.

TRA are a subset of MRA, in general.

The idea that MRA are not danegrous to women is untrue. They are very dangerous, some of them.

NothingOnTellyAgain Wed 27-Feb-19 19:05:52

Do you all disagree with this decision

or this one even

I think there needs to be caution when moving from barring people from speaking is OK in some circs to, oh look feminists are being no platformed we need to let everyone speak and just laugh at them.

There is a middle ground here.

NothingOnTellyAgain Wed 27-Feb-19 19:08:06

Mike Tyson is a slightly different onw HOWEVER I believe at the time the reason the HO looked at it was because of a MASSIVE public outcry from women esp feminists.

There was a law that could stop him but I believe the reason it was invoked was because of the fuss.

I understand why women on the thread are saying what they are saying but to remove all barriers is too far for me and feels a bit baby / bathwater.

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 27-Feb-19 19:11:14

The petition had just over 700 signatures. I find it hard to believe that was enough pressure to get the event cancelled. It seems like an very easy win for them, plus extra publicity plus extra traffic for the transcript of his speech online.

NotTerfNorCis Wed 27-Feb-19 19:11:48

True NothingOnTellyAgain. MRAs represent misogynists, and some misogynists are violent.

This is a man who believes that unless a man has signed a contract to agree to conceive, he shouldn't have to support his offspring

But Buchanan also opposes abortion. And social support for single mothers. He does support prostitution though.

What I don't get is... Ok he hates women and wishes harm on them. But surely half of these kids, living in poverty with prostituted mothers, would be boys? Is his hatred so great, he thinks their suffering is a price worth paying?

NothingOnTellyAgain Wed 27-Feb-19 19:17:44

Yes is the short answer.

Hatred for women outweighs care for children even male ones.

I mean you read about men who won't pay to support their own children, the excuse being that they see the money as going to the mum and why should they pay her for anything,

This bloke is hardly going to get the sads over kids that aren't even his.

BernardBlacksWineIcelolly Wed 27-Feb-19 19:21:45

yes, I must admit I had seen the speaking about himself in the third person thing and just thought 'what a knob', but i dipped into his twitter feed and hurriedly dipped out again

this dude really hates women

the only good thing is that nobody on twitter seems to be very interested in what he has to say

Bowlofbabelfish Wed 27-Feb-19 19:26:55

I’m very much against nonplatforming.

Go, and rip the piss out of him. That’s the British way.

donquixotedelamancha Wed 27-Feb-19 19:27:19

*I think there needs to be caution when moving from barring people from speaking is OK in some circs to, oh look feminists are being no platformed we need to let everyone speak and just laugh at them.
There is a middle ground here.*

I agree there is a middle ground, indeed some restriction of speech is needed to allow a more plural society. The US is not as free as the UK in many ways because those with power exercise it to exclude those without. The legal right to free speech is no use if it costs you your job.

Still I think the general rule that universities should not be banning speakers for being controversial holds true.

ScrimshawTheSecond Wed 27-Feb-19 19:28:45

If they are banned or no-platformed it will only fuel their arguments. Streisand effect.

Let them talk, debate them if you can be bothered, picket if you think it's worth it. If someone has nasty views, far better that they are out in the open where we can see them.

DonaldTwain Wed 27-Feb-19 19:34:27

Banning is justified if he’s inciting people to commit crime or if there’s serious risk of disorder. Not otherwise. Much better to let him turn up, point and laugh.
Ps he hasn’t spotted the issue with male children cos he’s fucking thick as pig plops

NothingOnTellyAgain Wed 27-Feb-19 19:40:04

That's where the law lies at the moment, I think, Donald.

I wouldn't agree with giving anyone who incites or celebrates eg genocide a platform, as an example.

In Germany it is illegal to publicly be a holocaust denier.

I really do think some boundaries are necessary.

There are things like the zones around abortion clinics as well where I am also not in favour of "free speech" (harrassing women using the clinic).

I am really concerned that the moment we (women) get banned there is a total change of tack to anything goes and I don't think that's right either.

NothingOnTellyAgain Wed 27-Feb-19 19:41:30

Free speech is also the argument pornogaphers use.

In a society with no barriers to "free speech" women and children lose, I am sure.

scotsheather Wed 27-Feb-19 19:47:29

Why are you so opposed? Free speech is a fundamental right as we have said ourselves.

donquixotedelamancha Wed 27-Feb-19 19:49:34

Banning is justified if he’s inciting people to commit crime or if there’s serious risk of disorder.

That's where the law lies at the moment, I think, Donald.

UK law always drew the line somewhat narrower than that. I worry that it has gone a little far of late. Google the Nazi pug for a good legal example.

In a society with no barriers to "free speech" women and children lose, I am sure.

This is absolutely true, but it's not what we are discussing. We are discussing a society where billboards saying 'Woman: Adult human female' are pulled down and where people are questioned under caution for rudeness.

The OP is not about the law, it is about debate in a university setting. There is clear guidance from the DfE that this should be as free as possible and most Brits would agree with that position.

NothingOnTellyAgain Wed 27-Feb-19 20:04:38

I know what you're all discussing grin

I'm disagreeing that absolute free speech >> is a great answer to anything.

I am not talking about this specific case but in general. That PUA got banned from coming here. I think, good result.

That's my only point.

You are all fully within your rights to disagree with me, obviously!

Rufusthebewilderedreindeer Wed 27-Feb-19 20:05:15

The petition had just over 700 signatures

I doubt all 700 were students

And there are 7000+ students at Winchester

Most of whom probably dont give a shiny shit who speaks there

Shame its been no platformed, just more ammunition as pp have said

NothingOnTellyAgain Wed 27-Feb-19 20:06:57

"Why are you so opposed? Free speech is a fundamental right as we have said ourselves."

The examples I gave

I don't want people able to harrass women going to clinics - I LIKE the idea of teh exclusions zones
I was pleased when that PUA was banned

That sort of stuff.

NothingOnTellyAgain Wed 27-Feb-19 20:08:58

I'll duck out now

I just worry about baby / bathwater as I mentioned.

MargueritaPink Wed 27-Feb-19 20:32:57

The examples of a foreign criminal and another dubious foreigner are not relevant here. Any state has the right to decide it will exclude dubious characters and frequently does.Mike Buchanan is a British citizen invited to speak at a university, and isn't, as far as I'm aware a convicted criminal.

So far as harassment of anyone attending an abortion clinic that is an offence in its own right. Those actions have nothing to do with free speech. In the case of exclusion zones around clinics whilst I did sign a petition in suppot I'm not even sure I support them 100%. I definitely do not support the proposition that was discussed on here once that pro-life groups should be banned from distributing leaflets on campus.

ToeToToe Wed 27-Feb-19 20:38:00

It's a fine line, for sure.

I have real problems with anti-abortionists accosting women outside clinics/blocking entrances - because that's actual harassment of vulnerable women. But I support anti-abortionist's right to free speech/opinion. Just not outside clinics. Lobby parliament.

I was also pleased when the PUA was banned - because he advocates rape. He really does - he thinks rape on private property shouldn't be a crime, so if you can get a girl back to your house......blah blah envy <vom. And that's incitement to a crime.

But no ideas should be no-platformed in universities. If there isn't freedom of thought/expression/discussion in our centres of learning - then what are they for?

ToeToToe Wed 27-Feb-19 20:39:14

Sorry I worded that PUA one badly. You get the just. He advocates rape culture.

donquixotedelamancha Wed 27-Feb-19 21:00:40

That's my only point. You are all fully within your rights to disagree with me, obviously!

Actually I think I agree with your point (since you don't apply it to this case or similar). It does not harm to have people making the counter arguments- sometimes these threads get a bit group thinky. 5 years ago I suspect most people would have been backing the OP.

TalkingintheDark Wed 27-Feb-19 23:31:47

The debate about no-platforming aside, I thought it was interesting to see the handmaidens on that Buchanan’s twitter. All these MRAs have a fair few women in their orbit who call themselves anti-feminists or whatever.

Just got me musing about the precedent of women colluding with those who promote a deeply misogynist worldview, and conning themselves they’re not turkeys voting for Christmas. It is a Thing, evidently.

ToeToToe Wed 27-Feb-19 23:43:14

Those women have always existed - they're like the ones who actively campaigned for women not to have the vote. They make me sad for them, but they don't prevail.

MrsTerryPratcett Thu 28-Feb-19 00:29:07

Delicate flowers aren't they? I can't imagine Posie or Germaine vaulting at 700 signatories. Lacking the masked men and baseball bats that accompany this sort of thing against women.

MrsTerryPratcett Thu 28-Feb-19 00:31:19

Baulking ffs

traceyracer Thu 28-Feb-19 01:24:34

why what has Justice for Men and Boys done?

failingatlife Thu 28-Feb-19 05:56:27

Up thread a pp mentioned prostate ça screening being lower profile than cervical or breast ça. The reason for this is prostate ca is a slow growing cancer affecting elderly men. A relative has it and has been told he will die with it not of it. Compare that to the young women who die in their prime. Jade Goody was under 30 I think. Its not comparing like with like.

SinkGirl Thu 28-Feb-19 06:48:52

This has a list of research funding by cancer type - top 10 by research funding.

Cervical, ovarian, endometrial, uterine cancers are not on that list. Prostate cancer does get around half the funding of breast cancer but it is not true that there are more deaths from prostate cancer than breast cancer.

I wish I hadn’t read his speech, it’s giving me the rage - the unfounded assertion that there are thousands of wrongly convicted men in prison for rape convictions is staggering, given the low conviction rate as it is.

The fury over 25% of MPs being female when only 10% of applicants are female is also infuriating.

After the recent stuff that’s been printed from the book Invisible Women, it’s no surprise that women aren’t doing jobs where the role and environment are designed for men.

There’s so much barely veiled contempt for women, I feel quite ill.

SonicVersusGynaephobia Thu 28-Feb-19 11:19:29

That's a real shame he's been no-platformed, I'd have loved it if he came to my University.

It's very concerning that students feel so incapable of challenging ideas and debating things these days.

AyeRobot Thu 28-Feb-19 12:33:07

If he's been invited, he should speak.

I would question why he's been invited, though. Would you love to know the thought process behind that decision.

SinkGirl Thu 28-Feb-19 12:43:09

He was invited by the department of masculine studies.... 🙄

I can imagine a department of masculine studies having the potential to be a force for good, but this invitation isn’t very promising, is it?

ColeHawlins Thu 28-Feb-19 12:56:44

* He was invited by the department of masculine studies....*

Woah. So all the women's studies courses went to make way for "gender theory" but "masculine studies" is a whole department somewhere?

Rufusthebewilderedreindeer Thu 28-Feb-19 13:18:01

He was invited by the department of masculine studies

I was worried that ds1 may be missing out on something..but nope

Masculine studies? Well thats a new one on me

Ds1 is doing history...isnt that pretty much masculine studies?

SinkGirl Thu 28-Feb-19 13:22:00

Sorry, I misquoted - they were invited by a “Professor of Masculinities”

Sounds even worse

ColeHawlins Thu 28-Feb-19 13:28:05

* Sounds even worse*

It does.

Manderleyagain Thu 28-Feb-19 14:03:15

I agree that a few yrs ago this board would have been supportive of the petition. I expect other feminist forums would be now.

It was the no platforming etc that alerted me to the fact something was off with trans rights activism and led me to get more involved here as I am interested in freedom of speech generally, and think its at risk.

I actually don't think it is necessarily wrong for a professor of masculinites to invite someone who is having some influence on the issue - there is no point only hosting one side of the debate. It depends how it was done and if his ideas were going to be challenged and critiqued. And if other viewpoints would be platformed.
I wonder if the petition etc was mainly students.

MrsTerryPratcett Thu 28-Feb-19 15:17:15

I found this word salad from the University of Calgary and it's Masculinity Chair:

Masculinities Studies research operates from a profeminist standpoint. As such researchers in the field conduct research that draws on feminist theories addressing gender identities. Specifically masculinities scholars argue that masculinities are fluid, socially constructed and that the ways in which boys and men take up “projects of masculinity” are connected to power relations. Along this line masculinities studies draws on feminist stand point to interrogate how and when men enact, perform masculinities and how this intersects within a matricies of power including sexualities class, and raced identities.

Doesn't sound bad. If the Winchester professor has the same slant, maybe it was a debate point, not an endorsement.

MrsTerryPratcett Thu 28-Feb-19 15:17:51

Forgive the grammar. Mine and theirs.

ColeHawlins Thu 28-Feb-19 15:44:38

I suppose now that "gender" has been hijacked to mean something very specific, there isn't really a snappy word available to bring Women's Studies and "Masculinities" together as one area of Social Science. Irritating. "Sex Studies" wouldn't really work.

There's an asymmetry between the terms too (can you imagine a professor of "Femininities"?) but that's the result of decades of sociological enquiry using certain terms, so probably better not to try to excavate that one here. Suffice to say that sex/gender studies are evidently very gendered grin

ToeToToe Thu 28-Feb-19 16:22:55

So there used to be "women's studies" - then that changed to "gender studies" - which I'm still pissed off about - but now there is "masculinities" ? What a joke!

I suppose the joke's on women (as usual).

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