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Men’s rights candidate not right

Joel Aspden
Gateway Staff
Oct 02, 2013

As if the banner photo on their site isn’t creepy and discrediting enough, the group “Men’s Rights Edmonton” (MR-E) has been giving Edmontonians and Calgarians the creeps for a few weeks now with their bevy of posters and literature.  If you’re still wondering whether or not this group actually exists outside the head of a single twisted individual, the answer is an unfortunate “yes.” Rather than aggregating important issues for men, this group simply tries to make a mockery of feminism, as we saw with their cringeworthy “Don’t Be That Girl” posters earlier this year. And if that wasn’t enough, they now have a candidate in the upcoming municipal election.

When you look at the ballot for Ward 8 on Oct. 21, you’ll find the name of candidate Nick Reading, a member of the laughably small MR-E sect. While the group’s website has many vain and thoughtless publications and videos, the essence of the MR-E’s idiocy is distilled in Reading’s party and campaign brochure.

Rather than acting as a succinct, informative leaflet about the platform of the group, the brochure comes across as an opportunity for the “Patriarchy Party” — the name of MR-E’s political division — to punch the sensibilities of the average Albertan as many times as possible.

According to the brochure, Reading stands for blatant sexism in almost every form possible, from “ensuring governments do not represent women’s interests” to “reducing women’s protections against sexual and domestic abuse while enhancing men’s.” If you’re not feeling sick yet, maybe you ought to cast your vote for the “supreme grand wizard of patriarchy” later this month and join in their hailing of “the mighty phallus!”

But in all seriousness, a group like MR-E deserves nothing more than a few well-deserved middle-fingers and the inattention of their audience: us. With horribly-drawn wiener dogs, typos and inflated, bigoted language plastered all over their website, it’s clear that MR-E is a group designed to aggravate, not inform.

There are ethically sound groups that represent the rights of everyone when it comes to accusations of rape, abuse and representation. The role of protecting equal rights of genders should be left to them, not to the minds of egotistical chauvinists. For this reason, Reading should be ignored and laughed off by all of us.

This is all just preaching to the choir, though. The vast majority of people reading this will have already seen the posters or heard about the group through the grapevine and become angry and frustrated. The best thing to do now is ignore MR-E, denying them their audience in the next few weeks. Don’t feed into their exaggerated hatred and sexism by writing angry letters and complaints to them constantly, and don’t give them your thoughts as you go about your day. Instead, take comfort in the fact that we as a city will cause their demise through our ignorance of their principles.

Reading’s Patriarchy Party, and all of MR-E is just a joke — a sick and twisted joke. Let’s laugh it off because we know better, and especially since insane gibberish can only be interpreted as a joke in this modern day.


Well of COURSE it is a joke. But evidently the author of this article doesn’t GET it. So in the end, the joke’s on him - and a good portion of his readership as well.

Posted by Fidelbogen on Oct 11, 2013

Kind of silly because you’re declaring something to be a joke that is a joke. MR-E is embracing the ridiculous, ludicrous criticisms of their critics and making a joke out of them. You have to be bright enough to see that, though.

Posted by Dean Esmay on Oct 11, 2013

Gee, I didn’t know some dweeb on a college newspaper spoke for all of Alberta.

Posted by Patrick Doran on Oct 11, 2013

...and thus, a great resound “WHOOSH!” was heard as Joel Aspden wrote an article proclaiming Men’s Rights Edmonton’s Patroarchy Party campaign to be a joke.

The concept of satire is clearly lost on this one.

Posted by on Oct 11, 2013

This gif seems ever so appropriate for you, Joel:

I mean, really? You couldn’t sound any more desperate than this. You’re doing exactly what those guys want you to; exposing the senseless hate the group receives regularly.

I don’t care for either movement, and I see merits and pitfalls in both. However, you are the perfect example of what thinly veiled Feminazi attacks against men’s rights groups look like.

This article was more “cringeworthy” than anything MRE has ever done. Wow.

Posted by Really? on Oct 11, 2013

I don’t think Joel gets it. What a waste of time this was.

Posted by Tickled Pink on Oct 11, 2013

Joel - I hate to do this but I feel that it has to be done.  The idea behind the Patriarchy Party is to take the utterly stupid and laughable nonsense that is feminist theory - particularly that of patriarchy theory - and use it as a political platform.  If what Nick is saying appears as lunacy, then he has hit his goal - how can you not see something that’s as glaringly obvious as that?

The society that he describes and aspires to create politically, is one that feminists ALREADY THINK EXISTS.  He’s not saying anything that they don’t already believe.  He’s running on the basis of highlighting obvious stupidity.

You might want to consider growing a sense of humour, Joel…

Posted by Candy Pornsak on Oct 11, 2013

My favorite part is when he comes right out and explicitly encourages ignorance.

Posted by Nick Reading on Oct 11, 2013

The patriarchy party thing is, in fact, a joke. They believe that if Nick Reading is not elected and the press condemns his idiocy, it will prove once and for all that there is no patriarchy or sexism against women. Yes, they really believe that. They truly believe that hatred towards women can only be outward and obvious crap like their so-called satire, and not a long embedded and underlying theme in society. Like with all things in the Men’s Rights Movement, this is an over-the-top in-you-face pathetic attempt at activism. They think they’re so tongue-in-cheek and clever, but what have they done to help men? Absolutely nothing.

Posted by Nicholas on Oct 11, 2013

‘They believe that if Nick Reading is not elected and the press condemns his idiocy, it will prove once and for all that there is no patriarchy or sexism against women. Yes, they really believe that.’  No Nicholas.  That’s wrong.  That’s not what we believe.  Yes, I said ‘WE.’ 

You made an assertion, however - and now you have to prove your assertion.  That’s the way it works.  So, prove your assertion or GTFO.

Oh, and we help men all the time pal - we tend not to get press when we do, though.  CAFE right now are trying to help men by setting up a men’s centre in Toronto where they can go and discuss issues and find resources for men going through emotionally difficult and stressful situations.  The National Coalition For Men are helping university students in setting up their own mens groups. 

Our very existence helps men because we allow men who see what we’re doing to understand that the bullshit that they’re dealing with, like, for example, domestic abuse, isn’t an individual problem - and that they can come to us and talk and express how they’re feeling.

Feminist pigs - aren’t doing any of this.  They never have.  They never will.


Posted by Candy Pornsak on Oct 11, 2013

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