This morning Halifax’s @im_adam_barrett shared some shocking images of a new print poster series that have been stapled to the well-wintered telephone poles of Halifax, with the main concentration on Bell Road, near a public high school.
Not only are these posters violent, misogynist and dangerous in their sentiment, they are incorrect and lacking in logic. It was also revealed via Twitter that the group responsible for the signs have used the logos (inviting assumed association) of The Halifax Police, and an emergency shelter for women and children.
MRAs are noted for skewing statistics, and anecdotal evidence, especially in the areas of child abuse, rape, divorce, domestic violence and suicide. This ‘series’ of posters also include a snippet of respectability politics. One of the posters openly shames female sex workers, reminding them not “to be THAT girl.”
Sadly, it appears that this vitriol is a part of a campaign to draw attention to the new Mens’ Rights Group that was recently celebrated on the vile site: A VOICE FOR MEN (consciously not linked).
My concern sits most heavily in the notion that there are people who have internalized rape culture, misogyny and sexism, and see groups like these as sense-making, and a place where men need to collect in order to protect themselves and their children from the imagined “oppression of women”. I worry for the marginalized and disenfranchised populations that will see an opportunity to belong and be heard by those leading MRA collectives. One need only spend a few moments observing the anger and faulty rhetoric that is an MRA twitter-feed to acknowledge the dangerous and toxic masculinity that these men are emitting under the guise of incredibly emotive and potentially explosive topics of suicide, child abuse, divorce and domestic violence.
It is a shame that MRAs are unable to appreciate the undoing that their hate-filled ethos brings to these crucial topics; pots of energy are wasted in the hate of MRAs, but it is hate that we need to acknowledge and be wary of – with these posters hanging around high school environs, I want to know what additional rape culture, sexism and misogyny conversations are happening in the communities where kids are potentially ingesting these images.