I guess I’m first to catch the glaring flaw here. Yay for history majors!
To begin, I watched the interview and I agree in principle that men can sometimes get the shit end of the legal stick when it comes to custody issues following a divorce. This is partially a reaction to having a justice system which at one point in the past uniquely served the interests of caucasian heterosexual adult males. Times have changed and we’re better off for it.
But theres a huge problem here.
Ms. Titus’ argument is in part based on the idea that the media doesn’t report the male victims of crimes or injustices of a psycho-sexual nature, that the victims, from a mainstream media perspective, seem to tend towards almost exclusively being women. As for the aggressors, they almost always seem to be men. Ms. Titus, in an effort to bring her point home refers to the four un-named male victims of the Montreal Massacre (aka Polytechnique Shooting) on Dec. 6th 1989. Her credibility then nose-dives because…
It never happened.
There were no men killed at the Polytechnique, save for the lone gunman. The four men she refers to were killed, wait for it:
a) three years later
b) at a different university
c) with a different weapon
d) for a fundamentally different reason
e) from a different person (also a man, now in jail, likely not to be paroled)
Ms. Titus used a tactic which has been well-used by Sun TV, Sun News, CNN, Fox News etc etc etc for years. It’s called ‘conflation’. Since most people can’t remember what happened last week, most people simply smush events together for their own convenience. Ask a history prof how maddening this is.
There’s absolutely no debate when it comes to the victims list from the Polytech Shooting – they were all women killed for being women by a man who claimed feminists had ruined his life. He stated as such in his suicide note. He only shot at women, he only killed women.
I cannot stress this enough. But because the Polytechnique Massacre and Concordia Massacre happened relatively close together, Ms. Titus has decided to apply four senseless male deaths at Concordia University to a crime committed three years earlier in hopes of bolstering her weak position and lack of credible evidence.
*** Author’s Note – October 10th 2011***
I’ve been corresponding with Ms. Titus and she alleges that she had received the incorrect information from students she interviewed. There was a linguistic barrier, as Ms. Titus cannot speak French, and she further alleges that the students led her to believe several men had been killed in the incident, though they could not pinpoint precisely where they had heard this. Ms. Titus insists that she corrected these statements, though I’ve yet to ascertain where such a retraction would have been posted.
That said, I don’t have much too say, I think she’s already done a number on her own credibility by admitting to using less than satisfactory research methods. While I can understand there is a pressure of sorts while appearing on unscripted live television, there is no excuse to use such flawed ‘information’ to form a core component of your argument. Frankly, if more people working in the 24-hr cable news industry made more of an effort to censor themselves and try, sincerely, to only speak the truth, or, to ensure that points are based on demonstrable facts, our society would be considerably less polarized. Instead, such infotainment organizations (like Sun News Network) are driven by spurious scandals and invented controversies. Facts take a back seat because pundits have no interest in finding the truth. This is a distinction between ‘media personality’ and ‘journalist/reporter’ our society must recognize, but unfortunately we are still functionally illiterate when it comes to most media and communications issues. Too many of us still only trust the town crier, and we need to evolve past this. Ms. Titus should have refrained from using this example to build her argument, but ultimately my objection lies not chiefly with her, but rather with Sun News for their selective omission, selective fact-checking, and custom-fit misinformation they traffic in.
But to ensure the record is clear, she does acknowledge the mistake and has apologized for making the assertion, incorrect as it is.
It’s not like Fox News North is going to do a god damn thing to help her get her facts straight and this in turn weakens us. We can’t have random, opportunistic people like this being supported by equally opportunistic assholes like Michael Coren, Sun News, Quebecor etc.
This is hardly great stuff, but I suppose I wouldn’t nearly be as disappointed if it weren’t for the fact that men’s rights forums and other commentators are falling-in step behind this, calling it good stuff, a decent argument etc. No one has noticed this crucial fabrication.
As a proud man, I choose to honour my pride by ensuring I know the facts before I open my mouth, and certainly before I go on TV in front of the 20 or 30 people who may or may not be watching Sun News.