No Meeting on Labor Day

Since KSU will be closed for Labor Day, we will pick up our next meeting this coming Thursday.

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Fall Election

November 10th is KSUM’s Fall Election. Students interested in applying for officer positions in KSUM should contact us to nominate themselves for a position. The available positions are President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Digital media director and Administrative Correspondent.

If only one student requests a position and no student competes for that position by November 10th, then the student is appointed to the position. Otherwise, existing KSUM officers will vote on the nominees.

Being a KSUM officer is hard work, but the journey is fulfilling. Men’s rights advocacy is a new field ripe for exploration and personal development, meaning that these pioneer efforts can make a significant difference on both your resume and extracurricular experience.

If you are a human rights advocate looking for an adventure in gender politics, then join the KSUM team. You’ve never experienced anything like this before, you get to help people, and there is already a supportive community backing you both morally and, when necessary, financially. What’s not to like?

The Persons Cases

By Nick Nightengale

In Canada the “Persons” case is a big deal.  We even have an annual “Persons Day”—for women.  Oct 18.  Every year. Canada, like the U.S. has a bi-cameral legislature.  Canada has an elected national House of Commons and an appointed Senate.

Around the time women obtained the vote in Canada, other issues were examined.   Female eligibility for appointment to the Canadian Senate was one such issue.  The Constitution  authorized the Prime Minister (more or less equivalent to the U.S. President) to appoint “qualified persons” to the Senate.  A woman wrote to the federal government regarding the appointment of women. The government made a “reference,” meaning that the case was sent to the Supreme Court to have the issue resolved.  Five women, including one Mrs.  Edwards, for whom the case is named, joined. This occurred in the late 1920s.

The main reason there was an issue was based on the old “Original Intent” method of statutory interpretation still used by conservative members of the U.S. Supreme Court. The essence of the approach revolved around the question of what the original framers of the constitution intended.

This raised an issue about the intention behind the phrase “qualified persons” because at the time of framing the legislation the primary “qualification” one had to possess was to own real property and at that time women basically couldn’t hold property in their own name.

The Supreme Court took an “original intent” approach and held that women weren’t included in the phrase “qualified persons” because at the time of framing it was impossible for women to be “qualified.” The Court indicated that an amendment was required to make women eligible for appointment.

However, Canada as part of the British Commonwealth maintain a right (now abolished) for citizens to appeal cases to the British highest Court the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Some of the women involved in the case were well off financially,  including Mrs. Edwards (upper middle class upbringing, then married  a doctor).  They appealed the case to the Privacy Council.  It took a “living tree” approach to constitutional interpretation and held that women were within the meaning of the phrase “qualified persons”.

The reader will note several facts:  the women had enough heft to get the government to make the reference to the Supreme Court, had the means to follow through with an appeal to the Privy Council and won the case.  The reader will also observe that the essence of the issue was more on “qualification” than on “persons”.

You would know little of that if you lived in Canada today.  Rather you would be told that women were not “persons” in some general sense of the word until October 18, 1929, when the case was decided.  The implication, sometimes expressly stated, is that if women were not “persons”, they must have been “property”.  That characterization appears to be false.  One can certainly say men, including particularly “husbands” had more rights than women or particularly “wives” back then (although men also had dramatically more responsibility), but ownership of live property connotes one or both of two factors:  a right to sell or a right to kill.  Husband’s had neither of those powers.   Yet the Edwards case, more commonly  known as “the Persons” case is so well known that the women who brought the case are known as “the famous five”.

Unfortunately, feminists and the mainstream media have “spun” the case to stand for the proposition that prior to Edwards women were property, not persons.

The astute reader might have observed that the title of the post is the persons cases, plural.  There is another “persons” case decided around 50 years later, around 1980.

Mr. Fitzpatrick was that rarest of all beings, a man with custody of his children.    Fitzpatrick was poor and his two children were young.  He thought that, in the absence of his wife, he should stay home with his children, as having a parent at home raising the children was then still common.  Being poor, he applied for social allowance benefits (welfare.) under The Social Allowances Act, as it then was.   For someone in Fitzpatrick’s position the key section was one that provided benefits to a “person in need” defined as a mother unable to provide “basic necessaries” to her children.

Fitzpatrick clearly fit the definition of being “in need” given he had to  house and feed his children.   But was he a “person”?  Did being a father rather than a mother disqualify him from “personhood”  There had been a Human Rights Act in place for a while at the time of this, prohibiting discrimination based on sex.

Fitzpatrick applied to the provincial (like a state) or city department for benefits and was turned town.  He then went to a social assistance appeal board—-alone, no high priced lawyers to help him—-and lost there also.

He then made an application before a justice of Court of Appeal, to seek leave to appeal to the full Court of Appeal—again, on his own. Recall that the Court had earlier found women to be persons and that was without human rights legislation.

One would think that a reasonable judge and reasonable system would hold that, in the unusual circumstances of a father having custody, that “mother” could be read as “parent”.  Alternatively the judge could have used the human rights legislation to hold that there was an issue worthy of a full hearing.

One would think so, but what judge said was “the applicant is of the view that the state should look after him since in the absence of his divorced wife, he is mothering his two infant children—-I, as an employed person, must make myself available to listen patiently to his pet theories.”

He then held “leave to appeal  is denied”.

Where does one start.  The words used put the lie to his claim about “patience”.  Note the shot about being “employed”.  As noted this judge had human rights legislation to assist him.   Note also  society’s contempt for an unemployed man is so deep that we deny him “personhood” for that status.  And the judge did this, even though the people harmed by the denial of men’s personhood, are helpless young children.  Accordingly, one deep lesson we can learn from the Fitzpatrick case—where the Court was prepared to run over children, to get at an “unproductive” man—-is that when Courts and society do special sexist things for women and then claim “it’s for the children”, that it is probably actually for the woman.   The children are a convenient excuse.

No doubt you are wondering whether there was a great outcry, whether feminists or the media criticized the decision and took to the streets demanding that men be considered “persons”. No doubt you are thinking that feminists, because after all, feminism is for “everyone” stated that denying personhood to men in a specific circumstance meant that men generally weren’t “persons”.    No doubt you are thinking that even if nothing was done at the time, that there is a special “non-persons’ day set aside for men, to demonstrate that a half century after deciding that women were persons that our society was not only so sexist but so hypocritical as hold that men were not persons.

So somehow women being found to be “persons” in the 1920’s somehow meant that women are oppressed, but a finding 50 years later that men aren’t “persons” means nothing.  The silence and the hypocrisy is deafening.

So men get to be “persons,” or so we hope, and women get affirmative action.  Hmm.

When do you think the Fitzpatrick kids got to eat?

Men are persons too.  Men’s rights are human rights.

Incorrect message on ticket order notifications

KSUM Conference Attendees,

Those of you who got a free ticket may have seen this message on your ticket.

Please print and bring your tickets to the event entrance.

NOTE: If this is a free ticket, remember that not attending will
result in being charged full price for the ticket plus a $50
penalty.

The note is a mistake on account of a mis-communication inside KSUM. Not attending only means that your ticket will become available for someone else.

This was from a bygone strategy when we were going to try to sell tickets without using a fundraiser, and we needed a way to protect KSUM from no-shows that swiped free tickets given away during a short promotional period. But after we changed things up and went for a fundraiser, that old message never got removed even though it should have been.

So relax, there is no penalty for non-attendance. The message has been corrected for all future tickets. Those of you who already have tickets do not need to do anything.

We apologize for any confusion.

Feminism as a Brand

By Sage Gerard

Saying that feminism will liberate women everywhere is like saying that Taco Bell will end world hunger.

Both statements need to be substantiated at great expense, but even then one wonders if a better service is available.

Feminism is understood to be a set of ideologies that extend from a gender egalitarian sentiment. The obvious hypocrisy of gynocentrism in the core of feminism aside, an informed activist would do well to view feminism both in terms of its reputation and its institution.

For the purposes of this article, I assume that an ideology has a reputation and a set of governing powers that enable some level of physical, socioeconomic and political control over the behavior of systems and people. I informally refer to the sum total of these powers as an institution for illustrative purposes.

Few feminists defend feminism’s reputation by correcting the institution. Instead, most are content to defend feminism’s reputation without substantiating claims with actions that contribute to an equitable civilization.

Feminism, like other ideologies I could mention, is a bunch of firefighters boasting the features of their fire engine while a city burns.

What makes being an activist so psychologically taxing is that you have watch people burning along with their buildings admiring the useless firefighters. A useful firefighting activist would try to evacuate the city. Sadly, we live in a world where those efforts bring not thanks, but accusations of hating firefighters from barbecued mouths. Meanwhile, the firefighters approach the human-shaped bundles of pain to ask for money to support Waterism’s efforts to put out fires. And those firefighters get paid.

Let’s come back to a discussion on feminism in particular. How does feminism sustain a wonderful reputation despite the fact it is composed largely of violent psychopaths, hysterical crusaders, obsequious men, and insufferable pundits?

The answer is that feminism is a marvel of marketing that salespeople want to emulate. Through sheer repetition of talking points, sabotaged scholarship, and relentless censorship, feminism has successfully conditioned people into habitual thinking. Just as a magnate exploits human beings as creatures of habit, a dogma exploits heuristic thought.

Even if it seems against all logic, people will tolerate a shoddy service with a bountiful brand. Maybe this is because many confuse believing in something with accomplishing something? After hearing the insufferable sound of applause on talk shows hosted by inoperative pundits, I cringe when a talking head says something like “let’s start an equalist movement,” as if they have a plan to accompany the dumb nominalization. Even if I agree with the sentiment, I find that those kind of statements are made solely by politicians, not activists.

Feminism brands itself as a movement of equality, liberty, security, wonder, diversity, love, or whatever else makes the gullible  buy in both financially and mentally. And what makes feminism so remarkable is how it managed to lead people to not question the service.

For those of you reading this, take the time to distinguish between feminism as a brand and feminism as an institution, and ask yourself which is more representative of the effectiveness of the movement.

Is feminism the way to gender equity, or are there other humanitarian perspectives we have yet to harness? More importantly, will they actually lead to change?

We did it!

KSUM has successfully raised the $13,000 necessary to host a kickass conference on Kennesaw State University this November 1st at 3:00 PM. Special thanks goes out to the anonymous contributor who flew in right before the fundraiser ended and covered the difference to make sure things go smoothly.

If you have not done so already, get your ticket! Tickets are free, so all you need to do is bring yourself to meet Paul Elam, Karen Straughen, Janice Fiamengo, Jonathan Taylor and others.

Kennesaw State University, I hope you are ready for a new discussion on human rights advocacy.

This is going to rock.