Saturday, 12 July 2014

Recent issues of The Citizen suggest a paucity of popular concern for the well-being of men

Dear Editor, 

Recent issues of The Citizen suggest a paucity of popular concern for the well-being of men:

In May, The Citizen published stories about the number of missing or murdered aboriginal women[1]; none of those stories reported that the lives of native men end by homicide three times more often than the lives of native women do. [2]

More recently, The Citizen published a story subtitled "The pimps they're the problem, the women we are the tragedy" [3]. Tragedy may characterize the lives of many sex-workers. However, not only women live such lives. Abuse, and debasement must affect many male sex-workers. The article also suggests that we ought to attribute the prostitutes' crimes to her circumstances and unconditionally exculpate her. Yet, we wouldn't, and don't, do that for crimes predominantly perpetrated by men trapped in comparably desperate circumstances. 

Finally, yesterday, The Citizen published an article titled "Free buses deliver children to moms in prison" [4] and an article titled "Ex-teacher shouldn't see jail for sexually exploiting student"[5]; the latter reported an argument in favour of the convicted escaping a prison sentence so that she could live with her children. In contrast, only two months ago, the Citizen reported that while Chris Haore, accused of assault, awaits his trial, he might have only "supervised access to his five children...if it happens at all."  [6] These three articles suggest to me that we generally regard maternal relationships as more valuable than paternal relationships. Yet, I think most people would agree that fathers love their children as much as mothers do. 

Commendably, the cited articles promote compassion for female victims, dependents, and perpetrators of crime. However, I can not think of a justification for limiting that compassion to one sex.  

Yours truly, 

Michael Zhao
Men's Issues Society at Carleton University


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