The Ministry of Men’s Affairs is a community group because successive governments have ignored the voice and welfare of NZ men.
Each Saturday in October a few of us have been pounding the pavements in different cities to raise awareness of men’s issues and to encourage people to wear a black ribbon rather than supporting the male-bashing White Ribbon Campaign. We have handed out thousands of leaflets and we express our gratitude to Paul Catton for generously donating several reams of leaflets as well as food and refreshments for the campaigners.
We have been heartened at the level of positive response to our campaign from the various cultural and socioeconomic groups represented in the places we visited so far. Last weekend we set up our modest road show in Manurewa and received mainly warm and very supportive responses. Yesterday we set up on the stage at Hamilton’s Frankton Market and had people come up to join us in singing. We had numerous conversations with men and women who, when realizing what we were on about, stopped to awhi us or to tell us of their own stories of ridiculous injustice, grief and trauma caused by anti-male gender discrimination. We have been amazed by the number of women showing support; many spoke of sons, nephews and grandsons who were being abused by female partners or shafted by various taxpayer-funded institutions that are meant to operate without bias.
We also handed out Ministry of Men’s Affairs badges to those showing support. We gave one to a kaumatua who was on his way to speak at a sports event and who stopped to acknowledge our mahi; he immediately pinned the badge on the lapel of his suit before continuing on his way.
There is a sea change developing regarding gender and men’s issues. People are rapidly recognizing the untrustworthy nature of anti-male propaganda that has been our fare for several decades. Unfortunately, news media and politicians are yet to get on the wave, but that’s nothing new. Although those who think, talk and write about men’s issues have often felt as though their work is futile and they have been shouting into a storm, we believe that truth has ascended bit by bit and that our voices will increasingly be carried on favourable winds.
The responses we receive on the footpaths of our Black Ribbon Campaign leave us in no doubt that a major weather change is brewing. Be ready for it lest it blows over before our sails and anchors are up. Nurture an image of thinking men working together, being fair, reasonable, respectful and wise. And please, come and visit us even briefly next Saturday 26 October at our last campaign this year outside St Kevin’s Arcade, K Road, Auckland, from 11am to 2pm.