The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has agreed to hear a complaint from Toronto Argonauts season ticket holder Robert Heath, after Heath complained that he saw advertising for the anti-domestic violence White Ribbon Campaign at an Argos game this past July.
Heath, you see, is a man. And as a man, he feels that the White Ribbon Campaign somehow discriminates against him. Now, he's going all the way to the highest Human Rights court in the province to prove how much his little baby man-feelings have been hurt.
The Argos partnered with the international White Ribbon Campaign this past season, in a move that was generally welcomed as a positive initiative, especially amidst the background of alarming domestic violence cases involving athletes in the past year. Argos fan Robert Heath, though, thought differently. He claims that since the White Ribbon Campaign is specifically a campaign aimed at violence against women, and since Robert is a man, that the Argos are discriminating against him. No, seriously.
In their decision to hear the case, here's the vice chair of the tribunal explaining the complaint:
"The applicant seems to allege that WRC engages in discrimination against men because the WRC does not advocate for male victims of domestic violence and because the WRC portrays men as villains. The applicant maintains that the Argonauts, in expressing support for this cause, has similarly discriminated against men and is perpetuating the message that men are villains. He asserts that as a male this constitutes discrimination against him."
But wait, before your eyes roll any further back into your head, there's more!
I've got the actual text of the complaint from the "victim", Heath vs. Toronto Argonauts Football Club. It's a doozy.
On July 5, 2014, while at the Toronto Argonauts game, I saw an advertisement, with the Argonauts logo on it, for the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC). Having been a victim of domestic violence 27 years ago and knowing that the WRC only looks at half the population and not the whole population (50% of victims of domestic violence are men), and the WRC claims that women are the victims and men are the villains, the WRC sexually discriminates against men.
ah-blu-blu-blu the mean football team thinks all men are evil I'm so oppressed as a man at a football game waaaah. (Oh, and I'll get back to that bullshit 50% figure in a moment.)
So what did our complainant decide to do about this RAMPANT MISANDRY? Well, he put on his fedora (probably) and went into action!
On July 9, 2014 @ 10:30 a.m., I talked with Jason Colaro, Community Service Department with the Toronto Argonauts, and after explaining the situation, John stated that the Argonauts will continue to support the WRC and supports the discrimination. He also threatened to stop my season ticket subscription.
YES. HELL YES. This is the exact appropriate response and I am so happy that the Argos didn't back down to this shitclown.
(Despite calling him "John" at one point, he's talking about Jason Colero, who's done great things by spearhearing the Argos' anti-bullying initiatives in schools across the city. Saying that Colero "supports discrimination" is wildly out of line.)
On July 14, 2014, @ 12:15 p.m., I called Chris Rudge, President and CEO of the Toronto Argonauts, and left a message to contact me. He did return my call @ 3:55 p.m., and when I tried to state my claim and mention the WRC, he became hostile in saying that he helped create the WRC and it was too bad if it discriminates against men, then he hung the phone up on me.
Having season tickets to the Toronto Argonauts games, they are supposed to make me feel secure, both physically and mentally, so that I can enjoy the games.
Oh no, you don't feel secure, physically and mentally, sitting at a football game? Wow, that must almost be what it's like to be one of the thousands of women in Toronto who have to go home every day to an abusive spouse. Except, y'know - nowhere near as bad.
In case Robert needs a refresher course on actual domestic violence stats in this province (not ones cherry-picked by Men's Rights neckbeards), here's a primer straight from the Ontario government. The very first words in the document? "Domestic violence is a gendered crime."
From the report:
- The majority of spousal violence victims are women, representing 83% of all victims. Women are almost four times more likely than men to be victims of spousal violence.
- 4 in 10 women victimized by their spouse report being physically injured (42%), more than twice the proportion of male victims (18%).
- Women are three times more likely to report being beaten, choked, sexually assaulted, or threatened with a gun or knife by their partner or ex-partner.
- Women are more likely to experience multiple victimizations, according to self-reported data.
- 95% of spousal homicide victims in Ontario are female.
Oh, but I'm sorry that your widdle feelings got hurt because you had to see advertising for the White Ribbon Campaign at a football game, Robert. You're the real victim here.
In short, I hope that the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal throws out this case, that Robert Heath and all of his MRA buddies get laughed out of court, and that the Argos continue to unapologetically support the White Ribbon Campaign for years to come.