The sixth International Conference on Men’s Issues (ICMI20) – a review, and plans for future ICMIs

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It’s been four days since International Men’s Day and the end of the largest ICMI to date, the five-day-long ICMI20. It was a resounding success on every level, everyone seems to agree, and I thought I’d post a final blog piece on the matter.

Firstly, I’d like to thank my fellow organizers – Elizabeth Hobson (the leader of the British political party Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them), Tom Caulfield (J4MB Technical Director), Paul Elam, Robert Brockway and Tom Golden. They were all a pleasure to work with throughout the months before ICMI, and during it.

I’d like to thank everyone who provided a video, or was interviewed on Zoom for the event. The technical quality standards of the videos were generally higher than we were expecting, given that the vast majority of the speakers were not professional video makers, some had never made a video in their lives. It surely goes without saying that the quality of the content of the videos was high, and we’ve had very few negative comments.

125 videos were published in the end. A number of contributors failed to supply the videos they’d promised, for a variety of reasons. 108 of the videos were original videos recorded for ICMI, and in the final 24 hours I posted 17 previously-published videos, or “mirror” videos, selected by Elizabeth and myself, from among our favourites. The list of speakers and interviews is here. The mirror videos are numbered 109-125.

With the exception of the mirror videos, all the videos were released simultaneously on dedicated playlists on the J4MB YouTube channel – here – and on Paul Elam’s “An Ear for Men” YouTube channel – here. The mirror videos are only on the J4MB playlist, for some reason we can’t load them onto Paul’s channel, but we hope to sort that out shortly. Paul’s channel has 103,000+ subscribers, more than the J4MB channel, so there are more comments there.

And what of future ICMIs? The organizers of ICMI20 have agreed that a major online ICMI will be held every year going forward, ending on 19 November, International Men’s Day, including when the Covid pandemic is behind us. At the moment I envisage ICMI21 will be on a similar scale to ICMI20, but with a higher proportion of Zoom interviews – they all went down very well at ICMI20 – and more high-profile speakers and interviewees. Work on ICMI21 will start in January. We’re all exhausted and need a few less pressured weeks to recharge our batteries.

I remain responsible for physical ICMIs in Europe and North America, and I’ve said publicly on a number of occasions that I hope to hold the next physical one in Canada. Contender cities include Edmonton (Karen Straughan’s home city), Vancouver (Professor Janice Fiamengo’s home city), and Calgary (possibly before or after the Calgary Stampede, when hotel rates will be more affordable, and plenty of visitors will be in Calgary).

I shall be devoting more of my time and energy in future organizing and running ICMIs and other offline and online events, gatherings and meetings, because I feel I can best support the fast-growing MRM that way. I worked as a business consultant for the Conservative party over 2006-8, developing and executing a new commercial model for their conferences including the main autumn conferences which have for long been the largest such events in Europe (12,000+ attendees).

I’ve just established a limited company, MRA International Ltd., to support my events-related work, my recent blog post on the matter is here.

Finally, I’m much enjoying my weekly 90-minute-long men-only Zoom meetings with subscribers to Regarding Men (run by Paul Elam, Janice Fiamengo and Tom Golden), Sunday 14:00 GMT. I’m hoping to start a second meeting for Regarding Men later on Sundays, more details in due course. Subscriptions to Regarding Men start at USD5.00 pcm, free to men who can’t afford even that.

Mike Buchanan

LAUGHING AT FEMINISTS

mikebuchananuk@gmail.com

Link to conference timetable, and getting email notifications of video releases

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The conference timetable, with three time zones, is here (updated 17 November).

Paul Elam’s “An Ear for Men” (AEfM) YouTube channel has a dedicated conference video playlist. Before the conference starts, it will contain the same three promotional videos (one of them an interview of Dr Warren Farrell, by Elizabeth Hobson and Mike Buchanan) as the equivalent playlist of the British political party Justice for Men & Boys (J4MB). Throughout the conference, videos will be published simultaneously on both channels.

The other two promotional videos are the “must see” creations of J4MB’s Technical Director, Tom Caulfield. His other promotional videos for the event are here. We would urge you to share them on social media platforms to raise awareness of the conference.

If you subscribe to the playlists on either the AEfM or J4MB YouTube channels – click on both the “Subscribe” and “Notification” buttons – you’ll receive an email when each video is published (one per hour from midday 14 November to midday 19 November, Sydney time).

The J4MB channel also has playlists of the presentation videos from all the previous men’s issues conferences with which it has been involved – five ICMIs and four other UK conferences, since the first ICMI hosted by Paul Elam near Detroit, in 2014 – here.

Mallory Millett – Guest of Honour

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We are delighted to announce that Mallory Millett has accepted our invitation to become a Guest of Honour at ICMI20. She has been described by Ann Coulter as “the single most important commentator on feminism in America.” Her biography is on her entry on the speakers’ page here (she’s the fourth person down). Elizabeth Hobson and Mike Buchanan will be interviewing her for the video that will be published during the conference.

The conference

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From #metoo to the American Psychological Association’s guidelines pathologizing “masculinity” as harmful, to Gillette’s razor adverts blaming all men for the actions of a damaged few, ideologically motivated groups have used unchallenged narratives of female victimhood to promote damaging stereotypes about men and boys, masculinity and men’s relationships to each other.

More than ever before, recognition of men’s issues is needed. Men and boys deserve compassion, they deserve consideration for their unique needs, and they deserve our support.

Men and boys also deserve respect for their unique contributions to society and an end to the promotion of unkind stereotyping of being harmful, abusive, toxic, selfish and hateful. We would not tolerate this stereotyping directed towards any other group.

We are in an era of unprecedented ideological conflict. By reducing men’s ability to take a positive identity from their masculinity we are encouraging young men to pursue ever more radical ideologies to find a place to belong. In turn we are also encouraging young women to embrace an identity as society’s victims rather than it’s equal co-creators.

International Conferences on Men’s Issues (ICMIs) have been held annually since 2014, with the exception of 2015:

  • Detroit (2014)
  • London (2016)
  • Gold Coast, Australia (2017)
  • London (2018)
  • Chicago (2019)

Playlists of all 100+ presentations at the conferences are here, as well as playlists of the presentations at the Messages 4 Men conferences in London (2017-19).

The conferences deal with the social and legal issues that disproportionately (or uniquely) affect men and boys.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s conference is being held online, with the publication of 120 videos (one per hour, every hour) from midday, Saturday, 14 November, to midday, Thursday, 19 November, 2020 (International Men’s Day), Sydney time (the event was originally going to be held in Sydney).

This conference is the first ICMI in which we’re extending an open invitation to those with an interest in gender matters (other than feminists, obviously) to submit material. Details here.

Our thanks to Tom Caulfield, Technical Director at Justice for Men & Boys, for the impressive launch video (20:11).