2017 Annual Conference Report

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The Men’s Voices Ireland 2017 Annual Conference was a great success. It exceeded our expectations and demonstrated a need and a market for such events.

We timed the conference to coincide with International Men’s Day, which is now an established fixture that attracts increasing public interest.

It was a day of engaging talks and discussion sessions on the theme of Misandry, defined as the ‘Dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men.’

The success of the 2017 Annual Conference was all the more welcome given the planning difficulties encountered and the apprehension leading up to the event.

Our original intention was to put on a screening of The Red Pill, a documentary film directed by Cassie Jaye, as a focus for debate and discussion.

Despite a determined effort, this did not work out, and an alternative event format and theme needed to be put in place at short notice.

Our chosen theme of Challenging Misandry drew a lot of negative attention. Ironically, one distinctly hostile article in a Sunday newspaper only served to confirm that misandry exists, and is alive and well and present in the media.

Two leading speakers pulled out in mid-October. But figures of the calibre of Matt and Nadine O’Connor and John Waters stepped up to fill the vacancies.

The conference began with an opening address by Chairman David Walsh reviewing the events of the past year.

This was followed by a speech by Matt O’Connor of Fathers for Justice on How has the state and the media been so indoctrinated against men and masculinity? Matt gave us the benefit of his knowledge and experience gained over 16 years of campaigning.

Next up was a speech titled Male Suicide by Darach Murphy which looked at how the services in this area have been failing men for a long time.

The last speech of the morning session was by John Waters whose theme was The attack on fathers, the attack on family. John has been writing about this for decades.

This was followed by a Q and A session along with a discussion.

After lunch Nadine O’Connor gave an International view of campaigns such as F4J and a woman’s perspective on the Mens Voices campaign. Nadine is well placed to speak on this as she is international campaign manager for F4J.

Next came Andy Hinds who looked at the connections between political correctness, misandry and the suppression of free speech.

The last speech of the day was by James Behan who explored why so many young men do not get actively involved in men’s issues.

There was a final Q and A session and an open floor discussion.

Thank you to all our speakers and attendees for making the event such a great success.

Videos of the speakers’ presentations are available on our 2017 Annual Conference web page.