On August 25, a group of people will march shoulder to shoulder through the streets of Melbourne to demonstrate that “men matter”, that modern feminism is futile, and to protest what they perceive to be a media-led assault on Australian men.
Speakers at this ‘March for Men’ will include Rob Tiller, a Texas-born Australian counsellor who claims he was forced to resign from Relationships Australia for sharing a column arguing that domestic violence is a two-way street; Robert Brockway, President of Australian Men’s Rights Association Inc and researcher at US men’s rights website, A Voice for Men; and mother of three and men’s rights advocate, Chani Randazzo.
So far some 530 people have clicked ‘attending’ on Facebook, with another 2000 expressing interest in the event.
And it’s all been orchestrated by a woman. Sydney Watson.
The Australian-American social commentator has earned a significant following on YouTube (30,000+ subscribers) and social media courtesy of her staunch conservative, “anti-feminist” views and allegiance with the men’s right’s movement.
In a video promoting the upcoming march, she explains, “I want Australia to rally together for masculinity, for men’s rights and just to demonstrate that we know men matter too.
“As far as I can see, society is unlikely to be functional if we continue to put down one entire gender in order to prop up the other.”
I’m not going to apologize for supporting men.
I’m not going to apologize for anything I’ve said about feminism and its veiled misandry.
I won’t be shamed into backing down – and if anyone wants to go head to head with me, may the odds be ever in your favour.
— Sydney Watson (@sydney__watson) August 7, 2018
Among Watson’s most popular videos, “The #metoo movement has ruined workplaces”, “White privilege does not exist”, “Why you aren’t racist for hating multiculturalism”.
In one of her most popular videos which was shared in the wake of the June rape and murder of Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon, Watson railed against the idea that it’s up to men to stop sexual violence; “It’s stupid. I don’t know about you, but I would like the personal responsibility to deal with my own safety. I’m really not interested in putting that onus on men, or anyone else for that matter, because my safety is my responsibility.”
It was the public dialogue around this crime, among others, that prompted her to launch the March for Men. Speaking in a video alongside far-right commentator, Avi Yemini, Watson said the idea for the event was born from the way men were being treated by the press.
“I just took exception to the things that were being said about men and how they were being vilified; I just didn’t appreciate it,” she said. “And so many people reached out to me to talk about it – men and women – to express how they were feeling. And I thought, ‘Why not? Let’s get together and support each other.”
In promoting the march, Watson has insisted that it’s not about “women hating”; “I want to make it abundantly clear, the purpose of this rally is not to hate on women, to diminish women’s rights or to make any negative statements about women. What we’re trying to do is show that we care about the men in our lives and we care about the issues that concern them as well.”
Though Watson is unabashedly conservative and a vocal Trump supporter, she claims the march is entirely non-partisan, and welcomes all people regardless of their political leanings.
Watson also welcomes all their money, too. She has called for donations via GoFundMe to help stage the event, with any leftover cash to be donated to “a charity or organisation for men or something like that”. Yep.
A counter protest has been arranged at the same time and location. (Details here.)