[Notes added after original posting. There have been five International Conferences on Men’s Issues (ICMIs) to date, the first was held in Detroit (2014), later ones in London (2016), Gold Coast, Australia (2017), London (2018) and Chicago (2019). The next ICMI will take place over November 14-19, 2020, and will have up to 120 speakers – details here.]
Playlists of all the conference presentation videos (and more, including speaker interviews) can be found on our YouTube channel, here. Since 2019 Mike Buchanan has been personally responsible for deciding who will organize future ICMIs, and where, in Europe and North America. If you have a potential interest in hosting and/or financially supporting a future ICMI in these geographical areas, please contact him ([email protected]).
In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic the first National Conference on Men’s Issues in the UK, was held on 7 June, 2020, as a virtual conference. The title was, “Domestic Abuse is a Men’s Issue, Too”. Details of the event, including links to the conference video playlist and individual presentation videos, are here.
The 2019 Chicago conference is over. Every ICMI has been better than the last, and this one was no exception. There were two parallel streams of presentations, and much thought had been given to activities beyond the presentations. The venue was a large modern hotel with excellent conference facilities, both accommodation and the conference being in the same venue was a major factor in helping people bond. As with the previous conferences, not a single protester turned up. There were maybe 15 British and Irish people in attendance, and people from many other countries. The attendance was the largest in the conference series to date. Media organizations in attendance included the BBC and Bloomberg. There was livestreaming from the conference, for the first time.
I was the MC in one of the two presentation rooms, so I didn’t get to see the talk given by Philip Davies MP, but I was told it went down very well. It’s here (video, 49:49). He also gave a talk at the 2016 conference in London, about the gender justice gap. Men are treated far more harshly than women by the criminal justice system, a gender inequality which predictably doesn’t trouble feminists.
Alison Tieman, the key person behind the conference, was unable to attend, after being stopped and turned back by American border officials at the Canada / US border. She will not be allowed into the US for the next five years. The reason(s) are as yet unclear. Karen Straughan did a great job in her absence, helped by many volunteers.
Elizabeth Hobson, our Director of Communications, was unfortunately unable to attend due to a family emergency, and offered to present her talk over the internet. Only minutes before she was due to speak, rainwater (from a major storm) started to stream through the ceiling, just feet away from the stage. The problems didn’t end there. After she started to speak, there were continuous breaks in the sound, so we had to ask her to stop. Natty Kadifa valiantly stepped into the breach, and read out the rest of the presentation off her mobile phone. The transcript of Elizabeth’s presentation Reforming Chivalry – Criminal Justice and Rehabilitation, is here.
My talk Feminism sows the seeds of its own destruction was well received, including the section on abortion being a men’s issue, the first time this has been covered in an ICMI talk, to the best of my knowledge. The transcript is here, while the video is on the conference presentations playlist.
Tom Caulfield, our Technical Director, was filming the presentations for the fourth year in succession, and was on great form, as always. I had the pleasure of surprising him with the inaugural Quentin Tarantino Award for Directing Excellence, he gave a short but funny and moving acceptance speech.
During the closing ceremony Paul Elam announced the locations of some future conferences. Three more ICMIs are currently being planned, as of July 2020:
- November 14-19, 2020.
- Anil Kumar, India, February 2021.
- J4MB, United Kingdom, August 2021.
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