These Notts students are starting a Men’s Rights Society, but women can join
‘Just like men can support women’s issues, we’d hope to see women supporting movements for men’s issues’
Two Notts second years are campaigning to start up a 'Men's Rights Society' at UoN.
After Sam Oldfield and Gianni Forcellati posted their idea in the Notts Buy/Sell Facebook group, the positive reception has spurred them on.
But what's the deal with the society? Is it a weird anti-feminist thing, or are they pretty open and looking to tackle the issues? We spoke to them to find out.
Feminism is valuable, but hasn't paid enough attention to issues like male suicide rates
Noticing a lot of coverage of women's issues, but relatively little about issues that affect them as young men, the second year Industrial Economics students decided to look into it further.
They say: "The more we researched this, the more we realised that there are issues men face that don’t get the full recognition they deserve, and they could be a large factor when trying to explain some of the data we’ve found, for example the significantly higher rates of suicide for men."
Sam and Gianni recognise the valuable role feminism has played in bringing about change, but "don’t believe it’s giving certain men’s issue as much time as they require".
The society aims to raise awareness of the issues men face in today's society
"Our overall aim is to address the issues people face in today’s society, specifically men as they don’t seem to be represented adequately", say Sam and Gianni.
"We’ve always been interested in equality in general, but over the past few years we’ve noticed that there aren’t enough people working towards the issues men face in today’s society."
Alongside raising awareness, they're also looking to collaborate, by "working with as many groups as possible. With a university society we think we could bring about positive change in this area."
They're not worried about people thinking they're weird anti-feminists
Potential backlash doesn't concern Sam and Gianni. In fact, after people have actually thought about the society's merits, they "can’t see why there would be any rational opposition, as all we want to do is bring about a positive change."
The fact that people are against the fundamental idea, they say, "emphasises why we need this society".
They're even welcoming female members and want to work with the feminist society
Although you might imagine a Men's Rights Society to be a bit of a boys' club, Sam and Gianni say anyone is welcome to join, "regardless of gender".
Sam and Gianni explain that "just like men can support women’s issues, we’d hope to see women supporting movements for men’s issues too".
They say they've already had a number of women interested, have been contacted by the LGBT+ network about collaborating, and "hope to also work with the feminist society to cover mutual issues. We will always be open to working with new groups in the coming years."
When asked if the society will be male-exclusive, the boys responded: "Absolutely not."
It probably won't be called a Men's Rights Society
The group's name is still being chosen, but Sam and Gianni say that 'Men's Rights Society' was just a useful way to catch people's attention on Buy/Sell.
"We prefer the term ‘Men’s Issues’ to ‘Men’s Rights’, but we’re still deciding on the official name", say Sam and Gianni about the issue.
Drop them a message if you're interested in taking part, or wait for the Facebook page to be launched
The pair say interest has been strong, from all genders, both online and among those they've spoken to face-to-face.
In the coming weeks and months, they're looking to start up a Facebook page and become an official society.
For those looking to get involved, "liking the Facebook post on Buy/Sell is great and then messaging us directly would be perfect."