NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

December 8th, 2011 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Canadian columnist and staunch opponent of misandry Barbara Kay has picked up the challenge to the Verizon Foundation’s shockingly anti-male, anti-father video entitled “Monsters.”  Here’s her article (National Post, 12/6/11).

As usual with Kay, it’s a zinger.  All it takes to do that of course is to cite some actual facts about domestic violence, which, combined with an altogether appropriate tone of outrage make for a total take-down of the Verizon piece.

I won’t pollute the otherwise pristine waters of this post by reprising Verizon’s video.  Suffice it to say that it’s both wrong in essentially every detail and virulently misandric throughout.  However, Kay does point out one thing in the video that I neglected in my previous piece about it.  Its claim that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 is false, utterly false. 

It would have taken the makers of the video possibly as much as three minutes online at the website for the Centers for Disease Control to learn that falls and auto accidents are actually the main causes of injury and death to women and girls in that age range.  But they didn’t lift the finger required to click the mouse.  The reason of course is that they have no intention of presenting the actual facts about DV.  If they did, their video would have been entirely different from start to finish.

That leads inescapably to the conclusion that Verizon’s goal is not to combat domestic violence but to denigrate and marginalize men in general and fathers in particular.  Their video is all of a piece with the rest of the anti-father movement.  The use of false and misleading statistics is only part of it.  Those are used with particular goal in mind – to separate children from their fathers.  The more people can be convinced that fathers but not mothers are dangerous to children, the harder it is for fathers to maintain a place in their children’s lives post-divorce.  As countless divorced fathers can testify, family court judges, custody evaluators, guardians ad litem and the like have absorbed the message all too well.  Verizon Foundation is hard about the task of making a bad situation worse.

Here’s Kay.

The latest, and perhaps the most outrageous example of this kind of extreme misandry is the Verizon Foundation’s new, widely distributed video entitled “Monsters,” which portrays the average American home as a secret chamber of horrors, in which a pleasant façade hides terrified mothers and children, stalked by the shadowy figure of the family “monster,” the husband and father. It is chilling to watch; any woman or child ignorant of the actual facts around domestic violence would walk away from it convinced that that they were in imminent peril, and that at any moment their beloved husband or father might transmogrify before their eyes into a veritable Mr Hyde…

That old canard that domestic violence is a one-way street refuses to die, even though authoritative sources such as Statistics Canada continually release data that clearly indicate that most violence is bilateral. And mostly low level – pushing, slapping, screaming, throwing small objects by both parties – certainly not pleasant or mature behaviour, but not life-threatening. If the video’s implications were true, our hospitals and morgues would overflow with women.

Reality check: domestic violence of all kinds is a chronic problem for about 7% of women and men in Canada. The overall homicide rate for women killed as a result of domestic violence is about 40 a year in Canada (about 20 men are killed by their intimate partners). That is a statistically trivial figure…

[Stop Abusive and Violent Environments] rightly castigates Verizon for ignoring abuse to half the population and perpetuating false stereotypes. The children in the video were portrayed as in fear of their father alone, but in fact mothers are more likely to physically abuse their children, and cause more deaths to children than fathers do.

What other identifiable group in society besides men is subjected to such calumny? The Verizon Foundation’s ad encourages hatred of men, and more important it will certainly sow alarmism in children who view it. Moreover, children exposed to this ad who have been subjected to abuse by their mothers will be confused and are likely to feel ashamed to report it, for the ad’s silence on abuse by mothers suggests it must be kept secret.

The ad is defamatory and inflammatory. Such overt bias is unworthy of a corporate giant like Verizon. The ad campaign should be withdrawn immediately.

So far, no one who’s written or called Verizon has received so much as the courtesy of a response.  That’s true of Kay as well who reports she’s called three times with no call-back.  Like a rat running from a terrier, Verizon’s gone to ground.

Meanwhile, S.A.V.E. has provided more contact information for people at Verizon.  Maybe we’ll have better luck with them. 

Bill Kula
Director, Media Relations
(972) 718-6924  
[email protected]

Bob Elek
Manager, Media Relations
(813) 483-2541  
[email protected]
Ellen Yu
Manager, Media Relations
(908) 559-2818 
[email protected] 
Cliff Lee
Manager, Media Relations
(518) 396-1095     
[email protected]

Deidre Mulcahy Hart
Manager, Media Relations
[email protected]

And I would add:

Binta Vann-Joseph
Verizon Foundation, Director of Marketing Strategy
[email protected]

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn