Saturday, June 28, 2014

History Made; "The First International Men's Issues" Conference held in the Detroit Area.

History was made over this last weekend as the very first international conference on men's issues was held in the Detroit area in Michigan. The conference unfortunately received limited local coverage by local news outlets around the Detroit area. And the media was quick to label the conference as controversial without learning or knowing any facts about the conference or the groups and people that supported it.

The men's conference was organized by  "A Voice For Men" (AVFM), which was founded by Paul Elam. I have followed Mr. Elam and his other Writers and supporters for about a year now and what I have found has been quite positive. Mr. Elam and his followers have done a great service to men in the United States because they (AVFM) has given men a place to share common experiences from a society that has sought to marginalize men in the media, in the workplace, in the family courts and in the home. Many of the men (who are also military veterans) who I have  taken the time to correspond via social media and email have been fair minded people who have been through terrible experiences in our family / divorce courts.

The conference was in my opinion very timely, because it comes on the heels of great social strife in our country. The media is currently filled with stories of high crime rates, the loss of employment and ongoing non-stop worldwide warfare and political hatred. There are also some noteworthy news stories that have been published over the last couple of weeks that making the timing of the AVFM conference very important.



The AVFM conference was originally scheduled at the Double Tree Hotel in Detroit but the conference was cancelled because the hotel and it's employee's had received multiple death threats. This is ironic considering that fact that all law enforcement agencies nationwide are acutely tuned into the problems of domestic terrorism and the threats against AVFM and the Double Tree most certainly fall into the category of "terrorist activity"
The Conference was subsequently moved to a nearby VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Lodge, which in my opinion was extremely appropriate, considering the fact the men have traditionally been the protectors of the homeland for generations, and after the VA (Veterans Administration) scandal, it has become very apparent that the Protectors of the Homeland (90% male) have been divested by the system that it serves.

Another important story involved a deployed Submarine Sailor Matthew Hindes, who's daughter was with living his current spouse while Matthew was serving his country. During his deployment his ex-wife, (who previously had custody of his daughter and lost custody due to a Child Protective services (CPS) investigation and was removed from her home.) had approached the court and the Judge in the case, Lenawee Circuit Court Judge Margaret Noe ordered the child to be returned to the mother and issued a bench warrant for Matthew because he had the audacity to not turn his Navy sub around and immediately appear in her court room. But after some people with common sense started a petition and multiple groups coalesced (including Men's Rights supporters). The honorable judge postponed the ruling until October.

Another astounding media claim comes from a blogger by the name of Lee DiVeto who labeled himself As" a straight-white-cisgender-heterosexual-male", said he attended the AVFM conference and was "molested by an older male" I only caught wind of this article because I watched Paul Elam's opening statements and he mentioned the incident and noted the online article, but he was very sincere in the fact that he had to ask the men to leave, but by Mr. Elam's tone he had some remorse because he felt that the man was mentally disturbed in was in need of help that few men are finding in today's society. I can affirm Mr. Elam's empathy for this man because the county in which I live in Illinois has suffered severe cut backs in mental health services since the crash of 2008.
I attempted to speak to author of the blog post (Mr. DiVeto) and ask him some questions about his story, but he did not reply to my posts and for that matter, I was unable to find my questions and they appeared to have been removed. But, the questions I asked were quite simple, initially I asked him if he had filed a police report and if he had spoken to or interviewed anyone from the AVFM conference. To the best of my knowledge and due to the lack of reply, I can only assume that he had not done either.

SGT Shakes-Spear