In a 2006 Super Bowl commercial for FedEx, a grizzly bear kicks Burt Reynolds in the crotch. For many, groin shots are lumped into the same hard-not-to-laugh category as farts and people walking into screen doors. But for members of the National Coalition For Men, the commercial is another example of gender discrimination. And, according to NCFM Campus Coordinator Christopher Thompson, there are few places the burden of the Y-chromosome is more realized than at the University of Montana.
According to its website, NCFM has worked since 1977 to end the oppression of men and to resolve "issues which are barriers to progress and freedom." In an online video, the organization outlines these issues, which range from paternity fraud (the video depicts a still image of a mom with "Lies, Lies" written on her face, while dollar signs appear on the face of the "duped dad"); to male bashing (enter Reynolds' crotch and the bear's left foot); to false accusations of sexual assault (the video claims 40 percent of rape allegations are fabricated).
According to Thompson, the concerns of NCFM represent a dangerous cultural and political shift. He says the recent passage of the Violence Against Women Act is the result of a pervasive anti-male agenda in America.
"Society wanted to stand up and protect women and children so we enacted legislation to address it," he says. "But now we're protecting our daughters at the expense of our sons."
Last year, Thompson established a NCFM chapter at Montana State University. While he admits that starting the chapter was "rocky," he wants people to know NCFM is not anti-women.
"We're not rape apologists," he says. "We're just addressing sexual assaults from the perspective that innocent men are being put in prison."
Now Thompson is turning his attention to UM. In a recent letter sent to the Indy and posted on NCFM's website, Thompson wrote about how the federal investigations into sexual assaults at UM created a "hysteria" that "targeted star players" on the Griz football team. He used Jordan Johnson's acquittal to illustrate the "terrifying reality" for men at the Missoula campus. The letter also mentioned another player who "accepted a plea bargain to escape jury proceedings." The letter does not mention that former Griz running back Beau Donaldson admitted to rape.
Thompson says his next step is to start an NCFM chapter at UM. He'll begin by meeting with local fraternities this month.