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Zine, Erin Oh,

When Erin posed the question to her  Facebook friends, ”should cis males  be given space to speak at events that  commemorate female victims of male violence?” I cringed in advance at the  hornet’s nest that might ensue. Even  the most forward thinking, fair-minded  folk can turn into reactionary bullies on  the internet. Should Men Speak is simply  the transcript of the comment thread  following that question, where Erin’s  friends grapple with issues of privilege,  identity and violence. Soon we learn  that an astonishing number of them  believe that cisgendered males should  speak at events that commemorate, for  example, the  1989 École Polytechnique  Massacre in Montreal.  I think about what it means to transpose  an internet discussion thread into a zine as  opposed to actually conducting interviews  in person. For one thing, you do not have  the phenomenon of individuals reacting  to one another in an interview series. However, knowing it is a discussion on  a social networking site means that the  contributors are people who had three  minutes to spare and a keyboard. That  said, a number of the comments are quite  thoughtful. Ultimately, it holds together  fairly well for what it is, but I would have  liked to see more editorializing, in an  afterword for instance, to deliver us from  the internet, put it in context, and let us  know what Erin is thinking about it all.  (Chris Landry)

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