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Feminism didn’t kill men’s rights advocate Earl Silverman

He was a hero of the Men's Rights movement. Three years ago, Earl Silverman, a self-described long-term survivor of violence at the hands of an abusive wife, turned his own home into the Men's Alternative Safe House, Canada's first domestic abuse shelter for men and their children. On Friday, he was found hanging in its garage, an apparent suicide. 

Silverman had been going through a period of intense personal stress lately – his death came just one day after he packed up his recently sold home. Just last month, he'd closed the shelter because he could no longer afford to maintain it. He had said he was struggling to keep up with his heat and grocery bills.

In his dogged efforts to help men and to raise public awareness, Silverman worked to remove the stigma that can often prevent men from speaking out because of pride and fear and misunderstanding. Yet where Silverman came up short was in perpetuating the Men's Rights movement's fiction that there's any gender equity as far as violence and victims. The Calgary Herald recalled, in its coverage of his death, Silverman's oft-repeated insistence that "men are about as likely as women to say they have been the victims of domestic abuse."

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