This report was commissioned by Oxfam to examine the ways in which varying narratives and tropes of masculinity and femininity have both shaped and been used by the far-right in its mobilization of support and polarization of debate. It follows the academic literature in identifying ethnonationalism as the unifying ideology of a heterogeneous political tendency that can be collectively referred to as the “far-right”.
It goes without saying that we are in a pickle – both socially and environmentally. Global systems that support life are under threat from multiple angles. The ways that we relate to each other are polarising. COVID has changed life as we knew it. In fact, it’s reasonable to think that things are falling apart. For more than two decades, I have been wondering about what is at the root of our troubles. I’ve come to see that beneath the selfishness of global economic systems, lays a deeper problem.
Over the last 12 years my view of the world and myself in it has radically changed, due to the many conversations with and between radical feminists I have been privileged to be part of. From my first exposure to the reality of women’s lives and the male violence they encounter and fear on a daily basis, to attending feminist conferences, it has been an eye opening, embarrassing and life-changing journey.
The complex reality for men beginning a Men's Behaviour Change Program (MBCP) can be, among other things, a mix of ignorance, inexperience and resentment. I’ve been working in programs for male perpetrators of domestic violence for more than ten years and one thing I notice among these men is a level of ignorance with regard to understanding the work required to change. In my experience, one of the biggest obstacles to men ending their abuse of women and children is their inability to understand the damage they are causing and have caused.
Efforts to reduce and prevent sexual assault over the past three decades have shown an increasing emphasis on engaging men and boys in prevention. For example, there is an increase in projects and initiatives aimed at men and boys in violence prevention sectors. There is also a proliferation of projects and organisations with a defining focus on engaging men and boys in violence prevention.
We are a group of men from England who are organising engage, an international pro-feminist online conference, for the first time in 2021. The conference seeks to engage men in activism and discussions surrounding masculinity, feminism and the patriarchy. It takes place over November 19-21.
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