men, masculinities and gender politics

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  • 23 Apr 2009

    Yes they can, argues NIGHAT GANDHI, because feminism is a philosophy and a movement for ending all forms of oppression, including that which is gender-based. In fact, gender-sensitive men should very much feel a part of this movement, she says.

  • 20 Apr 2009

    “I’m sorry I make you feel like shit.”
    “It’s just your privilege as a man.”
    It’s 2:30am on a Sunday night, and while more words were spoken prior to those and after those, it’s those that tore me open. It was that brief exchange that broke through my walls of fake emotion and defense and allowed everything else to pour into me.

  • 20 Apr 2009

    In December last year, local domestic violence committees in South West Sydney joined together to conduct a forum to tease out a variety of issues concerning men as victims that were being raised within their community. The forum was initiated by the committees’ as a way to highlight and discuss the key issues which include the acknowledgement of men as victims, establishing referral pathways and the importance of accurately reporting on research findings regarding prevalence. Stephen Fisher was one of nine panellists who participated on the day.

  • 20 Apr 2009

    Why did I write this? I wrote this piece so that men struggling with patriarchy could know there are others in the same position, other men who are trying to wade through the personal and collective bullshit that we as men have been spouting (and ignoring) for so long. There are so many articles, zines, magazines and websites by and for women struggling against patriarchy, while men largely remain silent. With a few notable exceptions, most of the material I have found by men speaking out against patriarchy is extremely academic, using language that is completely un-accessible.

  • 20 Apr 2009

    To what extent is it appropriate or possible for men who resist patriarchy to participate in the feminist movement?

  • 20 Apr 2009

    Please see the attachment, in Word.

  • 20 Apr 2009

    ... Parallel to having a society in which women are raised to be targets, we’re raising our men to target. Men chose to perpetrate sexual violence, at whatever form of sexual violence, because they live in a culture that teaches men lessons about who they are as men, how to act as men, how to treat women, how to “get” sex, and power. All men are part of these cultures and all men learn these same lessons. To some degree, all men are at some risk for perpetrating different forms of sexual violence. For some reasons that we don’t yet fully understand, some men choose to actually perpetrate sexual violence, while others don’t. Some of these lessons include teaching men that they should be the initiators/aggressors in terms of dating and sexual activity (and where is that line between initiating and aggressing?), teaching men that they have the right to have the final say in some aspects of our relationships, and the lessons that men are taught about women, power and sex.

    Please see the attachment below, in Word.

  • 20 Apr 2009

    Shifts in the sexual cultures of young heterosexual men and women represent both opportunities for and obstacles to safe sex.

    Please see the attachment below, in PDF.

  • 20 Apr 2009
    From around 2005 until early 2006, I delusionally entertained an idea of myself as ungendered. Then a radical activist friend, Yolanda Carrington, pointed out to me how politically absurd this notion of mine was. And I realized that the white male supremacist mind—mine in particular—is quite capable of generating lots of mental CRAP. How could I have grown up in a deeply white male supremacist society, and not be socially and interpersonally gendered? Her point was that regardless of what I thought of myself as, I am in a real world where gender—and race—matter, a lot. And being gendered, as a woman or man, a girl or a boy, is not something one can escape. Privileges and power are distributed based on how we are perceived, and according to our anatomy. The anatomy is biological, but the political meaning is entirely social.
  • 20 Apr 2009

    I’m not a big TV watcher, but an ad I saw the other day caught my eye. You may have seen it – it shows an infant at a tray table throwing food into the air. The infant’s father is supervising, and rather than creatively encouraging the infant to eat his food, he coaches him to throw the next bit of food overarm like a bowler playing cricket. At this point the infant’s mother comes into the room, and looks at them with a surprised and disappointed face.

    I was struck by how such a seemingly harmless and funny ad can reinforce gender role stereotypes. The mother’s brief appearance is done in a way that frames her as the responsible parent who needs to apply the rules of the house. The father is presented as the fun-loving, playful parent who implicitly likes to bend the rules. He takes centre stage in the ad and no doubt draws lots of affectionate laughter from viewers, while she is relatively invisible and reduced to her function as a parent.