Activism & Politics
Involving men in ending violence against women: Facing challenges and making change (Keynote speech, White Ribbon Conference, Sydney, May 2013)
I have been something of a ‘cheerleader’ for men’s violence prevention. I’ve identified the principles which guide men’s involvement in violence prevention. I’ve written at length about the strategies which are most effective, the standards for best practice. But in this keynote address, I want to do something different. I highlight some hard truths, some of the challenges of this field. I will focus on three key points: (1) Men’s violence against women is fundamentally linked to gender inequalities. (2) Men’s involvements in violence prevention are shaped by these same gender inequalities. (3) Gender inequality is the problem, and gender equality is the solution. I then complicate these, noting that gender is not the only story and gender inequality is not the only problem, and that in some ways gender itself is the problem.
In this presentation, I first briefly outline the rationale for involving men in efforts to prevent and reduce men’s violence against women. I offer an intersectional analysis of gender, difference and violence. I first offer an intersectional account of men and masculinities, and I then also offer an intersectional analysis of violence against women. I then spend the remainder of the paper exploring effective ways in which to engage men from diverse backgrounds in violence prevention.
Separated fathers often feel profound grief, distress, and anger at the end of their relationships with their partners and their children. Some participate in ‘fathers’ rights’ groups, a movement which claims to advocate on behalf of men and fathers who are the victims of discrimination and injustice in the Family Court and elsewhere. Yet such groups may do little to help fathers heal or to build or maintain ongoing and positive relationships with their children. Some men do find support in these groups, but they also may be incited into anger, blame, and destructive strategies of litigation. The fathers’ rights movement prioritises formal principles of equality over positive parenting and the well-being of women and children. Some groups seem more concerned with re-establishing paternal authority and fathers’ decision-making related to their children’s and ex-partners’ lives than with actual involvements with children. However, other responses to separated fathers are more constructive.
(Trigger warning: for abusive, woman-hating language and threats of violence)
When I write about feminism and men’s violence against women, I often receive supportive comments. While some of the praise is earned, much of it gives me a lot of credit for doing very little.
White Ribbon is calling for papers for the inaugural White Ribbon International Conference to be held on 13-15 May 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
If you are interested in submitting a paper, please view the attached document and reply to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 February 2013.
The White Ribbon Team
There has been in Australia, for a long time, a kind of network of anti-feminist men’s groups. Some men’s rights groups focus on general issues of gender and violence and so on, and some have a particular focus on fathering and family law. And those men’s and fathers’ rights group overlap. I’ve described them as an anti-feminist backlash because of their views on women and gender and because of the political strategies they adopt.
CFP: Global To Local: Preventing Men's Violence Against Women. Research, policy and practice in one space (Sydney, May 2013)
White Ribbon Australia is holding an international conference featuring key researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and activists from both national and international settings. The three-day international conference is titled: Global To Local: Preventing Men's Violence Against Women. Research, policy and practice in one space.
In a few days from now, two men in suits -- Mitt Romney and Barack Obama -- will stand side-by-side to debate each other three times in three weeks. Imagine those moments. The two men defending their records and outlining their case to the American people: “This is why you should choose me to lead you for the next four years.”
The Centre for Research on Men and Masculinities (CROMM) is hosting a two-day conference titled Engaging Men in Building Gender Equality. The conference focuses on and seeks to advance efforts to address men’s roles in building gender equality.
This report is a comprehensive examination of the roles bystanders can play in preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. The report draws on and synthesises insights from diverse bodies of scholarship and practice regarding violence prevention, whistle blowing, employee voice, workplace justice and workplace bullying. While there are significant organizational, legal and socio-political challenges in developing bystander approaches to sexual harassment, the paper argues that they also offer substantial promise.