The men’s movement is a contradictory phenomenon, involving both the defence of men’s privilege and efforts to undo it. It incorporates diverse strands — men’s liberationist, pro-feminist, spiritual or mythopoetic, and men’s rights and fathers’ rights — with differing agendas, emphases and understandings. While personal growth and therapy have been important focuses, increasingly these are being complemented by public political activism.
Activism & Politics
Robert Jensen is a professor in the Department of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. First published in ZNet Commentary, February 22, 2002
Feminists hate men. How do we know this? Because it is repeated over and over in the media and by right-wing politicians and other so-called guardians of the moral values of the society.
If feminists hate men, then it stands to reason that men should stay clear of -- or do their best to attack -- feminism and feminists.
A group of Australian men's rights activists has been harassing and traumatising women and children. Gerry Orkin makes the link between the Blackshirts and Islamic sharia law.
Funtua, Nigeria. Melbourne, Australia. Miles apart, but not so different when it comes to some men's ideas about family values.
Cliff Cheng, University of Southern California (USC), U.S.A.
Masculinities are an organising principle. Organisations, be they work or social ones, use both masculinities and femininities to organise themselves. In modern organisations, femininities tend to be thought of as inferior to masculinities. In fact, modern organisations, which are characterized by hierarchy, need to find ways to inferiorize workers from managers. Gender (feminniities and masculinities) is one of those ways.
Chris Dixon reflects on the inspiring tools and difficult lessons left by his father.
Chris Dixon found that his gender and sexuality are both shaped and shapeable.
Chris Crass outlines practical strategies for minimising everyday domination.
1. Practice noticing who’s in the room at meetings - how many gender privileged men (biological men), how many women, how many transgendered people, how many white people, how many people of color, is it majority heterosexual, are there out queers, what are people’s class backgrounds. Don’t assume to know people, but also work at being more aware – listening to what people say and talking with people one on one who you work with.
The political and theoretical challenges issued by contemporary feminism have provoked a range of cultural responses about men, and about masculinity. The dominant reaction is typified by the media-sponsored reassertion of tough male roles in popular drama (1), mirroring in style, if not extent, the narrow constrictions of the female beauty myth. By contrast, the last twenty years have witnessed a small but growing concern with the limitations and oppressive nature of conventional masculinity. This article seeks to describe the current ‘state of play’ in research which examines the politics of masculinity, arguing that the quality of theory is dependent upon its treatment of power relations.
[Citation: Leach, Mike. (1994). The Politics of Masculinity: An Overview of Contemporary Theory. Social Alternatives, 12(4), January, pp. 36-37.]
Men's rights groups use flawed methodology to make false claims about the impact of fatherlessness. In Fatherhood and Fatherlessness (Australia Institute, Discussion Paper No. 59, November, pp. 21-23) Michael Flood reveals the junk science behind the National Fatherhood Forum's claim that "boys from a fatherless home are 14 times more likely to commit rape".