Activism & Politics
We have had 25 years of research on men and masculinities. The relationship between men as gendered beings, power and change has been central in this research. This article presents some of the main findings that most researchers within critical studies on men will agree on, and then it discusses how to better understand men’s relationship to power and marginalization, change and gender equality in future research. It is explorative in its style, and an invitation to further debates on these important questions.
The paper presents an overview of the role men can play in combatting violence against women. After a short introduction on the broader development in the thinking of men and violence and the changes in the perspectives on men’s violence, different initiatives are presented.
This talk offers a stocktake of the White Ribbon Campaign in Australia: what it has achieved so far, the obstacles it faces, and the ways forward. I begin with an inspiring and accessible overview of the campaign: its character, its components, and its significance. I describe the campaign’s real achievements, its contributions to positive social change in community attitudes, relationships, and policy. I highlight the obstacles which the campaign faces. And I end by spelling out the key steps which can be taken – by ordinary men and women, policy-makers, managers, sporting bodies, and others – to make a difference. I urge that we use the F-word – feminism – to guide our efforts.
A new report highlights the everyday actions men can take to help reduce and prevent men’s violence against women. The report is titled Men Speak Up: A toolkit for action in men’s daily lives, and it was released on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The report is available in PDF below.
Dear friends and colleagues,
We are pleased to announce the completion of the film A New Kind of Strength, located at the website www.privateviolence.com. The Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention collaborated with Astraea Productions, Markay Media and Shelter From the Storm Productions to capture the efforts made by men across the country to draw attention to the vital role men play in ending violence against women.
In 2006, the Rogers Park Young Womens Action Team (YWAT) launched a campaign to engage young men as allies in addressing violence against girls. The YWAT, a youth-led and adult-supported social change project, conducted a participatory action research project that included the creation of a film called Real Talk (in collaboration with Beyondmedia Education), survey research, and a set of popular education workshops. In addition, the YWAT organized and implemented a two-day train the trainer workshop for fifteen young men ages 14-22 in November 2007.
The men’s movement is made up of networks of men self-consciously involved in activities related to men and gender. It emerged in the late 1960s and 1970s in Western countries, alongside and often in response to the women’s movement and feminism. The men’s movement, comprised of groups, networks, organisations, and events, engages in a variety of activities from self-help and support to political lobbying and activism.
The men’s movement is distinct from other mobilisations comprised largely of men such as the gun lobby or early trade unions by its self-conscious orientation towards gender issues. Twentieth century men’s movements have historical precedents such as organized male support for women’s suffrage in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (John and Eustance, 1997). While the term ‘men’s movement’ is useful in capturing the array of activities and organisations through which men have explored and contested gender relations, the term is problematic in several ways. In contrast to most other social movements, the men’s movement has had a largely therapeutic focus, is internally contradictory, and is comprised of members of a privileged group.
Feminism brings a focused and specialised perspective to discussions of social justice. It focuses specifically on women’s interests, experiences and concerns. In this respect, the feminist movement seeks to bring to light gendered issues that are overlooked or underemphasised within mainstream debates. Another way of putting this is that feminism is gynocentric: it is a response to the androcentrism of mainstream culture, including prevailing views of justice and fairness.
Both 9/11 and domestic murders have claimed thousands of lives. Over 3000 victims were killed in the September 11 attacks - about 2000 victims/year are killed in the United States by their intimate partners. Both were results of terrorist attacks - 9/11 from Al Quaeda, domestic murder from "domestic terrorists." Both kinds of terrorists use fear, violence and intimidation to get what they want. But Al Quaeda terrorists are vilified, while domestic terrorists are often called "pillars of the community."
Efforts to prevent sexual violence against women and girls now increasingly take as given that they must engage men and boys. The theatre-based intervention described in the previous issue of Feminism & Psychology (Rich, 2010) is one of a wave of programmes and strategies focused on males. Using that intervention as a springboard, this article asks: why should we engage men and boys in preventing violence against women, what strategies are under way and do they work? Educational interventions among males often invite them to become active or pro-social bystanders, taking action to stop the perpetration of specific incidents of violence, reduce the risks of violence escalating and strengthen the conditions that work against violence occurring (Powell, 2010: 6–7). However, engaging men in challenging rape-supportive norms and behaviours is hard work. This article concludes by discussing the barriers to, and supports for, men’s bystander interventions.