Activism & Politics
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.
This XY special collection brings together a range of critiques of 'fathers' rights' groups - anti-feminist men's groups focused on issues of family law, fathering, and other areas. Such groups overlap with 'men's rights' groups. Flood's chapter "What's wrong with fathers' rights?" provides a short introduction, while other other pieces provide more detailed commentary. See the end of this page for the pieces, in PDF. The collection includes the following pieces:
1. I can receive praise or acknowledgement for doing the same or similar work as female colleagues, who will not receive similar praise or acknowledgement.
Do you have an inspiring story about someone who has stood up against the tide? Engagingmen.net's e-magazine is seeking stories of resistance and change to publish.
This document was found on the website of Men Against Pornography in the late 1990s. While I can no longer find it online, I've put this copy up on XY as a record of this powerful and provocate statement regarding profeminist men's accountability to particular feminists and feminisms. I am unsure of its publication date. Michael Flood.
This document reports on a pilot project in Pakistan involving men in gender equality, undertaken by the NGO Rozan and the Ministry of Women's Affairs and supported by UNESCO.