Activism & Politics
Together with many others, we have come to see male supremacy as a system causing a great deal of violence and harm not only in the world at large, but also within our own radical and Left movements. Whether it’s physical or sexual abuse, talking over others, unsolicited neediness, or shrugging off emotional and logistical work, practices of male supremacy often work to undermine solidarity and community. They harm, traumatize and push people away, placing even more obstacles in our collective path to social transformation.
Let's get right into it.
I am a straight male who loves punk music. By pure chance of my sexuality and gender, I am a person of immense privilege. I am also a member of the demographic that comprises the majority of the punk scene. I’m writing this in the hope that fellow members of our demographic will take a deeper consideration of our role in sexism within the scene. While we supposedly value ideals of inclusiveness and egalitarianism, we fall woefully short in practice.
Bob Pease's paper "Engaging Men in Men’s Violence Prevention: Exploring the Tensions, Dilemmas and Possibilities" was published by the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse in August 2008. His paper was then the focus of a forum organised by the Clearinghouse in November 2008. Michael Flood (among others) spoke in response to Bob Pease's paper at this forum. These papers provide valuable debate regarding the successes and dangers of men's involvement in preventing men's violence against women, men's interests and the question of benefits to men, and so on.
On this page, we have collected together Bob Pease's paper, Michael Flood's response, and a flyer for the forum itself.
Discrimination against women in public sector organisations has been the focus of considerable research in recent years. While much of this literature acknowledges the structural basis of gender inequality, strategies for change are often focused on anti-discrimination policies, equal employment opportunities and diversity management. Discriminatory behaviour is often individualised in these interventions and the larger systems of dominance and subordination are ignored. The flipside of gender discrimination, we argue, is the privileging of men. The lack of critical interrogation of men’s privilege allows men to reinforce their dominance. In this paper we offer an account of gender inequalities and injustices in public sector institutions in terms of privilege. The paper draws on critical scholarship on men and masculinities and an emergent scholarship on men’s involvement in the gender relations of workplaces and organisations, to offer both a general account of privilege and an application of this framework to the arena of public sector institutions and workplaces in general.
Citation: Flood, M., and B. Pease. (2006). Undoing Men’s Privilege and Advancing Gender Equality in Public Sector Institutions. Policy and Society, 24(4): 119-138.
This, then, is a very rudimentary, but also very straightforward, primer for dudes who want to communicate more effectively with female partners, friends, relatives, and colleagues during good faith conversations about feminist issues.
Around the world, there are growing efforts to involve boys and men in the prevention of violence against women: as participants in education programs, as targets of social marketing campaigns, as policy makers and gatekeepers, and as activists and advocates. Efforts to prevent violence against girls and women now increasingly take as given that they must engage men. While there are dangers in doing so, there also is a powerful feminist rationale for such work. This article provides a review of the variety of initiatives which engage or address men in order to prevent violence against women. It maps such efforts, locating them within a spectrum of prevention activities. Furthermore, the article identifies or advocates effective strategies in work with men to end violence against women.
… men’s near monopoly of gun use can be seen as a manifestation of a lifetime’s socialisation into violent expressions of manhood and cultures in which male gun use is regarded as the norm. In times of war, men and boys are actively encouraged and often coerced into taking up the roles of combatants. In countries characterised by violence, war, or high levels of gun possession, young men may use guns as part of a rite of passage from boyhood into manhood. Guns may also be positively associated with manhood in contexts where their use was valued and encouraged as part of a widely supported liberation.
Ever since sexual assault allegations surfaced against Wikileaks
The report, Where Men Stand: Men' s roles in ending violence against women was launched in Australia on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the focus of the White Ribbon Campaign. The report is a stocktake, a reckoning, of where men are at when it comes to violence against women. The report focuses on four key dimensions of men’s relations to violence against women. (See below for the full report, in PDF.)