Activism & Politics
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.)
One of the most contentious topics today is gender. Whether the issue is sexual assault, housework or body image, the public sphere is quickly, predictably inflamed by discussions of men and women, and their relationships.
[This is a modified version of a blog post, which I welcome you to comment at *here*. I hope it works fine here as a story.]
Men are Changing: Case study evidence on work with men and boys to promote gender equality and positive masculinities
'Men are Changing' seeks to strengthen and broaden the evidence base on working with men and boys. It describes and analyzes 12 programmes from around the world that sought to alter the attitudes and behaviours of men in relation to sexuality, sexual and reproductive health, violence and relationships.
The report discusses challenges in this field, provides an overview of emerging good practice, and makes recommendations for improving existing policy work, programmes and services.
WHO Policy Brief: Policy Approaches to Involving Men and Boys in Achieving Gender Equality and Health Equity
Work with men has demonstrated significant potential in contributing to building gender equality and improving the health of women and men. However, most work with men has tended to be local in scale and limited in scope. To be more widely effective, that is to transform the pervasive gender inequalities which characterize many societies globally – efforts to transform men’s behaviour require to be significantly scaled up. Policy processes and mechanisms are key elements in any effort to engage men and boys in achieving gender equality.
A recent article called "5 Stupid, Unfair and Sexist Things Expected of Men" by Greta Christina raises the important questions of how "sexism hurts men" and why feminists and pro-feminists should care, and goes on to discuss five key examples.
... an important priority for such a book is to get people to start reading and keep reading, and to be able to provoke constructive reactions. The point is not to implant some sort of exact copy of a perfect platform in readers' brains -- that's not how people work -- but to get people talking... At the same time, the difference between certain real people's real struggles getting seen and illuminated by that content versus them being erased and further marginalized is a big deal... There are times when these two goals -- being broadly inviting, particularly to people with privilege, and exhibiting radical clarity -- are in tension with one another.
... the participation of men in ‘anti-violence strategies’ is seldom matched by that necessary critical self-reflection, where we as men who have actively and/or through our passivity engaged in violence against women, do not ask the tough questions of ourselves, and of each other
The answer is obvious for a gay-prochoice-feminist such as myself. However, it seems like it’s a bit more complicated than that.
... After all, the abortion controversy is not merely a political debate over the rights of women. It is an ethical and social conflict over how we choose to shape our society and a defining struggle for the soul of our civilization. One does not have to fear carrying an unwanted fetus in order to have a meaningful opinion about when live begins, any more than one has to be a slave in order to speak on behalf of the joys of freedom. The reason that Janet Long's adversaries in the Florida legislature should "stand down" is because they are wrong about abortion -- not because of what they have between their legs.