Male privilege is a complex, vast, endemic matter, a bit like air--hard to notice unless it hits you in the face. If you're a woman living in a home with a man, that happens literally with atrocious regularity. I say this with knowledge that in the U.S. it is now "Domestic Violence Awareness" month. (I think it should be called "Let's Do Something About the Terrible Fact that Men Beat the Shit Out of Women at Home" month, but that's a topic for another post.
Race, Ethnicity, Difference
This report describes a programme for adolescent boys in Nigeria which seeks to increase boys' awareness of gender-based oppression, and to foster their critical thinking skills as a means to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in their communities.
This paper discusses the role of men in redressing gender inequalities by exploring the meanings and uses of masculinity. Discussions on masculinity provide a place in which men's involvement in producing and challenging inequalities and inequities in gender and other social relations can be investigated. In this paper, masculinity is defined in terms of biological determinism or essentialism, cultural or social constructionism and masculinity as a discourse of power. The uses of masculinity are examined in the context of power and patriarchy; production and social reproduction; poverty; governance; violence and conflict; health; and workplace and organizations. Thinking about masculinities and men's role in working towards gender equality is relatively new in the development field. Therefore, continued efforts should be made to publicize and advocate for the importance of men's responsibilities and roles in work towards gender equality in the international fora, local and national policy debates, and development programming. It is believed that making masculinities visible and men more conscious of gender as it affects their lives and those of women is a first step towards challenging gender inequalities.
Why include men in gender equality and anti-poverty work? What works with men in practice? What is the impact of including men in gender analysis and action? How should organisations develop work with men?
This collection edited by Sandy Ruxton (Oxfam, 2004) provides a wide-ranging discussion of work with men to build gender equality. The entire book is available below.
An open letter to all white men.
I am a white man, which means I can be (and have been), at any time, in any place, a white male supremacist. This is not a revelation about my genetic code, or an indictment of my own soul. This is a statement about structural political reality.
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I am a U.S.-born radical activist and writer who strives toward the realization of women's full human rights. I support radical feminists' humanitarian struggles to end all manifestations of white, heterosexual, and male supremacy, and have done so for the last twenty-plus years. Most of my closest friends during that time have been women systematically harmed by what I not-so-affectionately call Corporate Racist Atrocious Patriarchy (CRAP):
Mick Dodson, Chairman of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre, calls for Aboriginal men to take a stand against domestic violence.
Racism is not an attitude but a system. Victor Lewis spells it out, commenting too on anti-sexist men's failure so far to address important aspects of men's experience. He is interviewed by Michael Flood.
If we pay attention to race and ethnicity, what does this mean for the men's movement, for the development of communities of men, and for our understandings of masculinity?