Men's monopoly of violence is the product of a lifetime's training in how to be a "real" man. The dominant model of masculinity offers to boys and men such qualities as aggressiveness, control, a sense of entitlement to power, and emotional callousness, as well as a series of myths which justify men's violence and men's power. In Western countries, to "be a man" is to be tough, self-reliant and dominant. Many males are taught to adopt an aggressive and violent masculinity, to be repressive of empathy and extremely competitive.
Men’s anti-violence activism is an important case study of male involvement in struggles for gender justice. What does this activism involve, why do men participate, and how do patriarchal inequalities shape both men’s efforts and their reception?
Laura Mª Agustín uncovers some of the myths around sex workers and the men engaging their services within the context of building a movement to end 'violence against women'. She argues that totalizing all experiences of prostitution with a view to punishment and criminalization does not work and advocates a much more visionary and pluralistic approach.
Cameron Bustamante describes the beginnings of conversations among men about sexual violence.
Basil Elias invites men to participate in the anti-violence movement.
Shravanti Reddy describes men's involvement in the White Ribbon Campaign and other struggles against violence.
This essay examines the claims of gender symmetry in domestic violence. Professor Kimmel examines all existing sources of data on domestic violence, and suggests why the rates of domestic violence appear so varied. He offers some ways to understand and reconcile these discordant data, so that we may acknowledge the male victims of domestic violence within the larger frameworks of male-female relationships that we observe in modern society.
Efforts to prevent violence against women will fail unless they undermine the cultural and collective supports for physical and sexual assault found among many men. Men are the overwhelmingly majority of the perpetrators of violence against women, a substantial minority of males accept violence-supportive attitudes and beliefs, and cultural constructions of masculinity shape men’s use of physical and sexual violence against women. Educational strategies which lessen such social supports for violence therefore are vital. This paper outlines recent Australian community education campaigns directed at men and the dilemmas with which they deal. It then identifies five key challenges in such work.
Mick Dodson, Chairman of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre, calls for Aboriginal men to take a stand against domestic violence.