I am a Queer man who works to address gender based violence in the mainstream “movement to end male violence against women.” In this movement, I have experienced some very troubling things. I have witnessed how this movement operates with a theoretical lens that dramatically under-complicates the nuances of gender, race and power and often erases the realities of sexual orientation.* I have witnessed how homophobia, heterosexism, able-ism, age-ism and much more have been dramatically ignored in the context of creating an organizational and collaborative agenda.
Engaging boys to stop violence: A step-by-step guide for initiating social change (Save The Children, 2010)
Engaging boys and men to stop violence, especially gender-based violence, is recognised as an important approach by international and national institutions and organisations as well as by individuals. Although some boys have been working for many years along with girls and women to combat violence, their systematic participation is now being acknowledged as important and necessary if we are to change the cycle of violence that exists within the communities and societies. The fact that not all boys are socialised to be violent and the fact that not all definitions of being men imply violence gives hope for changing the world we live in.
Save the Children has therefore developed, along with its history of major publications in the past documenting good practices and challenges of working with boys and men as partners for change, this step-by-step guide to provide practical steps explaining how to go about engaging boys and men as partners to stop the violence against boys and girls, women and other men.
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.
CFP: Rethinking Masculinity & Practices of Violence in Conflict Settings - Special Issue of International Feminist Journal of Politics
Thinking about masculinity, maleness and men has always had a place in the interdisciplinary fields of feminist, queer and gender studies. Discussion and debate about the relevance of masculinity as a shifting concept has recently been further developed in the fields of politics and International Relations (IR) where scholars have explicitly tried to address women’s experiences in relation to the persistence of the ‘man question’.
Despite this, masculinity in international politics remains somewhat amorphous. Research has tended to be disconnected, addressing particular wars or media events, rather than masculinity as an organising concept or its role across space and time in its historically variable forms.
This report examines how violence against women specifically affects children and young people. It looks at the nature of violence they experience in their homes and their own relationships, its impacts, and the priorities for action if efforts to prevent violence among, and protect, young people are to be successful.
Citation: Flood, M., and L. Fergus. (2008). An Assault on Our Future: The impact of violence on young people and their relationships. Sydney: White Ribbon Foundation.
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.
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.)
Sexual harassment will only disappear when men take an active role in ending it. Most men don’t harass, and most don’t condone it. But sexual harassment is largely a problem of men’s behaviour, against women and other men.
Most of us are prepared to accept that men perpetrate most sexual violence (the lunatics in the men’s rights movement, notwithstanding). However, the majority of prison treatment programs for sex offenders neither take account of the issues of gender and masculinity nor their potential positive role in the rehabilitation process. By omitting these essential considerations, these programs stymie any possible, worthwhile ‘behavioural and attitudinal change’. Cowburn (2010) argues, and I would concur, that we need to understand how and why men behave ‘as men’ when it comes to sexual violence. ‘We’ here, I would think, should as much refer to sexual offenders as it does to everyone else in the community.