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.
I recall when I worked for the Catholic Church, how the powers that be there decided that they did not like a particular female colleague, presumably on the basis that she was not appropriately ‘conservative’. One Christmas time, during the odiously fake Kris Kringle sharing of presents, that cruelly targeted employee opened her present to reveal a tawdry g-string.
Anti-rape educators around the world have Mel Gibson to thank for providing them with a truly global teachable moment in the wake of his violent, misogynist, racist tirade against his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva.
... 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
Working with men and boys to end violence against women has become a global discussion. More so, it has become a major focus of the development community and donor agencies. Recognition has been made that male violence against women is one of the most critical problems facing women across all racial, education social and economic divides in the world and it is a result of patriarchy and the unequal relations between men and women. While Violence against women is not a women’s problem but it is a man’s problem, women bear the brunt of men’s violence.
I focus in the following on men’s roles in sexual exploitation and violence in prostitution and their prevention. I focus particularly on men’s involvements as buyers of commercial sex – in other words, on male ‘prostitute users’ or ‘clients’ or ‘Johns’, on the sexual violence and coercion involved here, and on how to prevent these.