men, masculinities and gender politics

Authors

The PROFEM mail list

The PROFEM mail list


Overview List guidelines Who is profem for? Moderation Confidentiality List owner


OVERVIEW

The profem mail list is an Internet mail list with a focus on men, masculinities and gender relations. The list's home is here.

Profem's purpose is to:

  • Promote dialogue and networking among men and women concerned with gender justice and the elimination of sexism and gender inequalities.
  • Circulate information on new initiatives, research and resources.
  • Encourage and support men's efforts at positive personal and social change, and provide a virtual community to men (and women) who may feel isolated in their political efforts and/or their personal realisations and struggles.

PROFEM was founded in 1997. The list is different from most other men's e-mail lists that already exist. These are often dominated by men's rights and anti-feminist ideologies, and we wish to provide an alternative. Both men and women are welcome to participate on this list. Some other pro-feminist men's lists are listed among the links on XYonline.

LIST GUIDELINES

This list has three central guidelines: it is pro-feminist, it aims to enhance men's lives, and it encourages respectful discussion.

PRO-FEMINIST

First and foremost, this is a pro-feminist list. Support for feminism is a fundamental principle of the list. Of course there is diversity within feminist approaches, understandings and politics, but a general support for feminism should be the background for any discussion.

The basic validity of feminism as a viewpoint is not up for debate on the PROFEM list. Anti-feminist postings are unwelcome.

Postings which describe men's involvement in sexism or gender injustice and how to undo this, which explore men's relationship to feminism and the women's movements, which take a gender issue and examine men's role in it, or which discuss the personal and political efforts men can and do make (for example in developing non-oppressive forms of masculinity or selfhood, non-sexist relations with women or non-hierarchical relations with other men) are most welcome on this list.

Calling this list "pro-feminist" does not mean that all postings must be explicitly supportive of feminism, concerned with typically feminist issues or limited only to ideas and theories derived from feminism. But it does mean that postings should not be anti-feminist or anti-women. Criticisms of aspects of feminist analysis or practice are acceptable, as long as the intent is to advance the projects of feminism or pro-feminism. Simplistic or hostile statements about feminism are not.

ENHANCING MEN'S LIVES

In working to create gender justice or gender equality, feminism aims to enhance both women's and men's lives. The PROFEM list supports this goal. The list is intended in part to represent a hopefulness and optimism about men, a belief that men can change, and encouragement for men's efforts at positive personal and social change. This list assumes that there is nothing essential or fundamental to being male which prevents men from living in non-oppressive and healthy ways. It encourages the formation of supportive alliances among men (as well as with women).

Posting which celebrate men's experiences of personal and social change, which explore the benefits to men of new ways of living and being, which investigate how aspects of men's lives which are impoverished or unhealthy can be addressed, or which describe times when strategies for change have worked, are all most welcome on this list.

Of course, the goal of enhancing men's lives does not mean supporting whatever men do. This goal is compatible with, and indeed depends partly upon, criticising oppressive and destructive aspects of men's behaviours and attitudes and lives, men's groups and men's movements.

RESPECTFUL

Postings to this list in general should be constructive, respectful and friendly. This list is intended to be a forum for the mutual exchange of ideas, strategies, experiences and resources, rather than a place for insults and hostilities.

People on the PROFEM list will disagree on some issues, and this is only to be expected given the diversity of feminist thought and of people's lives. Nevertheless, an attitude of mutual respect is expected. Responses to a post that you disagree with are not expected to pick apart that post in a hostile manner but to describe alternative points of view and their supporting reasons.

Postings which are racist, homophobic, classist or promote other forms of prejudice, and postings which focus on abusive personal attack, have no place on this list.

No topic is inappropriate on this list. Discussion of areas such as family law and child custody for example, often the domain of men's rights advocates, is welcome here (provided that it fits within the guidelines stated above.)

People who violate persistently any of these guidelines will be removed from the list.

WHO IS PROFEM FOR?

We want this list to be relevant for at least the following people:

  • Activists and others engaged in political campaigns to do with men's and gender issues;
  • People involved in men's issues such as counsellors, teachers, social workers and carers;
  • Academics researching men and masculinities;
  • Men and women in general who are interested in 'men's issues'.

MODERATION

The PROFEM list is not currently moderated.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Postings to the list are considered confidential unless specified otherwise. Cross-posting messages to other lists or individuals without the permission of the original poster constitutes a violation of these guidelines and may result in removal from the list.

LIST OWNER

The list owner is Michael Flood.

Dr Michael Flood is the founder of XY magazine, an Australian magazine about men and masculinities, and was its coordinating editor for its first six years. Dr Michael Flood is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Wollongong in Australia. He conducts research on violence prevention, men and gender, male heterosexuality, fathering, and sexual and reproductive health. He has published on best practice in primary prevention, how to engage men in violence prevention, factors shaping violence-supportive attitudes, young people’s experiences of violence in their relationships and families, and other issues. Dr Flood also is a trainer and community educator with a long involvement in community advocacy and education work focused on men’s violence against women.

 


Page created: January 8, 1997. Modified: 20 July 2003