Men's rights groups represent a hostile backlash to feminism, but their efforts in fact are unhelpful and even harmful for men themselves. Michael Flood describes how we can respond.
Men have a vital role to play in improving relations between the sexes. But Michael Flood is not sure that they can be feminists.
Men’s lives have changed in substantial ways over the past three decades. They have changed in the context of broader upheavals in gender relations and sexual relations, prompted particularly by the women’s movements and feminisms. There are at least four key areas of change. The legitimacy of men’s monopoly of political and institutional power has weakened dramatically. The gendered organisation of paid work has been disrupted. Public alternatives to heterosexuality have emerged. And new images of alternative masculine identity are evident.
The men’s movement is a contradictory phenomenon, involving both the defence of men’s privilege and efforts to undo it. It incorporates diverse strands — men’s liberationist, pro-feminist, spiritual or mythopoetic, and men’s rights and fathers’ rights — with differing agendas, emphases and understandings. While personal growth and therapy have been important focuses, increasingly these are being complemented by public political activism.
Robert Jensen is a professor in the Department of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. First published in ZNet Commentary, February 22, 2002
Feminists hate men. How do we know this? Because it is repeated over and over in the media and by right-wing politicians and other so-called guardians of the moral values of the society.
If feminists hate men, then it stands to reason that men should stay clear of -- or do their best to attack -- feminism and feminists.
A group of Australian men's rights activists has been harassing and traumatising women and children. Gerry Orkin makes the link between the Blackshirts and Islamic sharia law.
Funtua, Nigeria. Melbourne, Australia. Miles apart, but not so different when it comes to some men's ideas about family values.
Cliff Cheng, University of Southern California (USC), U.S.A.
Masculinities are an organising principle. Organisations, be they work or social ones, use both masculinities and femininities to organise themselves. In modern organisations, femininities tend to be thought of as inferior to masculinities. In fact, modern organisations, which are characterized by hierarchy, need to find ways to inferiorize workers from managers. Gender (feminniities and masculinities) is one of those ways.
Chris Dixon reflects on the inspiring tools and difficult lessons left by his father.