I’m not a big TV watcher, but an ad I saw the other day caught my eye. You may have seen it – it shows an infant at a tray table throwing food into the air. The infant’s father is supervising, and rather than creatively encouraging the infant to eat his food, he coaches him to throw the next bit of food overarm like a bowler playing cricket. At this point the infant’s mother comes into the room, and looks at them with a surprised and disappointed face.
In September of 2007, I began writing on the Internet about the injustices committed in Australian family courts. The response from men on the boards was revealing. One responder said that Australian men have “figured out long ago that women are bitches, and breed them out of that attitude.” Two justified wife-killing, one saying that a man who kills his wife “does not murder her, he corrects her existence” and another saying that some wives deserve to be killed. One respondent kept claiming that I was a Lesbian from Women’s Electoral Lobby while claiming my identity as someone I don’t know and undoubtedly violating that person’s privacy rights in the process. A representative of Fathers4Equality began posting injunctions for people to “have strength in numbers” and vote in the upcoming election for their candidates.
Michael Kaufman discusses the need to both address and involve men in ending violence against women (VAW), a few of the pitfalls and guiding principles, and shares his thoughts on what is the most developed example of this work, that is, the White Ribbon Campaign.
Please see below for the attachment, in PDF.
In various settings, small numbers of men and boys are changing their attitudes and behaviour towards women - supporting opportunities for women to earn an income outside the home, or speaking out against gender-based violence, for example. What makes this kind of resistance to rigid views of gender possible? How can development policies and programmes stimulate or build on these positive attitudes and behaviours to achieve gender equality for all? This report - consisting of an overview, annotated bibliography, and contacts section - describes a broad range of innovative work being carried out in different parts of the world to engage men in the promotion of gender equality. It looks at the reasons for involving men and boys in gender and development work, and considers why it might be in men's own interests to change. It goes on to consider possible strategies for, and examples of, positive changes in men's attitudes and behaviour, focusing on:
:-involving men as partners against gender-based violence;
:-strengthening men's resistance to violence and conflict;
:-fostering constructive male involvement in sexual and reproductive health and rights;
:-encouraging men's positive engagement as fathers and carers; and
:-promoting more gender-equitable institutional cultures and practices within development organisations.
This manifesto also exists in German and French.
Please contact email@example.com for any information or interest!
By Julian Real, 2007, with invaluable input from Celie's Revenge
Here's a list of what men can do:
First, recognize and accept that the personal is political, and that interpersonal behavior is part of your political work as a responsible humane being. Stop either/or'ing the private and the public, the personal and the social, the interpersonal and the institutional. All are breeding grounds for male domination of women and children.
Given the above:
Learning to offer sympathy rather than advice, to avoid dependency, to stop breaking hearts... You can learn a lot in relationships. Michael Flood tells all, in this 1995-96 article.
See below for the article, in PDF.