Yes, large numbers of men and boys are killed and injured in war. They are sent to war largely by other men. Wars are supported more by men than women. And traditional masculinity has been central to justifications for war. It is men, not women, who have excluded women from joining men in military and combat roles. Feminist women and women’s movements have played key roles in challenging war and militarism. Finally, the overall impacts of war and conflict and their aftermath are greater for women than men.
Here is the scorecard. Australians know something about violence. We are aware of the wide range of physical and non-physical behaviours that are often part of domestic violence. But we don’t know much about its impact, so we struggle for example to know why women stay. We have the wrong idea about why this violence happens, blaming anger or sex drive or intoxication rather than gender inequalities. We are too willing to excuse domestic violence. We blame the victim. We still see women as liars. We see men as lust-driven pigs who can’t be held responsible for their sexual behaviour. We say we would intervene in violence, but we don’t necessarily know where to get help.
Initiatives aimed at ‘engaging men’ to address gender inequality have gained popularity in recent years. But how much do we really know about the most effective ways to engage men in gender equality?
Most occupational injuries, and the great majority of occupational deaths, are among men. In Australia, males comprise 96% of workplace fatalities (Safe Work Australia 2015), and 61% of workplace injuries or illnesses (ABS 2014).
Men's occupational deaths and injuries are shaped by masculinity - by traditional masculine norms of risk-taking, stoicism, independence, and so on. In this XY collection, we feature key research articles on this area.
Father’s Day is an appropriate time to remember that the man occupying the White House represents among the worst expressions of manhood the US has ever seen. That dangerous truth is being obscured by so many of Donald Trump’s other treacherous actions. Million of words have been written excoriating the questionably elected president on a host of topics—from denying climate change to restricting minority voting rights; from restricting women’s reproductive rights to promoting harsh prison sentences for nonviolent offenders. Almost entirely absent in this blizzard of assaults on social progress, is the predator-in-chief’s misogyny.
Males have rates of completed suicide several times those of females. Male suicide is shaped in part by constructions of masculinity, as a range of studies have documented. Here, we have collected key studies and reports on male suicide.
Also see the academic references listed here: http://www.xyonline.net/content/g-suicide
Additions are most welcome.
A range of critiques and assessments of the men's rights movement have been published in recent years. This XY collection focuses on academic or scholarly critiques of men's rights and anti-feminist backlash. See below for the pieces, in PDF.
I’m going to start with some points about men, patriarchy, and feminism which I hold to be self-evident. That is, some basic truths. And I will end with some harder questions.
So, this first section is “Engaging Men 101”.
Some truths I hold to be self-evident
To achieve gender equality, we’ll have to engage men.
To end patriarchy, to achieve gender equality, men will have to change. Putting this another way, we will have to engage men. Above all, because gender inequalities are sustained in large part by men – by men’s attitudes, behaviours, identities, and relations.
Patriarchy is about men – about male privilege, about men’s practices and relations, with women and perhaps more so with other men.
Men are members of a privileged group, and we receive various benefits and dividends whether or not we want to. We have an ethical responsibility, a political responsibility, to challenge and undermine this privilege, to change our own sexism and to challenge other men’s.
So, to put it far too simply, men are part of the problem, and men are part of the solution.