Efforts to promote gender equality and violence prevention in workplaces and organisations often meet resistance. Resistance takes a variety of forms, from denial of the problem, to inaction, to victim-blaming, to outright attack. How should we respond to resistance and backlash? And, how can we make resistance less likely in the first place?
Attitudes towards men’s violence against women shape both the perpetration of violence against women and responses to this violence by the victim and others around her. For these reasons, attitudes are the target of violence prevention campaigns. In order to improve understanding of the determinants of violence against women and to aid the development of violence prevention efforts, we review the factors which shape attitudes towards violence against women.
Tanveer Ahmed’s opinion piece (Men forgotten in violence debate, The Australian 9th February 2015) charges radical feminism with outdated notions of gender relations. However, it is his own world view, focused on the reinstatement of biological sex differences as a basis for men’s power and his concern about what he calls men’s disempowerment that fails to grasp the changes required of men as we move towards the necessary empowerment of women and gender equality.
Bob Pease's paper "Engaging Men in Men’s Violence Prevention: Exploring the Tensions, Dilemmas and Possibilities" was published by the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse in August 2008. His paper was then the focus of a forum organised by the Clearinghouse in November 2008. Michael Flood (among others) spoke in response to Bob Pease's paper at this forum. These papers provide valuable debate regarding the successes and dangers of men's involvement in preventing men's violence against women, men's interests and the question of benefits to men, and so on.
On this page, we have collected together Bob Pease's paper, Michael Flood's response, and a flyer for the forum itself.
Discrimination against women in public sector organisations has been the focus of considerable research in recent years. While much of this literature acknowledges the structural basis of gender inequality, strategies for change are often focused on anti-discrimination policies, equal employment opportunities and diversity management. Discriminatory behaviour is often individualised in these interventions and the larger systems of dominance and subordination are ignored. The flipside of gender discrimination, we argue, is the privileging of men. The lack of critical interrogation of men’s privilege allows men to reinforce their dominance. In this paper we offer an account of gender inequalities and injustices in public sector institutions in terms of privilege. The paper draws on critical scholarship on men and masculinities and an emergent scholarship on men’s involvement in the gender relations of workplaces and organisations, to offer both a general account of privilege and an application of this framework to the arena of public sector institutions and workplaces in general.
Citation: Flood, M., and B. Pease. (2006). Undoing Men’s Privilege and Advancing Gender Equality in Public Sector Institutions. Policy and Society, 24(4): 119-138.
Separation and rejection or honouring our connection? Bob Pease discusses the politics of the mother/son relationship.
The best place for pro-feminist men's efforts is not within the men's movement, but in alliance with those of other progressive groups, says Bob Pease.
Can Men Against Sexual Assault transform men's attitudes to violence, and can it foster an anti-sexist men's movement? Bob Pease, a long-term member of MASA in Melbourne, hopes so. He is interviewed by Michael Flood.*
Note: This is the second part of an interview with Bob Pease. The first part is titled "Make a difference", and was published in XY, 3(3), Spring 1993.
How is it in men's interests to dismantle a system that also seems to serve their interests? Bob Pease, an man who has been active in anti-sexist politics since 1975 and who was one of the architects of the first Men Against Sexual Assault group, explains the paradox. He is interviewed by Michael Flood.