We are a group of men from England who are organising engage, an international pro-feminist online conference, for the first time in 2021. The conference seeks to engage men in activism and discussions surrounding masculinity, feminism and the patriarchy. It takes place over November 19-21.
Members from our group have contributed to workshops and presentations at conferences and organised by women over the last 10 years, but as far as we are aware, there has not been a pro-feminist men's conference in the UK for at least 30 years.
The event deliberately starts on International Men’s Day, a day that has often been hijacked by men’s rights activists. To counteract this, we felt it important to organise an event on International Men's Day that does something positive for women and men.
Also, engage takes place just before the 16 days of activism to challenge men's violence against women and girls, which we feel is important, as we want the event to galvanise more men into supporting events around this time.
We are having talks, workshops and panel discussions on a range of topics including bystander action, pornography, masculinity, music and mental health .
The Keynote address is by Prof. Robert Jensen, long time campaigner and author of Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity and The End of Patriachy: Radical feminism for Men. This will be at 7 pm 19th November.
To underpin the action orientated nature of the event we will be holding a demonstration that afternoon, at noon, outside Courts in Manchester and London to reinforce the importance of men taking action to challenge the failings of the police and criminal justice system in not taking male violence against women seriously, and adequately investigating, prosecuting and sentencing men who are violent towards women.
During the course of the weekend there are on-line workshops about:
- The music industry
- Faith and patriarchy
- Bystander intervention
The engages committee includes men who are experienced in the pro-feminist movement with experiences ranging from volunteering at the London Feminist Film Festival, writing for the Anti-Porn Men Project, organising and delivering workshops for men at Feminism and London and includes the Founder of White Ribbon UK, and in the past, the Anti Sexist Men's Newsletter and Achilles Heel magazine. Some of us are active campaigners challenging Sex Encounter Venues.
engage is a not-for profit event and any income that is generated will be donated to a women’s rights organisation. Attendance is by donation, so there is no obstacle to attendance.
Profeminist men can get actively involved and volunteer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
A PDF flyer can be downloaded here.