"There is plenty of work to do to build a more gender-equal culture. And men – men who care for women, men who care for justice and equality, and men who care for the wellbeing of our communities and society – have a vital role to play. Whether a man wears a hard hat and a high vis vest, or a suit and tie, whether he works in a cubicle or he’s got a corner office, he can make a difference. Men can join with women, to help build gender equality."
Many aspects of our society have been rightfully scrutinised and criticised for propagating sexist and misogynist attitudes and opinions. Amongst these are the fashion industry, printed media, advertising and certain genres of music.
In 2020 the German Ministry of Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth adopted a strategy for involving boys, men and fathers in gender equality politics. The dossier "Gender equality policy for boys and men in Germany – Implementing an equitable approach to gender equality policy" describes how these policies already address and mobilize boys and men as active subjects as well as beneficiaries. In addition, there is an overview of the current state of research and developments in the field.
There is great interest these days in the role that men can play in building gender equality. Beginning perhaps in the mid-1990s, we’ve seen a significant increase in attention to men’s roles in building gender equality. This was signalled by various developments.
In this new book from Routledge Press, gender scholar Thomas Keith takes the reader on a journey, explaining the many factors and influences in boys’ and young men’s lives that assist in creating men who view women as less important, less capable, and less valuable than men. In what Keith terms, “bro culture,” boys and young men are taught a normative set of rules of manhood, whereby the influences of TV, games, films, music, advertising, internet content, and pornography help shape boys’ views of girls and women, while also shaping men’s views of themselves.
Documentary films are a valuable tool for teaching and raising awareness about men, masculinities, and gender. They may be used in classrooms, in community screenings, or in other initiatives. This XY collection describes relevant films on men and masculinities. Additions are most welcome.
Consent education among young people is an important strategy for the prevention and reduction of sexual violence. Consent education is one form of ‘respectful relationships’ or ‘healthy relationships’ education, and there is a wealth of research on effective practice in this field.
In this article, I cover three areas:
Masculine gender norms substantially shape the lives of men and boys in a range of different ways.
New toolkit identifies how to reduce backlash and build support in engaging men in violence prevention and gender equality work
Efforts to prevent domestic violence and build gender equality in Australia often meet resistance. Some people push back, responding with criticism and hostility to education or training or to community campaigns. A new guide provides practical strategies for practitioners, advocates, and educators in reducing resistance and building support.
It is possible to prevent and reduce sexual and domestic violence. Well-designed prevention strategies can lessen the social conditions that breed perpetration and victimisation.
It is vital to engage men and boys in this work: because traditional notions of masculinity and sexist masculine cultures shape the violence that some males perpetrate, and because men and boys can help to build fair, respectful communities.
Male political leaders and policy-makers must be engaged as agents of positive change, addressing sexism and abuse in their own institutions and supporting robust agendas of primary prevention.