Patterns and inequalities of gender make a difference to pandemics. Gender relations and gender inequalities can shape the progression of pandemics, patterns of men’s and women’s responses to them, and pandemics’ impact. In the following, we have collected commentaries on the COVID-19 pandemic and gender. Additions are welcome.
Men’s rights advocates (MRAs) often argue that feminism portrays women as always and ever oppressed, and thus *makes* women into victims. Related to this, MRAs argue that feminist beliefs are harmful for women themselves. However, the actual evidence is that having feminist beliefs and/or a feminist identity is good for women, and that having feminist beliefs or a feminist identity has a range of positive benefits.
Shift, a violence prevention project at the University of Calgary, has released “Supporting Best Practices: Guidelines for Funding Programs That Engage and Mobilize Men & Boys in Violence Prevention”. Although these guidelines were written for Alberta, Canada, they have a wider relevance in guiding funding and support for efforts to engage men and boys in violence prevention.
Men’s responses to #MeToo, and other forms of feminist advocacy on rape and sexual harassment, range from enthusiastic support to hostile backlash. There are common forms of resistance among men to these campaigns, including defensive denials that men’s violence is routine, a focus on ‘other’ men, and complaints that #MeToo has ‘gone too far’. And for many men, there is simply mute discomfort. Masculinity is implicated directly in men’s perpetration of rape and sexual harassment, but also in men’s widespread inaction or complicity in the face of men’s violence against women.
Pornography has become the default sex educator for large numbers of young people. Viewing pornography is routine, especially among boys and young men, as two Australian studies document. Children and young people are encountering pornography in greater numbers, at younger ages, and with a wider variety of content.
As part of the White Ribbon Campaign in Australia, White Ribbon Australia produced the White Ribbon Policy and Research Series, focused on the prevention of men’s violence against women. This comprised a series of papers, with the first in 2010 and the last in 2017. Here, we have collected these papers.
Facing Patriarchy challenges current thinking about men’s violence against women. Drawing upon radical and intersectional feminist theory and critical masculinity studies, the book locates men’s violence within the structures and processes of patriarchy.
Varying narratives of masculinity and femininity have both shaped and been used by the far-right in its mobilization of support and polarization of debate. This report follows the academic literature in identifying ethnonationalism as the unifying ideology of a heterogeneous political tendency that can be collectively referred to as the “far-right”.
When facing the often seemingly insurmountable issues of ‘toxic masculinity’, ‘patriarchy’, ‘men’s behaviour change’, ‘male culture’ and any other buzzwords one wishes to describe this with, it can feel like we are; spitting on a bush-fire. All that ends up happening is we as an individual become dehydrated, exhausted and ultimately defeated.
The UN Women Training Center has developed a great resource for men to educate ourselves: the Self-Learning Booklet: Masculinities and Violence against Women and Girls (2016).
The booklet was developed as the result of a series of training courses that aim to strengthen capacities of development practitioners and advocates to understand, integrate and address critical gender issues in their lives and work. This tool aims to assist both UN and non-UN staff to better understand the issues of masculinities in relation to violence against women and girls.