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Elliot Rodger: Misogynist AND White Supremacist

3 Jun

The horrific mass murder in Isla Vista that began Memorial Day weekend has pundits and armchair diagnosticians scrambling for an explanation. This time, we’ve finally seen misogyny and men’s sense of entitlement added to the usual suspects of guns and mental illness.  And, rightfully so.  The shooter’s deep hatred of women and investment in harmful notions of masculinity could not have been more clear.

But, we should also look at another important variable in this lethal equation: race. Continue reading

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Masculinities 101 Week in Review

18 Apr

What did you miss last week in the realm of masculinities and gender equity news?  We’ll tell ya!

This week Masculinities 101 hosted the second installment of Clay Darcy’s pub crawl narrative “drinking Down Masculinity.”  In this series Darcy shows us just how much a gender lens can add to the way we see even the most everyday experiences.

On Thursday, The Guardian hosted a live Q&A session on how the development sector can engage men and boys toward gender equality.  The panel included leaders of NGOs all over the world that are doing this important work.

The Shriver Report partnered with The Good Men Project to produce a list of what they believe to be the top 10 issues affecting men in 2014.  Check out their list and let us know if you agree.  Is there anything missing?  Is there anything there that you think isn’t really an issue?

Also, a few weeks ago we briefly discussed the backlash against New York Mets player Daniel Murphy taking paternity leave.  As you may recall, two New York sports talk-show hosts suggested that his wife should have scheduled a pre-emptive C-section rather than the player missing any games.  But, this week, that scandal has led to a deeper discussion of paternity leave.  You can find some of that discussion on Slate and on Ordinary Times.

Masculinities 101 Week in Review

22 Mar

Missed important reads on gender equity and masculinities this week? We’ve got you covered:

Here at Masculinities 101 this week, Peter Rauch discussed masculinities in gaming culture.  The question of masculinities in gaming culture was also taken up this week by Dennis Scimeca at arstechnica in his article “How to break games out of the man box”.

Also here at Masculinities 101, Anna Sofie Bach wrote about the ways in which gender politics in Denmark continue to manifest masculinities that are harmful to men and women.

PreventConnect, a project of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, posted a podcast discussing an important new film, My Masculinity Helps.

Washington DC City Councilmembers formally introduced the Fair Leave Act of 2014 for consideration.  This act would provide both men and women with up to 6 weeks of paid parental leave; a radically important step towards more involved fatherhood!

Finally, UN Women, the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment, announced a new campaign, HeforShe, which recognizes the important role have to play in efforts for gender justice and calls for men all over the world to speak out against gender inequalities.

Do you have more suggestions on recent interesting and insightful articles, videos, features or research on men, masculinities or gender? Please share them in the comment section.

A Global Meeting in New Delhi

17 Feb

I spent the first week of February in a crowded hotel conference room in New Dehli.  Some of the people in the room represented small organizations with only a small handful of staff members and some of them represented UN agencies with multi-billion dollar budgets.  We came from all over the world but we all came for one purpose:  to talk about men, boys, and gender justice.  The organizations that people in that room represented range from a Centre for Men and Masculinities Studies in Bangladesh to a Caribbean network of gender equality activists and practitioners called CariMan and many more in between.  People in that room ran programs that strive to broaden young boys’ notions of masculinity, encourage more involved fatherhood, and change cultural norms around sexuality to name only a few.  We came together not only over the concept that a more gender equitable world benefits all people but also over the basic idea that we can all do something to help move toward that world.

The four days I spent in that conference room were divided into two separate meetings.  The first was a steering committee meeting for MenEngage, a global alliance of NGOs that work with men and boys to promote gender equality.  The second was a planning meeting for a global symposium to be held in New Delhi in November addressing the global work with men and boys on issues of gender justice.

In both meetings I was impressed by the depth and breadth of work being done, but at the end of each day I was also reminded of just how much more is needed.  Just outside the doors of the hotel stood one of the largest cities in the world.  The Delhi metropolitan is home to around 22 million people and every time I left the hotel the sheer numbers of people reminded just how hard work to change cultural norms can be.  Most of the work being done to change cultural norms around masculinity happens at an institutional level (school, workplace, or organization. e.g.) or at a community level (places of worship, civic centers, e.g.) and even the most well-funded programs are lucky to reach a few hundred or a few thousand people.

The Centre for Health and Social Justice, a local NGO and our host in New Delhi, does tremendous work with men and boys but how can the change that they make be measured in a city of 22 million?  While these questions may seem fatalistic and the numbers may feel insurmountable, I am asking them because they illustrate the challenge we have ahead of us.  If we hope to create measurable change, we need more men and boys doing this work on all levels

I look forward to posting more about the 2014 Global Symposium in November as it approaches and will keep our readers filled on the call for abstracts, the program as it develops, registration information, and, of course, lessons learned in the process.

Men’s Less-Than-Super Contributions to Housework

18 Dec
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

How do women and men divide housework?  That question has become a matter of intrigue in US media in recent years.  In fact, in the last week alone two major newspapers, The New York Times and The Atlantic, carried opinion pieces on the gendered division of housework in America.  A plethora of research indicates that in the last 30 years men have begun to increase the amount of time that they spend on housework but the fact remains that women still do far more housework than men.  What this progress on the part of men means for the future though is still up for debate.  Will this progress toward gender equity continue?  Will it slow?  Will it speed up?  Only time will tell, but pundits certainly have a lot to say on the matter.

Continue reading

Lessons for the Development of Allies

4 Dec
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

There is a great deal of debate in feminist circles regarding the role of men in the feminist movement.  Should men be leading feminist organizations?  Where should organizations seeking to engage men and boys in gender equity work draw their funding?  Should men’s organizations even exist or should men only engage with feminism within the context of women-led organizations?  In the end, much of this debate centers on the question of what the perfect male ally to the feminist movement should look like.  But, before we get to the question of what that man would look like, or if such a thing is even possible, perhaps we should talk about how male “allies” to the feminist movement come to exist in the first place.***

Continue reading

Talking Masculinity on International Men’s Day

20 Nov
Symbol for International Men's Day  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Symbol for International Men’s Day (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Yesterday, November 19th, was International Men’s Day.  Michael Kaufman and Gary Barker already wrote a terrific piece for the Huffington Post on what makes this particular day problematic and why we should, instead, use all the days of the year to talk about and support gender equality.  According to Kaufman and Barker, “why do we need an International Men’s Day when we’ve already got the whole year.”  Point well taken.  For the same reasons that we don’t need a “White History Month” we don’t need a Men’s Day.  But, what if, in the spirit of International Men’s Day, we took a day to talk about the ways in which many formations of masculinity are harmful to both men and women and what we can do about it? Continue reading

Man Up: NFL Hazing and Jonathan Martin’s “Man Card”

15 Nov
Richie Incognito.  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Richie Incognito. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

On October 28th, Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin left the National Football League citing emotional distress as a result of abuse at the hands of his teammate Richie Incognito.  Incognito admits to having sent Martin racist, homophobic, and threatening text messages and voicemails but argues that rather than hazing or bullying, this was merely an instance of miscommunication between the two men.  While a great deal of media attention has questioned the behavior of Richie Incognito, a disproportionate amount of attention has also been given to Martin’s choice to report the abuse.  Why has Martin’s choice to report the abuse received so much attention?  What has been the main theme of those critiquing Martin’s choice?  And, what does this discussion mean for our national discourse on bullying and hazing?  The answers to these questions, I argue, are all linked to masculinity. Continue reading

“Jock Culture” or Sex-Segregated Socialization?

6 Nov
US_Navy_051008-N-9693M-022_Members_of_the_U.S._Naval_Academy_football_team_run_across_the_field_toward_the_home_team_stands_in_celebration_of_their_victory_over_Air_Force_27-24_at_Navy-Marine_Corps_stadium

Source: Wikimedia Commons

High-profile cases of rape and sexual assault perpetrated by athletes in the US have become far too common.  In a recent column for The Nation, Dave Zirin illustrated the ever more obvious connection between “jock culture” and the perpetration of sexual violence.  Jock culture and rape culture, Zirin argues, are intrinsically linked.  Young women are seen as “the spoils of being a jock” according to Zirin. In many ways Zirin could not be more right.  Clearly young male athletes are learning terrible lessons regarding what their status means about their relationships to women but is “jock culture” the right way to frame this issue? Continue reading

Mobilizing Men for Violence Prevention – International Survey

5 Nov

Greetings everyone!

A research team I’m working with, the Mobilizing Men for Violence Prevention project, has just launched a new online, international survey aimed at hearing from male-identified folks who have attended gender-based violence prevention events, or who are longer-term anti-violence allies. We would LOVE your help getting the survey out there! Please consider sharing the below survey link with men you work with (or taking it yourself if it’s a fit!) The survey is available in English, Spanish and French. You can also check the research team at this website: http://www.tacoma.uw.edu/social-work/mmvp-international-survey.

Survey link: http://umichssw.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_ekXEYmczky0Xrdb

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