Tag Archives: allies

Supply Drive! Assist a local domestic violence shelter.

24 Jan

So you have a small group of guys, you have a passion for social change and gender justice, and you have done some self-education so you feel pretty comfortable you won’t make a huge mess* (if you haven’t, this is for you). Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go out and do something that feels like you are directly helping women who need it? Have a supply drive for a local domestic violence/battered women’s shelter**! Not only will it give you a sense of having concretely benefitted survivors of violence, but also has a few other benefits that recommend it:

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The Challenges of Teaching Feminism as a Male-Identified Teacher

16 Dec

(Source: Canadian2006 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0/r GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons.

Our own Cliff Leek has recently talked about the tension, struggles and challenges of being an ally to movements of the marginalized. Those of us located on the ‘privilege’ side of different axes of inequality and oppression (like race, class and gender) face the challenge of how to become (and stay) active and effective allies without reinforcing the very inequalities we are trying to fight, and trying to speak truth to power without claiming to speak for the movements we are aligned with. As Mia McKenzie points out in her critique of the term ‘ally’: “actions count; labels don’t”. In other words: We don’t become ‘allies’ just by some act of will or by declaring us as such. Instead, being an ally means a continuous process of becoming one. This call for action and constant reflection has, of course, implications for those of us who are male-identified but teach about gender in the classroom. We face unique challenges that we need to find pedagogical answers to if we are to stay true our feminist and anti-racist commitments.

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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

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