Tag Archives: Men’s Group Projects

Trump’s America: Will “we” be fine? Depends on who is “we”. Depends on what “we” do.

18 Nov

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Dear White Men,

This is on us. And now it’s up to us to undo it. I keep hearing us say: “we’ll be fine.” We may be shocked, devastated, disappointed, outraged but we also keep telling ourselves “we’ll” be fine. Sure, “we” will. But not all will, and not all are. If you are saying “we will be fine”, think hard about who that “we” is. Because many are not part of the “we” that will be fine. Our friends of color, our Native American friends, our Muslim friends and Latino friends, our LGBTQ friends and the women in our lives are not fine. And they are more than devastated and shocked. They are afraid of what is to come. And they will be, and already are, under attack. If you’ve ever questioned the existence of the concept of privilege, being able to say “we’ll be fine” is painful proof of its existence: Continue reading

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Another Engaging Men Workshop, Another Abusive Experience

28 Oct

This article by Ashley Maier, published on her website puts forward an important critique about efforts to engage men and boys for gender equality: 

I presented at the International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma on August 24, 2015, where I also attended many workshops. One was about engaging men, as several usually are these days. I’ve written quite a bit about efforts to engage men in preventing violence against women and girls. My writing about this is known to take the form of critique. As with my MPA capstone, it is a critique intended to improve such efforts, to improve our chances of attaining our goal – creating healthy, thriving communities where there is no place for violence against women and girls. What I’ve learned over the years (that include running a statewide engaging men project) is that there is no place for critique. I was reprimanded in my most recent place of employment for it. My coworkers were retaliated against for supporting my critiques. We can’t afford to make men mad, I was told. There, I learned quickly that women must keep their mouths shut when it comes to the behaviors of men in the “movement” to prevent violence against women and girls. It was no different at this conference session.

Please read the full article on Ashley Maier’s website.

Engendering Men: A Collaborative Review of Evidence on Men and Boys in Social Change and Gender Equality.

12 Oct

The Institute of Development Studies and MenEngage Alliance co-chairs Promundo-US and Sonke Gender Justice (with funding from the UK Department for International Development) have published an evidence review to to help answer the question, ‘what works best when it comes to engaging men and boys for gender equality?

Engendering Men: A Collaborative Review of Evidence on Men and Boys in Social Change and Gender Equality, assesses trends and shifts in related social norms and structures over the past 20 years; successful policies and programmes and implications for best practice; and future directions for promoting men’s and boys’ support for gender equality.

Read the report here. 

Some Men: Feminist Allies and the Movement to End Violence Against Women.

2 Mar

The International Conference on Masculinities is only a few days away! Today, we are excited to provide an excerpt from a new book by three featured speakers: You can hear Michael Messner, Max Greenberg and Tal Peretz on a featured panel on ‘Ally Tensions’ on Saturday March 7th, 11.15am in the Grand Ballroom. The following is an excerpt from their new book “Some Men: Feminist Allies and the Movement to End Violence Against Women”. The excerpt will also appear in the spring issue of VoiceMaleMagazine

Some Men

What does it mean for men to ally with women to stop gender-based violence?  This is the central question we tackle in our new book Some Men: Feminist Allies and the Movement to End Violence Against Women.  Based on life history interviews with 52 men anti-violence activists aged 22-70, and twelve women who work with these men, we explore the opportunities as well as the strains and tensions in men’s work to prevent sexual assault and domestic violence.

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The International Conference on Masculinities: Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality. Call for Proposals

8 Sep

CALL FOR PROPOSALS

The International Conference on Masculinities:
Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality

On March 6-8, 2015, the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities (CSMM) will host the International Conference on Masculinities: Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality, in New York City.  The Conference is timed to immediately precede the meeting of the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations,

Twenty years after the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, the CSW will hold its annual two-week meeting, March 9-27, 2015, in New York. Thousands of participants from UN agencies, NGOs and national governments will discuss the progress made towards greater gender equality over the past two decades.

Those twenty years have also witnessed unprecedented efforts to engage men around gender equality.  The CSMM conference aims to bring together more than 500 activists, practitioners, and academic researchers from around the world who are working to engage men and boys in fulfilling the Platform for Action adopted by the CSW in Beijing.  It will review the success of programs to engage men and boys, share research-in-progress, discuss new and possible policy initiatives, and chart research needs for the future.

The Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities was established at Stony Brook University (SUNY) in 2013. The Center is dedicated to interdisciplinary research on boys, men, masculinities and gender.  Its mission is to bring together researchers with practitioners and activists to develop and enhance social reform projects focusing on boys and men.

For this conference, CSMM has partnered with the American Men’s Studies Association, and the MenEngage Network, to build opportunities for dialogue, critique and inspiration across three days of presentations, panels, workshops, and trainings. The twin goals of the conference are: (1) To infuse men’s activism in support of gender justice with the rigor and insights of the most up-to-date research;  (2) to increase cooperation and ties between academic researchers who address various gender issues, and feminist activists, practitioners, and advocates.

CSMM invites all those committed to engaging boys and men in these global efforts to promote gender equality to share their ideas, programs, projects, and research.

Some basic themes of the conference will include:
– boys’ healthy development and education;
– involved fatherhood;
– balancing work and family life;
– men’s friendships;
– promoting men’s health, reducing health risks and HIV, and supporting women’s reproductive health and rights;
– joining the global struggle against men’s violence against women, sexual assault, trafficking, and harmful traditional practices;
– engaging men in policies to promote gender equality in education, employment, social life, and the political arena.

Some specific issues might include:  transforming fatherhood;  working with boys and young men;  challenges of reaching men in post-conflict settings;  preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS;  men and aging, disability, impairment, and illness;  diverse masculinities;  multi-cultural coalition building;  challenging homophobia;  understanding and preventing gang-rapes and mass-murders by boys and men;  engaging religious authorities;  boys’ education;  challenging bullying, harassment, and domestic abuse;  working with abusive & violent men;  men and child-custody issues;  campus programs for preventing sexual violence;  men in prisons;  men and the military;  men and prostitution;  gender-linked alcohol and drug abuse;  men’s depression and suicide, and other topics.

Presentations can cover research, policy, interventions, and activist work. Presentation formats may include: 3 -5 person panels, short one-person talks (with Q-&-A), workshops, films, art, poster presentations, informal roundtable discussions, music, and performances. We will accept formal academic papers but at the conference we will ask that presenters not read papers but to be more informal and interactive, within the context of language possibilities. The premium at each session will be on discussion.

The working language will be English.  Sessions completely in Spanish, French, Arabic, and Chinese may be accepted but the conference unfortunately cannot provide the resources for translation.

Conference costs will be kept low to enable widespread participation, and some limited financial support may be available to those in need, especially from the Global South.

Proposals may be submitted online (http://www.jotform.us/AMSA/CSMM_2015) and any questions about the proposal process may be directed to csmmsb2015@gmail.com.

The deadline for proposal submission is October 31st, 2014.

Please visit the Conference Website.

Practice Your Responses

24 Jul

Masculine socialization encourages guys to behave in certain ways, and discourages us from other behaviors. This has been well understood since Bob Brannon described “the male sex role” in 1976: No sissy stuff (reject femininity), be a big wheel (achieve at all costs), be a sturdy oak (disregard emotions to be tough and independent), and give ’em hell (value aggression, violence, and risk-taking). This type of masculinity not only constrains men’s ability to live their lives fully, it also negatively affects men’s health – and while ideas about masculinity have shifted some since then, it is still pretty easy to see how masculine socialization contributes to the subordination and victimization of women.

If Brannon were writing his article today, I have a feeling one of his key phrases would be “Bros before hos.” Part of what masculinities scholar Michael Kimmel calls “The Bro Code,” this phrase discourages guys from intervening in other guys’ sexist behavior, and can make it really difficult to speak up when sexism or sexual violence are happening (in many violent gang-rapes, there are guys around who don’t participate, but also don’t do anything to intervene). Even smaller things like saying that you don’t find sexist jokes funny, or calling out street harassment, can be difficult if you don’t have any sense of how to do it – but they can also be among the most important ways men can show support for women’s equality.

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Focus, Accountability, and Balance

21 Apr

Two weeks ago I went to New York to give two talks about my research with men’s anti-sexist groups. The first was by invitation of the Women’s Empowerment student group at Fordham University, the second was at SUNY Stonybrook’s Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities. Having presented some of my research at conferences for sociologists and gender studies scholars, I was really exciting to get to discuss my results with a student activist groups and a group of scholars that specifically researches men and masculinities. I was hopeful that I’d find new ways to make my research useful to people actually working on the ground, and I was not at all disappointed!

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Silhouettes of Gender-Based Violence

26 Mar

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This post will guide you through one of the most eye-catching ways I’ve seen to publicly display information about gender-based violence. As you can see in the picture, it involves constructing human silhouettes and writing facts of statistics on them. Framing the statistics inside representations of people makes it difficult to dismiss them as “just” numbers; using silhouettes asks the viewer to fill in the details themselves, connecting them to the piece, and adds a sense of absence or loss.

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A Letter to the Editor

24 Feb

 One important function of men’s anti-sexist groups is to stand up as examples, showing people that what we tend to think of as “women’s issues” are really social problems which affect all of us. Simply by existing, you give other men the opportunity to see these issues as things that affect them and that they can do something about, and simultaneously show women that they have allies and support among men.

But this only works if people see you and know about you! So, this month’s anti-sexist men’s group project is a way of letting more people see that you exist and are taking a stand: writing an opinion editorial or a “letter to the editor” of a newspaper or online news website. If you are a grassroots group, a local or regional newspaper might be a good fit; if you are a campus group, most campuses have a student newspaper, and they usually love to get materials from other students. Most papers in print explain their “letters to the editor” policies in each issue, and give you information on how to submit letters. If nothing local seems like a good fit, many communities have online media/news outlets—or if you’re very ambitious and feel qualified, you could try writing to a national newspaper or website.

This project is a nice way to get your group’s name out and publicize your stance on issues of sexism, sexual and relationship violence, or gender inequality more broadly. By making a public statement of your group’s position and anti-sexist commitments, you hold yourselves accountable to live up to your words, and inspire others to consider them as well. A letter to the editor can also be a good thing to keep in mind for the future, as a way of responding to something sexist or victim-blaming that a newspaper publishes or a public figure says, addressing something happening in current events, or drawing attention to a problem you want your community to address (which can be as specific as lack of lighting in a dangerous area or as broad as the continuing high statistics on domestic violence or sexual assault). When something comes up in your community, be ready to take a stand and write a letter to respond to it. If you’ve published in a paper before, that relationship may help you be published again when your voices are needed; even if not, you have the advantage of bringing a “fresh” take to an issue, because editors love a “man bites dog” story, and unfortunately that is still how men’s anti-sexist efforts are understood.

 

Benefits:

  • Shows lots of people that what we tend to think of as “women’s issues” are really social problems which concern all of us, and which men can get involved in changing.

  • Relatively quick and easy to put together (especially if you can avoid infighting over small details in the writing: remember, you are all on the same team, and if you can’t agree on a small point, you can write around it to get to the parts you do agree about).

  • Can be a really good way for your group members to get to know each other better, think through and discuss issues of sexism in a concrete and purposeful way, and work together on a concrete project. This may also include doing more research on an issue, and thus learning more about it yourselves.

  • Publicizes your group more widely and can help bring in members (if you include information about your group and invite people to join).

Examples:

How to Write a Letter to the Editor:

After you write the letter, proofread it and send it in quickly, before the timeliness of it fades. Follow up with a phone call the next day if you haven’t heard from the paper, and use it as an opportunity to advocate for your letter’s publication. If you get published, make sure to tell your friends to read the paper that day, save a clipping for your group’s records, and post a link or scan of your letter below!

 

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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