My thoughts on "5 Stupid, Unfair and Sexist Things Expected of Men"
I found the article that Caroline posted the other day (http://www.engagingmen.net/resource/5-stupid-unfair-and-sexist-things-expected-men) was fascinating.
I believe that, globally, genuine progress has been made to uphold the rights of women, but there is still a long way to go and I believe it has never been more critical than now, to engage men in the struggle for gender justice. But, how can we do this while society bestows priviledges (and gendered vulnerabilities) on men. What will ever change while men maintain a sense of privilege and believe, even if it's a subconscious motivator, that maintaining social structures of gender inequality will uphold their priviledge? For me, this article was a reminder of two things:
Firstly, our struggle for gender justice is a struggle to rescue men (as well as women) from all forms of social injustice. I'm not denying the utmost importance of upholding women's rights, which is generally understood to be what gender justice is all about. What I am advocating for is a greater emphasis on helping men overcome their own gendered vulnerabilities which, I believe, will ultimately lead to a decrease in gender-based violence and a fairer society for women.
Secondly, we need to understand the nature of gendered risks to men's health and well-being and use our understanding to build bridges to men. Pragmatically, we probably can't engage with most men on issues of women's rights and justice -- at least not to begin with. But, we can meet men where they hurt and offer alternatives to the hegemonic mascuilnities that enslave them.
The theoretical and practical implications of these two simple concepts are enormous. As a member of this network, I hope to learn from all of you how this works in practice through research, capacity building and policy.