men, masculinities and gender politics


Activism & Politics

Backlash: Angry men's movements

Men have responded in complex and contradictory ways to the profound changes of the last three decades, changes set in motion by the women’s movements, changes in family organisation, economic and social shifts and other forces. Small numbers of men have responded by mobilising in support of feminist goals, changing their own behaviour and working with women to shift gender relations in progressive directions. Yet other men have mobilised in opposition to feminism and the changes in gender with which it is associated, forming “men’s rights” and “fathers’ rights” groups. An organised backlash to feminism is now visible among men in Australia, as in most other Western capitalist countries.


This excerpt from Michael Flood’s report provides an assessment and critique of the claims made by fathers’ rights groups and others about ‘fatherlessness’ and ‘male role models’.

Please see below for the attachment, in PDF.

The hand that rocks the cradle

Public attitudes towards fathers have shifted, but has fathers’ behaviour shifted too? Michael Flood describes the obstacles to paternal involvement, and the potential dangers in the new emphasis on fatherhood.

The politics of fathers' rights activists

This paper examines the hate speech and extremism of fathers' rights groups. It scrutinises the behaviour and language of the two major father’s rights activists organisations, the Shared Parenting Council of Australia (SPCA), and the Fatherhood Foundation (FF), particularly in relation to issues of violence against women and children and how these intersect with the emergent contemporary discourse of “fatherlessness” assertion and role models for children.  The paper provides evidence that the internet based collectives affiliated to the two key fathers’ rights activists organisations incite virulent hatred of, and harmful action towards targeted women and their perceived supporters. This paper examines why these two key fathers' rights activist organisations are gaining such open access and encouragement to/from politicians when much of their agenda expresses high levels of hate and vitriol against women and why this is seemingly ignored in public discourse to the detriment of women’s and children’s safety.

Please see below for the attachment, in Word.

What’s Wrong With a Presumption of Joint Custody?

This excerpt from Michael Flood’s report discusses the problems with a rebuttable presumption of joint custody, and describes the broader context for these debates.

See below for the attachment, in PDF.

Fathers' rights and violence against women

The fathers’ rights movement is defined by the claim that fathers are deprived of their ‘rights’ and subjected to systematic discrimination as men and fathers, in a system biased towards women and dominated by feminists. Fathers’ rights groups overlap with men’s rights groups and both represent an organised backlash to feminism. Fathers’ rights and men’s rights groups can be seen as the anti-feminist wing of the men’s movement, the network of men’s groups and organisations mobilised on gender issues.

Please see below for the attachment, in Word.

Stephen Montagna's Take Back the Night Address

Madison, Wisconsin
United States of America
April 26, 2003

Good evening. I’d like to thank you all for coming out tonight. I’d like to thank the organizers for the opportunity to speak; it’s an opportunity I don’t take lightly, I recognize it as a priviledge, and I will endeavor to keep my comments brief.

Book Review: The myth of male power: why men are the disposable sex, by Warren Farrell


As men become increasingly aware of their experience as men, they are acknowledging the ways in which men are limited by the dominant construction of masculinity. But some men take this much further, claiming the status of victim and alleging that men's power is a myth. Warren Farrell is one such man.

Book Review: Recreating Men: Postmodern Masculinity Politics, by Bob Pease.


Suddenly, the field of gender studies is flooded with books about men and masculinities. It's almost hard to keep up with the titles that land on reviewer's desks and library shelves. From the "early"1980s writings of Vic Seidler, Michael Kimmel, Bob Connell, Michael Messner, among others, the field of gender and masculinity has expanded significantly. As a publisher, Sage has contributed to a growing list on the subject. Michael Messner's work on men's movements was published in the early 90s as part of the Sage gender series while Richard Collier's book on criminality and masculinity appeared in 1998 as a stand alone volume.