Contemporary campaigns and programs addressing men’s violence against women are under sustained attack. They are subject to repeated, hostile criticism by anti-feminist men and men’s networks. Any organisation which publicly addresses violence against women finds itself under a barrage of e-mails and letters, while any forum which sympathetically addresses the issue is swamped by hostile responses. Here, I address the claims which are the standard fare of anti-feminist men’s attacks on domestic violence efforts.
WARNING: WHAT FOLLOWS IS SEXUALLY AND SEXISTLY GRAPHIC:
In a recent post, Jennifer Drew added her analysis of the atrocity of gang rape. I welcome everyone to read that by clicking here and scrolling down to her comments.
One point I'd like to clarify, as a white U.S.er, is that racism and homophobia are not considered hate crimes in the U.S. Not even close. Nor are any institutionalised abuses against oppressed people understood, legally, as "crimes"--hateful or otherwise.
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I got the following question posted as a comment to another thread which can be found here. This is the question:
This brief article summarizes the characteristics of many sexual violence prevention programs, and the dominant theories in prevention program development.
As described by the author, "This chapter provides an overview of the issues involved in men taking responsibility for sexual assault prevention, suggests a philosophy and pedagogy for rape prevention, provides a developmental model for prevention programs, makes recommendations for advancing the field, and reviews promising interventions and strategies. The chapter’s primary focus is the prevention of sexual assault perpetrated by men against women (or young men and young women) who know each other in college or high school settings."
Many efforts to prevent men's sexual violence have focused on changing some men's belief that most other men approve of rape-supportive attitudes and behaviors, when in fact this is not true. A person's beliefs about the attitudes and behaviors of others, and the way those beliefs influences that person’s own attitudes and behaviors, are called social norms. Changing social norms around sexual violence is an important part of prevention effots.
Men have a positive role to play in helping to end violence against women. Growing numbers of men have come to the realisation that violence against women is an issue that touches their lives in deeply personal ways. And it’s a social problem they can do something about.
This paper sketches a framework for understanding this violence and its relation to the lives and experiences of men. It then looks at two sets of activities in which I have worked to challenge men's violence: the activities of the White Ribbon Campaign, the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women and, secondly, work within the educational system.
MEGEN activists share their personal experiences as individuals and as Changemakers. While writing their stories, the activists were asked to reflect on their own change processes: what sparked their activism around gender and violence? And how has the MEGEN platform been helpful in this process? The publication also includes short briefs on the work of the project, highlighting the challenges, successes and lessons learnt in different program areas. In the process of developing this booklet, many people have been of great help; the dedicated MEGEN activists who shared some of their life experiences in their own writing, the then MEGEN Project Coordinator Kennedy Odhiambo Otina and other FEMNET staff members and MEGEN teams.