men, masculinities and gender politics


Reprinted from Strong Silent Types

Making Masculinity Visible to Sexual Violence…


Most of us are prepared to accept that men perpetrate most sexual violence (the lunatics in the men’s rights movement, notwithstanding). However, the majority of prison treatment programs for sex offenders neither take account of the issues of gender and masculinity nor their potential positive role in the rehabilitation process. By omitting these essential considerations, these programs stymie any possible, worthwhile ‘behavioural and attitudinal change’. Cowburn (2010) argues, and I would concur, that we need to understand how and why men behave ‘as men’ when it comes to sexual violence. ‘We’ here, I would think, should as much refer to sexual offenders as it does to everyone else in the community.

Tepid Protections Against Predatory Men…


I recall when I worked for the Catholic Church, how the powers that be there decided that they did not like a particular female colleague, presumably on the basis that she was not appropriately ‘conservative’. One Christmas time, during the odiously fake Kris Kringle sharing of presents, that cruelly targeted employee opened her present to reveal a tawdry g-string.