Archive for the ‘Violence against women’ category

Masculinity of the Month: Mel Gibson

July 26, 2010

The last few ‘Masculinity of the Month’ posts I’ve done, have been somewhat or mostly approving of the type of masculinity represented. This month, less so.

Or Not.

Mel Gibson as an actor (and it seems increasingly, it seems, in real life) embodies a spectacularly retrogressive type of masculinity. His films are almost to a fault, of the single-minded bloody vengeance type – and his personal life, as has been extensively covered in public, appears to have large doses or racism, misogyny, and general hate and anger.

I’ve got to say I’m not hugely surprised by any of this, and I think that the example of Mr Gibson is not particularly out of the norm, except in that he is famous and his comments are on record, meaning it gets press coverage. But what’s kinda nice is that this is getting coverage, and the coverage (except for the usual suspects, like Australia’s finest far right columnist) is pretty condemning of Mr Gibson’s actions, and more importantly, attitudes.

So, what do you think, does the criticism of men like Mel, and to a lesser extent, Tom Cruise, mean anything significant in terms of broader shifts of what is acceptable masculine identity, or is it oppressive hegemonic business as usual in man land? Does the tarnishing of once great masculine icons represent genuine change, or just the cycle of fashion?


Reading: The Pixel Project

February 3, 2010

The above organisation has come to my attention throught the wonders of the internet, and rather than re-hash their words I’ll let them speak for themselves….

We are a worldwide coalition of grassroots activists and volunteers using the power of Web 2.0 to mount a global effort to raise awareness about and hopefully mobilise millions to get involved with ending violence against girls and women. We strongly believe that men and women must take a stand together for the right of women to live a life free of gender-based violence.

We aim to raise US$1 million for NCADV and WAO by selling a world-exclusive million-pixel collage of Celebrity Male Role Model portraits online for US$1 per pixel. The project will invite 6 world-famous male celebrities with strong family connections, no history of violence, and are role models for men in relationships with women and children, to participate in the collage of portraits.

The philosophy behind choosing positive male role models from different walks of life is to emphasise that men have a major role to play in breaking the cycle of violence against women.

All I can say to this is Bam! Awesome! Well, I could really say a lot more, but that gets across my sentiments pretty well.  I also like that the Pixel Project has a section on the site engaging directly with men, (called The Men’s Room ) with links to resources, a section on how to recognise gender based abouse and violence, and an excellent bit on how men can actively help to prevent and end gender based violence. I especially liked this little list.

Like I said, The Pixel Project are clearly Awesome AND Bam, by which I obviously mean a great example of an organisation advocating the importance of including men and getting them onboard  to make meaningful changes to how we think and act about gender, and hopefully help in preventing gender based violence. Love it.

Australian News/Reading: Respectful Relationships Education

November 30, 2009

In local masculinity education  news, I’ve just heard about a Vichealth report to the Victorian Education Department on teaching boys about healthy gender roles and challenging attitudes that allow violence and silence around gendered violence. The only link I’ve got here is one to an article on the Herald Sun – it’s not very positive and the comments are horrible. But I highly recommend you read the embedded chat with the report’s author, Dr Michael Flood, where he more cogently expresses the aims and goals of the program.

Here’s an excerpt from that chat;

 I should stress that the Herald Sun’s initial reporting wasn’t very accurate. The report, and my work in general, recognises that most young men (like most men) treat women and girls with respect and care, and that most do not use violence. A minority do, while others sometimes stand by silently and let this happen. So part of this work is addressing the sexist and violence-supportive attitudes among a minority of young men which feed into physical and sexual violence in relationships. And building on the positive roles which many young men already play.

Awesome stuff.

Here is the article

And here is the report (PDF)

Today is White Ribbon Day

November 25, 2009

Today, in Australia at least, is White Ribbon Day – a day aimed at rasing male awareness around, and action towards the prevention of violence against women.

So, check out their website (I’ve linked to the Australian one) and educate yourself about violence against women and do something to help bring about cultural change when it comes to violence against women.

And in an interesting and somewhat related link, check out this article from the Guardian on research into lyrics dealing with sexual violence and it’s impact on women.