Masculinities Mondays: 31st of March 2014

A bit late off the blocks this week again (I’m just trying to fully embody Colombian culture), but here’s a very random smattering of the week’s masculinities highlights:

* Last week an unidentified (and, as yet, not apprehended) man soaked 33 year-old Natalia Ponce de Leon with acid in a northern suburb of Bogotá. Completely unbeknownst to me, Colombia has the highest number of acid attacks against women in the world although, internationally, this gets far less coverage and attention than such violence in South Asia.  Most acid attacks in Colombia are perpetrated by current or former male partners and some analysts link these attacks to a strong machismo culture. Equally problematic, however, is the frequent legal demotion of acid attacks to ‘crimes of passion,’ despite clear premeditation. Although a 2013 amendment increased the sentence for an acid attack to 10.5 years in Colombia, this has yet to be implemented.

* Secondly, on a lighter – but no less important – note, is this excellent short video by a young Brit on consent. Simple, straightforward and honest, this guy gives clear guidelines that o one ever has any excuse to forget.

* And, finally, some hopeful and forward-thinking reflections on engaging men and boys in violence prevention from the founder of NGO, Jagriti Youth. Based on Jagriti Youth’s experiences of running workshops with boys and girls in India, Dr. Rema Nanda discusses the need to systematically engage men and boys for gender equality. Why/What’s the point/Isn’t this a women’s issue, you may ask? Well, a 14 year-old boy from one of Jagriti Youth’s workshops has the answer: “We have to change together…because if you only change one half of the equation, won’t you get half the result?”

Have a good week, everyone, and keep on sending me your masculinities-related bits and bobs!

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