The Huffington Post recently interviewed a group of men about their opinions on masculinity. What emerges is a view of (at least hegemonic) masculinity as restrictive and unachievable. As one man states,
“I think a lot of us pretend to be quite different than we really are.”
And they all appear to reach the same conclusion – that we’d all be much better off without it:
“In an ideal world..masculinity wouldn’t mean anything”
Do you agree? Does the world need masculinity and femininity? In your ideal world, what would masculinity mean?
After a bit of a holiday break, we’re back and looking forward to a new year of stories of positive change, non-violent masculinities, and some good, healthy debates. To kick us off to a good start, here are a few highlights from the past week:
- First up, a video that’s gone viral in just over a week, showing us just how much we have to learn from kids. “Slap Her” shows young Italian boys’ reactions to violence against women. We’d like to see a version of this done with adult men too and would hope the reactions would be the same.
- Last week, UK organisation SaferWorld also released a new report, “Masculinities, Conflict and Peacebuilding.” Through an examination of case studies from Colombia, South Sudan, Sudan, Kosovo, and Somalia, this report calls for the need to apply a gender perspective to all efforts to prevent conflict and build peace. This not only means assessing the roles and needs of women and girls but also those of men and boys.
- In bizarre news, Russia has decided that trans people should not be allowed to drive cars because they are regarded as having a “mental disorder.”
- And, finally, a sweet video of children’s reactions as their parents talk to them about sex for the first time. All of the kids and many of the parents react embarrassed and ashamed, but why should sex be something shameful? If we are going to create a safer world, free from sexual violence, we need to learn to start speaking openly and clearly with kids about sex.