Masculinities Mondays: 16th of March 2015

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Photo: Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

From dancing in Dili to cross-dressing in Kabul, millions of women and men, girls and boys, around the world spent last week celebrating International Women’s Day, joining forces to honour women’s contributions and to heighten awareness of the many injustices and challenges that women across the globe still face. This week, those conversations about masculinities and gender equality continue, in various forms:

  • The 59th Commission on the Status of Women is currently underway in New York. But if you thought this was only about women and for women, you’re mistaken. If you’re in the Big Apple, there are some great CSO side events on masculinities. Check them out here and here – just don’t forget to RSVP!
  • An article has recently been published examining men’s lifetime physical intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration across eight low- and middle-income countries to better understand key risk factors that interventions can target in order to promote gender equality and reduce IPV. In exploring data from men in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), India, Mexico, and Rwanda, the authors found that witnessing parental violence was the strongest risk factor for men’s perpetration of physical violence against a partner. Having been involved in fights not specifically with an intimate partner, permissive attitudes towards violence against women, having inequitable gender attitudes, and older age were all also associated with a higher likelihood of ever perpetrating physical IPV.
  • In Denmark, a professor is controversially campaigning to have pornography shown in sex educational classes in all schools. Prof Christian Graugaard states,

My proposal is to critically discuss pornography with 8th and 9th graders [age 15 – the legal age of consent in Denmark – and 16 respectively] as part of a sensible didactic strategy, carried out by trained teachers…We know from research that a vast majority of teenagers have seen porn at an early age – so it’s not a question of introducing youngsters to porn…We should strengthen their ability to distinguish between the media’s depictions of the body and sex and the everyday life of an average teenager. They should become conscientious and critical consumers.

  • And, while we are on the topic of sex education, if you read anything this week, make it this brilliant article that explains how sexual consent is really as simple as a cup of tea.
  • To wrap up, we’d like to leave you with a video from Indonesia on transforming masculinities for positive social change, brought to you by MenCare+ and Rutgers WPF.

Have a great, active and transformative week!

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