Picking up on Ann-Marie Slaughter’s recent article arguing that there’s a need for a men’s movement, Glen asks what it would or should actually look like.
His list is a fairly accurate reflection of the different flavours of men’s activism currently at play. I’d perhaps suggest there should be a category for social conservatives and traditionalists, who although my political opposites, are a definite presence within the debates.
Many are perfectly compatible and quite rightly you can click more than one. I’m not entirely sure there is a clear line between the different categories (I’m not quite sure of the distinction between numbers 4 and 5, in particular.)
In answer to the question, I think the men’s movement is really all of the above and more, and perhaps it needs to be. I include in that the positions with which I profoundly (and often furiously) disagree. But dynamic democracy requires debate, and debate requires different positions. I also think you could draw up a similarly diverse list of models and strains of feminism, many of which furiously disagree with and even despise each other, but the movement requires that diversity for its intellectual health, and most people within feminism are happy to accept that, whatever their disagreements, they are all feminists.
Anyway, I’ll reprint the list, and then add my own Number 11. Except it isn’t really a Number 11, it is more what Number 5 would look like if I’d drafted it! .
1. A Men’s Liberation Movement
A global men’s liberation movement would be pro-feminist and focussed on liberating men from rigid gender roles on the past and helping men to address unhealthy male behaviours and develop and promote healthy masculinity.
2. A Men’s Human Rights Movement
A global men’s human rights movement would tackle feminism head on and address all the areas of life where men’s human rights are under attacked, with a particular focus on tackling laws, policies and initiatives that favour women and girls and discriminate against men and boys in the process.
3. A Men’s Rites of Passage Movement
A Men’s Rites of Passage Movement would ensure that all men and boys had the opportunity to take part in rites of passage work with the support of other men and help every boy make a safe and healthy transition into manhood in the process.
4. An Integral Men’s Movement
An Integral Global Men’s Movement would seek to unite everyone committed to improving the lives of men and boys no matter what perspective they came from and seek out areas of common interest and opportunities to work together for the greater good.
5. A Men’s Social Justice Movement
A Men’s Social Justice Movement would focus on areas where men and boys experience inequality or problems with their health, education, family life, personal safety, social care needs etc and take action to find solutions to these issues.
6. A Religious Men’s Movement
A Religious Men’s Movement would help to solve the problems that involve men and boys by actively working to bring more men to God—with a focus on one religion only (whatever that religion is).
7. An Interfaith Men’s Movement
An Interfaith Men’s Movement would work across religious boundaries to help solve the problems that involve men and boys by actively working to bring more men to a life of faith, no matter what that faith is.
8. A Fathers’ Rights Movement
A Fathers’ Rights Movement would seek to ensure that every child knows the love of their father by tackling the failings of the world’s legal systems which favour mothers particularly when parents are separated.
9. A Shared Parenting Movement
A Shared Parenting Movement would work to unite mums and dads to help men and women equally share the responsibility of caring for their children, looking after the home and earning money through a rewarding career.
10. A Men Go Their Own Way Movement
A Men Go Their Own Way Movement would encourage and support men to “go their own way” and live their lives free from any problems associated with being in a long-term relationship with a women.
And Awkward Ally’s Number 11,
11. The men’s flank of the social justice movement.
A movement that challenges male-specific issues and injustices from a holistic and humanitarian perspective, recognising that economic and social justice issues are interlinked, inseparable and intersectional.
So, there’s the options. If you feel so inclined, please cast your vote here and let me know your thoughts below.