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Men Supporting Women's Rights - Glasgow

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Central Glasgow venue TBC

Glasgow

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Men's violence against women is a men's problem that has traditionally been left for women to tackle. This can't go on.

Men - particularly (women of course are welcome) - let's meet and discuss how we can resist and lessen the restrictive influences of masculinity, making life better - in the process - for women and girls, other men and ourselves.

This meeting will have a specific emphasis on practical ways that men can support women in their various current political struggles to secure and further their rights - rights that men, as a sex-class, consciously seek to erode or carelessly jeopardise by under-valuing them.


FOUNDATIONAL PREMISE:

Men are not pre-ordained to act out the narrow versions of 'being a man' sold to us all too often by culture: 'Be tough!', 'take control!', 'be the champ!', 'don't ask for help!', 'smash that!', 'no pain!', 'take no lip!' - and all that stuff. This is the corrosive 'code' of masculinity that is foisted upon - and expected of - boys and men. The negative impacts are all too easy to see, on personal and cultural levels:

On women & girls:

  • Domestic Abuse

  • Coercive Control

  • Stalking

  • Image-based Abuse

  • Sexual Harassment

  • Sexual assault

  • Under-representation of women in the decision making process

  • Erosion of women's sex-based rights

  • Silencing of women on social media and in real-life

On ourselves:

  • Male on male violence

  • Self harm

  • Substance abuse

  • Self-limitation

  • Sexual assault

  • Avoidance of intimacy

  • Fear of vulnerability

  • Not asking for help


'Gender' (as distinct from 'sex') is a set of socially-constructed stereotypes which men and women are invited / cajoled / coerced from birth to act out, via 'masculinity' and 'feminity'. We believe that because these stereotypes are not innate that they can - and should - be challenged. We are concerned that presenting people - from birth - with a notion that this cultural 'product' called 'gender' (as distinct from 'sex) is natural and 'innate' to us closes down critical thinking about the society that produces it - and ultimately reinforces the sexist thinking that harms and limits us (women particularly and in multiple obvious ways, but in the long run men too).

Men can, by critical reflection, expand our understanding of what it means to 'be a man', to value emotions and diversity of self-expression, to prize caring, nurturing and openness.





WE WILL BE DISCUSSING ...

  • The need for a clear societal understanding of male violence against women and girls - who does what to whom, to what extent - and why. This means an accurate data collection for crimes and a transparently clear language around the perpetrators and victims of sex-based crimes.

  • The collusion of press/media in minimising male accountability, in victim-blaming and in narrating the incidence of #MVAWG as personal 'evil' rather than the outcome of systemic, structural sexism.

  • How these traditional patriarchal habits - of collusion, minimising and victimblaming - manifest themselves in all arenas - including in emerging dscourse around 'gender identity' activism.

  • The problems inherent to the recent 'turn' to 'gender identity' as a way of explaining alienation, detachment and frustration in young people - and how analysing our own internalised values and beliefs about what we can be as men or women can help us see a way beyond 'gender' to a complex and rich humanity - healthier and happier for all. See here for background reading on this theme: https://aeon.co/essays/the-idea-that-gender-is-a-spectrum-is-a-new-gender-prison

We will discuss the above in a way that is clearly and explicitly cognisant and supportive of the incredible struggles - through feminism - by women over the decades for their full human rights - a struggle by no means over and indeed facing renewed assault on many fronts. Men will work together - guided by the insights of women who are experts in the impacts and realities of #maleviolence and the cultures that breed it - what effective steps we can and must take to end that violence.

There will be several speaker contributions from men and women who work in relevant fields. Confirmed to date:

  • Michael Conroy - founder of Men At Work C.I.C., www.menatworkorganisation.org @michealconraoi , 15 years in Secondary Education, trainer, facilitator of work with boys & young men. "If we can't talk sex - as opposed to notions of 'gender' - then we can't talk about sexism - or #maleviolence. Who benefits from that enforced silence and pretend ignorance?".

  • Susan Smith, activist & campaigner, @forwomenscot

  • Gavin Barrie, @jammach, #LGBT rights campaigner of 30+ years vintage, newly joined to @WomensPledge as PR coordinator. "I've become increasingly concerned that respect and protection for Women’s rights is lapsing under the Scottish Government and am campaigning for a refocus."

  • Caroline McAllister, @calliemac88 "I've worked in mental health for around 28yrs. I quickly came to realise many adult survivors of childhood trauma end up in psychiatric services, where often the understanding of trauma & how it impacts the individual, as well as resources are sadly lacking. I'm an independent advocate for adults with disabilities as well as an SNP Councillor in West Dunbartonshire. I am also the Council's ambassador for violence against women & girls. If I were to stay silent on the erosion of women's rights & the value many women place on same sex facilities, then I'd be betraying all the women I've worked with over the years as well as my constituents, especially those living with domestic abuse & trauma."

  • Stephen Low, Labour Activist, @underaredflag

  • Rhona Hotchkiss, @HotchkissRhona. Rhona has a distinguished career spanning Nursing, Integrated Care and Prison Governorship. She was Director of the Nursing and Midwifery Practice Development Unit, Executive Director at QI and Health Inspector with HM Prisons Inspectorate before joining the Scottish Prison Service as Deputy Governor of Barlinnie in 2009. She went on to work at HMPs Shotts, Dumfries, Cornton Vale and Greenock, the latter three as Governor in Charge. She is a non-executive director at Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

  • Seven Hex, Transsexual activist, concerned about the impact of the GRA on women, children and the Trans community


The speaker contributions will be approx 15 mins and questions will be taken at the end of each speaker's contribution.

Please read: www.womansplaceuk.org/wpuk-manifesto-2019/ - this will provide a focus for thoughts on how we can, as men, support a cutting edge grassroots women's organisation with a range of urgent demands.

Proceeds from tickets will go to cover venue costs and speaker expenses with any surplus being donated to For Woemn Scotland & Women and Girls Scotland to assist them in their campaign work. Accounts will be published for transparency.

Thank you

Michael Conroy

Men At Work


Key quotes:

"The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations." Chimamanda Adichie

“The wounded child inside many males is a boy who, when he first spoke his truths, was silenced by paternal sadism, by a patriarchal world that did not want him to claim his true feelings. The wounded child inside many females is a girl who was taught from early childhood that she must become something other than herself, deny her true feelings, in order to attract and please others." Bell Hooks




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Date and Time

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Central Glasgow venue TBC

Glasgow

United Kingdom

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Refund Policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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