Making the Case to Men and Boys
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When we talk about working with men and boys to prevent gender-based violence, the question comes up: What’s in it for men? Here are some talking points that men can use with other men and boys to answer this question.
Violence hurts our daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, nieces, cousins – we need to take a stand against it.
Violence hurts us too – some of us have suffered from violence and sexual abuse, and many men have suffered emotionally, in relationships, and spiritually from the limited concepts of what it means to be a man.
When men get involved in trying to prevent gender-based violence, we are also helping to solve other social and health problems, such as impoverished single-parent families, high incarceration rates, and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Sexual harassment, domestic violence, and rape all directly or indirectly contribute to these problems, so taking a stand against this violence will create healthier communities for all of us.
Gender-based violence has tremendous economic costs for our society, such as the costs of medical care, loss of work, and law enforcement. These costs can motivate men to get involved in prevention.
Violence is about power and oppression. Gender-based violence is about maintaining the privilege men have over women and straight men have over gay men. Many other forms of privilege and inequality are related to this gender-based inequality; white people over people of color, adults over youth, native-born people over immigrants, for example. Challenging gender-based violence is an important way for men to challenge oppression as a whole, including the oppression they suffer.
If we are not part of the solution to violence, we are part of the problem. Our silence makes us complicit.
Learn more at Ask. Listen. Act., a conference that will provide tools to bring Intimate Partner Violence to Light.