How does healthy masculinity contributing to preventing sexual and domestic violence? Last week I joined hundred of people to consider this issue at the Healthy Masculinity Action Project Summit in Washington DC. The Summit kicks off a 2 year project led by Men Can Stop Rape, Men Stopping Violence, Coach for America, A CALL TO MEN, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and Women of Color Network. PreventConnect is an ally to this project.
The summit was full of thoughtful conversations and opportunities to tell stories about masculinity. The more I considered what healthy masculinity is, the harder I found it to describe healthy masculinity. First of all, masculinity is not a singular concept. Many people prefer to refer to the plural (Masculinities) to acknowledge the full range of ways people identify their various gender identities. When I look at the specific traits of healthy masculinity, I have trouble distinguishing them from the characteristics of healthy humanity.
Yet masculinity is a concept that is prominent in our society. This conference has started a discussion about how we can frame positively how masculinity does not have to be a limited set of expectations (be dominant, strong, have power over others, share few emotions) but can be a way to support building healthy people and communities where we take action to end violence.
We still have many concepts of masculinity that need to shift in order to prevent men’s violence against women and other men. We need to figure out how masculinity contributes to sex trafficking, violence and abuse.
I look forward to following the Healthy Masculinity Action Project. PreventConnect will address these issues in future web conferences and online discussions.
What do you think about healthy masculinity and preventing sexual and domestic violence?