WSTA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 41: White Ribbon Campaign, The White Ribbon, Masculinity

Women's and Gender Studies
Course Code
Anissa Talahite- Moodley

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CHAPTER 41: The White Ribbon Campaign: Involving Men and Boys in Ending Global Violence against Women
The Complex Puzzle of Men's Violence
Patriarchal Power: The First 'P'
men's violence against women does not occur in isolation but is linked to men's violence against other men and to the internalization of violence – that is, a man's
violence against himself
violence or the threat of violence among men is a mechanism used from childhood to establish that pecking order
one result of this is that men 'internalize' violence – or perhaps, the demands of patriarchal society encourage biological instincts that otherwise might be relatively
dormant or more benign
violence has brought enormous benefits to particular groups
first and foremost, violence (or at least the threat of violence) has helped confer on men (as a group) a rich set of privileges and forms of power
The Sense of Entitlement or Privilege: The Second 'P'
the individual experience of a man who commits violence may not revolve around his conscious desire to maintain power
his conscious experience is not the key here
rather, as feminist analysis has repeatedly pointed out, such violence is often the logical outcome of his sense of entitlement to certain privileges
Remission: The Third 'P'
whatever the complex social and psychological causes of men's violence, it would not continue if it did not receive explicit or tacit permission in social customs,
legal codes, law enforcement, and certain religious teachings
in many countries, laws against wife assault or sexual assault are lax or non-existent; in many others laws are barely enforced; in still others they are absurd, such
as those countries where a charge of rape can be prosecuted only if there are three male witnesses and where the testimony of the woman is not taken into
meanwhile, acts of men's violence and violent aggression (in this case, usually against other men) are celebrated in sport and cinema, in literature and warfare
not only is violence permitted, it is glamorized and rewarded
The Paradox of Men's Power: The Fourth 'P'
the very ways in which men have constructed their social and individual power is, paradoxically, a source of enormous fear, isolation, and pain for men themselves
if power is constructed as a capacity to dominate and control, if the capacity to act in 'powerful' ways requires the construction of a personal suit of armour and a
fearful distance from others, if the very world of power and privilege removes men from the world of child-rearing and nurturance, then we are creating men whose
own experience of power is fraught with crippling problems
this is particularly so because the internalized expectations of masculinity are themselves impossible to satisfy or attain
this may well be a problem inherent in patriarchy, but it seems particularly true in an era and in cultures where rigid gender boundaries are being challenged or
where there is a fear of challenge and change
whether it is physical or financial accomplishment, or the suppression of a range of human emotions and needs, the imperatives of manhood (as opposed to the
simple certainties of biological maleness) seem to require constant vigilance and work, especially for younger men
the personal insecurities conferred by a failure to make the masculine grade, or simply the threat of failure, is enough to propel many men, particularly when they
are young, into a vortex of fear, isolation, anger, self-punishment, self-hatred, and aggression
within such an emotional state, violence becomes a compensatory mechanism
it is a way of re-establishing the masculine equilibrium, of asserting to oneself and to others one's masculine credentials
this expression of violence usually includes a choice of a target who is physically weaker or more vulnerable
this may be a child or a woman, or it may be a social group, such as gay men, or a religious or social minority, or immigrants; the victim poses an easy target for
the insecurity and rage of individual men, especially since such groups often do not receive adequate protection under the law
what permits violence to become an individual compensatory mechanism has been the widespread acceptance of violence as a means of solving differences and
asserting power and control
what makes it possible are the power and privileges men have enjoyed, things encoded in beliefs, practices, social structures, and the law
The Psychic Armour of Manhood: The Fifth 'P'
the psychic structures of manhood are crated in early child-rearing environments that are often typified by the absence of fathers and adult men – or, at least by
men's emotional distance
in this case, masculinity is codified by absence and constructed at the level of fantasy
but even in patriarchal cultures where fathers are more present, masculinity is codified as a rejection of the mother and femininity – that is, a rejection of the
qualities associated with caregiving and nurturance
Masculinity as a Psychic Pressure Cooker: The Sixth 'P'
many of our dominant forms of masculinity hinge on the internalization of a range of emotions and their redirection into anger
it is rather typical for boys to learn from an early age to repress feelings of fear and pain
the usual mechanisms of emotional response, from actually experiencing an emotion to letting go of the feelings, are short-circuited to varying degrees among
many men
The Seventh 'P': Past Experiences
far too many men around the world grew up in households where their father beat their mother
they grew up seeing violent behaviour toward women as the norm, as just the way life is lived
for some men this results in revulsion toward violence, while in others it produces a learned response
in many cases it is both: men who use violence against women often feel deep self-loathing
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