This chapter explores the complex and contradictory nature of political masculinities within efforts to engage men and boys in the prevention of men’s violence against women. It discusses findings from 14 expert-informant interviews with activists who have played an influential role in developing this work in the UK context. These interviews drew attention to how, for male agents of pro-feminist change, political masculinities are also profoundly personal. Transformations in the self are thus as important as bringing about change in others in this work − otherwise men risk reproducing the same patriarchal inequalities that they seek to dismantle. One significant barrier to critical self-reflection for men involved in preventing violence against women is that of disassociation; a perception and construction of oneself as being separate from the problem in relation to other men, men’s violence itself, and patriarchal relations. Resisting disassociation is therefore vital in order for pro-feminist men to recognise how they continue to be implicated the perpetuation of violence against women. This requires male agents of change to move beyond a sense of shame about their position within patriarchy − and to understand how they engage in political masculinities as they work to prevent men’s violence against women.
Burrell, S. (2020). Male agents of change and disassociating from the problem in the prevention of violence against women. In R. Luyt, & K. Starck (Eds.), Masculine power and gender equality : masculinities as change agents (35-54). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-35162-5