We say we are striving for emancipation and social justice, but are we? We say that men’s emancipation contributes to women’s and lgbtq+ emancipation, but is it? We say we are helping to transform attitudes towards masculinity, but is that really happening? These are the kinds of questions that are at the heart of ‘accountability’, a concept that is receiving increasing attention in the global MenEngage Alliance.
Accountability is a word whose many possible meanings nicely demonstrate its versatility. Accountability is liability, imputability, responsibility, approachability, being called to account. It is about being accountable, being responsible, walking the talk, practicing what you preach. In other words: are you actually doing what you say you think is important?
For example: Is it right for men’s emancipation to be financed from budgets intended for the emancipation of girls, women and lhbtq+* persons? Will men’s emancipation soon be the latest hype that suppresses attention for girls and women? Should we be focusing on men and boys when we should be focusing on strengthening the position of girls and women?
And what about other inequalities? Do we pay enough attention to the inequalities between men, for example through racism and homophobia? Are we not participating in the stigmatization of vulnerable population groups if they are seen as the most important target groups?