Be the (hu)man you wish to see in the world
Men’s emancipation: what kind of man do you want to be?
And what kind of men do you want to see in the world?
Men’s emancipation is about men’s contribution to women’s and lhbtqia+ emancipation and about what men themselves stand to gain from it. That is why we work on questioning and transforming masculinity.
Masculinity is not unambiguous and depends on many factors. For example, how and where you grew up, who your parents are or were and what they do or did, what opportunities you were given in life. Your relationship to masculinity can be influenced by your skin colour, your sexuality, your relationship to poverty or wealth, your education, gender or migration history. That is why we do not speak of ‘the man’ or ‘masculinity’ but of men and masculinities in the plural.
Every man has a relationship to what has been called the patriarchal dividend: the power and privileges that come from being a man. Every man also has a relationship to vulnerabilities, marginalisation, oppression, exclusion: the price men pay for being a man. Those vulnerabilities follow from the rules that govern men and masculinity, and which men have often internalised.
According to those rules, men have to ‘be a real man’, not feminine, not sissy, not gay. This means that men have to ignore, deny and suppress a large part of their human characteristics. Because which man is not also caring, sweet, vulnerable or beautiful?