Men’s emancipation?

Emancipator works towards changing the social norms for men and masculinity. In order to achieve gender equality, men also need to change. Men’s emancipation is about the contributions of men to the emancipation of women and about the liberation of men from traditional masculinity.
Traditional masculinity standards cause problems for both men themselves and for others and the world. All kinds of personal and social problems can be traced back to strict ideas about what it means to be a man: from the division of labour and care, fatherhood, education and relationships, to sexuality, violence, diversity and physical and mental health.

In the project ‘Handelingsperspectief’ (Action Perspective) sources have been collected and handouts have been written for professionals. This information can be found by theme.

Labour and care

Labour and care are unequally devided. Caring responsibilities and other unpaid work are seen as women’s tasks, while paid work is considered the male domain. That idea is deeply rooted in our society. It would beneficial to women if men would take on more care responsibilities, as it would be beneficial to men if that becomes normal. That way everyone can do whatever feels most comfortable.

Violence and safety

Many people in the Netherlands experience violence, in relationships, at home and on the street. Far too many women and lhbtqia + people fall victim to violence. Men are often the perpetrators, also of violence against other men and themselves. Violence is strongly linked to rigid beliefs about masculinity.

Sexual diversity

Lgbtiq+ emancipation in the Netherlands has not yet been completed. Gay, bi, and transphobia are strongly related to ideas about masculinity and when someone is “a real man.” Men are punished for being to feminine, they are insulted or worse. Fortunately, there is increasing attention for sexual and gender diversity. As masculinity standards become wider, everyone benefits.


Gender norms about sexuality are central to issues such as sexualization, pornofication and sexual unappropriate behaviour.  To solve those problems, more needs to be done than teaching people to indicate and accept boundaries. Sexual education should address gender norms and their consequences, and encourage people to discover their own preferences.