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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Live from MenEngage Rio: Men, Masculinities, Globalization, Development and Social Justice

Posted by Theresa Castillo

On the surface, there was a great deal of academic talk about “patriarchal masculinities” and the “masculinity of hegemony” at the “Men, Masculinities, Globalization, Development and Social Justice” session today (April 4). But for me it was another opportunity to think about the ways in which stereotypes are created and perpetuated in our daily lives.

One speaker, Juan Guillermo Figueroa from Colegio de Mexico, likened the way we socialize men through sports and competition as the “gym academy.” Men are allowed to hug and kiss each other on the field, but are discouraged to display any emotion outside of this sports context. This example highlights the importance of building spaces for men and communities to address such gender norms.

The MAP program has several strategies in place that tackle these deep-rooted behaviors and advance the global movement for social justice by empowering both men and women. We need to build on such successful programs. With more than 450 people, representing 80 countries, the Rio call for action commands a unified voice to help us move forward in our work and remain mindful. The possibility for change is very much in our hands.

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