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Thinking about prevention: long term change and the involvement of young men Prof Liz Kelly, CWASU, London Metropolitan University Co-chair of the End.

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Presentation on theme: "Thinking about prevention: long term change and the involvement of young men Prof Liz Kelly, CWASU, London Metropolitan University Co-chair of the End."— Presentation transcript:

1 Thinking about prevention: long term change and the involvement of young men Prof Liz Kelly, CWASU, London Metropolitan University Co-chair of the End Violence against Women Coalition Stockholm 2014 Twitter:@ProfLizKelly

2 Prevention from margin to centre?

3 Layers of prevention With actual perpetrators – we work with a tiny minority With potential perpetrators – been the way, so far, young men and boys have been addressed With women and girls – contested, even self- defence has been tarred with ‘victim blame’ - responsibilised for our own safety, but all women do ‘safety work’ (Kelly, 2012) With communities – more common in global south, Tostan on FGM, WeCan India all VAWG

4 Gender theory R W Connell Gender (2008) How the social power held by men creates and sustains gender inequality – Both structures and actions/practices Gender order – the social organisation of gender as a hierarchy Gender regime – smaller more localised systems – universities, families Gender relations – between individual actual women and men Rarely perfectly aligned – otherwise change/variation impossible Yakin Ertuk (UN Special Rapporteur 2002-2009): “violence and threat of violence are used as a legitimate mechanism of enforcing and sustaining gender orders” Masculinities

5 The new VAW agenda: involving men and boys Implication that there was a previous exclusion/ barrier- was there? Priority for UN Every INGO now has a webpage/campaign At least three presumptions – most men do not perpetrate – is this the case if we include the continuum of men’s practices? – that approaching as allies is more effective – that if we work with young men we can shift collusion to intervention Challenges and tensions as is changing responses to VAW and gender work

6 An example 2011 report focused on ‘threats to masculinity and the male role’ To include men in gender programming, fund more projects that are not women’s projects: ‘gender integration’ Some examples Engage women as partners in enabling men to change in substance abuse projects Develop men’s leadership in solving their own problems VAW projects to include men as victims Awareness that gender intersects with youth programming [gangs work] Examples of ‘men specific’ programming but no ‘women specific’ Old wine in new bottles? Concerns in humanitarian agencies since VAW work is not yet embedded







13 Theoretical framework Drawn from Factors at play in the perpetration of violence against women, violence against children and sexual orientation violence developed by Hagemann-White et al in 2010 [ level_interactive_model/understanding_perpetration_sta rt_uinix.html ]


15 Target interventions to change pathways



18 The research project Commissioned by Office of Children’s Commissioner as part of the child sexual exploitation enquiry ‘Digital stories’ with young actors for use in online survey, focus groups, interviews (604 took part) – avoids speaking about own experiences – echoes YouTube video diaries – more context than ‘vignettes’ [ lications/content_744]

19 What we learned Variations across gender and age Paradoxes – More said consent could have been given than think it was not sought – Fewer defined stories as rape than thought consent had not been sought – The more context creates ‘real life’ situations the less clear young people are – Both heterosexual and same sex encounters in bars with relative strangers were more likely to be called rape, any sexual attraction or relationship placed young women’s behaviour under particular scrutiny

20 He said we do it all the time anyway, so he wouldn’t really be taking advantage of her would he You cannot really call that rape because she is consenting to it, she is saying she will because she wants to live I think that’s just rape really, because she can’t even remember what happened, which shows she couldn’t say yes or no I wouldn’t call it rape as such, but it is not an ideal situation She had a choice, she didn’t have to stay there...she went back to him, knowing that’s what she was going to have to do She obviously got raped in the toilet. But do you know what I put that down to. Girl went out at a young age to place she’s not meant to be....To be honest I think that’s her fault. But it’s still wrong though

21 I think that was the best way of doing it. Having consent where you are actually talking about it to each other In this one they both agreed on having sex but when they were ready...she wore a certain top to make her boobs look bigger. So... Maybe because she dressed like that, maybe she wants it in a way It gives the wrong idea the way you are dressed.... I don’t think he’s really asked if she is Ok with that, he’s decided for her She could have refused to do it... I don’t think it would have been hard

22 Non-consensual sexual practices The double standard is alive and well, only the words have changed – sexually active young men are ‘legends’, ’dons’ and young women ‘skets’ ‘hoes’ and ‘sluts’ Pornography was a significant part of their lives That young men consume was taken for granted, although a few young men were critical, seen as ‘weird’ for young women to do so alone or with each other Young men sought to assert that porn was just ’entertainment’, but when asked what they were looking for it was ‘seeing how to have sex’. Sexually harassed to send ‘sexts’ – Paradox since it means you are desirable but is experienced as pressure – Betrayal and shame when they are shared without their consent or knowledge – Three patterns of distribution without consent Young women’s ‘refusal skills’ become the focus (Kitzinger and Frith, 1999)

23 ‘Man (lad) points’ Ratings that determined status in peer groups Rooted in conservative biologically determined masculinity – ‘doing young masculinities’, including through exploiting young women Getting sexts from young women and sharing without permission Having sex – including with young women deemed ‘unattractive’ All violence is not just a resource for men, but can be used to gain ‘man points’

24 Gender and victim blame Sexual reputations – enhanced young men’s status, shame(ing) for young women Extraordinary availability of blame towards young women, even where actions were considered rape The inevitability of ‘boys behaving badly’ facilitated holding young women responsible for protecting themselves Young women under scrutiny versus the freedom many young men accord themselves and each other Still missing discourse for young women of female sexual pleasure Restricted space young women have to act in within the ‘unwritten rules’ of heterosexuality (Powell, 2010)

25 Changing the discourse From giving to getting consent From ’no mean no’ to ‘an ‘enthusiastic and embodied yes’ Consent as an active, communicative process Naming young men’s non-consensual sexual practices Consent cannot be separated from gender construction and victim blame Moira Carmody – sexual ethics, ‘promote negotiation, consensual, reciprocal and mutually pleasurable sex’ THIS IS THE AGENDA – BIGGER THAN THAT IN MOST WORK WITH MEN AND BOYS

26 A new moment? A new agenda? The conjunction of neo- liberalism and neo-patriarchy means that the equality discourse can no longer deliver positive change for women The changes that have taken place in the public sphere and the private have stalled, and are even in some instances in reverse A new agenda for change is needed which requires transformations in values and relationships

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