Recently, Downunder was discussing whether menz.org.nz had any persuasive power at all. Other people had suggested that it is a waste of time, as nothing ever comes out of these discussions (they were taking an unrealistic short term, focus).
Downunder suggested that apart from the people taking part in the discussions, many other people kept a silent watch on the site and there is quite a bit of communication and educating going on.
I have often suggested that we are trying to communicate to the broadest public, in particular married men and also not yet married men. I hate seeing men fall into holes, that are well known. It is only when we can influence the wider population of voting men, that we have any hope of gaining political traction and being heard in debates that influence policy.
The women’s movement faced similar difficulties, 50 or 60 years ago. It took them 20 or 30 years of similar communication, persuading each other, infighting, to start to make substantial progress.
Perhaps we are facing an even harder problem, in that men are “meant” to be protectors, rather than being in need of help. Often we don’t like to admit that we have been taken advantage of, or been abused. Until we are realistic about these issues, about men’s mental health issues, that we can hope to get appropriate resources put into these issues. We also need to face up to damages that we have done to others.
Although many discussions are prickly, often the disagreements are due to people actually discussing adjoining topics, rather than the exact same topic. This is ok, we have to work through these difficulties, to pull together the real issues. Keep on discussing! Even then, we won’t always get consensus. This well illustrates the breadth of the issues we face in life.
Wikipedia Consciousness raising gives a useful history……..
In my opinion, through the last year, menz.org.nz has raised the amount of educational info and also explored more of the murky, but necessary topics, that usually we find quite uncomfortable. I acknowledge that being able to post anonymously does help facilitate these more intimate debates, despite my usual challenges about fragmented identities. My thanks to all of these contributors.
What can we do to raise the consciousness raising power of this website further?
Is there any hope that we could achieve in 20 years, what women took 30 or 40 years to pull together?
Do we want to achieve what feminists did, or are our aims quite different?
Are we putting enough energy into face to face discussions? I suspect not…