Reflections on working with men and masculinity


This write up is in the backdrop of what Anand Pawar wrote on Facebook –
All of us working with men and on masculinity are so busy celebrating our ‘successes’, collecting (many a times) superficial stories of change, approving or disapproving one’s work, gathering number of ‘transformed men’, publishing materials, creating our ‘hegemonies’ etc… that we never created spaces to discuss our failures, never engaged in critical discussions on whether our projects are really creating long-term impact, as compared to resources we spend on this work.
In response to this Abhijit Das writes
Unfortunately the development business doesn’t encourage reflection. We are all trying to sell our successes. The work with men is particularly vulnerable as all of us are trying ‘advocate’ without a clear grasp on the fundamental issues in many cases.
Meena Seshu brings a very personal touch to the discussions from her own family experience and reflects
 I live with a boy[son] and man[husband]… the fear of being `real’ is so scary for them that they prefer to accept they have deeper feelings. what to do? Why deal with the inconvenient when when it is so easy not to deal with it?
Quite a reflective discussion happening all over around us amongst people who are ready to delve into uncomfortable zones of thoughts – ideas which are not in line with the present day societal thinking and practice. Working with men does remains a big challenge to the development sector and feminists.

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