[EDEQUITY Male Dialogue] Responding to some questions

From: Alexa Adamo (psyamax@langate.gsu.edu)
Date: Thu Dec 21 2000 - 12:02:57 EST

In response to questions posed by your_honor@mail.findlaw...

The statistic thrown in that men are 50% the victims of violence is a
highly disputed one put forth by Strauss and Gelles that does not take into
account context or victim injury. Countless empirical studies document that
intimate partner violence is primarily perpetrated by males against females
(See the National Crime Victimization Survey, 1997; National Survey of
Adolescents, Kilpatrick et al, 2000).

What needs to be drilled into boys' and girls' heads is that power is
distributed unequally in U.S and other societies. Male violence against
women has everything to do with that unequal power. All men do not have
equal amounts of power and all women are not oppressed in the same ways.
Oppression is based gender,race, class, sexuality, economic status. What
needs to be drilled into children's heads is that we must respect each
other and find nonviolent ways to deal with problems.

In response to your question, "Is the solution to demonize masculinity and
change the boys themselves?" Masculinity and femininity are socially
constructed terms used to dichotomize ways of being, thinking and acting.
They each represent positive and negative qualities in both males and
females. As we all know, masculinity is associated with positive traits
such as courage, honor, independence and negative traits like anger,
violence, emotional unresponsiveness. Society values masculinity more than
femininity. Boys are taught to suppress the feminine (especially emotional
expressiveness). No one wants to "eliminate the masculine" or turn boys
into girls (what does that mean anyway?). The way towards peace and respect
is the value of all human qualities-- Respecting individual choices to
express oneself as s/he pleases. Be that a feminine boy, a masculine girl,
a masculine boy or a feminine girl. And perhaps one day we can move beyond
these limiting labels of masculine and feminine. !

A. Adamo

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