“What male feminism needs to be is a proactive, outraged, intentional movement of men not afraid to stand up vocally and relentlessly for equality between the sexes, and to listen closely and carefully to the experiences of the women in their lives, and in the public domain.” – Sushant S. Mukherjee, Male Feminist & Sakhi Friend
Thanks to the generosity of The New York Women’s Foundation, Sakhi was able to organize a three part series that deepened our involvement in the movement of engaging men and boys to end violence and discrimination against women and girls.
Our first gathering, entitled “Sakhi X A Call to Men: Men & Gender Justice,” took place on January 9th. This two hour event covered topics on male socialization, toxic masculinity, and the impacts of patriarchy on men and women. The casual setting created a comfortable environment to initiate a difficult conversation, led by Ted Bunch, Chief Development Officer of A Call to Men. Ted was informative, thoughtful, and able to engage all types of guests— those who were new to gender justice issues, as well as those well versed and already committed to ending violence against women. He shared the work of A Call to Men and in doing so, provided context and personal anecdotes that made the discrepancies between men and women more startling and impactful.
Our second event was a workshop entitled, “Engaging Men in the Fight Against Gender Justice Workshop,” which took place on February 27th. This workshop was designed to be an intimate interactive dialogue for a male only audience. The topics covered included masculinity, gender socialization, patriarchy, and sexism. In addition, we highlighted and shared Sakhi’s work on domestic violence and sexual assault and provided a shortened version of our bystander training.
We received an unanticipated amount of interest in these events, not only among attendees, but also from those who could not join. This demand led to Sakhi co-sponsoring the third event led by NYU’s Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality on “South Asian Masculinities & Popular Culture in the Age of Trump.”
As most of Sakhi’s work serves women, girls, and gender fluid individuals, initially, our network of men to engage has been limited. Sakhi sees this as an opportunity to work on building relationships with other organizations in order to be part of the ongoing conversation about South Asian masculinity.
If you are interested in writing a piece or organizing a workshop or event in support of Sakhi’s effort to create community spaces for dialogue around gender based violence and sexual assault that are inclusive to both men and women, please reach out to us at: . In the meantime, please read the blog post by male feminist and Sakhi supporter, Sushant S. Mukherjee: In 2018, It’s Time to Raise the Bar for Male Feminism.