The Masculinities Project

This important project was created to engage men and gender diverse students in gender-based violence (GBV) prevention with the initiative's pilot program commencing in semester two, 2020.

The project objectives are to:

  1. Provide the opportunity to enhance the understanding of the role of men and gender diverse individuals in GBV prevention and gender equality
  2. Provide the opportunity for the Monash student cohort to engage in practical methods of challenging stereotyped constructions of masculinity and femininity
  3. Provide a safe and supportive environment for men and gender diverse students to unpack masculinity, discuss societal attitudes and expectations, and explore ways to engage in more positive and respectful masculinities
  4. Provide opportunities for the gender equitable attitudes of men and gender diverse students to be sustained
  5. Challenge the dominant forms and patterns of masculinity that drive GBV and promote more positive and respectful masculinities

The Masculinities Project's Mobiliser Program

The central component of the project is to engage young men and gender diverse students in an intensive ‘mobiliser’ program focused on the prevention of GBV all the while promoting gender equality and active bystander action through a broader co-created media campaign.

The program was developed based on a primary prevention approach called community mobilisation. This approach targets social norms and attitudes by engaging, educating, and empowering people to promote change within their communities (Mannell & Dadswell, 2017).

The program involves weekly intensive workshops (15 hours total) for a small number of men and gender diverse students or those with a masculine-centred experience (8–10 students total). These students will engage in discussion to break down dominant masculine norms and be equipped with the knowledge and skills to champion cultural change.

The pilot program was delivered between 26 August and 23 September. If you’re interested in being notified about the next program intake and further details, please submit an expression of interest.

If you have any questions or concerns, email respect.now.always@monash.edu.

The End of Year Webinar

An online event hosted by the Respectful Communities team in collaboration with the participants from the pilot Mobiliser Program. During this event the Mobiliser Program participants will share their learning journey and present the final project created during the session run in September 2020.

This event is also an opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion about engaging university men in the promotion of gender equitable communities and the prevention of GBV. To facilitate this important discussion will have two guest speakers presenting who will later be a part of a Q&A panel alongside program participants and facilitators.

Date: Thursday 29 October

Time: 12–2pm

Register for the webinar to receive a detailed email closer to the date of the event.

If you’re not a Monash student or staff member and would like to attend this event, email respect.now.always@monash.edu.

Fast facts

  • Young men aged 18–30 who most strongly agree with rigid gender stereotypes report poorer levels of mental health, engage in risky drinking, are more likely to be in car accidents and to report committing acts of violence, online bullying and sexual harassment (Jesuit Social Services 2018a).
  • 1 in 6 women and 1 in 16 men have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from a current or previous cohabiting partner (AIHW 2019).
  • Research shows that a large percentage of young Australian men believe and feel pressure to be self-sufficient, tough, physically attractive to be successful, the breadwinner of families, hypersexual, aggressive and controlling (Jesuit Social Services 2018b).
  • Evidence demonstrates the fact that masculinity is not innate or fixed. It is a dynamic construction that shifts and changes over time and place (Our Watch 2019).
  • Dominant forms of masculinity intersect with gender inequality and other structural inequalities and social disadvantages, such as gender-based violence (Our Watch 2019).

Meet your facilitators

Ann Dempsey

Amy Dempsey

Hi, I’m Amy Dempsey, and my preferred pronouns are she/her. I completed a Bachelor of Primary Education (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts here at Monash University in 2019. I've been working with Respectful Communities since November 2018 and I’m quite excited about the launch of this pilot Masculinities Project.

I'm really looking forward to being part of your educational journey, to listen to your experiences as men and gender diverse people and to see how we can work collaboratively to make an impact in our communities. I can't wait to be a part of your end-of-year webinar where you'll have an opportunity to share your learnings!

Bailey Webb

Bailey Webb

Hi, I’m Bailey Webb, and my preferred pronouns are he/him. I'm currently in my third year of Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts at Monash University. I've been with Respectful Communities since my first year and performed much of the background research and development of the pilot Masculinities Project.

I'm passionate about exploring gender with men and gender diverse students in the prevention of gender-based violence, especially coming from a rural background where expressions of masculinity are very rigid.

Rumali Kularatne

Rumali Kularatne

Hi, I’m Rumali Kularatne, and my preferred pronouns are she/her. I completed a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Communications at Monash University in 2018. I've been with Respectful Communities since February 2018 and I am really forward to The Masculinities Project because I believe that men and gender diverse people have an important role in creating a more gender-equitable community.

I’m also implementing a communications strategy to support the Masculinities Project. I’m really excited to hear what participants have to share, to co-create content about being an active bystander and to amplify the key messages from our shared discussions during the program.

References

  1. Mannell, J. & Dadswell, A. (2017). Preventing intimate partner violence: Towards a framework for supporting effective community mobilisation. Journal of Community & Applies Social Psychology, 27, 196-211.
  2. Jesuit Social Services (2018a). The Man Box. Jesuit Social Services, retrieved 18 June 2020, jss.org.au/what-we-do/the-mens-project/research/
  3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2019). Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story 2019: in brief. Canberra: AIHW
  4. Jesuit Social Services (2018b). Fact Sheet: About the Man Box. Jesuit Social Services, retrieved 18 June 2020, jss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/The-Man-Box-fact-sheet-About-the-Man-Box_WEB.pdf
  5. Our Watch (2019), Men in focus: unpacking masculinities and engaging men in the prevention of violence against women, Our Watch, Melbourne, Australia.