Mothers and sons : using memory-work to explore the subjectivities and practices of profeminist men
Pease, Bob 2008, Mothers and sons : using memory-work to explore the subjectivities and practices of profeminist men. In Hyle, A.E., Ewing, M.S., Montgomery, D. and Kaufman, J.S (ed), Dissecting the mundane : international perspectives on memory-work, University Press of America, Lanham, Md., pp.133-150.
In this chapter I will outline the application of memory-work to understanding the subjectivities and practices of profeminist men. Profeminism for men involves a sense of responsibility to our own and other men's sexism, and a commitment to work with women to end men's violence (Douglas, 1993). It acknowledges that men benefit from the oppression of women, drawing men's attention to the privileges we receive as men and the harmful effects these privileges have on women (Thome-Finch, 1992). The research was undertaken as my PhD thesis and it began with questions that have been a personal challenge in my search· to understand my place as a white, heterosexual man who is committed to a profeminist position 1. What does it mean to be a profeminist man? What is the experience of endeavoring to live out a profeminist commitment? What do these experiences tell us about reforming men's subjectivities and practices towards gender equality? I believe that men's subjectivity is crucial to the maintenance and reproduction of gender domination and hence to its change. The purpose of the research was thus to theorize men's subjectivities and practices to inform a profeminist men's practice and to enact strategies that will, in themselves, promote the process of change. So the research was driven by practical concerns as well as by the imperatives of intellectual inquiry.
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