The contradictory possibilities of engaging men and boys in the prevention of men's violence against women in the UK
Stephen R Burrell
Journal of Gender-Based Violence
S.R. (2018) 'The contradictory possibilities of engaging men and boys in the prevention of men's violence against women in the UK.', Journal of gender-based violence., 2 (3). pp. 447-464. Further information on publisher's website: https://doi.org/10.1332/239868018X15375304850617 Publisher's copyright statement: This is a post-peer-review pre-copy edited version of an article published in Journal of gender-based violence. The denitive publisher-authenticated version Burrell, S.R. (2018). The
... tradictory possibilities of engaging men and boys in the prevention of men's violence against women in the UK. Journal of Gender-Based Violence 2(3): 447-464 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1332/239868018X15375304850617. The post-peer-review pre-copy edited version deposited here should not be cited. Additional information: Use policy The full-text may be used and/or reproduced, and given to third parties in any format or medium, without prior permission or charge, for personal research or study, educational, or not-for-prot purposes provided that: • a full bibliographic reference is made to the original source • a link is made to the metadata record in DRO • the full-text is not changed in any way The full-text must not be sold in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders. Please consult the full DRO policy for further details. Abstract Contemporary initiatives to engage men and boys in preventing men's violence against women in the UK are modest but growing in prominence, and attracting increasing interest from policymakers. This article discusses findings from qualitative research in which expert-informant interviews were carried out with activists playing an influential role in the development of such efforts. It explores how, despite its potential, there are a number of policy obstacles facing work with men in the UK, including ongoing neoliberal austerity, the influence of 'gender-neutral' conceptions of abuse, and political inertia towards prevention. In addition, the interviews highlighted some of the political contradictions that lie within work which encourages men to question their own power and privilege, and critically evaluate their own practices and those of their peers. These include the need to support rather than supersede the women's movement, simultaneously appealing to and challenging men, bringing about both individual and structural social change, and building pro-feminist engagements without diluting them. The article argues that, if these contradictions are addressed and pro-feminist equilibriums found within them, then work with men has the potential to make an important contribution as part of efforts to prevent men's violence against women in the UK. Keywords engaging men and boys; men's violence against women; prevention; men and masculinities; pro-feminism Key messages Work with men and boys to prevent men's violence against women currently faces a number of policy obstacles in the UK, as well as internal political contradictions. If pro-feminist equilibriums can be found to address these tensions then engaging men has the potential to make an important contribution to preventing violence against women in the UK.