Tuesday, January 01, 2008

On the shoulders of Giants...?

I have been thinking about this blog for some time but little thought went into the tag line - MALEpositive - only because I was pressed to find a suitable domain name to support a book I am currently editing. I wanted something affirmative rather than "bent & twisted" (as my brother calls it) so I punched it into Google and immediately found XY. Based in Australia it goes back for decades as a Mens Issues magazine.

Their mission statement* was inclusive and despite the homosexual tinge (still a men's issue) I felt it had some merit - at a starting point.
  • To be male-positive is to be affirming of men and optimistic about men; to believe that men can change; to support every man's efforts at positive change.
  • To be male-positive is to build close relations and supportive alliances among men.
  • It is to acknowledge men's many acts of compassion and kindness.
  • To be male-positive is to resist feeling hopeless about men and writing men off, and to reject the idea that men are somehow intrinsically bad, oppressive or sexist.
  • To be male-positive is to realise that individual men are not responsible for, and can't be blamed for, social structures and values such as the social construction of masculinity or the history of women's oppression.
  • This has to be balanced with the recognition that individual men are responsible for their oppressive behaviour (such as violence) and can choose to change it.
  • Male-positivity is also about recognising and praising the positive aspects of masculinity. Strength, determination and courage are all aspects of traditional masculinity, and yet they are useful traits for men's ability to change society.
  • Being male-positive of course doesn't mean supporting whatever men do. We have to retain a sense of ethics or values, and to assess men and masculinities accordingly.
  • Being male-positive is not incompatible with criticizing oppressive or destructive aspects of men's groups or the men's movement."

* Reprinted with permission from the XY Magazine.
PO Box 4026, Ainslie, ACT 2602, AUSTRALIA.

Some other Men's Issue's websites:



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