Understanding Feminist Resistance to “Men-Streaming”

Abstract

This article explores some of the resistance to the expansion of efforts to engage men and boys with gender programming in the field of international development. While efforts to engage men and boys face predictable resistance from those that oppose a gender equality agenda writ-large, these efforts also often face resistance from feminist women in the field. This article specifically examines the reasons why many feminist women criticize or express concerns about the growing presence of efforts to engage men and boys with gender programming. Data from interviews with women in the development field who were identified by their peers as critical of work to engage men challenges the common conception that these feminist women are opposed to working with men in general. This analysis instead reveals that these feminist women have specific concerns that some programs to engage men may be harmful to efforts for gender equality and that efforts to engage men may be increasingly cutting into funding and political space that has previously been dedicated women.

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Correspondence to Cliff Leek.

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This research received approval from *******’s Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (2014-2831-F). In compliance with that approval, all participants signed documents indicating their informed consent and in this manuscript names of interviewees and their organizations are replaced with pseudonyms to protect their identities.

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Leek, C. Understanding Feminist Resistance to “Men-Streaming”. Glob Soc Welf 6, 219–229 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40609-019-00139-2

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Keywords

  • Feminism
  • International development
  • Social movements