Real Victims, Real Men, Real Feminists, Real Sluts. The Persistent Masculinist Collapse of Gender-based Violence Discourses

  • Lucy Nicholas
  • Christine Agius


This chapter demonstrates how masculinism continues to haunt many attempts to account for or challenge gender-based violence or violence against women. While worthwhile and marking progress, approaches that target men for primary prevention still risk negating structural gendered elements that underpin the phenomenon and re-individualising solutions. These approaches also risk re-invoking essential and dominative masculinism in protectionist ways. Additionally, some men-centred approaches risk construction of protectionist masculinism rather than challenging the underpinning gender dynamics. Feminist responses to gendered violence likewise risk recuperation by dualistic discourses that perpetuate didacticism. For example, unproductive oppositions between third wave approaches such as SlutWalk against contemporary radical feminism perpetuates adversariality. Likewise, failures of SlutWalk and more extremely protectionist Femen to take on intersectional critique limits their capacity to address inequalities.


Masculinism Gender-based violence Sexual violence Violence against women SlutWalk Primary prevention 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucy Nicholas
    • 1
  • Christine Agius
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologySwinburne University of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Politics and HistorySwinburne University of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia

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