It’s been a remarkably busy and eventful month out in the UK men and boys sector and we hope our monthly news summary does it some justice. If there’s anything you think we should be letting people know about in these monthly updates then do please get in touch and let us know.
Firstly, the news you’ve all been waiting for is that The Men’s Network now has an online giving facility that adds gift aid so if you want to support our work with a donation just click here now
SECOND NATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR MEN AND BOYS 2012
Just a quick reminder that the Second National Conference will take place in November 2012 so if you want to find out more and get involved click here for details. And we our considering a BIG MAN GATHERING too – click here if this is your area of interest.
ARE MEN MAKING THE PERSONAL POLITICAL?
There have been some fascinating tales of men getting mobilized this month, not least of all the angry dads (and mums) in the US who took on the nappy brand Huggies for portraying dads as being a bit useless – read Angry Dads Defeat Sexist Ads to find out what happened.
There was also some dad-related outrage in New Zealand after breast-feeding campaigners censored a 2 second clip of a world-cup winning All Black botte-feeding his baby daughter – read the Breast is Best story here.
Meanwhile in the UK Fathers 4 Justice took to protesting naked in Marks & Spencers as the company sponsors mumsnet, a popular online forum that has apparently played host to some unpleasant conversations about men and fathers. It’s a difficult story to unpick but this blog post here has a go and this blog post has a good go – you can read about the M&S naked protest here.
And if you want to “join the Y Front“ and “Say Pants 2 Injustice” yourself then F4J are seeking brave models for a 2013 calendar – contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Finally a LSE student who wanted to sue the university for sex discrimination has lost his court case – find out why here.
Taking a stand for fathers with more mainstream methods are Duncan Fisher OBE, Adrienne Burgess, CEO of the Fatherhood Institute and Karen Woodall of the Centre for Separated Families – who are three of the key signatories on a letter demanding unmarried dads have equal rights. The move is currently being blocked by the Lib Dem Children’s Minister. Find out how to sign their petition and read more here.
We mentioned Dads’ Rock in our round-up of UK dads projects last month and as we’ve just heard they’ve had a feature in The Scotsman – have a look.
Finally if dads’ def poetry is more your thing – and even if it’s not – check out this inspiring 3 minute YouTube clip here.
VIOLENCE AGAINST MEN AND BOYS
Does the UK need a national Violence Against Men and Boys strategy to run alongside the existing Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy? Martyn Sullivan at Mankind UK thinks so, read more about this and his excellent report on approaches to supporting male victims in different countries by clicking here. The report includes some excellent discussion on how feminism can struggle with the concept of male victims – which you can read here.
A bit of celebrity news – domestic violence against men is going to be a storyline in Coronation Street – read about this here – which is welcome news for those professionals who are committed to work in this field and attended last month’s conference on male victims run by The Mankind Initiative – click here for a conference report.
A number of organisations dedicated to working with men told us they were surprised at the news that the Home Office’s £225,000 fund for male victims went mostly to established services dedicated to working with women – read the full story here.
The only dedicated men’s charity to be funded directly was Survivors who immediately launched a high profile “Real Men Get Raped” campaign across London during the Six Nations Rugby.
GIVING BOYS THE BEST POSSIBLE START IN LIFE
Who’s going to start a charity dedicated to helping boys do better in school? It’s such a vital issue that we’d like to see more people taking action. Here’s an article responding to research that says women teachers mark boys down and outlining why we need more men in schools – click here now.
12 men in the UK will commit suicide today which is one of the reasons the charity CALM is calling for a national campaign to tackle the issue – click here for more on this story or read our Killer Facts About Male Suicide post here.
An interesting new addition to the UK’s anti-circumcision community is a young, gay, American feminist who is keen to inspire fellow feminists to campaign against the issue – read about this here. Also the film actor Alan Cumming is launching a book called “May The Foreskin Be With You” to raise money for our friends at NORM UK – click here now for more information.
NORM are currently planning a workshop exploring on how we make male circumcision a mainstream issue – more information on this another time – and Richard Duncker at Men Do Complain continues to raise awareness being interviewed on Radio 2 this month and holding protests outside the BMA – read more here.
GETTING MEN INTO VOLUNTEERING
For those interested in what it takes to inspire more men to take action and volunteer our short report on the barriers that men face to volunteering is ready to read here now. And you may also be interested to read about The Men’s Network’s Community Leaders Programme that trains participants to mobilize volunteers in pursuit of a common objective – read more here.
In our role as the UK co-ordinator for International Men’s Day we are keen to see a greater focus placed on work with men and boys in international development. We were disappointed to see Save The Children – which campaigns against gender stereotyping abroad – running a UK parenting campaign that targets mums and excluded dads – click here for details. More positively we were pleased to see an article in The Guardian called “Boys and men must be included in the conversation on equality” written by Andrea Cornwall from the Global Studies department of Sussex University.
SOME INTERESTING MAN FACTS
We keep compiling all important facts and statistics and recent editions to our collection that you might be interested to read (by clicking on the title) including Male Cancer Inequalities, killer facts about male suicide and why are some many men in prison?
But our favourite statistical article this month is Men and Boys’ Inequality – UK Statistics which we put together for a talk at TEDxLSE called A New Gender Agenda – this is agood 15 minute read and if you have time to read A New Gender Agenda click here now.
MEN’S HEALTH SYMPOSIUM
Short notice this one and if you are interested then click here now to read about The Men’s Health Forum and 2020health ‘men’s health and technology expert symposium’ this week on Tuesday 27th March.
We get sent lots of requests to promote ‘men’s work’ (and we don’t men putting up shelves and mowing the lawn) and if you can provide us articles that are ready to put online without too much editing we are happy to do this.
In the past month we’ve news on our blog of a ‘ritual gathering’ in Snowdonia run by Leeds-based Mandalora and a new men’s support group in London run by Simon Jacobs. We’ve also been informed that The Men’s Room in Manchester is running a National Men’s Summit in Northants – see their website for details.
MEDIA CASE STUDIES AND RESEARCH SUBJECTS
Do you know any Single Dads, male victims of Domestic Violence (particularly Asian men), men over 50 who are childless, dads with post-natal depression? If so please send them this link as we get lots of requests for media and research subjects!
SPECIAL MEN DAYS (AND WEEKS)
Just a quick reminder that Men’s Health Week and Fathers’ Story Week are coming in June. In November it’s International Men’s Day and we are particularly keen to hear from people who would like to mark the day in some way this year – please get in touch if that’s you.
LAST BIT OF NEWS
We’d like to say a quick well done to our friends at Men Get Eating Disorders Too who have been shortlisted a Mentally Healthy award – click here from more – We’d also like to acknowledge the great work of the rites of passage and mentoring project – abandofbrothers – who have been generating some great media features locally and are lined up a feature in Guardian Society – so keep an eye out!
We will endeavour to capture another round-up of national news for the men and boys sector by the end of April, if there’s anything you’d like to see included just get in touch – we love hearing about the difference that people like you are making – so if you’ve something to share please share it.
And do feel free to forward this post to everyone you now who is interested in improving the lives of men and boys in the UK – it makes a difference when we connect and we want to reach as many people like you as possible
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