Men behaving badly: a conversation on men, masculinity and violence

Warning! This is longer than usual, there was too much to talk about and even then the episode had to end in a hurry!

In this episode Mike Abrams, Dezz van Niekerk and Grant Stewart have a wide ranging conversation on masculinity and its forms of expression. How do we make sense or to some extent grasp the high level of gender-based violence in South Africa – without making excuses or justifying? And how do we transform the patterns we see? 

Various aspects of masculinity are explored touching on the significant influence of  systemic/structural realities, both as a current experience but also within its historical contex and the way that shame and shaming have been used to control especially working class men. Individual issues, informed/influenced by culture, are discussed including the denial of emotions or feelings and the excuses that men often use to avoid these intimate moments of their lives – both within themselves as well as in their interaction with partners and children. 

The solutions are not simple or short-term but there is an emphasis on the responsibility of men to do the hard work in their everyday to undo the pattern of GBV in our country; for men to hold men accountable; for men to aim to build ally-ship with women; and to significantly shift the institutions that embody and promote forms of masculinity that produce violence.