Analysis of the Mens Movement in Canada
With the emergence of the Women's Movement, a deep cleavage was created in gender relations, seemingly pitting women against men in the struggle for equality and status. An effect of this separation in spheres, was a collective of men feeling as if they were being misrepresented, or left behind during a revolutionary period of changing gender relations. A product of this was the conception of men's groups around the world. This paper attempts to look at the development of the men's movement in Canada since its emergence more than 10 years ago, it's origins, and the significance that it plays in gender relations today, whether this be as a threat or a compliment to the women's movement and the advances that have been gained by means of their work.
The Men's Movement, contrary to what many believe, is not a homogenous coalition of groups in pursuit of the same goals. Much like the diversity seen in the Women's Movement, there exists extensive diversity between the different men's groups and organizations that label themselves under the Men's Movement 'umbrella'. There are men who name themselves as anti-sexist and pro-feminist, who see the role of the movement as one working against sexism in all its forms. There are other men who see a need to reclaim some of the 'power' that men have lost to women as a result of feminism. Some men march in the streets and lobby governments to give a voice to issues of domestic violence, rape, and abuse, while others rally for 'men's rights', claiming that women's rightful place is in the home. But there is one common understanding that unites these men, and it's the belief that traditional definitions of masculinity no longer work, that the models of masculinity that today's men have inherited are no longer appropriate, and that they need to be challenged and redeveloped.
There are at least five separate men's movement's in North America today, including Canada, who act independent of each other, and lack any kind of coordination. To begin with, there is the Mythopoetic Men's Movement which traces it routes back to Robert Bly, and Michael Mead, the so called fathers of the men's movement. They focus primarily on men's inner work, emotional recovery, working through grief issues, and anger management. They are most popularly known for their King and Warrior "Theme Weekends", which encourage the men to get back to nature, where it all began. They are apolitical, although you'll find a lot of the agenda of the non-Marxist left mixed in. (Kimmel, 89-91) They are also somewhat critical of 'traditional' male roles, but generally open to the idea that there exists different roles for men and women. They are tolerant towards homosexuality, but gay issues are not a central focus. Next is the Feminist Men's Movement, which has it routes from authors such as John Stolenberg. These groups are much more...