Cast Your Vote: What Kind Of Men’s Movement Do We Need?

YesNoAnne-Marie Slaughter, the former Director of Policy Planning for U.S. State Department has said that the world needs a men’s movement—so we thought we’d run a poll to see what kind of men’s movement our readers think the world needs.

To put the statement in context, Slaughter sparked an international debate with an article called “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” that sparked a global debate about how women can (or can’t) balance family and career. Now she’s shifting her focus slightly to talk about how women AND men struggle with work-life balance.

“I really think we need a men’s movement, and you’re starting to see it,” she said this week. “Guys are starting to speak up for themselves about masculinity, about care-giving. You know, women are hypocrites this way, because we would go crazy if men treated us in the workforce the way we typically treat them at home — if a guy in the workforce assumed he was more competent than you are, and told you what to do — but that’s the way most women treat men in the household.”

So is she right and if so what kind of men’s movement does the world need? We’ve come up with 10 suggestions based on some of the key factions of the global men’s movement that we’ve come across over the years and produced a poll at the end of this post so you can cast your vote and tell us what kind of men’s movement the world needs.

Of course the 3rd National Conference for Men and Boys is open to everyone so if you want to come along and take part this year then please buy your tickets online today.

WHAT TYPE OF MEN’S MOVEMENT DOES THE WORLD NEED?

1.    A Men’s Liberation Movement

A global men’s liberation movement would be pro-feminist and focussed on liberating men from rigid gender roles on the past and helping men to address unhealthy male behaviours and develop and promote healthy masculinity.

2.    A Men’s Human Rights Movement

A global men’s human rights movement would tackle feminism head on and address all the areas of life where men’s human rights are under attack, with a particular focus on tackling laws, policies and initiatives that favour women and girls and discriminate against men and boys in the process.

3.    A  Men’s Rites of Passage Movement

A Men’s Rites of Passage Movement would ensure that all men and boys had the opportunity to take part in rites of passage work with the support of other men and help every boy make a safe and healthy transition into manhood in the process.

4.    An Integral Men’s Movement

An Integral Global Men’s Movement would seek to unite everyone committed to improving the lives of men and boys no matter what perspective they came from and seek out areas of common interest and opportunities to work together for the greater good.

5.    A Men’s Social Justice Movement

A Men’s Social Justice Movement would focus on areas where men and boys experience inequality or problems with their health, education, family life, personal safety, social care needs etc and take action to find solutions to these issues.

6.    A Religious Men’s Movement

A Religious Men’s Movement would help to solve the problems that involve men and boys by actively working to bring more men to God—with a focus on one religion only (whatever that religion is).

7.    An Interfaith Men’s Movement

An Interfaith Men’s Movement would work across religious boundaries to help solve the problems that involve men and boys by actively working to bring more men to a life of faith, no matter what that faith is.

8.     A Fathers’ Rights Movement

A Fathers’ Rights Movement would seek to ensure that every child knows the love of their father by tackling the failings of the world’s legal systems which favour mothers particularly when parents are separated.

9.    A Shared Parenting Movement

A Shared Parenting Movement would work to unite mums and dads to help men and women equally share the responsibility of caring for their children, looking after the home and earning money through a rewarding career.

10. A Men Go Their Own Way Movement

A Men Go Their Own Way Movement would encourage and support men to “go their own way” and live their lives free from any problems associated with being in a long-term relationship with a women.

So what kind of men’s movement do you think the world needs? Cast your vote below now. You can vote for more than one option if you want to and please feel free to share this page with others so more people can cast a vote today. Thanks for taking part, getting involved and taking action today.

And now you’ve voted why not join the movement towards the 3rd National Conference for Men and Boys and buy your tickets today.

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67 thoughts on “Cast Your Vote: What Kind Of Men’s Movement Do We Need?

  1. Pingback: What should a men’s movement look like? » Heteronormative Patriarchy for Men

  2. Men’s movement does not need pro-feminism. Men’s movement needs facts and then balancing.
    Feminism is an ideology as is Marxism-Leninism – and feminism has nothing to do with egalitarianism. Feminist argumentation is ideologically distorted. Feminism (and hence not pro-feminisim) is not promoting equal rights for men and women even though it claims so. Feminism only promotes more privileges for women.

    If one mixes ideology and knowledge, the knowledge will become distorted.

    • Hello Northern Man—thanks for your comments—the men’s movements of the world already include a broad mix of feminist, anti-feminist and non-feminist perspectives—all of which are very welcome at the 3rd National Conference for men and boys. The men’s movement already has pro-feminism. Thanks for taking time to comment we hope you cast a vote today. Regards, The Conference Team

      • Yes there are many different men’s movements including religious men’s movements, rites of passage men’s movements and so on. This poll is about all men’s movement not just the men’s rights movement which you personally are passionate about — and yours is not the only men’s movement, there are many men’s movement including the pro-feminist men’s movement and all are welcome at the conference

        Best Regards

        The Conference Team

      • OK, leave no stone unturned.
        It is positive that men’s issues are highlighted, thank you for that. However, there are lots of bad examples how men’s issues debate has been watered down and even vandalized in the name of equality/ feminism/ pro-feminism/ hate-speech banning. Beware of that.

      • Thanks for the additional comments Northern Man

        This is our third year of running a conference that provides a great platform for a broad range of perspectives to be heard

        Regards

    • Thanks for your comments they are very revealing—as well as all the very positive comments we’ve received about this poll we have had one commentator say “as fare as I can tell this is a Men’s Rights site, ew” and now this “appears to be a feminist ploy”.

      It is neither. It is the online home of the 3rd National Conference for Men and Boys which provides a unique space for people of all perspectives who think differently about men and boys and are committed to making a difference for men and boys to connect.

      Thanks for your comments

      The Conference Team

  3. “Helping men to address unhealthy male behaviours and develop and promote healthy masculinity”

    I don’t think masculinity is some disease that needs a cure. Instead I think it is the pathological marginalisation of masculinity in society which is generating such unhealthy HUMAN behaviour.

    Women are just as capable of having unhealthy behaviour.

    • Well put.
      Consider other species, especially males. Are male Lions/ bulls/ horses behaving unhealthily male? Is the cure for “unhealthy male behaviors” castration (as it is with horses/ geldings)?

  4. Some additional comments from Facebook this morning:

    All of them!

    Mine was an obvious vote I think, although I want most of them!

    Encouraging to see that more people are concerned about liberating us/ourselves from the yoke of masculinities and equal human rights, rather than the more mythopoetic or religious motivations, hankering for a time gone by (and good riddance).

    Very thought provoking, and I found myself ticking multiple boxes. Interestingly Christian Vision for Men could be categorised as a Religious Men’s movement and is doing great work in the UK and now internationally too. Who Let The Dads Out? probably touches both on this context and on the ‘Shared parenting’ agenda. And I’m very clear that the world does not need a ‘Men go their own way’ movement. The self-centredness of this is definitely not what the world needs!
    I love the 10 options!

      • You edited down someone’s comment? That there is a big red blaring alarm. Editing someone’s comment, even when it is accepted, shows a blog or forum is completely unworthy of trust. You also seem to defensive of a specific option, almost as if you wanted that option to be the right one.

      • You make a lot of assumptions

        We are not here to provide a forum for lots of people to attack one option—we provide a space for people who are committed to improving the lives of men and boys in the UK specifically —allowing one perspective to post lots of comments on our site attacking another perspective is not in anyway aligned to what we do

        We would defend the validity of any of the 10 options listed above if people were attacking them — defending the validity of all of the options does not mean we agree or disagree with them it simply means we are being true to the spirit of our conference which is provide a neutral space within which awesome conversations about improving the lives of men and boys take place

    • The behaviour point is a very interesting one Garry

      We can focus on behaviour change without blame—for example you can improve a man’s health by supporting him to change an unhealthy behaviour (eg smoking) without blame

      And as the smoking example shows (with the number of men smoking falling from 82% to 21% from 1948 to 2001) — when we focus on systemic change and cultural change, behaviour change follows.

      Supporting behaviour change doesn’t have to be negative or laden with blame, it can be positive and empowering

      We’ve said from the start that the tendency we see is to view gender issues like this===Women have problems, men are problems===we say how about looking at it like this: women have problems and men have problems too—-so how can we work with men (and for men) to address those problems

      I don’t think that the “Men are problems” approach is limited to pro-feminists though

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts

      Regards
      Conference Team

      • See, I refuse to be confused about what is really going on here. Men are human beings who deserve rights also and throwing around comments like “addressing unhealthy male behaviours” in regards to addressing men’s rights is about as productive as saying “addressing unhealthy female behaviours” when speaking about women’s rights or “addressing unhealthy African-American behaviours” when discussing African-American rights.
        Rights are rights, whether you have “unhealthy behaviours” or not.
        Face it, there is an automatic disdain for men here, and it’s become so ridiculous that even discussing fighting for the rights of men we are putting the blame on their behaviour?
        What? no.
        NO.
        Why would anyone even defend this viewpoint at all? Are there any types of people that we feel don’t deserve basic human rights because of supposed behaviour’s attributed to them through certain beliefs?

      • Thanks Garry

        You are mixing up two separate things

        This isn’t a conversation about men’s rights, it’s a conversation about the men’s movement —“men’s rights” is one element of the movement, the “healthy masculinity” approach is another aspect

        This isn’t about defending any particular viewpoint– that’s not our role or intention — we are simply naming the differently elements of the men’s movement that different people identify with (whether we like it or not)

        All you comments about behaviours are really interesting and valid and this point has been made previously at our conference and plenty of people agree with the point you are making (and others disagree)

        The conference doesn’t exist to find out what people disagree on, we exist to find out what different elements of the men’s movement have to offer and what they agree on

        Thanks for your comments

        The conference team

      • You are right Adam smoking is not a “male behaviour” — who said it was?

        If you study the epidemiology of smoking though you will find there are clear gender differences which is useful to know if you want to help men or women stop smoking (or any behaviour we want to help people change)

        The point, to requote what was said, is that we can focus on behaviour change without blame—for example you can improve a man’s health by supporting him to change an unhealthy behaviour (eg smoking) without blame

        And as the smoking example shows (with the number of men smoking falling from 82% to 21% from 1948 to 2001) — when we focus on systemic change and cultural change, behaviour change follows.

        Supporting behaviour change doesn’t have to be negative or laden with blame, it can be positive and empowering

        Regards

  5. Surely the pro-feminist men’s movement is more a part of feminism than it is part of the men’s movement. The White Ribbon Campaign is the obvious example; it emerged from feminism, not from the men’s movement, and is largely based on deliberately false and discredited data about domestic violence in which men and boys are perpetrators and women and girls are victims. Its purpose is to undermine and subvert, not to explore the challenges facing men and boys and find solutions.

    • There are two distinct sides of pro-fem men’s movement—those focused on “problems men cause” and those focused more on problems men have—White Ribbon falls into the former and is focused on engaging men in order to address women’s issues—-then there are others—like the Men’s Health Forum who are more focussed on the “problems men have”—-like poor access to a healthcare system that doesn’t take into accounts the specific needs of men and boys.

  6. We need a ‘people’ movement.

    It should be pro-men and pro-women giving equal opportunities to both economically, socially and in family life.

    Discriminating in favour of men or women is a Supremacist view. We have Female Supremacists who have being running riot for decades looking for positive discrimination and favouritism for women. I don’t believe we should be heading in the same direction as a men’s movement.

    Focus on ensuring men, women, girls and boys have equal opportunities in all areas.

    • Yes it’s a point people often make

      The argument for a men and boys movement (as with a movement for any group) is to ensure that the needs of that particular group aren’t left out

      And there’s also an argument that in an unequal world you can’t have equal opportunities without positive action of some sort (and that applies to men as well women)

      How do you ensure boys have an equal opportunity to perform well at school if you don’t take positive action to address this issue?

      Regards

      The Conference Team

  7. “Pro-feminism?” Gotta feed those slaves enough to keep them productive…

    Let’s help men in ways that benefit women? Are there ways to help men (normal men, not the minority that is sociopathic) that DON’T benefit women? Feminism isn’t always anti male, but it is always “women first, men and children can come along for the ride if there’s space.” Most people int the men’s movement are not “masculists/masculinists.” How would readers react to a men’s movement run by people who promote “men first, women and children can come along for the ride if there’s space?” I didn’t see that option on your list.

    Feminism has spent the last fifty years dividing the sexes, dictating artificial sex roles, and devastating families, with disastrous results. How about we just stop punishing men for being men and stop rewarding women for being women? The “men’s movement” is and should continue to be as multi-faceted as men themselves. If we eliminate the female privilege which has become the mainstay of feminism, men of every class will flourish, children will be safer, and society will strengthen.

    The last thing the men’s movement needs, is to be defined and in any way directed by anyone who is “pro-feminism.”

    • Thanks for your thoughts

      You make two contradictory statements:

      “The “men’s movement” is and should continue to be as multi-faceted as men themselves.”

      AND

      “The last thing the men’s movement needs, is to be defined and in any way directed by anyone who is “pro-feminism.”

      One manifestation of men (and the men’s movement) being multi-faceted is that that some men are pro-feminist—which is part of the reason why there’s a pro-feminist men’s movement

      Any men’s movement that seeks to represent all men and boys needs to accommodate pro-feminist men

      There are two elements of the men’s movement that are already strongly defined by feminism—the pro-feminist men’s movement—-obviously—-and the anti-feminist men’s movement which defines itself in opposition to feminism

      The anti-feminist men’s movement is inherently and unavoidably defined by feminism

      And there are lots of other men’s movements that are not defined in this way and we lose out on the richness and experience of those other elements of the men’s movement if we only talk about feminism vs anti-feminism

      Thanks for your comments

      The conference team

      • Pro-feminist men’s movements tend to focus on “men moving to help women”, or how to change men (usually in ways to aid women). The biggest example of this is the White Ribbon campaign, which challenges ideas of manhood (focusing on the negative aspects of manliness, not the positive) and advocates for men to “end violence against women”, which like the white ribbon campaign itself, is two words too many.

        If men want to identify as feminists (interested in helping women challenge inequalities women face), that is one thing and more power to them. To try and define men defining themselves as feminists as being part of a “men’s movement”, is a misdirection as their primary goal is to help women through the challenging of men and masculinity, not to help men themselves..

      • A similar point was made earlier. I’ll repost on comments which were:

        There are two distinct sides of pro-fem men’s movement—those focused on “problems men cause” and those focused more on problems men have—White Ribbon falls into the former and is focused on engaging men in order to address women’s issues—-then there are others—like the Men’s Health Forum who are more focussed on the “problems men have”—-like poor access to a healthcare system that doesn’t take into accounts the specific needs of men and boys.

  8. I tend to support the MRM and be rather anti-feminist just because of the intensely polarized camps in issues that have a gender component, forced or not. They are the only source for “the other side” of the argument which together allows for a more complete and “wise” understanding.

    For example, in a more sane world, we wouldn’t think of rape, child sexual abuse and harassment any more than cancer or hunger as a “women’s issue”, as “gender violence” or need (here in the US) a Violence Against Women’s Act because of course, theses problems occur with both male and female victims and perpetrators and little is gained by taking sides in a forced gender war. I have a personal stake in these issues as a male victimized as a child but feminists have created the divide that now exists.

    That said, just as I have gained by listening to feminists and MRA’s, all these men’s perspectives have something to tell us, and for men, I think there is a special benefit to bridging the divides which create the striking spread of choices. So I hope you strike a balance to allow all men to participate, not force one movement or choose or “decide” between feminists and anti-feminists perspectives or any other.

    Being in the US and not being remotely able to travel to the UK for this, I wish you’d put all your sessions and conference on-line as videos because I know of nothing like this here in Minnesota.

    • Loved this comment:

      “That said, just as I have gained by listening to feminists and MRA’s, all these men’s perspectives have something to tell us, and for men, I think there is a special benefit to bridging the divides which create the striking spread of choices. So I hope you strike a balance to allow all men to participate, not force one movement or choose or “decide” between feminists and anti-feminists perspectives or any other.”

      This reminds me of one my favourite quotes—“nobody’s smart enough to be wrong all the time”—we’re not out to force anything on people, we’re out to provide a space that enables people who think differently about men and boys to have resourceful conversations by finding out what unites us rather that what divides us

      Thanks for you comment—-probably my favourite comment of the day —sorry we are unlikely to video the conference this year as things stand right now

      Regards

      Conference Team

      • I’d love to attend if you could send me airfare… lol… actually, I could easily present at some length about male victims of adult and child sexual abuse. I was an advocate for several years and ran a male survivor group, spoke publicly, on TV about the issue.. Learned a whole lot! .

        It’s just, so any times I was told “men are never raped”, “male survivors are all sex offenders”, “we don’t help men”, etc. by mental health professionals! People with PhDs in psychology and social work… There is just so much indifference to these male victims, and if not indifference, there is overt hostility! Funny how the anti-violence people can be so violent! And nobody will come to your side at that point. Everyone’s afraid of them by then.

        ”nobody’s smart enough to be wrong all the time” Good one. So, in this instance, I’d like to see someone balance false rape and child abuse accusations with understanding how difficult it can be to disclose, how that works and how to behave when (as I think is pretty common at least initially) the information you have is pretty incomplete, ambiguous or unclear (without just doing nothing). That middle ground is what’s really lacking.

        Thanks, glad you liked it. Mostly, I get shot at from both sides.

      • Hi Allan

        We really enjoyed your comments (we’ve checked the petty cash and we haven’t enough spare cash to fly you over)

        Being attacked by both sides is usually a sign that you are prepared to see all sides and then come to you own conclusion

        Thanks for your comments on male victims, we’ve hear similar experiences from frontline workers here in the UK

        Best Regards

        The Conference Team

  9. My vote would be for 2-3, 8-10. With a primary focus on 2 and 8. I don’t think the solution for men’s issues is to blame men for the problems they face and treat them like something that needs to be cured, and I don’t think the solution is to distract men with a faith (and certainly not by restricting it to only one), that by and large, only exacerbate the issues. I think we should focus on actual, objective discrimination and inequality, and so a focus on legislation, laws and policies is ideal (hence 2 and 8 as the focus). Trying to control how people think only leads to problems, so attempting to social engineer with a social justice movement

  10. A global men’s movement can’t be pro-feminist simply because most of the biggest injustices that men face are directly caused by feminist ideology and advocacy. Erosion of due process and the presumption of innocence when accused of certain crimes? Predominant aggressor policies? Police and prosecutor refusal to prosecute individuals who are proven to have made false allegations? Accusations of abuse admitted into family courts despite a complete lack of evidence? Refusal to prosecute violent women simply because they allege abuse, yet offer no evidence to support such a claim? Paternity tests not being admissible in court because they violate the woman’s right to privacy?

    No, any meaningful men’s movement must be completely separate from feminist theory and ideology. That isn’t to say that the men’s movement must be opposed to equality for women; indeed, all social justice movements should support equality for everyone. If you define pro-feminist as simply being supportive of equality for women, then fine. But “pro-feminist” implies implicit support for feminist theory and advocacy, which are fundamentally incompatible with a men’s movement.

    The most pro-feminist part of any men’s movement is probably the White Ribbon Campaign, though calling it a men’s movement is a bit of a stretch. Ironically, the campaign is simply reinforcing the old gender role that men have a responsibility to protect women. In fact, it is merely a shaming campaign to force men into taking responsibility for protecting women. Is this really the way to liberate men from the “rigid gender roles of the past”?

    • “A global men’s movement can’t be pro-feminist simply because most of the biggest injustices that men face are directly caused by feminist ideology and advocacy.”

      I am an avid counter feminist, but I think, in the interests of being honest and fair, this statement needs correction… Not “all”, or even most issues men faced are directly caused by feminists, though a not-insignificant” number of them are as a direct result of feminism. But with that said, all attempts to address the issues men currently face, both those caused by feminism and those that are holdovers from a more traditional time, all such efforts experience opposition, and that opposition always consists predominantly of feminists and traditionalists, working hand in hand.

      • Thanks for that comment Mark

        The view that the issues men currently face, face opposition that “consists predominantly of feminists and traditionalists” is similar to one we’ve heard from pro-feminist men

        The most recent example being pro-feminist fatherhood campaigners who want better parental leave rights for dads saying that they were opposed by a combination of women’s groups and big business

        Regards

        The Conference Team

    • Paddy, top top post, I would only support the perspective that traditionalists cause half the problems. If I want to become ’emotional’ because someone’s died, or take time out to look after someone, I don’t want some Fifties-dude telling me to grow a pair. White knights are half the problem too mate. But otherwise you’ve nailed it.

  11. Thanks for all the comments

    All perspectives are welcome and we are not here to provide a forum for people to simply attack another perspective—we provide a space for people who are committed to improving the lives of men and boys in the UK specifically —allowing one perspective to post lots of comments on our site attacking another perspective is not in anyway aligned to that and any further comments whose primary point is to attack another option will be heavily moderated.

    We welcome further comments that consider how these different types of men’s movement can improve the lives of men and boys

    We also recommend having a look at the debate about this post at Ally Fogg’s blog here:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/07/25/what-should-a-mens-movement-look-like/

    Thanks for everyone who has taken time to vote and comment

    Best Regards
    The Conference Team

    • Hi Te’Vell

      If you are interested in what a pro-feminist men’s movement is just google!

      There’s an interesting article by Bob Pease at the pro-feminist XYZONLINE (http://www.xyonline.net/content/profeminist-politics) — he talks about the tensions in the pro-feminist men’s movement — and he makes a distinction between “pro-feminism” and “men’s liberation”

      He says: “I have become increasingly concerned about the closer links being developed between the men’s liberation and men’s rights wings of the men’s movement. It is perhaps not surprising that some of the men’s liberationists of the seventies, such as Warren Farrell and Herb Goldberg, went on to become prominent men’s rights advocates in the eighties and nineties.

      “As profeminist men, I believe that we should be more openly critical of those parts of the men’s movement that engage in a polemic against feminism and women. We must address the pain in men’s lives arising from ill health, custody arrangements, sexual abuse, work stresses, youth male suicide and men’s experience of powerlessness. However, I believe that this can best be done by contextualising these issues within the power relations of class, race, age, sexuality and so on, on the one hand, and the contradictory effects of patriarchal power on the other.”

      What we find interesting is all the different men’s movements are concerned with similar men’s issues— Pease was writing in 1996 (and Herb Goldberg who he mentions was writing in the 70s) about male suicide, fathers’ custody battles, men’s health issues and so on) —- many of the issues that concern us are identical

      It is often our beliefs about what causes these problems and what the solutions are that divides us

      We are interested in spending more time finding what unites rather than what divides us

      Regards

      The Conference Team

  12. A NOTE ON MODERATING COMMENTS

    All perspectives are welcome and we are not here to provide a forum for people to simply attack another perspective—we provide a space for people who are committed to improving the lives of men and boys in the UK specifically —allowing one perspective to post lots of comments on our site attacking another perspective is not in anyway aligned to that and any further comments whose primary point is to attack another option will be heavily moderated.

    Our commitment is to create a culture of balance, inclusion and respect—thanks again for everyone who has taken time to comment

    Best Regards

    Conference Team

  13. Thanks for the poll 🙂 Could you just amend “attacked” to “attack” in option 2 please, Pedantic perhaps but I feel credibilty is affected by poor spelling/typos.

    • Done

      Yes “men’s human rights being under attack” is not the same as “men’s human rights being under attacked”!!

      Thanks for the feedback, very happy to crowd source our proofreading to drive up standards

      Regards

      Conference Team

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  17. I think this is a great poll. I am a female and a feminist and working with pro-feminist men is great. One of the things I’ve noticed in this thread is that many men feel their masculinity is under attack as if the feminist movement has somehow defined it. The pro feminist men I know understand masculinity is a fluid thing and is defined by each individual and of course not restrictive. ie Men can exhibit their feelings freely

    I will say that as a feminist, and a radical one at that, there’s a lot of blame going around. I think it’s helpful to see feminism not as something against men but inclusive of men. Patriarchy is simply a societal structure that carries no individual blame at all. Same with Rape Culture.

    I suppose it’s fascinating to me how many men here think that feminism is speaking to the individual and that there is individual blame instead of addressing a problem in society that most definitely needs men and women working together to fix.

    I see number 1 as the most healthy and most productive since I have been around a while and see the other incarnations of the ‘men’s movements’ as incredibly restrictive and too concerned with tearing down the hard earned rewards of the feminist movement, which actually benefit men too!

    Thanks for putting this together so I could see just how diverse this is.

  18. Just responding to Dani in a constructive way.
    The first point is there is are differences between equality feminism, deconstructing gender feminism, and militant feminism, and what I call Victorian feminism (“close women’s prisons etc. women shouldn’t be in there”). Gender deconstructing is a good way out of aggressive societal models but how many people – especially women generally – really buy into it? Would they be prepared to say – “Yeah, my man’s the main carer over the next twenty years…”? Is it a concept that people take off the shelf and put back the minute the fire and the tornadoes start? Do the women in the nurseries, say’ Yes!’ when they see a father approach their circle?
    The feminist I have met have NEVER wanted to include men – hence the ‘positive’ discrimination, ‘women’s affairs committees’, women’s networking, women’s bursaries, etc. etc.
    ‘Rape culture’ – heavy use of language, only appropriate to Stuart Hall and his blind-eye acolytes, not all men would contemplate anything like this. Not men of my acquaintance anyway.
    Militant feminism has usually blamed men and spoken about them with less respect than a dog. Any feminist book will always take a swipe at men in the first three paragraphs.
    Feminist lobbyists are campaigning to close women’s prisons, exclude men from DV laws (the Welsh Assembly is being pressurised into introducing ‘End Violence Against Women’ law which would exclude male DV victims. Any man accused of sexual assault / rape is lynched by female (and some male) commentators before a fair trial. Men are judged in a restrictive way on their sexuality (“I’m feeling harrassed ‘cos he looked at me”) whereas women can look and say what they like, and look trendy. The noise from women in the audiences whenever a male model appears is like a jet engine, men can’t say a peep or risk their jobs. So feminism isn’t benefitted men in any way, if it was, it would not be called feminism, would it?
    No-one want to ‘tear anything’ down – just to get an equal share of any liberation (look after children, express yourself openly e.g. not have to wear a tie, get equal treatment in the divorce and penal courts, and not be ACTIVELY discriminated against for courses and jobs, have their gender protected from unnecessary circumcision etc.
    If you want to take up the individual points above, I’d be more inclined to believe you’d be on board with The Men’s Movement general ethos of fair play.

  19. “allowing one perspective to post lots of comments on our site attacking another perspective is not in anyway aligned to that and any further comments whose primary point is to attack another option will be heavily moderated.”

    Just notice how injecting feminism into men’s issues repeatedly creates a situation where heavy moderation is required. And the conversation about men stops. (what just happened here)

    Or, characterizations of “sides” or “perspectives” suddenly appear requiring some kind of protection. (called “a culture of balance, inclusion and respect”)

    I’m not saying you (the conference organizers, or anyone else for that matter) don’t consciously desire respect, or projecting ill-will on your part. It usually plays out unconsciously. Frankly, my experience is, I think men need protection to speak. Because we are shouted down, shamed down, and generally don’t speak expecting this, automatically “loosing”. That’s how it plays out unconsciously.

    Just recognizing the power of unconsciousness is a good start.

    • Thanks Allan

      We exist to facilitate conversations between professionals about men and boys —- and share the very best examples of people working to improve the lives of men and boys in the UK. We welcome respectful comments from people of all backgrounds and we’re not to going to provide a platform for men or women of any ideology to repeatedly attack another ideology.

      PS: We agree that men need safe spaces to speak out about their experiences and many of those who attend our conference provide such spaces for the men they work with

      Thanks for visiting the site and leaving your comments

      Regards

      Conference Team

  20. Response to Peter.

    The first point is there is are differences between equality feminism, deconstructing gender feminism, and militant feminism, and what I call Victorian feminism (“close women’s prisons etc. women shouldn’t be in there”).

    Yes there are lots of differences in feminism and there are many more that you haven’t listed but exist nonetheless.

    Gender deconstructing is a good way out of aggressive societal models but how many people – especially women generally – really buy into it? Would they be prepared to say – “Yeah, my man’s the main carer over the next twenty years…”? Is it a concept that people take off the shelf and put back the minute the fire and the tornadoes start? Do the women in the nurseries, say’ Yes!’ when they see a father approach their circle?

    I think it may surprise you to know that radical feminism deals with gender in precisely that way and typically we see gender as a prison. Sex on the other hand is just your biological sex and nothing more. I think what you’re saying is an ‘all or none’ proposition. There are plenty of families where the Mom works and the Dad stays home. And it seems to me that you’re saying if a man is a caregiver then women shouldn’t ask him to do what you think is a gendered job? ie. lifting something heavy Why is that wrong? Are you only masculine when you’re lifting something or putting out a fire?

    The feminist I have met have NEVER wanted to include men – hence the ‘positive’ discrimination, ‘women’s affairs committees’, women’s networking, women’s bursaries, etc. etc.
    ‘Rape culture’ – heavy use of language, only appropriate to Stuart Hall and his blind-eye acolytes, not all men would contemplate anything like this. Not men of my acquaintance anyway.

    Women’s spaces are important. Just like I wouldn’t deny male spaces, which the men’s movement that aligned itself with feminism did exactly that: create male only spaces. I don’t know what kind of feminists you’re meeting so I can’t comment on that. I really don’t know exactly what you said about Rape Culture. It looks like the comment was modified? Rape culture does not mean that it singles out individual men. It’s simply how our culture treats everything around the issue of rape.

    Militant feminism has usually blamed men and spoken about them with less respect than a dog. Any feminist book will always take a swipe at men in the first three paragraphs.

    I’m not sure it was individual male blaming per se but it definitely was criticism of patriarchy. They even lived among women. The separatist feminists in Britain were really concerned with things like being able to walk the street at night (women had a curfew when there was a male serial killer on the loose and men were exempt from it), immersion in female arts, , pornography and prostitution etc. So i think while some things sound terribly bad in that movement there are also very valid issues that even modern feminists are aware of.

    Feminist lobbyists are campaigning to close women’s prisons, exclude men from DV laws (the Welsh Assembly is being pressurised into introducing ‘End Violence Against Women’ law which would exclude male DV victims. Any man accused of sexual assault / rape is lynched by female (and some male) commentators before a fair trial. Men are judged in a restrictive way on their sexuality (“I’m feeling harrassed ‘cos he looked at me”) whereas women can look and say what they like, and look trendy. The noise from women in the audiences whenever a male model appears is like a jet engine, men can’t say a peep or risk their jobs. So feminism isn’t benefitted men in any way, if it was, it would not be called feminism, would it?

    I’d have to see what research you’re talking about. I think the effective way to look at DV is that fact that the research suggests that women are primary victims, especially of severe violence. I think governments are simply putting the money where it’s needed but not ‘excluding’ men from having the protection of the law. I really don’t think looking at someone is sexual harassment and women are just as capable of it. Feminism the word doesn’t mean exclusion of men. Quite the contrary.

    No-one want to ‘tear anything’ down – just to get an equal share of any liberation (look after children, express yourself openly e.g. not have to wear a tie, get equal treatment in the divorce and penal courts, and not be ACTIVELY discriminated against for courses and jobs, have their gender protected from unnecessary circumcision etc.

    I agree with you regarding those issues. Equality is a good thing. I think a men’s movement, which already exists, that works with feminism to achieve these goals is a wonderful thing.

    If you want to take up the individual points above, I’d be more inclined to believe you’d be on board with The Men’s Movement general ethos of fair play.

    I don’t know what you mean about ‘believing’ me. I agree with a men’s movement but I will tell you I only support a men’s movement that doesn’t try and tear down all the things that have been achieved by feminism or engage in rampant misogyny or blaming. To me that simply doesn’t work.

    • You seem to have spent quite some time saying not too much, forgive me if I’ve got that wrong but I’ve read and re-read your post to try and get to the ‘gold’ and am still struggling a little. I write and speak very much to the point, can you please do the same? Here goes from my part
      1) There are lots of different types of feminisms, but the bulk have at their core a huge criticism of men that is offensive and generalistic i.e. men = bad, women = good. No version of feminism has ever praised heroes e.g. as in WW2 heroes or the men (and they were ALL men) that went into the Twin Towers. It’s the general criticism that makes it feel like hate crime.
      2) My second point – which hasn’t been clear so I’ll have another stab at it – is that gender roles are slowly breaking down but EVERYBODY (men and women), when the s*** hits the fan, expects men to be protective and self-sacrificing, whilst the women are sheltered from real harm. No politician (nor feminist!) talks about getting women in the front-line in Iraq or Afghanistan, and few women welcome a man at a nursery, and make him feel equal or welcome. So…in the REAL world, with actual people, NO-ONE wants to break down gender roles. The result – men get killed, burned and maimed and women don’t. I am saying that there is lip service and play-acting when it comes to the breakdown.
      3) I’ll try again with the discrimination against men – giving women better training and barring men from meetings about gender – I don’t believe in separate spaces – why would a man support feminism if it discriminates against his human rights to get equal training at work to become a leader or manager? Why would a man support feminism when it has no interest in defending a male child from circumcision?
      4) Yes, there were some things that were valid e.g. effective curfew for women, I was mentioning the hate crime speech that you can find in any feminist narrative about all men.
      5) I am also saying there are vicious double standards around moderate sexual behaviour. man looks and says ‘nice legs’- can get sacked, women looks and says ‘nice legs’ – she’s ballsy and gets the OK. Double standards.
      I’ll spell out what feminists in Wales are doing. They want a law called ‘End Violence against women, domestic violence and sexual violence’. This will, exclude men from being seen as victims. DV stats (check out DEWAR Research), indicate that 40% of victims are male, including the severe force category.
      6) Feminism has never wanted to work with men to help them get equality with child care, stop the ‘positive’ discrimination, stop unnecessary and exploitative media images of men etc. Please give an example if you can. Feminists work for women, are usually women, and attack men’s rights e.g. supporting antic-circumcision for women only.
      7) It depends what you mean by ‘tear down’. If you mean stop rampant ‘positive’ discrimination, anti-male policies, gender-specific law and gender-specific punishment (e.g. close all women prisons (Maria Eagle my MP wants to do just that) – what do you expect the ordinary man in the street to do?

  21. I thought I spoke very plainly. You stated there were many feminist perspectives and I agreed, adding more.

    There has been no feminist movement that I’m aware of that actually pushes that men=bad, women=good. There have been critical writings about patriarchy and rape culture and gender deconstruction but never that statement has been made on its own without any context of the issues surrounding the criticism.

    To think that women don’t want to be in the military is totally unfounded. Women have fought to be on the front lines. The problem is that the Military is male centered and women are more likely to get raped than they are to be killed in a war. source: Time Magazine and several other sources http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1968110,00.html
    Women also stop drinking water so they don’t have to use the military washrooms at night for fear of rape.

    Feminists have praised war heroes because many of them were married to them. Same with 9/11. Men and women lost their lives on 9/11.

    Gender is breaking down yes, meaning that each sex is uninhibited from expression. You seem to be thinking that because a woman asks a man to help her it’s some slight to him and she shouldn’t be asking? That seems strange. Women are in harms way all the time. They can’t walk the streets at night I’ve already explained the military problems of women. They do fight on the front lines, they do get injured. Women are firefighters who face the same danger as anyone else.Men and women both get hurt physically and mentally. I don’t understand why this is such a big deal.

    Where do men not have equal training? Women’s studies and feminists sometimes have sessions for men and women but respecting their right for safe space is granted to any other group that wants it. You cannot force your way into a space meant for women to gather among themselves. That would be wrong. Many feminists DO support an end to circumcision.source: http://community.feministing.com/2010/06/07/being-allies-against-male-circumcision/

    I have no idea what you’re talking about when you say ‘hate crime speech’. You’ll have to be very specific and also take into consideration the context of whatever quote you use.
    Neither men or women have the right to workplace sexist behaviour.
    You’ll have to be specific about what’s happening in Wales with a full link to their reports and recommendations. I cannot find DEWAR. Please give me full study link

    Women have always wanted equality in homecare. You’ll have to give me examples of images. I do know that there are feminist culture critics that focus on issues of males and females.

    Feminists don’t attack Men’s Rights. We attack misogyny, patriarchy, rape culture, pay gap, etc. There is a Men’s Movement that works with feminism and has done some great work. Michael Kimmel is great. So is Jackson Katz. I’m sure there are others as well.

    I think the focus should be on stopping or solving an issue but not using feminism as a way to blame everything on because it’s quite false what you are saying about feminism.
    The issue I have with MRA’s is they don’t know much of anything about the feminist movement and the discourse and yet attack it . Feminism is not the enemy.

    Misogyny and this insistence that feminists prove to you the work they’re doing seems the wrong route too. If you want to know what feminists support and about it in general then go check it out. We have amazing technology to do just that.

    Oftimes I see MRA’s just taking a meme or a quote completely out of its context and use it to defame feminists and feminism. Feminism is complex and has decades of discourse. Spending more time engaged in this discourse without asking feminists to prove something to you is much more productive. I will not respond to another post asking me to prove what feminism has done for men. Counterproductive. Feminism has done a LOT for men, you just have to study it.

    • Many thanks for the comprehensive reply. As always, there are vital points that need responding to (I will respond to your own e-mail constructively this evening). These are VITAL points below:
      1) Here is a small sample of misandric quotes / examples from feminism: “Looking how easy it is to treat men badly is oddly liberating”, Naomi Wolf ; Libby French on Marilyn French: “She aimed a blowtorch at the collective groin of Man the master…salute her”; Erin Pizzey: “I watchd the feminist movement build its bastions of hatred agianst men”.
      2) No feminists have ever consistently, nor successfully, campaigned for the front line for women. 97% of fatalities in war are always men. Despite films and games showing women being solely heroic and war-like, there are no women on the front line (i.e. they are placed out of danger). When a woman is inadvertantly killed e.g. in a road-mine, she gets 4 pages of national press.
      3) There are many male victims of military sexual assault, from your very own Jezebel
      http://jezebel.com/men-are-victims-of-military-sexual-assault-too-561913456
      4) The vast majority of firms now run vastly superior management training courses for women only. I can reference any firm, but the public sector is the main one, ‘Leaders of the future’ at RB and ‘Focused women’ at RBS etc. etc.
      5) There was a demo by UK Feminista on labioplasty leading to Harley Street. When an anti-male circ activist gave them a leaflet, he was told: “that is not why we are here”. I have noted the comments on the feminist web-sites, and will look in detail later, but good for them. I would advise that the Evening Standard has devoted page after page to anti-FGM but not one sentence to MGM (circumcision).
      6) Hate crime speech as above in point 1 – too many examples to list, open up any feminist textbook.
      Dewar research: it came up when I keyed: “Dewar research”.
      http://www.dewar4research.org/
      Wales gender-specific law:
      http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/housingcommunity/vawwhitepaper/?lang=en
      Male victims of violence will be deliberately airbrushed out by this (intended as a precedent) legislation.
      7) Feminism has allowed women to be more forward and open about sexuality which has taken the pressure off men; it has just nudged the door open on child care (but women always get custody); it has however always been a militant women’s union which wants to advantage women no matter what. I went to university with Caroline Flint, now a feminist MP, the UEA was the most ‘progressive’ of universities, there is no need for me to ‘study’ feminism, I look at its effects on men every day which are deleterious e.g. happily allowing man-bashing adverts but furious about any that are anti-women, stopping all sexist media stuff with women e.g. Page 3 but allowing The Chippendales; promoting positive action and training; creating an atmosphere of fear for men who want to civilly express their heterosexulaity in the office in a jokey way but women can say what they want; having hundreds of networking events for women but stopping men from having any; asuming guilt in the media if any man is accused of anything; and trying to create anti-male legislation e.g. as in Wales.
      The pay gap is a result of women having two choices once they are over 30 – men only have
      one (work), and anyway still have to earn a good living to have a chance of impressing a woman and having her as a lover. The proof of that is in every magazine where a fat bald fifty-something rich man has a willowly thirty-something girl on his arm.
      There is a huge difference between misogyny and challenging the topical statement that feminism has done anything for men. Why is it called feminism if it does, or intends to, do anything for men?
      My response would be to take a look at the fatalities at work (90% men), the number if men who get custody (about 10%), the number of male suicides (about 75%), the number of men going to university (about 40%), the adverts which make men look idiotic, the number of positive discrimination courses for women, the amount of funding that goes on women (look at the Parity website (just key in Parity, UK), for example Leeds
      http://www.parity-uk.org/SexBiasLeedsCity.php
      Sincerely,
      Peter Leckie

  22. Thanks Peter and Dani for taking time to leave such detailed comments

    The spirit of the National Conference for Men and Boys is for people to find out what they agree on not what they disagree on—particularly in relation to the problems men and boys face and what we can do to address those problems

    The first step is to find a problem you can agree and the second step is to consider what action could be taken to address that problem

    If you also look for an argument you will always find one and that is not what the Conference (or our blog) is for, we here to encourage and enable people to focus their energy on finding what they agree on,

    Peter mention is opposition to unnecessary male circumcision and Dani said many feminists DO support an end to circumcision.source: http://community.feministing.com/2010/06/07/being-allies-against-male-circumcision/ (though you didn’t say whether you personally agree with Peter that this is an issue that needs addressing Dani)

    There is an opportunity there, it seems, for feminists and anti-feminists to work together to a common end of stopping unnecessary male circumcision—-do you agree?

    Secondly we’ll add something to the debate, Peter you want to know from Dani what has feminism done for men and Dani says “a LOT” without naming anything specific

    We’d like to offer an answer here based on what we hear others (feminist and non-feminist)

    An example is that awareness of male victims of sexual violence and domestic violence has emerged as a result of feminists bringing attention to female victims —-and many services (particularly in terms of male rape victims) have emerged out of feminist women’s services

    So in the UK in 2005 800 women were convicted of perpetrating domestic violence (3% of all convictions) and in 2010 3,500 women were convicted of perpetrating domestic violence (6% of all convictions)

    Do you agree or disagree:

    > The increased focus on domestic violence driven by feminists leads to more women being convicted (in addition to more men)?
    > The fourfold increase in women being convicted from 2005 to 2010 is generally good news for male victims?
    > That more needs to be done to help male victims of domestic violence?

    We’d be interested to hear both of you answers to those questions in the spirit of seeking out what you agree on

    Regards

    Conference Team

  23. Responding to the conference organiser e-mail:
    1) It is heartening that feministing has decided to go against male circumcision, but have they taken it anywhere, have they joined NORM-UK, have they challenged the medical profession (there was a UK Feminista march in harley Street where they SPECIFICALLY told a male anti-circ protestor they were NOT interested in being anti-male circ. It was a ****ing cruel moment in my view.
    2) Yes, male victims are now able to be discussed thanks to the trail-blazing of feminists, though the vast majority want to ignore male victims (the Dyn project in Wales tries to find if victims are ‘perpetrators’, and cynics have suggested they have it set up with that as the main objective – a sort of honeytrap to ensure that male perpetrators ‘blow themselves up’ i.e. report themselves as perpetrators inadvertantly. There is no such ‘screening’ for women who go to the vast number of refuges and services for them. NB £6.5m on women’s services, a fraction of that for men.
    3) Whenever women are bought to court, interesting things start to happen. They are treated very differently (I will find the Home Office guidelines), they can wear their own clothes in prison, and do less time. There is a goup set up to – arguably – find excuses for murderesses (I’m happy to use English as it was spoken until it was de-gendered), see below
    http://www.justiceforwomen.org.uk/
    and of course we have the feminist group (VAW team) in Wales pushing through their ‘End Violence Against Women’ act, which will seek to ignore male victims of violence.
    To answer your questions, the fourfold increase has been in the teeth of militant feminists who are trying to close down women’s prisons so they get counselling (and men still get prison). It is really a by-product of increased awareness of DV and men no longer afraid to report it. The feminists are horrified to be hoisted by their own petard, and are trying to ensure they do NOT get caught in the net by, as I say, by closing women’s prisons and bringing in gender-specific laws.
    Feminism has done NOTHING for men, the clue is in the title.

    Howver, many thanks for the stat.

    Bst Rgs,

    Peter Leckie

  24. Hi All Men Project,

    Thank you for seeing that feminism has done SO MUCH to bring attention to both female and male issues and that feminism has really laid the pavement. I just didn’t feel the need to make a list. I suppose I assume that people have researched and understand the work without me having to list it.

    And yes, I do not agree with circumcision but at the same time I’m Jewish and so while I would allow it with my child to be a part of the covenant I can also agree that it is not necessary as standard practice (outside religious laws).

    I have looked at your link Peter regarding Justice for Wales and I can find nothing in there that supports your assertion that the organization is trying to find excuses for women who murder. It’s a contextual issue and the headline in their news is about a woman who was being abused by her husband and she was overcharged by the court (for murder) and her past was used against her. I find once the context is looked into the simplification just doesn’t hold.

    I also looked at the VAW statement and in the very first pages it says “But I also want to be clear – men and boys can also be victims of violence and this Action Plan is aimed at helping them as well.” So your assertion that the act isn’t addressing men is not true.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/181088/vawg-action-plan-2013.pdf

    The problem here is I feel I have to show every single proof of feminists working with every single issue mentioned or else feminists are not to be trusted and just aren’t doing enough. As any activist knows, that’s a recipe for disaster. And when I do agree and you give a link, it’s more blaming for not ‘taking it anywhere’.

    To answer your question of whether anti-feminists can work with feminists, I think just by looking at this exchange that it’s not possible. The conversation will continually devolve into “What have you done for men lately?” And when you state how feminists are totally conscious of the issues and work on them, MRA’s claim we feminists aren’t doing it the proper way. I will constantly have to post links and they will post none and worse, not understand the documents referenced.

    I find the lack of knowledge on feminism is a huge part of this disconnect. I’m aware of men’s issues and much prefer the standard Men’s Liberation movement because we feminists weren’t looked at with such contempt and distrust. We were respected and still are in that community. The current MRA movements show misogyny and continual blame. In my view, until that stops there will be no common goal that can be achieved.

    I’ve listened well. I’ve responded to all the accusations with links and correct information. I really tried, thinking I could have a decent conversation but it’s just not possible.

    Thanks for allowing me to at least try.

    • Thanks to both Dani and Peter for your comments — we won’t be taking any further comments from either of you on this thread as we haven’t got the resources to keep moderating your lively discussion which is not longer about “what kind of men’s movement do we need”?

      Thanks for taking time to comment on the post, if you’d both like to continue the debate offline please email us at allmenproject@live.com and if you are both agreed we will put you in touch with each other

      Best Regards

      Conference Team

  25. Dani said,

    “I also looked at the VAW statement and in the very first pages it says “But I also want to be clear – men and boys can also be victims of violence and this Action Plan is aimed at helping them as well.” So your assertion that the act isn’t addressing men is not true.”
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/181088/vawg-action-plan-2013.pdf

    While the Minister grudgingly acknowledges that men and boys can be victims of violence, he is careful not to call this domestic violence and careful not to acknowledge that women might be the perpetrators. The implication is that men and boys are the victims of male violence. The help offered is very much in the “Duluth” spirit – that is, it is helping men and boys to address their perpetration of violence and to protect the women and girls in their lives; it is not to help them avoid being victims or seek help and support when they are victims. Note also that all the money earmarked for male victims ended up going to women’s groups.

    • Thanks for you comments Nick

      On allocation of funding, the Home Office male victim fund for 2012/2013 was allocated to 12 local charities across England and Wales but only one award went directly to a dedicated charity just for male victims. More info on that here:

      http://brightonmanplan.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/government-male-victim-fund-favours-womens-services/

      For further reading on tackling domestic violence against male victims we’d recommend this report by Abuse Men In Scotland who are attending the conference again this year:

      http://www.abusedmeninscotland.org/amispublications.html

      Dempsey, B. 2013. Men’s Experience of Domestic Abuse in Scotland: What we know and how we can know more. School of Law, University of Dundee.

      It is clear that a violence against women and girls strategy is not designed to help male victims of violence anymore that a men’s health strategy (that countries like Ireland and Australia have) is designed to improve women’s health—there is a tiny allocation of funding (less than 1% of the money available for projects for male victims which is the male victim fund referenced above)

      In addition to this there is a reference to working with men who perpetrate of domestic and sexual violence against women or men — but no reference to women who perpetrate domestic and sexual violence against men or women.

      One of the recommnendations of Martyn Sullivan’s 2010-2011 report on male survivors of sexual abuse was that the UK government produce a “partner document to the existing Violence Against Women and Girls strategy to highlight the plight of male victims within the UK”.

      Martyn is CEO of Mankind UK’s who have also spoken at previous conferences. If we want a men’s movement that makes a difference then when it comes to issue like helping male victims of domestic violence and sexual violence then we need to take time to listen to organisations like Abused Men in Scotland and Mankind as these are the people who are at the coalface helping male victims on a day to day basis

      You can read about the Mankind UK report here:

      http://brightonmanplan.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/call-for-uk-strategy-to-end-violence-against-men-and-boys/

      Regards

      Conference Team

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