Saturday, April 7, 2018

Obstacles to men becoming allies 2/5

There are important challenges to identity construction and obstacles facing members of privileged groups who become involved in solidarity campaigns (Macomber 2012). Being an ally involves a process of reconstituting one’s identity (Ferguson 1998). Whereas for oppressed groups, this involves a positive affirmation of who they are, for those in privileged groups, it means creating what can be experienced as a negative identity. Such a process involves a critical interrogation of the moral superiority embedded in privileged identities. 
It is not uncommon for men who speak out against men’s violence to be referred to as gender traitors. Rather than being experienced as a criticism, however, this could be embraced by male allies as a positive identity. That is, creating a traitorous identity (Bailey 1998; Ferguson 1998; Pease 2010) is a way in which men can challenge patriarchal manhood. Male gender traitors are those that refuse to reproduce their privilege and who challenge the world views that dominant groups are expected to adhere to.

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