PALATABLE PATRIARCHY AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WO/MEN1 IN SOUTH AFRICA – ANGUS BUCHAN’S MIGHTY MEN’S CONFERENCE AS A CASE STUDY OF MASCULINISM

Sarojini Nadar

Abstract


Robert Connell, the immanent scholar on masculinity studies, has urged scholars to
undertake more concrete and located studies of the construction of masculinity.
Taking up Connell’s challenge, this paper uses The Mighty Men’s Conference
(MMC) started by Angus Buchan in 2004 in Greytown, South Africa, as a case study
in masculinity and argues that Angus Buchan’s Christian MMC is a step toward
masculinism, (destructive male power) not positive masculinity. Using Stephen
Whitehead’s and Frank Barrett’s three propositions concerning the ways in which
masculine power is created, namely forceful power, positional power and discursive
power, the paper argues that the latter two forms of power are most evident in the
MMC. Given the researched links between discourses of submission and headship
and violence against wo/men, these latter two forms of power which are promoted
through such discourses in the MMC is declared as unhelpful. Finally the paper
concludes that while men’s movements are certainly important and needed in South
Africa, movements that lead men down a garden path to a false sense of what it
means to be a man, by appealing to outdated and destructive ways of being a man,
will do more to aggravate the problem of violence than overcome it. The paper
concludes with three proposals for alternative steps toward positive masculinity,
namely a deconstruction and reconstruction of masculinity and a deliberate search
for, and promotion of positive role models

Keywords


Male Power, Construction of Masculinity, Violence, Positive Masculinity

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/102-0-614

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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