PALATABLE PATRIARCHY AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WO/MEN1 IN SOUTH AFRICA – ANGUS BUCHAN’S MIGHTY MEN’S CONFERENCE AS A CASE STUDY OF MASCULINISM
AbstractRobert 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South Africa, movements that lead men down a garden path to a false sense of what it means to be a man, by appealing to outdated and destructive ways of being a man, will do more to aggravate the problem of violence than overcome it.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
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