Reflecting on the Oppressor in the Mirror

Authors

  • Marc Peters

    1. Member of a new generation of male feminists who are speaking out for gender equality and the importance of engaging men in ending violence against women.
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    • Marc Peters is the Global Communications and Campaigns Manager for MenEngage. MenEngage is a global alliance made up of dozens of country networks spread across many regions of the world, hundreds of nongovernmental organisations, as well as UN partners. They engage men and boys in reducing gender inequalities and promoting the health and wellbeing of women, men and children. MenEngage partners work collectively and individually towards advancing gender justice, human rights and social justice to achieve a world in which all can enjoy healthy, fulfilling and equitable relationships and their full potential.

Abstract

Drawing extensively from personal experience, the author explores what it is like to experience patriarchy from the perspective of a person of privilege. He tracks his journey as a young white man coming to terms with the undue privilege that he is afforded on the basis of his race and gender. The article also explores the flaws the author finds in rigid identity politics that hinder collaboration, and attempts to illustrate how people lose and the system wins when activists engage in in-fighting and cling tightly to narrow definitions of identity. Ultimately, the article makes the case for how shared humanity is a key component in making significant progress in social change efforts and in society as a whole.

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