Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Changing Men... Women, it's our duty...

After four (or more) posts in a row about the extremely low consciousnesses of power hungry males who insult, degrade, threaten and scream at anyone who does kneel before their demands - especially if they are female, I thought a nice long OOOOOOOOOOOOOOM was in order. If I did it long and often enough I might actually focus on and finish my book in progress in one form or another since 1976 CONSCIOUSNESS AND COMMUNITY: TRANSCENDING GOD AND STATE.

Anyway, I felt a nice higher consciousness post was in order - something about RAISING male consciousness. Searching about I found this introduction to Steven Andrew Schapiro's 1985 dissertation - CHANGING MEN: THE RATIONALE, THEORY, AND DESIGN OF A MEN'S CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING PROGRAM. Women, check it out, mix it up with your own conception of feminist consciousness raising, and start roping these surly apes into our workshops - and they'll come, too, if they want dinner and the skid marks washed off their undies.

This study describes the theory and design of a pedagogy that attempts to help men to develop new ways of being male that are less oppressive to women and more fulfilling to men. The goals of this pedagogy are summarized with the terms: autonomy, androgyny, awareness, and activism. These goals are based on an integration of three alternative models of masculinity: the 'liberated man,' the 'androgynous man,' and the 'anti-sexist man.'

The need for the study is established through a description of the current societal transition in male role norms, an exploration of the critique of traditional masculinity, and a review of existing approaches for educating men about sex roles and sexism. The study demonstrates that these approaches are inadequate because they have limited objectives and/or do not take into account both key facets of men's identity in regard to this issue: the limitations imposed on men by traditional sex roles, and men's role in the oppression of women.

A theoretical model for a more adequate pedagogy for 'raising men's consciousness' about sexism is developed through a review, critique, and synthesis of four relevant educational approaches: human relations training groups (T-groups), Paolo Freire's education for critical consciousness, feminist consciousness raising groups, and anti-oppression education. The implications of a developmental perspective on men's identity for how the pedagogy should be implemented are then explored through a review of several theories of sex role identity development and male identity development, leading to the articulation of a more differentiated model that can explain developmental patterns experienced by men.

A college course, 'Men and Masculinity,' which was designed on the basis of the pedagogical model, is described in detail. An informal evaluation of the course's effectiveness in meeting its objectives is reported. Based on an analysis of students' written materials and of pre and post scores on the Personal Attributes Questionnaire, the Women's Liberation Scale, and a questionnaire on 'Men and Sexism,' there were significant increases in androgyny and activism, with smaller but still significant increases in androgyny and activism.

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