You walk home one evening, see a man arguing with a lady outside a home. As you approach, while heading to your house, you see the man slap the lady, he gets kicks her and in pain, the lady screams and quickly runs to the door and shuts it behind her. As a man, what will you do! Will you confront the man? Will you run to her aid when you see her being beaten? Will you pass by and decide it is none of your business?
Having a voice to speak out, raise your issues be they political, economic or social is core to transformative masculinity. How men raise their voices to different issues is dependent on their interest, economic status and sometimes political duty they feel they should. For some, the less financial freedom one controls, the less they are able to speak for themselves because they have low self esteems.
But this does not always have to be the case. When men feel deprived in some way or another, one way they release their tension is through beating up women. They can use an argument to spiral it to violent behavior, something that they could still resolve peacefully.
How these issues can be resolved including struggles within men themselves is what defines transformative masculinity. Values, norms and practices that inform cordial and respect for women, especially ending violence against women can be described as positive masculine initiatives. In a nut shell, it refers to equitable and non-violent relationships including between men and women.
When talking about positive masculinity, the emphasis on different, non-violent ways of being a man that is central to its work. These relationships must equally conform to culturally befitting practices within communities that people live in. While these cultures differ, their basic tenet across the board is that where any violence rooted in gender controlled norms is no longer tolerated.
How to achieve a transformed man and men could be different but one way is through using role models. These role models depict their different lives and how they believe and practice treating women and dealing with your issues as a man should be.
These men can also be empowered to speak out against vices like violence against women. Transformative masculinity is about ensuring that men are not subjugated, to feel inferior whether with other men or with empowered women. Young people are at the core of the initiative aimed at socializing them identify with sensitivity, dignity, respect and equality when dealing with women.
The outcome is to improve gender equity within the household so as when they go out, they can socialize themselves in the same gender equity lenses with everyone else.