As women and our allies continue to share knowledge, resources, and take action to dismantle oppressive structures, the progress we make is being met by oppositional movements. Here in America, the MRA Movement (or Men’s Rights Activism) continues to expand its reach and intensify its rhetoric, with prominent MRA leader Matt Forney going so far as to say “Women should be terrorized by their men; it’s the only thing that makes them behave better than chimps.” Meanwhile, crimes targeting women and girls have only continued to increase world-wide. The picture this paints seems clear – some men are aggressively pushing back to protect a repressive status quo and when women voice frustrations with the situation or – yet it is not uncommon to hear cultural and political leaders continuing to claim, as Sen. Josh Hawley did only a few months ago, that “men are under attack.” And believe it or not, I’m going to agree with Senator Hawley on that point…
Men are under attack, but not from feminists and others fighting for equality; men are under attack from the very same patriarchal institutions which diminish the rest of us. They are taught that there is a small box of acceptability that they must fit into or be shamed (or worse). Most damaging of all, men continue to be taught not to speak up against other men in situations of injustice, not to upset the normativity of a repressive system which ultimately serves none of us.
But if all of us work together, we have the collective power to put a stop to these systems and build a world that works for people of all genders. And that’s why today I’m excited to be bringing men’s voices to the table – men who are ready to pull away the wool patriarchy has draped over their eyes and speak out about injustices they’ve observed and even participated in. We’re so grateful to share their courageous voices with you today.
Andy Dunn (he/him) co-founded menswear brand Bonobos and served as CEO until its 2017 acquisition by Walmart. As an investor, he has backed more than eighty startups, including Warby Parker, Coinbase, Away, Glossier, Real, Parade, SeatGeek and Alula. His memoir, Burn Rate: Launching a Startup and Losing My Mind, explores the intersection of entrepreneurship and mental illness.
Ian McAllister (he/him) is a father and small business owner in Portland, Oregon. When he’s not chasing his two year old daughter around you can usually find him at a farmers market, on the ski slopes, paddling the rivers of the Pacific North West, or cheering at a college football game.
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