We men are going to have to do an incredible amount of work with other men and boys to bring about substantive change. Probably we are going to need to do it out of self-interest as killing, injuring and intimidating other males (and being killed, injured and intimidated by other males) is more likely to be important to us than “helping women” (not that this is right!).
At the same time we find it very hard to work together towards substantive change! One need only look at small girls and small boys to see the beginnings of what I see as a core part of the problem. Group play among girls is much more cooperative and consensual than among boys.
As men we “bond” with other men talking of sports and women. Homophobia (including among Gay/Bi Men) and Classism both add to our difficulties working together. Though we spend time with other men, we don’t really talk and share in the ways that many women do with each other.
We have a peculiar sort of: “Attention Deficit Disorder” where we see Our Present Reality as the world around us. AIDS wasn’t an issue for the Het men of my generation (I’m 55) because we “weren’t getting it”). Fathering issues aren’t our issue until we become fathers (and then we are overwhelmed with our responsibilities and have little time to work to change things).
In the end we will need to work from self-interest to change our worlds around us. None of this is meant to minimize the incredible work that women do and have done!!! Feminism teaches us a lot!
Patriarchy and Classism will hopefully help motivate more men to do more! At the present time we are a teeny tiny fraction of men. Until we become a significant minority of men it will be hard for many efforts of Feminists to succeed in many, many areas.
I try to imagine a world where Domestic Violence and Rape were killing and maiming mostly Men and wonder if it would be tolerated? At the same time, how can we kill and injure each other as we do currently? Obviously, poorer Men and Men of Color in particular are disproportionately those who are hurt and killed.