The Stop Male Violence Project wishes to engage those men who want to do against women’s subordination and violence against women in their own lives or on a societal level.
Our activities are:
- a men’s group, whose members engage in a self-critical revision of the male role;
- training sessions for professionals in the field of domestic violence;
- publication and dissemination of books and leaflets;
- occasional appearances at events and the media;
- a gender film club;
- the Stop Male Violence Information Hotline.
Rethinking the Gender Role
Nov 15, 2011 (Funzine) by Gergely Huszti
Hungarians are thought to be passive and reserved – in our new series however, we’ll prove that assumption wrong, introducing you the prime movers of change in Hungarian society: people who are thinking ahead, doing something innovative in their respective fields, whether it’s in business, civil society or culture and arts. This time: members of the Stop Male Violence Project.
How and when did it all start?
The Stop Male Violence Project was founded in 2005 by some enthusiastic supporters of the cause, and received financial support from the Daphne program. The Project wishes to engage those men who are willing to fight against the subordination of women and the use of violence against them, both in their private lives and on a social scale. The founder of the project, psychotherapist Peter Szil, has been organizing groups like ours in Sweden and Spain for the last 30 years. Unfortunately, in Hungary the social acceptance of a feminist men’s group is far below the desired.
Can you pinpoint the significant changes that should happen in the way we think about these issues?
Of course the ideal situation would be the total abolishment of violence against women and children, and total equality of genders on all fronts. It is the men’s duty to bring about those changes. First, they should give up their privileges, have a fair share of household work and the upbringing of children, support the equal status of women and men in the workplace and in particular well-paid jobs, refrain from all forms of violence, sexist jokes, stop treating women like sexual objects, act against prostitution and pornography, respect women’s reproductive rights, etc. If you would like to know more, just contact us at www.stop-ferfieroszak.hu
Which European countries are ahead of us in eliminating violence against women, in other words, which are the model-societies?
Unfortunately we still have much to do here, as not only the Scandinavian countries – which are famous for being pioneers in many fields – but traditionally “macho” societies such asSpainare also ahead of us in this regard. These countries have created normative laws, that not only reflect how things are at present, but help to change people’s way of thinking and in turn the social framework as well.
How can we apply these principles in our private lives? The change of attitude you envision on a mass scale should necessarily start at home first, right?
Indeed, this is the main goal that this group promotes, within which we work on our own beliefs, and try to improve and change our habits.
The group also takes upon itself the task of disseminating books, publications and leaflets, and training professionals in the field of domestic violence. Do you get any financial support for all of these activities?
At the birth of the project we received support from the Daphne program. Nowadays we do the translating, editing and production tasks by ourselves on a non-profit basis, while we always look for partners for those tasks which are out of our realms.
You also run a Stop Male Violence Information Hotline. How does it work, and who are you targeting with it?
Our aim is to inform those who are willing to listen, that there is something wrong with the male role and the behaviors resulting from it. This is the root of the inequality of the sexes. So, basically our task is to inform and raise consciousness. Our publications can be downloaded from our website both in Hungarian and English, and if anyone feels the need to better understand himself and his gender role, he can join our men’s group, so that his intentions will turn into practice.