Men's Pre-Assembly: an exciting and inspiring event
2 Aug 2008
Men`s pre-assembly was an inspiring and motivating event for me as a man who comes from a patriarchal society with rigid rules and regulations that govern the relationship between man and woman. It was a challenging moment for many of us, a time for introspection and self assessement on how this societal stereo-types the roles of men and women. This gave me a moment to reflect and think critically on what has been my role in my movement, to either promote or demean the role of women.
The Men's Pre-Assembly opened with a Bible Study that was led by Dan from Mexico. He facilitated on the reflection of a text about the adulterous woman. This helped me to look at the model of Jesus Christ in the promotion of a compassionate and caring masculinity as opposed to that which has been developed and perpetrated by the society which is male dominated. In this case only the woman is brought before Jesus, which leaves us with many questions: is adultery an act of one person? Is the woman more sinful and gullible to questions of sex? The answers to these questions can be comprehensibly answered by the way the society perceives and treats women. The reaction of Jesus Christ is very interesting, for instead of judging the woman he tells those who have not sinned to cast the first stone and everyone is challenged and walks away ashamed.
I also got interesting stories from four young men from different parts of the world on how masculinity is expressed in their cultures, the social expectations and roles of men in society. The contextualising of the gender issue helped me very much to concretize my own experience and relate it to other cultures other than my own.The difference in all these experiences were so minimal and that is when I realized that the problems that a woman faces deep down in a village in Kenya is similar to that one in Fiji,East Timore,Brazil and New York.
Tuval Dinner made the sharing more pragmatic, for he mostly shared the experiences that he drew from the White Ribbon group, which he works for.This group fights for non-violence against women and it helps spread the message of dialogue,respect and equality between men and women. He challenged us to be vessels of a manifestation of new kind of masculinity where there is mutual trust, respect, equity and equality between men and women. His challenge made a continuous debate and discussions surrounding the area of masculinity and power.
I hope that with the challenge we had opened up new frontiers to nurture a culture of promotion of women in all spheres of life that has socio-political, economic and religious cycles.
Let us start with WSCF to promote women, especially in our SCMs, for in unity against violence to women we lose nothing but the chains of dogmatic cultures of slavery of women.
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