Men and Boys rise for Gender Justice in Hindu College, Delhi University- a brief report on CHSJ, ME-D and Mittika’s interaction
Social change and social transformation are issues that people from all arenas- media, students, families, corporate and communities- have to be involved with. The youth of the city forms a large mass that will be instrumental in writing the future of our society. Hence, it is imperative to involve the young students in a discourse that promotes gender justice.
It is through these sustained interventions- capacity building, mentoring and mobilisation in colleges, that MenEngage Delhi hopes to engage men and boys for gender justice through debunking aggressive masculinities especially within the urban settings.
On 19th of October 2015, Centre for Health and Social Justice and MenEngage Delhi in collaboration with Mittika carried forward its first phase of sustained interaction with Hindu College, Delhi. The Forum Theater, which was especially designed to bring out masculinities and gender inequalities, started around 2:30 pm. There was an extended workshop conducted by Mittika on the perspective of masculinities through a feminist discourse. The workshop involved an intense discussion over the understanding of social construction of masculinities. The series of synopses shown in the forum theater were deconstructed by the medium of a segment where students come forward to rate the masculinity and femininity of the characters that were shown.
One of synopses in the play narrated how men feel the pressure to articulate their masculinity. Men are conscious about how they look especially presenting a macho physique. During the interactive session many students felt a bit uncomfortable when this perspective was discussed as they raised questions such as, ‘do men need to appear malnourished and skinny to be sensitive towards gender?’
The facilitator replied that the question is not of how you look at the question of physical appearance but what do we think about the homogeneous single narrative of a ‘macho man’.
With such similar questions, a workshop was followed up where there was a set of four questions which were designed to understand the views of men and for college going students regarding the topic on masculinities.
After the interactive session, a survey was conducted which was designed by CHSJ. The interaction was concluded by 4.30 pm when a group of 15 students registered to be part of the action group in Hindu College.