Where have regressive models of masculinity based on power and dominance lead us? Less likely to do well at school, less likely to go to Higher Education, we dominate statistics on exclusions, homelessness, addiction, prison populations and suicide. At Progressive Masculinity we challenge these regressive models of masculinity without presenting an alternative which would be dismissed by young men as ‘weak’. This is achieved by creating safe, non-judgemental spaces, listening to and valuing the voice of boys in order to construct models of masculinity which are consistent with their values, with the kind of men, friends, partners and fathers they wish to be in the future. We support them to become the kind of men this world badly needs.
In our workshops we see boys and young men who feel unseen, unheard, marginalised and frustrated. At Progressive Masculinity we use our 20 years’ of experience in education to have the difficult conversations often considered taboo within the male world but we also want to bring back the joy and pride of masculinity by exploring our potential and the many amazing men out there having a positive impact on the world to counter the overwhelmingly negative social narrative around masculinity.
Our tried and tested model is to work with a relatively small group of influential pupils and then support the school to use these pupils as masculinity ambassadors in order to spread the impact and drive cultural change from within the pupil body. The practical, enjoyable nature of the workshops delivered by experienced and relatable facilitators allows us to address many issues often considered taboo within the male world , including: Masculine Hierarchy, Friendships and Banter, Mental Health, Masculinity in the Digital World, Communication and Emotional Literacy, Attitudes Towards Women, Role Models and Aspirations.
The responses to our Workshop Programs have been phenomenal. Staff, parents and (most importantly) the young men themselves have provided overwhelmingly positive feedback. Our work has also receievd a lot of attention from the national media with positive coverage in The Times, The Daily Telegraphy and BBC Radio 4. We also recently finished fliming a documentary with Channel4 on masculine identity.
Progressive Masculinity was designed to meet a genuine need and not to ‘tick boxes’ or target Section 5 requirements, but throughout the workshops and staff training a wide range of areas will be developed which are prioritised during visits and inspections, including:
|Attitudes and behaviour
|Mental health and confidence
|Progress and attainment
|Ability to cooperate