From founding the White Ribbon Campaign, the world’s largest organized effort of men working to end violence against women, in the early 1990s, to his appointment as the only male member of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, Michael Kaufman has been a major figure in promoting social justice and women’s rights for decades. Now, in The Time Has Come, he issues a stirring call for men to mobilize in the movement for gender equality.
Weaving together sociological data, personal experiences, and insights gleaned from decades of work with governments and NGOs around the globe, Kaufman explores topics ranging from domestic violence to parental leave, grappling with the ways in which a culture of toxic masculinity hurts women and men (and their children). Informative and provocative, The Time Has Come demonstrates how real gender equality creates advancements in both the workplace and the global economy, and urges men to become dedicated allies in dismantling the patriarchy.
About the Author:
For three and a half decades, Michael Kaufman has been a pioneer in engaging men to promote gender equality. He is the co-founder of the White Ribbon Campaign, the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women. As a writer and speaker, he has worked across America and in almost fifty countries, including extensively with the United Nations and numerous governments, NGOs, and businesses. He is currently a Senior Fellow with the gender justice institute Promundo. He delivered the keynotes at the United Nations’ 2016 and 2017 Women Empowerment Principles events. He is the author or editor of eight books on gender issues, democracy, and development studies, including The Guy’s Guide to Feminism, Theorizing Masculinities, and Cracking the Armor: Power, Pain and the Lives of Men. He lives in Toronto.
Fifty years of feminist organizing came to a head in early 2017. Millions of women and hundreds of thousands of men greeted the election of Donald Trump with some of the largest demonstrations the United States has ever seen. People joined in around the world. They were not only reacting to Trump’s boast of assaulting women but also were there to celebrate the impact of feminism and to show they would resist any attempts to roll back progress on women’s rights.
The people in the streets and the tens of millions more who cheered in support inserted new life into decades of feminism and powered everything that was to come. Within months, revelations of sexual harassment and assault poured out of Silicon Valley; the film, theater, and TV industries; and the corporate world at home and abroad. The betrayal of trust, abuse of authority, and the denigration of women by men in positions of power pounded into our brains. As #MeToo and #TimesUp captured our attention, discussions quickly moved from newsrooms to dining rooms, staff rooms, and locker rooms. Men asked wives, daughters, and coworkers: Did anything like that ever happen to you? and a frightening number of women answered, Yes, of course, but why has it taken men so long to listen?
The spreading shock waves are giving new impetus to demands in our workplaces for equal pay and equal access to all jobs. The millennia-long affirmative action program for my half of the species simply can’t go on. The shock waves are bringing new energy to concerns about the panoply of violence— verbal, sexual, emotional, physical—that countless women still experience. They are bringing more attention to the critical need for quality, affordable childcare and for parental leave.
And for men? More and more of us are realizing we cannot stay silent. We know we must speak out and we must examine our own attitudes and behaviors. But we’re also realizing that it’s time to rethink and reshape what it means to be a man because of the destructive and self-destructive ways we’ve defined manhood.