If I receive the grant from IWHC’s Young Visionaries contest I intend to develop an online forum aimed at young adult men, where they can, in a non-judgmental and supportive environment, discuss issues of sexual health, practice and identity. Broadly speaking the forum would promote a model of sexual identity and expression based within theories and practices of sex positive feminism.
I believe that inclusion of men, and younger men in particular are vital in the promotion of women’s health and rights, particularly reproductive and sexual health. These issues aren’t just women’s issues, and I believe more can (and needs to) be done to include and educate men in this area. Furthermore I think the inclusion of men in these conversations and dialogues is vital in creating lasting and meaningful change.
The money from IWHC would go primarily towards the development & maintenance of a site, but a portion would also be used to provide me with some further tools and resources to better meet the needs of young adult men and engage with users in a productive way.
An online forum with a clearly articulated purpose and guidelines would provide an excellent site to unpack information and ideas around sexual and reproductive health, and promote positive behavior change. I’d like to think that this forum could act, in its own small way, as a counterpoint against the many negative and harmful ideas and representations of masculine identity that are so pervasive in culture and media. I strongly believe that commonly held understandings of masculine identity promote negative attitudes towards women, female sexuality and sexual health. These attitudes have a very real effect on the health and rights (especially in regard to sexual/reproductive issues) of women