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28Jan2016

MEN AND THEIR GROUPS

I discussed men’s groups of the 1970s briefly in my article on men’s involvement or non-involvement in the Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1970s, an article which appeared in Historical Journal.  But there is a lot more to be said about them, especially concerning their failure to achieve the same success as the women’s consciousness-raising groups on which they were at least partly modelled.  They were less popular, and the techniques that the women developed in their groups seem not to have translated very easily.  They also form a useful test case for my claims about the participation of adherents in ‘other people’s struggles’.  There were difficulties in establishing the right relationship between the men’s groups and the women’s movement.  Were they ancillary organisations, there to provide support to the women in their struggle?  Or was there a distinct struggle for men to conduct on their own account, for men’s liberation?    If so, was it complementary to the women’s struggle, or did the struggles at some point diverge?