Now and Men

Durham University Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse

What's it like to be a man in the 21st century? How are feminist issues relevant to men and boys? These questions are being discussed more than ever. Our monthly podcast delves into these issues with experts such as practitioners, activists and academics. In each episode, you’ll hear in-depth conversations about masculinity, gender equality, and the lives of men and boys, with topics ranging from preventing violence against women, to promoting active fatherhood, to supporting men's health. The podcast is created and hosted by Dr Stephen Burrell, Sandy Ruxton and Professor Nicole Westmarland, who are researchers from the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA), in the Department of Sociology at Durham University in the UK. If you would like to give us your feedback, suggest a guest, or have a question you'd like us to discuss in a future episode, get in touch with us at nowandmen@gmail.com.

Dan Boyden (Safe Ground) - Reimagining Masculinities in the Prison System
Aug 4 2022
Dan Boyden (Safe Ground) - Reimagining Masculinities in the Prison System
Prisons can be hyper-masculine, harsh, hierarchical environments where there is a lot of pressure to be tough, never show weakness or emotion, and be prepared to use violence in order to survive. But is it possible to work with men in these spaces to unpack the rigid, restrictive expectations of masculinity that boys and men learn from wider society – and which might have played a part in why they are in prison in the first place? We talk to Dan Boyden, lead facilitator on the ‘Man Up’, ‘Family Man’ and ‘Fathers Inside’ programmes run by the UK charity Safe Ground, about how they do this in their work. We discuss how, in order to reduce crime, perhaps we need to not only work with individual men in prison, but also change prison cultures and the criminal justice system more broadly. Safe Ground design and deliver arts-based programmes for people in prison and the community. Find out more (pdf): ( Follow them on Twitter:  ( and Instagram:  ( Boyden is also the director of an organisation called The Change Collective, which brings together creative practitioners seeking to use the arts as a tool for social change:  ( Follow him on LinkedIn:  ( He has given a TED Talk on ‘Creativity and the Alchemy of Groups’:  ( cover the following topics in this episode: What the ‘Man Up’, ‘Family Man’ and 'Fathers Inside' programmes are about, and what Safe Ground’s work with men in prisons involves Challenges involved in doing group work with men in prison How the prisons themselves interact with Safe Ground’s work Shifts in penal policy in the UK towards more punitive responses Why Dan and Safe Ground use arts-based methods Engaging with men in prison about fatherhood What impacts the work has on the men who take part The need for more engagement with men and boys across society about masculine norms and expectations How Dan got involved in working on masculinity issues, and the impact the work has on him Further reading: ‘Treatment of UK prisoners during Covid meets UN definition of torture’ (The Guardian):  ( hierarchy of needs:  ( of the Oppressed:  ( and its founder, Augusto Boal:  ( playwright and performer Inua Ellams:  ( Out of Crime’ by Andrew Rutherford, which discusses the work of Jerome Miller in Massachusetts, decarceration and young people: ( great US documentary, 'The Feminist on Cellblock Y': (
Dr Stacey Pope - Building Gender Equality in Football
Jul 6 2022
Dr Stacey Pope - Building Gender Equality in Football
The surging interest in Euro 2022, the Women’s European Championships taking place in England this summer, provides more evidence that we are in a ‘new age’ when it comes to coverage of women’s football. It highlights that much has been achieved in building gender equality in soccer in the UK and beyond. However, numerous recent issues, from questionable stadium choices to high-profile cases of sexual and domestic violence by male players, demonstrate there is still a long way to go, particularly in getting more men to become allies to women and speak out against sexism and misogyny at all levels in the game. In this episode of Now and Men, we talk to Dr Stacey Pope about her extensive research in this area – on issues from attitudes among male fans, to experiences of women in football – which gives vital insights into what the problems are and how things can be changed.  Stacey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham University. She studies issues of gender, sport and inequality and is a leading figure in research into women sports fans. She has written a book, ‘The Feminization of Sports Fandom: A Sociological Study’, published by Routledge in 2017:  ( Stacey on Twitter:  ( or LinkedIn:  ( Read more about her work:  ( discuss the following topics in the episode: Where Euro 2022 fits in the history of women’s football in England What the Women’s Euros tell us about gender equality in the game today Tackling violence against women in football Stacey’s research on attitudes among male fans towards women’s football Progressive shifts in masculinities in football Challenging stereotypes about football fans and working-class masculinities Stacey’s research on the history of female football fandom Experiences of women football fans today Where Stacey’s own interests in football come from How to build gender equality in the game, including examples from other countries How men in football can be allies to women Who will win the Euros! Further reading: Just after we recorded the episode, an exciting new campaign was launched by the phone company EE called #HopeUnited #NotHerProblem, featuring several high-profile men and women players challenging sexist and misogynistic abuse online –  ( recent piece by Stacey in The Conversation – ‘Why football needs a gender revolution’ –  ( research on ‘a new age’ of media coverage of women’s sport –   ( research on men’s attitudes towards women’s football:  ( and a summary of the findings:  ( website for Stacey’s latest research on Women Football Fans –  ( Wrack’s book, ‘A Woman's Game: The Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Women's Football’ (Guardian Faber, 2022)...
Sé Franklin - Older Men, Masculinities in Ireland, and ‘Inner Work’
May 26 2022
Sé Franklin - Older Men, Masculinities in Ireland, and ‘Inner Work’
Many older men, especially those who are socially isolated, face significant challenges – from physical ill-health, to loneliness, to marginalisation and poverty. These struggles can be compounded by the ‘hard shell’ of masculinity, learnt young and persisting through the life-course, which can leave some older men feeling a loss of a sense of purpose and potency, and prevent them from opening up about their vulnerabilities or the need for connection and support. Yet growing older can also provide opportunities for reflection, taking life in new directions, and leaving behind restrictive gendered expectations.  In this episode of Now and Men, we have a moving conversation with Sé Franklin about the work he does with older men in Ireland on these issues – as well as the profound impact of doing ‘inner work’ guided by feminist principles. We consider some of the significant social change which has been taking place in Ireland – from divorce reform, to marriage equality, and abortion rights – and what it tells us about gender in Irish society today. The episode ends with Sé reading out a piece he has written on being an older man. Sé Franklin has been ‘sitting with men in circles’ since 1997. He has worked with the Men's Development Network and other community-based organisations for many years. He has been part of the MenEngage Europe Network since its inception. He is a husband, father and grand-father, and lives in rural County Wexford in the South-East of the Republic of Ireland. In this episode we cover the following topics: The group work Sé does with older men in Ireland The role of masculinity in this work and in older men’s lives The positive effects engaging with older men can have Having a men’s health strategy in Ireland The personal impacts that doing this work has How poetry can be used in engaging with men The value of doing inner work Stopping men’s violence against women in Ireland after the killing of Ashling Murphy The implications of ongoing social change in Ireland around divorce law reform, same-sex marriage and abortion Sé’s reading of his piece, ‘An Old Man’s Masculinities’ Links: Men’s Development Network -  ( talk to Colm Kelly Ryan, Head of Programmes and Advocacy at the Men's Development Network, in episode 6, 'Men Marching Against Violence Against women' - ( Ribbon Ireland -  (   MenEngage Europe -  ( Men’s Sheds Association -  ( for action on gender-based violence after Ashling Murphy killing’ (The Guardian) -  ( Republic of Ireland vote for gay marriage’ (BBC News) -  ( votes by landslide to legalise abortion’ (The Guardian) -   ( Daniels: Blackpool player says coming out will allow him to be ‘free’ and ‘confident’’ (BBC Sport) -  ( in Ireland - A controversial history’ (RTÉ) -
Luis Lineo - Masculinity, the War in Ukraine, and Refugees: Swedish Responses
Apr 28 2022
Luis Lineo - Masculinity, the War in Ukraine, and Refugees: Swedish Responses
Luis Lineo was born in Ukraine to Chilean parents, and was raised there by a single mother. He moved to Sweden at the age of 12 as a refugee. As an adult, he became involved in work on masculinity, violence, and gender equality. We speak to him about the impact of watching on as his country of birth is invaded, and why masculinity and gender matter in the horrifying war on Ukraine. We also explore issues of inequality, integration, and violence in contemporary Sweden, and why Swedish society is more complicated than the beacon of gender equality it is often perceived to be. Luis is actively involved in Sweden’s Feminist Initiative Party and works at the secretariat for MenEngage Europe (MenEngage is a global network of civil society organisations working with men and boys for gender equality). For over 15 years he has been a journalist and sexuality educator, and helps to run a media house called Fanzingo for young people in a low-income area south of Stockholm. He is an active member of MÄN, a leading organisation in Sweden and Europe working on preventing men’s violence against women and a range of other masculinity issues. He is also a fan of rugby, and used to play for the Swedish national men’s rugby team! We cover the following topics in the episode: The impact of the war on Luis and his friends and family Luis’s life growing up in Ukraine – and what led him to move to Sweden Luis’s experience of hosting a Ukrainian refugee family since the war began Why a masculinities perspective is so relevant to the war in Ukraine Rapid changes in Swedish foreign policy – including potentially joining Nato Luis’s experience of being involved in the Feminist Initiative Party Gender equality, gender norms and backlash in Sweden, e.g. around parental leave Riots against the burning of the Quran in Sweden – and the influence of xenophobia and the far-right How Luis first got involved in gender equality work Being a rugby player, and masculine cultures in rugby For more information... Follow Luis on Twitter -  ( Initiative Party -  ( Alliance -  ( House Fanzingo - ( -  ( has not yet signed or ratified the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) - ( Two women killed after violent attack at Swedish school (BBC) - ( parental leave policy (Swedish Institute) -  ( Equality Party (UK) - ( riots over Quran burning: What is happening? (Al Jazeera) - ( Room Talk (Sweden):  ( Equality (UK):  ( Rwanda asylum plan: Who does it target and is it going to happen? (The Guardian) -  ( forget to subscribe to Now and Men, leave a review, and share it with your friends! Contact us at nowandmen@gmail.com if you have suggestions or questions...
Prof Nicole Westmarland - Men’s Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls
Mar 31 2022
Prof Nicole Westmarland - Men’s Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls
Some men are playing an active part in speaking out against violence towards women – but not nearly enough. So how do those men who are involved in anti-violence activism come to that position, and what can we learn from their experiences? March 2022 marks one year since Sarah Everard was murdered by a serving police officer, and given the anger this precipitated about the continued prevalence of violence against women and girls in the UK, this is a vital moment to consider what has changed since then, and what change remains needed – especially regarding men’s role in the solution. To explore these issues further, we speak to Professor of Criminology Nicole Westmarland. Nicole is the Director of Durham University’s Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse ( ( and is internationally recognised for her research in this area. Together with colleagues in Sweden and Spain, Nicole and Now and Men hosts Sandy and Stephen wrote a book entitled ‘Men’s Activism to End Violence Against Women’, published by Policy Press in 2021. The book is available to buy, or for free as an open access e-book, here:  ( We have also written two pieces for The Conversation UK, ‘How men can be allies to women right now’:  ( and ‘Sarah Everard, police culture and the ‘masculinised’ workplaces we can all help change’:  ( In addition, we have produced a toolkit for the UK Government Equalities Office on ‘Engaging with men and boys about masculine gender norms’:  ( has also written a number of other books, including 'Violence Against Women - Criminological Perspectives on Men's Violences' (Routledge, 2015):  ( and ‘Researching Gender, Violence and Abuse’ (Routledge, 2019):  ( She has co-led one of the biggest pieces of research about work with perpetrators of domestic abuse in the UK, Project Mirabal:  ( You can find out more about Nicole's work here:  ( and follow her on Twitter at  ( cover the following topics in this episode: What has changed in the year since Sarah Everard was murdered The implications of this case for the police and for workplaces Why Nicole wanted to research men who speak out against violence towards women Key factors in why men get involved in this kind of activism Potential tensions when men become anti-violence activists Male victim-survivors’ experiences of domestic abuse  Nicole’s journey to becoming a professor – including her work and research as a taxi driver The impact of doing this research on being a parent Work with perpetrators of domestic abuse and men’s
Prof Raewyn Connell - Making Sense of Men and Masculinities in the 21st Century
Mar 10 2022
Prof Raewyn Connell - Making Sense of Men and Masculinities in the 21st Century
There is probably no one who has had as big an impact on understandings of men and masculinities as Professor Raewyn Connell. She is one of the founders of this field of research, and has written what is perhaps its key text, the 1995 book ‘Masculinities’, in which she developed her hugely influential concept of hegemonic masculinity. Raewyn has also written and researched on a range of other issues in addition to gender and sexuality, from ‘Southern Theory’, to class, neoliberalism, education, and the politics of intellectual life. Now Professor Emerita at the University of Sydney, she recently received the International Sociological Association's Award for Excellence in Research and Practice, in recognition of her enormous contribution to social science. It was therefore a huge privilege to talk to Raewyn for this episode of Now and Men. We discuss her views on everything from Russia’s horrifying war on Ukraine, to the Covid-19 pandemic, to some of her earliest research with young men and its relevance to today, to the environmental movement, to her own life history and the experiences of trans women (and other trans groups). Raewyn is also a published poet, and she kindly shares one of her poems with us at the end of the episode. You can find out much more about the wealth of work Raewyn has done on her personal website,  ( Her most recent book is called ‘The Good University: What Universities Actually Do and Why It’s Time for Radical Change’, which was published by Zed Books in 2019:  ( She also recently wrote an article about this topic for The Conversation:  ( 2nd edition of the book ‘Masculinities’ was published in 2005 by Routledge:  ( 4th edition of the book ‘Gender: In World Perspective’ was published by Polity in 2020:  ( book ‘Southern Theory: Social Science and the Global Dynamics of Knowledge’ was published by Polity in 2007:  ( book ‘Making the Difference: Schools, Families and Social Division’, was published by Routledge in 1982:  ( Raewyn also wrote an article about it in 2010 – ‘Making the Difference, Then and Now’:  ( wrote an article about the climate crisis called ‘Masculinities in the Sociocene’ in 2017:  ( in Zinc’ by Nobel prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich (Penguin, 2017) - stories from the Soviet-Afghan War:  ( in Texas to open ‘child abuse’ investigations into parents who pursue...
Prof Paul Higate - Militarism and Military Masculinities: Why Do They Matter?
Feb 11 2022
Prof Paul Higate - Militarism and Military Masculinities: Why Do They Matter?
With the build-up of Russian troops on the borders of Ukraine, and the macho posturing of political leaders, military masculinities remain highly influential. But what does this concept mean, and is it something we should be concerned about? How are masculinities constructed within the armed forces? Is UK society becoming increasingly influenced by militarism? We explore these questions and much more with Professor Paul Higate. Paul is Professor in Security and Conflict at the University of Bath, in the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies. He is an advisory editor for the journal Men & Masculinities, and on the editorial board for the journal Critical Military Studies. He was previously in the Royal Air Force for 8 years as a non-commissioned officer, having enlisted when he was 17. Paul’s research has focused on the links between service in the British army and homelessness, the experience of armed service leavers more broadly, peacekeepers and sexual exploitation, security and host populations hosting peacekeeping operations, and Private Military Security Companies and masculinity. In 2003 he edited the book ‘Military Masculinities: Identity and the State’ (Praeger). You can read more about Paul’s work here:  ( and find him on LinkedIn here:  ( cover the following topics in this episode: What 'military masculinities' are  The values celebrated within military masculinity How the military is viewed in the UK  Misogyny, homophobia, extremism in service subcultures Parallels between military culture and other masculinised institutions Violence against women in the military 'Feminisation' of the military and more inclusionary approaches to race, sexuality, religion Paul’s experience in the RAF and the impact it had on him Paul’s PhD research on homelessness among veterans Early recruitment of young people in the UK Militarism in Britain: Troops to Teachers, cadet forces, services visibility Impacts of war toys and video games Symbolism of the poppy What the military might look like in the future Some of Paul’s work: Lecture on ‘Beyond the Myth of the Apolitical Actor: The Case of the British Military’:  ( on ‘Interrogating British Armed Forces Recruiting in Contemporary Times’:  ( for Rethinking Security on ‘Racial Hierarchies and the War on Terror’ (2021):  ( for The Conversation UK on ‘Colour, gender, religion: There’s more than political correctness to the new British Army recruitment campaign’ (2018):  ( book on ‘Private Security in Africa: From the Global Assemblage to the Everyday’ (2017, Zed Books):  ( resources of interest: Professor Cynthia Enloe:  ( International League for Peace and Freedom:  ( info about UK Parliamentary report about women’s experiences in the armed...
Prof Jason Arday - Being Young, Black and Male: Challenging the Dominant Discourse
Jan 26 2022
Prof Jason Arday - Being Young, Black and Male: Challenging the Dominant Discourse
How do stereotypes about Black masculinity influence the lives and aspirations of Black men and boys today? What impacts do they have on individuals and institutions - and how are people of colour challenging such prejudices? How should white people - and especially white men - respond, and what should they do to support the struggle against racism? We explore these questions and much more with Professor Jason Arday, who is based in Durham University’s Department of Sociology like Stephen and Sandy, and is about to move to the School of Education at the University of Glasgow. Jason is a Trustee of the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading Race Equality Thinktank, and the British Sociological Association. He also sits on the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) National Advisory Panel and the NHS Race and Health Observatory Academic Reference Group, as well as being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). He holds Visiting Fellowships at several institutions including Ohio State University. You can find out more about Jason’s work at  ( He has a book coming out soon through Palgrave Macmillan called ‘Being Young, Black and Male: Challenging the Dominant Discourse’. He has written the book ‘Cool Britannia and Multi-Ethnic Britain: Uncorking the Champagne Supernova’ (Routledge, 2019):  ( Jason and Prof Heidi Mirza have co-edited the book ‘Dismantling Race in Higher Education: Racism, Whiteness and Decolonising the Academy’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018):  ( cover the following topics in this episode: The ‘Colston Four’ verdict and removing statues of colonial figures Responses to the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK How Black masculinities are viewed, and the effects this has Struggles around ‘talking to white people about race’ Resisting racist stereotypes, and Jason’s upcoming book ‘Being Young, Black and Male: Challenging the dominant discourse’ How Jason got involved in researching these issues Jason’s experience of growing up and dealing with disability as a Black man The role of the education system in tackling race inequality How Covid-19 has interacted with structural racism in the UK Principles for white people in becoming genuine allies  Music which reflects the challenges Jason has faced Resources of interest: Reni Eddo-Lodge’s book ‘Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ (Bloomsbury, 2018):  ( Sissay’s book ‘My Name Is Why’ (Canongate, 2019):  ( documentary ‘The Circle’, directed by Lanre Malaolu, about masculinity, racism and brotherhood on a Hackney estate (2020):  ( McQueen’s recent ‘Small Axe’ film series (2020):  ( ‘Colston Four’...
Olivia Dickinson - Let Toys Be Toys: Gender Stereotypes and Boys
Dec 20 2021
Olivia Dickinson - Let Toys Be Toys: Gender Stereotypes and Boys
At Christmas time, many of us are buying toys for the children in our lives. But do toys, and the way they are promoted, play a significant role in reinforcing gender stereotypes from a young age? What impact does it have on boys that they are frequently encouraged to play with vehicles, construction toys, weapons – but rarely dolls, domestic toys, fashion or crafts? In this Christmas Special episode of Now and Men, we explore these issues with Olivia Dickinson from the UK campaign Let Toys Be Toys.  We discuss new research Let Toys Be Toys have just published, showing that whilst progress is being made, gender stereotypes remain widespread in TV toy advertising, with adverts featuring girls often focusing on themes of fashion, beauty, ‘be nice’ and consumerism, and adverts featuring boys often focusing on action and conflict. Read more about the research here:  ( Let Toys Be Toys have 'Just 4 Asks' for manufacturers, retailers and now advertisers: ( They have also created some videos for advertisers: ( has 20 years’ experiences of working in children’s media across Amazon, the BBC, Nickelodeon and Sky Kids. She provides training for school staff and trainee teachers, as well as consulting for children's TV and digital companies on equality issues, and is a member of the executive group responsible for diversity and inclusion at The Children’s Media Foundation.  You can find out more and get involved in Let Toys Be Toys at ( Follow Olivia on Twitter at  ( and on LinkedIn at  ( She has also been involved in the charity Lifting Limits, who you can find out more about at:  ( Read their pilot evaluation here:  ( the episode we cover the following topics: How gender stereotypes are reinforced through toys and other parts of children’s lives (e.g. media, advertising, publishing, clothes) and why this is harmful What impact this has on boys and on constructions of masculinity Ways in which children resist these influences How gender stereotypes in childhood have changed (and in some cases become more significant) over time Achievements of the Let Toys Be Toys campaign The role that toy companies are playing and how they could do better How gendered marketing contributes to more consumption and more environmental damage The work of Lifting Limits and how schools and educators can help challenge gender stereotypes How Olivia got involved in campaigning on these issues and how she keeps motivated Advice she would give to parents and other adults about how to help children not be held back by gender stereotypes The following resources were also discussed during the episode… Let Toys Be Toys article on 10 ways to challenge gender stereotypes in the classroom: ( Toys Be Toys article about the relationship between toys, gender stereotypes, and environmental sustainability:  ( Clothes Be Clothes campaign:  ( guide just released by LIONS and The Fawcett Society about...
Prof Bob Pease - Masculinities, Climate Change, and Men’s Relationships with Nature
Dec 8 2021
Prof Bob Pease - Masculinities, Climate Change, and Men’s Relationships with Nature
What do men, gender inequality and the climate crisis have to do with each other? What role might masculinities be playing in contributing to environmental destruction? In the wake of COP26, hear Professor Bob Pease discuss why men need to recreate our relationships with nature in order to tackle global heating in this episode of Now and Men.  Bob is an Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Social Change at the University of Tasmania in Australia, and an Honorary Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University. He is a pro-feminist academic and activist with a background in critical social work, who has been involved in research and campaigning around ending men's violence against women for several decades, and has recently been exploring the gendered dynamics of natural disasters and climate change. The episode covers the following topics… Bob’s reflections on the COP26 UN Climate Conference in Glasgow. Why studying men and masculinities can help us to understand the climate and ecological crises, and how a pro-feminist lens offers solutions for tackling them. How masculinities can affect and hinder men’s emotional responses to natural disasters, such as the bushfires in Australia. Bob’s reflections on his participation in anti-sexist activism and research since the 1970’s, and how he came to be involved in the first place. His advice for men interested in getting involved in pro-feminist, anti-violence work today. Why men should want to work to undo male privilege. What Bob does to maintain a sense of hope in the work he does. You can find out more about Bob’s work here:  (  He has written and edited more than 15 books during his career, the most recent of which include: ‘Undoing Privilege: Unearned Advantage and Systemic Injustice in an Unequal World’ – the second edition of which will be published on 16th December 2021 by Bloomsbury:  ( Social Work: Critical Posthuman and New Materialist Perspectives’ (Routledge, 2021, co-edited with Prof Vivienne Bozalek):  ( Patriarchy: From a Violent Gender Order to a Culture of Peace’ (Zed Books, 2019):  ( Masculinities and Disaster’ (Routledge, 2016, co-edited with Dr Elaine Enarson): ( can read his article, ‘Recreating Men’s Relationship with Nature: Toward a Profeminist Environmentalism’, in the journal Men and Masculinities here:  (
Peter Baker - Improving Men's Health and Wellbeing
Nov 23 2021
Peter Baker - Improving Men's Health and Wellbeing
How and why has men’s health been so badly impacted by Covid-19? What do masculinities and feminism have to do with men’s health? What are some of the key issues affecting the wellbeing of men and boys in the UK today, and what can we do about it? Find out more in the latest episode of Now and Men, with international men’s health expert Peter Baker.  Peter is the Director of the Global Action on Men’s Health network, and for 12 years was the Chief Executive of the Men’s Health Forum in the UK. Until 2020 he was also the Campaign Director for HPV Action, and in 2018 received the Royal Society for Public Health’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Championing the Public’s Health because of his efforts in getting boys vaccinated against HPV (human papillomavirus). Topics covered in this episode include… Why Covid-19 demonstrates the need to engage much more with men and boys about their physical and mental health (for example, regarding vaccinations). Why the male suicide rate does not appear to have increased so far during the pandemic. How Peter got involved in working on men’s health, and the impact of his own experiences of growing up as a boy. Peter’s involvement in anti-sexist activism such as the magazine Achilles Heel, and why feminism has made a vital contribution to men’s health. The effects of pornography on men and boys, and Peter’s involvement in anti-pornography campaigning. The impacts of masculine gender norms and expectations on men’s and boys’ health. The increasing struggles some men and boys are facing around body image. Peter’s campaigning for boys to get vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV). What works, what some of the tensions are, and what policies are needed to improve the health of men and boys.  You can find out more about Peter and his work at his website,  ( You can also follow him on Twitter:  ( and on LinkedIn:  ( organisations and resources mentioned in the episode… Global Action on Men’s Health:  ( Men’s Health Forum:  ( Action:  ( Medical Journal (BMJ) piece, ‘Our response to Covid-19 must not be gender blind nor a gender battle’:  ( Men’s Sheds Association:  (
Men Marching Against Violence Against Women
Nov 2 2021
Men Marching Against Violence Against Women
What does a men’s march against violence against women look like? What kind of actions are organisations across Europe taking to engage men and boys in building gender equality? We find out in this special episode of Now and Men, recorded in Seville at a demonstration against gender-based violence, which takes place every year on 21st October in cities across Spain. To coincide with this, a MenEngage Europe members’ meeting was also happening in Seville, so we spoke to participants from several different European countries about their experience of the demonstration, the work they do, and why it’s so important for men to transform harmful ideas of masculinity and take action against patriarchal violence. We talk to: Miguel Lázaro - Vice-President of Masculinidades Beta in Spain - ( and member of MenEngage Iberia - ( Lindqvist - Director of MÄN in Sweden - ( Colm Kelly Ryan - Head of Programmes at the Men's Development Network in Ireland - ( (Colm has written a report of the demonstration and MenEngage meeting here: ( van de Sand – Global Co-Director of the MenEngage Alliance - ( demonstration was covered (in Spanish) by RTVE, the Spanish public broadcasting service, here: ( can join the MenEngage Europe Facebook Page at: ( Stephen and other colleagues have co-authored a book, ‘Men’s Activism to End Violence Against Women: Voices from Spain, Sweden and the UK’ (Policy Press, 2021), which is available to buy or to read for free as an e-book here: ( note that because the podcast was recorded whilst we were at the demonstration, the sound quality is not always perfect, for which we apologise! Thank you to Shkodran Latifi (from SIT, Kosovo - ( for the photo.
Dr Fiona Vera-Gray - Men’s Violence against Women, Street Harassment, and Pornography
Oct 8 2021
Dr Fiona Vera-Gray - Men’s Violence against Women, Street Harassment, and Pornography
What role can men play in ending violence against women and girls? Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa, Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry – and many other women – have been murdered by men in the UK over the last year. This has led to an outpouring of anger about the extent of men’s violence, the pervasiveness of sexism and misogyny that underpins it, and the failure of key institutions to respond effectively. In this episode we talk to Dr Fiona Vera-Gray, Assistant Professor in Durham University’s Department of Sociology, who is an expert on sexual violence, street harassment and pornography, about her research and what needs to change. The episode covers the following topics: Whether the heightened awareness and public debate about men’s violence against women is likely to lead to significant change. The response of the police, the wider criminal justice system, and UK government to calls for them to do more to tackle men’s violence against women and girls. What men need to do to help become part of the solution. Problems that can arise when men do get involved in work to end violence against women. Fiona’s research into the impacts of men’s intrusions and harassment of women in public spaces, and how this constrains their freedoms. Her research on the content of mainstream online pornography. The influences that pornography is having on society, including on ideas of masculinity and male sexuality, and what we should do about it. The impact that feminism and being part of the movement to end violence against women and girls has had on Fiona.  You can find out more about Fiona’s work here:  ( and follow her on Twitter at:  ( has recently written an article for the Guardian, ‘If we’re serious about ending violence against women, we need to talk about culture’:  ( can buy her 2018 book, ‘The Right Amount of Panic: How women trade freedom for safety in public’ (Policy Press), here:  ( her 2016 book, ‘Men's Intrusion, Women's Embodiment: A critical analysis of street harassment’, here:  ( can read her latest journal article, ‘Sexual violence as a sexual script in mainstream online pornography’ (2021), in the British Journal of Criminology here:  ( article on what men can do to help end violence against women by Stephen, Sandy and Nicole Westmarland, ‘How men can be allies to women right now’, was published in March 2021:  ( Raab (UK Justice Secretary) was widely criticised when he commented on the BBC Breakfast Programme (October 6th, 2021): ‘Misogyny is absolutely wrong, whether it’s a man against a woman, or a woman against a man’: ( Professor Liz Kelly, who devised the concept of women’s...
Owen Thomas - Working with Marginalised Young Men
Sep 21 2021
Owen Thomas - Working with Marginalised Young Men
What’s life like for young Black men in London today – and how has it changed since the 1980s? What can be done to support them, and to open up new ways of being a man? Find out more in this conversation with Owen Thomas, Head of Programmes with Fathers at the charity Future Men, where he has worked for over 15 years. Some of the issues we cover in this episode of Now and Men include: Why Owen was invited to the G7 to talk to the Duchess of Cambridge and Jill Biden about Future Men’s work with fathers. Owen’s experiences of growing up and learning about what it means to be a man in Brixton in the 1980s and 1990s. The struggles and new opportunities around being a father during the pandemic. The work that Future Men do and how they seek to foster new, healthier models of masculinity. The Black Lives Matter movement, and the impacts of racism on Future Men staff and the men and boys they work with. The challenges that young men in London are facing now and in the future, from extreme wealth inequalities, to gentrification, to gang violence - and how young people are creating social change in the face of this. We apologise for the background noise during the first part of the episode – Future Men’s office is near a school and the children were obviously having their break at the same time we were recording! Find out more about the work of Future Men at ( You can follow them on Twitter at ( Facebook at ( and LinkedIn at ( Men chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood, which you can read more about at: ( on in the episode Owen mentions the uprisings against racism in 1981, 1985 and 1995. These are sometimes described as the Brixton riots, and you can read more about them here: ( and here: (  Towards the end of the episode Owen refers to the killing of the former footballer Dalian Atkinson by a police officer, which you can learn more about here: ( on in the episode the following acronyms are used: ILEA (Inner London Education Authority) and GLC (Greater London Council). If you have any questions or comments about this or future episodes of Now and Men, you can contact us at nowandmen@gmail.com.
Dr Mike Ward - Young Working-Class Masculinities in the South Wales Valleys
Aug 31 2021
Dr Mike Ward - Young Working-Class Masculinities in the South Wales Valleys
How do the Covid-19 pandemic, deindustrialisation in South Wales, and Bruce Springsteen all link back to masculinity? Find out in episode 3 of Now and Men, where we speak to Dr Mike Ward, a Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences at Swansea University. Mike’s research focuses on the performance of working-class masculinities within and beyond educational institutions. He is the author of the award-winning book ‘From Labouring to Learning, Working-Class Masculinities, Education and De-industrialization’, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. He is also the editor of Boyhood Studies, an interdisciplinary academic journal. Some of the issues we cover in the episode include… Mike’s CoronaDiaries project, which has sought to understand the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on people’s everyday lives. How Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford’s response to the pandemic has differed from that of other male leaders. Mike’s own experience of growing up in the South Wales Valleys, and how studying sociology helped him understand his background. The ethnographic research Mike has conducted with working-class young men in South Wales, which shone a light on the impact of deindustrialisation and different forms of loss at individual and community levels, and the ethical challenges which arose from his study. The influence of locality on the construction of masculinity, and the variety of forms that young working-class masculinities can take. Contemporary discussions about a ‘crisis of masculinity’. Being a Bruce Springsteen fan - and what his music tells us about being a man. Read more about and access Mike’s work on his Swansea University page: ( You can follow him on Twitter at: ( can buy Mike’s book ‘From Labouring to Learning: Working-Class Masculinities, Education and De-industrialization’ from Palgrave Macmillan: ( out more about the CoronaDiaries project, and read diary entries, at ( It was covered by a variety of media sources, such as the BBC: ( Mike also wrote a piece about it for The Conversation: ( journal Boyhood Studies can be accessed at: ( Two special issues have recently been published on ‘The Men and the Boys, Twenty Years on: Revisiting Raewyn Connell's pivotal text’. Read more about the ‘Beyond Male Role Models’ project which Mike, Sandy and others worked on: ( A short article by Mike about the project is here: ( journal article by Jonathan Scourfield and Mark Drakeford which Mike refers to, 'Boys from Nowhere: Finding Welsh men and putting them in their place', can be found here: ( episode was hosted and produced by Stephen Burrell and Sandy Ruxton. Thank you very much to Professor Nicole Westmarland, Durham University, and Vic...
Nikki van der Gaag - Men, Feminism and Care Work
Aug 6 2021
Nikki van der Gaag - Men, Feminism and Care Work
What do men and feminism have to do with each other? How can men contribute to gender equality and engage more in care work? Hear Nikki van der Gaag discuss these questions and much more on episode 2 of Now and Men. Nikki is a feminist writer and researcher specialising in gender and development. She has a particular interest in men and masculinities, and has written a book called ‘Feminism and Men’ in 2014, as well as the ‘No-nonsense’ Guide to Feminism in 2017. She is an independent consultant and a Senior Fellow at Promundo, as well as being on the Steering Committee for MenEngage Europe. Until 2019 she was the Director of Gender Justice and Women's Rights at Oxfam GB. Some of the issues we cover in our conversation include: Why, as a feminist, Nikki works on masculinities and fatherhood. How her own experiences of being a parent and growing up as a girl have shaped her involvement in feminist activism. Different ways in which men have responded to feminism across society. Men’s role in building gender equality, and everyday things men can do as allies. What needs to change in society to get more men involved in caregiving. The impact of Covid-19 on caregiving and on gender equality. Why there is cause for optimism within emerging social movements. You can follow Nikki on Twitter at: ( or on LinkedIn at: ( the episode, we mention the following pieces of work: Nikki’s book, ‘Feminism and Men’ (2014), published by Zed Books: ( ‘No Nonsense’ Guide to Feminism, published in 2016 by Verso/New Internationalist: ( State of the World’s Fathers reports: ( International’s State of the World’s Girls reports: ( out more about the organisations Nikki has been involved in: ( ( ( ( And other organisations that she mentions: ( ( ( ( you would like to give us your feedback, suggest a guest, or have a question you'd like us to discuss in a future episode, get in touch with us at nowandmen@gmail.com. This episode was hosted and produced by Stephen Burrell and Sandy Ruxton. Thank you very much to Professor Nicole Westmarland, Durham University, and Vic Turnbull (MIC Media) for all of their support in setting up Now and Men.
Dr Martin Robb - Men, Fatherhood and Caring for Children
Jul 22 2021
Dr Martin Robb - Men, Fatherhood and Caring for Children
The Voice, Harry Potter, and fatherhood: what's the connection? Hear Dr Martin Robb talk about this and much more on episode 1 of Now and Men. Martin is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at the Open University. His work is based around issues of gender, identity and care, with a particular focus on fatherhood and the development of caring masculinities. Some of the issues we cover in our conversation include: How fatherhood and men’s care are portrayed in popular culture. The strengths and weaknesses of different political positions on fatherhood and men caring for children. How to understand and promote men’s involvement as fathers and caregivers. Debates about the meaning and relevance of ‘male role models’ to men and boys. Historical perspectives and how thinking about fatherhood has changed over time. How Martin’s own experiences of growing up as a boy and becoming a father have impacted on his work. Martin has a blog at: ( and you can follow him on Twitter at: ( the episode, we mention the following pieces of work: Martin is the author of a book which was published by Routledge in 2020, entitled ‘Men, Masculinities and the Care of Children: Images, Ideas and Identities’: ( has also edited a book (available for free as an e-book) on ‘Fathers and Forefathers: Men and their Children in Genealogical Perspective’: ( Sandy and others worked on an Open University project called ‘Beyond Male Role Models’: ( Sandy and David Bartlett have collaborated on a project for Promundo on ‘Young Men, Masculinity and Wellbeing’: ( the end of the episode Stephen and Sandy mention our own new book, co-authored with Prof Nicole Westmarland and several international colleagues, which has just been published by Policy Press (including as a free e-book) - ‘Men’s Activism to End Violence Against Women: Voices from Spain, Sweden and the UK’: ( episode was hosted by Stephen Burrell and Sandy Ruxton, and was produced by Vic Turnbull from MIC Media: ( We are very grateful to Vic from all of the support she has given us in setting up Now and Men.