Avoiding the Challenges Retaining the Privileges

Basically, there are guys who have accepted the rhetoric of feminism as many men have throughout the country, however, like many other men who speak the rhetoric of feminism, when it comes to actualizing theory into personal and political action it seems that National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS) organizationally does what many men do individually.
            If all the nice guys got up off the couch and did something about violence against women we wouldn't have a problem. But the problem is that once a guy gets up to act against men's oppression against women the first things he hits is the comfort of his privilege. Most men unwilling to relinquish the privilege they get at the expense of women and children then quickly opt to sit back down leaving that decision unnamed and hoping that no one noticed.
            My take on NOMAS is that predominately the organization does not have a grasp on male privilge, what that means and how it operates organizationally and individually. Because of that they seem to have a limited sense of what accountability means conceptually or in practice. While it has been my experiecne that NOMAS has a handful of dedicated activist working to end mens oppression of women organizationally it appears to be more of a social club.
                    Chuck Niessen-Derry on National Organization for Men Against Sexism

"NOMAS has not realized what many people thought of as its promise. It's an Old Boy Network that militates against any kind of real activism and on-going critical thinking. The best thing that could happen to NOMAS is for it to collapse and be transformed into an activist organization. As a person involved in activism I find it less and less supportive. In fact the conferences have become problematical rather than a source of ideas and information."
                    John Macdonald on National Organization for Men Against Sexism

NOMAS fails to encourage pro-feminist organizing and instead has a national structure that saps energy and resources.There is not enough grass roots pro-feminist organizing to justify a national structure. A more decentralized structure would better facilitate local grassroots organizing. NOMAS doesn't take a strong enough stand and as a result it attracts men who do not have strong feminist principles. So there is a lot of time wasted on in-fighting trying to clarify positions and issues.
                    Steven Hill on National Organization for Men Against Sexism

"The conferences are useful as an important place for me to meet people and talk about pro-feminist issues and it provides a place for EMV to meet as well. Other than that it's not been exactly clear about what NOMAS offers."
                    Billy Warters on National Organization for Men Against Sexism

I feel really good that I never joined NOMAS. Otherwise I would have had to resign last year over the disinformation campaign waged by senior NOMAS members covering a racist decision to bust the Arizona boycott. NOMAS doesn't have any kind of accountability. In fact the organization has an unerring ability to get basic process and politics wrong. There are probably many men who would be active and accountable in support of women's rights. But I can't believe that more than a dozen of them will be found in NOMAS.
                    John MacDonald on National Organization for Men Against Sexism

My concern is that NOMAS is too much of a secondary, reflective, academic, two-levels removed sociologically-based organization too entrenched in observing rather than doing. In the early eighties the NOMAS conferences had been an annual feel good event for me then I realized it was providing a false sense of action. When I realized this I began to put my energies more into Men Against Pornography and New York Anti-Sexist Men's Action Network. At the same time I was dismayed at Bob Brannon's (and others') insensitivity to multi-cultural issues, and their refusal to apologize for holding the conference in Tucson during the boycott. Brannon's elevation within the organization - especially after we asked him to leave Men Against Pornography - has been such an embarrassment to me that I have withdrawn my association with NOMAS ever since.
                    Dexter Guerrieri on National Organization for Men Against Sexism

I didn't feel an affinity with what was going on at NOMAS and didn't want to financially support it. I don't agree with how they operate. When I asked how to continue my support for EMV I was told the only way to maintain my membership was to pay dues to NOMAS.
                    Dick Bathrick on National Organization for Men Against Sexism


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