In an improvised therapy room in a big house
In an improvised therapy room in a big home in the middle of Mexico City, a bunch of men aged between 20 and 70 shut their eyes, inhale and exhale.
Each location his hand on his coronary heart and — in a second of trustworthy reflection — takes time to take into consideration the violence he inflicted on women and the implications of these actions.
“I’m Jaime. This week I committed verbal and emotional violence against my partner. I’m here to help and be helped,” stated a 63-year-previous earlier than a dozen different men replied in unison: “I will help you.”
Mexico is affected by a femicide disaster, with 10 women murdered day-after-day, and more and more men are questioning the prevalent male chauvinism — or machismo — deeply entrenched in society.
“I’ve never been physically violent with a woman, but yes I’ve done it in other forms: emotionally, verbally and sexually because several times I was unfaithful,” stated Jaime, who withheld his surname to shield his household.
“I recognize that and I want to change.”
Jaime approached Gender, a gender and improvement heart, a few years in the past on his associate’s recommendation as they struggled with relationship issues.
Founded in 2009, Gender conducts research about social inequality and helps activism in a bid to rehabilitate male chauvinists.
– ‘Violence, domination and force’ –
“Masculinity has always been associated with violence, domination, and force, but now that’s changing. New (perceptions of) masculinity proposes the idea of promoting equal treatment of men and women,” stated psychotherapist and Gender director Mauro Vargas.
He goals to educate the 1,200 men per yr who attend his conferences to perceive and confront the several types of violence against women: sexual, bodily, financial, verbal and cyber.
Mexico has lengthy confronted governmental indifference and ineffective insurance policies when it comes to tackling violence against women.
Women have begun to take to the streets to demand rapid motion to scale back the variety of femicides, which grew by 136 % between 2015 and 2019.
Two brutal murders a final month, together with that of a seven-yr–previous lady, highlighted the problem forward of International Women’s Day March 8 and ignited protests.
Vargas says everyday occurrences comparable to wolf-whistling, sharing images of bare women or sexist feedback about feminine colleagues perpetuate an inequality that outcomes in violence against women.
The therapy at Gender helps men “unlearn what society has taught them within a macho and misogynistic environment,” stated Vargas.
– ‘A man in deconstruction’ –
Although there is no such thing as an official knowledge on their numbers, teams exploring a non-conventional sort of masculinity to break from a patriarchal culture are multiplying in Mexico.
Using largely social medial, men arrange conferences in spots comparable to city artwork galleries or e-book outlets to debate their position in a rising feminism motion.
But Arturo Reyes, a 29-year-previous psychologist and a teacher at Gender, says he believes men can’t themselves be feminists.
“There are allies to feminism, but there are no men feminists. The fight is for women only,” stated Reyes.
He says machismo is “a cultural decision” slightly than a person affliction.
“A macho in rehabilitation is a man in deconstruction,” he added.
In the home in the central Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, these in therapy repair their eyes on the ground.
When they’re prepared, they increase their faces, take a deep breath and drum up the braveness to relate their very own private experiences.
One visibly burdened man confesses to having assaulted his son.
For Reyes, essentially the most satisfying aspect of the therapy is when one of many men approaches him afterward with a hug and says: “Thanks to these sessions, my wife and children can now approach me without fear.”
(This story has been revealed from a wire company feed without modifications to the textual content. Only the headline has been modified.)