We all have a role to play in ending abuse by powerful...

We all have a role to play in ending abuse by powerful men like Harvey Weinstein | Letters

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Men are not immune from the harmful effects of our misogynistic culture, says Joe McCarthy; we must tackle the power imbalance at the root of all oppressive behaviour, says Ruth Eversley; don’t stand by, stand up, says Bob Jacobson

Like Rebecca Solnit (The fall of Harvey Weinstein should be a moment to challenge extreme masculinity, 12 October), I too hope that the current torrent of stories of vulnerable women being abused by powerful men represents a “moment that will pass” and be overcome. Most men do not want to dominate and humiliate women. Indeed, while men are of course not the main victims of our misogynistic culture, they are not immune from its harmful effects. All men, at some time, will have felt the tedious and unrealistic pressure to appear to be “strong and masterful”. Men stand to gain hugely from women coming forward to expose their powerful male abusers. It’s a long overdue chance for our culture to be shifted decisively away from damaging preconceptions about the roles of both sexes. It’s another important, and far from selfless, reason why men should make much more effort to call out and challenge abuse by other men whenever they see it happening.
Joe McCarthy
Dublin, Ireland

• Rebecca Solnit calls for a rethink of masculinity and suggests we change the way we raise our boys. She cites examples from the US and Sweden, but also in the same day’s paper are articles about hair-chopping in Kashmir and the failure of the Indian government to revoke a law that allows men to rape their wives. FGM, child marriage and the use of rape as a weapon of war have been widely reported for years. Asking our boys to “play nice” is pointless. As long as the power imbalance which is at the root of all oppressive behaviour continues, these horrors will continue to blight humanity.
Ruth Eversley
Paulton, Somerset

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