Jens van Tricht
Engaging boys and men with gender justice has been my passion ever since 1990, when I first encountered feminism in the Dutch squatters' movement. The strong link between our personal lives and behaviour and the bigger political picture was and is both confronting and inspiring. Change the world means to change ourselves, and vice versa.
I attended and organized men's groups, participated in debates, and decided to study Women's Studies at the University of Amsterdam in order to learn more about men. I wrote essays and papers about men and feminism, men and identity, men and sexuality, men and sexual violence, and I taught courses about men and masculinity. As a trainer, I worked with international peace builders and teenage school boys on the issue of masculinity and violence, with police men on the role of men in diversity policy, with younger and older men on vulnerability and strength. As a consultant, I organized meetings about men and gender justice for many different organizations, focusin on the connections between men and women, the personal and the political, and the local and the global. I participated in international MenEngage meetings in Stockholm and Rio de Janeiro, and was invited to speak at meetings in Tokyo and Vilnius.
Currently I'm working on a project called NiceSonsNiceFathers, in which we focus at enhancing the relation between teenage sons and their fathers, aiming at the prevention of riskful behaviour. We have started a training-of-trainers for 16 enthousiastic men who wish to work on this issue. Another initial project investigates the issue of school problems among boys from a multidisciplinary scientific point of view, and aims at starting a collaborate research and education project.
My motivation in all this work is at least twofold: I have a strong conviction that men should take their responsibility as men to support women in their justified struggle for equal rights and opportunities, and that men as humans have a lot to gain and profit in the changing of gender relations. Gender justice for men means that they get liberated from their constraints as well, that they get the opportunity to become fully human, that their relationships to other men, to women, to children and to the world as a whole will open up. Of course, the whole world will be happy to see this happen!