“a Fatherland without Fathers?” – Actors and Discourses of Antifeminist Platforms in Austria
We can find examples for both in Austria, whereas men’s movements mainly fall in three categories: institutionalized men’s work (e.g. counseling centers), men’ initiations groups, and father’s rights movements (Brem 2012). While a body of work is emerging for the situation in Germany specifically dealing with antifeminist approaches in men’s movements (e.g. Gesterkamp 2010, Kemper 2012, Rosenbrock 2012, Claus 2014), gender politics of men’s and father’s rights movements in Austria have not been examined until recently (Scambor and Kirchengast 2014).
This paper is based on the work of Scambor and Kirchengast (2014) and re-examines actors, rhetoric and platforms of antifeminist men’s movements in Austria. The tropes we find in media and everyday culture span from “men as victim of domestic violence”, to “failing boys in education” to “men as victims of divorce.” Feminism (singular, sic!) is depicted alternately as anachronism or fictitious enemy. We are also systematically fact checking popular statements and contrasting them with empirical data. Based on our analysis we give recommendations for balanced approaches to masculinity politics that are oriented towards gender equality and suggest some strategies to counteract antifeminist activism more generally.