Male Privilege and Challenging Sexism for Men of Conscience

Sample Objectives

  • To provide a framework and common language for genuine dialogue about sexism and male privilege, and to create an environment which encourages such dialogue.
  • To clarify the historical, political and social context for sexism and violence against women in the U. S.
  • To probe the reality and daily experience of sexism and male privilege for men in U. S. America.
  • To examine the interconnections of sexism and racism.
  • To identify concrete examples of male privilege in the lives of boys and men.
  • To identify concrete examples of male privilege / male supremacy within institutional structures and programs.
  • To develop attitudes and tools for spending individual male privilege with integrity, and interrupting organizational male supremist policies.
  • To offer individual participants opportunities to deepen their own awareness and understanding of sexism, and their commitment to gender justice.
  • To develop specific leadership skills and relevant strategies for challenging sexism.


  • One to two days, unlimited number of participants, one or two facilitators.
  • Men only.
  • Both days are interactive and experiential.
  • A variety of teaching/learning modalities are used: small groups, fishbowls, interactive exercises, caucuses, lecture, graphics, music, poetry, and journaling.
  • Includes handouts and a personal journal.
  • The focus is on the personal impact of sexism, male privilege, male supremacy and the work of male allies.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Male Privilege and Challenging Sexism workshop participants will:

  • be familiar with language and a framework related to the historical, political and social realities of sexism in the United States.

  • define sexism, male privilege and male supremacy.

  • explore examples of male privilege in their own lives and the lives of other men and boys.

  • begin to identify examples of sexism in organizational structures, policies and programs.

  • identify and nurture attitudes and actions of allies to interrupt sexism and reduce its recycling to future generations of girls and boys.

  • have created a personal bond with one or several other participants with the potential for future collaboration.

  • leave the workshop with a tangible plan of action for themselves in their organizational role.


The “Male Privilege and Challenging Sexism – for men of conscience” workshop offers men an opportunity to work with other men to identify, examine and acknowledge their daily experience of male privilege in a supportive, yet challenging environment. Male supremist foundations of U.S. society and institutions will be uncovered and probed.

Interactive activities will illuminate the impact of a lifetime of sexist, misogynist and male supremist messages on males in U. S. society, and men’s responsibility to dismantle sexism. Additional exercises are offered to identify and develop the skills of male allies.

This workshop equips men of conscience with information, tools and inspiration to become effective anti-sexist agents of change.

Gender Justice Programs

Thank you for not placing us in a situation of confrontation and finger pointing. Thank you for preparing and equipping us for future discussions of how to bring change.

—state sexual assault coalition participant