‘Respect for each gender’: Gender, equity and backlash in Australia’s male health policy

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    Abstract

    Australia is one of the few countries which has specific health policies for boys/men and girls/women as distinct groups. In this article I present an analysis of the discourses of gender, equity and disadvantage drawn upon in Australia's men's health policy. Through comparison with the women's health policy, I show that a dual focus on the essential differences between men and women and the ways in which the health system has failed men contribute to an adversarial gender politics, positioning men and women as rivals with competing needs. Reflecting broader debates concerning the negative impact of societal change on boys/men, I argue that, in its current form, Australia's health policy both taps into and, crucially, legitimises backlash politics, enabling it to ‘pass’ as sound public policy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)123-138
    Number of pages16
    JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
    Volume53
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

    Keywords

    • backlash politics
    • gender
    • gender equity
    • health policy
    • men's health

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