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Plan and prepare for negative reactions

2 minutes

Resistance and backlash are expected as part of the change process. 

The gendered analysis of violence is a direct challenge to the idea that our society is currently fair to all. As a result, there can be negative responses, or ‘backlash’, often from men, but also from women. People may ask questions or pose statements that are difficult to answer. Being prepared is important. 

Framing the question

  • Listen carefully to the question to fully understand.
  • Based on the question asked, think about the assumptions the questioner has made and the beliefs they hold. These may be assumptions or beliefs about gender, or other social norms, such as sexuality or race.
  • Ask yourself — what belief or assumptions do you want to shift? Bear in mind that this may be based on assumptions about gender, sexuality, race and/or social norms.

Responding to the question

  • Always acknowledge their concern. Repeat or clarify the question to make sure you understand it. 
  • Separate the person from the belief. This depersonalises the issue and demonstrates you care about the questioner’s feelings.  
  • Highlight the benefits of addressing violence against women and gender equality to both men and women, by talking about gender equality as a human rights issue and anti-violence as a value that makes society better.  
  • Talk about the misinformation or myths by referencing the evidence.  
A stylised illustration of a desk seen from above with a laptop, papers, cup of coffee and pencil on it.

Facts and framing

Strategies for backlash and resistance