About

What We Do

The Good Lad Workshop is an Oxford-based effort to empower men to deal with complex gender situations and become agents of positive change within their social circles. We run workshops throughout term time for groups of men within the university, such as sports teams, drinking societies, clubs and JCR/MCR members.

Our workshops focus on issues relating to consent, masculinity, peer pressure, power and responsibility. Instead of casting men as potential perpetrators who just have to learn to obey the law, we promote the idea of ‘positive masculinity.’ We challenge men to see not just obligations to avoid harming women, but opportunities to make a positive difference in women’s lives.

Workshops are an hour long. Their focus is a series of scenarios developed from real life situations. We believe the scenarios involve difficult issues where there are not necessarily clear answers and are, therefore, genuinely worthy of reflection. Ultimately, our aim is not to tell any man what to do, but to equip them with a powerful, alternative framework to analyse complex gender situations.

Who We Are

The Good Lad Workshop was founded in Oxford in January 2013 with the explicit goal of promoting positive masculinity amongst the male population of Oxford University for the benefit of men and women alike. The founding directors hold a wealth of experience in community engagement, spanning education, sport, young men’s social dynamics, and sexual harassment management. These expertise have been combined to produce an engaging and challenging workshop to be run with young men.

We work closely with the Oxford University Student Union ‘It Happens Here’ campaign; the Oxford University Sports Union; the Male and Female Blues Clubs; and the Saïd Business School.

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2 thoughts on “About

  1. How about… We have a ‘stop being an asshole’ workshop, where both men and women can go to, to stop being assholes.

    Then both genders can benefit from such a workshop.

    Because lets be honest; men are not the only ones capable of being an asshole; they are the only ones who are taken seriously when being an asshole (ie: men are punished accordingly), but they are not the only ones that can be an asshole.

    I think that sounds in-line with equality.

  2. Dear Fred,

    Thanks a lot for this comment. On the GL team, we certainly agree that men and women are both capable of being jerks — there’s no question about that. However, our main focus is not on ‘equality’ per se — ‘equality’ is a great guiding principle, but we focus more specifically on the question of how we as men can be better friends, partners, and citizens. Our intention is not to tell people what to do, but rather to open up space for positive dialogue about different notions of masculinity. In doing so, we don’t make assumptions about whether or not women are perfect — that’s really not the point. Rather, we acknowledge that we, as men, can be be better, and we work to discuss and re-imagine what that might look like, and how it might be achieved. Hopefully you’ll drop by one of our workshops and see for yourself!

    Best,

    Willy Oppenheim, on behalf of the Good Lad Workshop Team

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