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Men Against Violence Against Women Panel

November 17, 2009 2 comments

Last night, I had the great experience of attending an all men’s panel discussion, provided by my university’s Anti-Violence Network. The panel was entitled “Men Against Violence Against Women”. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first showed up, but it turned out to be a great discussion and some awesome points were brought up, that I want to highlight here.

1. Men need to acknowledge hegemonic masculinity
One speaker went over the basic hegemonic masculinity in our North American culture. This means strong, invulnerable, emotionless, silent, and angry (with anger really being the only emotion allowed). Homophobia is also a part of this. Men aren’t allowed to be feminine in any way, because the traditional man is supposed to be everything opposite of femininity. All of these things open up the pathway to violence, because women and homosexuals are “othered” or dehumanized; therefore, men feel that they CAN be violent.

2. There needs to be a new conception of masculinity
There needs to be a positive conception of being a man, which will make for better partnerships with everyone (women, other men, and children). Men need to reconceptualize strength. Strength can be something that is good, and not used for harm. Also, there needs to be insight within this new masculinity. Openness, self-reflection and self-awareness are necessary for this new masculinity.

3. Men must take responsibility
Many times, men are excused from their violence, or have some form of excuse for their violence. One of these excuses is that it’s a man or boys “nature” to be violent. But we were reminded again tonight that nothing is biological about violence! But another important point was that men who are not violent against women must also take responsibility. These non-violent men must not be silent. They must tell other men and boys that violence against women is not acceptable. Without these men leading other men and boys, this issue is NOT going to go away.

4. Action must be taken
One panelist discussed how there is too much damn research. We all KNOW that there is a problem, and we can continue paying for research to be done, but it’s not doing anything about the problem! We need to move on from identifying the problem. It is now time to seriously act. We must be examples to the younger generation. We must tell others that this issue is not acceptable. However you can act against this issue, you have to do it!

There were some other really awesome things discussed, which I’m going to save for a later post, since I don’t want this post to go on forever. I will just say that it was simply refreshing to hear men discuss this issue and not pat themselves on the back for having this panel in the first place. You know, that self-congratulatory thing? Not cool! So, it was awesome not seeing that. More discussions like this need to happen, because ultimately, this is an issue that only men can get rid of.

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Kids are growing up fast, it seems…

November 19, 2007 Leave a comment

This is a horrible story and a part of me doesn’t even know how this kind of thing happens.

Three boys, ages 8 and 9, were being held Monday in a detention center on charges of kidnapping and raping an 11-year-old girl near a suburban apartment complex, officials said.

However, the fathers of the boys are of course saying that the sex was consensual and the girl is just “blaming it on rape” because she “doesn’t want to get in trouble with her parents.”

However, the police are still investigating.

Acworth Police Chief Mike Wilkie said said one of the boys was accused of threatening to hit the girl with a rock before the alleged assault. Wilkie also said the investigation is “far from over,” and investigators are looking into claims that after the alleged attack, the girl talked about it with her friends at a slumber party.

It’s easy to not believe that this happened, but at some point we do need to put trust in girls. If a girl that age was accused of sexually or physically assaulting a boy, the boy would be believed. I don’t think that there’s any question in that. Girls are not trusted. Young women, and old women are not trusted as much as their male counterparts. Either way, this girl was traumatized one way or another and something like this will most likely stick with her.

It’s a sad case for her and for the boys that are being accused of this. When did kids stop being kids?

Categories: boys, girls, rape, violence Tags: , , ,

A call for more male feminists

November 7, 2007 1 comment

Or, anti-sexist male activists. It’s pretty much all the same. Jackson Katz, who is one of the leading male anti-sexist activists, spoke to the New England Patriots and the U.S. Marine Corps that men can’t sit around and do nothing about sexism and violence against women in our society. He calls for men to “stand up to a culture that allows the physical and psychological subjection of women.” Well, I would say that I have to agree!

“We need more men with the guts to break out [of] complicit silence,” Katz said.

Too often, Katz said, men allow themselves to disregard the issue because they are “good guys” who don’t beat their girlfriends or assault women.

In a culture rife with sexism and gender-based violence, refraining from hitting or raping a woman may not be enough to make a man a “good guy,” he said. “We need to raise the bar a little.”

I am really all for male feminists. It’s true that more men need to step up and realize that men are the problem and they should be active in influencing boys and young men that sexism, violence against women and any other “women’s issue” (of course, not just an societal issue, always gotta slap that women’s in there!) is not acceptable in society and women shouldn’t be the only ones to fight for this cause.

I sincerely hope that men take up this notion, because it’s really for the importance of one half of society.

Missing girls in Asia

November 2, 2007 Leave a comment

This is something that we know full well. In Asia, there is a strong preference for sons, and new technology is allowing sex-selection to occur. The video here, from UNFPA shows the reality of sex-selection in Asia and the affects of it, which include more sexual violence towards girls. And if parents do decide to have their daughters, other family members go as far as beating them or torturing them.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Annoyance of the day!

November 1, 2007 Leave a comment

I saw this over at Feministing and I had to bring it over here to share.

Ohh goodness, right?

Categories: boys, children, gender, media, toys Tags: , , , ,