Category: 2015 Summer

Summer 2015 Edition

Features Can Men Be Feminists? And Other Questions Men Ask By Jamie Utt abd Jenika McCrayer The website “Everyday Feminism” (everydayfeminism.com) explores the nuances of patriarchal oppression. Sometimes, though, they step back from the complexities of feminist thought to help readers better access, understand, and hopefully embrace feminism… Including Boys in Campus Sexual Assault Prevention By Karen Galbraith It would be easy for me to say that the theme for Sexual Assault Awareness Month back in April—Preventing Campus Sexual Assault—had nothing to do with me. For one thing, it’s been 20 years since I was a college student, and...

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Far too Often Male Victims of Sexual Assault Keep Mum

Sexual assaults on men are rarely reported to authorities, a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll of current and recent college students discovered. Survey results revealed one in 20 men said they were sexually assaulted while in school. Men who participated in the poll—which found one in five women were assaulted—described a wide range of unwanted sexual experiences. Some were violent, some confusing, some terrifying, the Post reported. A small number joked about the experience or blamed themselves. Others remain tortured by the memories. One man described an incident with a fraternity brother—his roommate—that escalated unexpectedly. “He was really drunk that night, and he started hitting me,” the student told the newspaper. “I wasn’t drunk at all. He kept trying to take off my pants. He tried pinning me down, and groping me. It was a really bad struggle. I hit him as hard as I could, and I got out of it.” He found another place to stay, but he didn’t want to tell anyone what had happened. “I had nervous panic attacks. . . . I almost dropped out,” he said. Were he a woman, the man said he likely would have told someone or asked for help. “Since I’m a guy, it’s a lot harder. If something happens, guys aren’t supposed to be victims. We’re supposed to be manly.” When a bartender found a 22-year-old sophomore from...

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The Invisible Masculinities of Indian Men

By Shannon Philip As a young boy growing up in India, I went to an all-boys school. Sports and particularly football and cricket were a major part of our school ethos. Being a slightly bookish boy, I was never very interested in either. I remember one particular day when I was around 14. Our sports instructor was particularly irritated with my lack of interest in playing sports with the other boys. Annoyed, he ran his hand aggressively through my hair, messing up my neatly combed locks. I was very upset. I sensed he did it to show his frustration...

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Masculinity, Compassion, and Self-Compassion

By Edward M. Adams Athenians prayed to Eleos, the goddess of mercy and compassion. The intersession of Eleos was considered helpful to cope with the unpredictable and painful twists and turns of life. My third-grade classmate was born with a cleft palette. I remember Dennis as shy and always alone. One day, as we got off the school bus I began to tease him. “You can’t even talk right,” I repeated over and over. Dennis didn’t utter a sound. I can still see him staring at me as my taunts burned into his soul. I walked away confused and...

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Mail Bonding

A Natural Desire for Survival Voice Male’s vision, expressed clearly and artfully, is and must be shared by as many as can see truth and beauty in this world. If we could believe Samuel Scheffler in Death and the Afterlife, humanity shares an unconscious, natural desire for survival. I am not as sanguine about our inherent character. Those of us who think about such big issues as these share a responsibility to humanity to teach and spread the word that goodwill, moral decision-making, and hard work to preserve these in all people are the only way to ensure our survival as a species. Tom Vincent Northampton, Mass. Alaskan Seeking Peaceful Men For 40 years I have lived the Alaskan dream, only slowly becoming aware of tragedies resulting from male and masculine attitudes. For the last 15 years I have been looking for evidence to prove the truth in my conclusion. I try to stay aware of news indicating we’re progressing toward a nicer, gentler world. I also write letters supporting pluralistic, diverse, peaceful and just ideas. So when I read Professors Jessie Klein and John Sanbonmatsu’s article, “To Stop Violence Against Women, Save Boys” in the Anchorage Daily News, I was pleasantly surprised. They totally shocked me when they mentioned Voice Male was founded about 30 years ago. They wrote that the magazine and other men’s organizations challenging violence...

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A Brothers’ Journey

 By Rob Okun He’s gone. He’s gone. I kept repeating those unreal words on the half-hour drive home that rainy Thursday night. Since I’d been at a meeting, my wife was alone when she answered the door for the police officer who’d come looking for me. He had bad news: my older brother Stuart had suffered a heart attack and was dead. It was March 26, just a few days after we’d returned from New Orleans where we’d gone to meet our recently born second grandson. Less than 24 hours later I was in the Tampa airport meeting my 27-year-old son Jonah who had flown down from New York to support me on what I came to call “a brothers’ journey.” I was walking the familiar but strangely new path of the mourner. The sun was shining brightly Saturday morning when Jonah and I arrived in Stuart’s neighborhood. It hardly seemed like a place of death, this lush landscaped community on Florida’s west coast. Even though he’d died at home, when we stepped inside his cottage apartment, I could have easily convinced myself that Stuart was simply away for the weekend. “Sure,” he might have said, “you and Jonah can stay at my place.” We took it all in—the flat screen television; the books on the coffee table; dishes in the sink.Atop a pile of mail, a copy of...

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Da Rules

By Em Allison, Marvin Hodges, and Saidu Tejan-Thomas “Da Rules” is a spoken word poem written in collaboratively by Em Allison, Marvin Hodges and Saidu Tejan-Thomas, who are members of “Good Clear Sound,” Virginia Commonwealth University’s poetry slam team. After the authors recited the piece at VCU’s fifteenth annual College Union’s Poetry Slam Invitational, held March 25-28, 2015, a YouTube video of their powerful performance went viral, reaching nearly 30,000 views in under a month. The poem is here reprinted in its entirety with permission of the authors. Male Voice 1: Be accommodating Smile Be polite Slouch a little...

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Black Masculinity Matters

My Masculinity Helps: Trailer from David Hambridge on Vimeo. by Damon Hastings My Masculinity Helps Directed by Marc A. Grimmett, 30 minutes, 2013 Director of Photography, David Hambridge Produced by N.C. Coalition Against Sexual Assault A barber is having a playful back and forth with a young boy getting a buzz cut at the busy Style Master’s Barber Shop and Beauty Salon in Wilson, North Carolina. The sign outside advertises “Afro cuts” and “Mustache trims,” among other, mostly male, styles. A slide flashes on the screen informing us that 10 women in the U.S. are sexually assaulted in the time it takes to get a haircut. The exchange between the barber and his preteen client opens the film My Masculinity Helps, a 30-minute documentary about sexual assault with an additional emphasis on challenging “inaccurate and misleading portrayals of African American masculinity.” Produced by the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, My Masculinity Helps was conceived and directed by Marc A. Grimmet, a father, psychologist, and counseling professor at North Carolina State University. Grimmet, who is featured in the film, wrote the screenplay with his spouse, Juliette Grimmet, a longtime sexual assault prevention activist. It’s structured around a series of intermingling interviews with mostly black men and women of varying ages, including survivors, their friends, teachers, a pastor, psychologists, and experts in sexual assault prevention. The film is divided into...

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PTSD and Our Vets

Uncovering The Wounds Within By Mark I. Nickerson and Joshua S. Goldstein America has its hand—if not its heart—in many wars: Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, the Islamic State, and Yemen. Hundreds of thousands of returning veterans (and their families) struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the nation is poorly equipped to address their needs. A new book, The Wounds Within: A Veteran, a PTSD Therapist, and a Nation Unprepared, recounts the tragic story of Marine Lance Corporal Jeffrey Lucey, who deployed early in the Iraq War, battled PTSD after returning home, and set his family on a decade-long campaign...

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India: A Hard Place to Be a Woman

By Mel Gurtov A democracy is supposed to have the advantage of affording people of any social class, gender, or religious or ethnic group the opportunity to advance. In contrast with authoritarian political orders, democracies should be superior in their openness to change, to everyone’s participation in politics, and to equality before the law. In a word, democracies are based on the politics of hope and the virtues of transparency. Or so the theory goes. India defies these expectations. Though it has democratic institutions and vigorous political competition, at least among elites, when it comes to human development and...

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Turning Canadian Wise Guys into Caring Men

By Leslie Garrett Every Thursday at Georges P. Vanier Junior High School, a dozen adolescent boys assemble in an unused classroom. They gather around a large table, doing their best to ignore the girl power posters and sparkles that cover the walls. After all, they’re there to talk about what it means to be a man. Middle school health classes usually have a segment on sex education, which for most adults conjures awkward memories of studying the female anatomy and putting a condom on a banana. Wise-Guyz, a nonprofit based in Calgary, Alberta, is working to broaden what “sex...

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Female Online Harassment Is Terrorism. Period.

By Annie Thériault Several months ago I was on television speaking about rape culture. It was shortly after the allegations against Jian Ghomeshi (the former Canadian Broadcasting Corporation program host and musician) had come to light. He is on trial for seven counts of sexual assault lodged by six women. I was part of a panel discussing sexual assault and violence against women. I made sure to keep what I was saying pretty basic—not too radical, and completely based on easily available statistics. I wasn’t in “angry feminist” mode; I was more like “nice-girl-on-TV-who-maybe-smiles-too-much” I was aiming to came...

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Ending Violence in Turkey and Beyond

By Murat Goc Patriarchy and masculine violence have secured their throne in Turkey, even though some (hilariously) hailed the president as a “revolutionary” who tore down the towers of hegemonic masculinity. Last February, a 20 -year-old woman was reported missing in the Turkish city of Mersin. Two days later, her body was found; she had been burned by a bus driver aided by his own father and a friend. Such a tragic, inhumane, and maddeningly routine murder isn’t the first and won’t be the last. In the past year in Turkey, men murdered nearly 300 women. These killings are...

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First Prevent, Then End, Child Marriage

Acknowledging that child, early, and forced marriage presents a serious and persistent violation of the rights of young women and girls and causes irreparable damage to victims and society as a whole, participants at a human rights conference in May in Rwanda signed the Kigali Declaration at a gathering of members of the African Commonwealth. The declaration sets out a comprehensive framework for human rights institutions to strengthen efforts to prevent and eliminate early and forced marriage in their respective countries. The declaration contains a number of key commitments, including monitoring the enforcement of legislation, improving data collection, and...

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My Grandmother Was Vilified for Being a Woman

UPDATE: A recently declassified grand jury testimony by Ethel Rosenberg’s brother, David Greenglass, has cast doubt on her role in the conspiracy. To learn more, head over to The New York Times and read an op-ed on the issue by Michael and Robert Meeropol, the sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg: Exonerate Our Mother, Ethel Rosenberg. By Jenn Meeropol If she were alive today, Ethel Rosenberg would turn 100 on September 28th. That month will also mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Rosenberg Fund for Children. The foundation was started by her son (and the author’s...

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Including Boys in Campus Sexual Assault Prevention

By Karen Galbraith, LSW It would be easy for me to say that the theme for Sexual Assault Awareness Month back in April—Preventing Campus Sexual Assault—had nothing to do with me. For one thing, it’s been 20 years since I was a college student, and for another, my kids have years to go until they even begin to submit their college applications. To top it off, my children are boys, so I could easily allow myself to be lulled into thinking that many of the discussions about campus sexual assault don’t really apply to them. After all, they will rarely (if ever) be told by someone other than me to be careful about what they’re wearing (and probably only in reference to needing a coat in winter), or to never leave a party without a friend, or to always keep their drink covered. Their integrity will not be questioned if they choose to hang out with someone they’ve never met before, nor will they be told that they should have known better than to go upstairs at a frat party. Does this mean that because I have boys, I can cross campus sexual assault off my list of “Discussions I Need to Have with My Children?” Far from it. In fact, in light of what we now know about sexual assault prevention, I would argue that it is critical...

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Can Men Be Feminists?

The website “Everyday Feminism” (everydayfeminism.com) explores the nuances of patriarchal oppression. Sometimes, though, they step back from the complexities of feminist thought to help readers better access, understand, and hopefully embrace feminism. The authors of “Can Men Be Feminists?” say in their work in feminist movements for justice, they get a lot of questions from cisgender men about what their place in feminism can and should be. Coupled with an awareness that many well-intentioned men are confused about the basic tenets of feminist movements, they wrote the article below as a way of answering men’s questions. “We come to...

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Men @ Work: Summer 2015 Edition

      Campus Accountability and Safety Finally? With sexual assaults and rapes on college campuses a national crisis, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has introduced the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, legislation aimed at increasing support, training and accountability protocols to make campuses safer places. The bill has bipartisan support. One in five college women will be sexually assaulted before graduation, research has shown, and more than 100 colleges are currently under investigation by the federal government for mishandling sexual assault and rape cases. Despite the alarming statistics, current federal law actually encourages colleges to underreport assaults, and provides no real penalties for schools that try to sweep sexual assaults under the rug. A recent study shows that there may be up to 30,000 sexual assaults on college campuses a year, yet in 2013, college officials reported only 5,000 to the federal government. In the last five years, more than 40 percent of colleges have not investigated a single sexual assault case. How will the Campus Accountability and Safety Act help make needed change? Real penalties: Current penalties for schools that fail to address sexual assault on campus have no teeth. The only allowable penalty for a Title IX violation is the loss of all federal funding, so extreme it will likely never be used. This bill creates a penalty of up to one percent of a school’s operating...

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Hillary Clinton and the “Quincy Solution” to Prevent Domestic Violence

By Barry Goldstein and Maralee McLean An innovative community antiviolence program that has helped communities, including Quincy, MA., Nashville, TN., and San Diego, CA., effectively respond to domestic abuse offers “an enormous opportunity” to presidential candidates—and others running for office—say longtime domestic violence prevention advocates Barry Goldstein and Maralee McLean. The Quincy Solution to Stop Domestic Violence and Child Abuse “provides proven practices that can dramatically improve the health and safety of children and battered women while saving $500 billion annually,” they say. “The savings could help expand the economy while increasing income and reducing costs to the federal...

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