Holding the Line Against the NFL

The NFL Players Association, the union that represents players in the National Football League, is engaging in victim blaming tactics. They are fighting the league’s six game suspension of Ezekiel Elliott for domestic violence. The union is appealing that suspension and they have every right to do so. They do not have the right to blame, shame and attack the victim in the process. If you see any articles related to this in your local media, or national feeds, please speak out about this strategy. My fear is that if we don’t call out the behavior this kind of deflection and attack will continue. We demanded that sports groups respond differently, and the NFL is making progress. We can help shift the culture faster if we address these kind of public attacks on those who report abuse.

Rita Smith
Denver, Colo.
The writer is a senior advisor to the NFL on domestic violence issues, and the former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.


Engaged Fathers: More than a Dream

Last year I was an intern at the NGO Sonke Gender Justice in Cape Town, South Africa. My research was with children whose fathers had attended the international MenCare program. It opened my eyes; I saw how important the subject of fatherhood was. I saw how important to them, important to the rest of the world. I was excited that my research was included in the Fathering column, “Daddy, Where Are You,” in the Summer issue. It helped me dream again—dream of all the possibilities in the fatherhood sector, dream of the things we still can achieve, and all we have already reached over the years together. I feel inspired to play my part in working for gender equality. Scrolling through Voice Male I felt very proud to see all the stories on fatherhood and gender equality combined in one magazine. I learned much about gender equality issues around the globe which is why I think a magazine like this can contribute to a better understanding of gender justice issues around the world.

Sjanna Westerhof
Meppel, Netherlands


North America and Gender Equality

The North American MenEngage Network (NAMEN) is the network of efforts, organizations and individuals in the US and Canada working to engage men to promote gender equality. The regional representative of the global MenEngage Alliance (700 NGOs in 70 countries), NAMEN produces a bi-monthly newsletter that provides updates, resources, community news and events and more, about the North American region, including our connection with the global movement promoting gender justice. For more information or to subscribe, contact the managing editor at rus (at) rusfunk (dot) me.

Rus Funk
Louisville, Ky.


What I Need to Say to Women in Russia

I’m so grateful for your recent article on the poison of white supremacist masculinity. Voice Male helps my sanity as a woman! It really does. I returned to St. Petersburg in September to teach about women’s sacred circles. This will be the third trip this year. Your writing about men and men’s suffering helps me think about what I need to say to women. I’m so grateful.

Anne Yeomans
Colrain, Mass.