Today: Jun 24, 2024

Men’s group answers questions through discussion

Photo Courtesy | Mens initiative In their Feb. 20 meeting the Men’s group will be discussing sexual assault including types of sexual assault and forms of sexual violence.

Josh Falcone – General Assignment Reporter

Men looking to open up about what they believe “makes a man” now have a chance to express their beliefs with the Men’s Group.

The Men’s Group is an eight week series of discussions for men to talk candidly about issues regarding men and masculinity. The meetings are open to all men at Southern meet and they are held on Wednesday in the Michael J. Adanti Student Center from 1–2 p.m.

Julian Wilson, a graduate intern with the Women’s Center and the head of the Men’s Initiative, which sponsors the Men’s Group, leads the discussion and asks everyone in attendance what their beliefs are on each sessions subject. Wilson said that the hope is that the men who attend the discussions widen their views on their gender.

“For those that attend, I’m hoping, we can become more self-aware of our masculinity,” Wilson said. “As well as figuring what is out there, by really taking a deep look at who we are.”

Librarian Jeff Dickens saw a post about the group and was intrigued.

“I was interested in seeing what the group was about,” Dickens said, “and also, I wanted to take part in the discussion.”

Wilson went on to say that the Men’s Group’s biggest goal is to improve men’s behavior towards women.

“The Men’s Initiative and the group’s greatest goal is better treatment of women,” he said, “and to combat violence against women.”

Photo Courtesy  | Mens initiative
Photo Courtesy | Mens initiative

The first session held two weeks ago discussed what it means to be a man, and where men learn or are influenced on what it means to be a man.

Wilson said, and the group agreed that the way men learn what it means to be a man happens at a young age, and from various influences, including male family members, youth sports coaches, and the media. The group used words such as leader, provider, strong, nurturing, and confident when asked to describe what it means to be a man.

The Feb. 6th meeting, the second session of the Men’s Group dealt with Socialization and Privilege in regards to gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, and ability, as well as how social circumstances and upbringing affects men’s views on these matters.

As part of the discussion, participants in the Men’s Group were given a list based on an article by Peggy McIntosh dealing with privileges that males have on a daily basis. Some of the privileges on the list t that stood out to those in attendance included if a man has a wife or live-in girlfriend, chances are that the couple will divide up the household chores, with the woman doing most of the labor and in particular the least rewarding and repetitive tasks and the fact that men are far less likely to face sexual harassment at their place of work than their female counterparts.

In the meeting last week, the group discussed the rules of consent and coercion as well as the law regarding them, and what they meant to everyone in attendance personally.

Photo Courtesy | Mens initiativeIn their Feb. 20 meeting the Men’s group will be discussing sexual assault including types of sexual assault and forms of sexual violence.
Photo Courtesy | Mens initiative
In their Feb. 20 meeting the Men’s group will be discussing sexual assault including types of sexual assault and forms of sexual violence.

In the coming Wednesdays, Wilson said the Men’s Group will discuss sexual violence, interpersonal violence, as well as continuum of harm. In the continuum of harm discussion, the group will partake in an exercise to show their beliefs in what is harmful to women. There will be 17 cards with various safe and unsafe practices men use on women, and the group will have to place them in order from not harmful to harmful, Wilson said.

Overall, Wilson said the sessions will help Southern’s male population become greater men.

“We are forced to think about what we do,” he said.

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