How do you define masculinity? Is it being the strongest and using your muscles to keep others in line? Is it controlling everything around you and always being the top dog?
These are the definitions we teach boys. Growing up I constantly heard my older brother and peers at school being told “don’t be a sissy” or “man up”. By my teens I understood that unfair and implicitly violent expectations were being set. This message went right along with the message that being female was demeaning. It’s no wonder we have so many issues between the sexes and that violence is so prevalent in many aspects of our society. I’m thankful that such ridiculous gender stereotyping are changing though I wish it would change faster.
Men Can Stop Rape is a big part of that change by redefining masculinity and male strength as part of preventing men’s violence against women. With their Healthy Masculinity Project they bring together men and women to share their experiences with masculinity in our culture. Men are free to “…talk about issues connected to healthy and unhealthy masculinity; how to break free of “show no emotion”, how to be in healthy relationships and help other men be in healthy relationships; how to better support girls and women.”
Participants will use role-playing, group exercises, and multi-media presentations to hone leadership skills so they can deconstruct attitudes and behaviors that support violence against women and girls. After completing the training they will be able to return to their communities, college campuses, and work places to spark action towards healthy masculinity. Their next training event will be January 7-9, 2015 in Washington D.C.. Register here: Mencanstoprape.org/Updates/from-theory-to-practice.html If you’re not able to attend this training, they will bring the training to you.
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