09 February 2018

A variety of thoughts: USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University

Source: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
From left: Simone Biles, Gabrielle Douglas, Lauren Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Alexandra Raisman
Something that gives me the heeby jeebies is watching the interaction between gymnasts who are women and their coaches who always seem to be men after a routine. If you lean on your empathetic observations, you'll see varying levels of comfort from the women, and often times I feel like there's waaaaaay more touching than necessary for a professional relationship. And there are times where there's visible discomfort from the women. This is a glimpse into the world of US Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where the dynamic of men in power combined with the silence and shaming of survivors of sexual violence produces one of the most terrifying sexual predators of my lifetime.

22 January 2018

A review: "We are man enough"

Let's be real. I'm not a professional reviewer and critiquer of media. This is just going to be my thoughts and reactions to this website: www.wearemanenough.com.

If you're looking for role models who are men attempting to create a better world for themselves and the people around them, this is a great starting point. They do a great job of asking the initial questions that men should be asking of each other. Questions like, "What does it mean to be a man? Why is that the meaning? Why is it so hard for men to be vulnerable? What do we do next?" They come up with lots of different answers, and a lot of the conversation around the dinner table seems to be more intellectual. And I think that's an ok place to start. For me, the harder work is to be

17 October 2017

Feels About Football

Photo Cred - Gerry Melendez
I love watching football. I do. Both the NFL and Division I in college. The simplicity of the game itself makes way for incredibly complex interpretations of how to win the game and that results in a beautiful mosaic of playing styles, talent leverage, competition, and an annual sense of hope that things this year will be different for "our" team (unless you're the Browns...). Simple and complex.

I love the conversations around football. Something this popular also, simply put, holds a mirror to "our" society. Recent NFL seasons have exposed what we are willing to be complicit about in order to maintain "our" entertainment that is the sport of football. That list of what we're complicit about is incredibly long. Sports can challenge our understandings of masculinities, race, gender violence, sexual orientation, socioeconomic disparities, mental health, military, and all of those at once even if at times they feel like separate topics. It's one of the simplest ways to engage in important societal issues, and you can do this by simply asking, "Hey, what do you think about Kaepernick and what he stands for?" Simple and complex.

The topics above have been hashed out, re-hashed, and revisited as new information comes out. I'm not here to make a stance (although I have one). I'm here to explore something a little deeper that keeps surfacing for me year after year during football season. What I want to explore is the question: Is football something I actually enjoy or something that I learned to enjoy?

17 August 2017

Stay tuned!!!

What's up everybody! I know this blog has been dead for 2 years but that doesn't mean Men in the Movement hasn't been doing work on campus. The WGAC has been going through some major transitions and now we're fully staffed and ready to bring back things that we had to drop! There's a ton of things going on right now so be sure to check back soon to read our take on various oppressions happening in our country.

17 September 2015

Sexual assault and sports: Reframing the Derrick Rose conversation

The sports arena, particularly men’s sports, is a great container to discuss many social issues as it relates to masculinity and gender-based violence with men. The “off the field” situations that professional athletes constantly bring onto themselves is magnified by the incredible cultural and capitalistic machine of sports media. This gives us many opportunities to discuss important issues like men’s violence against women. The Derrick Rose situation is no different.

In short, a woman has anonymously come forward with a lawsuit stating that Rose and 2 of his friends drugged and raped her in August of 2013. More details can be found by simply googling Derrick Rose. (More details here, here, and here.)

This isn’t the first (and unfortunately, won’t be the last) time that a high profile male athlete is accused of rape. We have some evidence of what conversations around these stories are like, so I would like to take a moment to respond to some of the common responses that I hear.

27 February 2015

Man Spreading: What is it and what’s the big deal?

When we use the phrase Rape Supportive Culture, it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly what this means and what it looks like. Sometimes, men will get defensive because it implicates us as part of the problem (and we are part of the problem in a lot of ways and are trying to work against this. Either way, men benefit from Rape Supportive Culture. But that’s a discussion for another day…). Sometimes we can feel helpless when we gain a better understanding of Rape Supportive Culture. Because it’s a lot. And it can be difficult to know where to start. Ultimately, if we want to reduce rates of rape and sexual assault in our culture, particularly against women, children and trans-identified people,

30 January 2015

New Year's Resolutions for Men in the Movement

Find meaningful ways to impact campus
We resolve to get more involved on campus. For us, this means challenging ourselves to attend open events to increase our perspectives, to bring feminist philosophies into current student organizations we're involved in, and seek opportunities (employment and volunteer) where we can align our perspectives with others to help foster positive change.

Strive for growth
There are many different ways to grow. For us, we resolve to continue our education about gender, intersectionality, and social justice as a whole as a focus for self growth. We resolve to actively engage in conversations about masculinity and gender with our peers. We resolve to keep noticing oppression around us and hold ourselves accountable for our own oppressive actions. Through this self and community growth, we hope to increase participation in Men in the Movement overall.

Practice, practice, practice
In Men in the Movement, we talk a lot about expressing empathy, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, and holding each other and ourselves accountable to our actions. We think that doing these things will bring us closer together as a community. We also want to honor that empathy, vulnerability, and accountability can be hard. So we resolve to practice being empathetic, practice being vulnerable, and practice being accountable, and support each other in these actions.

Let us know what you think! We invite feedback because feedback is love.

And here is some Calvin and Hobbes! Let's resolve to not take on his attitude...