29 October 2012

Week 9: The Power of Porn

Hey Guys,

So this week is an open session and will be held on Monday (tonight) instead of Wednesday (Halloween).  Same time, same place.  We'll be focusing on the role of pornography and how it affects our lives and relationships.  Chirs Leck from the CSU Counseling Center will be joining us and I can't say enough good things about this guy.  He knows his stuff when it comes to masculinity, gender, and porn.

Feel free to invite friends, partners, roommates, whoever! 

This is a really cool website that we'll talk about tonight so feel free to browse around and see what you can learn!

23 October 2012

Week 8: Intro to Sexual Violence

Hey everyone,

Since last week we postponed the topic of sexual violence to go see Zach Whals (which hopefully was awesome for those of you who went, I thought he did a great job).

The topic of sexual violence, as many of you already know, is a very difficult subject to talk about.  I want to first say that taking care of yourself is the #1 priority.  If people feel that this subject is going to be triggering for them, please do what you need to make sure your needs are met.  If that means not being able to make it to this session then that's ok.  But I would love to see lots of people there because this is such an important topic!

Men enter the conversation of sexual assault in a couple different ways.  The first is as survivors, either from childhood or adulthood.  1 in 6 men are surviors of sexual violence and many are victimized before the age of 14.  The following clip is an excerpt from a really great documentary called "Boys and Men Healing".  It gets at some of the complexities that men face who have been sexually assaulted.

Boys and Men Healing 
In addition, gay and transmen experience sexual violence at a higher rate than cisgender or straight men.  In many cases the perpetrator may identify as a straight male.  Accessing resources and holding perpetrators accountable can be additionally difficult for the LGBTQ population because many resources come from a heteronormative paradigm and LGBTQ survivors report that our current resources and systems often do not address the dynamics of sexual violence in these communities.  Here's a quick fact sheet on how LGBTQ people experience sexual violence differently:
Another ways that men enter this conversation is as secondary survivors.  A secondary survivor is someone who is affected by the victimization of a loved one, this can often times be a sibling, partner, or friend.  We'll spend some time talking about how to be a good support if people disclose to you and what resources are available to secondary survivors as well.
Lastly, as many of you know, a vast majority of sexual violence is committed by men (against people of all genders).  98% of perpetrators are men which shows how starkly gendered this form of violence is.  For this reason we may use gendered language (e.g. when referring to a perpetrator we may use "he" and "him", and a victim as "she" and "her").  This language reflects the reality of how sexual violence often occurs, but this does not mean that women cannot be perpetrators, men cannot be victims, or that all perpetrators are men. 
This last point is where we as men, of any background or identity, can leverage our male privilege to help change male culture to be less supportive of this type of behavior.  We'll spend some time going over how a "rape supportive culture" or "rape culture" operates.  This is basically the idea that we can expect a certain level of sexual violence, that it is not a deviation to the norm, but the norm itself.  In culture where 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are victims of sexual assault we have to start analyzing how this violence is enabled, via media, cultural messages, and contemporary constuctions of masculinity.  This is a lot of ground to cover so we'll most likely spend two sessions on it. 
Lastly, after tomorrow's session we'll be having our next "open session" or what we call "Men in the Movement Presents...".  It will be on Monday because next Wednesday is Halloween (and no one wants to go to a program on Halloween, including myself).  We'll talk about the open session a bit tomorrow but I have fliers for everyone to pass out if they want to invite friends.
See you all tomorrow!

16 October 2012

Week 7: Masculinity and Homophobia

So we're gonna change things up a bit this week.  Josef brought up the idea of going to see Zach Wahls speak on Wednesday evening at 7:00.  Some of you may recognize Zach because a video of him speaking to the Iowa House Judiciary Committee went viral (link to video).  Zach was raised by two lesbian parents and is a vocal advocate for GLBQ equality.

Zach is speaking in the LSC theatre as part of GLBT history month and I think this is a perfect time to dig into the ways that conventional manhood drives homophobia.  I was thinking that we could still meet at 6:00, talk about masculinity and homophobia, then head to the theatre to support this event. 

The reading below is one of the better one's that I've found that directly links masculinity to homophobia and it's only 5 pages.  If you all could take the time to do the short reading and try and show up at 6:00 we could still get a good discussion in before the event. 

Also, we were planning on meeting about the plaza event on October 23rd after the meeting.  Zach's speech is only going to last an hour so we should still be able to start our planning conversation by 8:00.  Lastly, for everyone who took thier journals home two weeks ago try and bring those tomorrow so we can get back on track with journaling. 


08 October 2012

Week 6: Men and Violence

Hey guys,

Thanks again for the great turn out last week, it was really nice to see some new faces in the room so thanks to everyone who invited friends, partners, roomies, etc!  So last week we had a chance to talk about healthy relationships for National Dating Violence Awareness Month and are now going to segway into violence and in particular, gender violence.  This week Travis Annameier from CSU Key Communities is going to join us to help deconstruct the connection between hegemonic masculinity and violence. 

For this week I'm just going to post one video.  It's pretty long but I think that it's some of the most important information that we've heard so far this semester.  If you can only make it through the first 10 - 15 minutes that's ok, but I would highly urge you to make the time for the whole segment. 

The guy's name is Jackson Katz.  He's one of the intellectual leaders in the anti-male violence movement and he packs a semester's worth of information into an hour.  Get it:


01 October 2012

Week 5: Men in the Movement Presents... A Guide to Healthy Relationships

Hey Fellas,

This week is our first open session and since October is national dating violence awareness month, we'll be focusing on healthy relationships.  The open sessions are called "Men in the Movement Presents..." and for the first one Krista Martinez from Fort Collins' Family Center/La Familia will be here to help us breakdown how to have a healthy relationship. 

We realize that not all college students are in committed, monogamous hetero relationships so this workshop will focus on romantic relationships in general.  This means that whether you're in a relationship, looking for one, or just looking to hook up, this workshop will hopefully be applicable to everyone. 

Here are a couple links that should help us out this week:

Brief overview of "Realtionships and Love"
Men, Physical Intimacy, and Homophobia
Remember to bring friends, partners, roommates, whoevs!  Also, we'll be in LSC 220 (instead of 224).