29 April 2013

(Spring) Bystander Intervention Workshop

This week we'll focusing on developing some tangible skills that we can use to disrupt rape supprtive culture, more widely known as "bystander intervention" or "BI".  Bystander intervention uses social psycology to examine what makes one more/less likely to intervene in a potentially hazardous situation. 

On Wednesday we'll talk about this dynamic specifically as it relates to gender violence prevention and our role as men.  There are complex dynamics in every situation and we'll have the time to workshop different scenarios to hear from you all what would work and what wouldn't. 

For those of you who got to see Jackson Katz last Tuesday, he talked about how he uses BI when he works with college athletes and the military.  He explained that it's relatively rare (but by no means non-existant) to be in a situation to stop a rape in progress so we should be focusing also on how we can be effective in intervening in scenarios that constitute rape support culture (which allow sexual violence to be perpetrated).  

He used a triangle to illustrate the ways that each incidence of sexual assault is upheld/supported/enabled by different aspects of rape supportive culture, which we encounter every single day.

So for example, nearly every day I witness (and participate in) sexism.  When I hear/see sexism and I don't say or do anything about it, my silence is basically saying that I condone what's happening.  How can we begin to question and challenge the everyday sexism that works to normalize gender violence?

One of the the goals of the workshop is to have you all leave with more confidence in your ability to act upon what you feel is the right thing to do, which as we all know, it easier said than done.

Check out this video from "What Would You Do" where they try to get bystanders involved in a potential sexual assault:


And there's always Jay Smooth's advice on how to start difficult conversations:

22 March 2013

(Spring) Week 7: Rape Culture and Steubenville

Welcome back fellas!

For those of you who keep up on current events you've probably heard of Steubenville by now.  The case has been given a lot of media attention and I think this is a perfect opportunity to examine Steubenville as a case-study for rape culture. 
We've touched on the concept of rape culture (also known as rape-supportive culture, or RSC) but this week we'll deepen our understanding of the concept and see how it operates in "real life". 

Just so folks know what we're talking about, Steubenville is a small town in Ohio where in August of 2012 members of the high school football team raped a young woman.  Two of the men were charged with rape and will be spending a minimum of 1 year in juvinile jail. 

Sounds pretty straight-forward right?  Well if you google "Steubenville" you'll quickly see that the case has been surrounded in controversy because of attempts to minimize the act, cover it up, protect the perps, victim blame, sympathize with the accused, and villify the victim.

We've got a lot to talk about!!  Check out this video where a guy recaps the case, then talks about how rape culture enables, and defends the acts:


13 March 2013

(Spring) Week 6: The Complexities of Consent

This week we'll have Mitch Trebesh who currently works at Front Range Community College and has worked at The Sexual Assault Victim Advocate center (SAVA) as an educator for highschool guys.  He is a really awesome guy and has done a TON of work around these issues.

Today we'll be focusing on consent.  So in theory, consent is a pretty straight-forward concept but as we saw last week, there are times when it's not so clear.  We'll spend this week exploring what consent actually is, how it makes sexual experiences better, and brainstorm ways to make asking and communication part of the sexual process.

See you all at 6!

04 March 2013

(Spring) Week 5: Men and Sexual Assault

Hey Fellas!
So we have a TON to talk about this week!  We'll be going over 2 main sections:

1.) Sexual Assault 101
-We'll explore some of the statistics, dynamics, and nuances of sexual assault.

2.) Who are the Perpetrators
-We'll explore the profile of a "typical" college perpetrator which will open up lots of questions about male culture, socialization (learned behavior), and our role in ending these forms of violence.

This article is by David Lisak, who has done a lot of work profiling perpetrators and advocating against sexual violence.  Check out at least the first 3 pages of this article, it's really really informative and worth the whole read.

22 February 2013

(Spring) Week 4: Healthy Relationships

Hey Guys,
After where we left off last week it seems logical to jump to relationships, why they're a central part of many people's lives, how we tend to not be that great at them, and how we can exlpore what it means to be in a "healthy" relationship. 

There are lots of different ways to talk about relationships, especially romantic or sexual ones, and here are a couple things that might help us get the conversation going:

Men and Physical Intimacy - A bit on how our relationship to each other (as men) is very much a product of the social expectations and norms of our time.

What Constitutes a Healthy Relationship - This is a really great site that gives an overview of the components of a healthy relationship, and some of the different ways that relationships can look.

And lastly, this is a TED talk that has been widely popular because she asks that we do something terrifying in order to be able to develop meaningful connections with the people around us: willingly make ourselves vulnerable.  PLEASE CHECK THIS OUT!

The Power of Vulnerability
Brene Brown

19 February 2013

(Spring) Week 3: Masculinity and Healthy Sexuality

Hey Fellas,
So this week we'll be talking broadly about how masculinity and sexuality interrelate in various ways.  The big question of the week is:
What does it mean to foster/encourage/embody healthy sexuality? 

This question is a really important question for us to be asking because from what I've seen, there are very few people trying to genuinely answer it. 

-What types of conversations about sexuality do men have?

-Why might it be difficult for men to have honest conversations about sexuality more regularly?

-What are the messages that we as men have gotten around sexuality?

-How can some of these be problematic?

-How does homophobia relate to masculinity and gender?

-How have expectations for men's sexuality been constructed? 

-And ultimately, what does it mean to have a healthy sexuality?!

For this discussion we'll be working from a "sex positive" framework.  Please read the following article (it's short) before the session so we can incorporate sex positivity into our discussion: http://lacigreen.tv/what-is-sex-positive

Ok, I hope to see you all there and I'm excited to hear what ya'll have to say!

29 January 2013

Gearing Up for Another Semester!

Thanks to all who were able to make the first semester of Men in the Movement as huge success!  The group who completed the first semester will continue to meet on Tuesday evenings to keep moving forward with the work.

In the meantime we're looking to recruit another great group of CSU men who want to be part of Men in the Movement.  The two groups will be able to overlap and work together for events and occasional programs or discussions. 

The first session for the new group will be on Wednesday, February 6th from 6-8pm in Behavioral Sciences Building rm 105.  Absolutely no prior experience talking about gender or masculinity is necessary, just a williness to learn and think critically!  As always, the group is open to men of all identities and we're hoping to have another group that widely represents our community in terms of race, sexual orientation, class, ability, and more. 

Hope to see lots of fellas there!