Empowering Discussions

Attention Men and Boys. You Are Being Pigeonholed as Violent Cavemen Who Are Incapable of Equality

Last week I saw a post online from my younger male cousin. He shared an experience in his sociology class. The professor asked everyone in the class to raise their hands if they identified as “feminists”. He was the only person in the class of men and women, to raise his hand. He went on to say how his then professor shared a definition and more information on the word feminism.  The professor asked again and this time more students raised their hands.

When I heard his recounting of events I was filled with pride. This is a twenty-two year old male living in  a very conservative state  the USA. I also felt sad that so many men are unable to identify with a term that implies equality between sexes. With the recent news of teen gang rape cases taking center stage in the USA and India, I worry about my nephews who are growing up in a world that constantly tells them they must be tough, play rough, and believe that women are here for their sexual enjoyment or for cleaning their homes. Luckily there is some good news about people are doing to change the way media and culture raise the next generation.

A program in India called” Parivaratan” is being implemented in Mumbai schools to curb sexual harassment and assault by teaching boys appropriate ways to interact with girls.  http://www.icrw.org/media/news/changing-better

Brazil has launched a program to educate men on how to end violence against women called “Ring the Bell”. This worldwide initiative  is a partner with the Clintn Global Initiative.  http://www.promundo.org.br/noticias/campanha-global-vencedora-de-premios-convida-homens-e-meninos-a-tomarem-medidas-para-prevenir-a-violencia-contra-mulheres/

The wife of the Lt. Governor of California urged game developers to stop stereotyping women as only sexy characters  in video game. She was speaking at the GDC, Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on March 27th, 2013 http://venturebeat.com/2013/03/27/californias-second-lady-games-need-to-think-bigger-about-portrayals-of-women/

The documentary MissRepresentation focused on how women and girls are disgusting portrayed in the media as sex objects. Director Jennifer Siebel Newsom directed that film and is currently working on a second called, The Mask You Live In. This film focuses on the detrimental impact of imposed masculinity onto men and boys.  http://www.missrepresentation.org/themaskyoulivein/

What Are You Doing To Promote Equality Between Women and Men?

How Can Parents, Coaches, and Mentors Talk To Boys About Respecting Women?

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