Our mission is to mobilize men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men's violence against women.
This October 17 – 19 in Washington, DC the Healthy Masculinity Summit will mark the beginning of the Healthy Masculinity Action Project. The Summit Faculty will facilitate conversations about topics like healthy masculinity and violence against women.
Newly confirmed faculty, representing a wide range of expertise and issues, include people like:
· Samantha Yakal-Kremski, who manages the domestic violence prevention (DVP) philanthropy program at the Verizon Foundation.
· Michael Kimmel, who is among the leading researchers and writers on men and masculinity in the world and whose books include Guyland (2008), Misframing Men (2010) and, most recently, A Guy’s Guide to Feminism.
· Ulester Douglas, the Associate Director at Men Stopping Violence, who has provided expert consultation, training and keynote presentations in 40 states, the Caribbean, and Great Britain.
· Amy Terpeluk, a Partner at Finn Partners, who previously spearheaded regional marketing campaigns for films such as The Lord of the Rings and now uses what she learned in the entertainment industry to focus on public relations for societal issues.
Learn more about the Healthy Masculinity Summit’s topnotch Faculty and take advantage of early bird registration price, ending August 17th.
Save money. Early bird registration for the summit ends August 17. www.healthymasculinity.org
The Healthy Masculinity Summit, taking place this October 17-19 in Washington, DC, will be a place for questions. Here’s a start: What does our experience of masculinity and the experiences of others tell us about unhealthy and healthy masculinity? Does healthy masculinity help men and boys have healthier relationships free of sexual and domestic violence? Can healthy masculinity be about both safe relationships and men and boys’ mental and physical health?
There are a lot more to ask. So bring your questions to the summit and join Men Can Stop Rape, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Men Stopping Violence, Coach for America, Women of Color Network, and A CALL TO MEN in asking where healthy masculinity might take us.
Save money. Early bird registration for the summit ends August 17. www.healthymasculinity.org
Introducing the one-edition Healthy Masculinity Action Project Blog Carnival!
Starting in June, we asked our HMAP Allies to contribute posts for our first ever blog carnival. For those unfamiliar, a blog carnival is essentially a single blog post with links to several other blogs, all discussing the same topic. In our case, that topic is healthy masculinity. After weeks of preparation, the HMAP Blog Carnival is here! Let’s get started!
Special thanks to those participating Allies and National Partners: National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Women of Color Network, mtvU’s Against Our Will Campaign, and the School and College Organization for Prevention Educators
NSVRC gets us started with a great post entitled “Going to Bat for Healthy Masculinity,” beginning with a baseball analogy to effectively communicate the difficulty of navigating the subject matter at hand. The grand slam, writer Ali Perrotto says, “would be a system that values all people, where privilege doesn’t exist, and gender doesn’t matter. In this system, sexual violence, gender discrimination and oppression would cease.” A particularly interesting aspect of this post is the inclusion of a Facebook screencap, listing some Friends’ thoughts on the one word that needs to be included in the definition of healthy masculinity. Read more at: http://nsvrc.org/blogs/feminism/going-to-bat-for-healthy-masculinity
mtvU’s Against Our Will Campaign maps healthy masculinity onto a set of situations that addressing the commercial exploitation of women and girls. They provide a quick how-to guide for the college-aged, with ways to impart healthy masculinity in some less than healthy instances. The post reads, “Actively taking a stand against pimp culture and commercial sexual exploitation – and, by extension, for healthy masculinity – can be stressful and uncomfortable. To help you out, we’ve got some ideas to help you handle some awkward scenarios.” Check that out at: http://www.againstourwill.org/activity-feed/4743-using-healthy-masculinity-to-take
What else might healthy masculinity look like on a college campus? An intern at Men Can Stop Rape and student at The George Washington University asks and answers that same question in his post. He begins, “What makes an examination of healthy masculinity in the realm of tertiary education such a difficult yet compelling task is the sheer number of elements in the situation. College denotes a unique, almost insular experience, like another world within the world, maintaining its own leaders, priorities, trends, and so forth.” Read the rest here: http://mencanstoprape.tumblr.com/post/27622562024/what-might-healthy-masculinity-look-like-on-a-college
Next, another GW student reflects on her experience as a women’s studies major co-directing The Vagina Monologues, and the surprise she felt with the number of men who attended the performances. She shares in the post, “Healthy masculinity isn’t just about educating men; it’s about all people modifying their attitudes and actions to reflect a respectful, nonjudgmental cultural outlook.” Her story: http://mencanstoprape.tumblr.com/post/27622646995/healthy-masculinity-not-just-for-men
Of course, teaching and learning about healthy masculinity doesn’t begin in college or adulthood. It should be present even earlier. In the following post, another MCSR intern blogs about masculinity, healthy and unhealthy, in the high school setting, and the importance of positive examples in a child’s life. She says, “[Children] need role models who display strength in a way that is not harmful to the people around them. If it is instilled in their minds while they are young, then they will have the tools necessary to be independent thinkers and strong leaders for the future.” Read the post in its entirety here: http://mencanstoprape.tumblr.com/post/27622708867/healthy-masculinity-adolescence
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence reports from the second bi-annual Women of Color Network’s Call to Action Institute and Conference that “thirty-five men from organizations across the country joined [A CALL TO MEN co-founder Tony Porter] to ‘aim for collective liberation in challenging racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, heterosexism, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, ageism and other forms of oppression and bias.’ After joining together with women of color and white women aspiring allies in morning wellness sessions and meditations, the men began to frame their institute work by discussing the history of the domestic and sexual violence movements, the experiences of women of color in the movements, and the need to engage men and boys.” Read all about their engagement with healthy masculinity on the National Domestic Awareness Month Tumblr page: http://nationaldvam.tumblr.com/post/27480191895/men-exemplify-healthy-masculinity-by-joining-together
SCOPE blogs to emphasize ”how important men’s involvement is to the prevention of sexual violence. In addition to shifting gender norms, empowering bystanders, role modeling for children and being supportive friends and partners, men are personally impacted by violence against themselves and their loved ones.” They later continue, “Reframing what healthy masculinity can be will have a marked effect on sexual violence rates.” We agree. Read more at: http://wearescope.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/scope-and-men-can-stop-rapes-healthy-masculinity-action-project/
Second to last in the carnival, the third of three MCSR interns speaks on his faith in the Healthy Masculinity Action Project and challenges his readers to imagine a community where violence is not the answer. Read what he has to say: http://mencanstoprape.tumblr.com/post/27622889102/the-heart-of-man-plans-his-way-but-hmap-establishes-his
Last but not least, Director of Strategy and Planning at MCSR, Pat McGann shares his thoughts on the upcoming Healthy Masculinity Summit. “We may not be able to immediately mesh all the perspectives and issues tied to healthy masculinity,” he says, “but our first goal at the summit should be to understand and strive to relate multiple perspectives to one another. After we are confident that we have done all we can to make connections, we should take a look at differences.” Read his take on the summit, including how it relates to 80’s sitcom Cheers and more, here: http://mencanstoprape.tumblr.com/post/27622533528/the-healthy-masculinity-summit-where-we-all-can-meet
And that’s it! Thank you again to all of our Allies, National Partners, and supporters, and we look forward to the rest of the Healthy Masculinity Action Project with you all!
by Walter M., MCSR Intern
Have you ever imagined a community where violence is not the answer? Or how about a community where men and women are no longer mistreated? Or sexually abused? Well say no more my friend. It’s time to change from awareness to action.
The Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP) is calling all men and women together to focus specifically on the benefits of healthy masculinity. HMAP is a two-year national project that will build the capacity of diverse communities across the country to spread the message of healthy, non-violent masculinity. HMAP holds the key to preventing sexual and domestic violence against women, girls and even men.
Through my own experiences, I knew a man who was always the dominant one in his family. He was aggressive and verbally abusive towards his wife and kids. Looking back at my experiences, I wish he was enstilled with the values of healthy masculinity as a child. It could’ve prevented a lot of heart aches and pain. That’s why I support HMAP because healthy masculinity prevents domestic violence. I believe HMAP will help establish the stepping stones and will provide great resource on creating healthy, non-violent masculinity for a better future.
This fall, the HMAP Summit will be the first step in jumpstarting this great project on October 17-19 in Washington, D.C. Instead of conventional workshops and presentations, this Summit consists entirely of conversations that move from awareness to action. The HMAP Summit will encourage everyone to talk with everyone else and ask questions about healthy masculinity. We are hoping that we are able to engage as much voices as we can. Visit our HMAP Summit Website.
Our many National Partners, Allies, and supporters are essential to this project. We have National Partners that are collaborating to support HMAP: Men Can Stop Rape, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Men Stopping Violence, Women of Color Network, and A Call to Men. We also have many HMAP Allies working with us to support this movement. We need as much support as we can for the Healthy Masculinity Action Project. Show you support HMAP and Register today.
by Laneisha M., MCSR Intern
From the perspective of a high school student, it is presumed that to show masculinity one must act, dress, and speak a certain way. One should demonstrate athleticism, dominance, and aggression. Through my experience at Cardozo Senior High School in Washington D.C., I discovered that if a male student did not play or at least watch sports, or flirt with girls they were considered weak. If their countenance expressed unhappiness or if it even looked as if they wanted to cry, they were considered weak.
This image of the masculine male forces men to conform to society’s opinion of what a man should be, and it happens at a very early age. It stifles creativity and the ability to think for oneself.
The call for a revolution amongst young men is more prominent now than ever, and encouraging healthy masculinity is essential for changing the culture of our community. Creating an environment where a man is comfortable with being himself is ideal for promoting this change. In this type of an environment men can be confident in their own opinions and also learn to use their strength in a way that is beneficial to their development, and, ultimately, their community.
It is also imperative that healthy masculinity be learned during one’s childhood. As children, they need role models who display strength in a way that is not harmful to the people around them. If it is instilled in their minds while they are young, then they will have the tools necessary to be independent thinkers and strong leaders for the future.
by Elizabeth S., The George Washington University
When I co-directed The George Washington University’s production of The Vagina Monologues this past February, I’ll admit that I didn’t expect both performances to sell out. I also didn’t expect to see many men in the audience, but I was wrong on both counts.
Let’s backtrack a little—I’m a women’s studies major who loves The Vagina Monologues and thinks it’s a really powerful and relatable play. However, I’m also somewhat of a pragmatist. My co-directors and the boards of GW’s NOW (National Organization for Women) and FMLA (Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance) wanted to have a large and diverse audience, so we created fliers specifically for men in addition to our regular poster. On them, we suggested 5 reasons for guys to see The Vagina Monologues, which included “your girlfriend,” “your mom,” and other female relatives. In retrospect, such pitches seem pretty narrow-minded. Neither men nor women exist in a social vacuum, but defining people primarily by their relationships to others isn’t a good thing either.
The play highlights different types of relationships that women have with men and with themselves, a topic that came up in our post-show discussions. These discussions marked a turning point in my understanding of masculinity, and my first interaction with GW Men of Strength, a student group dedicated to preventing violence by promoting healthy masculinity. I saw both men and women question the representation of men in the monologues and in society, and ask about things that they disagreed with or didn’t understand. One man expressed that he didn’t really connect with the play and asked why he should care about it, but he was never shamed or put down for voicing his opinion (nor was anyone else in attendance). In that room, the cast, audience, and guest speakers had created a safe and welcoming space, and participated openly in meaningful conversation. Having these kinds of events and spaces on campus provide people, regardless of gender, with opportunities to learn and let their voices be heard, a crucial factor in establishing a better understanding of healthy masculinity.
I am privileged to attend a university where men are encouraged to see shows like The Vagina Monologues instead of being ostracized for it, where fraternity brothers, athletes, and activists alike will don high heels to “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” where men help teach each other about using their strength for good, and where the Men of Strength club not only accommodates women like me, but warmly welcomes anyone who wants to join.
Instead of dominant stories and stereotypical tropes, I have come to see the bigger picture of men’s roles regarding themselves, their peers, and women. Through my experiences this year, and especially through Men of Strength, I’ve learned that there is a place for everyone, especially women in understanding healthy masculinity. Healthy masculinity isn’t just about educating men; it’s about all people modifying their attitudes and actions to reflect a respectful, nonjudgmental cultural outlook. While this is easier said than done, I’m really excited about the work my school and groups like Men of Strength can do, and I’m even more excited to be a part of it.
by Adam M., The George Washington University
What makes an examination of healthy masculinity in the realm of tertiary education such a difficult yet compelling task is the sheer number of elements in the situation. College denotes a unique, almost insular experience, like another world within the world, maintaining its own leaders, priorities, trends, and so forth.
Of course, the primary element is the schooling itself. Despite the number of distracting factors on the college campus nowadays, the experience still revolves around learning. And it’s a different kind of learning from what most of us were used to in high school: hopefully classes aren’t merely a talking head droning on about some historical fact or figure, but discussions sparking the kinds of conversations that challenge students and professors to think more intelligently about ideas. Those discussions serve undoubtedly as a platform and opportunity to have healthy masculinity shine. They’re a chance make sure the conversation is fair to everyone, reprimanding sexist, homophobic, and other hateful views.
Outside of the lecture hall, or outside of the conversation, I should say, healthy masculinity on the college campus starts to become more than just words. It becomes being responsible—namely at parties, social events, etc.—and looking out for both yourself and your friends. It’s being sure to not overstep your boundaries while flirting, and remaining vigilant to any suspicious or questionable interactions around you. Most college campuses reek of school spirit, creating a familial atmosphere; healthy masculinity is simply taking care of your college family.
All in all, healthy masculinity on the college campus looks like you and I making conscientious decisions to be better, stronger men. Healthy masculinity is knowing when to take the high road and avoid physical altercation, but still having the strength and knowledge to fight for what you believe in. I believe in healthy masculinity. It’s one of the many reasons why I’m a Campus Man of Strength.
by Pat McGann, MCSR
I was a fan of the sitcom Cheers in the mid-1980s. It was part of the “Must See TV” lineup on NBC Thursdays, along with The Cosby Show, Family Ties, and Hill Street Blues. A few of the grad students in English Studies at Texas Tech would gather Thursdays in my efficiency apartment to spend a couple hours in front of my battered thirteen-inch black-and-white TV. While Hill Street Blues was my favorite in the lineup, Cosby and Cheers ran a close second. Looking back, I would critique Cheers for being so white, and I’m not going to claim that it was a stellar example of healthy masculinity either. But if I were to watch it now, I’m certain there still would be things I would like about it.
One of those things would be the theme song, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name,” voted in a 2011 Rolling Stone readers’ poll the best television theme song of all time. The lyrics capture the desire to have a meeting place where you’re known and accepted, where even though there are differences, there are also important and lasting ways everyone is connected. I see the Healthy Masculinity Summit as a meeting place like that.
The summit kicks off the Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP), a two-year initiative designed to raise the visibility and value of healthy masculinity and support emerging male leaders taking action in communities across the country. Instead of the summit being a place “Where Everybody Knows Your Name,” I would change it to “Where We All Can Meet and Connect.” I know, it won’t ever be the title of the best television theme song of all time, but it captures the purpose of the summit.
Since May, I’ve spent many hours talking to people from various national organizations about supporting healthy masculinity and the project by becoming a HMAP Ally. An ally agrees to support the initiative by sharing information about HMAP with its national network. In the course of these discussions, it has become clear to me that people and organizations often come to healthy masculinity from different places. What does it mean for the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation to be a HMAP Ally? The “mtvU Against Our Will” campaign? The Relationship Training Institute? The American School Counselor Association? Hollaback!?
A “Case Commentary” by David Wexler, Executive Director for the Relationship Training Institute, a HMAP Ally, appears in the May/June 2012 issue of Psychotherapy Networker. He is responding to a case study by Robert Garfield on “Men Helping Men: Using Men’s Groups to Enhance Couples Therapy.” In the commentary, Wexler claims that part “of what sabotages a man’s ability to relate more deeply with his intimate partner is the ‘relationship dread’ phenomenon – a man switching to fight or flight because he’s fearful he’s going to fail somehow in the relationship.
It might not be immediately apparent whether “relationship dread’ would connect with the work of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, which helps to build character and teach life critical life lessons to disadvantaged young people through baseball and softball themed programs. Or with the work of Hollaback!, which is committed to ending street harassment. At the Healthy Masculinity Summit, though, we will want to embrace the idea that “relationship dread” – or aspects of it – might potentially relate to the work of these different organizations. If males are socialized to deal with fear of failure through fight-or-flight, does that affect a young man’s actions on and off the field when a big game is lost? Does it affect how a man approaches bystander intervention when a woman is being sexually harassed?
We may not be able to immediately mesh all the perspectives and issues tied to healthy masculinity, but our first goal at the summit should be to understand and strive to relate multiple perspectives to one another. After we are confident that we have done all we can to make connections, we should take a look at differences.
One of my favorite quotes comes from Paul Hawken, an environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author: “All is connected. No one thing can change by itself.” We all need each other for change. The Healthy Masculinity Summit will be a place where we all can meet, connect, and where together we can work for change that benefits us all.
In the twenty-first century, no brand, company, organization, or movement is complete without some visual representation. The Healthy Masculinity Action Project is no different. Now, with the “I Support Healthy Masculinity” icon, you can promote healthy masculinity and the Healthy Masculinity Action Project.
The Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP) is a two-year national movement to develop new male leadership that role models strength without violence. The Healthy Masculinity Action Project begins in October with the Healthy Masculinity Summit in Washington, DC.
Despite only four words in the statement, “I Support Healthy Masculinity,” it says so much more. Supporting healthy masculinity is supporting communities that are free from street harassment and domestic violence, and lives that are better for women, children, and men. Generating conversations about healthy masculinity is a vital step in creating healthy relationships of all kinds.
As the weeks leading up to the Healthy Masculinity Summit continue, your support of HMAP will become increasingly critical in spreading the message of healthy masculinity.
So, do you support healthy masculinity?
Show it with the “I Support Healthy Masculinity” icon!
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org