The silence of our friends

Last week, nearly 100 men in Niagara attended the Coalition to End Violence Against Women’s (CEVAW) 101 Men event, featuring Jackson Katz and his Mentors in Violence Prevent (MVP) training. Since that day, I have read a few tweets, a Facebook post or two, and a newspaper column about how interesting and important the conference was; about men needing to act; about men needing to treat violence against women as a men’s issue to join in the fight to stop it.

So far, and – to be fair, it’s just five days later – I have neither heard nor read anything about what specific action will be taken; what specific action men who attended the day’s workshops will engage in. Continue reading “The silence of our friends”

We must raise the bar

You’ve heard it before. You’ve been discussing an incident of domestic violence or sexual assault with or in the vicinity of men and a man has piped up and said, “That’s not my problem. I don’t abuse or assault women. I respect women and treat them right.”

And that’s all well and good, but maybe we need to raise the bar of what it means to be a “good guy” a little higher than simply “I don’t abuse or assault women.”

Continue reading “We must raise the bar”

Men: Use your privilege to help us

Typically, we hear about male privilege – and especially white male privilege – in the context of how it hurts everyone else. Today, I want to point out that – whilst we don’t have to like it – that male privilege can also be used to help women.

A few days ago, I shared this article on social media: What’s rape anxiety? This woman explained it to her favorite men, and they were shocked. In the article, the author shares some things she believes women would want the men in their lives to understand when they hear the women in their lives talking about harassment and violence.

I am fortunate in that the men in my life not only listen to me when I speak about my experiences with harassment and violence and how it impacts women on a daily basis, but they’ve also come around to advocating right alongside me. Continue reading “Men: Use your privilege to help us”