What is Men in the Movement?
Men in the Movement is a WGAC anti-violence initiative that gathers CSU students who identify as men to engage with issues relating to gender, violence, and masculinity. Enabled by the Interpersonal Violence and Safety Fee, the goal of Men in the Movement is to prevent gender-based violence by challenging men to create masculinities that object to violence-supportive culture.
What does Men in the Movement focus on?
The group focuses on topics including (but not limited to) relationships, consent, sexual violence, pornography, masculinity, sports culture, homophobia, bystander intervention, violence, and the role of media.
While much of the content explicitly deals with gender, the group is grounded in a social justice framework. Through the social justice lens, the group strives to recognize the ways that multiple forms of oppression are interrelated and how social identity relates people/groups differently to these issues.
Why would men want to organize around the issue of gender-based violence?
There are lots of reasons why men are increasingly becoming involved with gender issues, here are a few of the main ones:
- Men commit an overwhelming majority of not only gender-based violence, but violence in general. Typically violence is not understood to be tied to a particular gender but when we look at the statistics it’s clear that violence manifests in a distinctly gendered way (men as aggressors, women and other men as victims). The majority of men do not perpetrate physical violence and many would like to work towards a less violent future through disrupting the link between masculinity and violence.
- Sexual violence is a prominent form of gender violence that men experience. 1 in 6 men are victims of sexual violence (often times victimized by other men) and lots of men are secondary survivors (meaning that someone they know has been victimized and are therefore feeling the effects of vicarious trauma).
- Some men are rejecting conventional masculine expectations and desire a supportive environment to grapple with concepts related to gender. See Men and Masculinities page.
- Some men look for ways to address things like patriarchy and misogyny while being beneficiaries of those systems. This process entails understanding how privilege works, how to be a good ally, and how to work within male peer culture to create positive changes.
How is the group structured?
Each week a group of CSU undergraduate men meet up for two hours to interactively engage with a variety of gender-related issues. Recruitment is typically done the first two weeks of the semester.
If people can’t commit to a whole semester, anyone (regardless of gender) is welcome to come to the monthly programs called “Men in the Movement Presents…” to learn about and discuss topics ranging from pornography to healthy relationships.
Guys who have completed a semester of Men in the Movement continue to meet weekly to go further with these issues and plan occasional events.
Participation is not for credit and completely voluntary. Men are expected to participate because of an authentic desire to be self-critical and grow around these issues.
I’m interested! How do I get involved?
Contact WGAC’s Program Coordinator for Men’s Programming and Violence Prevention at Carl.Olsen@colostate.edu. Also check out the Men and Masculinities page for resources and more info.