Campus Life, News

Gender issues at forefront

Ted Bunch, the co-founder of the national men’s organization “A Call to Men,” introduced the concept of the “man box,” the set of ingredients that make up a man, during a presentation Tuesday night. “A Call to Men” is a national men’s organization that addresses domestic and sexual violence.

Despite its name, the event was open to both men and women, although much of the conversation was directed toward members of fraternities. The event was co-sponsored by No Zebras, Girls 4 Good, Student Government, the Association of Greek Letter Organizations (AGLO) and the Interfraternity Council (IFC).

“You know how plants thrive in light, well domestic violence survives in darkness,” Bunch said. “The more you shine light on it the smaller it gets.”

The speech allowed the audience to participate by answering questions or filling in the blank with “common sense” phrases. One question asked the audience to fill in the phrase, “you throw like a …” with the word girl.

The “man box” exercise resulted in examples of where this male box begins to form.

Audience members were asked to shout out ideas. Some said that a man is tough, opinionated, respectful, detached and powerful but is not weak, flexible or sensitive.

Using word clouds, which are a clusters of words used to describe an object or idea, Bunch explained how early gender stereotypes are made.

The first cloud showed that the dominating words were “battle,” “hit,” and “power.” The second word cloud’s dominant words were “friends,” “fun,” and “love.” In the end it was revealed that the word clouds were to describe young boys’ and girls’ toys, respectively.

Bunch said that men should break the stereotype of it not being socially acceptable for men to talk about their feelings by speaking up should they see someone engaging in violent behavior toward women. The conversation stressed the importance of changing norms and having men take responsibility to educate their peers.

IFC president Brad Bradshaw said that this is a step in the right direction for UM’s campus.

“This is an issue that faces everybody – not just fraternities. From a fraternity-centric perspective, however, it’s about how young guys view manhood,” Bradshaw said. “We’re hoping to make a statement that says, ‘Being a man is not about being cool or feeling powerful. It’s about being responsible and showing respect.’ Those are the values our fraternities were founded on and they’re as true now as they were back then.”

Two different studies have found that fraternity men are three times more likely to commit sexual assault in comparison to other college men, according to oneinfourusa.org.

“This event will put us on the forefront nationally to say that we’re going to do our best to put an end to this,” said Justin Goldsman, the president of AGLO, an organization that includes all 31 sororities and fraternities on UM’s campus. “It’s something that most schools haven’t done.”

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, it is estimated that the percentage of completed or attempted rape victimization among women in higher educational institutions may be between 20% and 25% over the course of a college career.

“I thought Greek life needed a good motivational speaker as a wakeup call to a big national issue,” said junior Jacob Levy, a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. “It’s not an issue that I’ve dealt with but it’s something I have been made more aware of now.”

Amelia Abe, president of Girls 4 Good, an organization that aims to find solutions for gender inequalities, found the event beneficial.

“I hope that it starts a conversation more than anything, and I hope that people see even if you don’t personally commit sexual violence against women it’s going to take everyone to make a change,” Abe said.

The sponsoring organizations say they are discussing follow-up events to continue promoting change.

“A lot of times in the past when there are multiple orgs, it throws things off and takes away the sincerity,” Goldsman said. “To see so many of these organizations actually stand up and say ‘we care about this cause’ made it more inspiring and monumental.”

October 1, 2014

Reporters

Nadijah Campbell


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes will have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season, and four play ...

Jesus Luzardo had yet to throw a single pitch as a professional baseball player in 2016 when he unde ...

Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Robert Marve has been arrested in Hillsborough County on an out- ...

Mark Richt has led the Miami Hurricanes back into the national college football conversation during ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and his vaunted 2018 signing class, nicknamed #Storm18, should ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

Political polarization, distrust in fact-based knowledge and verbal targeting may be fueling the ons ...

The University of Miami had four student-athletes selected to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award ...

The University of Miami's Symone Mason closed out the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships with a ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara announced the additions of K ...

Three-time CSCAA Honorable Mention All-American diver Wally Layland and two-time ITA All-American te ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Thursday the signing of two more ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.