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Empowering Men

I have really enjoyed reading the posts from other contributors. I especially enjoyed the research around getting men involved, gender stereotypes and getting people to talk so I would like to build upon these ideas.

Photo of Christine Hicklin
23 16

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Research: I've been reading the articles listed below that suggested a possible link between men feeling out of control or powerless and violent crime. Gender stereotypes seem to contribute to these feelings. It appears that gender stereotypes place a tremendous burden on males to provide, hold in their emotions while caring for themselves and those they love. When men do express their feelings they are at times ignored, discouraged or marginalized.

Success Story: I work for a Church in Oakland. The Church has a successful men’s only group where men are encouraged to honestly express their feelings, share their struggles and support each other.

How Can We Empower Men: Maybe we can empower men by providing education focused on changing gender stereotypes, increasing support for families, providing a platform for men to support eachother and express their feelings in healthy ways.

Research References:
http://wordafc.org/
http://www.wanttoknow.info/g/violent_crime_rates_reduction
http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/empowering-young-men-in-ending-sexual-exploitation/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/talking-with-evil-my-interviews-with-a-serial-killer-rapist-and-child-molester/2013/02/22/41d1f0bc-79e1-11e2-a044-676856536b40_story.html
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/experiments-in-philosophy/201202/why-are-men-so-violent
http://www.endalldisease.com/ted-bundy-serial-killer-and-rapist-wanted-to-tell-the-world-about-pornography/
http://jezebel.com/new-documentary-explores-the-pressures-of-male-gender-s-747395006
http://www.pbs.org/kued/nosafeplace/interv/sanchez.html
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/754975_11
http://www.autismwebsite.com/crimetimes/97d/w97dp6.htm
http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Robbery-Ends-in-Prayer/4

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Photo of Meena Kadri

Great to hear about the good work of your church, Christine.

Tip: to activate links in your post, hit the Update Entry button up there on the right, then follow the instructions here: http://bit.ly/oi_link  

Photo of Christine Hicklin

Thank You Meena and I appreciate your reminder to activate the links. I just updated my entry today!

Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

I definitely feel that men should be educated and help assist with the epidemic of women safety. For example, we should not teach the concept of "don't get rape" and instead of the concept of "Don't rape".

Photo of Christine Hicklin

Hi Camille,

Thank you for your response. I agree with you that we need to address this issue from multiple angles.

Additionally, I really liked your contributions with the safety app and wristband. I see how that could be a helpful tool for keeping women safe. Also, I have a nephew who is autistic so I am happy to see that it is also being utilized by parents with autistic children.

Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

I wholeheartedly agree with your approach. Men are and should be part of the solution not just the problem. Engaging and empowering men to do good is much more powerful in creating a long-lasting change in their attitude towards women, rather than shunning and ostracizing them. I would also suggest starting young since these values are ingrained early on in life.

Photo of Christine Hicklin

Hi Mia,

I agree with you that it’s very important to empower young men.

I liked your suggestion regarding changing the home environment.

After reading your post I looked up the article below which I thought you might find interesting. The article mentions possible links between witnessing abusive behavior and becoming an abuser.

http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/svaw/domestic/link/theories.htm

Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

Hi Christine,
Thanks so much for sharing the article. The research is very thought-provoking. Nurture & cultural norms seem to play a key contributing role in perpetuating the cycle of violence against women. Changing the anti-women cultural norms and reprogramming the learned behaviors early on, we may be able to correct the issue at its root rather than trying to fix it later.

Photo of Christine Hicklin

Hi Mia,

I conducted a few women's safety interviews last weekend and I thought of your contribution.

Two of the respondents mentioned how important it is to receive the right message at home regarding how to treat women.

I wanted to let you know since that supports your concept!

Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

Hi Christine,
I am so glad to hear that! Thank you for sharing. I look forward to learning & collaborating further on this challenge.
Cheers,
Mia

Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

Hello Christine,

I agree that we should be putting some effort into empowering men as well. I believe they are at the root of the problems women suffer. Would it be a life-long empowerment or do you believe that men would be empowered enough through one activity that they'd be able to function as these new men within society for generations? I am a strong believer that hurt people hurt people, so we should definitely put some focus into fixing the mindsets, and hearts, of men across the globe.

Photo of Christine Hicklin

Hi Anora,

Thank you for your message. You brought up a great question.

I think that this would need to be ongoing empowerment that would hopefully be reinforced throughout generations.

I agree with you that hurting people hurt people. I think it will take time to change the mindset of men and women and to heal from damage that has already been done.

Photo of Ashley Jablow

Nice one Christine! Glad you're joining our efforts and finding inspiration here. Looking forward to seeing more of you in our challenge.

Photo of Christine Hicklin

Thank You Ashley! I appreciate your kindness and I look forward to continuing working with everyone on this challenge.

Photo of An Old Friend

Hey Christine! I think you are on to something. I have read a few articles discussing some possible reasons why men are targeting women when they are committing these violent acts. Some suggest that men are targeting women because they have sincerely developed a hate for women.

Some articles conclude that they feel threatened by their power and/or embarrassed that they were out witted in one way or another. In the eyes of a lot of men, power is authority. If you have no authority, you are not a man. Things as simple as the expression "I see who wears the pants" can trigger different levels of hostility towards females and, every man has their breaking point if they truly believe that man should be given more power and respect than women.

I think you have a very valid point that we (our society) places a lot of gender stereotyping on males. In today's world, if a man can't provide or is out-succeeded by a female, they can be effected in many ways from a lower self-image to being the target of "bad jokes" amongst peers. There is no one particular kind of rapist, they stem from all backgrounds.

Something about what women are doing indirectly, as a whole, is the cause for making themselves the target. I think there is reason to believe it is largely because females are falling out of line with the masculine/feminine stereotypes, making men feel vulnerable and weak when, stereotypically, they are not allowed to be. Men wouldn't be targeting females if their anger didn't stem from growing, negative, affiliations with them.

--Here is an objectified example that we all can relate to.

We loose patience with technology. It is slow at times when it is suppose to be fast. It is suppose to make life easier and instead it can make life harder. These are the stereotypes of technology. If the same item of technology we own falls out of line, out of their stereotype, too many times... a certain person might loose their temper and aggressively shut the computer down or slam their phone on the counter. The concept can be related to the men who engage in these violent acts against women.

What can we do to ease the minds of men and introduce new and positive ways of comparing themselves to women.

Photo of Christine Hicklin

Hi Katie, Thank you so much for your response!

You brought up some great points!

I agree with you that women are also breaking out of traditional gender roles which can make men feel insecure or frustrated.

Also, I really enjoyed your technology analogy. It's true that sometimes when we feel frustration we misplace our anger for a variety of reasons.

I agree that it's important to find ways to ease the minds of men.

In regards to finding ways for them to positively compare themselves to women I have a different idea: How can we stop people from comparing themselves to each other? I know that it's human nature but I feel like so much frustration, anger and insecurity comes along with comparing ourselves with other people or trying to be like someone else. Maybe if we help people to be confident in who they are as individuals they would be less intimidated by the opinions and actions of others.

Please let me know what you think!

Photo of An Old Friend

I wrote a contribution about giving women the credit they deserve for the kind of work they do taking care of their families and homes. Recognizing these women as " working women" instead of insignificant housewives is a way of boosting their confidence. Women that are housewives will continue to struggle with their self-image and confidence if they are constantly being viewed as performing insignificant work compared to their spouses.

I think that is just one example that can start to relate to the root of what your describing and to the problem we are discussing at hand. I don't think we will ever be able to solve jealousy issues, as you said, it is our way of life unfortunately, but, we can try and change what opportunities there are available to be jealous about and maybe those opportunities can be less of importance between men and women, leading men away from assault crimes against women.

Photo of Christine Hicklin

Hi Katie,

I agree that housewives are undervalued and that recognizing their work could be a way to improve their self confidence as well as others perceived value for their efforts.

I also really liked the post about pairing women and children with stray dogs!

Photo of An Old Friend

Thank you Christine! If I think of anything to add to our conversation, I won't hesitate to expand.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Very interesting piece of research and great conversation.
I thought of it reading this other piece of research: http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/research/invite-don-t-indict-men

Photo of Christine Hicklin

Hi Anne-Laure, Thank you for showing me that research! I really liked how they were recasting men as part of the solution as opposed to just seeing them as the problem!

Photo of Meena Kadri

Great to hear about the valuable work being done at your church, Christine. Perhaps you might use our Interview Toolkit to seek further insights from some of them? http://ideo.pn/ws-ask

And here's a tip: to activate links in your post, hit the Update Entry button up there on the right, then follow the instructions here: http://bit.ly/oi_link  

Photo of Christine Hicklin

Hi Meena, Thank You for the idea to use the tool kit. I am going to do as you suggested! Have a great day!