After the news of Harvey Weinstein‘s scandal broke out, the google searches for Toxic Masculinity went up by 50%. Harvey, who was in due course accused by more than 80 women of sexual harassment and assault, became the poster face of what is termed as toxic masculinity. To break it down in simple terms, toxic masculinity is a form of manhood that lauds sexual conquest, brutality and domination in a bullying manner. To curb this issue, a course was introduced for men to unlearn toxic masculinity.
The ReThink Masculinity is a partnership course between the Rape Crisis Center, Collective Action for Safe Spaces, Washington, D.C., and ReThink which is an organization that serves to prevent sexual assault. It is a 2-week long course that mainly has guys discussing consent, emotional labour, aggression, empathy, vulnerability, addressing their emotions and a lot more.
Men are usually trained and conditioned to grow up tough. Through this course, we get to pay attention to the root cause instead of the outcome. For years we have addressed victim and survivor behaviour, but through this course, we are now focusing on the roots of it which is behaviour and psychology of the offender. It’s not a given, but it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility either.
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It’s #GivingTuesday! Help me (as a board member) and @safespacesdc raise $15,000 today for our #RethinkMasculinity program! This program engages men to end toxic masculinity by finding healthy ways to express themselves and treat women and others with respect. Will you donate what you can? Link in bio! . H/t to my sister @annefrangerm for this awesome @myfavoritemurder cross stitch that is now on my wall. . #ssdgm #myfavoritemurder #toxicmasculinity #cass #safespaces #charity #donate #donation
Men are willing to take up this course and turn their lives and relationships around, which is really the first step to rid themselves of toxic masculinity. Courses like these are heavy. To reverse a lifetime worth of toxic behaviour at home as well as public spaces is a challenge. Especially when these guys step out in a world that contradicts what they are trying to learn.
Mankowski, the associate chair of the psychology department at the Portland State University and head of the school’s Gender and Violence Intervention Research Team said,
You won’t be transformed by a ten-week class, but you’ve got to start somewhere. And ten weeks is better than no weeks. Those who are really committed to making a change, though, shouldn’t expect a one-and-done scenario: The key is continued examination. You will have a difficult time maintaining anything unless you continue working on it.
So today, we’re not only continuing to celebrate International Men’s Day but are proud to know that men from all walks of life are making the effort to ensure the world is a better place to live in for men and women alike.
Courses like these pay heed to the fact that we need to correct the offenders instead of blaming the victim or helping the survivor. Once there is no single offensive mind left in the world, there won’t be victims. We’re definitely rooting for this much-needed step, and that is exactly what we at MissMalini have been doing too. Our Positive Masculinity group is all about sharing, expressing and understanding. All men are more than welcome to join, seek help if needed and engage in what goes on in it.
Join MissMalini‘s Positive Masculinity group here.