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Equimundo, Vital Voices Global Partnership, and New America hosted a panel event on “Men and the #MeToo Movement: How Can We Move From Silence to Solidarity?” on February 9, 2018 in Washington, DC, streamed on C-SPAN and Facebook Live.

As the #MeToo movement builds momentum, men are being held accountable for discrimination and abuse every day. Numerous voices continue to expose and call out sexism, and there has been a revolution in the response to misogyny with new movements – like TIME’S UP – coming forward to join existing ones with a unified call for change.

To achieve full equality and to create workplaces, relationships, universities, and societies where women are safe, equal, and positioned to lead, men everywhere need to join these women-led movements and step up as allies, advocates, and as models in their public and private lives.

Equimundo, Vital Voices Global Partnership, and New America’s Better Life Lab led the dialogue to discuss the evidence on men who harass and assault, how to work together to change these patterns, and ways to take meaningful action.

We're here with Equimundo and New America hosting the Men and the #MeToo Movement panel!

Posted by Vital Voices on Friday, February 9, 2018

 

The first panel featured activists and academics – including Cindy Dyer of Vital Voices, Neil Irvin of Men Can Stop Rape, Jessica Raven of Collective Action for Safe Spaces, Ianta Summers of the National Women’s March, and Gary Barker of Equimundo – for a discussion on what drives sexual harassment and what works in programming, practice, and organizing to prevent and address it.

While affirming that calling out individual men and men is power is essential, Gary Barker said, “What do we know that drives sexual harassment and sexual assault? The simple answer is the way that we raise our sons … These norms are created every single day.”

“It does have to start with leadership. But I also think that we do have power to change those norms. I’m a big believer in bystander intervention. So speak out and call out everyday sexism,” Jessica Raven said.

The second panel featured a discussion about working with men, women, and all students on campuses to prevent violence and prepare them to lead respectful, equitable, and healthy lives. New America’s Haley Swenson moderated a conversation with Don McPherson, activist and college football hall of famer; Annie E. Clark of End Rape on Campus; and Michael Kimmel, Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University.

Throughout the event, the panelists provided a range of recommendations to end sexual harassment, to transform the harmful norms that drive these behaviors, and to create a narrative of positive masculinity around what men can and should do to be thoughtful and respectful classmates, friends, coworkers, and more.

Recommendations include:

  1. Leadership within institutions – and institutions themselves – need to lead the way and set an example of respect, and those institutions that embody hyper-masculine ideals and have great social influence (like the military and sports associations) have a particular role to play;
  2. Bystander interventions and programming for young men should be created with social-justice and feminist principles at their core;
  3. Parents and teachers should start early, with gender-transformative curricula in schools and by raising children to respect their own and others’ bodies;
  4. Parental leave should be equal, paid, and non-transferable, and parent training should be government-backed and institutionalized to support caregivers in raising respectful, healthy children;
  5. Media dialogues and debates should be centered on research and solutions, and they should include expert voices;
  6. Narratives and priorities of survivors who want to speak out should lead the way on framing our solutions – they are experts of their own experiences;
  7. Comprehensive, mandatory sexuality education (for all ages and through the university level) should be a necessity to guarantee that youth have the tools they need to ensure healthy relationships, communities, and sexual and reproductive health outcomes;
  8. All citizens should show up and vote for candidates who support gender equality and who do not tolerate sexual harassment or assault in their public platforms, or voting records;
  9. Women’s leadership and voices and movements must be elevated, valued, and lead the way forward.

Watch the full event recording on C-SPAN here and on Facebook Live here.

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