There may be a global shift taking place from the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, with high profile demands to end male violence, and growing acknowledgements of male privilege. In response, some men are committing to #HowIwillChange and #WeBelieve and acknowledging their socialization and desire to change. Men are being held accountable through mainstream media coverage, through memes and social media, shaming, legal actions, and more. The good news is that men are increasingly looking for solutions. Fresh to this public crisis, we see many men locked in their shame, unclear where to turn for solutions and opportunities for men, families and communities to heal. If there was ever a moment to promote men's accountability, thanks to the women in the #MeToo movement, we now have it.
This conference is designed by and for men (self-identified). We are inviting other guys to come together to learn from mistakes and victories, to learning from women in their lives, from feminism, and from cultural leaders. We will have speakers and workshop facilitators who can present on the history of men showing up to end male violence in our society, as well as to deep dive into many issues, such as: men holding other men accountable in school, campus or community; working to be healthy human beings; parenting tips; showing links between rape culture and our emotional reliance on violent porn, prostitution, strips clubs and massage parlours; how restorative justice works; counselling and therapy strategies that work; male survivors of sexual abuse; reducing recidivism; ending violence against women, femmes, queers, and non-binary people.
There are no "good guys" and "bad guys" in all this. We believe we are all on the spectrum.
We are dads, workers, Elders, front-line community workers, therapists, people of different faith, profeminist activists, researchers, Indigenous youth, and more. We will share food, stories, tears, shoulders, solutions, and make commitments to change our lives and improve our families, campuses, worksites and communities.
For too long, women have been on the frontlines of holding men accountable and reducing violence throughout society. We want to unlearn our socialized behavior and boost our humanity. We want to hear from other guy's words and actions and see what they did to take the next step in their lives.
Instead of focusing on Harvey Weinstein, we can likely learn more from discussions about Aziz Ansari's behaviour and the more 'everyday sexism' we are involved in that is normalised as predatorial male behaviour. Scroll down our @StoppingVAW Twitter feed for lots of articles making these connections. See you on Saturday!