GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- The quarterly Catharsis Productions Leadership Workshop titled "Measure of a Man: An Exploration of Masculinity" delved into stereotypical and perceived roles of what makes a strong man.
"Our goal is to talk about sexual assault and harassment prevention in a more nuanced way for staff and students to think about issues that surround the topic," said Ben Murrie, Catharsis Productions facilitator. "Specifically today, talking about hegemonic masculinity, it is more of the way our culture works and the way our culture is taught. Some of those cultural things can be problematic. In the training, we introduce the subject in a way that people may not have thought of before."
Hegemonic masculinity is defined as a practice that legitimizes men's dominant position in society and justifies the subordination of women, and other marginalized ways of being a man.
"We want to get people thinking about how the way we are taught in culture affects our thoughts and behavior when we use language," Murrie said. "Cultural norms and imagery can pit men and women against each other and when that happens it will always result in trouble and end poorly. Doing something about it does not cost anything. It doesn't hurt to step up and change the way we think about problem solving."
The interactive workshop involved discussions of how society legitimizes men's dominant position in society and justifies the subordination of women, and other marginalized ways of being a man. The acceptance of these dominant social roles over women and those who are perceived as "feminine" can lead to normalization of sexual assault and harassment. Ways of disrupting these behaviors and the legitimacy of hyper-masculinity by stepping in to counter these issues were debated.
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