Men must make changes to stop cultural violence

As men, one of the things we are taught is to take action or try to fix things that have gone wrong. Michelle Gardner- Quinn’s death offers an opportunity for us as men to connect with the feelings of powerlessness and vulnerability we feel as humans in these situations. The more men allow themselves to feel these feelings, the more they can connect with and understand what it is like for women in this country. The following steps are a broad guideline of ways that men can assist in the efforts to create a safer culture for us all. Acknowledge and understand how sexism, male dominance and male privilege lay the foundation for all forms of violence against women. Examine and challenge our individual sexism and the role that we play in supporting men who are abusive. Recognize and stop colluding with other men by getting out of our socially defined roles, and take a stance to end violence against women. Remember that our silence is affirming. When we choose not to speak out against men’s violence, we are supporting it. Educate and re-educate ourselves about our responsibility in ending men’s violence against women. Break out of the “man box.” Challenge traditional images of manhood that stop us from actively taking a stand to end violence against women. Accept and own our responsibility that violence against women will not end until men become part of the solution to end it. We must take an active role in creating a cultural and social shift that no longer tolerates violence against women. Stop blaming men’s violence on mental illness, lack of anger management skills, chemical dependency, stress, etc., which only excuses men’s violence. Violence against women is rooted in the historic oppression of women , sexism. Stop supporting the notion that men’s violence against women can end by providing treatment for individual men. Men’s violence against women is the outgrowth of men’s socialization. Accept leadership from women. Violence against women will end only when we take direction from those who understand it most women. Be proactive, join a social justice organization and get involved.