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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Men and Bystander Intervention

"There are many great empowerment-based self-defense classes that can give women strategies for avoiding, interrupting, and stopping harassment. In Chicago, Thousand Waves Martial Arts & Self-Defense Center, NFP and IMPACT Chicago are great resources.  For all the men who wish to be allies to women who experience harassment, I'd suggest reading a bit about how to do so in a way that doesn't dis-empower women." Marie O/Brien
Marie suggests reading Colorado State University Men and Bystander Intervention: "Because most perpetrators of gender violence are men, many bystander intervention programs focus on the ways that men  can intervene when they see other men committing gender violence. This can be an effective 
approach but it’s important to take masculine socialization into consideration as to not encourage a strategy that will cause more harm. Most men have been socialized to protect women … and it’s not a bad thing necessarily to want to make sure people are safe (regardless of gender)…Men often make the mistake of assuming that women need the help of men. Sometimes women would appreciate some help, other times it’s unwarranted… The organization Men Can Stop Rape offers some suggestions for men who want to intervene in a way that doesn’t take agency away from the person on whose behalf you’re considering intervening. Note that these tactics involve things like checking in with that person, using low-key methods like calling her cell phone, and generally keeping the intervention fairly covert as to not escalate the situation."

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