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Toxic Masculinity Got You Down? 11 Things Men Can Do

We've all heard lame excuses normalizing sexual assault and rape culture as just "locker room talk." Yet men are part of the solution towards ending violence & promoting equality and healthy masculinity.

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Voices of Men, a cutting-edge Wisconsin org with a mission to "end sexual assault and domestic violence by dismantling Man Box culture and building a culture of Healthy Manhood" just released 11 Things Men Can Do poster series that's FREE to download. The context? A visual campaign released in advance of annual live-streamed Voices of Men breakfast, Nov. 2, 2016, launching a still-needed conversation, followed by a two-day national Masculinity Summit, Nov 2-3, 2016 through St. Norbert College's Cassandra Voss Center.

The free & public Summit features national experts on masculinity and identity, including consent expert & scholar Harry Brod, White Ribbon Campaign co-founder Michael Kaufman, and TED talk speaker & writer Michael Kimmel. How can men work in solidarity with women to dismantle toxic masculinity? Here are 11 everyday antidotes:

1. Break out of the Man Box

Express a full range of emotions. Ask for help when needed. Value women. Be gentle, be kind, be loving. Practice and teach healthy manhood.
Rachel Crowl, bettypageisablonde.com / Via Fox Valley Voices of Men, voicesofmen.com

Express a full range of emotions. Ask for help when needed. Value women. Be gentle, be kind, be loving. Practice and teach healthy manhood.

2. Listen to women

Listen to women, hear and believe their stories and experiences, help elevate their voices and follow the leadership of women.
Rachel Crowl, bettypageisablonde.com / Via Fox Valley Voices of Men, voicesofmen.com

Listen to women, hear and believe their stories and experiences, help elevate their voices and follow the leadership of women.

3. Look in the mirror

See our sexism, see male privilege. Take an honest, fearless look at ourselves and make the needed changes.
Rachel Crowl, bettypageisablonde.com / Via Fox Valley Voices of Men, voicesofmen.com

See our sexism, see male privilege. Take an honest, fearless look at ourselves and make the needed changes.

4. Express emotions in healthy ways

Anger is not the only ‘manly’ emotion. Express love, fear, gratitude, sadness, shame, tears and joy.
Rachel Crowl, bettypageisablonde.com / Via Fox Valley Voices of Men, voicesofmen.com

Anger is not the only ‘manly’ emotion. Express love, fear, gratitude, sadness, shame, tears and joy.

5. Challenge sexist culture

Notice degrading messages in media and culture, and speak up to lead change.
Rachel Crowl, bettypageisablonde.com / Via Fox Valley Voices of Men, voicesofmen.com

Notice degrading messages in media and culture, and speak up to lead change.

6. Words matter

Stop using words that limit boys and men or degrade girls and women. Don’t blame victims. Don’t excuse perpetrators. Elevate others with your words.
Rachel Cowl, bettypageisablonde.com / Via Fox Valley Voices of Men, voicesofmen.com

Stop using words that limit boys and men or degrade girls and women. Don’t blame victims. Don’t excuse perpetrators. Elevate others with your words.

7. Speak up

Our silence supports perpetrators and sexism. Speaking up begins with those closest to us.
Rachel Cowl, bettypageisablonde.com / Via Fox Valley Voices of Men, voicesofmen.com

Our silence supports perpetrators and sexism. Speaking up begins with those closest to us.

8. Seek justice

Educate yourself and others about systems of violence and oppression, become aware of privilege and work toward justice and dignity for all.
Rachel Crowl, bettypageisablonde.com / Via Fox Valley Voices of Men, voicesofmen.com

Educate yourself and others about systems of violence and oppression, become aware of privilege and work toward justice and dignity for all.

9. Pay attention

Sexual assault and domestic violence are tragedies and epidemics, and happen far more than we realize. See it, be outraged, do something.
Rachel Crowl, bettypageisablonde.com / Via Fox Valley Voices of Men, voicesofmen.com

Sexual assault and domestic violence are tragedies and epidemics, and happen far more than we realize. See it, be outraged, do something.

10. Only with a yes

Practice, teach, and expect that only a willing, sober, and enthusiastic yes means yes. Affirmative consent is required.
Rachel Crowl, bettypageisablonde.com / Via Fox Valley Voices of Men, voicesofmen.com

Practice, teach, and expect that only a willing, sober, and enthusiastic yes means yes. Affirmative consent is required.

11. Stay on it

Invite other men to help end sexual assault and domestic violence. Step up 24/7.
Rachel Crowl, bettypageisablonde.com / Via Fox Valley Voices of Men, voicesofmen.com

Invite other men to help end sexual assault and domestic violence. Step up 24/7.

Awaiting instructions

Rachel Crowl, bettypageisablonde.com / Via Fox Valley Voices of Men, voicesofmen.com

And remember...

Abigail Hausman, abigailhausman.com & Emily Hargarten, linkedin.com / Via Cassandra Voss Center, snc.edu
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