Men Against Violence Week ends with intense talks

By Gus Bode

Derrick Williams wants men to join women on the front lines to combat sexual abuse.

Williams moderated a forum titled “Crying Rape” Thursday night in the Student Health Center to cap off the university’s Men Against Violence Week.

Williams, a graduate assistant at the Wellness Center, began the night off by showing a PowerPoint presentation titled, “‘It’s Just a Booty Call’- Exploring the Dynamics of Sexual Assault.”

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The presentation addressed the issue of men being sexually assaulted.

Williams said this problem often does not receive the attention it deserves because of masculinity and the overall fear men have of addressing the problem.

“We want to debunk the traditional standards of men not having emotions and only being able to define themselves through sexual intercourse,” Williams said.

A group of about 20 males engaged in conversation about men and their treatment of women, with the dialogue getting heated at times.

“I hope the men who came tonight understand that women have their own rights and are on the same level as them,” said James Phoenix, a freshman from Belvidere studying political science.

The majority of students in attendance were members of Progressive Masculinities Mentors, a group that meets every Thursday night to discuss the role of masculine behavior in society. The group discusses topics such as domestic violence, male stereotypes and responsible citizenship.

One vocal student, LaCharles Ward, a freshman from Matteson studying psychology and philosophy, said he hoped the men in attendance would leave with a new understanding and respect for women and themselves.

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“I want these guys to understand themselves and how they should carry themselves as males,” Ward said.

Luke McCormick can be reached 536-3311 ext. 254 or [email protected]

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