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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

What it means to be a man at UA

Healthy Masculinity at the UA: Our Stories will be held for students to share personal stories about how expectations and stereotypes surrounding masculinity shape their lives tonight in the Union Kiva Room. The event will run from 6-8 p.m.

The goal of the event is to provide a healthy and safe environment for UA students to break stereotypes and share stories.

“At last year’s event, a student told his story about how someone in his family experienced sexual violence committed against them, and he wanted to seek revenge,” but realized aggression is not a productive way to solve his issues, said Tanner Jean-Louis, an anthropology junior and student director for The Men’s Project.

He explained there are a number of stereotypes men at the UA face.

“One big one is body image and the stereotype that a man has to have a lot of muscles and be tall strong and athletic,” Jean-Louis said. “Other stereotypes include the ways men have to behave. Men are supposed to show only a certain range of emotions.”

This marks the second year the UA has partnered with Men Can Stop Rape, an organization that aims to help men develop a healthy masculinity and create an environment free from violence, especially toward women.

“When people think of men, they think of a very specific idea that is often associated with a white middle-class male,” said Chris Corces-Zimmerman, a graduate assistant and higher education graduate student. “In reality, a lot of men at the UA do not fit into that mold. … There is also a focus on the negative aspects of masculinity, what some people call ‘toxic masculinity,’ instead of a focus on the potential for men to build respect amongst men.”

In order to break down negative stereotypes, men need to start talking about their personal experiences.

“Men as a group do not tend to look for a place for dialogue to talk about what it is like to be a man,” Corces-Zimmerman said.

Tyler Ross is an architecture sophomore and commented on how men can create a more positive image overall.

“The stereotypes men face are often negative, and in order to create a more positive stereotype, men need to focus on their behavior,” Ross said. “One man’s behavior toward their family, friends and strangers can often create a certain stereotype on how all men behave.”

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Follow Alisha Perera on Twitter.

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