Orientation and Awareness Campaigns Forum – Notes
9 AMS of UBC SASC Healthier Masculinities Program
- Target audience: students
- Run by the UBC AMS student union as a division of the Sexual Assault Support Centre.
- Two mandates
- Engage men as active allies.
- Foster communities and conversations of healthier masculinities.
- 20 volunteers per year divided into smaller groups run monthly “Let’s Talk” discussion groups, special events (this year was a full day of workshops called “Let’s Come Together”), and outreach (this year created a bystander intervention video with real student stories).
- One 30hr/week staff coordinator also runs “men’s circle” discussions on masculinity and mandatory workshops for every UBC fraternity member.
- Funded by student fees–the SASC receives $9/student and Healthier Masculinities receives a portion of that funding (original initial funding was a civil forfeiture grant).
- Best outreach among men is word of mouth.
Messaging and Branding
- Healthier masculinities are a diverse process not a singular final product.
- For “men and masculine-identifying people” to include masculine-leaning or male-aligned nonbinary people.
- Do not hide the intersectional feminism! But consider when creating branding that words like feminism and patriarchy are “allergy” words for men and can lead to disengagement.
- Program volunteers have been harassed by men’s rights activists:
- Need to consider the current political climate when designing program materials
- Target change at norms of masculinity to change men’s behaviour.
- Masculinity norms = what it is to be a man and how a man must act:
- Need to address norms of masculinity that facilitate sexual violence, not just add consent as an add-on to the patriarchy.
- Asks men–what ideas was I raised with and how do I critically engage with and reframe them?
- Strategies for engaging men
- Acknowledge men’s anxieties and desire to do the right thing.
- Directly acknowledge preconceived notions of what consent training is to defuse resistance.
- Bystander intervention as a positive “hero” role for men.
- Men respond to numbers and scholarly citations—need it to be “proven”
- Good tactic to address challenging statements is “where did you learn that?”.
- Research shows that men-only spaces are more effective in changing attitudes and intentions than mixed-gender spaces.
- How men act is highly influenced by what they think their peers’ perception of them will be
- But men underestimate other men’s discomfort with sexist language – this is called pluralistic ignorance
- Teach men that you can always not laugh or ask questions even if not able to directly address a comment.