Saturday, March 29, 2008

Response - Ability

What response-abilities do men have regarding sexualized violence?

We are very interested in ideas about response-ability, and before we consider these ideas, we would like to explore the practices for disseminating these ideas to men.

Why focus on the disseminating practices before the ideas themselves? We think an awareness of and preferences for different types of disseminating practices will have an effect on what ideas we take up. We are convinced that the disseminating practices create certain ideas, give them credibility, and allow the ideas to exist without reference to practical contexts. These practical contexts have very real effects that influence whether men will take up the ideas willingly or by trickery or force.

We prefer to invite men to consider their own self-interests related to response-abilities. When men act in their own self-interests, the ideas they take up and act upon have deep roots and staying power.

We are not worried by self-interests. We do not think of self-interests as "selfish." We experience the self in relationship with others and know that "self" does not exist in a vacuum. An "individualized self" may be worrisome in ways that a "relational self" is not. Self-interests in relationship cannot help but be influenced by other-interests and interests in others.

How do you get men to examine their self-interests in ways that surface the values, beliefs, preferences and practices that would include response-ability?

Invitation and opportunity.

Trickery and force have limited effectiveness. Their influence is at best shallow and temporary. Upon discovery or recognition, they create anger, resentment and defensiveness. They create a kind of relationship violence that is isomorphic to the practices "corrected."

So instead of disseminating our own ideas about men's response-abilities, we are interested in your ways of eliciting from them their own ideas. In another posting we'll be asking for men's personal ideas. Here we are interested in your organizing and group efforts.

What kind of invitations do you extend to men? What kind of opportunities do you create that men can be interested in? How do you get their attention and their interested collaboration?

1 comment:

Hannah said...

As I am organizing this event on a pretty liberal college campus, I'm using bold and possibly outrageous attempts to get people's attention. So far, a favorite sign of mine has been "HEY! HEY YOU! Yeah, you with the face. Hate rape? Wanna do something about it?" This has had a lot of affect and interest because of the upfront demand of a response--is rape bad to you? Are you going to stand there and let it happen?

Another approach I have used is to appeal to the novelty of the march, and then bring the issue in. For some people, this works really well, especially the fraternities and those wanting to get involved as a group. For other people, they have been more interested in the cause first and the novelty second. And for a whole slew of others getting involved, they have really enjoyed the idea of getting an entire frat or group of friends together to march for the cause and do something "together", which is a great way to build their comradery and solidarity.