Thursday evening, Men in the Movement, a group sponsored through the Women and Gender Advocacy Center, discussed what it means to be a male in our society in a group discussion titled “Tough Guise and Nice Guys.”
The group’s focus is to understand how society defines masculinity and what it means to be a man. Men in the Movement opens up discussions that help other individuals be more conscious about how they interact in society and how they can break up the negative terms that comes with being a man.
“We are a group of guys committed to preventing sexual assault,” Will Wytias-Sobel, a senior sociology major said.
Wytias-Sobel and co-leader, Cody Sprague, senior microbiology major, started the evening by showing the group of students advertisements that specifically speak to the male population.
The advertisements showed a variety of two different men, Tough Guise and Nice Guys. The tough advertisements showcased a very strong man, who was selling a product by using words such as ‘power’ and ‘strength.’ The other advertisement spoke to what it meant to be a classy, nice guy. However, in both cases females were used as the back drop to the advertisements, or that the product would entitle the man to the woman.
The group discussed what the ads say about men, grouped into those who are nice and those who are tough. While the words differed from group to group, they both came down to nice guys and tough buys both feeling as if they are entitled to sex and view women as objects.
“There is this idea of the self-proclaimed nice guy, but he still is entitled to exercise his power,” Sprague said.
Groups then viewed a variety of men’s OkCupid profiles and how men answered questions. One constant across the board showed when men were asked if no meant no when it came to sexual intercourse the loud majority of men said, “no means yes in disguise.”
“If no means yes, men are only viewing women as sexual objects, ” Emily Holcomb, senior sociology major said.
According to Brian Sanz, a senior chemistry major, it is odd that the men in some of the profiles would say they were ‘nice guys’ and that they ‘treat women’ but then use language like ‘sluts’ and ‘bitches.’
One of the profiles stated that he was not looking for any type of a ‘friend-zone.’ Which according to Wytias-Sobel, when the whole goal is to make someone feel the same way you do you are pushing limits, especially if you know the answer is already no.
“It creates a double standard,” said Jenna Howerton, junior ethnic studies major with a concentration in women’s studies. “Women feel guilty if they have to tell a guy that they are just a friend and are scared of losing them if they are just a friend.”
The open discussion allowed students to converse over what masculinity is in our society and shed light to how men feel as if they are entitled to sex and how they view women.
Men in the Movement wants to enable men to engage in another way of thinking and prevent sexual assault of any kind.
Collegian Reporter Josephine Bush can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter at @Joski620.