I want to thank the nine men who attended the mens forum at Take Back The Night, as well as those men who supported the event as a whole.
Sadly, few men were this supportive. They raised their middle fingers at the marchers. They yelled insults. One even tried to pick a fight with a woman working as a peacekeeper.
I know these issues make us, as men, feel defensive. Im not saying all men are evil. I simply want to understand a few things. Why did so few of us attend the speak out or the mens forum? Why did so many react to the march with derision?
Finally, what is it about ending rape that makes us so uncomfortable? Take Back The Night is about stopping rape and violence against women. How can so many of us think this is a bad thing?
Could it be the marchers made us look at ourselves? They made us realize our attitudes, our jokes and our apathy are part of the problem? Could it be were afraid to support anti-rape movements because we might seem unmanly?
Could it be some of us enjoy the power that comes from being a man, the power to walk across campus at night without fear, the power to force our date into bed, hold her down, violate her body - and tell her its her fault?
Every mans answers will be different. I wonder how many of us will have the guts to answer honestly.
1996 MSU graduate