One of the newest voices to be added to voices we love is Dan Kipp. He is young, but that detail cannot dispute his boldness. He holds courage to speak the truth and the ability to provide people assurance when dealing with difficult subject matter. Kipp works for the Young Adult Abuse Prevention Program in Maine. He brings to this responsibility his sociology and women’s studies degrees. His blog, Calling Out, Welcome In, is his vehicle to sharing tools, his thoughts, and daily experience with the world. According to Kipp, “The way I see it, these are two essential steps to take: (1) Calling out, or holding men accountable for the messed up actions we’ve taken or beliefs we’ve learned from a sexist society, but doing so in the spirit of (2) Welcome in, or inviting men to be introspective and to seek positive change from within.” To Dan, this cycle is empowering.
This post is also categorized as ‘Tools We Love’ because Kipp has provided an amazing list of resources for young people who are facing abuse. Share this list with anyone who you think may need it.
Here is a piece of one of Dan’s posts called Lesson #2. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Check out Calling Out, Welcome In. It has a lot to offer and you get to experience this young, active, change-making voice for your self.
Dismantling the Part-riarchy
Violence, superiority, entitlement: these are things that all men in a hetero-sexist, patriarchal society learn (albeit, to varying degrees).
They are attitudes that are normal, active, even functional for men in such a society.
They are attitudes that lay dormant in a man who has not questioned this version of masculinity, who has not had any positive role models to show him an alternative way to be a man.
This makes the line between a “good guy” and an “abuser” scarily thin. It’s why, when I’m playing the role of the abuser, I try to win over the male students in the classroom early in the skit. If I can get them to identify and laugh with “Jake” before they see his abusive side, it helps to show that abusers aren’t just monsters, or sociopaths, or skeeveballs we can see from miles away. An abuser could be our friends, our fathers, our coaches.
I don’t say this to scare you.
I don’t say this to condemn men as a group.
I say this to call you in.
Once we realize the scope of the problem, it demands of us some collective work:
To examine masculinity. To question masculinity as it exists within ourselves as individuals, but also within our friends, family, school, and wider culture. To unlearn masculinity-as-sexism. To unlearn masculinity-as-violence.
To examine what it means to be fully human. To encourage the boys and men in our lives – but also the schools we attend, the culture in which we partake – to treat others with full humanity. To learn masculinity-as-respect. To learn masculinity-as-nonviolence.
We need to rewrite the script on what it means to be a man in America, and we need everyone to play their part.