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Men and #MeToo

Sascha Kohlmann

It was just over a year ago that the #MeToo movement went viral. Many see this as a step forward for women and others who have been victimized, but what does it mean for men?

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe hosts a conversation on what #MeToo means to men personally, socially, and culturally.

Iowa State University student Benjamin Whittington, says he's had ongoing conversations with his peers in the year since #MeToo took off.

"I would definitely say I’m a lot more careful," he says. "I like to approach sexual encounters with more communication - that doesn’t always work out, especially today in our culture [where] it’s not really expected - but I think that’s a healthy way to go forward and that’s the best way to go forward."

Cody Howell, a violence prevention specialist at the Women’s Resource and Action Center at the University of Iowa, says that it's a positive sign that some men becoming more cognizant in social and sexual situations.

For decades, we've told women how to keep themselves safe, but "the same cultural scripts are not being put out there for boys and men about what you need to be doing to engage in healthy relationships, how to talk respectfully to one another, how to create safety when you’re talking about consent," he says. "Those talks don’t really happen, and the cultural messages being sent to men and boys, especially fom a very early age, are mixed at best and dangerous in other ways."

Other guests joining the discussion include Alan Heisterkamp, director of the Center for Violence Prevention and Mentors in Violence Prevention Leadership Institute at the University of Northern Iowa, and Meenakshi Gigi Durham, professor, collegiate scholar, and associate dean with the University of Iowa’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa