We are starting work on next year’s programming for Women’s Studies already. We’ve decided to try to work on relationship violence as an issue.
We recognize the problems this presents us. As Reverend Todd put it:
…films are a good idea…but only after men are on board. If films are shown that show male abusers/scumbags/therapy-recipients (heaven forfend anyone should find himself in therapy!*) before our men are on board, the message will likely bounce off the surface without getting through. I believe what’s needed first are programs aimed at manliness: what does it mean to be a real man, gentlemanliness, male spirituality, the role of men in a rapidly changing society (read: the feminization of society), male sexuality, etc. In that context, issues of how men sometimes perceive women should also be addressed and fleshed out, issues like: “She was asking for it,” “Women lie,” “Women try to ‘trap’ men,” sporadic true stories that get stretched and distorted and used to define all women. Until this territory is covered, anything that could be seen as taking “bad” men and rubbing their noses in the mess they’ve made will probably be met with emotions ranging from guardedness to hostility.
*Just thinking to myself: Do we really want to show only the “bad guys” getting some emotional therapy?