As a rape crisis counselor (in training) and feminist, I often take for granted the conversations that happen within those communities about ending rape culture and victim blaming.
I also tend to focus so much on survivors (which is good) that I overlook teaching rapists how NOT to rape (which is not so good). Eradicating almost any problem needs to incorporate a large outreach for prevention.
While we know that not all rapists are men, they are a large population of sexual assault offenders. So, the organization called Men Can Stop Rape is exactly what we need in our society. They not only teach that as a man, you can stop the actual crime of rape, but that they are engrained from a very early age to fit in a very specific box of masculinity.
The combination of learned characteristics for men such as physical strength, lack of emotions or vulnerability, sexual aggression, and objectifying women are exactly what make for the encouragement and tolerance of sexual violence. If men are outside this box of masculinity, they are made fun of and called names like ‘gay’, ‘girly’, ‘pussy’, etc… Names that aren’t insults, but names of people or things that are viewed as less than the hetero-normative male in our society.
Luckily, Men Can Stop Rape is reaching out to other men to let them know it’s okay to stand up for a fellow human being who is treated like an object. It’s okay to let emotions show and realize they aren’t the supreme beings in the world.