Women’s Week male panel event

A letter about Women’s  Week panel discussion


After women’s week was over I received a disturbing email from someone who was highly against the discussion event that took place with an all-male panel. This person stated “what the hell do men know about being feminists.” Since the person who wrote this email didn’t actually attend the event and didn’t hear what the panelists had to say I decided write this letter in response to their comment.

The men’s discussion panel event “This is what a Feminist looks like” took place on Monday night, 6 pm. In McDaniel Hall, room 101 as part of women’s week. The panel consisted of Dr. Benjamin Waddell, Dr. Jeff Elison, Dr. Nick Saenz, Dr. Matt Nehring, and ASU Student Evan Gibson. Dr. Stephanie Hilwig was in charge of this particular Women’s Week event. Dr. Hilwig chose this event to showcase they ways in which men can be and are feminists, as well as the reasons behind their feminist activities. Her reasons behind this event were motivated by personal experiences that many women face on a daily basis that harm women.

On a daily basis some men engage in active harm by creating policies that hurt or limit women. They also consciously or unconsciously engage in everyday sexism that harms women. On a daily basis men also engage in passive harm against women, by not standing up for women when they see an injustice. The panelists discussed the powerful impact of their relationships with their mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, female friends, and colleagues. It is these relationships that motived them toward active facilitation to help raise the status of women. I would like to emphasized that these men were not doing things for women, not being the knight in shining armor coming to the rescue, but standing next to women, working with women to make the world a better place for women. They did this out of a genuine care for women, because of the women in their own lives.

It is my opinion that we can’t change the planet for more than half of the world’s population without involving the other half in the conversation. This event did a good job of addressing that issue. We want men to stop the passive and active harm against women. We want men to move beyond passive facilitation to active facilitation, like this panel of men have done. This is why the panel event was part of women’s week.