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Tag Archive: Personal Reflections

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Don’t Cry Son/ No Llores Hijo

Dennis Muentes

For the second summer in a row, Jane Doe Inc. has had the opportunity to partner with the Forest Foundation to support a full-time Forest Foundation Fellow. This year, we had the pleasure of hosting Dennis Muentes who has worked in-depth on Jane Doe Inc.'s men's engagement work and has strengthened his surveying, interviewing, and non-profit management skills. In preparation for his exit, we asked Dennis to write a reflection about his experience working at Jane Doe Inc. and he exceeded our expectations by authoring this bilingual reflection.

- Jane Doe Inc.

Don’t cry son, you have to be strong because you are a man No llores, eres un hombre y tienes que ser macho mijo
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JDI’s WRD Intern reflects on his own experience and values

T. Smith

A few months ago, I used a ride-hailing service, and like any other customer, I figured that a conversation would ensue. I talked to my driver as I would talk to any stranger, pleasant but still skeptical of intention. My driver was complimenting me on all fronts. My hair, my aesthetic, my mode of speech, if he could see it, hear, it, smell it, or touch it, he was making it be known. Due to how little I hear these things about myself, I didn’t think much of what he was saying, as a matter of fact, I was flattered. My driver continued to tell me about how much he liked me, and how I looked, while also telling me about himself and the “rock star” life he lived. He made me feel comfortable enough to think it was just another man talking to me as a man, which I don’t really do too often as many of my friends are women. I engaged with my driver almost without problem, even as he drove me to his house, then took me through an alternative route just to get back to my final destination. Read More...


Reimaging Manhood

A Guest Blog by Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. Peter is the co-chair of Ma White Ribbon Day 2016. Peter K

As a prosecutor, legislator and now as Sheriff, I have seen firsthand the horrific results of gender-based violence.

I’ve prosecuted those accused of sexual assault, sponsored legislation to provide victims of stalking more tools to protect themselves, and held in my custody hundreds of men accused and convicted of unspeakable acts of domestic violence. But it’s not enough to pass laws and prosecute offenders after the fact – we need to do more to prevent violence from ever occurring in the first place.

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Finding Our Way

Earlier this football season, I was watching a football game with a group of men, having a nice time meeting new people, and then something happens and just like that I am at a loss. Can I believe my ears? What am I to say? Will anyone else say anything? With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, I keep playing this experience over and over and wonder what I’ve learned since.

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White Ribbon Day Reflections

I barely had time to catch my breath after last week’s White Ribbon Day Proclamation Event before hopping on a train to New York for The Center for Study of Men and Masculinities' International Conference. Riding the four-hour train into Manhattan provided me the perfect opportunity to reflect on that afternoon. Days later, it is even more clear to me that the momentum for this work is building as the inquiries, calls, emails and activity continues.

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Each of Us Can Do Something

A Guest Blog by David Sullivan, Northwestern District Attorney. David is the co-chair of Massachusetts White Ribbon Day 2015.

David Sullivan The walk down the long corridor of the Hampshire Probate & Family Court ended at my office. Right next door was the Safe Plan office, a place dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence seek protection from an abusive current or former partner. On too many occasions, I saw mothers with their young children playing with a toy or filling out a coloring book. It made me sad, it made me angry, it woke me up to the fact that domestic violence really existed in my community. It was a daily walk I took for 8 years as the Chief Administrator for the family court. But my walk was so much easier than the journey each of these victims took to seek help for themselves and their children.

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Why I Chose to Get Involved

A Guest Blog by Peter Roby, Athletic Director, Northeastern University. Peter is the co-chair of Massachusetts White Ribbon Day 2015.

Peter Roby Why would a college athletic director be involved in the Massachusetts White Ribbon Day campaign? Does sport have any role to play in finding solutions to ending violence against women? Isn't the culture of sport responsible for all the negative behavior by athletes we read about in the media? These are all appropriate questions and deserve thoughtful responses. Let me give it a try.

I have taken the pledge to be a part of the solution to end violence against women and my occupation is helpful in raising awareness of others. As an athletic director, I view the athletic experience of our students as an extension of the learning done in the classroom. In fact, one of our core values is Coach-as-Educator. Our pursuit of competitive excellence must be balanced by our commitment to providing students a quality education. It is not only my personal desire to be part of any solution to end violence against women; I also view my role as Athletic Director as an incredible opportunity to promote and encourage values of kindness, respect, and empathy to our students and the broader community. My role as a citizen and member of this community is more than enough reason to care.

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Reimagining Manhood

“Be Strong.” “Be a Man.” “Man Up.” “Don’t cry.” How many of us hear these phrases and cringe at how they reinforce the dominant narrative of masculinity?  The social norms around this narrative also shape the belief that men are to be intimidating, controlling and aggressive if they want to be respected.  While cultural differences  exist, the social education of becoming a man transcends diverse communities.  The wealthy, the middle class, the poor, every race, color, and creed, no one is exempt from the pressures to conform to this construct of masculinity.

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Blog Post from our Men’s Initiative Intern, Jackson Murphy

Our Men's Initiative Intern, Jackson Murphy, discusses the film Step Up and the importance of responsible fatherhood.

Let's Talk About Fatherhood: A Reflection on the New Film Step Up

Growing up, I was always surprised when my dad told me he didn’t want anything for Fathers Day. My numerous inquiries as to why he would refuse such an opportunity for a gift always elicited the same response from him: “Because every day is Fathers Day.” After hearing this, my slightly confused 10 year old self would go on about my day, passing off this vague answer as just one of my father’s many “dad phrases.” As I reflect on my first month as a Men’s Initiative intern at Jane Doe Inc., I think about these words my dad loved to tell me, and recognize the wisdom behind their meaning. Fatherhood isn’t something to discuss, think about, or appreciate during one particular day or month. It is instead something that affects us every day from childhood into adult life, as demonstrated in Noube Rateau’s film Step Up: A Documentary on Fatherhood. Read More...


Blog Post from our Men’s Initiative Intern, Cody Tracey

Read a post from our Men's Initiative Intern, Cody Tracey, as he reflects upon his time at the MVP training he attended last week.

“But really,” our MVP facilitator asked, “do any of us ever really feel harassed?” The room full of men paused, and perhaps one or two defensively nodded their heads yes, but stopped after a moment. “Do you ever do much to keep yourself from getting harassed?” There was some awkward consideration, and sure enough, most of us had never really considered the question. After a few “I suppose not’s,” we begged our own next question: “do you all do much on a daily basis to keep from being harassed?” With a few shrugs, the value of segregating discussion by gender was clear. Read More...