Give Back the Night talks consent and toxic masculinity

Maria Ly
Staff Writer

The Men Standing Up Against Violence student organization at MNSU partnered up with the Violence Awareness and Response Program in their event “Give Back the Night” to discuss topics of consent and toxic masculinity. 

Hunter Beckstrom, a member of the Men Standing Up Against Violence group, stated, “Give back the night is more focused on men speaking up in solidarity against violence against women.”

Dr. Dean Henry Morris gave a quick speech about consent and the different offices on campus that can help with students in problems in terms of making reports. He stated, “How she dresses and how she acts, she’s not asking for something to happen to her.” 

Jason Mack, the executive director of Committee Against Domestic Abuse (CADA), talked about consent and toxic masculinity. He stated, “I think it’s important that we listen to people with different identities, whether that’s ethnicity or whether that’s gender or sexuality, whatever that is we need to listen. The importance is not on them to teach us, it’s on us to listen and pay attention.”

Dr. Eric Sprankle, a professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato, talked about sexual ethics and how men have been socialized and normalized to think sexually. 

Jesse Valentin, a graduate assistant at the LGBT center, talked about sexual assault in the indigenous and LGBTQ community. He stated, “Members from the LGBTQ community suffer disproportionate rates of sexual victimization compared to the general population, specifically, transgender woman of color.”

Valentin continued, “Indigenous women, many of them say they were born into violence. They were born of violence of traumatic history and born into the violence surrounding them. Indigenous women experience some of the highest rates of sexual violence, they are ten times more likely to sexually assaulted or murdered than the general population.”

Seth Nilsen, the president of the student organization, Mental Health Mankato, discussed sexual assault in the context of mental health and the trauma associated with it. 

Jonathon Arndt, a member of Men Standing Up Against Violence, ended the event by talking about power and privilege. He stated, “Masculinity is not a bad thing at all, it’s not a negative thing. It’s only negative if you use it in a toxic way. You need to be mindful that masculinity is not a bad thing unless you use it in a bad way.”

Beckstrom encourages all people to attend more events pertaining social issues. Beckstrom stated, “I think it’s very important to have these conversations and talk to others about these issues, but it’s also important to put things into action.”

Header photo by Maria Ly | MSU Reporter.

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