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Home Resources Anti-Oppression Exercises The Benefits of Being Male Exercise
The Benefits of Being Male Exercise PDF Print E-mail
Tell the group that you are going to read a series of statements and that each male to whom a statement applies should stand up after that statement is read. Tell the group that all of the men and/or young men are being asked to participate. Those who are physically unable to stand may raise their hand to indicate that they are part of the group standing.

Each man or young man should decide for themselves whether the statement applies to them or not. If they are unwilling to stand for a particular statement that applies to them they may pass for that statement but should notice any feelings they have about not standing.

Explain that the exercise will be done in silence to allow participants to notice the feelings that come up during the exercise and to make it safer for all participants. After a statement is read and people have stood for a few moments, ask participants to sit down and read the next statement.

Please stand up (or if unable to stand, raise your hand to indicate) if:

1. Your forefathers, including your father had more opportunities to advance themselves economically than your foremothers.

2. Your father had more educational opportunities than your mother.

3. The boys in your extended family, including yourself had more financial resources, emotional support or encouragement for pursuing academic, work or career goals than the girls.

4. You live in or went to a school district where the textbooks and other classroom materials reflected men as normal, heroes and builders of the United States, and there was little mention of the contributions of women to our society.

5. You attend or attended a school where boys were encouraged to take math and science, called on more in class, and given more attention and funding for athletic programs than girls.

6. You received job training, educational or travel opportunities from serving in the military.

7. You received job training in a program where there were few or no women, or where women were sexually harassed.

8. You have received a job, job interview, job training or internship through personal connections with other men.

9. You worked or work in a job where women made less for doing comparable work or did more menial jobs.

10. You work in a job, career or profession, or in an agency or organization in which there are few women in leadership positions, or the work has less status because women are in leadership positions.

11. You live in a city or region in which domestic violence, sexual assault are serious problems for women.

12. You generally feel safe when hiking in the woods, in the mountains, on the beach or in other rural settings. (this one will obviously exclude most men of color).

13. When You turn on the TV you can routinely see men in positions of leadership, male sports, men portrayed as heroes and in a wide variety of other roles.

14. When you have medical procedures done to you, or take prescribed medicines and otherv health treatments you can assume they were tested and proven safe on men.

15. You have seen or heard men in positions of authority belittle women's contributions, women's writing or music, women's intelligence, or physical strength, or make other comments about women being inferior to men.

16. You know where you can have access to sex from women for money in the city or region where you live.

17. You can have access to sexually revealing images of women easily, whenever you want them from magazines, the Internet, bookstores, video stores or pornography outlets.

18. You have taken advantage of women earning much less than you do for childcare, cooking, cleaning, clerical services, nursing, or other services.

19. In your family women do more of the housecleaning, cooking, childcare, washing or other caretaking than you or other men do.

20. Most of the clothes you wear have been made by women who are paid little for their work.

21. The computers and other electronic products you use are made by underpaid women in this and other countries.

22. In your community it is harder for women to get housing loans, small business loans, agricultural loans or car loans than it is for men of similar qualifications.

23. In your community women are routinely charged more for haircutting, cleaning, cars, or other services or products.

24. You don't need to think about gender and sexism everyday. You can decide when and where you deal with it.

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