Men: Victims, Perpetrators and Allies
America had a big secret. Women in our country are serially harassed and assaulted – especially young women. And many men didn’t know. Or men didn’t know they were doing it. And some men did/do know. Women are stepping forward. Some are blaming an individual man, some all men, some society. As men, what comes up for us personally, in response? What changes may we choose to make in how we view and treat women?
Let's Get Started!
Living Room Conversations offers a simple, sociable and structured way to practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships. Typically, 4-6 people meet in person or by video call for about 90 minutes to listen to and be heard by others on one of our nearly 100 topics. Rather than debating or convincing others, we take turns talking to share, learn, and be curious. No preparation is required, though background links with balanced views are available on some topic pages online. Anyone can host using these italicized instructions. Hosts also participate.
Why We're Here (~10 min)
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.
How We'll Engage (~5 min)
These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)
- Be curious and listen to understand.
- Show respect and suspend judgment.
- Note any common ground as well as any differences.
- Be authentic and welcome that from others.
- Be purposeful and to the point.
- Own and guide the conversation.
What We’ll Talk About
Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)
Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
- What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?
- What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
- What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
Men: Victims, Perpetrators and Allies (~40 min)
Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. After everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring additional questions as time allows..
- In response to the “#MeToo” movement, what are your initial thoughts about personal experiences you have had (including your own actions or conduct), situations you have witnessed, and/or the recent public
- Role as a Man — What do you consider your role to be?
- What has informed your perception of your role (e.g., society, family, religion, education, etc.)?
- Have youever expressed yourself sexually in a way that was unwanted by another, and/or have you experienced another doing the same to you? What is the value to you to be open to looking at these issues?
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)
Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
- In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
- What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
- Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
- Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?