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Let Men Breathe

Matt+Smith+lecturing+about+toxic+masculinity+on+April+5.+EmpowerMENt+is+a+workshop+that+explored+the+cultural+concepts+of%3A+masculinity%2C+identifying+barriers+people+of+color+face+when+seeking+to+transcend+the+traditional+expectations+of+men+and+ways+to+reduce+sexism+and+misogyny.
Matt Smith lecturing about toxic masculinity on April 5. EmpowerMENt is a workshop that explored the cultural concepts of: masculinity, identifying barriers people of color face when seeking to transcend the traditional expectations of men and ways to reduce sexism and misogyny.

Matt Smith lecturing about toxic masculinity on April 5. EmpowerMENt is a workshop that explored the cultural concepts of: masculinity, identifying barriers people of color face when seeking to transcend the traditional expectations of men and ways to reduce sexism and misogyny.

TM Cesar Villa

TM Cesar Villa

Matt Smith lecturing about toxic masculinity on April 5. EmpowerMENt is a workshop that explored the cultural concepts of: masculinity, identifying barriers people of color face when seeking to transcend the traditional expectations of men and ways to reduce sexism and misogyny.

Cesar Villa

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EmpowerMENt is a workshop that explored the cultural concepts of: masculinity, identifying barriers people of color face when seeking to transcend the traditional expectations of men and ways to reduce sexism and misogyny.

This workshop was presented by Matt Smith, director of educational partnerships, at Cal State University Dominguez Hills, on April 5.

Smith believes it’s important for society to reshape the conceptions of masculinity and for men to talk on reimagining what manhood means today.

“When we look at violence in America, mass shooting and what a lot of people don’t talk about is that a majority of those perpetrators are males.

“Until we begin to get to the root of the causes around how we are raising males and what we are teaching them about manhood and masculinity, then we’re not going to really begin to solve those challenges,” Smith said.

“Anytime you begin talking about gender and masculinity most males will think that’s a women’s issue,” Smith said.

“I think that they’re afraid to get into this space and begin expressing their ideas and how they’re feeling.

“They think sexual assault and violence against women is a women’s issue, and it’s not, it’s a man’s issue […] males need to engage in this conversation and be critical pieces of that,” said Smith.

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Johnnen Margubat, Febie Slone, Cameron McDonald and Matt Smith participating in a group activity. Photo credit: Cesar Villa

Cameron McDonald, economy major, said, “I think this was very powerful, it should be held on campus more often and it needs to be heard from the mass’.”

McDonald enjoyed listening to other’s expectations of men and their viewpoints on subjects that he has went through.

He doesn’t know why more people didn’t attend the workshop, “I have no clue, I don’t know why my friends didn’t come neither,” he chuckled.

McDonald related to many of the topics Smith talked about especially how men put up a front when asked how they’re doing, the response will almost always be “I’m good” no matter what situation that person maybe going through.

Febie Slone, psychology major, found out about this workshop through her women’s issue class.

Slone thoroughly enjoyed the workshop stating that it not only empowered men, but also women.

She learned about stereotypes, labeling and expectations when it comes to men’s culture.

Slone believes men should reach out and take a class to learn about themselves and how to deal with misogyny and toxic masculinity.

Her favorite part of the workshop was the group activity that revolved around what society labeled a man, father and a husband was and what the participants personally thought each meant.

Slone was able to relate to the workshop because she feels her husband has some of the stereotypical qualities society has put on men.

“He has a strong personality, he should show emotion, most women don’t like that, believe it or not we prefer a man that’s also caring and loving,” she said.

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About the Contributor
Cesar Villa, Staff Writer
Cesar Villa is a Talon Marks staff writer. Cesar’s interests are music, games, books, random facts, and cars. Cesar is exceptional at photography and communication with his fellow peers.
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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.
Let Men Breathe