Ramesh Kathanadhi Speaks on Violence Issues

October 13, 2014

Ramesh Kathanadhi of Men Stopping Violence gave workshops at the University of Mount Union’s “Take Back the Night” event last week, speaking about developing prevention strategies to cultivate stronger relationships with communities. The program framed problems of sexual violence and harassment, intimate partner violence and gender violence as problems that the entire community is accountable for, rather than individual “bad” guys.

Kathanadhi explained the three actions he feels every man should take to lessen issues they face because of their sex. These included self-reflection, listening to women’s experiences and organizing with other men to end male violence. He informed the audience that most violence men experience is at the hands of other men.

Taking an interactive approach to the presentation, Kathanadhi asked students to communicate their ideas about solving issues. They were instructed to share their names, their own definitions of community and how their community could be better if men and women worked together comfortably.

One female student said her community would be better if “women did not have as much fear.” She was referring to women worrying about how to dress and where to park at night.

Dan Goswick, another Mount student, added that women shouldn’t have to be afraid to walk home at night. “As a guy,” he admitted, “I’ve never felt that.”

“You all just had the conversation that the generation before you never had,” Kathanadhi told students.

Kathanadhi walked the audience through a series of examples, pulling from researched studies and Super Bowl commercials, to explain that there is a system set up for men and women. He invited students to recognize these predetermined traits for each sex and challenge them.

“We have work to do together,” said Kathanadhi.

Ramesh Kathanadhi is a trainer and an organizer who supports organizations to develop prevention strategies and cultivate stronger relationships within communities. The workshops support an increased understanding of sexual violence, and learning about every day interventions that stop unhealthy male socialization and ally with women’s leadership on campus.

The Take Back the Night programming is co-sponsored by the Association of Women Students (AWS), Raider Programming Board (RPB), Diversity Initiatives Steering Committee (DISC) and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. As part of the University’s “Take Back the Night” event last week, Kathanadhi spoke to students on Wednesday evening and delivered workshops on Thursday morning. Also as part of the event, the Clothesline Project depicting the problem of violence against women went on display in the Hoover-Price Campus Center. The Clothesline Project will be on display in the Campus Center throughout the month of October.

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