The Daily Illini

Letter to the Editor | A man’s role in the wake of #MeToo movement

By Arjun Chopra

Iearly September of last year, my friend was at a rush party for his fraternity on campus. At one point in the evening, a student, not affiliated with the fraternity, made unwanted sexual advances on an intoxicated young woman. Upon noticing this, the brothers of the fraternity quickly threw him out of the house, then began attending to the young lady.

The next morning, the same male student returned to the house to save face and to plead with the brothers not to press charges. Understanding it was not their place to take legal action and knowing how accusations can die in bureaucracy, the brothers chose not to seek external recourse.

Rather, the brothers warned him that if he were ever to come near the house or the young lady again, they would be willing to take action both legal or otherwise.

This incident serves as an example on how men can be part of the #MeToo movement. Much discussion on this topic has involved the toxic side of masculinity. Honestly, I would be lying to say there is not a toxic oversexed element to masculinity.

Yet, as far as I know, the only real long-term solution is to acknowledge that masculinity can play a positive role. The problem today is not masculinity in its crudest form, rather the lack of traditional masculinity in society and our communities.

Somewhere along the way, we have failed to teach young men the responsibilities of being a man. We need to encourage an environment where men are taught that a man must live with a sense of honor and decency.

While the feminist movement has made its greatest strides, it has come at the expense of the innate role of men across the country. Elevating women does not have to involve the erosion of masculinity.

However, it is important to realize not all traditional values should be embraced. Rather, we must take inspiration from them and apply those ideals to our lives.

Positive elements of both masculinity and femininity must be promoted if we are to eradicate sexually devious behavior, much in the same way the pillars of Athens and Jerusalem took the Western world out of the Dark Ages and into the Enlightenment.

In closing, I ask you hold in your memory the actions of those fraternity brothers. Lesser men, as we have seen, would have done nothing. But we should not look at these acts as heroic or brave, rather with the acknowledgment that it was their duty as civilized men of society.

Arjun is a junior in Business.

[email protected]

Leave a Comment