Men’s Coalition teaches community healthy masculinity


Jess Hume-Pantuso

CARDV’s Community Educator, Jacob Stewart poses inside CARDV Corvallis on January 6, 2023 in Corvallis, Ore. Stewart works with educators and students with the goal of preventing domestic violence before it happens.

Katie Livermore , News Reporter

In a world where male perpetrators make up the vast majority of abusers towards women, individuals in the Corvallis community are finding ways to end cycles of violence.

A group of individuals from the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence in Corvallis created an organization that aims to teach healthy masculinity to the community.

The Men’s Coalition was started to stop abusive cycles and find the causes of violence towards women and other individuals.

According to Jacob Stewart, community educator for CARDV, there are two parts to the Men’s Coalition: the first is continuing education about healthy masculinity. 

“Most — if not all — men receive these sorts of messages at least in some way growing up, that it’s in some way acceptable to be abusive in certain circumstances,” Stewart said. “That’s the message that most men received from somewhere, whether it’s a friend or a family member, a peer of theirs or from things like social media, movies, TV shows and books.”

The second goal is identifying the opportunity to serve in the community whether it’s attending events like vigils, presentations by speakers or supporting other organizations around Corvallis.

According to Stewart, the Men’s Coalition was started after the realization that the majority of the individuals participating in anti-violence work, especially domestic violence, were all led by women.

“The more we get men involved, the more that we get men thinking about these sorts of things, the more effective our goals can be,” Stewart said.

When it comes to abuse, the real key is to stop it from happening in the first place, said John Marchel, a former board member of the Men’s Coalition.

“We wanted to engage with [men] in a way that made them see that violence is not conducive to any kind of healthy relationship and then kind of go from there,” Marchel said.

According to Stewart, the Men’s Coalition, like many other activities, was put on pause during COVID-19 and just started back up again this past September.

With meetings beginning again, a normal gathering for the Men’s Coalition usually consists of two parts, the first one being analyzing content — such as a reading or documentary — followed by a discussion.

The second half of the meeting gives time for members to write topics and ideas on a whiteboard they are interested in pursuing or events in the community they could participate in.

According to Stewart, meetings normally consist of a number of board members for CARDV, students, business owners, educators and other individuals in the community interested in learning more about healthy masculinity.

“The way that the national dialogue around a lot of different subjects has gotten so intensely negative and confrontational, the work that the coalition has done and will continue to do, I think, is really important,” Marchel said. “[We’re] trying to get the rhetoric toned down and have honest discussions and respectful discussions with each other going forward.”

Although the organization is called the Men’s Coalition, Stewart said everyone is welcome to join regardless of their gender, sexuality or relationship status.

Stewart recommends the Men’s Coalition to anyone who’s interested in analyzing the ways gender influences the concepts of power and control in relationships.

“It’s important to look at the kinds of things that we’re taught about what it means to be a man, especially in America in the 21st century so that we can see: is there anything that we learned about growing up that we can set aside?” Stewart said.


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