By Rob Okun The mid-term elections are just weeks away, so now is the time for men to use our voices to help defeat extremist, antidemocratic candidates. And, inseparable from electoral politics, men must also speak out against the alt-right,…
ROB OKUN – This Father’s Day, if you like, sure, fire up the grill and give Dad a new fishing rod. But also, let’s encourage men—fathers, sons, grandfathers, brothers, uncles, nephews—to move off the sidelines as bystanders and onto a field of dreams as change agents cultivating a disease-resistant crop of healthy boys.
ROB OKUN – Long before a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion revealed that by summer Roe v. Wade will likely be overturned, only pregnant people bore the burden of pregnancy—not just physically, but also financially. “Impregnators” have always had the choice to walk away. Sure, they could be on the hook for child support after birth, but what if they could be held responsible for their actions before—from the moment of conception—just as the pregnant person is?
ROB OKUN – Brent Renaud. Marina Ovsyannikova. One a US filmmaker killed by Russian troops on March 13 while working on a documentary about refugees. The other, an editor-producer on Russian state TVâ€™s Channel One who dramatically interrupted a news broadcast to hold aloft a sign denouncing Putinâ€™s war. She was immediately arrested. Renaudâ€™s senseless killing one day and Ovsyannikovaâ€™s brave action the next, unintentionally have forged a link between journalism and wartime truth telling that cannot be overstated.Â
ROB OKUN – Where are the â€œotherâ€ white men? Who wear masks, believe in gender equality (and science), raise their children, donâ€™t â€œbabysitâ€ them; workingmen volunteering in their communities? There are plenty of them below the mediaâ€™s radar, and many like them are in BIPOC communities.
ROB OKUN – Students: keep up the pressure to ensure legislators pass assault weapons bans. Demand they raise the age requirement to purchase firearms. Insist on funding for mental health screenings. Also, please donâ€™t forget to press for research dollars and training initiatives on how we raise boys.
ROB OKUN – Okay, guys, white guysâ€”all guysâ€”this is our moment to say, â€œEnough!â€ This is the moment to start a national â€œMen Against Gun Violenceâ€ campaign. Right after Newtown, women launched â€œMoms Demand Action for Gun Senseâ€ the day after the murder of 20 six and seven year-olds, and six staff at Sandy Hook elementary school. The day after!
ROB OKUN – The crisis in masculinity and the presidential election got hitched this weekend, thanks to Donald Trump. While a vast majority of menâ€”this election seasonâ€™s silent majorityâ€”reject Mr. Trumpâ€™s â€œlocker roomâ€ ideas about manhood, many are reluctant to publicly say so. That may be changing.
ROB OKUN – Millions of men will wake up Sunday to handmade cards, neckties, and, maybe, a new electronic gadget. Itâ€™s Fatherâ€™s Day 2016, a time to acknowledge dear old Dad. But beyond this increasingly commercialized day of purchasing manly presents lies a deeper, more important question: where is fatherhood in the U.S. going today?
ROB OKUN – As we prepare for the gut-wrenching first anniversary of Newtown on Saturday, I teeter back and forth between sadness and anger. Sadness that 20 six and seven year-olds were murderedâ€”along with a half-dozen Sandy Hook Elementary School educatorsâ€”and anger that public officials and most of the media still largely ignore the missing component in the Connecticut tragedyâ€”the gender of the shooter.
ROB OKUN – What about men who are trying to do the right thing? That was the thought I had the other day after hearing what was intended as an innocuous joke. â€œIf you took a vote on which is the better gender,â€ a female friend said, â€œmen would come in second.â€