“A mixture of humility, humor and passion for women’s human rights infuses Rob Okun’s presentation to students about why its important for men to become profeminists. His gently prodding questions allow students to volunteer responses and listen intently. His talk offers a wonderful way to encourage new types of thinking about men and masculinities and to acknowledge the many men fighting for gender justice and a world free of violence against women around the world.”
Fawzia Afzal-Khan, Director of Women and Gender Studies, Montclair State University
Rob is an engaging speaker who brings decades of experience in the gender justice movement to his presentations. He has spoken at a number of colleges and universities including Tufts, Towson and Tulane Universities, MIT, Boston and Goucher College, and the University of Massachusetts. Topics include:
- Profeminism: One of the Most Important Social Justice Movements You’ve Never Heard Of – Blending three and half decades of history with front line accounts of contemporary expressions of evolving masculinities, “Profeminism” is both a primer on the profeminist men’s movement and introduces audiences to a larger conversation: men as participants vs. men as bystanders in the struggle for gender justice today. Using various stories from the Voice Male anthology, presentations can feature examples from book chapters including “boys to men” and “fathering”; “male survivors” and “men’s health”; “men and feminism” and “men overcoming violence”; “GBTQ men” and “men of color;” “changing men” and “manhood after Sandy Hook.”
- The Journey to Healthy Manhood Begins with Supporting Women – A helpful tool to help younger males grow into compassionate, nurturing men. Also very relevant for those who work with youth. Examining the damaging messages men have been taught about girls and women, “The Journey” introduces young men and their mentors to ways they can begin to chart a course to a positive expression of their masculinity. Topics explored include how boys and men are taught about their power and place in the world (and the messages girls and women receive); what men have been taught to value, and how men perceive women whether as friends or romantic partners.
- New Visions of Manhood – The way men are trained to be masculine confuses their understanding of self-esteem, intimacy, and power with domination and emotional repression. “New Visions” explores a range of ideas about masculinity, including how men’s isolation and violence are not an inherent part of male nature but a result of socialization; that men are both privileged and damaged by sexism; and that some men’s acts of domination and violence stem from a misguided strategy to control underlying feelings of fear and powerlessness.