CEMS social worker Sarah Hanson received a grant to sponsor Maine Boys to Men workshops for seventh- and eighth- graders that tackle gender stereotypes, identity, and healthy relationships
In Maine, there's a great example of what prevention might look like. Maine Boys To Men is a nonprofit aimed at reducing violence against women and girls by focusing on positive expressions of masculinity. So far, its programs have served 2,187 middle school students.
The program targets middle school boys for a good reason, said executive director Matt Theodores. "By the time boys reach high school, they have become very accepting of traditional masculine stereotypes and are far less open to ideas that challenge those norms," he said. "Middle-school-aged boys have the maturity and enough life experience to have real discussions about gender-related pressures and the impact this has on them and others."
The Maine Boys to Men Middle School program recently participated in a study led by Rutgers University–New Brunswick and University of New Hampshire.
The findings, published in Children and Youth Services Review, suggest the pilot program, "Reducing Sexism and Violence Program – Middle School Program (RSVP-MSP)," improved attitudes related to the use of coercion and violence in relationships. It also found that the program, geared towards middle school boys, changed beliefs that violence, including harassment and sexual and dating violence was acceptable.
By Matt Theodores and Megan Hannan, Special to the BDN
The #MeToo movement continues to expose widespread issues of men using their power and privilege to harass, abuse and assault women. Since the seemingly earth-shattering allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced publicly just over one year ago, there has been a steady cadence of courageous revelations. With each new story...
The United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) has awarded a grant of nearly $350,000 to Maine Boys to Men. This award supports a multi-year project to engage adult men as leaders, mentors and allies in preventing male violence against women and girls in Greater Portland.
The special event, entitled "Negotiating Masculinity," will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 31, at Ocean Avenue Elementary School. The underlying goal of Saturday's session is to "explore how adults can partner with youth to create safer and stronger communities by exploring ways that societal pressures and narrow definitions of gender can lead to a culture of self-harm, disrespect, harassment and violence. Free, but registration required.
Maine Boys to Men (MBTM), a program that has long worked with high school boys, is developing a curriculum for middle school boys that teaches them to see and sidestep the rigid gender roles they're already growing into. That's only part of its shift from being strictly a training program for high school students to becoming a multifaceted program working to transform masculinity at the community level.
"With kids reading so much about it in the media, in sports and entertainment, as an educational institution, not to say something about it is saying something unintentionally," Shedd said. "We felt like the moment is right with the MeToo movement to really talk about how we can change our own community so a movement like this is not necessary,"
(NECN - 2 minute video) "It's encouraging to see a generation of students who are not accepting the culture that is being handed to them." Click below to view...
A few weeks ago, with the revelation that Harvey Weinstein is a sexual predator, I reposted something from a female friend on my Facebook page. Sadly, I was not surprised at the reaction from so many women who have experienced fear and worse just because they are female.
PORTLAND- As Maine Boys To Men moves towards celebrating its 20th anniversary next year, executive director Matt Theodores is quietly proud of the organization’s recent surge in services provided.
The nonprofit – dedicated to “helping boys reach their potential to become emotionally healthy, respectful, non-violent men” – increased its outreach “tenfold,” in the last 18 months, its outreach roughly matched that of the previous 10 years.
SCARBOROUGH – Derogatory comments about women from one of the Presidential candidates was front and center in this season's election coverage and through a partnership with Maine Boys to Men, Scarborough schools are instituting a program that would cease this sort of thinking in its young students, especially the middle and high school boys.
What do you do when you realize you want to contribute more to your community in ways that are fulfilling and personally challenging? What do you do when you know you need a change, but you don't know how or where to start? For Lift360's Leadership Intensive alum Matt Theodores, the answer was simple: start volunteering.
Portland, ME – The YMCA of Southern Maine will recognize three Southern Maine-based nonprofits for their efforts to improve the lives on Mainers at the Y's Annual Celebration of Community in Portland on November 2nd.
This inspiring video (3 minutes) aired on the New England Cable Network (NECN) on 11/1/16, showcasing Maine Boys to Men and a group of incredible youth leaders at South Portland High School! These students are using our Reducing Sexism and Violence Program (RSVP) to create positive change in their community.
WATERVILLE — It's hard to find much good in the news these days when it comes to men. The release of the "Access Hollywood" tape of Donald Trump's conversation with Billy Bush; the growing number of allegations that Trump kissed, groped and otherwise assaulted women; and Trump's lame it's "just words," nothing more than "locker room talk" defense have all put contemporary masculinity in the crosshairs.
When yet another mass shooting or sexual assault makes headlines, we talk about the role of guns, religion and alcohol.
Perhaps because most men aren't violent, what we don't talk about is the fact that most violence is committed by men.
Watching the news, the idea that a man will be revealed to be responsible for an act of violence is so commonplace that it simply registers as a fact of life. But do statistics showing that men are by far the most common perpetrators of brutality, sexual assault and harassment, or violent self-harm mean that the male of our species is inherently more violent, or are men and boys acting out a script they’re not even aware they’re following?
PORTLAND, Maine – The United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) has awarded a grant of nearly $350,000 to Maine Boys to Men to engage boys and men as leaders in preventing violence against women in Greater Portland.
MPBN Radio - Shana Natelson, ED of Speak About It, Matthew Perry, Community Education and Communications Coordinator for Family Crisis Services and Matt Theodores, ED of Maine Boys to Men joined Jennifer Rooks to discuss efforts to change harmful conceptions of masculinity and femininity and reduce violence against women.
The Sept. 15 BDN headline, "Report: Maine 9th in country for rate of women killed by men," caught my attention, but I quickly got distracted by the disproportional focus on guns, knives or whether these men killed their partners with bodily force.
The United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women has awarded a grant of nearly $350,000 to Maine Boys to Men to engage boys and men as leaders in preventing violence against women in greater Portland.
YARMOUTH — An organization working to stop gender-based violence has received a federal grant of nearly $350,000 to continue its efforts in the greater Portland area.
Nonprofit Maine Boys to Men was awarded the grant by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women on Sept. 8.