Commentary by Erik T. Masingill ’12
Although this year’s Summit on masculinity might be considered a joke to many teenage boys, the Brophy student body will not think the same.
The Summit will not only cover masculinity, but will also cover gender equality.
I think Brophy students will approach this Summit as another learning experience rather than a waste of their time.
Mr. Ryan Hubbell defines the true meaning of proper masculinity:
“The thesis of the Summit is ‘be a man,’ but we’re going to try to deconstruct what that means,” he said.
“When you think of the phrase ‘be a man,’ usually it’s like be tough, be assertive, be aggressive, but we’re going to make the case that to be a man is to be loving, to be a man is to be nurturing, to be a man is to be the truest sense like a man for others.”
The Summit topic provides curiosity for some students as to how they will learn topics such as proper masculinity.
The teachers and administration are set to lead as examples for the behavior of the students, and as responsible individuals, the students should follow them.
After the assemblies and presentations are over, students will hopefully gain more knowledge and respect for equality between women and men.
Students will also learn about the difference between “acting as a man” from “acting as a man/bro,” as Mr. Hubbell defines it. As a result, this Summit will carry out Brophy’s teaching of the students to become men for others.
Mr. Hubbell also hopes students generate a positive action type of response after the Summit is over.
“A vast majority of the time, the students here are respectful, kind and caring, but there are some issues as far as verbal harassment at Xavier students and just a general attitude towards women that I think we can correct,” he said.
“What we’re looking for is for students to be upstanding good men and we’re really going to examine what that means,” he added. “My goal is that everybody comes out of the Summit thinking twice about what they say and what they do.”
It is difficult to predict how the speakers will present, however it is easy to foresee the manner the Brophy body will approach it similar to the response generated from past Summits.
If students do disagree with gender equality, then they should take advantage of the opportunity this Summit presents them and listen to a different view point.
There is a good chance their initial ideas and beliefs will change by the time the Summit is completed. And really that’s the whole goal.