digging up the roots of gender-based violence

Ask an Educator

As the Prevention Education Team at HAVEN, we are dedicated to getting good, comprehensive, thoughtful information out into the world. A large part of our work is going out into the communities in Metro Detroit to educate students, professionals, leaders, and anyone who will have us come talk to them about gender-based violence. As an extension of that work and the work of UpRoot, we’d like to continue (and begin new) conversations that happen in our groups and presentations by answering your questions. Our hope is to create a line of communication between us, the readers, and people we meet outside of the blogosphere. This is meant to be an anonymous, judgement-free space.

So, now it’s your turn. If you have something to ask, then leave a question in the comments on this page. We will try to answer it in a timely fashion in the form of a blog.

As a final note, it’s important for us to state that while we do this work every day and consider ourselves very knowledgeable on these issues, we don’t claim to know everything. We will do our best to answer questions, but invite respectful input and critiques. Of course, this will also be a moderated space (refer to our commenting notes for more info).

Ask away!

7 responses to “Ask an Educator

  1. Pingback: Ask an Educator: New Feature! « UpRoot

  2. JFD December 10, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I am a male currently in an institution of high learning. Recently, in one of my classes, a substitute professor – who is female – made a comment regarding female standards of beauty. Specifically, when we were reading over a description of a more petite woman’s height and weight, she announced something to the effect of that being “the ideal” height and weight that all women are striving for. Several of the women in my class were uncomfortable with the statement; however, they didn’t feel that it was worth confronting our professor about in-person nor via other modes of communication (i.e. email, professor evaluations, etc.). I felt motivated to bring up the point myself, but I was worried about my status as a male and the power-imbalance in the situation of a male correcting a female – especially regarding an issue that most directly affects women. I chose not to talk to my professor about the comment during class; however, I still have the opportunity to contact her through email.

    From a feminist perspective, what would be the most appropriate course of action here? Simply put, I’m torn between avoiding paternalistic actions and desiring to point out an offensive comment.


  3. Pingback: Ask an Educator: Should I Call Out My Professor? « UpRoot

  4. JM April 14, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Hello everyone. First, I recently found the UPROOT forum and have found so many of the postings so insightful and meaningful. Thank you for creating this wonderful space and maintaining this fantastic resource. The focus of my questions today are on the experiences of individuals who identify within the trans* community and intimate partner violence. To be up-front I am a white, upper SES, heterosexual, cismale, and cisman. I have significant amounts of social privilege, I do not identify within the trans* community and I apologize in advance for my ignorance or if I say anything problematic throughout this post. If anyone feels that my postings are problematic in anyway I would value any feedback and thank you for taking the time to review this post.

    It has been well documented that individuals who identify within the transgender community or the larger trans* community often face significantly higher rates of violence compared to other individuals who identify within other gender identities. Individuals who identify within the trans* community are more likely to experience sexual violence, other forms of intimate partner violence, violence at the hands of law enforcement, and more regular harassment. I’m currently a graduate student studying social work and I have been involved in the gender violence movement for approximately 5 years. From my limited experiences it also seems individuals who identify within the trans* community are more likely to face discrimination from service providers and law-enforcement when seeking services or assistance. With the above being my current level of, hopefully accurate understanding, I was hoping to ask the following questions.

    1. Within your positions as educators have you encountered or been aware of individuals who identify within the trans* community experiencing transphobia or other forms of discrimination when seeking assistance with IPV? Do you feel this is an issue in Southeast Michigan?

    2. Do you have recommendations for intimate partner violence service organizations that are working to better serve individuals who identify within the transgender community? Especially organizations that have traditionally worked within the gender binary?

    3. Are you aware of any prevention efforts that have been effective in preventing IPV within the trans* community? Personally, do you feel that universal interventions can be effective or should prevention efforts (such as education efforts) focus on specific identities? Within my limited experience it seems like a lot of education efforts or other prevention tactics still work within the gender binary, and are also pretty heteronormative, and whenever additional identities are mentioned they are not paid a great deal of attention or they are put into their own separate section, which seems potentially problematic as well.

    4. Do the prevention efforts taking place at HAVEN work to address the issue of IPV within the trans* community? If yes, have you met any challenges?

    5. Do you have any advice for other community educators engaging in gender-based violence prevention work who are working to better address the issue of IPV within the trans* community? Do you have concerns about individuals who do not identify within the trans* community speaking about the issue of IPV when it affects individuals who identify within the trans* community?

    I apologize for the length of this post and know that many of these questions are very specific and you may not be able to or feel comfortable answering them, for any number of reasons. I am currently engaging in community education based violence prevention work and am researching and writing on this topic and I would appreciate any insight you have. Thank you very much for your time and for all the work you do. Thanks again!

      • redonkulas June 20, 2014 at 12:26 am

        men have the right to assemble , there is no crime, there is no hate, issues need to be discussed and the men need to unite as one. I am sorry you are upset but this is America and we have the right under the constitution to assemble. And you open letter is going to men who bled and died in Vietnam, WWII and Korea , and all the gulf wars. Almost all of them have been separated there children and raped by the courts. balance needs to be accomplished and that is what we will have.

      • Kole June 20, 2014 at 12:40 pm

        Yes – we all have the fundamental right to assemble and I never said that there was a crime being committed. I agree with you completely that issues must and should be discussed and I do reference that in the letter. While there is a right to assemble – the assembly will not come without critique and active demonstration of unity around what I do consider to be hateful speech and rhetoric. I think that we can assemble and we can engage in gender equity without supporting continued violence and misogynistic language. This is a call for us to do better. I hope we do find the balance you reference.

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