University of Minnesota
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Minnesota Writing Project.Center for Writing's home page.

Chris Godsey


The Dude Group

The Dude Group exists to question and reflect on the actions, beliefs, and characteristics that define men and women.

We seek truth to replace stereotypes.

The way we see it, men can be real without being complete toolbags. We can kick it with the fellas, hit parties and bars, work hard at fitness and sports, study, play video games, be into music and art, act like knuckleheads every now and then, and even snog a bit—we can be whoever and whatever we are—and we can do it without dehumanizing women, other men, and ourselves.

Women don't need us as protectors. If we listen to them, we'll learn that they need us as equals. They need us to listen, be kind, and defy social norms that work for us and against them. They need us to admit and correct the mistakes we make in how we think about, talk about, and treat them. They need us to stop consciously and subconsciously believing that their purpose is to please and follow us.

Being a man doesn't mean following the masculinity script handed to most boys at birth. It doesn't mean being big, strong, or aggressive. It doesn't mean conquering women sexually. It doesn't mean having money and power. It doesn't mean controlling women or other men. It doesn't mean being straight.

Being a man means having the courage to work for equality, even if equality requires giving up power or privilege. It means making sense of who you are, and what your life is about, by asking and answering difficult questions about your beliefs and actions.

Being a man means being badass—accountable, patient, vulnerable, generous, kind, assertive, and selfless—instead of just going along with wack social norms.

It means refusing to support beliefs and actions that dehumanize women, kids, other men, and ourselves.

It means taking initiative in situations where the right thing is obvious but uncool.

It means asking women what they need to have fun, feel comfortable, and be safe, then taking accountability for our roles in creating and maintaining environments defined by those qualities.

Men must work with women to create a campus that's as safe for women as it is for us, because right now, almost all sexual and relationship violence at St. Scholastica is committed by men against women.

Violence committed, supported, and excused by men makes this campus much safer for men than for women.

Why don't more men do something about that? What stops us from calling out ourselves and each other?

What have we been afraid of, men? What are you afraid of, man?

The Dude Group exists to question and reflect on the beliefs that create individual and institutional actions.

We exist to find the truth about ourselves, and to create a place where other men and women can do the same.