Making a Big Pivot

I am changing my thesis topic. Not because I have lost interest in my original one or that I don’t believe it doesn’t have any merit. The reason for the change is that I felt a pull back to a project I worked on last year called MEOW: Men’s Empathy of Women. I felt this draw because of the current presidential campaign of a blatant misogynist, [not even worth saying his name].

His horrible comments caught on a hot mic from 2005 aboard a bus with the nephew and first cousin of two former Presidents only highlighted even more how prevalent misogyny exists in our culture and society, but it also exposed the world where men tell themselves that they can feel and act like “real men.”

As I have grown older and continued to mature as a person, I have reflected on my own experiences in these spaces where “men can feel like men.” I have to admit that I would be embarrassed by some of the content or the manner in which it was spoken if women that I know and care about and even one’s that I do not know heard these conversations. It makes me question my identity––which is my true face, the public facing one or the one from these more exclusive, discriminating spaces?

I believe in equality and I believe that men have failed miserably in truly seeking to make it a reality. And, I believe that this starts with empathy. Women have moved into the workforce, the military, started businesses, fought for the right to vote and more than likely will hold the US Presidential office after November 8th (sadly, the US is far behind in electing women as their head of state). Yet, even with all of this progress, women will not be seen as equal human beings until men make a concerted effort to understand the experience of a woman in what is still very much a man’s world.

I am excited to work on this project for thesis because it is an important, timely issue. Although the GOP nominee’s words were horrible, or in his own words––“Sad, so sad”––the topic of women’s rights and women’s sexual assault is being openly discussed on a very frequent basis, and that means that positive change can come from this. I do not know what I will ultimately make to help men develop more empathy towards women, but I know that I will also personally learn and grow through this project, and I hope that whatever I do I can effect positive change toward equality in our world.

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