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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 26, 2008

Men's Anti-Violence Council will host White Ribbon Campaign Dec. 2, 3

Imagine a future in which there is no violence against women. By wearing a white ribbon, men make a public pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.

Several experts will address the issue of violence against women during the White Ribbon Campaign from noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2 in the Iowa Room of the Iowa Memorial Union, sponsored locally by the Men's Anti-Violence Council (MAC), a volunteer program of the Women's Resource and Action Center at the University of Iowa.

Harry Brod, professor of philosophy and humanities at the University of Northern Iowa, will give the keynote address about men's role in anti-violence and the importance of the white ribbon campaign beginning at approximately 12:30 p.m. He is the author of "The Ethics and Erotics of Sexual Consent." Michael Shaw, shelter manager at Waypoint Domestic Violence Shelter in Cedar Rapids, will speak following Brod. Gigi Durham, associate professor of journalism in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and author of "The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do about It," will speak at 2:30 p.m.

The campaign is the largest effort in the world of men focused on ending violence against women. White ribbons will be available for men to wear throughout the week. White ribbon t-shirts will also be available in limited quantities.

"The spirit of the White Ribbon Campaign is for men to get active in addressing the issue of violence against women," said Jerrod Koon, MAC coordinator and a graduate student in the UI College of Education Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations. "It's an invitation and a call to get active. It's about realizing that violence in our community affects everyone. By having local individuals speak, we are hoping to set an example to people in the community about how they can get involved as well."

Iowa Women Initiating Social Change (IWIS) and the Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) will also have resources available at the campaign event.

MAC will also host a film discussion of "Wrestling with Manhood: Boys, Bullying and Battering" at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3 in Room 2520D in the University Capitol Centre. The film "Wrestling with Manhood" is the first educational program to pay attention to the enormous popularity of professional wrestling among male youth, addressing its relationship to real-life violence and probing the social values that sustain it as a powerful cultural force. Sut Jhally and Jackson Katz -- the award-winning creators of the videos "Dreamworlds" and "Tough Guise," respectively -- explore the enduring problems of men's violence against women and bullying in schools.

Drawing the connection between professional wrestling and the construction of contemporary masculinity, they show how so-called "entertainment" is related to homophobia, sexual assault and relationship violence.

The White Ribbon Campaign was established in 1991 by a group of men from Canada who felt they had a responsibility to speak out against violence against women. The main goals of the campaign are to educate young people, especially men and boys on the issue, raise public awareness and challenge people to speak out, and to think about their own beliefs, language and actions.

For more information about the White Ribbon Campaign visit

For more information on the Men's Anti-Violence Council or special accommodations to attend either of these events, contact Koon at 319-335-1486, or visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Jerrod Koon, Men's Anti-Violence Council,; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,; Writer: Caroline Jones