ASUO Men's Center

Reworking Masculinity

Author: Maya Auld (page 1 of 2)

Community Member of the Month: January 2018

Name: Maya O’Boyle

Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

Major: Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies (REEES)

Year: Sophomore

Activist involved in: ROAR Center, Co-Director of Student Labor Action Project (SLAP)




What does an average day look like for you?

  • Every day I am usually on campus attending classes. When I’m not in the classroom, I tend to do a lot of homework, go to the Rec Center/EMU, or sometimes meet with other co-directors, hold office hours in the ROAR Center, or attend various meetings. I try to maintain a good home life as well, so when I come home I typically clean or help one of my roommates make dinner. We tend to share a lot of the responsibilities like cooking, so sometimes it’ll be my duty to do a certain chore and sometimes it’s someone else’s, which works out great!

How did you get involved in social justice work?

  • It’s a bit of a long story. While I struggle a lot with my religious beliefs now, I grew up Catholic, specifically in a community that emphasized liberation theology; while the words “social justice” weren’t ever explicitly used in my childhood, a lot of what I learned had to do with a preferential treatment for the poor, uplifting the marginalized, etc. In high school, the bulk of my religious education was about this liberation theology, and this coincided with a lot of the national reckoning happening with emerging movements like Black Lives Matter. So, while I studied people like Karl Marx and James Baldwin in class, there was a lot of exposure to real-world issues of poverty and racial injustice, which allowed friends and I to participate in local organizing and protests.

What is a really meaningful experience since becoming involved in social justice?

  • In high school, a lot of my focus was on disability and neurodivergence, as I had a personal experience where I was confronted with the realities of incarceration and its intersection with serious mental illnesses. This shaped my perceptions of social movements and the issues I felt were (and still are) overlooked, which allowed me to understand intersectionality and how systems work for different identities. Having that aforementioned experience gave me an appreciation for movements like Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock, as it’s a lot easier now to see why something like unclean drinking water relates to everything from racial injustice to disability. Even though I’ve moved on from that mentioned experience, it certainly still sticks with me and continues to influence how I understand intersectionality and apply it to the work I do with SLAP; I don’t think this is a lens I would have if I had not experienced it!

What do you recommend others do if they want to get involved in the same issues that you work within SLAP?

  • Don’t be intimidated. I think what turns off a lot of people to activism and connecting with activists is that they feel like they don’t have adequate knowledge of an issue, are intimidated by the vocabulary/intensity of conversations, or are just afraid of slipping up and saying the wrong thing. However, it’s so important to remember that no one came into this world understanding how systems of oppression function; we all started somewhere, and if you really want to work towards change, others are always willing to work with you. Messing up, maybe saying the wrong thing is all part of growing. One needs to understand that it doesn’t necessarily make them a bad activist, and their discomfort shouldn’t hold them back from making a change in their community.

Where do you think the root of the issue is?

  • It’s incredibly hard to simplify. However, I think a lot of campus issues lie in our existence in a system that prioritizes production and wealth accumulation; this makes our university focused on saving money and investing it in areas like athletics, new buildings, and programs that will bring in donors instead of making education more accessible to Oregonians. A college campus is supposed to be a place of learning, growth, and improvement, however, UO certainly seems to be moving more towards becoming a business than anything else, making groups like student workers disposable as administrators seek to cut costs and put money where more will come in. There can never be justice in a system that prioritizes profits, as it will always justify pricing students out, cutting meals for workers, and silencing student protests.

Being involved in social justice can be very draining for anyone. How do you take care of yourself while being involved in this work?

  • Self-care is something that I definitely value and preach, but I struggle with fully incorporating it into my own life. However, I am lucky to have a lot of great, supportive friends who are always willing to not only get together and do fun activities, but check in with each other often. I think that’s an often overlooked part of self-care; it’s not always facemasks and painting nails, but can be stepping back, checking in, and checking out of stressful situations. Even though self-care is something I’m working on, I definitely think I have a good foundation with the people in my life, and that’s the most important thing!

How can people get involved in the work that you do with SLAP?

  • Come to our meetings! This term, they are Wednesdays at 6 PM in the ROAR Center (EMU Suite 006). We also regularly host movie nights and other fun events, so be sure to follow us on Facebook (University of Oregon Student Labor Action Project) to find out what’s going on! Also, you can always reach out to me or anyone else that is a part of SLAP/works in the ROAR Center; we are always looking for all sorts of different people willing to work towards making our campus and community a more equitable, safe place.

Happy Winter Break

A leader in the effort to reform criminal justice to speak at UO

This is a snippet from the AroundtheO newsletter, View full article here.

Adam J. Foss

A leading advocate for criminal justice reform who also is considered one of the most influential black Americans will visit the UO to discuss efforts to fight bias in the judicial system.

Adam J. Foss, co-founder of Prosecutor Impact, will present “Shields and Swords: Waging a Battle Against Bias in Public Systems.” The public talk will take place Nov. 28 in the Redwood Auditorium of the Erb Memorial Union, Room 214.

The lecture begins at 12:15 p.m., with lunch served at noon. Foss is the second visitor to this year’s African American Workshop and Lecture Series.

Foss is an advocate for criminal justice reform and the importance of the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration. He co-founded the nonprofit advocacy group Prosecutor Impact based on his belief that the profession of prosecution is ready to change and require better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond simply “cases won.”


Again, this is a section of the AroundtheO article written by Tova Atabin, from University Communications. Read the full article here.

Fall Office Hours

Come to the Men’s Center on the second floor of the EMU in room 211 with questions, comments, ideas or thoughts you would like to share with staff any time of the day from 9am in the morning to 5pm on weekdays.

Summer Hours

Mask you Live in Show Tonight: MOST Club

Image result for mask you live in

MOST (Men Of Strength) Club is an open meeting for all of the UO community.

Tonight we will be watching the documentary film: “The Mask You Live In.”


We will explore how masculinity impacts all of our lives. We do this with discussions about how masculinity intersects with all of our unique identities. We want to address the ways patriarchal masculinity hurts us, and reconstruct masculinity in a more inclusive sense that promotes social justice.

This meeting is open to EVERYONE! Come and share your voice so we can learn together. This is the place to ask questions. This is the place to learn. We aim to create a safe place for everyone.

Please come, join the discussion, have some pizza and help create a better world for everyone.

This will be the last MOST Club meeting this term, make sure to come! MOST Club will be temporarily postponed until Winter Term 2018.

Image result for mask you live in

Come see Maysoon Zayid June 2nd

Come to Straub 156 on June 2nd to see Maysoon Zayid, an actress, stand-up comic, philanthropist and advocate for the disabled and racially oppressed. The event is sponsored by the Accessible Education Center, AccessABLITY, College of Education, Women’s Center, Center on Human Development, and more. There is captioning, RM systems, Wheelchair accessible and ASL interpreting.

She is hilarious, wonderful, and powerful women with much to say, if you are curious on who she is, below is a Ted Talk that she presented in December of 2013. Come and support people of color, disability, and women during a comical night!


Reconstructing masculinity is crucial to our survival

Reconstructing masculinity is crucial to our survival. Smashing the patriarchy is not just a slogan for a shirt, it is an absolutely required step for the survival of humanity.

School shootings, terror bombings, military occupations, transphobia, gay bashing, rape culture, poverty, police brutality, mass incarceration, and so many other violent social phenomenon are propagated, largely in part, by a patriarchal conception of masculinity.

We call this ‘Toxic Masculinity.’ When we look at these violent actions, we can see just how fatal toxic masculinity can be when manifested. Cis men commit the vast majority of murders and mass violence. Cis men wage the vast majority of the wars. Violence is heavily tied to masculinity. If we are to begin to address violence and create safer societies, then we need to look at masculinity seriously; and begin to reconstruct it.

Toxic masculinity is killing us. We can no longer ignore the death and destruction caused by toxic masculinity. We need our allies to have these discussions with people in their lives. We need to address and be critical of toxic masculinity everywhere. Continuing to be silent in the face of oppression is to be on the side of the oppressor.

Men deserve better than toxic masculinity. We all deserve better than toxic masculinity. And if we are to survive as a people, then we must work to dismantle toxic masculinity and create masculinities that are radically inclusive. We must always work to create more socially just and equitable communities.

“We must dare to face the way in which patriarchal thinking blinds everyone so that we cannot see that the emotional lives of boys cannot be fully honored as long as notions of patriarchal masculinity prevail. We cannot teach boys that “real men” either do not feel or do not express feelings, then expect boys to feel comfortable getting in touch with their feelings.”
― bell hooks

Men’s Story Project THIS WEEKEND

What is the Men’s Story Project?

It is a replicable, testimonial-based community dialogue initiative that works to address this gap by bringing critical exploration of masculinities into public forums – through men’s less-often-heard voices and stories. The Men’s Story Project aim to strengthen attitudes, behaviors and ultimately social norms that support healthy masculinities – through public story-sharing events films and other media based on these live events and related educational tools and community engagement effort. In each live Men’s Story Project production, diverse men share life stories with an audience with unusual candor- that explore social ideas about masculinity. Topics include family relationships, violence, sexuality, gender identity, HIV and AIDs, personal transformations and intersections with factors including race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion. The stories collectively celebrate men’s humanity and note costs of dominant notions of manhood. Diverse mediums are employed. Presenters have included celebrities and other opinion leaders, artist, activists, and men who have never spoken publicly. Two of these productions have been filmed to create educational films.

MOST club canceled May 25th in support of Out/Loud

OUT/LOUD is Eugene’s queer and trans women’s performance fest, celebrating the music, poetry, and art of queer women, trans women, non-binary folks, femme identifying people, and AFAB individuals. This year we will be celebrating our 17th anniversary of the festival on May 25th with a diverse performance from locals and out of town artists on the Queer and Trans spectrum.

Thursday, May 25 at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm is Global Scholars Hall, Great Room 123

Learn more here and go out to support our queer and trans allies!



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