This week Marisa published an article on her blog, Word&Sole, on encouraging men to support and empower women, especially in regards to feminism. In this week’s VulnerABILITY Podcast, she welcomes back guest Abe Lopez to tackle difficult topics of toxic masculinity, sexism, and how men can truly be there for the women around them.

Personally, I believe that it’s important for women AND me to join in the larger conversation regarding sexual assault, female empowerment, and the #MeToo movement. In this podcast, Abe and I challenge each other and argue whose ‘responsibility’ it is to teach the opposite sex about appropriate behavior. We also talk about tangible ways we can empower one another to be better in relationships, casual flings, and basic interactions.

Another topic we cover is ‘toxic masculinity’ and what it is, as well as how both sexes are involved in changing that narrative. Ultimately, the takeaway is that there needs to be support—BY both sexes and FOR both sexes.

We welcome comments, feedback, thoughts, and opposing perspectives as we all strive to better this world we live in.

Highlights From the Episode:

[6:10] “We get into our ideas, our beliefs, our perspectives, and we think that we have to cling so tightly to them. But a lot of what growth is and what it’s about is learning that you’re going to change and you’re going to shift those beliefs.”

[8:05] “It’s important for women, not only to feel like we can talk about these things with the men in our lives. But also, how do we treat the men in our lives? How do we bring up these things and then respect them?”

[8:50] “What do we [women] do with that anger? If we’re just angry and we’re yelling at everyone, especially men, how do we expect anything to change?”

[16:30] “‘What if this person accuses me of something I didn’t do?’ [That fear] is fair… But the whole point of the [Me Too] movement, in general, is to empower survivors and victims to speak up. It’s not about men.”

[25:30] “I’m associated with masculinity by default. I’m a guy, so when ‘toxic masculinity’ is thrown around, it almost makes it seem as the sheer fact of masculinity existing — anything existing with masculinity — is toxic… There are cases in which I feel like modern-day feminism… to an extent of people, has become not about being equal to men, but about beating down on men.”

[42:50] “The problem lies within the communication, the problem lies in insecurity… the problem lies more within than it does with each other.”

[43:35] “Maybe it also starts with looking within… Am I a part of the problem? What can I do personally to change it?”

[44:45] “We’re going to figure this out. But it does have to start with meeting in the middle… To completely say that the blame is on one specific gender is foolish.”

To listen to more episodes of the VulnerABILITY Podcast, click here.