Protecting my sons

In response to the Montana Kaimin article about establishing National Coalition for Men groups at campus universities across the nation, I would like to thank Bjorn Bergeson for the neutral and informative perspective. Sadly, I was disheartened to read Ms. Phenocia Bauerle, Montana State Diversity Coordinator’s comment about our message being “problematic” and Brent Hildebrand, UM Men of Strength’s comment that the information we disperse is “misleading”.

I am the President of the National Coalition for Men – Montana State University (NCFM-MSU). I am a woman, I have four boys, three of which are teenagers. I am aware of the rights, privileges and protections that I receive due solely to the nature of my gender. However, I would like to take a moment to clear the air about the NCFM message. Being a mother of four boys, I do not agree with some of the costs that my boys may have to endure to ensure my continued protection and support. Therefore, I have agreed to take on the role of President of NCFM-MSU to help level the playing field.

Let it be known that we are not women haters, rape apologists. We do not justify abuse. In fact, we are striving for true gender equality with the belief that education and accountability are the keys to success. When I first came to Montana State University I saw that it really catered to women, which is great for me. However, thinking about my children I noticed that they had nothing to support, grow, enhance and educate men; hence, the beginning of NCFM-MSU to offer support, education and guidance to the men of our community.

There has been legislation drafted that is obviously violating human rights and it is our duty to protect them. Is that not what is being said about women, we must protect their fundamental rights? TheDepartment of Educations’s now infamous  “Dear Colleague” letter is unquestionably harmful to men and has therefore been on many people’s minds. However, it is not our only focus and we are not saying that rape does not exist, nor that it should go unpunished. We are saying that education of responsibility needs to take place and both sexes need to be protected This is our simple goal: protection without supplanting the fundamental civil rights of others.

Watching the President of Kappa Sigma initially supporting NCFM’s message, and then flipping hours after Ms. Bauerle’s and Mr. Hildebrand’s statements were released, it is clear the Montana University System is teaching students what to think; no longer instructing these emerging professionals how to do so.

I welcome any input on this topic as it is imperative this discussion take place to preserve safety for all on Montana campuses. In conclusion, today I noticed that HB 240 is awaiting Governor Bullock’s signature to allow students to carry handguns on college campuses to protect “helpless women”, clearly a reaction from a father striving to protect his daughters.

Laws have already been enacted to remove the presumption of innocence in sexual assault cases, effectively creating “rape prone cultures” where women are afraid of being assaulted at every turn. A woman in such a hyper-emotional state could easily misinterpret a situation, resulting in the unjustified death of one of my sons.

How do we protect them?

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