Category: By Christian
Over the past 10 days I have had the opportunity to attend two events hosted by the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA). I cannot express how much respect I now have for this organization. They are amazing in the scope of their work, as well as in the depth and intentionality with which they go about their business. Should you have the opportunity to go to any of their events, I strongly suggest you do so.

My first encounter with MOCSA was an afternoon-long workshop for men to help raise awareness about the cultural norms that contribute to sexual assault. It was such an important workshop to go to, as I feel the two populations I am passionate about serving (churches and the inner city) really struggle to create environments that are safe for women. Not just safe in that you don't have to fear some scary person jumping out at you from behind a bush. But safe in holding women in high regard, and not buying into the subtle (and not so subtle) misogynistic habits of American culture.

The workshop was helpful in that it does a great job of helping participants identify some of the gender stereotypes that are hurtful to women. It is also a safe place for men to discuss how they might have contributed to these paradigms, and what they can do to change them. It was both thought provoking as well as action inducing.

The next week I visited the local YWCA for a poetry night that MOCSA hosted. I'll tell you what, it was one of the hardest events I have ever attended. While there were some male poets, there were also some very powerful poems by women on the theme of experiencing sexual assault. It was really heavy, and at times very uncomfortable to listen to. It made it all real. But I was at least glad that I didn't come away just thinking it was a nice event. If I didn't have that visceral reaction, I would really worry about the condition of my heart.

Fair Dinkum

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