Perspective Event

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On Thursday, April 6th, the Fellows joined Bentley’s SAGE (Students Advocating Gender Equality), and MoA (Men of Alliance) to gain a new perspective. Students were asked to attend this event with a fellow student of a different gender, race, or sexual orientation. Attendees read real scenarios out loud to one another and discussed their reactions while practicing active listening. Fellows, please share one impactful experience you had during this event.

 

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7 thoughts on “Perspective Event

  1. This was one of my favorite Fellowship events, so far. It brought together a group of people who knew the importance of meaningful, difficult, but necessary conversations about gender equality. Everyone shared stories about uncomfortable or confusing situations they’d been through, and the entire group collaborated to try and understand how we can work to make a change.

    The most impactful experience for me was hearing how many other women in the room have been put in an uncomfortable position because of how a man treated them, especially in a public place. This is something I’ve dealt with a lot, especially growing up in a big city. It was comforting to know I wasn’t alone, but also reminded me that the problem is much bigger than it may seem. It also struck me how surprised guys were that the experience of a girl walking home at night, versus a guy is totally opposite. Guys are so lucky that they can let their guards down whenever they want, while women have to be hyper aware of their surroundings all the time.

    I think all Bentley students would benefit from this event, and participating in these types of conversations. I look forward to seeing what SAGE and MoA continue to do to facilitate these discussions around campus.

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  2. This event was a great way to learn about others’ perspectives and opinions regarding situations in which a difference in how you identify yourself can effect your reactions. Two experiences during this event impacted me significantly.

    First, when asked how many people in the room had experienced some of these situations in their own lives, I was surprised to see how many people raised their hands. In one way, it was comforting to know that so many people could relate to one another. However, it was also shocking and disheartening to see how common it is for people to find themselves uncomfortable and even potentially dangerous situations.

    Next, on a more uplifting note, I really enjoyed listening to the amount of support from those who identify differently in the room. It showed how many people recognize that situations like these are not acceptable, and how many people want to work to prevent them from occurring.

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  3. This event was wonderful. I truly enjoy engaging in meaningful (and sometimes difficult) conversations, as I believe that one of the best ways to better myself is to learn from the experiences of others. An impactful part of the night was actually a piece of feedback I provided that was then corroborated by other women. It showed that many people think the same way I do, and that I am not alone in my daily struggles. A situation was presented: a woman looks visibly uncomfortable on public transportation due to the fact that a man went out of his way to sit beside her. Many (rightfully so) responded that they were concerned for their safety and were uncertain if they would be able to confront the man, while others said they would have watched the woman until she exited the train and made sure that she was not followed. My response was to sit beside the woman and pretend to know her, or strike up some form of friendly conversation in which I pretend to need her help. This lets her know she is not alone, and lets the man know this as well. Several people responded that they really liked this approach, as it is not too aggressive and it is more than simply watching the situation to ensure it does not escalate. Another female student at the event later shared a story of how she had effectively used this type of approach to help female strangers out of a sticky situation. I appreciated the way this event allowed me to identify with my peers on campus, and I hope to attend more like it in the future.

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  4. I really enjoyed this event and I felt like it truly provided me with some new perspectives that I will keep in mind moving forward. An impactful part of the night was hearing the scenarios that were read aloud were actually real events that had happened to people. When hearing about a women who looked uncomfortable on public transportation because a man she did not know was sitting next her and was talking to her we discussed different ways to handle the scenario and what we would do in that situation. I was surprised to see how many people that have been in a similar people and it was interesting to hear comments from all genders. I really liked open people were and how easy it was to have a conversation, so I hope to attend more events like this in the future.

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  5. At this event, I was surprised by how relevant these scenarios were to our everyday lives. Almost every woman in the room had experienced the stranger talking to her on public transportation, and I felt that many of the men did not realize how often women are subject to those uncomfortable situations. On the other hand though, I agree with one of the scenarios that men do receive more questions about their sexuality for either supporting women’s equality or not conforming to the standards of masculinity that our society holds.

    If the participants got nothing out else out of this event, I believe that it would be that in the future we will all take a moment to think about what we say to others as not to encourage the gender roles in our society. Also, I hope that we better understand the impact of people’s words and feel more empowered to speak up against language that perpetuates the inequalities in our society.

    Overall this was a great event, and I would return to this event next year if it is held to continue discussing how we can each play a role in mitigating the inequalities in our society.

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  6. This event was really unique and I had a good experience discussing the different situations posed by the SAGE speakers. I was able to gain some new perspectives on how to approach different situations regarding gender equity and gender safety. I learned how common it is to judge someone’s gender roles based on their actions. It was also interesting at how differently males and females choose to approach a certain situation solely because of their gender. For example, the situation about a woman sitting on a bus and a stranger making her feel uncomfortable is definitely one that a male and female would solve differently.

    I also found it interesting how much each situation connected to our lives as college students. We have all experienced something similar to the situations discussed, and sometimes on a daily basis. It made the concept of gender, racial, and sexual equality even more relatable. I enjoyed the conversation and hope this will help us spread the word about these issues. With time and effort, we can change the way our generation acts in terms of the inequalities in society.

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  7. I really enjoyed this event because it brought together a lot of people that wish to do something more to help create gender equality. I was glad that we were able to pair up with someone from the opposite gender/race in order to truly get a different perspective on how these situations are viewed and handled.

    One impactful experience I had during this event was when we opened up discussion about all of the scenarios. It was amazing to hear the differences about how women and men would handle these specific instances. Having to not think about a lot of the fears many women face on a daily basis made me realize just how important it is to help in any situations that you see. By intervening when we see sexist or racist things happening or being said, men and women alike can begin to really break down barriers and create a more equal society for everyone. It was interesting too that although we have different outlooks and different ways of reacting to a situation, all of the people there are pushing for the equality goals which is great to know.

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