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Academic

 This article will lay out a standardized pathway that men can take on their journey to becoming an ally.

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My commitment to the biblical principles of equality meant that I needed to change my behavior and work toward permanent change. It’s a change that I think all men can work toward as well.

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Editor's Note: This is a Top 15 CBE Writing Contest winner. Enjoy! My family moved to a new place last year, so we are relatively new to our current church. 

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The Christian masculinity movement isn’t helping men or women. It’s damaging young men, and their relationships with others, and it’s distracting us from what should be our true focus—discipleship and imitating Christ.

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A few weeks ago, I was in Sofia, Bulgaria, for a day. I stopped for about twelve hours between night buses to see the sights, including a beautiful, vibrant mosque near the center of town. I did some online research on dress protocol beforehand: cover your skin, wear something on your head, take your shoes off. Nothing unexpected. I had a scarf and a maxi skirt in my backpack for this purpose. I was happy to be respectful, and excited for a new experience. I arrived at the mosque, circled around to the front, and . . . walked away. I felt nervous, suddenly, and upset.

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Female students at my evangelical university experienced both misogyny and racism. We were asked to conform to impossible standards. And we are not the only ones to struggle against injustice in the classroom. Women and girls all over the world face bias in school. From primary school to undergraduate to seminary, the system is not built for us.

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All parents—and especially egalitarian parents—should talk to their kids about boundaries, consent, bodies, shame, double standards, peer pressure, and sexism in school. Have you had these conversations with your kids yet?

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I have my own particular kind of body shame, but most women have experienced similar mortification about their physical beings—a heritage of enmity with the structure of skin and bones and viscera in which we daily move. 

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Violence against women on college campuses is often seen as a "women's issue"—that is, a problem for women to lead the way in solving. But with males representing the primary perpetrators of such violence, men must be at the forefront of calling out bad behavior and changing social norms. In this workshop, former UC Irvine violence prevention educator Eugene Hung discusses ways that men can promote healthy masculinity and stop violence in college settings.

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As we pursue the goal of a thriving church where women and men serve on equal footing, it will be crucial for men to advocate for women as allies. Using a fresh research model, this seminar will outline key steps that men can take to become more effective advocates.

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