The Next Step

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 5.01.33 PM   Michael Gross Co-Editor in Chief When people think of Movember, or No-Shave-November, they picture Latin facial-hair-regulars such as Mr. Mahoney and Julius Reiner sporting beards instead of their usual afternoon scruff. And, while the plethora of facial hair is both hilarious and impressive, Movember represents a lot more than a few extra scruffs and laughs. Globally, it represents a community devoted to changing the face of men’s health. At Latin, it represents the revival of Latin’s newest affinity group: Men’s Fellowship. At the start of the 2014-2015 school year, Latin was on the brink of having a single gender affinity group: Latin’s Alliance for Women, or, as commonly referred to, LAW. And, while the members of Men’s Fellowship, previously known as Men’s Alliance, fought hard to keep their much-needed club alive, their near removal begs the question: why was a men’s group under such discrimination in the first place? Senior club head A.J. Marcus has played a pivotal role in the revamping of this new affinity group. To him and to all members of the club, “Men’s Fellowship is an affinity group that provides a forum for discussion on mental and physical issues.” For A.J., Men’s Fellowship has made him a “more outgoing, sensitive, and involved person” and has the power to do the same for all club members. While Latin is certainly a welcoming community, Men’s Fellowship creates a unique environment for men to discuss anything judgment free. And now with two gender affinity groups, LAW and Men’s Fellowship, Latin continues to strive to achieve something the world still works towards: gender equality. This year and in the past, many writers and speakers in and out of Latin have addressed the issue of gender equality in schools, in the U.S., and in the world, and have concluded that gender equality is not being achieved in today’s world. Almost every day, there is a case of gender-related discrimination, and more times than not, the females are the victims. Regardless of which gender is being discriminated against, it is necessary for both males and females to have their own affinity groups, their own safe environment, where everyone is treated as equal. Both males and females face everyday, gender-specific issues, and it would be unfair and outright disrespectful to deny one of those groups that opportunity. Similarly, while most gender equality circumstances deal with women being treated as unequal, the near-removal of Men’s Fellowship made several Latin males question whether gender equality talk in the school disregards men. With the severe hardships women face in today’s world, clubs like LAW are present in and out of the academic community. And, due to these groups, the movement toward gender equality has and will continue to make enormous strides. But, sometimes, it is harder than one would think it to be on the other side of the conflict. Often times, it seems that some question the need for a Men’s Fellowship given that males are typically not the one’s being discriminated against. But, this belief ignores the possibility of prejudice within the male community or within the entire community.   In its history, LAW has been one of the premier clubs at Latin, promoting women’s right and gender equality through weekly breakfasts, speakers, and Assembly presentations. LAW, rightfully so, is treated with the utmost respect. Unfortunately, LAW’s counterpart, Men’s Fellowship does not receive the same level respect. When looking at the members of Men’s Fellowship, most people see the scruff on their chins or the hair on their chests and disregard what they might stand for. Like Movember, the purpose and mission of Men’s Fellowship is often overlooked. The Latin community has taken several steps towards achieving gender equality. This November, when you see men supporting their funky beard, see it as a symbol for Men’s Fellowship. This November, it’s time for Latin to take that next step.  ]]>