Yesterday marked the beginning of “Men’s Week,” a UCSB student series dedicated to the discussion of penis size, male body images and homosexuality.
The events are organized by the Residence Hall Association and are meant to focus on commonly taboo topics. A presentation of “Cock Tales” — the male equivalent of the “The Vagina Monologues” — is set for today at 8 p.m. in Manzanita Village’s Loma Pelona Center.
Tomorrow, a “GTL” forum — inspired by MTV’s “Jersey Shore” — will discuss the “gym, tan, laundry” culture and male self-esteem tomorrow at the Santa Catalina Hall Fiesta room.
Event organizer Brady Forrest, a third-year global studies major, said he hopes the lectures and debates inspire men to openly communicate their insecurities.
“We want to encourage discussion about things that are taboo,” Forrest said. “Our goal is to create an open space where people can have their questions answered and feel comfortable. By addressing issues from sex and penis size to body image issues in an open environment, we hope to encourage more discussion among both men and women all across campus.”
Sociology professors John and Janice Baldwin will host the highlight of the week, “The Person Behind the Penis,” Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the San Nicolas Hall formal lounge. The duo will discuss sex and expectations in Isla Vista.
Following their presentation, event organizers will turn the room’s lights off and separate male and female attendees. This portion — called “Sex in the Dark” — is designed to create an anonymous open forum where participants can pose questions to the Baldwins and to members of their own, or the opposite, gender. A lecture on the “Hook-Up Culture” will follow at 8:30 p.m. in the same room.
Amanda Clark, a third-year religious studies major, said “Men’s Week” is designed to benefit both men and women.
“You do tend to hear more about women’s self-esteem issues and body-image issues among young girls than you do about men,” Clark said. “It’s cool that RHA has put together an event where guys can talk about how this stuff has an impact on them too. I think everyone on campus can benefit from open discussions like these.”
UCSB Men’s Week creator Jordan Killebrew, the assistant resident director of Santa Catalina North Residence Hall, said he hopes that the week will unify the student population and draw attention to the issues that are often overlooked.
“I hope that the men of the campus feel more open and that they will learn to listen to one another so that they can help each other get through issues, instead of just sweeping it under the rug and not talking about it,” Killebrew said.
The final event — titled “Guess Who’s Gay?” — will be held Friday at 8 p.m. in the Loma Pelona Center.