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Cleo Stiller is a Peabody Award–nominated, Emmy Award–nominated, and Gracie Award–winning reporter and a self-identified “relationship nonexpert” obsessed with exploring stories about health, gender, and technology among millennials. Stiller joined us virtually on September 9, 2020 to discuss her book Modern Manhood: Conversations About the Complicated World of Being a Good Man (Tiller Press/Simon & Schuster, Nov. 12, 2019). GATE Faculty Teaching Fellow, Nouman Ashraf, joined Stiller to shed light on all the grey areas out there, pulling insights from conversations that real men and women are having with their friends, their dates, their family, and themselves.

In the #MeToo era, some men feel like they are walking on eggshells, what can they do?

Stiller details how many of the men she interviewed are afraid of being wrongfully accused.  She highlights that we need to acknowledge that behaviour is the real problem. Men looking to do better need to get clear on their intention.  Why are you trying to show up and (behaviourally) what you should aspire to?  Worry less about what a good man/woman does – what does a good person do?

Stiller suggests that men looking to make more equitable workplaces need to think about the structures of power in their work environments, and their privilege within those structures. This can be uncomfortable. Stiller recommends focusing on why you are trying to grow and be better. Get clear on what motivates you – trying to build a better workplace.

Just because #MeToo has made it more confusing for us to interact does not mean that it is not a  necessary change that we have to incorporate into our lives.

Some suggestions for making a better environment:
  • Partner with other organizations who can help you assess your workplace culture
  • Build formal mentoring programs
  • Vigorously review payroll
  • Think about your pipeline
  • In the time of COVID-19 don’t let diversity and inclusion initiatives take a back burner. They are more crucial than ever.

After the event, Rotman student group WiMen hosted a conversation for male-identified students on masculinity. This insightful discussion was facilitated by Jake Stika, Executive Director, and Co-Founder of Next Gen Men.