Men Against Abuse Now (MAAN) is an all-male Men Against Violence group at Stanford University and a program of the Stanford Community Partnership to End Violence Against Women. MAAN’s mission is “to lead men in joining women to free the world of men’s violence against women. With this as our vision, we challenge social norms of destructive masculinity and its manifestations: sexism, misogyny, and homophobia.”
MAAN was founded in 2007 by Jesse Wallin (’08), an intern for the Stanford Community Partnership to End Violence Against Women, funded by a grant under the Violence Against Women Act in the US Department of Justice. The staff advisors for the group are Donnovan Yisrael, a specialist with the Health Promotion Services at Vaden Health Center, and Nicole Baran, Director of the Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness. The original name of the group was Men Against Violence (MAV), which is also the name of the national movement, but the group name was changed to Men Against Abuse Now to emphasize the nature of the violence we work to end.
MAAN meets for 90 minutes weekly during the academic year to plan outreach events and to discuss educational topics related to violence against women. These discussions serve as a primary place for members to gain the requisite knowledge and skills to run the group and conduct successful outreach as well as a place for members to confront hegemonic masculinity and sexism in their own lives. An important part of MAAN meetings is promoting safe spaces for men to reflect on their own experiences with masculinity and sexism, and the group meetings function as one such space.
MAAN has been involved in the Stanford community through tabling at campus-wide events, screening documentary films in dorms, holding a yearly Mustache Marathon to raise money to end relationship abuse, speaking out at the Stanford CoHo, hosting renowned anti-violence activists, and putting on specialized campaigns to end violence.
An important part of the methods of MAAN is a close involvement and collaboration with other feminist groups at Stanford, including the Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness, the Women’s Community Center, Students Advocating for Gender Equality (SAGE), and V-Week. While MAAN believes men are an integral part of the movement to end violence against women, men must actively and consciously work with women rather than recreating patriarchal structures by creating a separate men’s movement.