Other Group

A Call to Men

Location:

Rockville Centre, NY

Parent Organization:

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

CEO:

Tony Porter

A Call to Men (styled A CALL TO MEN) is a left-of-center campaign sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors that claims to prevent violence against women and girls by advocating for men to reject traditionally masculine values. [1] A Call to Men claims that adhering to traditional male values, such as appearing strong and acting independent, create a “dark side” to masculinity that results in violence and oppression towards women. [2] A Call to Men has called on men to reject masculine values, while also endorsing left-of-center ideals on gender and feminism, including training boys as young as five to become feminists. [3]

A Call to Men provides education campaigns to schools, companies, government agencies, and athletic teams aimed to teach this rejection of masculine values. [4] The organization has worked with U.S. Armed Forces academies and professional sports organizations including the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), and the National Hockey League (NHL). [5]

Despite being ostensibly nonpartisan, A Call to Men was heavily critical of the Trump administration, claiming that President Donald Trump has personally sent a message that allows for “sexually objectifying women.” [6] It is a fiscally sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, an ideologically left-of-center provider of philanthropic consulting and fiscal sponsorship services. [7]

Messaging

A Call to Men advocates for left-of-center views on gender, specifically around masculinity. The organization alleges that masculinity has a “dark side” that must be exposed. A Call to Men claims that anger, insecurity, jealousy, and vulnerability in men has led to an “epidemic” of violence against women in the United States. CEO Tony Porter claims that men live in a “man box” that places them at odds with the experiences of women and girls by teaching masculine values, such as acting strong and being independent, and that this experience prevents men from being “authentic.” A Call to Men has further argued that the “socialization of men” teaches them to have less respect for women and claimed that society teaches men to view women as “weaker” and as “physical objects.” [8]

In the same interview, Porter claimed that the 2017 murder of a woman on a cruise ship happened because her husband viewed her as “part of his property” and killed her because she wounded his “strong sense of pride” taught by traditional masculinity. Porter also claimed that no other men helped the victim because they were “socialized” to reinforce “silence around what other men do.” [9]

A Call to Men has encouraged men to become “aspiring allies” to women, arguing that women are “silenced” and “made invisible” and that men should speak on their behalf to create opportunities. [10]  The group has argued that women are consistently discriminated against in the workplace to the degree that “nearly every woman” has been harassed or discriminated against. A Call to Men has endorsed left-of-center ideals around feminism, contributing to a New York Times article which encouraged parents to raise “feminist” sons from the time they are as young as 5 years old. [11]

A Call to Men has also supported left-of-center views on gender, celebrating gender nonconformity and encouraging young people to “question gender norms.” [12] The organization rejects all attempts to assign particular characteristics to gender, calling “rigid notions of manhood” one of the “biggest threats to men in America.” [13] A Call to Men also encourages men to call each other out if they engage in typically masculine behaviors, claiming that it “can’t solely be the work of feminists to reform men.” [14]

Education Campaigns

To promote its views on gender, A Call to Men has partnered with schools and universities, government agencies, and corporations to teach a curriculum of “healthy manhood” which emphasizes rejecting traditional masculinity and convincing listeners that their views have been shaped by “collective socialization” that devalues women. [15] The organization has also partnered with professional sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, and various U.S. Armed Forces academies. [16]

In 2018, A Call to Men partnered with Harry’s, a shave brand, to release a free online certification training focused on boys in middle and high school. The curriculum aimed to “shatter gender stereotypes” and teach young men about consent, bullying, and homophobia. [17]

Liberal Positioning

In 2017, A Call to Men CEO Tony Porter told a reporter from MinnPost that the Trump administration had made men more comfortable in making sexist remarks or acting in a sexist manner. Porter claimed that this represented the “whole self” of masculinity. [18] Co-founder of A Call to Men Ted Bunch also claimed that President Donald Trump sent a message that allowed “sexually objectifying women” and claimed that the “culture” of the United States allowed it. [19]

Despite claiming to advocate against violence against women and provide programming to that end, A Call to Men’s programming often takes a distinctly political tone. In a televised training session with the Los Angeles Chargers, player Cole Mazza expressed conflict over his feelings about other players kneeling during the national anthem because his family had served in the military. While Mazza’s fellow players told him that they understood his position and supported his decision to remain standing, A Call to Men co-founder Ted Bunch dismissed Mazza and told him that the protest has nothing to do with the military and was instead a “direct” protest against police brutality. [20]

Personnel

Tony Porter works as the co-founder and CEO of A Call to Men. Prior to working with A Call to Men, Porter spent 15 years as director of addiction services at Nyack Hospital. In his capacity as CEO of A Call to Men, Porter also works as an adviser to the NFL. [21] Porter also lectures with the U.S. Department of State and has worked with the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the United States Military Academy, and United States Naval Academy. [22]

Ted Bunch is the co-founder and chief development officer of A Call to Men. Bunch is a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Bunch also developed and directed a national program for domestic violence offenders. [23] Like Porter, Bunch is a lecturer for the U.S. State Department and has worked with the United Nations. [24]

Several other A Call to Men staff members have ties to left-of-center political organizing. Josue Arguelles, director of youth initiatives at A Call to Men, has a long history of political organizing, working with left-of-center organizations including the San Francisco Labor Leadership Institute, Young Workers United, and the San Francisco Progressive Workers Alliance to advance left-of-center policy on labor, LGBT issues, and immigration. [25] A Call to Men director of community engagement Lina Juarbe Botella has won several awards for her left-of-center organizing work in the Latino community. [26]

The A Call to Men board includes left-of-center figures, including Peter Buffett, the son of investor and left-of-center philanthropist Warren Buffett. Buffett sits on the board of the left-of-center Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and leads the NoVo Foundation, an organization which supports a number of liberal donor-advised funds and left-of-center organizations. [27] Board member Chelsey Goodan is the founder of the Activist Cartel, a left-of-center feminist organization. [28] Board member Lee Roper-Batker worked as president of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN), an organization which campaigns for left-progressive ideas and policies. Roper-Batker also worked with former President Barack Obama’s White House Council on Women and Girls. [29] Kerry Watterson was formerly the director of development of the New York Civil Liberties Union, an affiliate of the left-of-center American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). [30]

Partners

Billionaire left-of-center philanthropist MacKenzie Scott included A Call to Men on her list of “116 Organizations Driving Change.” [31] A Call To Men also works with a variety of corporate partners, including Uber, Deloitte, the Ford Foundation, the Mark Cuban Foundation, the New York Women’s Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, Verizon Foundation, and the WFMN. [32]

References

  1. “From #MeToo to #IWillSpeakUp: A CALL TO MEN,” Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, August 2, 2018. https://www.rockpa.org/a-call-to-men/^
  2. Walsh, Jim. “A Call To Men: Stepping Outside the ‘Man Box’.” MinnPost, August 7, 2017. https://www.minnpost.com/arts-culture/2017/08/call-men-stepping-outside-man-box/. ^
  3. Miller, Claire Cain. “How to Raise a Feminist Son.” The New York Times. The New York Times, June 2, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/02/upshot/how-to-raise-a-feminist-son.html. ^
  4. Fessler, Leah. “Tony Porter Makes the Case for Re-Socializing Boys and Men.” Quartz, October 30, 2018. https://qz.com/work/1415245/this-ceo-makes-a-strong-case-for-how-feminism-liberates-men/.    ^
  5. Fessler, Leah. “Tony Porter Makes the Case for Re-Socializing Boys and Men.” Quartz, October 30, 2018. https://qz.com/work/1415245/this-ceo-makes-a-strong-case-for-how-feminism-liberates-men/. ^
  6. Walsh, Jim. “Silence Is Violence: A Call To Men Conference Encourages Men to Speak out against Sexist Behavior.” MinnPost, September 18, 2017. https://www.minnpost.com/arts-culture/2017/09/silence-violence-call-men-conference-encourages-men-speak-out-against-sexist-be/. ^
  7. “From #MeToo to #IWillSpeakUp: A CALL TO MEN,” Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, August 2, 2018. https://www.rockpa.org/a-call-to-men/.   ^
  8. Walsh, Jim. “A Call To Men: Stepping Outside the ‘Man Box’.” MinnPost, August 7, 2017. https://www.minnpost.com/arts-culture/2017/08/call-men-stepping-outside-man-box/. ^
  9. Walsh, Jim. “A Call To Men: Stepping Outside the ‘Man Box’.” MinnPost, August 7, 2017. https://www.minnpost.com/arts-culture/2017/08/call-men-stepping-outside-man-box/. ^
  10. Porter, Tony. “Five Questions for Men Who Want to Be Better Allies.” The Good Men Project, August 14, 2020. https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/five-questions-for-men-who-want-to-be-better-allies/. ^
  11. Miller, Claire Cain. “How to Raise a Feminist Son.” The New York Times. The New York Times, June 2, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/02/upshot/how-to-raise-a-feminist-son.html. ^
  12. Walsh, Jim. “A Call To Men: Stepping Outside the ‘Man Box’.” MinnPost, August 7, 2017. https://www.minnpost.com/arts-culture/2017/08/call-men-stepping-outside-man-box/. ^
  13. Fessler, Leah. “Tony Porter Makes the Case for Re-Socializing Boys and Men.” Quartz, October 30, 2018. https://qz.com/work/1415245/this-ceo-makes-a-strong-case-for-how-feminism-liberates-men/. ^
  14. Dukoff, Spencer. “What Would You Pay to Become a Better Man?” Men’s Health, September 23, 2019. https://www.menshealth.com/health/a28845067/the-manconomy/. ^
  15. Walsh, Jim. “A Call To Men: Stepping Outside the ‘Man Box’.” MinnPost, August 7, 2017. https://www.minnpost.com/arts-culture/2017/08/call-men-stepping-outside-man-box/. ^
  16. Fessler, Leah. “Tony Porter Makes the Case for Re-Socializing Boys and Men.” Quartz, October 30, 2018. https://qz.com/work/1415245/this-ceo-makes-a-strong-case-for-how-feminism-liberates-men/. ^
  17. “A CALL TO MEN Launches Free Online Certification Training for Its LIVE RESPECT Coaching Healthy, Respectful Manhood Curriculum.” Business Wire, June 4, 2018. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180604005227/en/A-CALL-TO-MEN-Launches-Free-Online-Certification-Training-for-Its-LIVE-RESPECT-Coaching-Healthy-Respectful-Manhood-Curriculum. ^
  18. Walsh, Jim. “A Call To Men: Stepping Outside the ‘Man Box’.” MinnPost, August 7, 2017. https://www.minnpost.com/arts-culture/2017/08/call-men-stepping-outside-man-box/. ^
  19. Walsh, Jim. “Silence Is Violence: A Call To Men Conference Encourages Men to Speak out against Sexist Behavior.” MinnPost, September 18, 2017. https://www.minnpost.com/arts-culture/2017/09/silence-violence-call-men-conference-encourages-men-speak-out-against-sexist-be/.    ^
  20. Selbe, Nick. “’Hard Knocks’ Recap: Rams, Chargers Prepare for Uncharted Waters.” Sports Illustrated, August 12, 2020. https://www.si.com/nfl/2020/08/12/hard-knocks-recap-rams-chargers-hbo-episode-1. ^
  21. Porter, Tony. “Tony Porter’s LinkedIn Profile.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/tony-porter-77030211/. ^
  22. “Tony Porter.” Tony Porter – A Call to Men. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.acalltomen.org/about/team/tony-porter/. ^
  23. “Ted Bunch.” A Call to Men. Accessed December 15, 2020. https://www.acalltomen.org/about/team/ted-bunch/. ^
  24. “Ted Bunch.” A Call to Men. Accessed December 15, 2020. https://www.acalltomen.org/about/team/ted-bunch/. ^
  25. Argüelles, Josué. “Josué Argüelles’s LinkedIn Profile.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/josu%C3%A9-arg%C3%BCelles-ab103b125/. ^
  26. “Lina Juarbe Botella.” Lina Juarbe Botella – A Call to Men. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://www.acalltomen.org/about/team/lina-juarbe-botella/. ^
  27. Center on Philanthropy & Public Policy. “Jennifer and Peter Buffett: Center on Philanthropy & Public Policy.” Center on Philanthropy Public Policy. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://cppp.usc.edu/speakers-series-conversations/jennifer-and-peter-buffett/. ^
  28. “Chelsey Goodan.” Chelsey Goodan – A Call to Men. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://www.acalltomen.org/about/board/board-of-directors/chelsey-goodan/. ^
  29. “Lee Roper-Batker.” Lee Roper-Batker – A Call to Men. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://www.acalltomen.org/about/board/board-of-directors/lee-roper-batker/. ^
  30. Watterson, Kerry. “Kerry Watterson’s LinkedIn Profile.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kerrywatterson/. ^
  31. Scott, MacKenzie. “116 Organizations Driving Change.” Medium. Medium, July 28, 2020. https://medium.com/@mackenzie_scott/116-organizations-driving-change-67354c6d733d. ^
  32. “Partners.” Partners – A Call to Men. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://www.acalltomen.org/about/partners/. ^
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A Call to Men

250 Merrick Road #813
Rockville Centre, NY 11570