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On Wednesday, October 17th the Healthy Masculinity Summit kicked off. It’s the first conference of its kind, whose aim is to start a conversation around what healthy masculinity means. Organizations such as the Men Can Stop Rape, Advocates for Youth, and the Verizon Foundation came together to pull this off.

As I reflect on this question I think that it’s ok for all of us to have our own definitions of masculinity, as long as it is healthy, considerate of others, and is not violent or demeaning to others.

For me masculinity is about acknowledging that women played a very important role in my life.

Women have always been there for me. From my mom to now in life.

My mom was and is my hero. She was the person helped me cross the border at the age of six and who made sure that I was always safe from harm. She has been one of my biggest advocates and always make sure that i’m doing well.

She is always checking up on me to make sure that i’m safe, if I need anything and if I do she always tries her best to help in any way possible. In short she does what a mom is suppose to do, be there for me when I need it. She is the strongest woman I know, who have devoted all of her time to making sure that her children are safe and don’t go hungry.

She has sacrificed so much to make sure that I have a better future than she did and I want to make sure to one day be able to pay it forward.

Virtually all of the teachers who have played a significant role in my life have been  women. I do have to say that I was a teacher’s pet and that I enjoyed it. My teachers would also encouraged me and  always made sure to tell me that I can do anything and in many ways this has allowed me to believe in myself because I needed that motivation to believe in myself. My counselors and my college advisor were women who truly believed in me and who made sure that I go the best deal when it was time for college enrollment. If it wasn’t for them I know that my path to higher education would be much harder now.

Outside of school women were the people who have always encouraged me to do my best and have always been there for me. The organizations that I have been part of, from high school to right now, have all had strong women who have been great advisors and mentors.

Looking at the Immigrant Rights Movement this is a great example of the influence that women have in the movement. Virtually all of the most well known people in the movement are women and they usually outnumber men in participation. And i’m totally ok with this because it enriches the movement in so many ways. Women have done more civil disobedience for the Immigrant Rights Movement and they have been instrumental to a lot of what we have accomplished thus far.

In short, for me, part of healthy masculinity is acknowledging the vital role that women have played in my life and in the Immigrant Rights Movement. I acknowledge this because for me it is important to realize that there shouldn’t be violence towards women,