Tackling the Misconceptions of Manhood
Location: Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts
CHESTERTOWN, MD— Former NFL quarterback Don McPherson will visit Washington College on Monday, September 23, to address issues of gender identity and domestic violence. He will attend a memorial service dedicated to victims of domestic violence at 4:30 p.m. on the ground floor of Casey Academic Center, and then will speak at 8 p.m. in Decker Theatre. McPherson’s presentation, “You Throw Like a Girl,” focuses on a healthier approach to masculine identity. Both events are free and open to the public.
Don McPherson played football for Syracuse University and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. He played professionally for seven years, first for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Oilers, and then for the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Ottawa Rough-Riders.
After retiring from pro football in 1994, McPherson became involved in the prevention of sexual and domestic violence. He served as Director of Sport in Society’s Mentors in Violence Prevention Program (MVP) and has since spoken at more than 200 college campuses, community events and national violence-prevention programs to spread awareness about gender issues. He has collaborated with the U.S. Departments of Education and Defense, as well as the Pentagon, on the issue of sexual violence in education and the military.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that the issue affects a quarter of women nationwide and that every nine seconds, a woman in the U.S. is physically abused. The majority of cases are never reported to the police. McPherson wants to spread awareness that gender issues affect both men and women and that, because men are the primary perpetrators of domestic violence, it is largely a men’s issue. He believes one of the primary outlets for gender discrimination is organized sports. McPherson thus founded the Sports Leadership Institute at Adelphi University in 2002 and now serves on the advisory committee for the National Football Foundation and the board of directors of the Ms. Foundation for Women.
McPherson’s visit is sponsored by the College’s Office of Student Development, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Student Affairs, and Health and Counseling Services, in partnership with the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence. Decker Theatre is located in the Gibson Center for the Arts on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue.
– Kathryn Gilley ’14