Women's History Month hosts Men's Panel
Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 20:03
On Thursday March 14, Women’s History Month (WHM) presented “The Men’s Panel: Life, Love and Relationships,” a first time event geared at involving more men in WHM events.
The moderator, Professor Denise Patrick of Baruch’s department of Communication Studies set the tone of the event. She acknowledged that the topic would be fun, but that she wanted to maintain an environment that fostered a comfortable discussion.
“I think it’s really important that, because we’re all at an academic institution, that we keep the conversation accordingly. It’s great to have fun, learning is fun […] but at the same time we want to make sure that learning happens,” said Patrick.
Following Patrick’s introductory remarks, the seven participants identified themselves and shared a chosen title that described how they label themselves in relationships. Arshan Sheedh, Victor Quiroz and Eric Ho considered themselves to be “Sweethearts.”
“I’ve been in relationships […] and I don’t want to break any hearts,” explained Quiroz.
Camille O’Brien called herself “The Romantic.” She explained that she has dated many people in search of someone whom she wants to spend her time with.
Delano Baird titled himself “The Eligible Bachelor.”
“I feel like I’m a person who can supply a woman in five different areas. I think physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually and financially […] I feel like I am what most women want,” said Baird.
Jeffrey Esperance, “The Heartbreaker,” said heartbreak will inevitably occur in most relationships.
Chris Catalano titled himself “The Guys Next Door.” He explained “you need to be a good mix of a sweetheart and little bit of a heart breaker.”
The discussion initially focused on the types of questions one should ask while considering or being part of a relationship.
Baird jumped right in, “First I have to know if you can cook, I have to know if you can clean and I have to know if the person that I’m getting into a relationship with, that she has to support me 100 percent [...] I need a partner.”
Catalano felt that understanding the goals of one’s partner is important. He feels a couple should “live together, but not as one person.”
The panelists then discussed the importance of understanding the intentions of one’s boyfriend or girlfriend. “If you’re trying to build a real relationship, I think you should take it slow,” said Esperance.
Sheedh said that trust is essential in a relationship, noting that divorce rates are high. As a “Sweetheart” he wants to be able to build a strong relationship upon a strong foundation of trust.
The discussion then shifted to where one seeks advice on and approval for relationships. Delano again jumped in, saying that his outlook on relationships was something he absorbed growing up in a household full of women. However, he noted that living in America had an impact on his opinions.
“Coming up here in America, you know you try to fit in so strongly like that so you get into the whole society of wanting to be a player. It actually took me breaking a girl’s heart to make me realize how I want to be,” he said.
Quiroz echoed Delano’s comments, noting that his behavior changed after he broke a girl’s heart. Ho also felt that it was more experience, than advice, that sculpted his feelings on and understanding of relationships.
Catalano feels that a lot of relationship advice comes from one’s parents. “If I’m thinking about dating a girl, I very much think ‘can I bring this girl home to my mom?’ […] you kind of want your parents’ approval,” said Catalano.
Alternatively, Esperance said that his family shows him what not to do. “I got my relationship advice basically from my two older brothers, which is not really a good thing […] I kind of try to do what they don’t do.”
Most panelists agreed that a relationship may not be worth the effort if one’s family disapproves from the start. “If you can’t get through my sister, you don’t want to meet my mother,” said Delano.
O’Brien agreed that when she brought home people her family did not like, things tended not to work out. “It drew me away from everybody,” she noted, on the topic of friends also disapproving of a relationship.
Shortly after, Patrick opened up the discussion to audience questions, which had been submitted throughout the discussion on index cards. One such question was about how to respond to a friend who makes negative implications about one’s partner.
Most agreed that the burden of proof of such allegations rested on the accuser, namely one’s friend. The audience also asked if the panelists would go so far as to set a girlfriend or boyfriend up to catch them cheating.
Esperance and Delano said that was too much effort. Catalano believed that if one is even considering placing their partner in such a position, the relationship is not worth having at all.