Jon Hamm (TV Actor) Talks About The Lack Of Positive Male Role Models

by Lane Moore - Jezebel

Get ready to fall even more in love with Jon Hamm. Seriously. There are new levels of adoration for this man and we're about to discover them together.

Hamm was recently a speaker at the Rape Treatment Center benefit brunch in Beverly Hills where he spoke about his pre-Mad Men employment history — which we will refer to as phase one of your ever-deepening affection.

Apparently, the man behind Don Draper is a former high school teacher and also worked at a daycare center. Hamm said he's always felt very connected to children, which he attributes to being the child of a single parent —and thus spending "the majority of my life in daycare, after school programs, summer school programs," which brings us to phase two:

  • Hamm said, "Having gone through what I had gone through as a child...there were no real male role models in any of these places. There were never any dudes. It was a bummer as a young man to, not only not have a father figure in my life, but no real male figures as teachers or as educators or as afterschool program leaders or anything," he said.

AND THEN —in what is both phase three and also such an important message that is rarely discussed by men, especially in entertainment— Hamm makes a point of talking about how important it is to reach out to young boys and men and educate them on the "lasting impact of rape":

  • Hamm made the point to emphasize the importance of the Rape Treatment Center's educational outreach, especially for boys and young men. "It is an important thing to instill in a younger generation about the impact of rape, the lasting impact of rape," he said, adding, "Children from grade school to high school to college are incredibly susceptible and incredibly malleable, as we all know. To get them early, to teach them about the facts and figures and other realities of rape is key. It is an important issue to me as not only a man, but as an educator, as a human being and as a person on this planet."

All lighthearted jokes about love-deepening aside, this is such an important message and I'm so thrilled he was able to send it.

Rape is not a female issue. Rape is everyone's issue, which is why it's often an incredibly powerful thing to have a man stand up and say that. Obviously, I'm not saying it's any better or worse or that one's ability to be taken seriously has to be tied to gender but in terms of reaching a larger audience of men, I do think that there's something powerful about a man —especially a widely respected and beloved man such as Hamm— standing up and encouraging other men to educate themselves and their sons on what they can personally do to prevent rape, instead of continuing to simply tell women to protect themselves or "dress differently" (ugh).

I wish we were at the point where hearing this message coming from incredibly strong people of any gender was enough, but I really feel like we need to be hearing these messages from everyone so that people realize that rape isn't simply a women's issue or a heterosexual issue. It truly is everyone's issue.

Hats off to you, Jon Hamm for shedding light on this fact. And being super, super crazy dreamy.

October 1, 2011

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