The two stories—which couldn’t be more different—also contain enough similarities to draw harsh conclusions about men’s culture and participation in movement to end violence against women.
In Sharper’s case, he chose to take the role as a champion for women by participating in prevention-focused book for A Call to Men. In the book, Sharper states, “Playing football can be glamorous at times, but being a father keeps me humble… My daughter makes [me] mindful of how women are treated, undervalued and exploited, which is why I felt compelled to take advantage of this opportunity to speak up about domestic violence. "
If elected, Oliver would oversee the cases of thousands of victims who in his mind are involved in misguided S/M acts and not dangerously abusive relationships. Just to paint a picture: consider that in 2012, Harris County reported over 25,000 incidents of family violence in addition to the loss of thirty women who were murdered by an intimate partner.
The stories made me cringe.
What was worse was I had just finished a project on the examination of the history of men’s engagement and found myself inspired by the bold men who identified their responsibility in domestic violence and took action. News of Sharper and Oliver made any pride I felt about male engagement over the last thirty years regress.
Sharper acknowledges the potential inequality and abuse his daughter may be exposed to but seemingly behaves in a manner that not only supports the oppression but also victimizes other men’s daughters. Oliver still lives in world that doesn’t include a modern definition of domestic violence. While that world might be a comfort and convenient to a criminal defense attorney (of which Oliver is one), it’s far from the reality that the thousands of victims who seek assistance from the Harris County District Attorney live.
These stories, like so many others often cause me examine my own engagement, the process to acknowledging my own privilege and the missteps I’ve made throughout my years as a man in this field. I’ve learned it is vital for me to self assess my participation, not only to be effective ally, but also as a means of realizing my own self-growth.
For the men who believe in this movement or just try to be better men, fathers, brothers, husbands, sons and friends these stories are a wakeup call that so much work still needs to be done to make this world a safer place for women and children.
For advocates—especially male advocates— these stories shouldn’t be a root of our hopelessness or shame. Instead they should be the motive for holding important conversations that create more cohesive alliances, develop awareness of our privilege and reaffirm our commitment to supporting healthy and equal relationships.
 Sports, Brent Schrotenboer. "Serial Rape Suspect Sharper Promoted Women's Safety."USA Today. Gannett, 18 Feb. 2014. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
 United States. Texas Department of Public Safety. Crime In Texas Report for 2012. Texas Department of Public Safety, n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
 Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities in 2012. Publication. Texas Council on Family Violence, n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014. <http://www.tcfv.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/HonoringTexasVictims_FullReport_8.5X11.pdf>.