On Thursday 16th February, Baggy and I (Peter) both went to Kidderminster to hear Tony Porter speak on Behalf of "A Call to Men". This is an American organisation now being launched in the UK to mobilise men committed to ending violence against women.
Tony spoke about the "Man Box" - the ways in which men are expected to conform to an image of being strong, powerful, competitive and showing no emotion. He showed how these social expectations are damaging both to men and to the women to whom they relate.
Tony put up an equation based on the attitudes to women that the Man Box promotes:
Less value + property + objectification = violence against women
We can see examples of these three factors in society all around us. We can change this equation and make it fail by modelling respect and love for the women in our life.
Other notable questions and quotes from Tony's talk included:
How can men perpetrate violence "in the presence" of so many good men?
Don't indite men, invite men.
Women don't need protection. They need men to behave.
Talk about love to young men.
Men change when they are uncomfortable.
What kind of world do you want for your daughter?
First Man Standing intends to support A Call to Men in the UK.
What is First Man Standing?
First Man Standing is an opportunity for men everywhere to be the first in their family, club, church or workplace to stand up and speak out about building strong relationships and ending violence against women.
We are proposing three steps for men to follow in order to make a difference:
- Respect all women everywhere and demonstrate love and support for women and children in your family.
- Challenge other men by speaking out to your friends and colleagues about ending violence and negative attitudes towards women.
- Join the cause and make a personal pledge
First Man Standing is a campaign of Restored, an international Christian alliance working to transform relationships and end violence against women.