As long as degrading women is worthy of a high-five, our homes, houses of worship, workplaces etc, will always be hotbeds of gendered violence.
In a survey, White Ribbon found that less than 50 per cent of men were willing to call out or stop a peer’s ‘sexist language or behaviour.’ The report cites other studies that found ‘men are more likely to intervene to prevent sexual assault’ if they think the men around them would as well, and that ‘the likelihood of rape is higher when men believe other men are more likely to endorse rape myths.’ In other words, sexism and sexual assault has a domino effect.
Here’s a few reasons some men give for not getting involved. If men, for example aren’t abusive themselves, they often don’t feel part of the wider problem. They don’t act because nobody asked them to participate. Then there’s my old favorite – women that do this work are too hostile. But what these men don’t realise is that they don’t need to hang out with angry women at protests to participate. They can simply challenge toxic ideas about masculinity.
But there’s another reason some men don’t jump to support speaking out, they feel women have labeled them as part of the problem rather than the solution. I say ‘grow up.’ The biggest contribution men can make to preventing violence against women is to become better men. Together we have the best chance of preventing gender violence by pushing on a daily basis respect and equality. But the best people to convince men that sexism, gender discrimination and abuse aren’t cool – is other men