White Ribbon Day…
The 25th November marks a period of activism on the issue of violence against women.
The reason the White Ribbon Campaign is so important is that it calls DIRECTLY TO MEN to stop being the bystanders and to get involved in speaking out about gender-based violence, and specifically violence towards women.
Some men will point out that women can be violent against men – but they are in the minority. As you will have seen in previous posts women’s experience of violence at the ‘hands of men’ is far in excess of that experienced by men from their women.
Also, we need to bear in mind that not all men are violent towards women.
It’s not only direct violence we’re talking about either. It’s about deep-seated attitudes and behaviours that are often passed-off as just being a ‘being a bloke’… or ‘having a bit of a laugh’.
Like Racism, Sexism is discrimination that stems from a power imbalance and is maintained by political and social structures. As we have seen with the recent UK MP allegations, the argument that it’s just ‘guys being guys’ is often presented as some kind of defence. This is patently nonsense.
Either the behaviour of some men stems from their ignorance and lack of sensitivity to the feelings of those around them, OR it is a deliberate attempt to use their status and power to coerce others.
Ignorance is not an excuse and ‘power based ego’ is abhorrent in this context.
As MEN we need to be having a conversation about this; challenging our own prejudices and becoming more aware of the effects of both our action and our inaction.