Men are important contributors as allies to the movement to end gender-based violence. For men, allyship gets entangled with the fact that men benefit from their privilege as men relative to women. And, men have been raised in a society that bakes-in certain thinking and expectations for how men should act and behave.
So, maybe it’s important men who are allies to ask of themselves:
“If I am not a violent man, in what ways do I perpetuate and support patriarchy and other things that give license for other men to be violent? Do I share decision making, leadership, and credit with the women I work with and live with?”
Even better, men as allies can ask the women in their life: “Am I being an ally? What can I do differently?”.
Maybe it’s better and more honest to think about being an “aspiring ally”. That is, if a woman gives one an “ally badge” in recognition of efforts made to end gender-based violence and promote equity, think about turning it in at the end of the day, then waking up to earn it back again the following morning.
If you want to start your journey as an alley to end gender-based violence, you can take your #firststepfirstchange and take your online pledge at: Become a Steel City Ally
Opinion Submission by: Shawn Chisholm, MentorAction Member
Reference: Pease, B. (2017). Men as allies in preventing men’s violence against women: Principles and practices for promoting accountability. Sydney: White Ribbon Australia.