Men for Gender Equality: We need to be having more conversations with men and boys about male violence.
In our latest Guest Blog we hear from Sean from Men for Gender Equality (M4GE) – a community in County Durham who are against all forms of gender-based violence. Their aim is to open up conversations about how men can tackle
gender inequality and promote healthy relationships with their peers.
I am very grateful to have been asked to write this blog piece for RSACC, a charity that I believe does some of the most important work in Darlington and County Durham.
My name is Sean. I’m a postgraduate at Durham University and I have been a member of the community in County Durham for nearly 3 years. Something that has sadly been a constant in my life, whether that’s growing up on the South coast near Hastings, or going to university in Southampton, or living in Durham where I’m completing my PhD, is that many of the women in my life find themselves victim to another mans abuse. Whether that’s on the street, at their place of work, when they’re with friends, or in their own homes. Now, this isn’t anything that the readers of the RSACC blog need to be told. I’m bringing this up because I strongly believe in order to reduce male violence towards women, we need to be having more conversations with men and boys about male violence. Most importantly, for men to recognise that male violence towards women exists, and to teach them what they can do about it. We need to get people talking about masculinities and changing what it is to ‘be masculine’. We need to have these difficult conversations with men and boys from all walks of life, and talk openly, honestly, and to the point.
There are organisations that work specifically with men to reduce Gender-Based Violence such as Beyond Equality and White Ribbon. These organisations are fantastic, yet there is still so much more work that needs to be done. That’s why Stephen and I have set up Men for Gender Equality (M4GE), a group of community members in County Durham who are against all forms of gender-based violence. We aim to open up conversations about how we, as men, can tackle gender inequality and promote healthy relationships with our peers. So far we have gone into schools to talk to 16-18-year-olds about gender-based violence, and we have been doing outreach in the Durham community. We hope that we can grow in numbers by having volunteers of men and women who will join us in our efforts to open up these conversations, with men and boys from all walks of life.
So if there is one small thing I would ask any reader of this blog post to do, it’s to please share our work with friends and family, particularly with your male peers. We want to create a culture where sexism is not tolerated, where men are confident to call out other men’s comments or actions, and to eventually create a community where women can be safe and live without fear.
Finally, I just want to say that RSACC really are a lifeline in the community, providing an essential service for victims throughout Darlington and County Durham. If there are any readers of this blog who have not heard of RSACC (perhaps those coming from our own M4GE channels), then please do go onto their website and click ‘Support/ Donate’ to see how you can support the charity today.