Be a Better Man Day with Radio Hauraki

Radio Hauraki Nights Host Chris Key chats with White Ribbon Campaign Manager Rob McCann about healthy masculinity and the Challenge the #Outdated Campaign in a two part interview on their Be a Better Man Day.

 

To Challenge the #Outdated we need to know how to Raise Our Men

Raise Our Men features interviews with New Zealand men about their experience of growing up and conforming to male stereotypes (the man box).RaiseOurMen Movie

It’s been developed by White Ribbon NZ because how we encourage and expect men to behave, directly affects the high level of domestic violence and sexual harm in this country.

There’s a considerable amount of research that has moved family violence prevention towards targeting the drivers of that violence – men’s masculinity. For example, recent research suggests that rigid beliefs in gender roles and glorifying aggression and control are strong predictors of negative outcomes, especially in the case of violence against women and other men.

The drivers behind family violence are the attitudes men have towards women, and their role within a relationship and family. That’s why we are Challenging the #Outdated so we can promote and support healthy masculinity.

The film picks up on the four key links:

  • Men learn they have more power than women and so feel they are entitled to use violence against women.
  • Men hold to a rigid division of what men do and what women do (gender roles), and use violence to enforce this.
  • Men tend to express anger through aggression and are not encouraged to express all the other feelings they have.
  • Men take their traditional masculinity identity from peers and the media, rather than developing their own more healthy identity.

The film features interviews with nine kiwi men, and in telling their stories, it shows that change is possible – when men are shown and supported to choose a different respectful path. Download the discussion guide on ‘How to effectively use White Ribbon’s Raise Our Men film

White Ribbon hopes the film will prompt discussion about how we raise our boys and male behaviour, and encourage men to use the White Ribbon Toolboxes that outline how to have respectful relationships and respectful sexual relationships.

The film is a free resource for anyone working with men, and young men, to promote positive, respectful behaviour.

Download the discussion guide for the film.

 

 

Add your voice online to support White Ribbon Day

Media Release
25 November 2020

On November 25th, White Ribbon Day, the International day for the elimination of men’s violence towards women, we are asking our tāne and wāhine to challenge #outdated ideas about masculinity online.

Gender-based violence is endemic in New Zealand, with one in three women experiencing family violence in their lifetimes and the highest rate of reported violence towards women in the developed world.

“With COVID anxiety and severe pressure on violence prevention organisations, the vast majority of this year’s White Ribbon campaign activities are being held online, in small groups and at work,” says White Ribbon Manager Rob McCann.

“We want people to Challenge the #Outdated and unhealthy ideas about masculinity. One way of doing that in a public manner, is to create a short video and post it on your own Facebook feed. In the video, tell people why you are challenging the #Outdated ideas associated with old school masculinity, and or tell us how you role-model the principles of healthy masculinity.”

White Ribbon has created a suite of online resources that you can share to help you. These can be found at www.whiteribbon.org.nz

“The reason we are focusing on masculinity,” says Mr McCann, “is that the underlying causes of men’s violence towards women are now well recognised by research as being linked to unhealthy masculinity.”

A report Men in Focus undertaken by the Australian national violence prevention organization, Our Watch, found that that men who conform to these outdated stereotypes – that men should be strong, forceful, and dominant in relationships, be tough and in control – are more likely to hit, abuse, coerce, and sexually harass women than men who see women as their equals.

The research also found that men who believe in sexual entitlement to women’s bodies or believe in rape myths are more likely than other men to rape women.

“If we are to end men’s violence, we need to focus on the attitudes that support violence,” says Mr McCann. “We can continue to build prisons and pick up after broken families, or we can change the attitudes that support violence to thrive.”

“So this year, we are asking men and women to have these courageous conversations. Film yourself, get your videos online and tag them with #Outdated or #WhiteRibbonNZ so we can all join in and have a conversation about what healthy masculinity should look like.”

 

Notes:

The Men in Focus evidence review:

The Men in Focus report represents a substantial synthesis of the available academic and grey literature focusing on men’s violence against women. It is a peer reviewed report and represents a broad distillation of relevant literature. The focus of this report in on engaging men and boys, who can themselves “contribute to improving the effectiveness

of prevention strategies”.

 

Rick Hepi Video:
Video can be downloaded and embedded. https://vimeo.com/482122701
Rick is a White Ribbon Ambassador and White Ribbon Rider.

Rick comments that despite having a violent dad he wanted to become a good father, and not just a good grandfather like his dad. While we are all products of our environments, it is possible to break the cycle. When those influences are not healthy, we need to push back and Challenge those #Outdated ideas and replace them with behaviour we want our sons and daughters to emulate. When we see or hear mates and colleagues repeating #outdated ideas, we need to try and nudge them in the right direction.

 

30 days 30 messages:

Videos can be downloaded from vimeo.com/user/89901591/folder/3017965 and embedded, or share the Taranaki Safe Families Trust Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/taranakisafefamilies

White Ribbon Ambassador Dane Haskell, Coordinator of Taranaki Safe Families Trust created 30 Days/ 30 Men/ 30 Messages,  which for the month of November features 30 short videos of local men sharing their thoughts on the White Ribbon campaign and why it’s important for us to have these conversations. One video gets posted each day.

 

Healthy Masculinity looks like:

  • Healthy masculinity is rejecting unhelpful outdated stereotypes and unspoken rules about what it is to be a boy or man.
  • Healthy masculinity is about being kind, empathetic, finding peaceful resolutions to problems.
  • Healthy masculinity is about boys and men being confident in who they are without feeling pressure to be a certain type of boy/man
  • Boys and men can still be ‘brave’, and have ‘muscles’, be assertive, tough, love rugby, enjoy time with other men and boys, enjoy a ‘pint’ with the lads (for men!). But boys and men should also be free to express sad emotions, enjoy cooking, dancing, gardening and anything else that does not fit into gender stereotypes.
  • Healthy masculinity is treating everyone with respect.
  • Healthy masculinity is recognising that people express gender and sexuality in a variety of ways.

 

The Man Box

  • White Ribbon calls the expectations that men must always appear dominant, tough and in charge “The Man Box”.
  • It’s a box that’s prescriptive and restrictive. Any different behaviours are dismissed as being not manly.
  • Often a boy and a man will believe he needs to appear tough and in-control in front of other men. This is from a fear, real or not, that they’ll reject him, possibly violently, if he doesn’t fit in. Being told to ‘Man Up’ is to be reminded to get back into The Man Box. A man may use violence to show his peers he is manly.
  • Suppressing individual identities and diverse emotional responses is stressful. It’s also unhealthy as these men avoid asking for help.
  • Men who break out of The Man Box to choose their own masculine identity report that they’re less stressed, more satisfied with life and have happier relationships.

 

Presbyterian Support Events and Community Resources

Hearing about the events that are organized around the country to spread the kaupapa each year are a real highlight for the Campaign team. One group that has really stood out in the depth and breadth of their activities is the Presbyterian Support community throughout New Zealand.

Like so many agencies that provide social services this has been a challenging year for Presbyterian Support but they have put considerable time and effort into producing their own resources for their community and planning events where people can engage with White Ribbon.

We are extremely lucky to have the Very Reverend Ray Coster on our Ambassador team. Last year he worked with Campaign Manager Rob McCann and the team at Presbyterian Support Upper South Island to promote White Ribbon Accreditation in a group training session in Christchurch. This year Ray is heading to Invercargill for a week of activities coordinated by Presbyterian Support Southland including a combined church service, White Ribbon Day Breakfast and addressing the local Rotary Club.

Ray has also worked with Angela Singer to interview four Ministers of different ages and ethnicities to highlight the outdated ideas they heard and the outdated ideas the church once perpetuated. The Ministers raised some really interesting issues and we are sure the videos will have wide appeal to those reflecting on the need to challenge the #outdated throughout all aspects of society.

At the other end of the country, Presbyterian Support Northern have created their own messages for their community and have had billboards made up for 14 churches around the North Island, with messages such as “You matter”, “Don’t give up” and “You’re not alone”. They also partnered with Reverend Roxy Gahegan to create resources, from posters, to a testimony and myth busters for the ministers to be able to share in their communities. They also created a blog which includes some interactive ideas and videos.

We would love to hear about the events and activities you are involved in this year. Please write to us at contact@whiteribbon.org.nz and share your photos and stories.

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Make your own #Outdated video

This year, we are asking men and women to have courageous conversations about the #Outdated.

Film yourself, get your videos online and tag them with #Outdated or #WhiteRibbonNZ so we can all join in and have a conversation about what healthy masculinity should look like.

Men’s violence towards women in our communities remains appallingly high and if we are to tackle this violence we need to focus on the attitudes that enable men to think violence is ok and that trap them in the man box.

We are asking men to speak up about the #Outdated ideas they hear and sometimes feel pressured to conform to which research links to violence. We’ve all heard these phrases like Be A Man, Harden Up, Kids Should Be Silent, Treat E’m Mean Keep E’m Keen, and Show Them Who’s The Boss. We want to highlight behaviour that supports healthy masculinity. (see below for some helpful ideas)

One way of doing that in a public manner, is to create a short video and post it on your own social media feed and tag it with #Outdated. In the video, tell people why you are challenging the #Outdated ideas associated with old school masculinity, and or, tell us how you role-model the principles of healthy masculinity. Everyone is encouraged to take part, not just men.

Today boys and young men are still being taught unhelpful messages about what it is to be ‘Real Men’. As Tim Winton argues “Boys and young men are so routinely expected to betray their better natures, to smother their consciences, to renounce the best of themselves and submit to something low and mean. As if there’s only one way of being a bloke(!)” That such rules – or roles – of masculinity have remained constant, despite an increasing awareness that such rules hurt everybody, points to just how ingrained and pervasive these expectations can feel as evidenced by White Ribbon’s own research in 2019. Let’s challenge the #outdated and support healthy masculinity, which is a protection against violence.

Check out some of the videos that have already been added.

 

Healthy Masculinity looks like:

  • Healthy masculinity is rejecting unhelpful outdated stereotypes and unspoken rules about what it is to be a boy or man.
  • Healthy masculinity is about being kind, empathetic, finding peaceful resolutions to problems.
  • Healthy masculinity is about boys and men being confident in who they are without feeling pressure to be a certain type of boy/man.
  • Boys and men can still be ‘brave’, and have ‘muscles’, be assertive, tough, love rugby, enjoy time with other men and boys, enjoy a ‘pint’ with the lads (for men!). But boys and men should also be free to express sad emotions, enjoy cooking, dancing, gardening and anything else that does not fit into gender stereotypes.
  • Healthy masculinity is treating everyone with respect.
  • Healthy masculinity is recognising that people express gender and sexuality in a variety of ways.

 

The Man Box

  • White Ribbon calls the expectations that men must always appear dominant, tough and in charge “The Man Box”.
  • It’s a box that’s prescriptive and restrictive. Any different behaviours are dismissed as being not manly.
  • Often a boy and a man will believe he needs to appear tough and in-control in front of other men. This is from a fear, real or not, that they’ll reject him, possibly violently, if he doesn’t fit in. Being told to ‘Man Up’ is to be reminded to get back into The Man Box. A man may use violence to show his peers he is manly.
  • Suppressing individual identities and diverse emotional responses is stressful. It’s also unhealthy as these men avoid asking for help.
  • Men who break out of The Man Box to choose their own masculine identity report that they’re less stressed, more satisfied with life and have happier relationships.

Incredible volunteer – Roseanne Sheridan

With White Ribbon Day only a couple of days away we wanted to take the opportunity to thank our volunteers for the incredible work they do spreading the kaupapa and highlight the journey of one of our longest-standing volunteers Roseanne Sheridan.

Roseanne is based in Oamaru and has been involved in spreading the kaupapa since before White Ribbon was officially established in New Zealand. In the late 1990s she gave out White Ribbons with Women’s Refuge who had come up from Dunedin. Since then she has witnessed the establishment of organisations that support victims, events to raise awareness of the issue and an increase in the groups advocating for change. She has seen the impact of awareness campaigns on society as a whole and notes they have given victims/survivors a voice. These campaigns have also given men opportunities to change and be accountable for their past actions so they can grow and be proud of the men they have become. Roseanne came up with a fantastic rewrite of a negative statement to create a positive one to add to this year’s Challenge the #Outdated campaign: Putting them down Lifting Them Up.

Roseanne dressed in Victorian costume ready to hand out White Ribbons at Oamaru’s Victorian Heritage Celebrations

Roseanne is a survivor of an abusive relationship, who suffered physical and psychological violence from her husband. When she took a stand on his behaviour, he then left, but she sustained a serious physical injury from an assault during that time. She said that it is now recognised that this is the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship. A time when many women are injured or killed. In dealing with more escalating threats, Roseanne spent time in Dunedin Women’s refuge. She then got a protection order that meant her husband was required to complete a Stopping Violence Course. Roseanne decided not to press charges against him, since at that time no restorative justice processes existed. She learned of these principles of restoration through the initial meetings in Oamaru that eventually led to their implementation in our current legal system. In applying this to her own life, she found it brought restoration to herself and to her family, including her husband. Her children attended the first course at Dunedin Women’s Refuge, pioneered to support children who had been exposed to family violence. While the marriage ended, this restoration process has allowed them to heal and grow and they now join together for significant family events. Roseanne is immensely proud of the courage shown by her, now adult, children.

Her involvement with White Ribbon comes from her own personal experience and she has used that to empower others. “I wanted to raise awareness of what domestic violence really is: from how society perceives it to how people see the women who suffer abuse. I wanted to change people’s lives, to take away the silence, the shame and the fear. To bring healing to families and to communities. It is heartening to see the work now being done by White Ribbon on a large scale. I still continue the community contact in bringing White Ribbon into the main street of Oamaru – the shops, hotels and taverns, restaurants and businesses, the hospital and doctor’s surgeries, but mainly just person to person. Reaching out to the people is what White Ribbon is all about.”

We asked Roseanne about an empowering encounter she had had as a volunteer and she responded –

“I always think about this whenever I give out the white ribbons. An elderly woman, she held my hand for a brief moment and just said, ‘I am so pleased they have this now, dear. There was nothing when I was going through it.’ Our eyes met in a touching of hearts and she was gone again.

I think of people whose lives have been touched by violence who stay silent. The giving of a ribbon can give them the courage they need to stand up and speak out. It can bring comfort, recognition, healing and peace to their hearts. There are those who are scep

tical and may make negative comments, but very few these days fortunately. I am greatly encouraged by the men, young and old, who accept a ribbon and enthusiastically pin it onto themselves immediately; the women who see me and ask for a ribbon before I can even say anything and the businesses who want a poster to display.”

We are extremely grateful to Roseanne for the dedication she has shown to spreading the kaupapa. For over twenty years she has been helping to heal hurt, giving people the chance to open up about the challenges they have faced and ensuring people hear about the importance of healthy respectful relationships. We are incredibly lucky to have people like Roseanne who look for ways to make society better. If you want to help give out White Ribbons this November please get in touch at contact@whiteribbon.org.nz

Ruia te taitea, ka tu taikaka anake: shake off the old, to reveal the new

Media Release
19 November 2020

 

Ruia te taitea, ka tu taikaka anake: shake off the old, to reveal the new

This year we are asking people to challenge the #outdated and spend some time thinking and talking about the advice they have been given that is harmful rather than helpful. The whakatauki above sits at the heart of this year’s White Ribbon campaign. As individuals and as a society we need to shake off the old, to reveal the new.

The outdated ideas that this campaign literally overwrites are still circulating and we need to ensure our rangatahi grow up with advice that focuses on equality, healthy masculinity and respectful relationships. When kids hear old clichés like “treat em mean, keep em keen” they’re receiving a false idea that relationships should be based on mind games and manipulation. Real, respectful relationships require us to treat our partners as our equals by listening and making decisions together.

Chair of the White Ribbon Campaign Trust, Takurua Tawera believes, “so many of our young men are suffering from the impact of trauma and bad role modelling. We need to stand up and speak out on these issues and show in our words and our deeds that there are other options. Better choices lead to better lives for men and women.”

New Zealand has the highest rate of reported violence towards women in the developed world. One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives. On average, 14 women a year are killed by their partners or ex-partners.

“We have to act now to change the future and rewrite our story”, says Mr Tawera. “We all want to turn these statistics around, but if we want to see a change in these unhealthy behaviours we have to change our attitudes.  We know that research shows that stereotypical ideas about what it means to be are man are linked not only to domestic violence but also mental health issues

“Healthy masculinity is about being kind, empathetic, finding peaceful resolutions to problems. It is about boys and men being confident in who they are without feeling pressure to be a certain type of boy or man. It is really heartening to hear men speaking out on this issue and sharing their stories of change. They are inspiring role models for young men, so they know they don’t need to perpetuate these outdated ideas and can instead engage with women as equal partners.”

The origins of our whakatauki are in the natural world. In a totara tree the taitea is the outer, white or sapwood, which soon decays, and near the centre is the taikaka or hardest wood.

“By removing these outdated ideas,” says Mr Tawera, “we will be left with a core of strength. Share the wisdom of our whakatauki and shake off the old, to reveal the new!”

Notes:

Healthy Masculinity looks like:

  • Healthy masculinity is rejecting unhelpful outdated stereotypes and unspoken rules about what it is to be a boy or man.
  • Healthy masculinity is about being kind, empathetic, finding peaceful resolutions to problems.
  • Healthy masculinity is about boys and men being confident in who they are without feeling pressure to be a certain type of boy/man.
  • Boys and men can still be ‘brave’, and have ‘muscles’, be assertive, tough, love rugby, enjoy time with other men and boys, enjoy a ‘pint’ with the lads (for men!). But boys and men should also be free to express sad emotions, enjoy cooking, dancing, gardening and anything else that does not fit into gender stereotypes.
  • Healthy masculinity is treating everyone with respect.
  • Healthy masculinity is recognising that people express gender and sexuality in a variety of ways.

The Man Box

  • White Ribbon calls the expectations that men must always appear dominant, tough and in charge “The Man Box”.
  • It’s a box that’s prescriptive and restrictive. Any different behaviours are dismissed as being not manly.
  • Often a boy and a man will believe he needs to appear tough and in-control in front of other men. This is from a fear, real or not, that they’ll reject him, possibly violently, if he doesn’t fit in. Being told to ‘Man Up’ is to be reminded to get back into The Man Box. A man may use violence to show his peers he is manly.
  • Suppressing individual identities and diverse emotional responses is stressful. It’s also unhealthy as these men avoid asking for help.
  • Men who break out of The Man Box to choose their own masculine identity report that they’re less stressed, more satisfied with life and have happier relationships.

 

White Ribbon Media

Nancy Blackler 0272425318 nancy@blackoutmusic.co.nz
Rob McCann 0212122953 rob@whiteribbon.org.nz

White Ribbon Graphics can be downloaded from here

 

Keith Quinn should be thanked for saying aloud what many men actually believe

Keith Quinn’s comments about ‘hardening up’ are outdated. But rather than pile on we should be thanking Keith for highlighting just one of the many aspects of #Outdated masculinity.

“Commentators in the media have rightly underlined the link between men’s mental health and #outdated masculinity,” says White Ribbon Manager Rob McCann. “But what is missing from this conversation is the link to family violence.”

There’s a considerable amount of research that has moved family violence prevention towards targeting the drivers of that violence – men’s masculinity. For example, recent research suggests that rigid beliefs in gender roles and glorifying aggression and control are strong predictors of negative outcomes, especially in the case of violence against women and other men.

“We know that men continue to hold outdated views about sexuality, gender, and gendered violence,” says Mr McCann. “In New Zealand, Police data for the year to August shows that women make up 90% of those violently assaulted by a partner or ex, and 98.6% of those sexually assaulted by a partner or ex.

“The drivers behind this violence are the attitudes men have towards women, and their role within a relationship and family.

“Attitudes that while not seemingly violent, are part of an attitude where men are in charge, where men are dominant, when men are the primary breadwinner and decision maker.

“These are the same outdated ideas that Keith reached for when reacting to the tears of joy from Argentinian men. They were demonstrating what healthy masculinity looks like and showing real emotions.

“Healthy masculinity is about being kind, empathetic, finding peaceful resolutions to problems. It is about boys and men being confident in who they are without feeling pressure to be a certain type of boy/man.

“By adopting these traits, we are equipping young men to participate in real relationships with all their normal trials and tribulations. We are equipping young men with the tools to find solutions, rather than use violence (whether physical or non-physical) in a relationship.

“So let’s not shut down the Keith’s of this world. Let’s have those courageous conversations about what male masculinity should look like, and #challenge the outdated ideas that are unhealthy.”

Link to recent research https://theconversation.com/inside-the-man-box-how-rigid-ideas-of-manning-up-harm-young-men-and-those-around-them-143081

 

White Ribbon’s annual campaign asks men to Challenge the #Outdated.

White Ribbon Outdated Campaign (x3 messages) from White Ribbon on Vimeo.

 

 

Treat ‘Em Mean Keep ‘Em Keen Equal

The opposite of violence is showing respect. When kids hear old clichés like “treat em mean, keep em keen” they’re receiving a false idea about relationships. They’re hearing that negative behaviour has positive results, which is really dangerous. Respectful Relationships aren’t about manipulation and mind games – they require us to treat our partners as our equals by listening to each other and making decisions together.

 

Show Them Who’s Boss? You Love Them

When kids hear this outdated advice, they’re getting an idea of manhood as being in control of their partners, family, even their friends. This can lead to men mistaking fear and intimidation for love and respect. The strongest relationships are those that respect the people in our lives as their own people. Particularly, it means not assuming there are set roles or rules that give men power over women. Showing that you care creates better relationships and teaches the behaviour you want your children to learn.

 

Kids Should Keep Quiet Be Heard

When a kid asks a question, they’re reaching out to us to learn something. When a child engages in play, they are learning important skills that teach them how to behave in the world. When a child cries, they are asking for comfort. Kids ask us for attention because they are learning how to navigate the world and build relationships – they need to be able to speak and be heard, so they can learn and grow.

 

Healthy Masculinity

Our goal in preventing gendered violence as perpetrated by men is not the protection of victims, but to help men break out of some of the unhelpful stereotypes of being a man. Such a task requires a wider view of the attitudes and values that help to underpin, normalize, and lead to gendered violence. Our approach, and one that has been taken up in other countries as well, must be to find ways to help men open up to new ways of being a man. Part of that is stepping away from ideas of masculinity as dominant, violent, and overbearing, to embrace other possibilities for manhood: being kind, showing respect, and being open to change. If we want to break out of the man box, and model good behaviour for those around us, we don’t need to protect our loved ones, we need to show them that all men are capable expressing love, respect, and are open to challenging outdated stereotypes.

 

What healthy masculinity looks like

  • Healthy masculinity is rejecting unhelpful stereotypes and unspoken rules about what it is to be a boy or man.
  • Healthy masculinity is about being kind, empathetic, finding peaceful resolutions to problems.
  • Healthy masculinity is about boys and men being confident in who they are without feeling pressure to be a certain type of boy/man.
  • Boys and men can still be ‘brave’, and ‘having muscles’, assertive, tough, love rugby, enjoy time with other men and boys, enjoy a ‘pint’ with the lads (for men!). But boys and men should also be free to express sad emotions, enjoy cooking, dancing, gardening and anything else that does not fit into gender stereotypes.
  • Healthy masculinity is treating everyone with respect.
  • Healthy masculinity is recognising that people express gender and sexuality in a variety of ways.

 

Advantages of healthy masculinity

  • Healthy masculinity can lead to less stress and anxiety to conform.
  • Healthy masculinity can mean that men and boys treat others better.
  • Healthy masculinity can mean that boys and men are freer to follow their dreams and express themselves.
  • Healthy masculinity can mean that women and girls are treated with respect.
  • Healthy masculinity can mean that people feel freer to express their gender and sexuality without fear.

 

Key Messages:

  • A full explanation of the campaign including key messages is available here.
  • Graphics and Videos: Download them from here.

 

Spokespeople

Rob McCann                                                                   Dr Kris Taylor, PhD
White Ribbon Manager                                                 White Ribbon Researcher
rob@whiteribbon.org.nz                                                kris.taylor@auckland.ac.nz

 

 

 

 

Blueprints – mapping out a better future together

White Ribbon is delighted to be able to share the details of an exciting new opportunity to assist “at risk” youth in South Auckland.

In July of this year, a partnership agreement was established between White Ribbon and the New Zealand Police within Counties Manukau East. The intention was to work collaboratively together on a programme addressing the numerous issues facing young men 14 to 18 years of age, that come to attention of the Police within this community.

Blueprints receives referrals for 15 young men for each intake from Youth Aid Police and their community contacts, who engage for an initial 10-week period within the four school terms.  After their term on the programme, participants receive ongoing support from the White Ribbon Youth Mentor-Social Worker for another 10 months.

White Ribbon Youth Social Worker Sean Apai and White Ribbon National Relationships Manager Pam Hughes with an artwork created by Petia Wilson (one of the founders of the 1 degree workshops) and presented to the team at the first Blueprints Graduation.

Sessions address many of the current challenges facing our youth and are delivered by contracted providers experienced within their given subjects.  These include: Caroline and Petia Wilson founders of 1-degree Educational Workshops, who tailor their sessions to the specific needs of each group, covering issues such as resilience, emotions, mental health, bullying and leadership; Richie Hardcore, White Ribbon Ambassador and educator, who talks about respectful relationships and challenging the unspoken and outdated rules and stereotypes that limit individual development and inhibit healthy masculinity; Peter Thorburn, Director of MESS, an educator and clinician (AOD), specialising in youth, who delivers a session on alcohol and drugs.

After the completion of these sessions, participants set their own short, medium, and long-term goals where their individual “Blueprint” is developed, and they then receive dedicated support for the following ten-months.

The first intake saw 9 participants completing the individual sessions component in late October with an additional participant moving into employment. More than 60 people, families and supporters attended the enjoyable Graduation event for this first cohort.

Area Commander Inspector Wendy Spiller, Manukau East Police and Pam Hughes, White Ribbon Relationship Manager were incredibly pleased with the successful completion of the first cohort intake. Changing Covid levels during this first term saw the Blueprints team working with significant challenges that required considerable flexibility to navigate. Support from our contractors, participants and parents over this time was vital enabling both continuation and completion.

The second intake has now commenced, with 15 young men attending the individual sessions.

Sean Apai, White Ribbon, Youth mentor/social worker is based at Ormiston Police Station and continues to work closely the Counties Manukau East Youth Aid Team, to deliver positive outcomes for the young men within this partnership programme.

Frightening Australian statistics should reinforce the need to promote healthy masculinity in New Zealand

Media Release
15 November

 

42% of young men in Australia do not consider punching and hitting constitute domestic violence, while 43% do not consider frightening, humiliating, degrading or punishing a person as domestic violence.

“This is shocking”, says White Ribbon Manager Rob McCann. “While we don’t have a similar study in New Zealand, Police data for the year to August show that women make up 90% of those violently assaulted by a partner or ex, and 98.6% of those sexually assaulted by a partner or ex and we have the highest rate of reported violence towards women in the developed world.”

“Violence in our communities remains appallingly high and if we are to tackle this violence we need to focus on the attitudes that enable young men to think violence is ok and that trap them in the man box,” said Mr McCann.

Women’s Refuge CE Dr Ang Jury agrees. “We are seeing consistently high numbers of women and families taking refuge from violent men. As a country we need to take this opportunity and look at the causes of the violence. If we want to have a courageous discussion, then let’s talk about what constitutes masculinity and ensure our young men are being supported to grow up with healthy attitudes about masculinity that support respectful relationships.”

“The reality is that until we overwrite the ideas that allow men to think they can humiliate, degrade or use physical violence against anyone, we will continue to see outrageous numbers of women forced to use refuges throughout New Zealand”, said Dr Jury.

The #Outdated Campaign asks men to speak up about the #Outdated ideas they hear and the image they feel pressured to replicate.

“This November we want to highlight behaviour that exemplifies healthy masculinity,” says Mr McCann, “and in doing so we will challenge the #Outdated. The campaign demonstrates how we can overwrite unhealthy ideas and replace them with inclusive and healthy attitudes.

Healthy masculinity is about being kind, empathetic, finding peaceful resolutions to problems. It is about boys and men being confident in who they are without feeling pressure to be a certain type of boy/man.”

“To take part in the campaign simply have a conversation with your children, your friends, colleagues or your partner about #Outdated ideas, share the free online content or visit whiteribbon.org.nz to find out more and help change how we see masculinity in Aotearoa,” said Mr McCann.

 

Notes:

 

Healthy Masculinity looks like:

  • Healthy masculinity is rejecting unhelpful outdated stereotypes and unspoken rules about what it is to be a boy or man.
  • Healthy masculinity is about being kind, empathetic, finding peaceful resolutions to problems.
  • Healthy masculinity is about boys and men being confident in who they are without feeling pressure to be a certain type of boy/man.
  • Boys and men can still be ‘brave’, and have ‘muscles’, be assertive, tough, love rugby, enjoy time with other men and boys, enjoy a ‘pint’ with the lads (for men!). But boys and men should also be free to express sad emotions, enjoy cooking, dancing, gardening and anything else that does not fit into gender stereotypes.
  • Healthy masculinity is treating everyone with respect.
  • Healthy masculinity is recognising that people express gender and sexuality in a variety of ways.

 

The Man Box

  • White Ribbon calls the expectations that men must always appear dominant, tough and in charge “The Man Box”.
  • It’s a box that’s prescriptive and restrictive. Any different behaviours are dismissed as being not manly.
  • Often a boy and a man will believe he needs to appear tough and in-control in front of other men. This is from a fear, real or not, that they’ll reject him, possibly violently, if he doesn’t fit in. Being told to ‘Man Up’ is to be reminded to get back into The Man Box. A man may use violence to show his peers he is manly.
  • Suppressing individual identities and diverse emotional responses is stressful. It’s also unhealthy as these men avoid asking for help.
  • Men who break out of The Man Box to choose their own masculine identity report that they’re less stressed, more satisfied with life and have happier relationships.

 

Australian Research

Conducted by Essential Research in Australia. Download age and gender results here