Across District 6 this fall, Women of Steel activists are taking the stage at local and area-council meetings. The messages are consistent and clear: we need to take action to end violence against women and girls AND men like me need to play a key role.
What can we men do? It’s pretty simple:
- Lead by example. Be respectful towards women and girls, and men, too. Don’t use force, threats, or violence in your relationships. Sexism and homophobia hurt us all. Sexist language and street harassment all contribute to a culture of violence.
- Refuse to join in conversations that degrade women. Refuse to laugh at sexist jokes or to share sexist material on line, and voice your disapproval.
- Don’t walk on by if you witness harassment or an assault on the street or elsewhere. Assess the risk, then intervene and confront or defuse the situation. If you need to, ask for help, including calling 911.
- Learn about the impact of violence against women in our communities. Visit endvaw.ca, nwac.ca and whiteribbon.ca.
- Encourage the other men and boys in your life to do these same things.
December 6 is a time to do more than remember the Montreal massacre. It’s a reminder for us to take action. Among all the things we must do to end violence against women, as men, let’s commit to making sure our own behaviour is not part of the problem.