Since catching up with Jenny and meeting Sarah over a month ago and discussing 100 Deeds, I have been racking my brains to think of an appropriate deed that could really make a difference. I thought back about my involvement with promoting feminism in the past and considered the strongest message I have heard through this in relation to men and their role within this movement.
Firstly, I have been involved with the production of The Vagina Monologues at Lancaster for a number of years and had the honour to produce the show in 2012. As part of V-Day Lancaster 2013, the amazing organisers invited Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler to Lancaster as part of the 1 Billion Rising event, and she accepted. Eve spoke on a variety of topics that day, including the need for men to be involved in gender equality, and one particular thing that she said stuck with me: ”There are so many men out there who would never think to mistreat a woman, but the problem is you’re all so damn quiet!”
This leads to my second inspiration, a TedX talk by Dr Jackson Katz. In this amazing speech he outlines how gender equality cannot occur unless negative attitudes and behaviours towards it are challenged, particularly by men when these views are expressed by other men. (Seriously, watch the video, it’s fantastic!)
So there’s the deed. Speak out as a loud & proud male feminist, challenge sexism instead of ignoring it or pretending it isn’t there and help create a society where inequality will not be tolerated through encouraging other men to do the same.
To help with this, I thought writing out Eve Ensler’s ”Man Prayer” might be encouraging 🙂