In the following my interview with Clay Jones, Communications Manager at White Ribbon from Ontario. ProMosaik struggle for women's rights by starting from the assumption that there is no feminism without involving the whole society. Also men have to be part of the feminist movement to stop violence of all kind against women, in particular domestic violence.
What is the main objective of White Ribbon?
The main of objective of WR is to work with boys, young men, and men to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity. We work to examine the root causes of gender-based violence and create a cultural shift that helps bring us to a future without violence. Our vision is for a masculinity that embodies the best qualities of being human. We believe that men are part of the solution and part of a future that is safe and equitable for all people. Challenging negative, outdated concepts of manhood will inspire men to understand and embrace the incredible potential they have to be a part of positive change.
What does the new concept of masculinity mean to you?
A new concept of masculinity is one that challenges the out dated, hegemonic ideals of what it means to be a man, one that promotes emotional depth, nurturing, and positive strength.
ProMosaik is convinced that there is no feminism without involving men fighting for women rights. What do you think about it?
We think it is important for men to work with other men from a pro-feminist framework. We hope that men involved in anti-violence work are creating spaces for others who have already, consistently, been having this conversations, but may not have had their voices heard. Men should be dedicated to challenging institutionalised misogyny, racism, classism, and privilege. We do however, understand that this can be a challenge if you aren’t yet able to see how you’ve been privileged by the current status quo. And that we are not perfect and need to keep this in mind as well.
Tell us about the toolkit Make the Call.
The Make the Call toolkit is the culmination of multi-year programme in partnership with the Toronto Argonauts Canadian Football Club. The project focused on providing technical and emotional support for student-led initiatives addressing gender-based violence in secondary schools. We wanted a way for schools to be able to continue the project beyond the original scope, so we created a toolkit for teachers, coaches, and other mentors that maps the project out step by step, empowering students to continue this important work on their own. It is free and available online:http://www.whiteribbon.ca/emodules/humc/story.html
What are the main objectives of your campaign Draw the Line?
Draw the Line is a program partnership between several organizations, led by Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes (AOcVF) and the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC). White Ribbon’s contributions are focused on scenarios and actions that men can take. The goal of the DTL is to engage Ontarians in a dialogue about sexual violence. The campaign challenges common myths about sexual violence and equips bystanders with information on how to intervene safely and effectively, how to spot sexual violence and empower them to make a difference.
What have you achieved until now and what are the main objectives for the future?
It can’t be a challenge to point to specifics of what we’ve achieved when you are working on social change on a generational level. This work takes time. We can say that there has been a noticeable shift towards mainstreaming of pro-feminist ideals, of allowing men emotional agency, promoting healthy and engaged, positive fatherhood. Our main objects for the future is to continue dialogue men, working to promote active consent in their daily lives, speaking out against violence and making space for marginalized voices, and, of course, seeing an end to all domestic violence.