“Why we rape our women, do we hate our women? I think it’s time to kill for our women; time to heal our women, be real to our women.” – Tupac, Keep Ya Head Up
I have been challenging myself to develop preventive measures for young men in middle school to proactively educate them on stopping violence against women. As owner of Divas In Defense, I am proud to say we have trained tens of thousands of women Worldwide. From the high seas of the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage, to the hot desserts of Kuwait, the Divas In Defense training staff have worked diligently to empower women through self-defense. Yet, the feeling of incompletion weighs heavy on my heart. How can I, as a man, reach young men to prevent attacks?
Today, at the A CALL TO MEN: Engaging Men in the #MeToo Era sponsored by Uber and hosted at The Gathering Spot, myself and a few good men came together for this one special reason… including men in the fight to end violence against women (VAW). I mean, we have all been trained to respect women and don’t hit girls. Yet, we objectify them and are very misogynistic towards them and sometimes… we don’t even know it. It is time for men to be intentional when preventing VAW. There were some wonderful speakers and panelists including: Jennifer Bivins (Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault), Adrian Githuku (Uber), Tony Porter (A Call To Men), Lina Juarbe Botella (A Call To Men), Elisa Covarrubias (LiveSAFE Resources), Langston Walker (Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault), and Greg Loughlin (Men Stopping Violence).
“Stop Toxic Masculinity!”
This message resonated with me because I found myself guilty of toxic masculinity. Growing up in the inner city, men are led to believe anything which society deems as “girly” is unacceptable. Men are not to show emotion or ask for help. How idiotic is this? Without a proper outlet, emotions can erupt in anger. “The glue to the man box is homophobia.” – Tony Porter. Why are men afraid of being compared to women? Most men were raised by a strong woman, yet see women as weak and docile.
It is time to cultivate the inclusion of men! I have started with my sons, but this is not enough! I implore mothers to be transparent with past experiences when it comes to their sons. The reason for starting Divas In Defense was because my brother and I witnessed domestic violence in the household. I wish these sons would #AskYourMama about being victimized. It is so easy to dismiss violence against women unless it’s one you personally love.
My message to these young men begins with becoming certified in A Call To Men and the following pledge:
- I will show and speak love to my sons and fellow men.
- I will be a positive example to boys and men.
- I will hold men accountable for their verbal and physical actions.
- I will be proactive in educating men on the variety of abuse and protection of womanhood.
- I will not allow the misogyny of women.
- I will be comfortable with my vulnerabilities.
- I will dedicate some of my time to mentoring young men.
#LoveMePainFree #AskYourMama #MyNamesNotBaby #DivasInDefense #MeToo #ACallToMen #Uber #TheGatheringSpot #MenStoppingViolence #GeorgiaNetworkToEndSexualAssault #StopVAW #SexualAssault #LiveSAFE