Gender Based Violence

#NotInMyName: Five actions every man can take.

No-one who calls himself a man can sit back while our society is ravaged by toxic masculinity. The opposite of masculinity is not femininity, it’s passivity. All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

Here are five practical ways every man can become an activist in the fight against gender based violence:

What is a real man?

Where is the image of true masculinity to be found? Is it in the round-house kick of Chuck Norris or in the decaf latte of the tame metrosexual?

Is masculinity epitomised by the pot-bellied, middle aged, suburban man in front of the sports channel sipping beer and yelling advice to a team of men he has never met, or by the suave wall-street broker in a pin-striped suit? Does the tough inner city gang member embody masculinity or the outdoor man hiking through the wilderness? The image of true masculinity is as varied as the number of people you ask.


The power of a good man

I am utterly convinced that if we could somehow place a good man in every household in South Africa crime would come to a grinding halt, our police force would become all but redundant and social services would never have to leave their offices.

A good man brings order, stability, structure, discipline, love, provision, security, identity. A good man imparts self esteem and values. A good man loves, cares and nurtures. A good man stands for what is right and fights for those he loves.

I am convinced that the epidemic of crime and social disintegration that we are facing as a nation is primarily the result of men not being men, men not fulfilling the role they were designed to fulfill. Men are the ones who rape, kill, abuse and abandon – and the men who do this are themselves wounded and hold deeply distorted views of what true masculinity is. These men come from a background where there is a vacuum of good male role models and have often seen or been the victim of abusive men. The only ones who can stop this ever increasing cycle of destruction are good men.

The reasons why men are failing so dismally are complex and numerous, but the fact is that if we can heal and restore men and mobilise them to be everything that men were designed to be, we will heal and restore families, communities, our country. There is no greater nation building imperative than the restoration of men.