This year, the White Ribbon campaign has a focus on asking people to Challenge the #Unspoken Rules.
Message from White Ribbon Ambassador, Very Rev Ray Coster
Ray is encouraging us to stand-up and speak out against unhelpful stereotypes like “Be the Man”, “Toughen Up” and “Boys don’t Cry”. He asks us to challenge the unspoken rules that exist silently in the background and reinforce outdated ideas of what a man is, how he acts, and how he should express himself. Read Ray’s White Ribbon message
Challenge the #Unspoken Rules
Unspoken Rules are the expectations that boys and young men inherit from society, based on outdated ideas of what a man is, how he acts, and how he should express himself.
Even if we don’t agree with them, these rules still exist silently in the background for far too many. Rules like, Be the Man, Toughen Up and Boys Don’t Cry reinforce unhelpful stereotypes about what it is to be a man.
These #unspoken rules put pressure on boys and young men to behave in certain ways and dismiss behaviours perceived as “unmanly”, leading them to suppress their emotions and their individuality. This affects how our boys and young men feel about themselves, and how they treat others. It affects how they approach their relationships, and can lead them to act disrespectfully – even violently – toward their partners.
We have the opportunity to use our voices as parents, caregivers and influencers to speak up over the #unspoken. By saying out loud to our boys and young men that it’s ok for them to be who they are, we can encourage them to define themselves as men who have respectful relationships – protecting our whole community.
If you are doing something to mark White Ribbon day, and spread the message about stopping men’s violence against women, please let us know. We’ll help you get the word out!
If you, or your parish, want to do something to mark White Ribbon day, but aren’t sure how to get started, then check out these ideas: take the White Ribbon Pledge, become a White Ribbon accredited workplace, talk about respectful relationships with young men and women in your family and church, host an event, participate in the White Ribbon ride in your area; or consider making contact with your local Presbyterian Support or Family Works office, and doing a joint activity.
White Ribbon resources
Order resources – balloons, fliers, posters, apparel and more – online from the White Ribbon website. Order now