The film Raise Our Men features interviews with New Zealand men about their experience of growing up and conforming to male stereotypes (the man box).
The film was developed by White Ribbon New Zealand as part of their 2017 campaign, because how we encourage and expect men to behave, directly affects the high level of domestic violence and sexual harm in this country.
The film picks up on four key links:
- Men learn they have more power than women and so feel they are entitled to use violence against women.
- Men hold to a rigid division of what men do and what women do (gender roles), and use violence to enforce this.
- Men tend to express anger through aggression and are not encouraged to express all the other feelings they have.
- Men take their traditional masculinity identity from peers and the media, rather than developing their own more healthy identity.
The film features interviews with nine Kiwi (NZ) men, and in telling their stories, it shows that change is possible - when men are shown and supported to choose a different respectful path.
White Ribbon hopes the film will prompt discussion about how we raise our boys and male behaviour, and encourage men to use the White Ribbon Toolboxes that outline how to have respectful relationships and respectful sexual relationships.
The film will become a resource for anyone working with men, and young men, to promote positive, respectful behaviour and will be made freely available. Communities that wish to put on free screenings should contact White Ribbon at firstname.lastname@example.org or individuals can watch the film on White Ribbon’s website www.whiteribbon.org.nz, where the toolboxes for men are also available.