Being an ally involves constantly learning, questioning and evaluating what we say to ourselves about what it means to be a man.
It is also about action to change how we do things in the world, towards women, men, and ourselves.
The vast majority of Australians do not agree with outdated attitudes and ideas about masculine stereotypes, and are ready for change. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of pressure on men to live up to harmful stereotypes and to suppress parts of themselves that don’t fit this stereotype.
These outdated attitudes and ideas are often referred to as the “Man Box” because they trap men in boxes and stop them from living full and happy lives.
Together, we can support all men to break free from the “Man Box”. One important first step is being aware of these attitudes and ideas in ourselves.
Are there times that you hold yourself back from doing something because of the ideas you have about what being a man means? Do you pass these ideas and behaviours on to your son, your niece, your work colleagues, your mates, the kids you coach for the footy team?
Have a listen to what these people said about the “Man Box” (recorded in early 2020).
Things I can do today to be an ally
Check out this clip and think about what you might say to yourself or others to keep them in the Man Box.
Does the Human Resource department at your workplace have information to support men who are using violence? Discuss how your workplace can better support men who may need help. More info: No to Violence.
Share the Man Box video.
Women’s voices are often marginalised in public spaces, with men’s views often being more dominant. Share a post from a woman that you admire as a way to support their voice. For example, check out Celeste Liddle’s twitter or Jan Fran’s site or twitter.
Interested to know more?
Understanding the research findings around “the Man Box” will help us better support all men to break free from the pressures and expectations of being a “real man”. Let’s give boys and men the freedom to be the person they want to be. Learn more about the Man Box here.