A brotherhood of men advocating for women.
While we call sexual violence, sex exploitation, human trafficking and domestic violence “women’s issues”, the majority perpetrators of these injustices are male. In fact, these are men’s issues affecting the prosperity of humanity.
We seek to give men language and tools as they advocate and care for the women in their communities.
Upon the premises of restorative justice, we ask men, as key stakeholders in this arena, to become an active part of the solution of ending gender violence—the sexual abuse of women and children (the leading factor in global poverty).
Man In The Mirror Collective
At Wild Torch 2018, I challenged men to rise up in standing with women and the issues they face. That was April. Fast forward to September…
I sat around the big table in the Great Room at 1500 Columbus with 8 future Access students. It was our first chance to meet—an orientation of sorts. There came a point in our visit when the atmosphere shifted. There was a bit of silence. And then she spoke up. "I don't trust men. I never have and never will. All they've ever done is hurt me. Abuse me. Lie to me.” She went on to say, “but I can honestly say you’re (Brett) the first man I think I trust. There’s something about you that’s different.”
Tears. From everyone.
I swallowed, feeling the delicacy of the moment and looked around the table. “I’m sorry for the way men have treated each of you. You are worth infinitely more than the words and actions that have been done to you at the hands of men. I promise this will be a safe place for you.”
I went home that night ruined. I kept thinking about her words “you’re the first man I think I trust…”.
It became clear to me that we needed to create a space for men to learn about issues affecting women today. A brotherhood of sorts who is willing to take back the language of the locker room and golf course. A band of brothers who are willing to look at these issues affecting women and realize they are, in fact, men’s issues.
Man In the Mirror Collective is that space where, together, we will put our minds, hearts and pocketbooks together and make a difference in the current culture of domestic and gender violence. Men doing something in the form of educating and organizing other men in numbers great enough to prompt a real cultural shift.
Esta Soler says, “In the end, we cannot change society unless we put more men at the table, amplify men’s voices in the debate, enlist men to help change social norms on the issue and convince men to teach their children that violence against women is always wrong.”
We must change the way we talk about women and the issues they face including: sexism, sexual assault and misogyny. It’s not about helping the poor and weak woman. It’s about doing what any decent man would do - stand WITH women.
A famous song says, “if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.”
Will you join me in making a change? Let’s start with the man in the mirror.
CEO, Jesus Said Love
HELP US RAISE $50K BETWEEN OCT 1 AND DECEMBER 31.
We are asking for 50 MEN (or groups) who will join as inaugural MITMC members with a $1K gift between now and December. Money raised will fund women’s empowerment programs of Jesus Said Love, microloans through Lovely Enterprises and grants to other partner organizations working with victims and survivors of gender violence.
Courage to Look Inward
To stand against gender violence, we must be willing to examine our own attitudes, biases and behaviors regarding women, approach to sex and masculinity.
Most sexual abuse goes unreported. Most who report are telling the truth. Offer support by listening to survivor stories, not minimizing or criticizing them.
Refuse Sexist and Abusive Behavior
Help to create a climate in our male peer culture that discourages sexist attitudes and behaviors. Refuse to be a bystander.
Contribute Financial Resources
Help fund programs and organizations, providing resources for victims of domestic, physical and sexual violence.