Tony Porter: Break Out Of Your Man Box!
Wow! Wow! Wow! is all that comes to mind as I listen to Tony Porter. I have heard a few people talk about him but watching the clip below is the first time I have heard the man for myself. Now, I understand why he is respected and admired.
Porter is renowned for his work to end violence against women. I am 100 percent for and behind his call to action that it’s time we re-educate the minds of our young men about their views and treatment of women. If you remember the saying, ‘Catch Them Young,’ Porter gives it a whole new meaning. We must teach our boys right from infancy about the need for respect. Respect for themselves and those around them. Respect for their mothers and the women they come across. Now, I know there are different factors in life which contribute to the continuous battle raging between both sexes and that includes, poverty, lack of vision and opportunities and who can forget the twisted angle of the Feminist movement to the right approach of the same Feminist movement. Equality is yet to be achieved for all. I truly believe that if our different societies would empower our girls and women through education and give them economic power rather than relegate them to the bottom of the economic pyramid, together, we would put a dent to the continuous physical, mental, emotional and verbal abuse being hurled at them. I mean, look at Afghanistan, where the Taliban is fighting against the education of women among the many grievances they hold against the world. Thanks to a twisted and sick mindset, it is their opinion that women should be in perpetual captivity while the men go about living the life. Oh hell no! We must say, not on our watch!
Tony Porter speaking at TEDWomen earlier this month, watch this video to the end, it is thought-provoking.
“My Liberation as man is tied to your liberation as a woman.” I wish someone would sing that into the head of Congolese Militias and government troops until they stop destroying the bodies of their mothers, sisters and every girl child in eastern DRC.
When Porter talks about the ‘collective socialisation of men,’ I understand where he is coming from. It is the myths, ideas and mindset that has been passed down through the years either based on traditional and cultural or religious practices about the role and place of a woman in the home and society. I am a huge proponent of Culture, Tradition and Faith. However, the one that says a woman should stay down and be tossed about like a pimp would toss the prostitutes in his care, I DISAGREE! Our traditions, cultures and what we believe in should liberate not imprison us.
Porter’s views resonate with me because after my recent interviews with leading African women activists, who are speaking out against the barbaric treatment the women in Eastern DRC, are being subjected to since rape became a past time activity for the militias and government troops, I understand these boys and men view women as their property. They can have them and do as they like. They can keep and hold them as sexual slaves for however long they want. They can sleep with the same woman 10 times in a day and ask their colleagues to join in and watch, after all, they are sexing and not raping her. it is sex not rape. These same marauders have forgotten that they are men, born of a woman. Yes, there is a war raging but the greatest hurdle any peacekeeping force or international intervention has to overcome is the mindset of the perpetrators.
We need more men like Tony Porter, to stand up and say not so. When you disrespect that girl in your school, you disrespect yourself. When you rape that young lady in the alley way, you are destroying yourself. When you put a woman down to make yourself feel good, you are only hurting your soul. To the mothers raising their sons to break out of the ‘man box, I salute you. If you are not doing so, start now. We cannot afford to have another generation set the lives of our women on fire. It is time to put the fire out! It gives me great pleasure to know Porter also works in DRC. We need men like him to bring an end to the malaise of rape ripping through the eastern part of that nation. Enough is Enough! It is time to redefine what manhood is about, surely listening to Porter, it is a whole lot more than using the weapon in-between your legs and your fists to make a point!
Tony Porter, You are the MAN!
In fact, watch it twice until the message sinks in!
Get out of Your man Box!