The White Ribbon campaign is looking for you to pledge; while this may instil images of college frat house movies and hazing rituals gone wrong, this time it’s for a greater cause than downing kegs and vandalizing the dean’s office. The aim of the White Ribbon Campaign (www.whiteribbon.com) as a whole is an initiative by men to end violence against women, and when I talked to Jeff Perera, Co-Chairperson of the Ryerson initiative, it became clear that the group was looking to examine the root of the problem, as well.
“We’re looking to engage men on campus. We’re not to say that men are oppressors; they can be part of the solution.”
At a table outside the library building this past week, men were encouraged to take the pledge that they would never “commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women”, and in turn be accepted for making that conscious choice. Part of the White Ribbon Campaign’s focus is geared towards allowing men to embrace aspects of their personality that other men may mock them for, like sensitivity and emotion.
“We’re allowing men to have the permission to be the best that they can be” Perera said, “they respect women in their lives, and in turn, respect themselves.”
The White Ribbon campaign has a full line-up of events in the coming months, including participation in the “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” event happening on the first of October; men from Toronto will walk a mile in ladies shoes in order to bring attention to the cause and the realities faced by women.