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White Ribbon Day 2020: Challenging Outdated Stereotypes

Nau mau haere mai. Come join Fairfield Enderley Resiliene Network on a White ribbon Hikoi and you'll be making a stand against men's violence towards women and children and also themselves. 25th November, 9am. Tell a friend, bring a friend. See you there!

Challenge the #Unspoken Rules

This year, White Ribbon is talking about the #outdated – stereotypes that boys and men are handed down from their role models. The things we teach our kids about “how to be a man” might seem harmless, but actually carry messages that can create a really negative impact.

When we say things like “Show them who’s boss”, “Kids should keep quiet” or “Treat em mean, keep em keen” we’re putting limits on how kids interact with their world and how they develop their relationships. Many men have grown up hearing these things and end up copying these unhealthy attitudes and behaviours – even if they don’t like or agree with them.  At their worst, these attitudes and behaviours can lead to violence toward women. This violence affects our families, our communities, and our whole country.

So how do we change it? In all of our relationships – whānau, friends, colleagues, teammates – we can challenge the #outdated stereotypes of what it means to be a man. We can role model healthy relationships and focus on strength that comes from a kaupapa of respect and aroha. We can call each other out and encourage more kōrero about gender equality.

By challenging each other in constructive ways we become stronger, and support change for those who need it the most. It’s time to shake off the old and reveal the new.

The campaign will focus on undermining these #Outdated ideas, and promoting healthy masculinity (and Respectful Relationships) as an alternative.

  • Healthy masculinity is rejecting unhelpful stereotypes and #unspoken rules about what it is to be a boy or man.

  • Healthy masculinity is about being kind, empathetic, finding peaceful resolutions to problems.

  • Healthy masculinity is about boys and men being confident in who they are without feeling pressure to be a certain type of boy/man.

  • Boys and men can still be ‘brave’, ‘have muscles’, assertive, tough, love rugby, enjoy time with other men and boys, enjoy a ‘pint’ with the lads. But boys and men should also be free to express sad emotions, enjoy cooking, dancing, gardening and anything else that does not fit into gender stereotypes.

  • Healthy masculinity is treating everyone with respect and having Respectful Relationships (which always include consent).

  • Healthy masculinity is recognising that people express gender and sexuality in a variety of ways.

For more about White Ribbon New Zealand visit

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