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Moving beyond hyper-masculinity - Mutual respect and other important messages for men


In this section we set out to challenge the appalling narratives that keep people down. We quote David Morrison AO and Terry Crews as champions of cultural change. We do not claim any endorsement from them.

Toughness is not built on humiliating others

A strong Australian voice for gender equality and respect for women is the 2016 Australian of the Year, David Morrison AO (Lieutenant General rtd, former chief of Army). The Australian of the Year citation says:

Few would expect a tough-as-nails Chief of Army to be recognised internationally for his commitment to gender equality, diversity and inclusion. But when former Lieutenant-General David Morrison ordered misbehaving troops to ‘get out’ if they couldn’t accept women as equals, his video went viral and he started a cultural shift that has changed Australia’s armed forces forever. Since then, the number of women joining the army has grown by two per cent and the culture is more accepting of racial, ethnic and sexual diversity. In 2014, David was invited to speak at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, sharing the stage with US Secretary of State John Kerry and actor and activist Angelina Jolie, and arguing that militaries that exclude women ‘do nothing to distinguish the soldier from the brute’. David retired in 2015 after 36 years in the Australian Army, and four years as its Chief, but he continues his commitment as a champion of human rights in his new role as the Chair of the Diversity Council Australia.

The damage of hyper masculinity

We also draw inspiration from the compelling discussion of masculinity by Terry Crews produced for WhiteRibbonCanada. Terry redefines what it is to be a strong man and he has a very special message for all men.

If you have your doubts about equal representation then listen to Terry. He talks frankly, openly and generously about what it really is to be a man. 


See also the damage done by hyper masculinity where Terry says:

I think the big thing about feminism is that it scares men because, you know—the big deal is that people are scared of being controlled...I want to be clear that feminism is not saying "women are better than men." That's not what's going on...What it is is that we're talking about gender equality, true gender equality...but the problem is that men have always felt like they're more valuable...I have been that guy where I felt I was more valuable than my wife and kids.

On the importance of men supporting the feminist cause:

I kind of relate it to slavery. Or even civil rights. Let's not even go back to slavery, let's go to civil rights—the people who were silent at the lunch counters, when it was the black lunch counter and the white one or the schools were segregated...and you were quiet. You were accepting it. Same thing with men right now. If you don't say anything, you are, by your silence—it's acceptance. I'm not going to be silent.