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Author Topic: White Ribbon Campaign
fern hill
Babbler # 3582

posted 06 December 2005 06:23 PM      Profile for fern hill        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In the 'Remembrance' thread, someone mentioned the White Ribbon Campaign and linked to it. I'm curious. What do babblers think of it? It makes me uncomfortable and I'm not sure I could articulate why or how.
From: away | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 11260

posted 06 December 2005 07:02 PM      Profile for Sineed     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've always been bothered by the The White Ribbon campaign too. It seems like men are trying to put themselves in charge of the battle of violence against women. Also, it doesn't seem to be working.
From: # 668 - neighbour of the beast | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 3178

posted 06 December 2005 07:13 PM      Profile for beibhnn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I disagree. ANY awareness around the violence against women issue is welcome IMHO. I wish the White Ribbon campaign could reach more people than it does, but I am glad that there are a number of people who are made more aware of the violence issue at this time of year and/or pony up some welcome dollars and donations to women's organizations.
From: in exile | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
Babbler # 518

posted 06 December 2005 07:18 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I know that, in Toronto, Jack Layton was one of the foremost supporters, perhaps the founder, of the White Ribbon campaign.

His view, I believe, was that there should be a campaign to go alongside of the Take Back the Night Campaign, which was primarily run by women.

The idea of the White Ribbon Campaign was to show that men object to violence against women too. Of course the victims are women; but that's no excuse for men to be silent.

From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
fern hill
Babbler # 3582

posted 06 December 2005 07:41 PM      Profile for fern hill        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Been thinking. . .Part of my discomfort with it has to do with all *insert colour* ribbon campaigns. Pop on an array of ribbons and presto! you're a supporter of all manner of good things and opponent of all manner of bad things.

My introduction to this particular campaign was through a man selling the ribbons to other men in the office of a small non-profit I volunteered at. This man was a volunteer also and he really pressured the guys into buying his ribbons. Sort of like the police right now in Toronto's Parkdale asking for permission to search people's houses for leads in a murder case and when a householder demurs, asking: 'Yeah, well, what's your problem? You got something to hide?'

And as far as doing any good is concerned, until I read the mention in today's remembrance thread, I hadn't known that the campaign was still going on.

From: away | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 9261

posted 06 December 2005 11:02 PM      Profile for slimpikins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree, Fern. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that violence against women is wrong. Not wearing a ribbon doesn't mean that you are in favour of violence against women.

Much better than wearing a ribbon is being an example to all the men and boys that you meet. Don't trivialize violence against women with jokes or inappropriate language, treat women with dignity and respect, and stand in support of women who are victims of violence. The world needs less 'ribbon of the day' campaigns and more people who live good lives and encourage others to do the same.

From: Alberta | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Volunteer Moderator
Babbler # 8938

posted 06 December 2005 11:52 PM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
fern hill, I've done some work in the violence against women field, and I've never liked the White Ribbon Campaign, but I'm also torn.

Yes, they raise awareness that targets men specifically about the issue of violence against women. This is important, and I agree that if they can reach men then that it all to the good.

However, when they were formed, they received a ton of funding, and a lovely downtown office. They have received, as far as I know, very steady funding since their inception. For the many women's groups, shelters and other organizations it felt like they swooped in and took both publicity away from work that women's groups had done for years and more importantly, made it seem as if it was so easy, erasing the fact that women's groups struggled (and still do) for legitimacy and stable funding.

That said I rather they exist than not.

From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 8643

posted 07 December 2005 12:05 AM      Profile for MasterDebator        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think it's a bit of a failure on the part of these various campaigns that we aren't all more familiar with the names of the victims. They haven't become household figures as individuals that people can relate to.
From: Goose Country Road, Prince George, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 9723

posted 07 December 2005 01:42 AM      Profile for MartinArendt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I don't know. I totally disagree with everything posted, but I'm kind of partisan, having worked on several White Ribbon events.

First of all, the campaign is NOT just about wearing some ribbon. The organization creates all kinds of literature and advertising addressing everything from violence to sexist language to how masculinity is constructed and performed.

The campaign has organized fund-raisers for women's shelters and other organizations. Through the organization, all kinds of men have done talks to other men about sexist language, the continuum of violence, and how we can address our own learned sexism (I know; I've done several myself!).

The White Ribbon campaign is supposed to take a backseat to events organized on December 6th and Take Back the Night walks, because the goal of the campaign is never to over-shadow women's groups organizing around violence.

The campaign targets men specifically, and it is integral that other men are involved, in order to create a safe context where we can talk about issues with one another. By safe, I mean...I guess I just mean it can be easier for men sometimes to talk to one another in groups about their emotions/issues as men than with women present. This isn't always the case, but it can be...if you know what I mean here (having trouble's late at night).

NOW, HERE'S MY CAVEAT: Just because there's this organization, doesn't mean every man involved is Captain Respectful Perfect Anti-Violence Dude. A lot of guys involved in the movement are aggressive, or sexist, or don't get it, or just wear the ribbon and do nothing else...etc. In fact, I don't know many men who aren't at least a little bit of this (hell, I can't think of many people in general who don't fall down in these areas once in a while).

What I find troubling about this thread is that it's highly critical of an organization attempting to address what I see as a fairly fundamental aspect of the continuum of violence: masculinity. I really believe that there is no way that we men will begin to change our behaviour with out an internal impetus to do so.

In other words; how would the critics of this campaign visualize ally work? If the White Ribbon Campaign (which fundraises, does workshops, creates literature and so forth) doesn't cut it...well, what does?

From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Volunteer Moderator
Babbler # 8938

posted 07 December 2005 08:58 AM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Martin, thanks for your words and information. I didn't know that WRC did fundraisers, etc for women's organizations.

And I appreciate the info about the range of men who are involved with WRC. It doesn't surprise me, but it's nice to see it verified.

But to be clear, I did say that I rather that WRC exist than not. Just because I'm critiquing an organization, or pointing out the flaws that I see/have experienced doesn't mean I think it should be scrapped. Everyone makes mistakes in alliance work, as well as our own political work. I don't think that political differences should be swept under the carpet, nor do I think that organizations should only exist if they're "perfect", whatever the hell that means.

Thoughtful and honest critique/review can help an organization. That was my intention in posting.

From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged

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