Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support, its male-only community support group He Respects Others (HeROs), and Mary Kay Foundation have teamed up to try promote a new definition of “manning up.” Instead of just promoting physical strength, the groups want “man up” to encourage men to show their strength through love and respect.
My father “manned up” when my mom had a stroke when I was 9. He took on roles that he didn’t expect, anticipate, or completely understand. If all he had done was “manned up” in the traditional sense, I would be writing a very different blog post.
Instead he learned to respond to difficult situations with empathy and compassion, not anger and aggression.
Every day he shows my brother and I what a real man looks like through his love, patience, endurance, and kindness. He’s not a demigod in my eyes, but he’s certainly a hero.
Why this matters: According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are being physically abused by a partner. What’s worse, “one in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90 percent of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.”
Men: I encourage you this Father’s Day (or today, why wait?!?) to make a pledge to #HeROManUp. It’s a really simple idea, but its consequences could be mighty powerful.
Let’s change how boys and men feel prompted to respond, by speaking up for their right to express feelings in a healthy and constructive manner instead of a destructive one. (Obviously all of us regardless of gender and orientation could benefit from this idea.)
If you or someone you love is experiencing abuse, please seek help. Genesis’ 24-hour hotline is 214-946-HELP (4357). The National domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you are in immediate danger call 911.