Actor and poet Carlos Andrés Gómez has written a powerful poem (see video below) that doesn’t beat around the bush on the subject of sexual and physical violence against women.
As part of his partnership with Breakthrough, an organization that is working to end violence against women, he presented the poem at the Omega Institute 2014 Women & Power conference in September. As well as that, the organization has come up with the hashtag #BeThatGuy (and who doesn’t love a good hashtag) that much like #HeForShe encourages men to enter the debate about—and help end— violence and injustice against women.
In “When,” Carlos brings attention to how violence against women is trivialized in our society:
“When rape becomes a fashion critique and then a sob story about two football players losing their way.”
“When my 7th grade student gets catcalled on the way to school by a middle aged man and everyone in the room giggles, rolls their eyes, calls it Tuesday.”
“This is about recognizing that each moment alive presents an opportunity to be a different kind of man—a different kind of person. By being aware, critical, humble, informed—and yes, bold—each of us can be revolutionary agents of the gender equality we need in the world,” Carlos wrote in Huffington Post.
Not only that, but Carlos has also written a coming-of-age memoir that reimagines masculinity in the 21st century. In Man Up, Carlos “urges men of all ages to break society’s rules of male conformity and reconsider not just what it means to be a man, but what it means to be a good man.” We salute you, Carlos, and call on men to take a leaf out of your book and #BeThatGuy.
Title image source: Asmaa Dee via goodmenproject.com