Growing up a young boy, I assumed the stereotypical role often shaped by family, environment, and society. In the same sense, my regard for the suffering of women around the world was blinded by my own ignorance of world affairs.
As I continue to mature, my exposure to world issues has led me to delve deeply inside myself to determine if as “A Man” I do all that I can to uplift women. The more I get involved, the more I realize that in order to really make a difference, I must start at home. I must start with me.
As a man, it is difficult for me to mention that I have been in an abusive relationship. Although I can empathetically relate to how it feels to be victimized by a perpetrator of violence, I don’t consider myself a victim. In order to stop the offenses committed against me and to no longer be a victim, I had to stand up. I am a survivor. Survivors stick around in order to serve as a testimonial for others who might be experiencing similar situations. The survivor provides hope for those who are currently being mistreated.
Today I stand up! Not only do I stand up for myself, but also for the women of the world. I have four daughters of my own, and I know that I must make a difference in their lives so that they will know how a woman should be treated. I will also educate and encourage them to stand up for women (and men) around the world as part of their human responsibility.
Most of the things I have learned from my experiences in human rights activism involved me to look within myself. By doing so, I stand up for myself and others, particularly for those who have been abused or treated unfairly. I take it upon myself to apologize for any man or woman who has abused or been abused. By looking inside ourselves we are able to gather and retain a deep personal integrity that can resonate to others to facilitate change. As an adult, and as a man, I like a good challenge. I challenge every “man” and woman to stand up!
It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes man and woman to help nurture the village. The world is a village!