Men and Respect

Ask ,Listen, Respect, is a timeless slogan.

Ask women how they want men to change

Listen to the response

Respect that response by taking action accordingly .

That’s it in a nutshell-

Excellence, Respect, and Friendship are the three core values of Olympism and are a central focus at the Olympic Games. It gave me an opportunity to link the Olympics and respectful relationships when I toured schools with the Olympic Torch in the run up to the London Games 2012.

That’s because its so fundamental to ending violence and abuse.

Love and Respect was a slogan used for white ribbon xmas lights in Bradford, Halifax and Hebden Bridge because it encapsulates how we can behave ,particularly at Xmas which is a time of the year when violence against women particularly domestic abuse increases dramatically. West Midlands police reported 1250 cases of domestic abuse in 6 days over Xmas 2020, 60% higher than in 2019 .

Respect- Due regard for the Feelings of Others-, Respect = No controlling Behaviour:

Reading old diaries recently I shocked myself . In an early relationship, I wanted to spend more time being radical and “I decided that we should only write to each other 3 times a week”. It’s the phrase “I decided” which upsets me there ……….. It was nearly 50 years ago, but that’s an excuse. I hope no one would now challenge the fact that such behaviour and language is inappropriate when there are two adults in the relationship.

Very recently I heard the phrase- “I took her to the football match” from one of my friends. I hope People will quibble with my picking up on the phrase “I took her” but its the all pervasiveness of the language of dominance and control. “we went to” would be so much more equal. Respect is treating people the way you want to be treated., and speaking to people the way you want to be spoken to.

It is no coincidence that the leading organisation managing programmes for perpetrators of violence against women and girls is called Respect.

if you google respectful relationships, the vast majority of references are to work being undertaken in schools. That’s important and great to see the Welsh government leading the way by making relationship education compulsory for primary schools. Consent training is now being undertaken in nary two thirds of UK Universities. Universities UK found 81% had improved disciplinary procedures, 80% improved support for students, reporting harassment, and 78% had clear information on how to report an incident but the report also criticised senior staff were not taking ownership of the issue, and there was not enough priority given to other racial harassment and forms of hate crime.

Most good relationships are built on mutual trust and respect. Mona Sutphen ……..Real love is not based upon romance and candlelit dinners . It is based on respect, compromise, care and trust. Without respect relationships are lost …..

After these reminders we don’t get a lot of assistance with how to act respectfully …… not a lot……. so here I go with some suggestions –

  1. Demonstrate Trust. Don’t check up on your partner all the time
  2. Show you care. Don’t use accusing language- like “You make me feel, say I feel…..”…..
  3. Be reliable and accountable .If you offer to do something then be there for it.
  4. Take time apart. Eespecially when meeting others is restricted, its important that you have some time to yourself as an individual
  5. Appreciate your differences. You can disagree and still respect your partner’s views and choices

This list is from the Adolescent Health Centre of Mount Sinai Hospital but it works for all ages and all relationships

Published by chrisgreen

I was the Founder and for 15 years the Director of White Ribbon UK. Iwas alos a member of Council of Europe Task Force on Ending Violence against Women , and in 20013 appointed by Ban Ki Moon as a UN Leader of Men. In 2017 I was awarded an OBE by HM the Queen for services to Equality.

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