At the root of First Man Standing is a challenge to popular notions of masculinity and to what it means to be a man in our culture. Often, we define a successful man as one who is good-looking, strong and assertive, devaluing men who are sensitive, willing to give up their power or admit they are wrong, for example. This kind of stereotype can create misconstrued notions of masculine entitlement and lead to men abusing power in their relationships with women, whilst the very characteristics that are needed to stop this sexism are belittled. We want to recognise the diversity of experiences of being a man and to underline that, for all men, respecting women should be part of our identity.
A First Man Standing is a man who is willing to be the first in his group to stand up and speak out about gender equality. He is a man who:
Respects all women
He treats women in all aspects of his life as equals and does not undermine, insult or objectify them.
Challenges other men
When he sees others displaying sexist behaviour or attitudes, he does not remain quiet, but makes it clear that he does not agree with them and that their behavior is damaging to women.
This is summed up in the White Ribbon pledge - never to commit, condone or remain silent about men's violence against women – which we encourage you to sign here.
If you would like to sign up to the original FMS campaign by Restored, please click here.