Come on all you lovely men out there, Ring the Bell !

Saturday 1428 – 16th March 2013

one million men one million promises

Last week I was at the Million Women Rise march in London which was highlighting the endemic nature, around the world, of violence against women. You can read my article here  and in it I said “Come on men where are you “.  This was really my way of asking what 49% of the world’s population-the males of the human species – are doing about the violence against women by their fellow man.  We all know there are lots of women’s groups fighting for equality but where are the mens groups.

patrick-stewart1Well, my dear blogging friend Scilla  told me, in a comment on the original post, about the global “Ring the Bell” campaign so I’ve done a bit of research and thought how great it would be to share this with you all.

The campaign was launched on the 8th March, International women’s day and it also coincided with the 57th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Actor and activist Sir Patrick Stewart was one of the people who launched the campaign and he made a rousing speech at the event, which took place in New York at the UN Hotel, during which he slapped his hand on the podium 9 times saying “Every nine seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten in the United States ” The campaign is calling on One Million Men to make one million “concrete, actionable promises” aimed at ending violence against women”

He said “Violence against women is the single greatest human rights violation of our  generation. This is a call to action—not an act that will make  things better in six months or a year’s time. This is action that might save a  life today, or tonight, or tomorrow.”

Mr Stewart is involved because he witnessed his father physically abusing his mother when he was a small child and learnt to gauge the temperature of a situation –

“I became an expert on when to open the door and throw myself between my  father’s fist and my mother’s body,” Stewart said that his father “was  unable to control his emotions—and his hands.” and he was clear that his mother did nothing to provoke the violence and as he rightly pointed out even if she did violence is no way to solve conflict. This story could be repeated by millions others I am sure.

He went on to talk about his father being an eminent soldier and suffering from diagnosed shell-shock, for which he received no treatment. Though he was not excusing his father’s behaviour he was, I believe, highlighting the need for help for men to identify why they are violent so they can be stopped .  Recent research has shown that military men are far more likely to abuse than civilians, hardly surprising when war brutalises and dehumanises people.

You can watch and listen to the whole launch if you have a mind to, it’s very interesting with lots of different speakers.. The link is here

If you click on the photo below it will bring you through to the United Nations where Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says

“Men must teach each other that real men do not violate or oppress women – and that a woman’s place is not just in the home or the field, but in schools and offices and boardrooms.” 

united nations campaign to end violence against women.

I was so very encouraged by these movements and I hope they grow and grow until the violence stops..

I was saddened though that I knew so little about this. Did you know?? Has the UN movement been widely advertised ? If it has I have missed it.

when men gatherSo to all my male friends and followers there is most definitely something you can do.

You can make a promise here to take action in whatever way you can to end violence against women.. 

Men need to confront other men and encourage change.



Saturday Girl signing off now. Let us all, men and women, be the change we want to see in the world. ‘Til next week…


You can find my photography blog Photomania here and I hope you’ll pop over and take a look if you haven’t already..


13 comments on “Come on all you lovely men out there, Ring the Bell !

  1. Stuart says:

    Hi Helen
    both these blogs have been a bit of an eye opener for me…
    I’m usually very none activist in my attitudes to life..I tend to think I’ll just do things my way, be true to my own ideas of morality, and that is enough…but maybe I should be more vocal about what I believe ?
    I’ve just rung the bell with a promise to
    talk the talk as well as walk the walk. A silent majority is a wasted force.

    • Helen Cherry says:

      Dear Stuart.. Your comment has come at just the right time for me. I often think am I wasting my time writing these *activist* posts, asking myself does it really make any difference to anyone. Your remarks have made me see that if I make one person think and act then it is indeed worthwhile.. Please do be more vocal in what you believe it’s the only way to make change. Your last line says it all.. Thank you so much.

  2. very, very good post!
    i can identify with violence against women….as a child, i frequently saw my grand-dad hit out at his wife….she was an epileptic…i later found out many years later when they were long gone, that every time she had a seizure, he took it to be some kind of demonic possession…he would beat her up in order to force the “demon” out…..:(

  3. Jacqueline says:

    That’s amazing that you did this, Helen! I was planning on dancing as well, but was in the hospital on Valentine’s with an emergency appendectomy in Panama. I hobbled around a bit in celebration though! 😉

  4. There has been some discussion of the UN, not much though.

  5. Helen Cherry says:

    Young people with disposable income to spend on cheap booze coupled with a ” I can have anything I want attitude was never going to be safe. Is this kind of thing more prevelant than it ever was the answer is probably yes but it may just have been hidden and modern technology is now exposing it. I absolutely agree that with freedom should come responsibility but this doesn’t seem to be the case.. For 30 years, in the west, it seems we have fostered this idea that people can do exactly as they please with little regard for others. A most selfish attitude seems to be prevailing but I am hopeful that the use of the technology will eventually turn it around. The public outcry about recent rapes which is now known throughout the world will give a clear message that this is unacceptable.

  6. scillagrace says:

    I’ve been reading the breaking news of a case here in the states of teenaged high school football (American football) players who engaged in the rape and humiliation of a 16 year old girl who was drunk or drugged and completely unresponsive. The way they texted and photographed their shenanigans is absolutely reprehensible. I wonder who is actually conversing with these young people and helping them to decide what constitutes acceptable and consensual behavior among human beings. When did they begin to see her as an object if she was, as they texted, a “friend”? If casting aside dogma and traditional boundaries from authorities like the law and the Church blurs these categories, then we had better take the responsibility of defining them according to our own criterion, making sure that respect is upheld. I mean, if we are so careful as to make waivers a matter of course to protect our private information from being shared by hospitals, then what do we have to do to protect ourselves from having photos snapped and shared from phone to phone? It’s a whole new social system, and we need to exercise the responsibility as well as the freedoms.

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