Good intentions, poor execution

The “Real Man” campaign, yet again, bringing cisnormativity and a few confusing facts to computers near you.

Here is the thing that bothers me with these campaigns:

  • they perpetuate the notion that the only “real” men are cis gendered and “normative looking” people. It is dangerous when we allow only those models to enter the collective and stay there unchallenged. The implication being that anyone who falls outside the binary (moreover, the “normative looking” binary), is not “Real”
  • the perpetuation of the myth that abusers are somehow “unreal” or “mythological. This is particularly insidious because how many times have we heard the excuse “So and so cannot possibly be an abuser! He is such a nice guy! So normal!”. That’s the problem, many abusers are just like us. They look like us, they dress like us, they live our lifestyles. They may even be our friends or family. Unless we stop painting abusers with the “tooth fairy brush” (turning them into beings nobody has ever seen or dealt with) and humanize them so that they are recognizable, many will continue the denial and silence that surrounds domestic abuse
  • and last but not least, my other pet peeve: in a campaign ostensibly aimed at stopping violence against children, not a word about abusive mothers. They are there, many have been victims of violence themselves but let’s not delude ourselves with the stereotype of nurturing women incapable of violence against children. How many mothers brutally beat their children? How many terrorize them? A campaign that doesn’t include these realities is an incomplete one. And I am afraid it only perpetuates more misconceptions and cliches.

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