British Columbia

White Ribbon Campaign urges men to intervene in FHRITP incidents

No one intervened when a man recently yelled a sexually explicit comment into a female reporter's microphone, and that has one group fuming.

Male bystanders have a responsibility to act, according to advocates

Men shouldn't sit back and idly watch harassment, according to the White Ribbon Campaign. (CityNews)

The case of one man who yelled sexually explicit comments into a female reporter's microphone has caught national attention. Hydro One confirmed it has fired one of the men involved in the incident. However, the men who harass female reporters often get laughs instead of punishment.

"There's a real pervasive sense here that young men feel their prank is worth more than your right to do your job in public," said Todd Minerson, Executive Director of the White Ribbon Campaign — a men's organization working to end violence against women.  

"There is this pretty toxic aspect of masculinity where we have to perform in front of others to show that we're a real man. It's a show of 'look how much of a man I am because I can intimidate scare and dominate other women,'" said Minerson

Minerson said his campaign is directed at other men to take a stand against situations in which overt sexual harassment is taking place. He said, even in the video in which CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt confronted the men defending the heckler, there are a number of other men surrounding the confrontation who chose to do nothing.

"There's three guys standing there watching and waiting for it to happen. We would like to see them intervene or do something about it."

Minerson added that, while he doesn't want interventions to be dramatic or violent, men standing up to other men sends a clear message that such a situation is unacceptable.

"Women certainly don't need men to protect them, but men need to intervene in other men's stupidity."

To hear the full interview, listen to the audio labelled: White Ribbon campaign hopes to see men intervene in incidence of sexual harassment.


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