I Am a Real Man, Ending Violence.

Samuel Nemir Olivares, Profamilia Puerto Rico Youth Director

Let's talk man to man: At some point in our lives, we may have come to believe that women are the weaker sex. Men have believed ourselves more capable and smarter than women, endowed with the right to subordinate them because of our supposed superior nature. But what gave us that idea?

Since childhood men are exposed to depictions of masculinity that involve dominating women. We identify these traits as what it means to be a "real man" and come to think women owe us obedience. Although this is absurd, it's consequences are serious.

Violence against women is rooted in the belief of male supremacy. But attacking a woman is not an act of bravery; it is a weak and fearful act that reflects the vulnerability of male gender identity and the fragility of our self-esteem. The result is that women are raped, are sold as commodities, and systematically attacked as a strategy of war. In the most disappointing cases, they are killed by the very men who claim to show them love.

By reducing women to sex objects, wives, and mothers, men have curtailed women’s freedom, limited their bodily autonomy, and obstructed their ability to live self-determined lives. We have perpetuated patriarchal cultural traditions that are destructive to our communities and nations since the fundamental key to sustainable development lies in the empowerment of women.

Gentlemen, let’s take a moment to reflect. We are not better than women, nor are they better than us. We are the same human essence within different bodies. Let us be aware of the harm we do, of the pain we inflict, and the needless deaths we cause. Women deserve the same respect as we receive and the same life surrounded by love.

I urge you to become a real man and create a world without violence against women.


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