This 35-minute film features interviews with New Zealand men talking about their experience of being socialized as a boy and their experiences as a man. Raise Our Men is designed to prompt men to choose to be more respectful toward women.

Developed by White Ribbon New Zealand for its 2017 Respectful Relationships campaign, it is free to be used in any community program to prevent men’s violence against women. Among topics men address are their experiences growing up and conforming to male stereotypes, the “Man Box.”

White Ribbon New Zealand believes that how society currently encourages and expects men to behave directly affects the high level of domestic violence and sexual harm in the country.

The film explores four key links:

  • Men learn they have more power than women and feel they are entitled to use violence against women.
  • Men hold to a rigid division of gender roles—what men do and what women do—and use violence to enforce this division.
  • Men tend to express anger through aggression and are not encouraged to express all the other feelings they have.
  • Men take their traditional masculinity identity from peers and the media, rather than developing their own more healthy identity.

The film paints a hopeful portrait of individual men making choices to be more respectful. It features interviews with nine kiwi men, who by telling their stories illustrate how change is possible—when men are shown and supported to choose a different respectful path. To watch Raise Our Men, go to Included is a free study guide to assist in facilitating discussions of key themes in the film.

—Rob McCann


White Ribbon NZ also offers a “toolbox” with educational materials for boys, young and older men. They include: “Step Up and Stop Violence (and take other men with you”); “Start with Respect”; “What Kind of Guy Do You Want to Be?”

For fathers: White Ribbon wants to give kiwi dads the confidence and skills to talk about respectful relationships and respectful sexual relationships with their sons, so they created a toolbox for dads and five short videos that focus on the top five tips.