There has been a massive public outpouring in response to the recent Santa Barbara killings, with the hashtag #YesAllWomen now trending on Twitter. The #YesAllWomen campaign is here to remind us that there is still a major issue in our society with domestic violence, and though most men are not involved in the direct abuse of women, too many are standing by and not saying anything.
Thankfully, there are those who are willing to speak up, having either witnessed it first-hand or known somebody else who has. Some of them are strong women, who wish to empower and encourage other women to speak up so that more change can be inspired. Some are men who have a deep respect for women and are unwilling to stand by and watch as other men take out their deeply rooted issues about women.
Some of the men who are getting the most attention are the celebrities of the world who have been willing to stand up and risk belittling. Some of these men call themselves feminists, some of them simply see themselves as a voice to awaken the conscience and voices of other men on our planet. They do risk unpopularity amongst many in their gender, but it has not stopped them from showing up in commercials or at events that support bringing an end to domestic violence against women.
Here are a few of those prominent men who are throwing their hat in the ring and saying no to violence against women.
Daniel Craig’s role in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo could be rubbing off on him in a good way. In the movie he plays a journalist who is helping an abused woman to seek justice for the abuse she has experienced at the hands of various men in her life.
Craig has been a strong advocate for women, speaking up at this years International Women’s day and producing a short film “Are We Equal?” The aim of this short movie is to show the realities of being a woman in today’s world, a reality that is not as good as many men would like to believe.
In the beginning he shows up as his James Bond character, and by the end he is dressed in drag and having quite a different experience. Not only that, he featured in a video earlier this year alongside other male celebrities and a certain US president, calling upon men everywhere to change their attitude about rape.
In his recent movie, Don Jon, Gordon-Levitt played a character who is the anthesis to the actor. Levitt is a self-proclaimed feminist, and his portrayal of a porn addicted man in the movie aimed to shine light on the mistreatment of women through the work of that industry.
Not only that, it shows men how their obsession with porn leaves them feeling empty in their most intimate relationships. Levitt was raised by a mother who taught him and his brother to look beyond the appearances to look at the deeper issues that were presenting themselves in the media. It became obvious to him that men were portrayed as warring heroes and that women were simply supposed to be pretty.
Patrick Stewart has been garnering international attention in recent years for his advocacy around ending violence against women. He grew up in a home where he witnessed his father beating his mother, and as an adult vowed to do his part to bring an end to the violence against women.
He knew his father’s patterns well, and from time to time as a child had to step in the way before he hit his mother. In 2013, a video of him speaking went viral, a video in which he proclaims “It’s in our hands to stop violence against women.” The decision to be violent is a choice that the person raising the hand or first makes; it is never the choice of the person on the receiving end of it.
As if women were not madly in love with Ryan Gosling already, they now have extra reason to be. His “Hey Girl” memes pop up all over Facebook and Instagram, and as a result he has gained quite the platform for him to share some of his views about the fairer sex. As an outspoken feminist he has openly discussed some of the issues that he sees prevalent in the film industry. Specifically he has taken issue with the whole idea that sexual violence can be portrayed in movies for entertainment purposes, but that scenes involving complicit and complex sexual encounters are not allowed.
David Schwimmer seems to be an all around good guy, making headlines this week because of assisting the NYPD to nab someone related to a stabbing incident. He has also been a voice in the attempt to reduce the incidences of rape on our planet.
Having dated women who were victims of sexual violence, he has seen first hand the affect that it can have on women. A recent film directed by Schwimmer, Trust, follows the struggle of a father coming to terms with the rape of his young daughter, and his inability to protect her.
Schwimmer speaks candidly about his feelings related to our society and objectification of women and the simultaneous refusal to support them in the times of their greatest need.
Peter Gabriel started out his career with the band Genesis, before leaving to pursue a solo career. Since then he has been active in human rights work and has recently become more engaged in work related to domestic violence towards women around the world.
In 2013 he released a plea on the internet to all boys and men, encouraging them to actively prevent sexual violence when they witness it. In 2009, he spoke with the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, to encourage him to invest more government time and energy into preventing the massive numbers of women being killed at the border between the US and Mexico.
Tim McGraw and his wife, Faith Hill, have been active in the southern state of Tennessee, raising top dollars to support the battered women who turn up at shelters. He openly admits that he was raised in a home where domestic violence was the norm, and that it was easy for him to learn behaviors that he saw male role models exemplifying.
He turned out for the better though, and once ejected a man from one of his concerts for apparently mistreating a woman. When interviewed, he has stated that he believes that there is still much work to be done on this front, that too many women are still being battered at the hands of abusers. He does not want his children growing up in such a world and is willing to put in the time to get the job done.