I know we’re all still in shock of the events that took place in Toronto last month, but I feel torn in two directions and have decided that it’s in times like these when we come together that we can potentially make the biggest difference.
When I say, “I’m torn” it’s because part of me says “don’t publicize this, don’t give this loser the headlines and don’t bring attention to his alleged motivations or cause” but another part of me wants to discuss it as I feel it needs to be spoken about.
Toronto doesn’t need a new hashtag, and as proud as I am to be a Torontonian I feel that we’re already stronger, more tolerant, more accepting and more welcoming than most, as can be seen by watching the cultural mosaic of witnesses interviewed in the area.
This hits especially close to home as Christine and I have called this area our home for the last five years.
Christine was working from home that day and out running errands at Shoppers, Tims, clothing donation etc. and on the very same sidewalks that a few hours later became news around the world.
We’re horrified seeing events like this on an almost weekly basis but this one feels different, this one was home.
Chris and I know every inch of these sidewalks. The restaurants and shops seen in the news clips are places we visit daily. Mel Lastman square is somewhere we walk nightly in search of the latest stray cat Christine has found to feed.
I don’t want to spend time on the matter of “incels” or legitimize the word or the people who believe in this nonsense but do realize that their misogynistic attitude exists out there and we as a people have a responsibility to educate ourselves above it.
A few years ago, we lost a friend to a senseless act of violence and have since pledged our time to a lesser known cause, White Ribbon.
White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity. Since its inception in Toronto in 1991, White Ribbon has spread to over 60 countries around the world. White Ribbon asks men to wear white ribbons as a sign of their pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.
Regardless of the motives of this recent attack, I feel that now more than ever we need to bring issues like violence against women to the forefront as it is a very present issue that doesn’t always receive the publicity it deserves.
On May 30, 2018 we’ll be participating in White Ribbon’s “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes” campaign for our “Ribbons for Rachelle” team to raise money and bring awareness to this issue.
I would love your support whether it be monetarily or by joining our team and walking with us. I’d love to see some of my friends (and friends with sons!) and everyone out there showing their support.
Mike Hollinsworth and his team “Ribbons for Rachelle” are participating in White Ribbon’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, presented by Town Shoes Ltd, taking place on Wednesday May 30, 2018 at 12noon, David Pecaut Square, 215 King Street West, in Toronto. Visit the Walk website to register, participate, and or donate. Thank you for your support of White Ribbon’s work to engage men and boys in promoting healthy masculinities and ending gender-based violence.