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A New Way to Celebrate Father’s Day

When you think of Father’s Day, what comes to mind? Meat on the grill, beer in the fridge, and gifts of bad ties and golf clubs? But Father’s Day doesn’t have to be limited to just that…what if we changed that standard view of Father’s Day with a new version, where fathers come together to help end gender violence?

This year, we are asking you to help us achieve that mission by signing the Father’s Day Pledge. Based on Jackson Katz’s Pledge to End Gender Violence, this pledge asks both men and women to work together to end gender violence by taking the following concrete steps:

We focus on men with this pledge — and on Father’s Day in particular — because we believe that in the fight against gender violence, men can and should be agents of change. Fathers and grandfathers can lead by example, teaching their sons and grandsons how to respect women. Men occupy a place of privilege in society, and they can use that unique position for good. They can challenge traditional notions of masculinity, and refuse to engage in anything that degrades women and girls — showing their children that they value equality and respect. All men can challenge other men who participate in gender violence. They can speak up if someone is telling a sexist or homophobic joke or speaking in an offensive manner. Men can talk openly about domestic and sexual violence, breaking the silence that often surrounds these crimes. And they can become conscious consumers of media, and refusing to buy any form of media that is degrading to women. There are so many ways for men to join the fight against gender violence — and signing the pledge is a great place to start! You can also put the pledge into action with these ideas from our “It’s About the Journey” project.

This Father’s Day, join Blackburn Center, Southwestern PA Says No More and leaders from throughout our community in saying NO MORE to gender violence. Sign the pledge, and share it with your friends and family. If you are a business owner, join Standing Firm, which makes the business case for ending partner violence. You can also attend the public pledge signing on Friday June 19, 2015 at the Allegheny County Courthouse, where Mayor Peduto, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, corporate, civic and faith leaders — and Charlie Batch — will sign the Father’s Day Pledge. Perhaps most importantly, you can put the pledge into action by demonstrating your commitment to respect, equality and non-violence in your own life.

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