At Rethreaded we talk a lot about women’s empowerment and creating a community that fosters grace and healing for women coming out of hard and broken circumstances. But you might have also heard us say that our mission at Rethreaded isn’t just a women’s issue but an us issue. This month we want to explain why we want and need men to be involved in this fight with us.
1. We want men to experience empowerment and live healthy lives, too!
As much as we want to see women experience healing and empowerment in their lives, our hope is that men would be able to find that same experience when engaging with Rethreaded. We understand and acknowledge that men face insecurities and struggle with self-esteem and identity issues alongside women. It is a part of the HUMAN experience. At the core of what we do, we counter these negative views of ourselves and believe that anyone can experience freedom.
2. Nearly 50% of Americans are men. (According to the U.S. Census)
So if men represent nearly half of us, it means they represent at least 50% of the buying power in America, also. At Rethreaded, our call to our audience is simple, shop and you can change the world! Whether you are buying a gift for your partner, for yourself, or for your clients and employees, you are choosing to make a positive impact in the lives of others. You are setting the example for your family, your community and business that how we choose to spend our earnings matters.
3. Men are influential leaders.
According to the Pew Research Center, women make up only 5.4% of CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies and average about 19% of government representative positions like State Legislators and the U.S. Senators. Because of the prevalence of male leadership, we believe men have an incredible power to make a difference. A cultural shift is happening in our city and the work at Rethreaded is making an impact, but we need men to stand in solidarity with us and influence change in their professions and leadership positions.
Sheriff Mike Williams took a stand earlier this year when he said the following during a press release about human trafficking in Jacksonville, “It’s a different way to look at prostitution, quite frankly, and a really easy question you could be asking yourself is, ‘Who really wants to be out there doing that?’, and when you think of it that way it allows you to see more than potentially there is an organization here or there is someone here who is trafficking a person. In terms of our organization that’s the shift, that we’ve been looking at. So again more of a focus on prostitution being the first sign of human trafficking and working cases that way.“
4. Men are vulnerable to get caught in the cycle of the sex trade.
While many victims of sex trafficking are women and girls, the Polaris Project reported that there were 978 reported human trafficking cases that involved men as victims. On the other side of that statistic, according to Shared Hope International, 99% of buyers are men. We understand that the pathways into selling or buying sex are broken, so to say that sex trafficking is a women’s issue leaves out some big statistics. We believe that men offer a unique and needed perspective to speak into the lives of men and boys caught on either side of the sex trade.
5. It is important to show survivors they can have healthy relationships with men.
In our experience with the survivors we employ, most have difficult relationships and views of men in general. Understandably so, but we also see this desire for forgiveness and reconciliation in these women as well.
At Rethreaded, we have many community partnerships that include men. The involvement of these empowered men has helped many of our women to understand and appreciate men in a new, positive light. Just by choosing to shop at Rethreaded or attend a community event may have a greater impact than you may realize.
To make a difference in our community, our state and our country, we must come together in the spirit of collaboration, men and women, with the purpose of breaking the cycle and ending exploitation.
This blog is part of our Empowering Men to Make a Difference blog series. To learn more, check out the rest of the series.