Pledge to Support Pop Culture That Powers Gender Equality

via Take Part

About the Pledge:
Imagine a world where homes and streets are safe, relationships are happy and healthy, and people can be who they need to be. How can we build that world? We can start by making gender-based violence and discrimination unacceptable.

How do we do that? Here’s the key: culture change. We need good antiviolence laws and policies. But it’s societal norms and attitudes that label domestic violence a “private matter,” assign blame for rape to a woman or her skirt, and shrug off sexual assault by saying, “Eh, you know frat guys.” We can change that.

When we do, we can reduce and prevent violence and discrimination before it occurs.

Here’s the fun part: Perhaps the most powerful tool for culture change is pop culture. Pop culture isn’t reality—even reality shows aren’t reality—but it sets the tone for what’s considered “normal,” acceptable, and funny (or not) in real life. It’s a tool we all have right on our screens and in our hands. Every one of us can use pop culture to be an ally for gender equality.

We can all consume or create cultural products—from multimedia memes to Twitter hashtags to TV shows to new dance forms to jokes—that challenge sexist societal norms, habits, stereotypes, and assumptions and replace them with something better. We can bring more respectful, equitable messages into mainstream view: on screens big and small, in comedy clubs, in video games, in music, at Comic-Cons, in the random memes we “like” and share.

We can be choosy about the culture we consume, super-creative about the culture we make ourselves. We can build a world in which everyone lives with safety and equality, dignity and respect. And we can do it while watching TV.

As an ally, I promise to:

  1. Attend or share the message of Breakthrough’s 2015 “Dudes Against Violence Against Women: Because DUH”
  2. Speak up when friends make sexist jokes or remarks. When just one person says, “Yo, not funny,” it inspires others to agree
  3. Applaud, support, and share cultural products—TV, YouTube videos, articles, graphic memes—that challenge rigid gender or racial norms, portray violence with thoughtfulness and complexity, showcase talents and characters that break gender stereotypes, and more
  4. Publicly support artists and producers who show respect for gender equality
  5. Do it myself. Jokes, graphics, videos, Instagrams, Vines, song lyrics, comics: Whatever my (budding) creative skill, I’ll use it to challenge gender-based violence and discrimination and build better pop culture—and a better world—for all.

Take the pledge NOW.