Jenna Price for the Sydney Morning Herald writes:
Close White Ribbon down. Its time has passed.
It has passed not because violence against women has passed. It hasn’t.
But White Ribbon is not fit-for-purpose. It is – and always was – the wrong tool for the job of dismantling the behaviours which lead to violence against women. It tries to engage men in this most wicked of problems by rewarding them for surface behaviour, for the shallow actions of hosting morning teas and wearing a pretty white ribbon on their lapels. That is not and never will be behaviour change.
Its process for selecting its ambassadors is so corrupted that the title White Ribbon ambassador is nearly meaningless.
It no longer carries a comprehensive list of those who are ambassadors or advocates, probably because it wishes to avoid transparency and accountability. Where once you could check to see if a person claiming to be an ambassador actually was one, now it is up to the individual ambassador to decide whether to list themselves.
Just last year, Lisa Visentin revealed a plan by the men’s organisation to accept money from a publican if the authorities let him install more poker machines in his venue. White Ribbon only changed its mind on the money when Visentin called. In other words, it was willing to take money in exchange for supporting contributing factors to violence against women.
And White Ribbon is a consultant to the NRL on violence against women, the same NRL which this year refused to respond to questions about the figures which showed a dramatic increase in family violence on State of Origin game days (and which refuses to acknowledge the relationship between alcohol and violence).
Last year, I criticised White Ribbon for colonising the day set to honour the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women to celebrate men who claim to do the right thing. And instead of picking a date months away, it decided to place White Ribbon day just two days ahead, front and centre.
Close White Ribbon. Spend your money where it matters.