Blog Article | 22 August 2016

A Conference for Change

On June 22nd 2016, UK SAYS NO MORE attended ‘A Call to Men UK’ in Birmingham, a conference which raised issues such as gender roles, stereotypes, The Man Box and how education around these issues at a young age can be an incredibly powerful factor in setting these individuals on the right path.


Samuel Bates, a member of the CHaRM project, was a speaker at the conference who spoke very passionately about his experience growing up with these gender expectations and his views on today’s society. In our first guest post for UK SAYS NO MORE, we present: A Conference for Change by Samuel Bates.

My name is Samuel Bates, a 19 year old male from a small town in the West-Midlands region, and quite recently I attended an event dedicated to implementing very positive changes to the way my generation perceives gender roles, and how boys can be pigeon-holed in to being “a man” and inflicting domestic abuse against women. A lot of misconceptions of being a man include:

  • Being tough
  • Not crying or showing signs of emotion
  • Fighting and asserting dominance among other males
  • Objectifying women

These develop very negative attitudes and behaviours among young boys and these ideas and traits carry forward into their adolescence and eventually into adult life. None of these ideas are healthy in the slightest and can begin to create dangerous individuals.

Unfortunately I was once one of these people, I had to be tough because if you weren’t you were labelled gay and that wasn’t very cool, I had to fight because letting people walk over you was again seen as uncool and you would be criticised if you ever walked away from confrontation and I never openly talked about how I felt or my emotions.

This then led me to become an angry young man with no form of self-expression and release, and I had a lot of pent up anger and stress to the point I would act completely irrationally. Eventually one day I landed myself in some trouble after striking a male of my age.

This led me to begin working with the Young Offenders Officers and I was recommended to embark on a course known as CHaRM.  A training project ran by A Call to Men, CHaRM is a project aimed at males as young as 8 up to about 19-20 years of age and stands for Coaching Healthy and Respective Masculinity (Men).

This course completely stripped back all of society’s preconceived images and thoughts about what men should and need to be, like the partner that works while women stay at home to cook and take care of children, which is completely incorrect. Maybe one day there will be a project that will help free women from this social constraints, but that is for another day and we are taking steps to correct the male stereotypes we are all lead to believe are true.

These need to be abolished as we continue to create more people to learn that what they believe they are doing is correct, when in fact, it is completely intolerable. Especially in my generation, many boys get idolised or praised if they can sleep about and have sex with as many girls as they possibly can. Whilst often not considering the emotional damage that they may be leaving behind upon those girls. Especially within shows such as ‘Geordie Shore’, every week the audience will see the men going out and trying to seduce as many women as they can, before the audience will see the girls crying over the boy’s actions.

samuel bates

This poses the question: Why is this acceptable for TV?

It’s not portrayed as fictional so the story lines are real, these are real people and quite frankly, the boys often ruin the girl’s emotional status. Yet the girls continue to go back to them and get hurt even more. This gives the idea to young males that this kind of behaviour is normal and acceptable, when this is the kind of behaviour that needs to be shunned and shamed. I didn’t necessarily have these views prior to embarking on the CHaRM project, but they were certainly opened to me and I understood the concepts and needs for change within the male population.

A perfect example of the disgusting male views on women in this modern day comes from a shocking source, the presidential candidate Donald Trump. This man has been recorded and filmed saying repulsive and disrespectful things about and to women. He is a complete bigot and still this is a man that is being SERIOUSLY considered for US President. Completely embarrassing for US citizens as they have become a laughing stock, and a petrifying situation that the rest of the world has found themselves in as this individual could be in charge of one of the world’s most powerful countries.

With views such as his, what’s to say the American male population will start paying attention to him and pick up his views and opinions? Another huge setback for those out there actually trying to make a difference towards a better world. People would begin to value women less and it would become more tolerable to treat them with disrespect, everything people have worked for could potentially be lost because of this one man.

Domestic violence may increase because women will become more and more degraded due to a presidential figure having such a disgusting view on women. Women are in danger because of this man, the views and poison that will be seeped into the US society is alarming.

I hope this has shed some light on the subject of CHaRM and negative male roles in society, and how they impact on the future generation and how they believe they should act in society. I believe CHaRM is that first step into correcting society’s faults with male gender roles.

Read our article when UK SAYS NO MORE attended ‘A Call to Men UK’ – Domestic and Sexual Abuse in Advertising, Clothing and Education

You can find out more about A Call To Men over on their website.

[maxbutton id=”6″] [maxbutton id=”3″] [maxbutton id=”1″]


UK Says No More urges victims to make use of Safe Spaces as incidents are expected to rise during Euros.

UK Says No More has joined together with high street banks and pharmacies to urge anyone at risk to access support via designated Safe Spaces found on high streets across the UK.

Read full story

NatWest marks ‘No More Week’ by opening Safe Spaces for economic and domestic abuse victims

6 March 2024 NatWest Group is announcing that starting this week it will offer Safe Spaces to people experiencing economic and domestic abuse in over 360 branches across the UK including NatWest, Ulster Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland branches.  Safe Spaces, part of Hestia’s UK Says No More campaign, are designated locations which anyone ...

Read full story

Nationwide – the UK’s biggest branch network – joins Hestia’s Safe Spaces

Nationwide – the largest branch network of any UK banking brand -– will offer Hestia’s Safe Spaces scheme to people experiencing domestic abuse across more than 400 branches across the UK. A recent poll by Nationwide shows almost half (48%) the population have experienced, or know someone who has experienced domestic abuse, with almost one ...

Read full story