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What is #globalguytalk?

#globalguytalk is an initiative by the Swedish foundation Make Equal which is now being spread to the rest of the world by the Swedish Institute

The concept is easy – gather a group of guys and start talking about things that men rarely talk about, with the help of the conversational guides you find on this website. The ambition with #globalguytalk is to give us men the chance to contribute to a more equal society by starting with ourselves. 

Why do we need #globalguytalk?

#globalguytalk is an opportunity for men to share experiences with each other and reach a deeper level of understanding of how norms and expectations often create an unhealthy, destructive environment that we are responsible for changing.

Few of us guys speak with each other about what it means to be a man: about societal expectations, requirements, and norms of how to be a ‘real man’. This non-communication often adds a lot of pressure. To provide for families, to be strong, to not show emotions, and to not let people see weaknesses. Traditional gender norms risk affecting our well-being and building up obstacles for how we can live our lives. 

For example, men in general have fewer close and long-lasting friendships. Men to a higher extent miss out on close relationships with their children and families. Many keep feelings to themselves in a destructive way, and few ask for help when they experience mental or physical challenges. This could cause mental illness and emotional issues. 

Both historically and today, this could also have negative effects on others. For instance, it often leads to women having to take the main responsibility for home and family, and for many children it means growing up with an absent father. Some men even express their emotions through violence, instead of talking about them. In Sweden, for example, physical and sexual violence are statistically most often committed by men. This has fatal consequences. Of course, this does not apply to all men, but it’s time for us as a group to challenge the societal masculinity norms and take responsibility for our emotional problems, and make sure that they don’t become other people’s problems.

We cannot continue living in a world where men are teased for crying, take unnecessary risks, and miss out on close friendships – a society where men are not able to actively participate in their children’s lives or where women fear taking walks at night.

We want a gender equal world, where everyone regardless of gender can be who they want to be and feel safe. #globalguytalk provides us men with increased access to a range of emotions, to stronger relationships with ourselves and others, and various ways of expressing masculinity. 

Let’s start talking – for our own sake, and for everyone else’s!

About Make Equal

The Swedish non-profit foundation Make Equal are solution-focused equality consultants, who provide methods and tools and facilitate change towards equality and inclusion both on an individual, organisational and societal level.

Since the start in 2010, Make Equal has supported organisations within the public, private and third sector with training, workshops and strategic advice to create workplaces where everyone can reach their full potential.

Make Equal works a lot with advocacy and public opinion and are involved in the public debates and discussions on the topic of equality. Amongst other things, Make Equal has been an influential voice in the Swedish #metoo-debate, promoting future solutions and actions and societal change. They also played an important role in Swedens implementation of a sexual consent legislation that is based on the obvious; sex must be voluntary. They work methodically to anchor a long term and sustainable societal change; but to speed up the process you need the courage to challenge, raise questions, set the agenda and create debate.