Women from ‘This Ends Now’ would like Men to Step-Up. So, Men, now’s your chance.
Two local women led their first protest in Stroud in September 2022, following several incidents of men sexually assaulting women. Four hundred people marched the streets in support. The volunteer run ‘This Ends Now’ (TEN) was founded in October 2022, and they started by bidding for funding, giving media interviews and pointing out the media’s use of victim-blaming headlines.
One of the challenges set by ‘This Ends Now’ was for Men to Step-Up in 2023. Misogyny and sexual violence are not women’s issues. They are men’s issues. It’s about male violence against women and girls. So what can men do? For a start they can speak up about how the patriarchy adversely affects all of us, men and women. In addition to opening up the discussion amongst men, we can also help by supporting the work of ‘This Ends Now’.
Responding to the challenge for Men to Step-Up, I wondered how I might be able to help. TEN suggested he could join a Men’s Group and get them talking about male violence to women and girls. I joined the newly formed Five Valleys Men’s Group, who meet fortnightly in Nailsworth.
TEN also suggested running a fundraiser, hence Andrew’s CEMENT MIXER FOR WOMEN initiative. Last November I started a major garden path restoration project in his overgrown garden. Looking at hiring a cement mixer to save some of the heavy work, he soon realised it would be much cheaper to buy one and sell it after he had finished the job. So he bought an electric cement mixer from Amazon for £170, and it proved to be an excellent purchase.
The garden job now completed, I proposed to sell the cement mixer, and send the money to ‘This Ends Now’. But then he thought about challenging other men to Step-Up, and see if they too might like to contribute to TEN? Maybe they could pay over the odds for a second-hand mixer in excellent condition, so that more money could be put towards the TEN campaign? After all, the purchaser could recoup much of their donation back when they sell it on after they’ve used the cement mixer?
The Charles Bentley concrete mixer has a 63 litre barrel, which is just the right size for domestic scale work.
I am confident that I could sell it privately for around £100, and I’m hoping that the successful bidder (who can choose to be named, or remain anonymous) will pay me an extra sum on top of my item donation’s value so that I can pass on a total of about £170 to TEN. So is there a man who will step up, and bid for the cement mixer? Let’s start your bids at £90, and see if we can get it significantly higher.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your bid. I can deliver the mixer to you in the Stroud District. Obviously it can be seen and demonstrated before you confirm your purchase.
And if others would like Step Up and make a separate donation, not involving concrete mixers, here’s Andrew’s link to ‘This Ends Now’.