Masculinity and manhood is all about being unafraid to show love and emotion, if a touching new campaign from White Ribbon Australia is anything to go by.
The anti-domestic violence movement has released a series of videos in the lead-up to Father’s Day, in which Aussie dads and their kids, from a mix of cultural backgrounds, have some moving and honest conversations about “what it means to be a father”.
They ask each other a series of questions about topics like, the best gifts they’ve been given, the best lessons they’ve taught, and what it means to be a father and a man.
Tears well up for father Clint, as he reflects on a moment when his five-year-old daughter Hope told him, “You don’t have to be perfect to us because you’re already perfect.”
Dad Charlie has tears, too, as he reflects on the moment when his firstborn came into the world, and he realised, “you have to step up to the plate now, you have to be responsible.”
He shares a profound nugget of relationship advice with his son Byron – to “listen with your heart more than your ears” – and encourages men that “masculinity doesn’t need to be like strength.”
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Father and son Noe and David reiterate the message that being a true man is about being “strong enough to show emotion”.
“As I’ve seen from you and the way you’ve brought me up, being gentle and warm and kind is the manliest thing,” says David.
Noe adds the advice, “To become gentle and very soft-hearted…not becoming like the Incredible Hulk or anything.”
Rod, who came from an abusive family background, encourages other men to be brave enough to speak out against domestic violence; Simon reflects on the big lesson that he’s learnt as a father, that “family is more important than work”, and 40-year-old Kieran tells his dad Dale: “You got it right”.