Male Ally Monday: Steeven Toor
Working towards being an ally has been a lifelong journey for me and I am still learning how to be a meaningful ally for the women in my life. I haven’t always been aware of gender inequities and I have found that in the last few years of my life I have been able to really work to unlearn and reconstruct my personal perspectives. To be an ally to me is to gain a fuller understanding of the challenges women in our lives face and how we, as men, can help support them through these discrepancies.
Growing up I was fortunate to have been surrounded by so many phenomenal, resilient and inspirational women that continue to empower me today. One such inspiration is my Nani Ji who has been the most loving yet fierce woman in my life and has instilled so many positive morals and values in me. There have been struggles of domestic abuse, violence and substance abuse, which is sadly not an uncommon story in our community, that the women in my family have constantly battled. Within the last few years I have been involved in the “One Billion Rising” campaign in Calgary. This campaign highlights the staggering statistic that one in three women face some form of abuse in their life and raises money for care-packages that are donated to local women shelter’s on Valentines Day. The stories of abuse that I have heard from not only this campaign but from my friends and family have left me speechless. Which, in my perspective, is why there is a dire need for male allyship within our community. We need to be supportive and empathetic while working collaboratively towards breaking toxic social norms and stigma in our community.