“I believe that there are three levels of change upon which we can alter gender-based violence: self, community and the world.”

Kevin Vowles

Having spent the past seven years speaking to hundreds of young men about gender based violence and sexual assault, one thing that always stands out to me is their willingness to do something about it. Whether it’s forming groups in their individual schools or making a personal commitment to take a stand, they’re there and they are ready.

I firmly believe the answer to ending gender based violence will come through engaging young men in the fight.

I’ve met many allies and formed a lot of great friendships on this journey, one of which I value very much – Kevin Vowles. Kevin is a healthy relationships/violence prevention program delivery specialist, and program creator. His past includes being the Community Engagement Manager for the White Ribbon Campaign.

Kevin has spent the last two years putting together a powerful and important book, titled Getting the Toxic Out of Masculinity and sent me an advance copy to read over. The first thing that stands out to me are the stories. Stories change the world and are a vital part of human development. Kevin offers stories about his childhood, his life as an adult man with empathy, and his work encouraging young men to take a stand on gender based violence.

Getting the Toxic Out of Masculinity is a book about growth and saving men from themselves. It belongs in every high school library and will impact anyone who reads it and applies the lessons shared. This is a powerful resource for anyone wanting to make our schools, communities, and country a safer place that includes all of us. Change starts with one person, and this book is for them.

The reality that men and boys are both victims and perpetrators is the ultimate juxtaposition for society to reconcile. Men and boys can be brutal, violent, hollow and uncaring; void of empathy. Conversely they can be soft and gentle, kind and empathetic, and find themselves targets and victims of violence. Whether we are participants in toxic masculinity and violence, or have been the targets of it, we need to seek resources and supports to heal.

Kevin Vowles

I encourage everyone to take the time and donate what you can to help support Kevin’s book on his GoFundMe campaign page. I’ve lived almost my entire life enveloped in toxic ideals of what a man is, Kevin tears it all down and leaves me wishing I could take his book back in time and give it to my 12 year old self.

Order this book, your sons and your community will thank you for it.