On Wednesday 18th October, a group of students participated in the Tomorrow Man Workshop. Wirreanda had the pleasure of having Ryder Susman visit to run a workshop aimed at young teenage boys. 15 students from Year 9 and 10 participated in the workshop
The workshops are transformative experiences that invite young men to deconstruct and rewrite the “Man Rules”, develop self-awareness and practice the important skills necessary to decide on the culture that will enable them to reach their potential.
Students participated in – Workshop #1 – “Breaking The Man Code”
The core workshop is a two-hour deconstruction of the Aussie male stereotype as seen in ABC’s “Man Up” documentary. This workshop allows young men to ask questions about the kind of men they’ve learned to be while exploring the man they want to become and the culture they are creating for themselves and their mates.
Youtube Clip: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTMNWiIurOM
The workshop was focused on working with teenage males to reinvent masculinity by disrupting old school male stereotypes, building emotional muscle and reinventing a more flexible version of tomorrow’s man. The students and Ryder held conversations about the state of ‘being a man’ and ‘the male law’. When the students were asked to describe what they thought the male law was, responses were “to be manly”, “don’t show emotion” and “not to cry”. The students challenged the male law and faced statistics during interactive activities. These statistics were that 90% of behavioural problems were caused by men, along with 80% of violent crimes were committed by males. In addition, nine out of 10 people in prison are male, and are three times more likely to commit suicide than women, and 1 in 2 males have no close friends.
The first interactive activity involved applying nail polish to three students in the group. Ryder then challenged them to wear it for two weeks. The question was asked, “where will the hardest place to wear the nail polish be?”. Answers given from the boys were, at home (especially around male family members), at school (around their friends), at the beach, and whilst at work.
The second activity was called “step to the line”. A line was drawn in the middle of the room, and Ryder asked the students to form a line either side of the line. Ryder would then challenge them with questions such as “have you ever cried”, “have you offended a girl”, “have you been violent to someone, or witnessed someone who has”. This activity challenged the boys to be honest, but most importantly to be true to yourself and not be ashamed or embarrassed to step to the line, even if they were the only ones who did. This activity defied peer group pressure and allowed the boys to be honest with themselves.
Towards the end of the seminar the students shared some personal life experiences and challenges with each other in this supportive environment. Each student walked away with new perspectives and small goals for themselves and with a vision of the man they wanted to be in the future. We would like to thank Ryder and all of the students who attended and participated in this seminar. It was a successful and enjoyable afternoon.
ACAP Placement Students
David McPhee and Hayley Lodge