TALK TO US STAY WITH US
RECLAIM's Leigh lads to redefine masculinity with their campaign #TalkToUsStayWithUs.
RECLAIM's Leigh Lads (aged 12-13) wanted to challenge outdated ideas that men need to ‘man up’, not show emotion or seek support and raise awareness about preventing male suicide. Their campaign, #TalkToUsStayWithUs, thought up by the lads on RECLAIM’s LEAD programme officially launched on Sunday 1 September at Leigh Sports Village, where Leigh Centurions took on The York City Knights.
Before the game, the group interacted with hundreds of fans giving them the opportunity to challenge preconceived notions of what it means to be a “real man” and spread their messages of self-care, acceptance and support.
More than half of Britain’s young men feel pressured to “man up” as a result of damaging gender stereotypes. Luke Fletcher, 13, said “As a group we are trying to change the way people see what a man can and should be”.
Connor Ottiwell, 13, believes that young men should “be who they want to be and not who they are told to be”. With Jonah Clare adding, “Toxic masculinity can lead men to feeling like they are a failure and not good enough if they are not strong or ‘macho’. It’s important [to know about toxic masculinity] because men may feel pressured to be manly and not show your emotions, but that can be hard sometimes.”