I Stand: Marcello Angelini Takes a Stand!
Marcello Angelini, George Kaiser Family Foundation artistic director, Tulsa Ballet, is taking a stand against domestic violence and sexual assault. Serving as the December spokesperson, Marcello took a few moments to share why it was important for him to stand.
1. Why did you want to take a stand against domestic violence and sexual assault?
I hate violence in general. I think violence doesn’t accomplish anything in society.
When it comes to domestic violence the situation is even more dire. Relationships are about understanding each other, helping each other, growing together, making good choices together, supporting our partners when they are down and being supported when we are going through difficult times. Violence is the exact opposite of this philosophy; violence and the domestic environment are an oxymoron. They don’t belong in the same sentence. At the same time harmony in the domestic environment, in all its facets (relationships between parents and children, husband and wife, grandparents and grandchildren and so on) is something that requires constant work to achieve. In fact, any permanence in a relationship is the result of constant effort being made by all the people in the relationship.
When it comes to sexual assault, it’s difficult for me to even talk about it. This act represents the most evil action, the most brutal act of force a human being can perpetrate against another human being. Sadly, even in the 21st century, such acts are still committed. We are not going to solve this problem until we start making it part of our daily conversation, until we open the dialog about this topic and we place it front and center of our social agenda.
2. Communities and activists worldwide are starting to recognize that sexual assault and domestic violence are not just a “women’s issue” but a human rights issue and that men play a role in stopping the violence. How do you think male role models can help get young men and boys to take an interest in and step up to help prevent and stop sexual assault and domestic violence?
Interesting. We are NOW starting to recognize that men play a role in domestic violence… Wow! I say wow because, based on the latest statistics, 99% of sexual assault are committed by… guess who: MAN!!! Domestic violence, sexual assault and sexual violence in general have been weapons of domination and submission for millenniums. Sexual assault and rape has been a weapon of war, the prerogative of victorious solders over the conquered people.
Yet I believe we have grown up. We are in the 21st century; we lived through the Emancipation, the thirteenth amendment, the end of segregation, women voting and an African-American president. I want to believe that we, as a species, have finally grown up and are at a turning point. Our social conscience has grown especially here in the U.S., where we are the leaders of the free world. Fathers have to understand their responsibility in setting the right example and the right principles for our children to follow. If we respect our partners in the household, they will respect their wives/partners. If we respect, understand and empathize with our children, they will respect, understand and emphasize with people they interact with. The solution to social challenges is not found through force, repression or violence but rather through understanding, collaboration, empathy and tolerance. This is the key to a better world, and this process starts from each and every family, engages each and every community, shapes the thinking and behavior of each and every country until it becomes a way of life for our planet.
Read more about the I Stand campaign and click here to view pictures of the campaign.
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