What Kind of Hero are You?
With the barrage of DC and Marvel films that have hit the global consciousness in the last few years, we’ve had a lot of time to think about what it means to be a hero, especially in an age where masculinity has been associated with a lot of negative stereotypes.
Here at Otero, we believe that all men can be heroes in their own communities. And today, we want to take a minute to honor some of the everyday men and women whose quiet, selfless, rarely-acknowledged heroism makes a huge difference to the world and the shape of our future.
There are thousands of organizations that deserve attention and support, for today we want to draw attention to a few national organizations that, in partnership with both men and women, demonstrate powerful and positive examples of masculinity.
The best part? You can be one of these heroes.
Guardians of the Children: “Don’t Let Your Silence Drown Out Their Cries”
This organization was founded by motorcycle clubs, who have dedicated their time to protecting children who have been abused. GOC members will be paired with a child who is going to court, and stand with that child in the courtroom, letting the child know that he or she has the support of an entire chapter of highly protective, highly intimidating people. Their visible support radically increases the number of children willing to testify, and their ongoing support allows children to break the cycle of abuse. GOC members also volunteer their time to continue to support these children outside of the courtroom. Their core values are: “Valor, Truth, and Integrity,” and their goal is to publicly “stand as one prepared to protect this priceless resource.”
The mission of Guardians Of the Children (GOC) is to recognize and react to child abuse and educate the public to do the same; to serve as advocates to provide strength and stability to families in crisis; and be an answer to the prayer of an abused child or teen for courage, support and protection.
OddBalls Foundation: “Raising Awareness for Testicular Cancer”
Unlike most cancers, testicular cancer has proven to be highly treatable, with 95% cure-rates when the diagnosis is made in the early stages. OddBalls is a very practical organization dedicated to raising awareness and teaching men how to conduct self-examinations that will improve the rates of early diagnosis and effective treatment. The organization is entirely run by volunteers, and 100% of the profits from their charity runs and underwear brand go to support the cause.
At the Oddballs Foundation, we care about your balls and so should you!
National Coalition for Men: “Ending Harmful Discrimination and Stereotypes Against Boys, Men, Their Families, and the Women who Love Them”
Founded in 1977 as a counterpart to Second-Wave Feminism, the NCFM is the only international organization focused openly on “Men’s Rights.” This organization, and its numerous sub-organizations are dedicated to combatting the constant barrage of negativity associated with masculinity, to freeing men from harmful stereotypes, and to providing resources for all men on issues like: media bias, domestic violence, education opportunities, false accusations, fatherhood and parental rights, divorce legislation, male survivors of rape, and forced labor. They invite men and women to reconsider core social assumptions in a nonpartisan forum dedicated to that rarest of all causes: productive dialogue that fosters real change.
The main objective of the NATIONAL COALITION FOR MEN is: to promote awareness of how gender based expectations limit men legally, socially and psychologically. The National Coalition for Men attempts to accomplish its objectives by: promoting discussion and study of relevant issues, disseminating information, and facilitating the development of new resources.
Boys to Men Mentoring: “Committed to creating communities of dedicated men who are able to guide and support at-risk, often fatherless, boys on their journey to manhood.”
This organization was founded in reaction to the catastrophic statistics surrounding fatherhood that threaten American children, and especially boys, in the 21st century: 24.7 million children don’t live with their biological father; 42% of fathers never see their children after divorce. Children from fatherless homes comprise: 85% of youths in prison, 71% of high-school dropouts, 80% of rapists, 63% of youth suicides, 90% of homeless children, 90% of repeat arsonists. 93% of incarcerated Americans are male, and 5% of adult men in the United States will be jailed at some point in their lives. BtM is dedicated to providing direct male mentorship to boys who lack strong male role models. On average, boys who participate in the program see a GPA improvement of 27% and an 85% reduction in behavioral incidents.
Every week, our mentors show up at middle schools, high schools, and community centers to give teenage boys a community of men who listen, encourage, and empower them. Over 75% of the boys currently in the program are growing up without a father. Our community-based mentoring approach gives boys a variety of positive male role models who show up consistently, tell the truth about their struggles as men, ask the boys what kind of man they want to be, praise them for their gifts, support them when they mess up, and encourage them to become the man they want to be. We are dedicated to providing this opportunity to every boy in need - Boys To Men Mentoring
Movember: “Men are Dying too Young. We Can’t Afford to Stay Silent”
Men’s health is in crisis: on average, men aren’t living as long as women. Prostate and testicular cancers are on the rise, and poor mental health support has led to a huge increase in suicide rates, primarily among men. “Movember” takes its name from the organizations biggest awareness-raising event, during which thousands of men grow a moustache in November, in support of men’s health. Whenever the “Mo” draws a comment, the MoBro directs attention to the organization. But although it started as an annual event, the organization has grown (literally and metaphorically) into a year-round powerhouse for men’s health advocacy.
We know what works for men. We’re transforming the way research into men’s health is done, and the way health services reach and support men. We don’t take government funding, so we can challenge the status quo and invest quicker in what works. - The Movember Foundation
Investing in your community can be as simple as growing a November “Mo” or as complicated as committing to a child for life.
What kind of hero do you want to be?
Otero Menswear: Anything But Average