Challenging Gender Stereotypes – Rob Kemp, author The Good Guys: 50 Heroes Who Changed The World With Kindness…
Who are your heroes? Take a moment to think about the people you most admire – the ones you respect, trust and look up to. You could start by looking around you, at your friends and family. Then there are the people who maybe set a good example to you every day – like teachers, team coaches or group leaders. Then there are the ones you may admire from afar – the film stars, athletes, writers, musicians or performers?
Now what is it about these heroes that makes you think; ‘I’d like to be a bit more like you?’
I enjoy asking these questions when I talk to people about The Good Guys book. I ask people to tell me what qualities they admire in their heroes. More often than not the boys and girls who reply use very similar phrases when describing the boys or girls, or men or women they admire.
They describe their heroes not only as ‘a cool teacher’ or a ‘winning athlete’ but they’ll talk about their character traits using words like ‘kind’, ‘helpful’, ‘funny’, ‘brave’, ‘clever’ or even just ‘different’.
We put a high value on these good qualities in others.
When I wrote the book The Good Guys I didn’t just want to write about men and boys who’d done extraordinary things in their lives. I also wanted to see what it was about them that made them stand out from other men. As I read about some of the greatest people to have ever lived I found that, more often than not, it was those same good qualities that we all admire in others. These men showed kindness, generosity, a caring nature and spoke up for others.
By doing so they changed people’s lives for the better.
Some of these men spoke out against cruelty to animals, or about their love for others, or about how upset things in life had made them. Others have led by example, risking their own lives to help others. A few use their position as high-profile actors, musicians or sportsmen to perform acts of kindness that help people whose voices can’t be heard.
These qualities – compassion, care, considering the lives of others – are very different to the stereotypes we often associate with ‘great leaders’ or ‘powerful men’. These aren’t female or male qualities either. They’re ones that we all admire and that we all possess. We all have the ability to be Good Guys because we all have those qualities that are found in true heroes.
The Good Guys: 50 Heroes who Changed the World with Kindness
Meet 50 remarkable men from all walks of life and throughout history who changed the world with kindness and compassion, from rapper Professor Green, who broke taboos by speaking out about male mental health, to leader of the civil rights movement Martin Luther King Jr, This is a great collection of inspirational biographies that’s great for encouraging students to think about gender stereotypes and the importance and value of kindness.