During Last Tuesday’s Assembly, we launched our Men of Action week with our anti-bullying campaign. The slogan for this year is “We stand together, stronger than ever”. The senior students did a wonderful job in planning the campaign and delivering it at the College Assembly. The key messages for our students is that in an inclusive community, everyone is valued and respected. We understand that we are all different, but our differences should make us stronger not vulnerable and untrusting of each other. It is up to each individual within the College to ensure...
During Last Tuesday’s Assembly, we launched our Men of Action week with our anti-bullying campaign. The slogan for this year is “We stand together, stronger than ever”. The senior students did a wonderful job in planning the campaign and delivering it at the College Assembly. The key messages for our students is that in an inclusive community, everyone is valued and respected. We understand that we are all different, but our differences should make us stronger not vulnerable and untrusting of each other. It is up to each individual within the College to ensure that others around them are not left isolated and alone. The simple act of saying “hello” or smiling at everyone makes a huge difference to the lives of many around us. Those that resort to bullying use relationships to control people, gentlemen develop right relationships centred on love, compassion and respect of the dignity of others. It was a very meaningful presentation.
During the Assembly, we also presented the 26 young men from Year 6 who have been selected as this year’s Morrissey Men of Action leaders. They will be leaders and helpers in the Morrissey Building with students in Years 5 and 6. I had the pleasure of presenting the badges to the young men accompanied by Oscar O’Brien, our College Captain.
At the assembly, I was also honoured to present four of our young men Joshua Smith, Lachlan O’Hara and Zac and Sam Walton, who were involved in a lifesaving rescue. They were a part of the Caloundra SLSC who rescued and resuscitated a man who was unconscious and not breathing. We also recognised the efforts of two young men from Year 6. Jackson Williams and Brodie Tulacz were travelling home on the bus last Thursday after school when the driver took ill, stopped the bus and collapsed outside of the bus clutching her chest. The two young men immediately contacted triple O and their parents to seek assistance. The ambulance arrived and took the driver to the hospital. It is great to be able to recognise the deeds of these young men and demonstrate to the community that the badge and expectations of Men of Action extends beyond our school gates.
In my article last week, I mentioned my concern with the misuse of social media by young men. I particularly mentioned Instagram and Snapchat as examples. Interestingly, in last week’s Catholic Leader, the “Hot Topic” carried an article entitled Instagram – new market place for soft-core pornography. The following extract from the article is subject for an interesting conversation.
Samantha is a 23-year-old woman who has more than 150,000 followers. Her job title is “Instagram Influencer”. “I basically get paid to take photographs of myself in my bikini,” Samantha said. “The raunchier the photos are, the more likes I get, which means that advertisers are more likely to want to use me to sell their products.”
In the article, Mrs Kim Keady, the co-founder of real talk, suggests that the commercialisation of the young female body is becoming increasingly prolific, and is something that is troublesome for women. She discussed the idea of sexualization and objectification and how this links to pornography. Mrs Keady argues that when beautiful young women such as Samantha are used to advertise products what is happening is that we are sexualising the woman and making her a product as much as the object that is trying to be sold. She claims that an extension of this is that young women who use their mobile phones to send such photos to young men are inadvertently turning their bodies into a product. She claims that the two most important motivations to post such photos are (1) affirmation and (2) peer pressure. The article then goes on to talk about the important influences that fathers have with their daughters to support them to make the right decisions.
Last week, I mentioned my concern about the danger of our young men becoming caught in the trap of using Instagram and Snapchat to collect such photographs. The greater concern is that some may feel that it is OK to even ask a young woman for the photographs in the first place. They are often at an age when there is an awkwardness with forming relationships with people they may be attracted to and often will rely on what they hear from peers or others and consider this to be normal actions. Social media allows them to be able to be involved in many adult situations when they are not at an adult level of comprehension about the consequences of their actions. Just as importantly, if they are allowed to continue to be involved in such actions without being able to consider what they are really doing, their future perceptions of relationships might well be quite skewed.
More importantly, they are often putting pressure on vulnerable young women who feel pressured to be liked and under the impression that taking such photographs is a normal thing to do. Such photographs could have a lasting and negative impact on their well-being.
As a follow-up from last week, I would urge all parents, particularly those with young men who are in their adolescent years, to discuss this topic about young women and relationships and how such actions as sexting can “dehumanise” young women, and portray them as a product to be looked at rather than a person who has their own expectations on relations and young men. Whilst the conversation might be a little awkward, I am quite sure that it would also be very rewarding for both parents and the young men.
It is hard to believe that we have just finished the fourth week of the first term. By now, each young man should have established a study routine that allows him to complete his homework and revision of past lessons. There is no such thing as “no homework” and if your son might suggest this to you, please remind him of the expectations to spend time revising and remembering and understanding past work that he will need to know, especially for exams. I would also expect that most of our young men have assessments such as assignments to be working on now as well.
This weekend we compete against St Edmund’s Ipswich in our sporting round.
Live Jesus in our Hearts!