Our Watch asks men to 'do something' when they witness disrespect towards women

15 April 2021

Creative Agency: Thinkerbell
Media Agency: Carat (VIC)

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The ads will broadcast on Catch Up TV, YouTube and social media, as well as out-of-home in and around football stadiums.

After women all over the country took to the streets last month to march for justice and to end violence against women, the need for men to play a more significant role in challenging disrespect towards women is greater than ever.

Research from Our Watch found that 75% of Australians want practical advice on how to respond to casual sexism without being perceived as a ‘party pooper’ and that only 14% of Australians felt confident in calling out disrespect towards women.

In answer to this, Our Watch has released a new series of ads to encourage men to ‘do something’ when they witness sexist behaviour as part of its national Doing Nothing Does Harm campaign.

The campaign features common scenarios where male bystanders witness women being talked down to, degraded, or objectified by other men.

Using a ‘time slider’, the ads show the difference between men doing nothing in such a situation vs. taking positive action, highlighting the moment of regret when you don’t do something and educating the viewers on what actions they can take when they next find themselves in a similar situation.

The ads will broadcast on Catch Up TV, YouTube and social media, as well as out-of-home in and around football stadiums.

The Doing Nothing Does Harm website provides a suite of options for how bystanders can ‘do something’, including how to show your disapproval with body language, ways to support women, and what to say if you want to speak up.

Our Watch CEO Patty Kinnersly says the new campaign speaks to the idea that men often recognise that certain attitudes and behaviours are disrespectful to women in the moment but don’t know what to do.

“What came out strongly in the market testing for this iteration of the campaign was that men recognised that something was sexist but didn’t know what to do in response,” Kinnersly says.

“There was also a feeling of regret for not knowing how to call out it out, this campaign shares a host of ways they can do something.”

Research shows that society’s expectation of ‘what it is to be a man’ based on ideas of dominance, control, aggression, and disrespect towards women contribute to violence against women.

When behaviours that make women feel uncomfortable, unsafe or treated unfairly go unchallenged it creates a culture in which violence against women is more likely.

This campaign provides the tools and resources to show that individual men, and men as a group can help to change these behaviours and unequal structures by ‘doing something’ when it comes to disrespect towards women.

“Violence against women exists on a continuum and it starts with disrespect towards women," Kinnersly says.

"Part of preventing this violence includes promoting the fact that there are many ways to be a man and addressing the role men play in their own lives to help change attitudes and behaviours for the better.”


Client: Our Watch
Creative Agency: Thinkerbell
Media Agency: Carat

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