Be the man you want to be but be a living man

A French road safety campaign is addressing toxic masculinity as a contributing factor to road accidents. The campaign, which includes a video, depicts men at the births of their sons to challenge macho stereotypes and promote sensitivity.

“Speed, alcohol, drugs, fatigue … what if we need to add masculinity?” asked the French road safety body of the list of factors that typically lead to road accidents.”

Read more from The Guardian

“Road Safety calls on men to realise that in cars, motorbikes, bicycles and even on foot, for the same number of kilometres travelled, they kill considerably more than women.

The road is still an area where very few people are questioning the gender dynamics of its users. Research shows, however, that stereotypes, starting with those of masculinity, are easily reflected at the wheel: “I’m going a bit fast but I’m in control”; “That overtaking was a bit risky, but I knew I could pull over”; “He’s getting on my nerves trying to overtake me, I won’t let him”;
“Don’t worry, two drinks? It doesn’t change anything in my driving”, etc.

These stereotypes help to perpetuate the idea that men, unlike women, have some kind of natural aptitude for driving, ironically leading to the transformation of excessive speed, dangerous overtaking or the certainty of “holding my liquor” into signs of masculine competence. Statistics show that this is not the case.

This is the meaning of this Road Safety campaign which benefits from rare and delicate images taken from a documentary by Rémi Bezançon. The director immortalised the first moments between fathers and their sons in the delivery room and maternity ward. A first meeting that is accompanied by a text read by Pio Marmaï, a gentle manifesto to realize oneself in order to escape the stereotypical edifications that are so dangerous on the road: “You don’t have to follow what people expect of a man. Be the man you want to be”.”

Visit SÉCURITÉ ROUTIÈRE (France, February 2023)

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