Written by Ian Lockhart. Ian has been a community based ManUp volunteer since 2016. Ian was a standout soccer player in Ottawa and went on to play for St.Fx on scholarship during  university.

One of the most glaring examples of what’s wrong with our current idea of masculinity is found in dressing rooms. A transformation from guy to super-macho-meathead occurs in the matter of time it takes to go from the doorway to your seat on the bench. Now don’t get me wrong, I am 100% guilty of this but is there anything more obnoxious than how guy’s act in dressing rooms? It’s as if every guy becomes immensely insecure when around other men in a confined area, so naturally the only fix is to belittle those around you and make an inappropriate joke about someone’s significant other or loved one.

Now I am not talking about the chirping that goes on when you are with your buddies. That is just guys giving each other a hard time. However, there is a serious line that separates fun from stupid and harmful.

Instead of fuelling the macho nonsense and letting someone’s partner become the victim of sexually diminishing jokes: ManUp. Choose, to not tag along and put a stop to it. There was a famous speech Michelle Obama gave last year where she said, “when they go low, we go high”.

Manning Up is about going above the stereotypes, above the temptation, above the status quo and setting a new example of what it means to be a man. Being a man is not about putting people down it’s about building people up.

So next time you stroll into a dressing room remember, you will not become more of a man by tearing down others. Instead, ManUp.


  1. From our experience, these conversations are way easier in theory that in practice. Can you come up with some specific lines you can actually use in a locker room that will take attention away from belittling comments and draw attention to constructive discussion?
  2. Sometimes asking important questions is the best intervention for someone who is getting caught up in destructive locker room banter. What questions might you ask your buddies when you overhear them being chauvinistic or over aggressive in their discussions of women?
  3. Locker-room-2-pic-pic

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