We need to be on solid ground with our female MPs: Cullen
MP Nathan Cullen is speaking up about the need for male MPs discuss inappropriate behaviour on Parliament Hill.
Cullen says Parliament Hill needs to be an example for other workplaces in Canada.
“The horror stories you hear from Parliament Hill -it’s not just enough to continue to ask women only to be stepping up. I think there is a clear role for men to do more and be vocal about things.”
The Skeena Bulkley Valley MP says the conversation between his male colleagues does happen but may not be deep enough to affect the changes many want to see.
“So I feel confident enough to call out a male colleague, or someone feels confident enough calling me out if someone makes a comment that makes someone feel discomfort – that is where we need to be – we need to be able to, with kindness and compassion, look to people and say ‘that is no longer acceptable’, not condemning, but certainly making sure that there is room for the conversation to happen and for the behaviour to get corrected.”
Cullen says he believes the majority of men in Parliament Hill are well-intentioned.
“They want a safe and comfortable workplace for everybody but may not necessarily know that some of the norms are shifting – sometimes you get cultural differences or generational differences between people.”
He acknowledges he is only one part of the conversation and is in no way launching anything similar to the #MeToo campaign, but is pushing for all aspects of the conversation to continue.
“Some men are afraid of the conversation in general. They don’t want to say the wrong thing or be seen as unhelpful. A safe spot for people even to say ‘I don’t know what I don’t know’ can be useful.”