“30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2014 Interview 7: John Tuinema, 27, Canada

Welcome to The Pixel Project’s “30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2013! In honour of Father’s Day, we created this campaign:

  • To acknowledge the vital role Dads play in families, cultures and communities worldwide.
  • To showcase good men from different walks of life who are fabulous positive non-violent male role models.

Through this campaign, we will be publishing a short interview with a different Dad on each day of the month of June.

This campaign is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2014 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.

Our seventh “30 For 30″ 2014 Dad is John Tuinema from Canada.


The Dad Bio

John Tuinema is a single dad and former paramedic. He is currently in medical school and lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wonderful son, Gavin.

John Tuinema1. What is the best thing about being a dad?

I know that my parents were the biggest influences in getting me to where I am happy with my life, where I am, and what I’ve accomplished. The fact that I can give my son the same love and support my parents gave me is an amazing feeling. It can be terrifying because it is an immense responsibility, but one that I take on gladly.

2. A dad is usually the first male role model in a person’s life and fathers do have a significant impact on their sons’ attitude towards women and girls. How has your father influenced the way you see and treat women and girls?

My dad did the most important thing he could do to influence my attitudes and actions towards women: he led by example. If, for some reason, I picked up a sexist idea or attitude from school or peers, he was quick to point out the flaws in those thoughts and guide me away from them. He treated my mother and all the women in his life with respect. He ensured my mother was an equal partner in family and career decisions, and actively encouraged her in everything she did.

3. Communities and activists worldwide are starting to recognise that violence against women is not a “women’s issue” but a human rights issue and that men play a role in stopping the violence. How do you think fathers and other male role models can help get young men and boys to take an interest in and step up to help prevent and stop violence against women?

This isn’t the first time the roles of men have been acknowledged in ending violence against women. Many men grew up hearing, “You should never hit a woman.” The problem with that approach is that it comes from a “pick on someone your own size” mindset, which doesn’t acknowledge that women are just as strong as men. Instead, dads need to teach their sons, “You never hit anyone,” while simultaneously guiding them towards gender equality, breaking down gender roles and stereotypes, and teaching that it is okay for a man to be a feminist. Let women lead the way on this massive societal problem, but teach our sons to ensure they aren’t making things worse by reinforcing gender roles and stereotypes in their efforts to help.