The Direction for Citizen Culture of the Ministry of Culture, Recreation and Sports talks about the Calma Line, a telephone line where men over 18 living in Bogotá can call for free to be heard and oriented.
Nicolás Montero, Secretary of Culture, Recreation and Sports, SCRD, specified that “the Calm Line is a proposal to address masculinities from the root, which are all those social and cultural constructions about what it means to be a man and the mandates that are socially imposed on them. We can´t think of a society that eradicates violence against women and domestic violence, without first thinking about a transformation in culture, without thinking about revising our masculinities ”.
He added that “for this reason, for the SCRD it is important to work with all those stereotypes, beliefs and social norms about gender roles and about the way in which we build relationships. It is a line, a listening service, attention and emotional support for any situation that is expressed ”.
For his part, Henry Murraín, director of Citizen Culture of the SCRD, stated “it is important to reflect on how we express love within a macho society. Generally, beliefs and stereotypes such as "if he is jealous of me, he loves me", "if he controls me, he cares about me." That generates justifications about these violence. You have to change the chip of what it means to be a man: they can be emotional, caring, loving, resolve conflicts peacefully and understand that this idea of manhood is a straitjacket that does a lot of damage to them and to the rest of the citizenship”.
Calma line services
1. A space for listening and counseling to handle emotional situations of any kind: anxiety, depression, concern for financial reasons, loneliness, family problems, love related grief, among others.
2. Psychoeducational support with tools for cultural and behavioral change so that interested men can unlearn misogynistic attitudes and train in key aspects for peaceful coexistence and violence prevention, such as interpersonal communication, emotional management, peaceful resolution of conflicts, among others.
Why a listening line for men?
The Calma Line has behind it a different bet: transforming the macho ideas that maintain that masculinity should not be vulnerable, sensitive, fragile, nor should it be allowed to speak openly about these emotions, it can positively affect the lives of millions of men in Bogotá.
Calma aims to provide men with some alternatives so that they know the benefits of asking for and receiving help, as well as other ways to deal with anger, deal with their emotions and other attitudes such as jealousy and control. This, in order to transform some problematic beliefs about romantic love and maintain more peaceful and healthy relationships with their partners and, in general, with others.
"Having professionals with whom to feel safe with, in private, to talk about their feelings and their integrity as a human being and guaranteeing that they will listen with all the attention and knowledge necessary to attend their needs, is a source of trust in the face of what surely many men will be willing to call the Calm Line ”assured Murrain.
Data of interest
Some of the results of the surveys on intra-family and partner violence carried out in Bogotá during 2020, obtained by the Observatory of Culture of the Direction of Citizen Culture, revealed that:
• Of the total of men surveyed, 76.1% agreed that “most men would like to manage their emotions better, but they don't know how”.
• 63.7% of the men surveyed believe that it is desirable that men do not allow themselves to be humiliated by anyone.
• In Bogotá, 35.8% of the men surveyed believe that it is desirable for men to respond if another man seeks a fight.
• In Bogotá, when faced with the question, “in the face of a broken heart or“ tusa ”, what do you think would be a typical reaction of women compared to men?”, 44% of those surveyed considered that women seek help from other people, while 45% considered that men get drunk to forget their sorrows.
• In Bogotá, 46.5% of the men surveyed agreed with the statement, “Men do not feel comfortable expressing their emotions openly”.
This is how the Calma Line works
The Line will operate free of charge with the number 018000-423614 and will be attended by a group of eight (8) psychology professionals, from Monday to Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. at 2:00 p.m.
Additionally, for those men interested in changing beliefs or behaviors associated with machismo, jealousy and control, the line will offer psychoeducational spaces that will be scheduled once a week and that will be carried out through video calls.
• The line is expected to receive between 500 and 1,200 calls per month and attend between 100 and 250 men in psychoeducational support during the initial three-month pilot.
• Approximately 100 to 200 follow-up calls will be made per month to measure the effectiveness of the line.
Undoubtedly, the new masculinities invite us to understand that there are men who love peacefully, who understand that their partners are not their property, who do not justify the use of violence, who express their emotions calmly, who have emotional tools to resolve their conflicts, to speak up when they feel uncomfortable, and to listen to others.