ABOUT THE WORLDWIDE ROAR
WORLDWIDE ROAR HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF “MEN AS ALLIES” AS THEY PICK INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY FOR THE LAUNCH THEIR MOST DIVERSE CALENDAR EVER.
The Worldwide Roar’s new 2022 calendar showcases athletes of different ethnicities, ages and body types who offer nudity as a pledge of allydom
Manchester Village Spartans RUFC are among a host of guest stars who have stripped completely for location shoots in the UK and Mexico.
In a world dominated by how straight men look at women, the Roar’s annual Calendar and monthly Portfolio offer supporters a cultural counterpoint through male nudity in artistic images and documentary film.
The Roar is now the central subject of the Athletes 4 Action research project run jointly by universities in the UK and Canada. (See Notes)
The Roar’s Collection of great gifts includes five stunning large-format coffee table books – and playing cards everyone will want to find in their stocking this year!!
The theme of International Men’s Day this year is “better relations between men and women”, and this is something that the Roar has long supported.
The WR campaign began when straight male athletes posed nude for a mainly gay male fanbase to highlight and challenge homophobia in sport.
The #metoo movement showed that there was a wider job to be done, and WR expanded its focus to highlight the distinction between how men and women are treated in the society.
The brutality that led to the #BLM movement, the rise of domestic abuse during lockdown and the recent murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer, have all shown again what a crucial role men must play in exploring and promoting new, healthier versions of masculinity.
WR project founder Angus Malcolm suggests that men must actively choose to become allies.
“It’s easy for men to blame problems like misogyny, homophobia, racism, abusive pornography and male violence against women on ‘a few bad guys’. The reality is that men who aren’t actively working to change things are complicit in maintaining a world where bad guy behaviour is still ok.”
He clarified the point:
“It is not about where you put your penis, or what colour it is, or how politely and consensually you introduce it to the world. The clue is that you have one. Men live in and help to maintain a system that has benefitted them at the expense of others. It is only by acknowledging our privilege as men and the damaged version of masculinity that has poisoned the lives of many, including men themselves, that we can escape this legacy. We can find our own freedom by helping others to find theirs. As allies.”
The solution that the Worldwide Roar has developed over more than a decade is to ask men to confront their relationships with masculinity from the ground up – and that means getting naked!
Long-time participant Lucas has been getting naked for the project since 2015 and is proud of the calendar’s evolution:
“I was part of the original “Warwick Rowers” team, and it was quite different back then. We were all good mates from similar backgrounds in very similar situations in life. It was still a massively enlightening journey for us to get naked together and show our bodies to the world, but the Roar has now become a much more powerful and lifechanging experience for the guys who join. Men of different ages, sexualities, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds all come together naked.”
Nick, who works in publishing, joined the project in 2019 through his membership of an inclusive rowing club in London. Making his second calendar appearance this year, he loves the direction the project is taking as it expands from rowing into other sports.
“We need redefine the all-male space. The Roar does that. Instead of enabling toxic banter among men who think alike, the Roar creates a healing space where a diverse range of men can come together to explore what masculinity means to them. It gives them perspective on how differently we experience life. It’s the key to becoming allies.”
One calendar star who will sadly be absent this year due to Covid restrictions is world-record holding rower and out LGBTQ+ Olympian Robbie Manson. Manson was the very popular centrefold in the calendar’s tenth anniversary edition for 2019 and had planned to strip off for the 2022 edition, this time with an inclusive rugby team to highlight the project’s growth:
“I had to break through some personal barriers to come out as LGBTQ+ and then a few more to get naked for inclusion! But it was definitely worth it. We must support men to break free from set ideas and expectations that are damaging to them and to the people around them. The urgency of this is becoming clearer every day.”
Luckily, the incredible guys at the Manchester Village Spartans inclusive gay rugby club had already bared all to give the Roar a very enthusiastic welcome into the world of rugby – on a surprisingly warm, dry and sunny day in Manchester! Spartans spokesman Yoshio Tazaki commented:
“Our club offers a route to a healthier lifestyle for people of all gender identities who may not have previously considered participating in a team sport, and we love the philosophy behind the Roar.
Although we were originally established with a small grant to help gay men lead more physically active lives, we are now fully integrated into competitive rugby and our men’s team includes players of all sexualities.”
Spartans player Dan added:
“What was so amazing about the shoot for the Roar was how a massive group of gay and straight men, Spartans and guests, all got naked together and created a truly memorable and uplifting experience. There were hilarious moments but what brought me the most joy was to see so many men drop their guards and embrace this very unusual moment together. We’re already planning to do more shoots with the Roar and would recommend it to any sports club.”