Michael Nesbitt’s finger trembled as it hovered over the “post” button on a popular social media page.
“I was angry and scared, but mostly anxious,” Michael said.
“I’ve seen many male allies try and fail at publicly vocalizing their alliance with women. By outing another man publicly, I was either going to be the worlds biggest D-bag or a contender for Worlds Biggest Male Ally.”
Turns out the latter happened, with hundreds of ‘likes’ spilling in and dozens of comments popping up from men and women, thanking him for speaking out and bravely denouncing a fellow male posing as an ally.
Comments such as, “Hero” and “Thank you for being in our corner” piled up along with an abundance of ‘clap’ and ‘prayer hands’ emojis.
"Michael’s submission blew us away, with the bravery it takes to out someone publicly"
“I couldn’t keep up with my notifications. I truly didn’t think I’d be deemed a hero, but I really hoped that I would. Too many men sit silently as allies, but I’m not about that," Michael said.
He expressed that his outed victim wasn’t necessarily a threat to women — but was a threat to the cause.
“The guy’s a joke pretending to be an ally and then acting another way,” Michael said, adding that, “the gig was up. People needed to know that he wasn’t fully in women’s corners.”
And an ally he is. According to the International Board of Male Allies (IBMA), Nesbitt has been chosen as the 2017 recipient of the Worlds Biggest Male Ally Award, a prestigious honour awarded to only the most active and outspoken allies who prove their commitment to being “good men” of the world.
“It was a tough decision. We had submissions from all over the world,” IBMA representative Carmella Wells told us.
“We had men who took selfies wearing shirts that read 'feminist' on them. We had men that participated in and helped organize the Women's March. We even had men who volunteered at Planned Parenthood locations and acted as escorts for women entering abortion clinics. But Michael’s submission blew us away, with the bravery it takes to out someone publicly. Chances are people in his community were already aware of this person’s behaviour. But Michael set the bar high by calling the individual out. The day he posted that status was the day he ruined another man’s life and became a hero — and that's why we chose him to be the 2017 World’s Biggest Male Ally."
After such a prestigious accomplishment, Nesbitt claim's his life hasn’t really changed. He's still in an open relationship with his girlfriend and will continue to be on high alert for any men not aligned with women.
Nominations are now closed for the 2017 International Board of Male Allies Awards, but you can nominate deserving male allies to be considered for next year’s awards.
Moniquea Marion is a Toronto-based actor, comedian, and writer specializing in solo sketch and character comedy. She’s a graduate of the Second City Conservatory in Toronto, The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre in NYC, and the People's Improv Theatre in NYC. Marion is a twice nominated contender for Best Female Improviser by NOW Magazine in 2014 & 2015. Marion's responsible for writing, producing, and starring in 8 one woman comedy shows over the past 3 years, one of which spawned, Mumsical, a successful one woman musical comedy about moms which debuted at the 2015 Toronto Fringe Festival. Marion recently underwent and successfully accomplished a rigorous web series where she released a new character video for every day of 2016! That's right she wrote, starred, produced, filmed, and edited 365 character videos in 365 days.
Marion's been an advocate for women in comedy by creating safe and supportive comedy spaces such as the all female comedy show, "Laugh Through This", the all female improv drop in, "Fierce", and the "Ladies Jam" a ladies only improv jam. Marion also teaches improv through the Social Capital Theatre in Toronto, various high schools, mental health agencies, and private companies.