10 Steps: Men Can Take To Be Allies on #InternationalWomen’sDay
On International Women’s Day, man and feminist George Biggs suggests some ways men can uplift the fantastic women around them.
1> Check Your Language
Our society talks about women in a negative, gendered way. Calling women ‘sluts’ and describing them as ‘bossy’ or ‘hysterical’ ties this harmful language to femininity, as if it only applies to women.
2> Check Your Banter
Are you more offensive when it comes to joking around with women? This banter is often quite harmful and perhaps why you don’t make those jokes to men too.
3> Check Your Friends
Do you see women harassed or cat-called and say nothing? It’s important to have hard conversations with other men about their poor treatment of women.
4> Check Your Compliments
Many women experience discomfort when complimented by men because it often is creepy and objectifying. Compliments are great, but make sure it’s not sexually charged.
5> Do Listen
Remember not to talk over women and hear what they’re saying. It’s relatively common for women to be ignored or feel unseen when talking to men.
6> Do Uplift
Let women be proud and ambitious; attractive and clever. Our patriarchal society has so often tried to suppress these things in the name of chastity and modesty. Let them be proud!
7> Do Give Them Space
There are times when we aren’t helpful. There are things we can never truly understand. There’s things that we need to let women do alone or with each other.
8> Do Acknowledge Intersectionality
Women experience patriarchy differently, depending on factors such as ethnicity, sexuality and sex, and we should remember that.
9> Don’t Overthink It!
‘Men are from Mars; women are from Venus’ is a saying thrown around an awful lot. It encourages the idea that women are an enigma to be understood, like a puzzle or a video game. But they’re just people, so treat them as such!
10> Remember: Feminism Is For You, Too
Gender equality works both ways. It’s feminism that encourages men to ditch harmful toxic masculinity standards and behaviours. It’s feminism that encourages men to express themselves, to be vulnerable, emotional and honest. It’s your fight too, so making the women around you feel safe and seen is forever important.
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