WAYS GOOD DUDES CAN HELP WOMEN FEEL SAFE
I believe that more men are good than bad. But even the good ones don't understand how much the bad ones terrorize women daily. If you consider yourself a good guy, here are some things you can do to help.
- •Be aware of your surroundings.If you're walking on a street at night, be aware of the women around you, because they're probably worried about their safety. Don't stand behind them at a crosswalk. Stand within eye-range. If possible, keep some distance between you.
- •Listen to the women in your life.Ask questions and genuinely listen to their experience. Watch the Master of None episode "Ladies and Gentlemen." (It was written by two women.) Read blogs. Put yourself in their shoes. If you're stumped on Q's, here are some: Have you ever felt unsafe as a result of your gender? What's it feel like to be cat called? Does that happen much? Have you ever been discriminated against? Do you feel like you're treated differently in professional settings? Have I ever made you feel less than equal?
- •Support women's issues.Donate to Planned Parenthood to help women get vital health screenings and accessible birth control, especially since a bunch of old white men just voted to defund it. Call your representative and ask them to support bills that protect women's right to equal pay.
- •Talk to your male friends.Do you have honest conversations with your guy friends about these issues? Start that dialogue. Do you know guys who don't respect women's rights or safety? Call them out. Make it unacceptable. Don't be a passive bystander.
- •Teach your sons what it means to be a good man.Teach him to see women as deserving of respect, equal rights, and the same quality of life a man gets.Suggested by @SandraladaDee
- •Let women speak for themselvesIf you're well versed and supportive on the subject, that's great! But it's not that great. It's like, the bare minimum. You probably have way more to learn// way more than that you will never understand. Let women take the lead, especially when it comes to topics about women and safety and respect.Suggested by @aesthetic
- •Understand what consent meansWhile sexual assault from strangers certainly is terrifying, for most women the prospect that one of your friends or acquaintances or some guy that you've been flirty texting with will rape you is much more likely. This happens because society teaches men that flirting and cuddles and kissing and touching are all precursors to sex. "Consent" means checking with your partner at every stage and getting an unequivocal "yes." There are a lot of rapists out there who don't know their rapists.Suggested by @Allys_on
- •Always ask yourself, "Is this respectful of the woman/girl?" This is something I've been teaching my son since he was about 12 years old. With pics being sent/shared/SnapChatted/DM'd etc it's important for good guys to have a critical eye and know what's supportive of girls and women versus what is exploitive.Suggested by @eamato
- •Always remember that it's YOUR responsibility to do the research. If a woman wants to explain something to you, that's fine, but nobody owes you an explanation for things like privilege, safety, etc. it's important to listen to women around you, but it's also important that you educate yourselfSuggested by @JennyJLee