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Feminism is NOT male bashing – please correct this perception. Men can be feminist allies too, very effectively. Here’s how.
While many are still busy shifting blames, there are men who are not blind to their privilege. Men who are owning up to their mistakes and genuinely want to know how they can be better and help womxn. I see you and this is for you.
Gender equality is not just a womxn’s issue. Men who continue to be silent and keep being benefited from the systemic oppression of womxn are part of the problem.
Educate them, there are a lot of times they might not know any better.
Stereotypical gender roles harm men too. They ask men to be always as strong as a rock, generalize men to be highly sexual and aggressive beings. Lose the toxicity, seek love and don’t be afraid of cry.
Stop justifying harassment by past trauma or child sexual abuse, seek help instead.
If one of your friends has been called out as a perpetrator, do not enable their behavior. Question them, hold your bro accountable. Sexual harassers of any gender do not deserve your empathy.
Don’t respect women because they are related to you, respect women because they are a human beings and they deserve it. Respect is a basic right.
Show empathy to survivors, believe them. It takes courage to stand up and talk about harassment. Do not shove the fake-allegations-propaganda on every survivor story. Stop shutting down womxn by saying, ‘Don’t ruin their careers’ which basically means you value men’s careers more than womxn’s lives.
Laying down your male privilege is listening to womxn without arguing, interrogating, dismissing or gaslighting them. Stop shutting down survivor stories by saying men face problems too, men get raped too or my favorite ‘Not All Men’ trope.
Men do face problems, no one denied that. That is a legit issue and deserves a separate conversation. One doesn’t need to belittle or invalidate someone else’s trauma for theirs to be heard.
Stop measuring trauma on a scale.
You cannot quantify a traumatic experience, so please stop telling people this wasn’t a big deal or ‘come on, get over it’. You don’t tell someone ‘he didn’t mean to do that’. When you say that in my mind it translates to, ‘Oh, I am so sorry! I didn’t mean to cost you irreversible trauma that will take you years to get over or even a lifetime to heal from.’ Please don’t do that!
The regressive concept of ‘friendzone’ demeans platonic friendships with womxn. Drop the word out of your dictionary altogether and make more platonic bonds.
Learn to respect a womxn and her boundaries even when there is no possibility of sex, romance or emotional labor.
Listen to survivor stories, #metoo testimonies and first-hand experiences. They are more important than any knowledge that you acquired on these subjects. Create a safe space for more open conversations like these.
Jokes that dehumanize us, objectify us and normalize our oppression are not funny. They only serve the perpetrators by intensifying rape culture and legitimizing sexual violence towards women using humor as a shield.
It is her battle, do not forget that. Do not speak for her, support her enough so she can speak for herself. Empower the womxn in your own houses and friend circles. Don’t hijack her movement.
Dear men, your allyship to the Feminist movement is not easy. It will require your constant and conscious effort to question oneself and those around you.
First published here.
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Ghazal Khanna is a confessional poet, writer, and educator. She started writing at the tender
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