Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Being a male feminist, what to do?

Ok, if you're male, like me, and you've discovered that you're a feminist (or that you want real equality for women, if the term which means exactly that makes you feel uncomfortable), what can you do?  Going online and learning what women have to put up is a good start, but how can you make changes?  Here's my 2 cents, or dudesplanation:

Vote and actively campaign for women candidates. Do your homework, I'm not saying vote blindly. Having women in positions of political power is important and you can use your vote and voice to help make that happen.

Don't use any gendered terms when describing a woman or the actions of the women, especially if you disagree. This is obvious, but leave gender out of it (funny how there are a bunch of derogatory female terms, but very, very few male ones). Call other men out when they do it.

Examine your motives for being critical of a woman. Would I react this way if a man did the same? Do I react when a man does this? Why do I need to be critical in this situation?

Before assuming that a women doesn't know something and launching into an elementary explanation, assume the woman already knows what you know. If she wants to know, she'll ask. Women are as smart as men, so assume the woman you're talking to is as smart or smarter than you, if ranking intelligence is your thing.

If you have power over a woman (boss, rank, professionl respect, etc.), don't abuse that power. Power can make people in both positions do things they wouldn't if the power was balanced. Be professional, be boring, just do your job. Use your power for gender equality. Give women the same promotions, raises, bonuses, recognition, recommendations, support that you give men.

Give money to organizations that help women. NARAL, RAINN, Planned Parenthood, YWCA and many others address the needs of women. There are many more that do good work. Buying a pink cap of your favorite sports team is a start, but it's not anywhere close to being philanthropic. Do some homework, give your money to an organization that does the most good.

Don't be apathetic when you see something that is wrong. Speak up. Give your voice as a counter to misogyny.

To conclude, do something to help end gender inequality!

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