However, among the plethora of headlines, interviews and social media debates something has felt ever-present when reading between the lines. A truth about men that needs to be said every day to every man until we eradicate this kind of behaviour. We, as a gender, NEED to be better…
We can’t carry on like this. We just can’t.
Our future requires every single person to have an equal voice, equal rights and equal opportunities. We need every mind on the great scientific problems facing us, we need every body fighting for better healthcare and every vote building a better life for the generations that will follow us. Yet, we choose to attack and oppress over half the global population because we don’t want to be seen as “weak “or “powerless”.
We don’t want to admit that we’ve manipulated the system to retain our strength by yanking it out of others’ hands. We don’t want to level the playing field because “men take, they don’t give”. We can’t stomach the idea of an equal society because that means coming to terms with the fact that we have been on the wrong side of history for a very, VERY long time. It is our self-centered pride and ego that stops us from accepting our wrongdoing and it is dooming all our futures.
We cannot sit idly by and say “oh, that’s just the way he is” or “he’s a bit old-fashioned like that” because we are simply encouraging those people, and the men they influence, to believe that this kind of behaviour is allowed.
We need to be better.
Men everywhere need to start calling out sexism among our friends, colleagues and peers. We need to stand beside women and fight with them for their rights and their voices. We need to show our children and grandchildren that there was a point at which we stepped away from “the way people have always behaved” and started fighting for a fairer future. We need to promote behaviour in men that means our daughters can go on a date or out at night without the fear of being molested or killed by the man they are going to meet.
- When a female friend or colleague expresses an opinion or idea, listen and be attentive. Respect her time to talk and then engage in discussion
- Don’t interrupt. 1) It’s bad manners and 2) it shows how little you respect the woman you’re talking to
- Respect her choices – on a date, at home or in the office. If a decision has been made, don’t try and shout her down if you disagree with it or don’t like it
- Don’t assume every interaction between you and a woman is rooted in sexual attraction or sexual behaviour. Respect women as your social equals and know their boundaries
- Give credit where it’s due – if you, as a man, are given credit for an idea that originates from a female friend or colleague, make sure those who are giving credit are aware it was their idea
We can also join movements like #HeForShe and become part of the growing community of men fighting for feminism and equality across the globe.
Ultimately, it boils down to putting everyone on the same level field and not trying to gain an advantage simply through gender difference. It means being conscious of what we’re doing wrong and making an effort to change that in the longer term.
It means making society fair for everyone.