A few thoughts from me on International Women’s Day……
1. I’m pleased to see fewer men on my timeline this year demanding to know when International Men’s Day is. I hope that this means that people are learning that momentarily drawing attention to one faction of society in particular, does not take anything away from everyone else. (FYI it’s 19th Nov).
2. As you know, women will often receive less pay than their male counterparts to perform the same role. Women of colour will often receive even less.
3. Male privilege is real. So too is white privilege (see above). When we are born into privilege we should use our voices to help raise others up. If you are not sure how; ask those people around you.
4. When you think that something is not a problem because it is not a problem to you….THAT IS PRIVILEGE.
5. Supporting women does not take anything away from men. There is not a finite amount of decency, kindness and respect available in the world.
6. These women are your grandmothers, mothers, stepmothers, aunts, sisters, half and step sisters, daughters, nieces, girlfriends, wives, friends and colleagues. Some men, some women and society as a whole will at times disrespect and treat the women in YOUR life inappropriately or unfairly. Ask the women in your life about their experiences. Ask them. Listen. Then ask what you could do to help them.
7. An incredibly high number of the women in your life will have experienced sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, inappropriate touching and/or being made to feel like their personal space is threatened. Do not allow women to be blamed for men assaulting women like this.
8. Be the type of man who stops other men from talking about women in a derogatory manner. Help stop men from speaking and acting like predators. This is an AMAZING thing you can do with your privilege.
9. Don’t comment on women’s bodies. Whether you are male or female it is not OK to talk about the way someone looks. You are not here on this planet to shame people. Another person’s body should never be a topic of your conversation. It is not OK to slag-off someone’s size, shape or any other aspect of their appearance as if it makes them less of a person.
10. Women are more than their looks.
11. Catcalling and telling women to ‘smile’ are passive aggressive and sexualised attempts to engage women in unwanted conversation. If they weren’t men would do this to other men too. They don’t. DO NOT BE THIS GUY.
12. Becoming a mother does not make women a less valuable member of society; this does not justify paying her less. A woman without children is not less of a woman. Women do not need to justify their choices around procreation.
13. Everyone owns their own body. Women are in charge of their own vaginas and wombs. Whether they want to grow a child in their body or not is entirely their choice.
14. Tampons and sanitary items are NOT luxuries. End tampon tax.
15. Belittling women in an attempt to invalidate their opinions and experiences is a sign of weakness. Women’s opinions and experiences shouldn’t be used against them to try and make you feel powerful.
16. Women; CHECK YOURSELVES. If you don’t treat other women with kindness and respect, you are setting the example for how we can allow others to treat us. Be kind, be supportive. Raise each other up. Don’t do things to fuck over other women.
17. You could change many of these statements to make them relevant to men in society. If that is what you have been thinking as you are reading this then I’m sorry to say you are ENTIRELY missing the message here. (See next point).
18. Equality empowers EVERYONE.