How To Be Amazing At... Men Supporting Women
Updated: May 10
When I was a young woman, I was walking back to work after lunch. A man I did not know came down from the porch of a house and asked me into his house. I said no, but whenever I tried to get around him, he blocked my path. When I went right, he went right, when I went left, he went left. He also reached for my arm. Then another man came out of the same house and said, “leave her alone, man” and with that distraction, I was able to run away. I am still so appreciative of that second man. I was no help to my employer for the rest of the day, nor did I ever walk down that street again.
With everything that is currently going on in the world, i decided to write a blog about something that I believe is more relevant than ever.This blog is about how men can help women.
My story listed above is not unique. Any woman reading this blog has had something similar occur, something less, or something more.
Here are ways men can help women:
1. Talk with women.
Have a dialogue with women in your life to build understanding of how they feel. Help them understand how you feel. An open conversation allows for a deeper understanding.
2. Keep your distance.
When walking at night behind a girl or woman, the closer you are, the more threatening you seem. Make sure there is a good amount of distance between yourself and her.
3. Never run up from behind.
This is scary for anyone, but for women, it can be terrifying. The best bet is to cross the street away from the woman. Or, if you pass a woman, say ‘thanks’ or ‘just running today’, or something neutral.
4. Don’t stare.
Being stared at is intimidating and scary. Take your phone out and call someone or pretend to call someone or focus on something else.
5. Keep comments to yourself.
You might think making a comment is a compliment, but it isn’t. 6. Keep your friends in line.
Don’t stay silent if your friends are harassing women. Call out sexist or creepy behaviour. In our society where drinking is frequently involved, keep an eye on women friends who have had a lot to drink to ensure they are safe and protected.
7. Help your female friends/colleagues at work or at a social gathering.
Offer to walk them home or to their cars or their bus stop and wait with them if they are scared. Find out if there is someone waiting for them at the other end of their journey, and if not, who will they text when they get home.
8. Don’t make sexist comments and jokes.
Don’t make sexist comments or jokes where even one person’s feelings could be hurt. No one knows what others have lived through and something that means nothing to one person might actually be a trigger to another.
8. Don’t be mean.
Recognize that this is women’s reality because it is. Your wife, sister, mom, daughter, and female colleague have experienced something that has scared them. Think of women you care about and how you’d feel if something cruel and harassing were said or done to them. Be part of the solution.
9. Be aware of surroundings.
Is there a woman walking alone and a man following her or a man talking to a woman who looks distressed or uncomfortable? Ordinary people taking the smallest action can help.
10. Raise boys well.
Help all our children to be kind, helpful and empathetic.
Thank you to all the men out there, and that is most of you, who help every single day.
Suggested Career Resilience with Jann Danyluk podcasts:
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Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.