Today is International Women’s Day, and while we all share posts and like statuses, I feel like I should take part in talking to some fellow guys who may not understand why today is so important.
- First off, I’m a cis white man, if you are reading this for educational purposes I would highly encourage you to go read articles and visit the social media of female leaders, celebrities, and activists to get a true idea of what today is all about. But I would especially encourage you to reach out to women you know on social media as well. (I’ll explain why below.) If you can’t think of anyone, here are some amazing women who you should talk to or hear stories from; Natalie Cuevas, Christine Horvath, Amber Falter, Bianca Moore, Allexus Scott, Erin Bryden, Jessica Hindman, Hallie Gebel, Athena Howe, Angie Healey, Becky Brown, Walta Yoseph, Brooke Cartus, Sommer Sterud, Betty Leroux, Daidria Eckles, Stephenie Ewen, Tona Pearson, Dede Parker, Kaitlin McFee and Candice Connor, Kayla Merchant, Honey Merlot, Nickey Winkleman, Sarah J. Storer, Eva Starnes, A.J. Vanderelli, Emily Slye, Adra Barrel, and Autumn Ollom. Ask any of them what this day means to them and they’ll help broaden your perspective on what it is.
- Today is a day to remind ourselves, guys, that the women in our lives may seem okay on a day-to-day basis but are actually fighting an uphill battle. You may think I’m talking about the wage gap, but I’m also talking about the simple, easy things that we do every day can often be challenging for women. My friends get cat-called on the street, cornered by creepy guys, ignored or dismissed behind their backs, but often it’s to their faces. So remember that lifting women up today is good, but unfair treatment is a struggle for all women year-round, and that’s why you need to start today and every day after.
- If your thoughts are, Is it really that bad? or I know my friends are okay. Stop. Stop. Stop. You can’t make either assumption because you don’t know what it’s like. And discounting the tales and stories of women who have been mistreated and thinking, Well that doesn’t happen everywhere. Isn’t the right way to respond because it shouldn’t happen at all. Dismissing these very real issues and stories is the same as dismissing all the women in your life. It may not be easy to accept, but our gender is typically complacent and too passive to really see this clearly on our own. Don’t think that not thinking about this is any solution. Once you accept that there’s a problem then you can make steps to fix it.
- If you want to help, if you want to see change, start small. Educate yourself by not only reading but by talking, it’s the easiest way to start understanding a women’s perspective in the world. And they’re are many different perspectives so talk to as many women as you can, not just your girlfriend, sister, or mom. As you learn more then start speaking up, but speak up with them, not for them. Remember that this is their struggle and the greatest support you can give isn’t speaking, it’s listening. If you’re worried or anxious still about how little voice you have on this issue, then you’re starting to understand a little of what it feels like for women every day.
- Talking and listening to more women will get you to appreciate them in your life more. I have many female friends, and therefore I get asked if I sleep with all of them. No. It’s possible to be just friends with women guys, and if you’re thinking, She’s too hot not to sleep with. Stop. Stop. Stop. Unless you’re 16 or under, you should be mature enough to appreciate women beyond their looks. If you think that’s BS then you have no idea just how amazing the women in your life are, and I feel bad for you.
- Immersing yourself in the world of women includes making donations, going to protests, and attending art shows. But it also involves a message, a text, a call. If you’re thinking about a friend in your life, tell her you love her and why. She wants to hear it, not because she’s a woman, but because she’s a person. I’m sure someone has made the effort to you to let you know why you’re important, do the same for her, for others.
Most of these were just tips to get you to relax and start opening up to a group of kickass ladies who just want our support. If you feel embarrassed or defensive, know that I’m not attacking you or trying to start a fight, I’m just trying to tell you the truth that so many incredible women have told me. Let’s give support to them not just today, but every day, and remember that things can change if we actually make the effort to start that change in our own lives. I hope my fellow man reading this will reconsider what he’s doing and make that change, and I hope to any woman reading this will feel that change in her life soon enough. And if you are 100% against everything I just said, then get the fuck out of my website. Love, Brian.