When I visit feminist online forums and go to women’s empowerment talks, one of the most common questions I see is about how men can be allies to women. I’m glad people are thinking about this because it’s very necessary. Even when they have good intentions, I’m often frustrated with men’s attempts at allyship — as well as the number of men who aren’t making any attempts at all. But I'm also inspired by those who are constantly questioning their words and actions, listening to women, owning their mistakes, and setting a good example for other men.
When gender equality isn’t hurting you in an obvious way (though it really is hurting us all, even if subtly), it can be easy to turn a blind eye to injustice and remain blissfully ignorant. So, it’s really encouraging to see men doing the right thing even when it’s not the easy thing. It’s a reminder that despite the ways patriarchy teaches men to dominate and objectify women, many possess an innate sense of fairness that overrides this socialization.
But since being feminist allies does go against how our culture socializes men, it takes conscious effort. Here are some ways men can step up and support women.