What male allies should *really* be doing
Panelists included Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, Google’s SVP of Search Alan Eustace, GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving, and Intuit CTO Tayloe Stansbury. The advice was stale and trite and included things like “speak up,” “lean in,” and “get excited about your ideas like men do.”
By far the best part was the audience response – I wish I’d been there just for that part.
There was a Bingo game on the phrases that were anticipated:
What male allies should really be doing, step 1
Here’s the thing. If you haven’t seen this video of gamer Anita Sarkeesian speaking at the Feminist Frequency conference (hat tip Josh Vekhter), go take a look. It’s a fantastic and articulate diatribe against sexism and misogyny, and it ends with a super reasonable request of the men in the audience and in the world:
Trust women who say they experience sexism.
What’s amazing to me is how hard this is to hear for men in my life. When I repeated this to a couple of them, they actually said that I didn’t experience the stuff that I had. It was kind of nuts, and I had to point out to them that they were failing on the most basic level.
Yes, it requires empathy, and observation, and yes it sucks, because once you start seeing it you will be disappointed in the world. Tough shit, it’s reality.
What male allies should really be doing, step 2
Once men start trusting the women they love and admire and work with, then the next thing they can do is start acting on that knowledge.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been the target of sexism in front of other men and somehow it’s my job to confront it and deal with it. Men, step the fuck up and, when you see sexism happening, once you can manage that, defend the target and put a stop to it. Speak up and defend your friend, or your wife, or your daughter, or your colleague. Thanks.