In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal that’s rocked Hollywood and unearthed numerous allegations of sexual assault and harrassment, men and women alike are rightly worried about the forces that allowed an alleged serial rapist to go undetected for decades. Helen Rosner of Caftan Magazine has compiled a list of 20 things men can do to support women “beyond just literally ceasing to sexually harass us.”
While I commend Rosner’s intentions behind the list — certainly we can all agree that men should act like gentlemen and be kind to women — some of the items are head-scratchers. She calls on men to “talk less in all spaces at all times,” try sewing, talk about periods, be “pro-choice,” and to advocate for forcing all taxpayers to pay for some women’s birth control.
Shushing men and forcing everyone — including nuns — to pay for birth control doesn’t empower women or help relations between men and women. As my colleague Inez Feltcher said the other day, degrading masculinity and mocking those who recognize inherent differences between the sexes have fostered a society where men and women don’t trust one another, emboldening men to assault women. Instead of telling men to act like women, we should be telling them to act like men and accept the responsibilities and expectations that have historically come with that privilege.
The women of The Federalist have compiled our own list of ways men can actually support women.
- Encourage women to be gun-owners and learn how to defend themselves.
- Be pro-life.
- Help single moms, especially if she’s the mother of your child.
- Be there for your kids.
- Support your wife or girlfriend in her professional and creative endeavors.
- Learn how to maintain platonic friendships with women by maintaining healthy boundaries.
- If you see a woman struggling to carry a heavy object, offer to help her.
- Don’t infantilize us by entertaining stupid ideas just because they come from a female.
- Value and show your appreciation for a woman’s complementary feminine contributions, whether those manifest as a different way of looking at a project or in making a smoother and warmer home life for your family.
- Love your daughter’s mother to teach her how men should value her.
- Lift the worries from your wife by ensuring that you are prepared to shoulder the burden of protecting the family during tough times.
- Grill up a slab-o-meat and serve it to your wife or girlfriend with a glass of wine every so often.
Take the Weinsteins of the world to the woodshed and teach them a thing or two about manhood.
- Kill spiders.
- Marry them.
- Be manly. Women have femininity covered, but masculinity, not so much.
- Lead your family’s religous observance instead of leaving that to your wife.
- Rescue her when she obviously needs it.
- Affirm her expressions of femininity, especially her unique capacity to create and sustain human life.
- Notice what you do that annoys or burdens her and work on improving your habits accordingly out of love.
- Apologize when you are wrong, as swiftly as you can manage.
- Refuse to look at porn. Have sex with your wife instead.
- Tell her she’s beautiful when she is, and don’t lie to her about it when she’s a mess.
Thanks to my husband and father for giving me these ideas by living them.
- Be able to assemble furniture from IKEA.
- Better yet, know how to make things.