#MeToo is not a campaign for women alone: This is how men can participate to help
- It is important to listen to a woman and participate in the experiences she shares, without judging her.
- Motivate the people around you to respect a woman for what she is.
- Stop sexist jokes and ensure that women feel comfortable sharing experiences with you.
It does not require much to support a woman in her endeavours to voice her concerns, in her efforts to narrate her ordeal to the world without shame or fearing judgement. The recent #MeToo campaign that has taken the Internet by storm has raised many a questions, such as: Are women the only victims? Why are the women's issues being raised alone? Men are being generalised and more.
While some men raise the above questions, there are others who are flabbergast by the nuber of women who have come out in the open and narrated their stories. Some say that they were not aware of the magnanimity of the situation and the campaign has indeed changed their approach to women's rights. While many men have joined the campaign, there are others who are thinking of ways to support women differently in their daily lives. So, here is our advise to them:
Listen to believe
What women are scared of mostly is of not being believed. Ensure that you lend a patient ear and understand that nothing is important in this world. Most often than not, men end up saying things like "you were being slutty" or "you are not attractive enough for being harassed", etc. This not only demoralises a woman, but also forces her to question herself. Remember, you are not helping her in anyway if you pass these comments.
Stop sexist jokes
If your friend is cracking a nasty joke about women or is making sexist remark, stop him right there. There cannot be any excuse of insulting a woman. Make it clear that jokes on rape amd women's bodies is not fine and do not let your friends judge a woman.
Do not hijack a conversation
If a woman is talking to you about her own experience, do not break the conversation and narrate your own plight as a man. True, there have been cases where men too have been harassed and raped by other men. Understand that male abuse is an equally important conversation and calls for a separate discussion. Women's plight require a unique platform for themselves. So, please respect that.
Listen to what they say
Ensure that you do not jusge a woman when she speaks of an ordeal or a mishap. All she wants you to do is listen and not pass any comment or judgement as to whether she was right or wrong. You have to understand that sharing her experience with you will help her release a burden.
Respect women for what they are
It is easy to judge a woman by her appearance, her clothes or the way she conducts herself. However, it is very difficult to let that very woman know that she is beautiful in her own way and that she is respected. Do not tell women what to say or wear. Acknowledge their intelligence and help them believe in their true self.