I’m not an expert in many things, but I’ve spent more than 41 years being female.
I tend to think about nearly every issue or event in terms of being a woman, but I’ve compiled five tips below that are easy, simple actions you can do (or not do) every day to make the world a little easier for a woman in your life. Human rights are not like pie; there’s not a finite amount of them. We move forward and become a better society as a whole when everyone is treated fairly.
- When disagreeing with a woman, don’t (a) interrupt her or (b) immediately call her a name that denigrates an entire gender (i.e., bitch, c*nt, etc.) or (c) dismiss her as mentally imbalanced. I assure you, multiple people disagree with me every day, including my husband, children, relatives, neighbors and other people in the world. On the whole, they disagree with what I’m saying, not me personally.
- Refrain from catcalling or wolf-whistling. Despite your intent, it’s not complimentary and reduces us to sexual beings. I read online that a good rule of thumb is never shout at a woman what you wouldn’t want a man shouting at you in prison. (Among other times, I’ve been catcalled at a train station, during the day, in 30-degree weather, wearing three layers of clothes.)
- Don’t tell a woman what she wants, or what she’s thinking, unless you’re repeating what she just told you to make sure you’re on the same page. You’re not a mind reader.
- When a woman tells you to stop touching her or you’re in her space, please step back. Women’s bodies are not inclusive. And again, see number 3.
- Don’t tell women to smile, unless you’re a photographer and you’re suggesting she say cheese.