While at band rehearsal the other day, one of my bandmates was in tears. She said – “I couldn’t be in this band if it weren’t all female. This is the place where I feel like I get to have a break, and we get to make music and be ourselves. This is really important to me. This is me taking a stand for who I am.” Oh, I wanted to hug her. (Soon! This pandemic will be over soon).
The more I play in the Lofi Sofias, the more important it is for me as well, to have a place to be with women (or people who identify as female). I have never felt so free to be kind, caring, unguarded, and creative. Also, I feel free to tell dirty jokes, talk about sex, laugh, and sometimes cry, too. I have been in many bands in my lifetime, and this one is magical. And it certainly has helped me get through the pandemic.
This article, which I found in my inbox this morning through Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology, feels divinely-timed. And after this year, with the pandemic and election (and what I have been going through personally), these points feel more important than ever.
35 PRACTICAL STEPS MEN CAN TAKE TO SUPPORT FEMINISM
by Pamela Clark
1. Do 50% (or more) of housework.
2. Do 50% (or more) of emotional support work in your intimate relationships and friendships.
3. Consume cultural products produced by women.
4. Give women space.
5. … but insert yourself into spaces where you can use your maleness to interrupt sexism.
6. When a woman tells you something is sexist, believe her.
7. Educate yourself about sexual consent and make sure there is clear, unambiguous communication of consent in all your sexual relationships.
8. Be responsible for contraception.
10. Have progressive name politics.
11. If you have children, be an equal parent.
12. Pay attention to and challenge informal instances of gender role enforcement.
13. Be mindful of implicit and explicit gendered power differentials in your intimate/domestic relationships with women…whether a partner or family members or roommates.
14. Make sure that honesty and respect guide your romantic and sexual relationships with women.
15. Don’t be an online bystander in the face of sexism.
16. Be responsible with money in domestic/romantic relationships.
17. Be responsible for your own health.
18. Don’t ogle or make comments about women. (i.e., Keep your tongue in your mouth and comments to yourself.)
19. Pay attention to the sex of experts and key figures presenting information to you in the media.
20. Ensure that some of your heroes and role models are women.
21. Praise the virtues and accomplishments of women in your life to others.
22. Have integrity with your male friends. (i.e., Don’t be a “bro.”)
23. Don’t treat your spouse like a “nag.” If she is “nagging,” you are probably lagging.
24. Know that acknowledging your own sexist opinions and stereotypes you hold is not enough. Do something about them.
25. Befriend women.
26. Find female mentors/leaders. (i.e., Be subordinate to women.)
27. When in a romantic relationship, be responsible for events and special dates associated with your side of the family.
28. Don’t police women’s appearance.
29. Offer to accompany female friends if they have to walk home alone at night…or in a public space where they may be likely to feel unsafe.
30. Inject feminism into your daily conversations with other men.
31. If you have a tendency to behave inappropriately toward women when you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, do not consume drugs or alcohol.
32. Be aware of the physical and emotional space you occupy, and don’t take up more space than you need.
33. Walk the walk about income inequality.
34. Get in the habit of treating your maleness as an unearned privilege that you have to actively work to cede rather than femaleness being an unearned disadvantage that women have to work to overcome.
35. Self-identify as a feminist.
Thanks to Rob Brezsny for sharing this article. To see what he is up to – check out Free Will Astrology.
Here’s Pamela Clark’s original article on the 35 Steps. She elaborates on all of these steps. Rob left a step out, and I left it out, too.
Oh, and Pamela’s follow up to the original article.
March 16, 2021