Males Against Sexism - How to Work Against Sexism

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Posted on: 30 July 2016 by Cecilia Jennings

There are a number of ways that we as men can work against our sexism. Among them are:

1. WORK AT COUNTERING DIVISION OF LABOUR ALONG SEX LINES

We can take responsibility for household chores (cooking, cleaning e.g. the toilet etc) learn tasks traditionally done by women (sewing, changing diapers);

  • encourage women to do some of the repair work around the house, from plumbing to electrics;

  • discover that a sexual division of labour is artificially imposed in our patriarchal society;

  • not put down a woman who is capable and assertive;

  • take responsibility for child rearing, perhaps on a full time basis;

  • and take responsibility for contraception.

2. RAISE OUR AWARENESS OF WOMEN'S OPPRESSION.

We can join a consciousness raising group; make an effort to be more in touch with our own and other people's feelings;

  • try, in our personal relationships, to be less intellectual and more emotional (how difficult we find it to cry);

  • question the masculine stereotype;

  • discuss mateship, aggressiveness, predatoriness, and sex-objectification;

  • examine the media bias, i.e., white, middle class, heterosexual and male;

  • watch out for male bias in language;

  • question whether a heterosexual lifestyle is the only valid one;

  • examine alternatives to the nuclear family; read and discuss feminist texts;

  • identify the privileges which we gain because we are males;

  • realise that countering sexism means renouncing our male privileges;

  • realise that our conditioning is an effect of the sexual divisions of power in our society, and that male bonding is one of the ways that the power structure is maintained.

3. TRY TO BE NON-OPPRESSIVE IN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS.

We can learn how to not relate to women in oppressive ways; guard against the tendency to interrupt women when they talk, or to dominate conversations (e.g. at meetings, in seminars);

  • try not to take the easy option of intellectualising, or denying all but "rational" argument;

  • listen more and not be so quick to give "advice";

  • not always take the initiative, since this can perpetuate a woman's feeling of inadequacy;

  • watch out for those subtle ways that we undermine a woman's self esteem;

  • work on nurturing relationships with children, instead of just physical play;

  • keep from being defensive when criticised by a woman, thereby stifling constructive criticism, and keep from withdrawing and sulking;

  • reject the male stereotyped role;

  • eliminate the distinction between how we relate to women and how we relate to men;

  • make the personal political.

4. MAKE PUBLIC OUR FIGHT AGAINST SEXISM

We can try to raise other men's consciousness; confront sexist men; not support a male friend in a situation where he is oppressing a woman (beware the tendency towards male bonding);

  • actively support the women's movement and the gay movement, our silence is tacit support for the status quo;

  • for example we can speak publicly on so-called women's issues such as contraception, abortion and rape;

  • make a political stand on sexist advertising and pornography; not only is the personal political, but also it requires political solutions. Even though we as males are automatically members of an oppressing group, this is no cause for inaction;

  • we can work for the women's movement, such as doing childcare at feminist events or typing for their publications, but without trying to take control of the women's movement or diverting their energies.

Author bio: Cecilia Jennings is a health-science expert, pet lover, and blogger from Florida who enjoys reading, traveling, and writing about Life Improvement. She has a passion for writing insightful articles such asĀ Should I Date Him or Stay Friends.

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