About 'Alpha+Good'

Alpha+Good (sort of a bad wordplay on Orwell and machismo) is a side project that belongs to 'Onklare taal' ('Unclear language'), the umbrella of several of my literary projects in Dutch. This section is almost exclusively in English and comprises my ongoing thoughts on progress, gender, politics and various other social themes. Are you a little lost? This link will take you right back to my home page.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Minimal effort #2: Progress is as progress does

A few recent discussions on feminist theory reminded me of the Buddha, who supposedly taught his followers that you couldn't hope to achieve Enlightenment without a combination of theory and practice. This is true for any movement that wants to achieve change. Practice without a solid grounding in theory often backfires or makes things worse - theory without practice is arid.

Hence, for male allies of feminism, here's a number of tiny things you can do that make the world just a little bit nicer:
 
  • Let women speak and don't talk over them. Men are often socialised to assume control over a conversation.
  • Ask for women's opinions. Women have often been socialised not to speak up.
  • Don't discredit stories from women about sexual harrassment by victim-blaming or resorting to revenge fantasies.
  • Don't bodyshame. Most people, and especially women, are all too aware of their bodies and their supposed shortcomings.
  • Don't 'mansplain', i.e. assume that you are the expert about the topic at hand.

All of these are a few concrete pointers that could set you well on your way to become a better ally, and generally, a more considerate person.