Over the next few days we will be doing a series of articles on what actions can be taken if you are upset and at loss of what to do following the 2016 US Presidential Election. Part 1 of this series is directed at American men.
On Tuesday November 8, the United States proved its misogyny and racism runs deeper than most of us could have ever imagined. The United States chose to elect a man who has admitted to sexual assault, a man who is no friend to women, LGBTQ people, refugees, Jews, Muslims, or other minorities, who has pledged to repeal Roe v. Wade and criminalize women who seek abortion, has a running mate (Mike Pence) who advocates for gay conversion therapy, has frequently made anti-Muslim and Islamophobic comments, released an anti-Semitic campaign ad, and has absolutely no foreign policy or political experience over the most qualified candidate in history, who happens to be a woman. And to be a woman who has to come to terms with that fact is deeply, deeply painful. In the wake of Trump’s pussy-grabbing media moment, writer Liz Meriwether beautifully articulated the experience of bringing men into conversations about everyday misogyny. The Trump campaign did women one favor – it exposed the deeply rooted misogyny that still runs rampant in the country. Suddenly, during a presidential election, conversations that were once relegated to feminist corners of the internet became the conversations dominating mainstream media headlines.
To the men who had any sort of eye-opening moment about the realities of sexism over the last year… Here’s what American women need from you now:
Remember 2016 when you’re voting in local elections. We can’t forget how the Republican party laid the foundation for Trump’s misogyny to thrive. When voting for politicians in the future, pick ones who believe women are people.
Remember 2016 when you witness (or perpetuate) rape culture. Call out men who catcall. Stop asking why women don’t report assault. Stop sending vulgar Tinder messages. Question your male friends when they make a comment that demeans a woman. It isn’t enough not to be a Donald Trump; don’t be a Billy Bush either.
Remember 2016 when raising your sons. This year we learned that using the “boys will be boys” excuse to give kids a pass for bad behavior is unacceptable. Teach your sons to respect women ― not only because they have moms and sisters. Teach your sons that women are their equals, because they are equally human.
Remember 2016 when you’re benefiting from male privilege. Could you imagine if Donald Trump ― crude, slimy, disheveled Donald Trump ― were a woman? Danielle Trump would never have gotten to the White House. Recognize that the gendered double standards Clinton faced mirror the gender dynamics most women are familiar with.
Remember 2016 when conducting yourself at work. Stop talking over women in meetings. Don’t assume other men are more qualified for jobs just because they’ve been conditioned to act like they are.
Remember 2016 when you think sexism is over because we almost elected a woman president. Women have spent the last year cataloguing our own experiences with misogyny and sexism as we watched Clinton face them on a national stage.
Every time Clinton was told to smile. Every time she was called “shrill.” Every time she was called “cold.” Every time she was held responsible for her husband’s actions. Every time Trump rated a woman based on her appearance and subsequent “fuckability”. Every time Trump (and his primary opponents) spoke about women as though we are victims of our own bad judgment, incapable of making choices that are best for our lives and our bodies. Every time a pundit excused Trump’s “locker room behavior” as something women should expect of men. Every time, women around the full shuddered at how painfully familiar these events felt.
If you only take one thing away from the dumpster fire that was the 2016 election, make it this: Listen to women.
Read the full article here.