Guide to supporting women on International Women’s Day, even if you aren’t one

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Amanda Ramirez/File

We’re not all women, but we can all certainly support women this International Women’s Day (and every single day, really) in several ways. So, we at the Clog have compiled an all-inclusive, comprehensive guide to supporting women far and wide. Here’s how.

Rethink your vocabulary

Whether you’re in the workplace, talking with friends or speaking with a loved one, word choice makes a huge difference in how you portray yourself and how you make women feel. Men are expected to fulfill a stereotype of strength and aggression, while women are expected to be deferential and fragile. Language that men and women use is often subtly biased and can condition behavior to conform to gender stereotypes.

So, this International Women’s Day, consider throwing these words out of your vocabulary:

  1. Bossy: typically directed at women who don’t comply to social expectations of feminity and may threaten male dominance.
  2. Dog, slob, disgusting animal, beautiful pieces of ass: or basically any word used by our president to describe women. 
  3. Whore, slut, skank, cunt, dyke, twat, bitch: abusive language against women can suggest “unladylike” sexual behavior and can compare women to subhuman animals. These are quite unlike common insults for men, which allude to weakness and femininity: pussy, cunt, sissy, wimp, poofter, motherfucker, cocksucker.
  4. Emotional: often directed at women who raise their voices to be honest about how they feel. Everyone has emotions, so this word should be gender-neutral so as to not indicate weakness.
  5. High-maintenance and needy: everyone has needs, people. 

Get educated!

Start reading articles about feminism, watching films with female leads, listening to music by female artists and going to exhibits by female artists about femininity and womanhood.

Become an ally and activist

  1. Join Men Advocating Real Change, or MARC.
  2. Donate to nonprofits working for gender equity and sustainable development goals.
  3. Be vocal about your support. Don’t take the back seat in the conversation and show women how and why they can trust you in their path to equality.
  4. Support trans women and trans girls. Consider signing this petition.

Take responsibility

Think about your own actions, recognize inherent male privileges and consider what you can do to rectify inequality and unconscious bias on an everyday level.

Call your mom, if applicable

Whether it’s been a day, a week or months since you last spoke, mothers and maternal figures are important in everyone’s lives.

Avoid enforcing gender binary standards

We’re all human, and gender identity shouldn’t affect how we’re spoken to, treated or expected to behave. Consider ways that you conform to societal standards of masculinity, such as dominance, strength and lack of vulnerability, and trade them for honesty about emotions and truth about who you are as a person rather than a gender.

Don’t forget to support women near and far all day, every day. Happy International Women’s Day, Bears!

Gioia von Staden is the lead student life reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @GioiaVon.