Women’s Month is a celebration for the women in our lives, our mothers, our sisters, our significant others, and even our friends. It’s a perfect time to celebrate the wins of women everywhere, raising awareness against even our own biases, and helping them as they move forward to true equality and social justice.
No matter the many feats that women have won in current times, it is important to remember how recently these events have taken place. The Equal Pay Act, a law that promotes women and men to be paid equally has only taken place 50 years ago in the USA. Many elder women were born into a harsher side of society, where they were viewed as second-class citizens and treated very poorly. It is an important reminder that we still have a long way to go.
As a man, you might be thinking, “What is it for me?” Women’s Month celebrates the feat of gender equality. It has already been stated numerous times, that fighting for gender equality does not only improve the lives of women but of men as well. According to United Nations Population Fund, “More equitable relationships will need to be based on a redefinition of the rights and responsibilities of women and men in all spheres of life, including the family, the workplace, and the society at large. It is therefore crucial not to overlook gender as an aspect of men’s social identity,” something often overlooked by all genders.
In this article, celebrating Women’s Month alongside women in our lives can also benefit us. The things that we could do for women will help us take a look at ourselves, and how we can also improve as men.
Be More Open With Your Feelings
Society often deems women as the emotional gender. They cry a lot, get sad quickly, and many more. However, this Women’s Month, let us give men the chance to reach deep within themselves and allow themselves to cry.
Men should no longer be expected to be “tough” all the time, and women should appreciate men who are more honest with their feelings. As you give women more opportunities to better understand you, women will appreciate your courage and strength in exhibiting vulnerability with them.
This is part of the reason, why female friendships are more centered around emotional intimacy and connection, while male friendships are often transactional. Of course, this is just a study and does not apply to everyone. But in order to have better relationships, regardless of gender, we must not be afraid to connect to one another in a more open and honest manner.
Embrace Your Femininity
Women from an early age were mocked for having certain interests, liking dolls, liking the color pink, or even liking certain musicians. Men also get mocked for their interests; however, most of the insults that men receive are for being “like a girl.”
This Woman’s Month, embrace your own femininity. Be proud of liking the color pink or listening to boy bands. You know in your heart that it does not make you any less of a man. However, being proud of certain feminine interests or showing typically feminine behaviors, can help destroy the stigma surrounding it.
After all, society does not mock women for liking things that are traditionally masculine. We should also stop mocking things that are deemed feminine. Showing no shame in liking things often deemed girly helps destroy the stigma that “girly” is an insult.
Ask Her What She Wants, Do Not Assume
Men may have fallen victim to women who expect them to read their minds. Society has wrongfully taught us that men should be the ones to provide for women’s needs. However, this taught behavior contradicts the very thing that gender equality is fighting for. While it is true that men still benefit from the privilege of a traditional society, they should not take action on behalf of women unless asked to.
Vice President of Strategic Growth and Engagement at Promundo, Tolu Lawrence, has shared her frustration when a coworker denied her a project, thinking it is what she would want. She mentions in Forbes, “A few years ago, after returning to work following my parental leave, I was ready to throw myself back into work, to pick back up where I left off. I was ready to prove I was up to the task, when a colleague told me, albeit with good intentions, that he’d decided not to throw a big project my way because he didn’t want to overburden me. He was proud of his efforts, and needless to say, I was frustrated.”
Despite good intentions, men may not know what’s best for women. The best thing to do is ask them what they need, instead of giving them something they never wanted, especially if it takes away the opportunity to improve.
People are all different. Regardless of gender, we may like things that the general population of our gender does not. The best way to show your appreciation to each woman in your life will always depend on who they are. If your mother likes receiving flowers, give her flowers. If your significant other wants to go on a trip, ask her when and where would she like to go. If your female friend wants to play video games, join her.
While it is important for us to be aware of the many struggles women face, we should not view each person solely by their gender. This is most important in personal relationships. We should not expect our mothers to cook our favorite meals, because women are expected to cook. We should let her cook, only because she enjoys cooking.
Whenever we get closer to a woman, let us get to know her for who she is, and not what women “mostly” are like.
Women’s Month is a good place to start being an ally to the women in our lives. Hopefully, this article has helped you think of ways to celebrate.
If you enjoy this article, make sure to follow activeman.com for more entries about wellness, culture, lifestyle, and more!