The nervous giggle.
The awkward non-hug.
These are just a few indicators that our male counterparts have no idea how to maneuver through all the sexual misconduct cases emerging. This is a really important point in time. Women AND Men need to keep being brave and keep speaking the truth. However, we are starting to see good men get caught in the crosshairs for bad choices or uneducated decisions in regards to interactions with members of the opposite sex.
I want the bad guys brought to justice. I want the good guys given grace. It’s been a hot topic among with my husband, guy friends, and male colleagues. They feel like they are walking on eggshells. In the meantime here are 6 tips for men in these perilous times. These are just a few gentle reminders and suggestions on how to behave, maintain your dignity and confidence, and lead a peaceful life co-existing with the majority of women.
- Err on the side of a gentleman: I know you’ve been given the evil eye for opening doors and offering seats. I am going to go out a limb for you here and take the beating on your behalf from the small percentage of women who truly decide to be offended by this behavior. Don’t force it on us. Offer these kind acts humbly. Be chivalrous, not condescending.
- Respect our space: I don’t know any woman who is comfortable with Close Talkers. It is often taken as a sign of aggression when men invade our personal space whether seated or standing. Take one more step back and make sure you aren’t blocking doors. Keep those social embraces short and loose.
- Be a champion: Many reports indicate that other men were well aware of these high powered men and their sexual misconduct. Someone should have stood up for these women. Someone should have said something in every circumstance. But being a champion for women goes far past sexual misconduct. We need men to champion for us in the home, in the workplace, and in policymaking. Our combined voices will be heard.
- A polite no is not a CODE WORD YES: Men are taught to be persistent and not give up. Women are taught to be polite and avoid confrontation. Retrain your brain to stop, drop, and roll in the other direction if you hear a woman in the nicest way possible indicating there is not a snowball’s chance in hell of something happening.
- You do know it’s almost 2018 right? : Women need men to get over this archaic mindset that they should never be surpassed by a woman. We get that there are men who are smarter, faster, and stronger than us. But that road goes both ways. Get over it. There are enough things in this world to tear you down. Women aren’t one of them. We aren’t trying to take over your world. Just equally join it.
- Talk to us civilly: As a woman, we are all horrified for the victims in these cases but especially in the ones that haven’t come to light yet or are still occurring. The very powerful hashtag of #metoo should have some evidence of the hundreds of thousands of women who have been sexually harassed and abused. If you are not sure how to behave or interact with us do us all a favor and don’t guess. Have the respect and dignity to ask how you can improve or if you even need to change anything at all.
I am hoping the many many good guys in our country will step up and continue doing the right thing in our homes, workplaces, churches, and communities. I pray they are intentionally teaching them to the younger generations but moreover they are modeling them. Give a shout out to the men in your life who walk with confidence, dignity, and respect!
Photo by Zach Savinar