Following Emma Watson’s #HeForShe campaign, here comes our own list. What might seem like supremely simple things actually is where a LOT of women see severe discrimination. So, give these a shot, maybe?

Credits: respectwomen.co.in
Credits: respectwomen.co.in
  1. Get into the kitchen. Irrespective of whether you are single, married, or living with friends – get into the kitchen and try to fend for yourself. Cook, clean and take charge. It will go a long way in sharing equal responsibility in the household.
  2. If you have kids do all of this – sterilize stuff, change diapers, feed, bathe, cook and clean. I have never heard of a woman “not being the diaper type.” I learned to change one when my sister had a baby, so am quite sure it has nothing related to being a mother!
  3. When you have children/ plan to have children, consider the option of your wife going back to work and you being a stay at-home parent.  Men can also be the primary care giver.
  4. If your wife is the stay-at-home parent, acknowledge that she is running pillar to post to hold the household together. So, come home on time and contribute.
  5. Stop making jokes that stereotype women. Any kind of joke that revolves around women being hormonal, moody, unfunny or strict wives are really not funny. So, here is a little tip – just do NOT make them!
  6. Stop using the word ‘rape’ in contexts apart from referring to rape. Germany did not ‘rape’ Brazil in the FIFA match. Your boss did not ‘rape’ your happiness.
  7. Learn that all swear words are misogynistic – yes, think about each one of them.
  8. Don’t behave like the office is where your life is. Yes, we believe in taking work seriously, but we also believe in taking life seriously. A lot of men working in corporations end up hanging around at smoking lounges & canteens and perpetrate the late night work culture. This in turn affects women, most of whom end up going home to also take care of home. So, the people who genuinely want to head home on time (yes, it is on time to leave at 6 PM!), get snide remarks and a raw deal during appraisals.
  9. It is a woman’s choice what clothes she wants to wear – however revealing they are. So, whoever the woman be, do NOT restrict her from wearing what she wants to wear.
  10. Stop judging a woman that smokes. Drinks. Lives alone. Is voluntarily single. Is divorced. 
  11. Wear a condom. It is your responsibility!
  12. ‘Yes’ only means consent. If the women seems unsure, take it as a no.
  13. If you are in a relationship that involves sex, read up about how women orgasm. Learn about the clitoris. That’s where the magic happens, my friend.
  14. Don’t force your wife to change her last name after marrying you. If she wishes to do so, question her about why she wants to and also be open to changing yours.
  15. If the lone woman in your team is left out in team outings, lunches and team activities, go and speak to her. Plan team outings which can accommodate her (be it the place or the time).
  16. Watch these movies – Thelma & Louise, The Accused, The Hours, Bridesmaids, Astitva (Hindi) and the recent Indian movies – Queen & English Vinglish
  17. Don’t deny reporting to a woman at work. If you report to a woman, look beyond her sex. Am sure she came to this position because of some credentials.
  18. Make female friends, who are just friends.
  19. Use Ms. in place of Miss or Mrs in communication. Yes, Ms. is the equivalent of Mr. and can be used for married and unmarried women.
  20. Stand up for the women around you. If you think your dad’s not sharing household chores, talk to him about it. If your colleague behaves differently with a female colleague, ask him why.
  21. If your parents have unreasonable expectations from your wife, tell them so. If she feels that they are restricting her freedom, intervene and set things right.
  22. Buy your daughter a ball, or a car or a monster truck along with a barbie. And buy your son a doll, a soft toy or a tiara too. And buy ALL colours irrespective of your kid’s sex.
  23. If you are with a group of men that crack sexist jokes, tell them it is sexist and in bad taste. It is not brotherhood, it IS sexism!
  24. Know that Barney Stinson is a supremely sexist character created in recent American television. He is a character, not the reality. Imitating him won’t do anyone any good.
  25. Stop saying ‘not all men’. Yes, we know that not all men rape, we know that not all men assault, and we know that not all men look down upon women. However, all women have been eve-teased, harassed, assaulted or molested at some point in their lives.
  26. Call yourself a feminist.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Although you make plenty of valid points, you tend to be a little hot headed and closed to the real world…

    1) What makes you think men aren’t judged? Your actions make people judge you.. DEAL WITH IT.. Gonna make a decision? whether it’s smoking or drinking or staying single, see it through to the end.. If someone judges you, DEAL WITH IT.. (FYI, men are judged on howmuch work they do, howmuch they make, where they work, and nobody really cares if a guy stays overtime, working instead of sleeping and damaging his eyes. But there are more regulations protecting women from this.. )

    (tbh, I don’t care either.. I like treating people as ADULTS who can think and decide for themselves)

    2) Swear words are mysogenic.. oh brilliant, so calling someone a dick and calling someone else a pussy are both somehow mysogenic..

    (tbh, I don’t care if many words seem mysogenic.. I like treating people as ADULTS who can be more SENSIBLE than SENSITIVE..)

    3) And why the hell would ANYONE wanna call themselves a feminist? While I respect the ORIGINAL feminist movement a few decades ago, it DOES NOT stand for what it used to..

    Definitions aside… You need a reality check, on what feminism ACTUALLY tries to accomplish TODAY..

    a) Accusal of sexism in video games because a guy saved a girl
    b) The Avatar movie by James Cameron gets accused of sexism.. despite having a VERY capable and athletic female character
    c) banning of a “WORD” in the English language (Bossy)..

    Sexual dimorphism.. Men are STRONGER and FASTER than women will ever be.. and no, women the same size are NOT stronger than men the same size.. if you look at weight lifting in the common wealth, the men in the 56kg category had an almost 20% lead over the women in the 58kg (that’s 2kg more) category.. NO WOMAN in history has broken the 10 second barrier.. but almost EVERY guy in world competitions breaks it..)

    Instead of “FEMINISM”… what people need to learn are “ETHICS”… yeah.. people are different.. men and women are different.. some guys feminine.. some women tomboyish.. now REGARDLESS of male or female, if your group has a new member, you will need to make the new member comfortable.. (read: stop trying to treat women as overgrown babies i.e. I Agree with your point, yes, being female has it’s own hardships, but there’s no reason to not reach out to a new guy who joins in.. and FYI, it’s a lot harder as a male to make someone listen to you.. but really, that’s an individual’s struggle.. an ADULT individual..)

    I’ll tell you what CAN be done about.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence_in_India

    a) We need more vocational institutes that teach women stuff like sewing or cooking and other stuff like that which can make them more independent on abusive husbands,
    They also need to learn their rights and duties… there is NO POINT in making rules that protect women if women aren’t aware of them..

    b) And to teach men that stalking women like in bollywood movies is NOT COOL..

    c) Accordingly, to teach the film industry to stop using some horrible tested tropes because they project a VERY wrong message on how a girl will magically like you for hanging outside her college and waiting for her smelling like a skunk..

    d) The police need a morale boost.. not only is their salary underwhelming, but there’s not a huge incentive for being honest or hard working… change that and there will be a LOT better security..

    Look.. I’m not against feminism.. but I don’t like the direction it takes sometimes.. and those women represent feminists.. just as much as the so called “moderate ones” who fight for “equality”..

    • 1. WRT smoking – Definitely a lot of Indian women are judged as immoral since they smoke. However, our men do not face such predicaments. In fact a LOT of men smoke in India without any moral repercussions. This is where sexism creeps in.

      2. Me working late – The culture where people are forced to work late is unnecessary. Lots of men end up working late not just for work sake, but also for other things like general chatting and talking. They also end up doing it to avoid pitching in for household work.

      Women HAVE to leave early and go since they take care of a household and also because it is super unsafe to get out late nights and go! Sexism again!

      3. Yes swear words are misogynistic – You accuse a man of being without father (accusing the mother who had him)

      The c-word is a woman’s body part (why is it an abuse again?) p-word is a woman’s body part again, being called a whore is abuse (a female sex worker is abuse?)

      Why is the f-word an abuse – Because in this case sex is associated with an act of violence. So, the one that is being “fucked” (a woman, or a gay man) is in lesser power. Is a lesser human being.

      4. Feminism is under the umbrella of humanism which respects men and women as equals. If strength were a matter of concern, then male adults human beings are the strongest and all others are unequal – including old people, children, invalids, physically challenged

      5. This list was supposed to reach out to educated adult males who can do little things in their everyday life to ensure equality. Domestic violence, rape and assault are really big issues. That does not mean that unequal division of labour in a household is a small issue at all. It is also a feminist issue.

    • Dear, Please go to you tube, listen to Emma Watson’s talk. Read a book or two about feminism. Understand it.
      Don’t listen to reply. Listen to take it all in, to reflect.
      Although you have good intentions, you come off as ill informed and agitated.
      🙂
      Lots of good wishes!

        • Swetha, I think Prachi is responding to the madhatterryu, who apparently has no idea what real feminism is and is attacking a caricature of it.

          • Hi

            @Aloknath: madhatterryu may definitely be commenting on the concept of feminism based on his understanding, and it may be a caricature of the concept too, but I don’t think it’s right to term this as “attacking”. If anything, we are having a conversation going over here about a really important issue, and everyone is voicing their thoughts on it. I think it would be nice to appreciate this effort rather than shutting it down as an attack on your take of this concept.

            @Prachi & Karthika: Guilty as charged. Most of us men reading this article or commenting on it may not have seen this speech or read books on feminism. But it also doesn’t take a genius to notice that there are flaws in our society in the way we discriminate between men & women, and more than often, it is the women who are at the losing end of this system. My point here is, all of us, regardless of gender are aware of the issue. However, how we react to it really goes down to our personal beliefs (a product of the many factors that have influenced us over time including religion, culture, society, parents, and whatnot). And I would like to think that the feminist movement is how a section of women (yes, I’m saying a section because I’m pretty sure that not every woman on the planet is a part of this movement for whatever reasons maybe, and I think you will agree too), and some men too choose to react to this issue. Anyhow, for the above mentioned reasons, calling someone “ill-informed” about the issue of discrimination really doesn’t make sense to me (unless that someone is an idiot, of course!). On the other hand, if you meant to point out that the commenter is ill-informed about what the feminist movement stands for, then sure, that may be true. But I would also like to point out that a number of women who are part of this movement are just as uninformed about the values and the goals of feminism. And it is these few women who end up giving feminism a less than favorable image in the eyes of a lot of men, many of whom are in turn labeled as MRAs for voicing their protest against how they have understood feminism, which may in turn come off as “agitated” to the rest of us. For this very reason, I would prefer if we could all just not be sexist, and instead label ourselves as advocates of gender equality rather than feminists, or MRAs or whatnot. A lot of men may feel less intimidated (not because feminism is otherwise encroaching into their apparent misogynistic sense of entitlement, but rather because of how the concept of feminism has been polluted by such inaccurate representations by misguided men/women) by the idea of equal rights for women through such a labelling instead of blatantly calling it feminism.

            Finally, @Swetha: Excellent effort from your end to highlight the issue we are addressing here. And I agree to most of it. Yes, women smoking/drinking or whatever in India has traditionally been considered a taboo, and I remember that I was a little judgmental myself the first time I saw a woman drinking. Although I would like to think that it was more so because it was a culture shock for me (thanks to our excellent traditional portrayal of women as holier-than-thou, and smoking & drinking as bad habits, the possibility of a combination of the two was quite a revelation to me) as opposed to sexist views. Many of mens’ actions/reactions to what would be called gender discrimination are a result of this hypocrite sanskaar that has been shoved down our throats since forever, and for the same reason, what many of us would consider as the norm of the society cos that’s all we ever knew may be what ticks you off as a feminist. Hence, it would be unfair to term some of these actions as sexist, because there are a lot of women out there who are just as guilty of following these societal norms without questions, as they are just as ignorant about the issue at stake. Which is why I appreciate how women are taking the effort to educate men just as much as fellow women about the need for equality.

            About the swear words now, I’m no saint when it comes to them, although I have always made it a point to only use it with other men, and more than often, it is an abuse hurled at only the closest of my male friends. Call it sexist if you want, but as men, that’s just the way we are wired. We like to goof around and don’t really look at it as a serious issue. Verbally abusing a woman, however, and especially without good reason (you swear at me, I swear at you. That would be non-discriminatory, right?) is absolutely not right, and is something men need to understand. I do beg to differ from your point of view on how the f-word is thrown around in conversations though. Unlike any other abuse which still has a very specific meaning to it, the f-word has evolved in such a way that it can be used as a way of expressing a range of emotions, both positive and negative. My take on stereotyping for the sake of a joke is also somewhat similar to this. Be it sexist, racist, classist or whatever, I think the reason why it is perceived as offensive has more to do with the intolerance we have developed towards anything that represents us in a less than perfect manner. The most it ever amounts to is a laugh at the end of the day and there is no real discrimination or ill-effect caused by the same. This also goes for jokes within a brotherhood. Please understand that a lot of conversations we have in these brotherhoods are about the opposite sex. Pretty sure it is no different in the case of a sisterhood. So I fail to see a problem here. Or I might just be ignorant about it.

            Loved the movie Queen. Haven’t watched any of the others. And I definitely won’t be just because I read this article. We often get stereotyped and joked about as being stubborn like that, although I don’t think any guy actually cares about it.

            You make a brilliant point about how the overtime office culture is perpetrated and its effects in both the article and your last comment. I would like to add to your point though, by stating that due to the perceived notion that men are much safer than women, there is a definite reverse-sexism that has become a part of office culture the world over where my former boss (a male) would force my female colleagues to leave office at 6 or 6:30 pm the latest, but expected me to stay back for a good while longer regardless of whether I have work to do or not. This reverse-sexism does go beyond the office too, and there are very visible traits of the same existing within families, social circles, and how men are depicted in media. Similarly, interesting point about how to treat a lone woman in an otherwise all-male team, and I really wouldn’t mind following it through. But seriously, wouldn’t it be fair to advice women to do the same when the tables have turned? Again, I’m speaking from personal experience here, because having been the only guy in an otherwise all-female work/project group a few times in life, I would have absolutely appreciated such an effort from my female colleagues or friends to help me feel involved. Us men are just as vulnerable when it comes to most things that you feel may affect you as a woman. My point is that in this age and era, men have started to realize these subtle issues which they have faced all their lives, and are also hoping for the day when true gender neutrality could be attained. Just as the HeForShe campaign invites men to be a part of a movement which advocates equality of women, and I think there already are a handful of men who do that actively, it would be nice for men to see that there are women out there who understand such issues faced by men and support them in their call for equality as well. And this reasoning makes me look at both the feminist & the MRA (honestly, I find the name ridiculous too) movements as incomplete on their own.

            I will have to continue to say ‘not all men’ until the feminist movement stops saying not all women are for superior rights for women over men when they talk about feminism. In case you require clarification on this point, please refer to my reply to Prachi.

            And finally, no, I will not call myself a feminist. Like I mentioned earlier, I would prefer if we could label ourselves as gender equalists. I think all men would. Maybe we are just insecure like that! The feminist movement has made great strides for all of humanity since its inception, and while it may not yet have achieved everything it had originally set out for, the next great leap towards fulfilling this vision would only be possible through a realistic inclusion of both men & women in the process, and I think the only way that will truly be possible is through a call for gender equality. Doesn’t look like a big deal on paper, but trust me, it could make a huge difference. Meanwhile, if you still think I’m a moron for not calling myself a feminist, well then, my reasoning for doing so only becomes more self-explanatory. 🙂

Leave a Reply