BONUS 035: How to Be a Male Ally for Women

By November 9, 2018January 29th, 2019The Simplifiers Podcast

Podcast banner image featuring Mary

Today, I want to talk to the men in the room. Or at least, the ones who are male-identifying. And yes, this topic might ruffle some feathers, but hey, in the name of opening up tricky conversations, let’s go there.

Let’s simplify how to be a great male ally for the women in your life. I’m going to go ahead and assume—that if you’re a guy and a follower of The Simplifiers—that YOU are one of the good ones.

The good guys.

The guys who love, appreciate and respect the women in your life and in your workplace.

And we appreciate you, too.

Like a WHOLE lot.

So, thank you for all that you do.

Thank you for helping other men in your circles see the light, too.

You might just happen to be in the car with a lady-friend who… just happened to have this podcast playing. And if that’s the case… Well hello! Welcome! My name is Mary and I’m glad you’re here. If I could somehow send you a taco through the speakers, I totally would.

I’d also like to offer you a few simple tips on how you can continue to boost the women and the female-presenting people in your life, so that we ALL can be heard and treated equally.

In my mind, that’s the end goal we should all aim for. Equal rights. Equal pay. Equal equals.


How to be a great male ally for women

Listen before speaking

No matter if you think you know the answer or not, take a breath, take a moment and simply listen.

In conversations.

In board rooms.

At panel discussions.

At the dining table.

Give the women in your life the chance to finish their sentences. Please don’t finish them for us. You aren’t doing us a favor when you talk over us… and when you do, everyone notices. In a bad way.

Respect women’s boundaries

No means no, period.

End of.

A woman’s body, attention, respect, time or energy is not automatically given to you, just because. When she gives you clear signals, verbally or otherwise, that she does not want you to interact with her, leave her alone.

No really.

Break old patterns

If you notice your (male) co-worker has this nasty habit of ‘mansplaining’ in meetings or claiming great ideas presented by female counterparts as his own, you have the ability to change this pattern.

The next time you notice a woman make a point in a team meeting, acknowledge it and ask her to clarify and extend it. If you notice she’s been interrupted, use your influence to bring the conversation back to her. Encourage the situation so her point is made, heard and recognized.

Squash male silence

Look, I know this sounds weird, but if you sit back and pretend this ISH isn’t happening, it will totally continue to happen for years on end. Ultimately, this will destroy company culture, demoralize good people around you, and put up unnecessary walls in the boardroom.

It’s all a waste of time and energy, for everyone – including you. So, when you notice sexism in the locker room or men oppressing women in even the smallest of ways, we need you to say something. Edmund Burke says it best:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

We need good men LIKE YOU in our lives to help break the silence and help REAL change happen.

And just one final whisper, just from me to you, dear friend… come in closer.

Thank you.

Thank you for wanting to be a male ally for women.

This makes you a decent human being. And someone who’s interested in making the world a better place.

So, thank you.

This stuff ain’t easy. It takes a heck of a lot of courage.

As children, it was easier to be sarcastic and laugh at other people to mask our own insecurities. We may have put someone else down to make ourselves feel better. To feel liked, or a sense of belonging. Embarrassingly, we’ve all been there.

But we’re adults now. We have the power to make a different choice.

To be a different person.

Because people are watching. Our daughters and sons are watching you. Learning from you.

You’re the role model they need, so thank you.

Thank you for standing up for us when others try to knock us down. Thank you for saying ENOUGH when others oppress us. Thank you for choosing to be a good man.

You can do this, I believe in you.

It’s time to SIMPLIFY.

If this thought of the day inspired you…

Snap a photo of you doing the thing and send it to me via Instagram, privately or publicly… just tag @thesimplifiers – I’ll be your virtual accountability buddy in your quest to simplify your life.

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As always friends, keep things simple.

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