Feature written by Sophie Crabtree, who you can follow on Twitter @CrabSophie
With 2020 well underway, I've compiled an (incomplete) list of things to be conscious of when it comes to being respectful of the women in your life, be that the stranger who serves you your coffee, your spouse, or someone else entirely...
1. Support them with their resolutions – maybe your friend has given up drinking, but that shouldn’t mean that your nights out stop: biscuit and a brew, anyone? You can always tipple your tea, if you like.
2. I recently wrote about men’s reluctance to talk about their mental health, but the same goes for women: as caregivers they can often feel the intrinsic need to appear calm and in control, the image of idyllic domesticity. Whether they are a housewife or a CEO, please #AskTwice when you approach someone who doesn’t seem quite themselves.
3. In the same breath, be patient – remember that you don’t know what demons this person is facing, and hurrying them won’t speed up the healing process.
4. Give them physical space, and by no means cross a divide that is clearly set - maybe it’s literally across the counter from the sales assistant who’s folding your clothes. A touch on the hand can have unforeseen consequences for the receiver, so just be mindful that people don’t always show casual affection in the same way as you.
5. Understand that nudity and objectification do not come hand in hand – women should be allowed to celebrate their bodies, in every form, without being stared at or harassed.
6. As @CoppaFeelPeople say: “Guys, gals, non-binary pals, knowing your boobs could save your life”. Quietly remind them, please, to give them a squeeze.
7. On the same note, encourage them to go for their Smear Test – 1/3 skip their test and it’s often out of fear. If you can, even offer to go with them for the moral support.
8. Let the old lady on the bus tell you what she’s making for tea, and the names of all her grandchildren... it might be the only conversation she has all day.
9. Compliments are often the quickest, most effective way of making someone smile. Do you like that lady’s scarf? Tell her!
10. If you don’t like what she’s wearing? Keep it to yourself...
11. Similarly, if you have a spare moment, ask another woman how she gets her eyeliner so sharp. Even if she brushes it off by saying it took her six attempts this morning, she’ll appreciate it. It could be just the confidence boost she needs to boss that job interview.
12. Talking of work – look out for the women in your workplace, make sure that the policies in place benefit everyone, and don’t be afraid to team together to push for reforms if they don’t.
13. Give typical ‘'women’s work’ such as housework as much merit as a paid work. If you know someone just breaking into the workplace, coach them and remind them of the many transferable skills this training has given them. Consider that just because someone doesn’t have a piece of paper to tell you how educated they are, doesn’t mean that they are not as well informed as you.
14. Remember that their faith, or lack of, is a completely independent choice from anyone else’s opinion.
15. Tell them to vote, but not how.
Tagged in Women