The following post was originally published on Medium.
I believe that in order for the women’s movement to be effective, a corollary men’s movement must be present. I take this pledge as a way to state my conscious support in moving forward to change a broken system.
1. I Will Lead by Example in the Way I Talk About Women
I know that my children and friends pick up on the generalizations I make about women, whether positive or negative. Intentionally or not, I shape their identity about what it is to be a woman, and how to expect to be treated for being one.
2. I Will Not Accept Traditional Role Models
I believe that a true partnership between the sexes demands a different concept of marriage, an equitable sharing of the responsibilities of home and children, and economic support of the family.
3. I Will Raise My Children to Believe in Gender Equality
I will encourage children to embrace their individual interests and passions, regardless of their gender. The things they can’t do will become obvious on their own, and the rest will become possible if they are allowed to dream and have role models.
4. I Will Not Stand For Violence Against a Woman
If a relative, friend, classmate, or teammate is abusive to women, I will not look the other way. I will try to talk to him about it, urge him to seek help, or consult a friend, a parent, or counselor.
5. I Will Mentor Women and Offer Equal Access
If I am in a position to help, I will find at least one woman (and ideally, several) to mentor. Give her thoughtful input on how she can advance and put her name forward for challenging assignments and promotions.
6. I Will Call Out Qualities Other Than Physical Beauty
I will remind her that it is not only appearance that matters. I will focus on positive things about women without pedastalizing. I won’t pretend that her looks will never matter, but I will encourage her not to judge herself or let herself be judged only on looks.
7. I Will Make Sure There Is Always Clear Consent
I will be aware of the implicit power dynamic that are often present in sexual relationships between men and women. I am aware that consent is clear, unambiguous, and involves the word yes. It is not the absence of a no.
8. I Will Not Support Politicians Who Marginalize Women
I will not support politicians at any level of government who betray or ignore the principle idea of equal rights and opportunities for all sexes.
9. I Will Learn About the History of the Women’s March
I will learn about the history of the women’s movement so I can educate youth on what the women of history have done, and how their sacrifices made possible the rights and freedoms we enjoy today.
10. I Will Accept Discomfort
I understand that changing a broken system takes work, and it won’t always feel good. Conversations about sexism, racism, transphobia, privilege, cultural appropriation, and other social issues are all related. I will accept discomfort as an important sign that we are making progress and we still have a lot to learn.
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