Happy International Women's Day! The theme of this year's International Women's Day is #ChooseToChallenge. Which, on the face of it, seemed to us at first to be a bit unclear and vague. However, there are some helpful ways to apply this idea in terms of feminist allyship. For example:
Choose to challenge ourselves
Choose to challenge others
Choose to challenge the status quo
So, for men thinking about how they can be proactive feminist allies, we might see frame this in terms of the following:
Choose to challenge ourselves to face uncomfortable feelings when we educate ourselves about feminism, e.g. feelings of fragility or guilt that might lead us away from engaging deeply in the topic, and reflecting on our own behaviour.
Choose to challenge others, like our friends, family and peers, when they make throwaway sexist comments or jokes, committing to standing up for the rights of women and non-binary people, particularly when they aren't present in the room.
Choose to challenge the status quo in terms of ideas, practices and policies that inform harmful gender norms and toxic masculinity. Speaking up in our places of work about issues affecting our colleagues or joining collective campaigns to change the bigger systems at play.
What does this look like in practice? Maybe you have one area where you know you can focus your attention, or it feels a bit unclear to you right now. Perhaps picking one of these to focus on, or deciding on a clear, actionable task for each, (e.g. to complete in the next month), could be one way to implement feminist allyship in our lives.
How are you interpreting #ChooseToChallenge? Let us know!