Men, Let’s Be Considerate

When I was young, my mom and dad tried to teach me the odds and ends of manners. I’ve been told some of my first words were please and thank you. Before I was four I knew it was polite to open and hold the door for someone, and I remember doing so when my mom carried my sister from the hospital. I learned through constant reiteration to wait until everyone was served before I started eating at dinner, and thank the host and chef for the meal. The point is, my parents stressed upon me the importance of being polite in public and at home.

If this is your first time reading a post by me, or a returning reader who’d benefit from a little help putting a voice with the penname, allow me to (re)introduce myself, I’m ElFeministo. I’ll have been writing for ShoutOut for a year this December, and I typically favor writing about men’s roles within feminism considering I have a vested interest in the subject.

I had this idea over the summer about dedicating a post a week that’s totally geared towards men. My motivation came from a reflection of my own experiences stumbling through feminist rhetoric and trying to pass along what I learned to male friends.

I thought about where would be the best place to start? Should I dive right in and discuss the prevalence of patriarchal values? Should I keep it light and gentle ease a little history into a post? I ended up settling with some well-said, tested, and proven advice from my late Grandpa.

 

Don’t be a jerk.

 

Yup. If you live by this rule you’ll be pretty much golden for the rest of your life.

If you were looking for a little more substance, or think you’ve already accomplished that task, read on and actually consider your character.

With that little story back up at the top, I explained how my parents stressed to be kind and polite to others. Inherently this led to the development of a key trait in my character: compassion. Compassion isn’t necessary loving someone with your whole heart, but allowing yourself to be selfless. Selfless doesn’t mean thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.

Be considerate.

Every person is different, inside and out. Beliefs, values, backgrounds, heritage, family-life, education, health, literally everything is different. The only thing we’re all trying to do collectively is to get back home and make it to the next day.  So don’t pass up the opportunity to hold that door for a someone, even when their checking their phone and don’t acknowledge you. Never forget to say please and especially a thank you, because I know I’ve been on the receiving end of a truly thankful thank you and had it carry me through the rest of the day.

The best thing you can do is offer help wherever you can, and consider others and how different situations affect them. Guys, I’m actually going to spell it out, just for the sake of saying it, please consider how your actions are affecting the women around you. Please don’t slut-shame a woman for wearing a nice dress when she’s going out. Don’t judge a woman for thinking a certain way or doing something you wouldn’t like carrying pepper spray because unfortunately she’s been socialized to be fearful of walking around at night. If you weren’t or aren’t socially considered equal, you’d be raising hell over unfairness too, so don’t write-off the things feminists fight for, because in the long run, it benefits us too.

Be considerate. Be compassionate. Be kind. Don’t be a jerk, and you’re on your way.

 

That about wraps it up here, if you had an idea or subject you’d like me to touch upon please let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading, see you real soon!

 

4 thoughts on “Men, Let’s Be Considerate

  1. I love this!! And I love that humanism is at the core of your message. Good old fashioned regard for your fellow sister or brother. Wonderful read, and a powerful piece focusing on equality for all.

    Like

    1. I really like the male perspective on ShoutOut. During orientation week there was this stand up game, and one of the prompts was stand up if you’re a feminist, a male beside me asked if he could stand up. It’s so weird to me that men don’t believe they can get involved. Thanks for being that voice that is so clearly needed!

      Like

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