Here’s five ways you can truly respect women

How many times have your eyes rolled at organisations and individuals calling on “real” men to stand up for women? We feel the same way too. Women are tired of being hollered at and catcalled then told to stomach this as flattery and appreciation of our womanhood. Before placing the blame onto women, maybe consider that men need to learn some respect and take some responsibility. Here’s a five-step (not exhaustive) guide to standing up for women.

It’s not taboo for a man to speak out for equality
If you can be an ally to our causes, you are more than welcome to. Just be mindful about your intentions behind doing it – are you doing it to uplift us, or because you know you’ll have a larger platform? If it’s the latter, check your patriarchy.


2. Women don’t need you to stand up for them, they just need to be respected
We’re not asking men to do anything extraordinary. We want to be respected and treated as human beings, as is our right. We are not just sexual objects, or lesser humans. And it’s not actually our job to remind you of that.


3. Women can be anything they want to be and shouldn’t be boxed into a category
Be a career woman? Like wearing makeup? There’s no either/or. A woman can do as she pleases, and it isn’t your job to put her down, no matter what she chooses. Stop policing women and their decisions.

4. Domestic violence is not only a women’s issue
And neither is it a taboo topic. Domestic violence is a huge issue which does not get talked about enough, and is affecting families everywhere. And EVER thinking that a woman “deserves” it is completely wrong – victim-blaming only compounds the problem.

5. No means no, accept it. We aren’t playing hard to get
When a woman is afraid in a situation – irrespective of what the situation is – do not take advantage of it. We are not just playing hard to get – we want to be left alone, and do not owe you anything. Respect that.

Why can't men take "no" for an answer? #SexistSA

As part of our #SexistSA series, we wanted to know why is it, that when a woman says she's not interested, some men will still persist in trying to get her attention?Is this an issue that needs to be spoken about? Some men see it as a 'challenge', but can it be seen as a form of abuse? The Daily Vox team went out and asked a few passers-by, why can't men take "no" for an answer?

Posted by The Daily Vox on Thursday, 4 February 2016

Featured image via GovernmentZA on Flickr

Editor’s note: this article has been amended to remove the reference “girl” as it perpetuated the infantilisation of women.

  1. Kaycee says

    Good points, but one thing to look out for – calling women “girls”, as you have done (career girl), perpetuates the infantilisation of women and the view of women as helpless and weak. Think, a (non-racist) employer does not call her/his gardener “garden boy” (assuming he’s male) as was often done in apartheid, because it is so obviously offensive, another way to assert dominance over and subvert the black body. Hopefully the double standard is evident. Subtleties matter, and I think this undermines the purpose of the article.

    1. Benazir Cassim says

      Thanks for pointing this out. We will amend our article.

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