Canadian host and producer Nicole Stamp has shared a thought-provoking Facebook post with a list of 14 things that, according to her, we human male specimens should start doing in order to become “decent” men.
Well, I have to say it – she’s right.
Since the Weinstein scandal shocked the world a couple of weeks ago, gender has become a recurrent focus of discussion in the media.
This past weekend, actress Alyssa Milano revived the #MeToo initiative on Twitter to shine a light on the outrageous amount of victims of sexual harassment around the world and create awareness of the sheer extent of the problem.
The #MeToo movement started more than 10 years ago when activist Tarana Burke had the initiative to help young women of colour who had survived sexual abuse.
Talking to CNN about her initial motivation, Burke said, “On one side, it’s a bold declarative statement that ‘I’m not ashamed’ and ‘I’m not alone.’ On the other side, it’s a statement from survivor to survivor that says ‘I see you, I hear you, I understand you and I’m here for you or I get it.’ ”
Nicole Stamp, who is best known for writing the acclaimed live show “Better Parts”, has now added her voice to the #MeToo initiative posting on Facebook with 14 things that, in her opinion, men have to do to become “decent”.
Like it or not, her well-intended write-up (which has been shared more than 60,000 times so far), serves as a timely reminder of the many, many issues our current society still needs to figure out.
Here’s a tidbit from her post:
“Be mindful of how you introduce women – particularly at work functions. Role-model extra respect into your introductions. So often you hear men being introduced with job titles and accolades, and women introduced as “the lovely” or “the beautiful”. I guarantee that no matter how good she looks, she’d rather be introduced by her job title and accomplishments.
According to a relevant Washington Post article, at conferences “male introducers used professional titles for female doctors only 49 percent of the time on first reference, but introduced male doctors by their titles 72 percent of the time.
“Female introducers used titles in introductions of both male and female doctors more often than male introducers (96 percent of the time vs. 66 percent of the time).”
In another point, Stamp remarked on the overlooked issue of how men address to women in general: “At work or out in the world, don’t call women cutesy names like “honey, baby, darling, kiddo, young lady, girl, or dear”. This is a subtle way of putting them down, elevating your own status over them as a man who is choosing to vote them as attractive, and reminding them and all present that they’re just cute little ladies that nobody should listen to.
“Make a special effort to speak to women using the kind of person-to-person respectful address you use when speaking with male colleagues. Hint: Use their name. If you slip up and call your colleague “young lady” or some other bullshit like that, it’s cool to say something about it, like ‘I’m sorry I called you that – it’s disrespectful.’ ”
Involuntarily, the writer/actress even incurred in prejudice herself, using the saying “You can teach old dogs new tricks” when referring to older generations.
“Teach your elders to do better. Pervy Grandpa and Racist Grandma might seem harmless at Xmas dinner but as their health declines, they will largely end up being cared for by women and POC who don’t deserve dehumanizing treatment. Call it out. You can teach old dogs new tricks, and you should definitely try.”
If we can take anything from her post, it’s how much hurt men can unknowingly cause every single day throughout normal interaction. Stamp’s post makes us realise just how much the modern male’s everyday language comprises remnants from times we thought were long gone.
According to Twitter, the #MeToo hashtag has been used more than 825,000 times since last Sunday, and almost 5 million people around the world have engaged in the “Me too” conversation on Facebook.
You can check out Stamp’s entire post and its reactions below.