||[Apr. 24th, 2008|02:50 pm]
I’ll add my voice to the others who think highly of the Women Back Each Other Up project and the Men’s Auxiliary. The pledge is amazing.|
As for the Men’s Auxiliary and what we can do, I think the issue of guys talking to one another is very important. Whether its gaming, anime, reenactment or any number of other spheres, there are a lot of guys who are involved that will ignore a woman who calls them on their bad behavior. Those same guys will very likely back down if one of their male friends calls them on their statements or actions. Its a sad reality of the world we live in but if we, as men, have the power to reign in a problem before it gets out of hand then we have a responsibility to do so. In a better world anyone could call a creepy guy on his words or actions that are out of line and creepy guy would listen. Sadly we don’t live in that world.
Lord knows this isn’t an easy idea. I’m too polite by far and anyone who knows me, knows I’d rather run screaming for the hills than risk a confrontation. The theory of calling our male friends on their bad behavior may not be that hard but the practice is. Add the taboo in geek social circles of criticizing anyone and it just gets harder.
There’s another element to this too, for those of us who are part of the Men’s Auxiliary and that’s to remember the point that, “none of us are saints”. Even if we are working to be part of the Men’s Auxiliary, if someone calls us on something we do we have a responsibility to stop, own our actions and when we’re done taking responsibility for what we’ve done, to go away and think about why those actions were out of line so that we don’t do the same thing again.
On the broader scale we can use the same power that allows us to reign in Creepy guy to educate before a problem starts. If a guy says something asinine even out of earshot of any woman we still need to point out that they’re out of line and explain why. If we’re being really proactive we can even start conversations rather than waiting to make an example of someone’s bad behavior.
There’s a lot we, as the Auxiliary, can do in support. It may not be as dramatic as the front line work at a crisis point but its still important. It may not be easy for us but the need is still there. This is the role of the Men’s Auxiliary as I see it.
I invite comments and ideas from others.