A letter to guys in ‘safe spaces’
Erynn Brook
11114

I’d venture to say the article is more about not showing up where you don’t belong(safe spaces). It took me 3 readings of this article to realize that was the message. I don’t understand why you didn’t just plainly state, men don’t belong in places that are safe spaces for women. Tell those men in the back of the room, you don’t belong here, then explain that their presence, especially in a group is threatening. I’m sure some men will take offense to that but, certainly not the individuals you’ve described. I’m sure you have a list of brave spaces they could participate in that would welcome and value them.

I don’t understand why a man would go to a workshop labelled Women Learn to Code unless they were there to support a woman who had asked them to be there or was hoping to help women learn to code and couldn’t find a workshop more directed at teaching women to learn to code.

It does bring up the question of what to do if you are a man who has been asked to be their as an ally of a girl or woman. If that woman becomes comfortable in the space but doesn’t feel comfortable enough for you to leave then what is the best course of action? As a man I’m stuck trying to support my ally but not wanting to make the space seem unsafe to other women there. I wouldn’t want to hover around my ally as that doesn’t help her overcome her anxieties around this sort of group interaction. It also doesn’t make the other women she is interacting with comfortable. From what you are saying, if I happen to see another man who is in the same situation I’m not to talk to him as that is threatening. For those of us who come to safe spaces to support our allies and are in this type of situation what is our best course of action? Any help would be appreciated.

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