How To Be A Male Ally
And help to preserve reproductive rights.
The Texas abortion ban is a hot-button topic in the United States. The conversation can also be heard around the world. On a subject that is so personal and so complicated, it is important to show respect, lend a platform and have real conversations. Most importantly, men should be just as concerned about the health, well-being and stability of women. Abortion may seem to be an isolated women’s right issue, but the outcomes of these laws effect society as a whole in suprising ways. How can men help preserve equality and body autonomy for women as we face a challenge to Roe v. Wade?
You might have anticipated the first request to be to speak out. Personally, I think it is critical that you listen. Listen to concerns, listen to fears, listen to research and statistics. Listen to your partners when they tell you about their plans for children or their future. If they aren’t having those conversations, start them and be willing to listen. And hear them without explaining your own beliefs over top of theirs. You can talk, of course, we have to communicate. But listen first. Ask questions. Clarify concerns and approach with an open heart and an open mind. Her reproductive decisions are her own but you can always serve as a safe space.
Straight forward. You may have long-held beliefs rooted in your religion or morals, but does that make them rules for others to live by? Why would women want to have an abortion. Educate yourself. There are some great resources. The CDC has raw data about several elements of reproduction. Status of Women has a really great interactive map with a scoring system that can break down and help you understand more of the why and where information.
You will never face the decision to exercise this right for your body. You may face similar decisions, but they won’t have the same ramifications, outcomes, and long-term effects. It is just a different ball game for women. We can’t get around that. You can’t share that experience. But what you can share is empathy. What you can also share is your platform as a male. You can advocate with your vote, you can show up to marches and protests and ensure they remain peaceful and show a male presence that is safe, that cares and there are men that hold body autonomy as a priority. Women’s rights are, in fact, human rights. Donate to women’s rights organizations, purchase shirts, mugs, hats, flags or other items that voice your stance on reproductive rights. You may never have to say a word but speaking with financial assistance is as helpful and effective to empower others who will shout it from the rooftops.
This issue is centered around women and might feel exclusive. However, male advocacy is powerful and male alliance can help shape our cause. When there are men who are not as enlightened making these decisions legislatively, voices get trampled. Use your voice, your agency, and your platforms to encourage and support women as we fight against unsafe and unfounded reproductive limitations.