For years, there have been news stories and studies on how women struggle to be believed and taken seriously by many medical professionals.
While those news stories and studies are important (do a search on Google for “women not listened to by doctors”, and you’ll find lots of material), it’s also important to hear from people like fellow blogger Carla at Things Carla Loves. By hearing from people like her, I hope we can further recognize the immense damage that’s done because women often struggle to be believed by many people in the medical profession.
Therefore, I’m sharing her post on the topic of women not being believed by doctors. I definitely recommend reading this post (and her blog in general), as her experiences are sadly similar to the experiences of many women I know when it comes to not being believed by medical professionals. Her post is especially appropriate considering the upcoming International Woman’s Day; the day’s theme, which focuses on on gender balance (called #BalanceforBetter), should definitely include balance with how seriously doctors take both male and female patients.
Post: “#ButDon’tYouWantToGetBetter: Women, Doctors, and the Lack of Diagnosis”
About one year ago, actress Alyssa Milano helped put a spotlight on sexual harassment and assault when she said #MeToo.
While a victim of sexual harassment or assault could be someone of any sexual orientation or gender identity, and while a perpetrator could be a person or any sexual orientation or gender identity, the fact is that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the victim is a woman and the perpetrator is a man.
Ever since that fact has become a central topic in American discourse, men have reacted in a variety of different ways. These reactions have ranged from vocal support of those who say #MeToo (and even a few male friends who’ve said #MeToo) to vocal opposition and even mocking of the movement (for reference, see: Trump, Donald and others).
But how should men respond, one year after the #MeToo movement went viral? Especially if any of us don’t necessarily view ourselves as “bad guys” who committed any form of sexual misconduct?
Here are a few tips I offer, as a fellow man, after much thinking and reflection about my own past actions (good and bad) as well as the actions of men around me:
- Listen to the experiences of the women in your life, even if it is painful to listen. Without listening to the women in your life, you might remain oblivious to how big the problem of sexual misconduct and assault is, let alone figure out what some of the solutions are. On the other hand, I can definitely say that I have been blessed to listen to the experiences of the women in my life (including painful experiences), and I am better for it. Others would be better for it by doing the same.
- Deeply examine your own actions. And when I ask men to “deeply examine actions,” it’s not enough to have not committed sexual harassment or assault. We men need to seriously examine whether we have, as individuals, treated the women in our lives with the respect that everyone deserves. Because if we don’t—if we make rape jokes, brag about sexual conquests, cross emotional boundaries, cross other physical boundaries (even if it’s an unwanted hug), defend the actions of known predators, consistently shut down and interrupt women, and/or do nothing when we see other men committing the aforementioned actions—then we are showing the same lack of respect for women that leads to sexual harassment and assault. Deeply examining your own actions toward the women in your life may be difficult—even painful—because you realize that some of your actions are not as good as you want them to be. (I can say that for myself, too.) But I also know that this is an important first step in changing your own actions for the better.
- Hold the men in your life accountable for their actions, too. I know from experience that this is oh so difficult when you feel the need to confront a friend you care about deeply. Maybe that’s why I’m often not good at it, even when it really is But it is also extremely important to show that tough love every so often if, say, you notice another male friend constantly interrupting women. And, if your male friend is willing to listen, it will make him a better person for your tough love.
These are just a few ways that men, even “good men,” can respond to #MeToo. I’m sure there are other ways men can respond to #MeToo in a productive and positive way. If you think of any of those ways, please reply in the comments section below!
Some of the questioning of recent days has focused on why Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, would even consider not testifying on her sexual assault.
In her piece, Jill Richardson explains that there are actually many reasons why women might not want to report sexual assault. Furthermore, quite a few of those reasons involve the unjust ways in which our society treats survivors of sexual assault.
For more details on the reasons why women might not want to report sexual assault, I encourage people to read her original post. As a man, I found it very informative to read why someone like a Dr. Ford may be hesitant to talk about her experiences. Hopefully, others will find Jill Richardson’s post to not only be informative, but also a call to be less judgmental to sexual assault survivors who don’t report their assaults.
Post: “Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault”
Yet again, I came across a piece so good that I must share it!
The post I’m sharing this week is a from Sarah, who actually goes to the same college I graduated from! In her post, she discusses how a friendly and flirtatious approach to sexual harassment results in the author (and probably many other waitresses) earning much more money than a stern approach.
The implications of Sarah’s findings (at least from my perspective) are that:
- Sexual harassment plays a disturbingly major role in the jobs (and paychecks) of many waitresses.
- The way we pay tipped workers in the United States needs to change drastically. I’ve already advocated for this in a post last April on my blog, but I think Sarah’s post only strengthens that argument.
- We need to do a whole lot better as a society at treating tipped staff with the respect and dignity they deserve. Too many of us treat our tipped staff like garbage and that needs to stop.
Here’s the link to Sarah’s post.
This week, I’m sharing a post from Angry Feminist on a question about women that is too common: “If you don’t want to be sexualized, why do you dress up?”
In this post, Darci answers this question by saying that “women actually make themselves attractive for reasons other than to sexually entice men.” She goes into those reasons for women dressing up, and in doing that exposes how many of us are biased towards sexualizing many women.
Hopefully her post will expose many of us to that bias.
via If You Don’t Want to be Sexualized, Why Do You Get Dressed Up?