We’d all like to think we’d do something in moments of need – whether that’s seeing a little old person getting their bag stolen, helping a cat down from a tree (even though cats are the actual devil) or watching a woman get belittled and disrespected by someone.
In reality though, we can never predict exactly how we’d react in situations like these but I truly, deeply believe that most people have the best intentions. The only catch is that people sometimes freeze or hesitate when they witness shitty behaviour and so that shitty behaviour goes unchecked.
This is why it’s crucial to have a gameplan set in place so when we are tasked with doing something about people’s poor form – we can react quickly and stamp it out before any more damage is done to the woman in the awful situation.
Have a gander at the video below to get the gist of what people say they would do if they witnessed a woman being mistreated:
The more we step up and call people out when they’re being an asshole, the more likely that person is to refrain from being a jerk in the future.
For instance, say one of your mates says a sexist joke at a shindig, you can do something by using the trusty ‘Three S’ approach discussed in the vid – Show, Support and Speak up.
Show that the behaviour is out of line through your body language, e.g. shaking your head, shooting them a death stare etc.
Support her by checking to make sure she’s as okay as she can be.
Speak up by saying something to the person – a simple “I don’t get it” or “Yeah interesting take if we were living in the 50’s” should do the trick.
It may seem like a tricky task but if you’ve got some tips up your sleeve, you really can make a shit-hot impact and get through to whoever’s being disrespectful.
- Writing down what you’d ideally say back, or coming up with a go-to comeback might sound lame, but it’s good to have in your arsenal.
- You can choose when to say something. If confrontation makes you queasy, you can always bring it up with the person later on, even in a one-on-one environment.
- Address the behaviour, not the person. Focusing on the behaviour can make it seem less like a personal attack. Try saying, ‘those ideas aren’t cool’, rather than ‘you’re not cool’ (even if they actually aren’t cool.)
Doing something might be momentarily uncomfortable but the fact of the matter is that doing nothing does harm. Almost all of the people will have the same thoughts as you so you won’t be alone in the slightest.
Hit up Our Watch’s Doing Nothing Does Harm campaign to get some more pointers on how to deal with people who say sexist or inappropriate shit to women.