7 Ways Men Can Join The #MeToo Movement (Without Drowning Out Women's Voices)

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The outpouring of stories of sexual harassment and assault under the #MeToo hashtag has been overwhelming, to say the least.

Where the Me Too Movement and Twitter campaign has given women an avenue to share their stories and find the support they need, it has also affected men deeply. They have now become equal allies in the call for action and change in attitudes toward women.

RELATED: Understanding The Challenges Of #MeToo And Consent (& Why Communication Is Key)

The sexual abuse has been going on for a while, but the #MeToo campaign has made it all too obvious that this issue can no longer be brushed under the carpet and men must vocalize their stance against it. That’s right: we (women) want men to stand up against discrimination and harassment.

As the internet continues to get flooded with #MeToo stories from women of all ages and backgrounds, it is time men understand the pain behind these anecdotes and speak up. Men and women need to collectively push for an end to damaging cultural practices and prejudices that are harming our society more than uniting us.

If you are a man asking "How can help the women around me?" here are a few ways women will welcome your contribution to the #MeToo movement. 

1. Be aware of the society we live in.

Everyone can make a choice each day to move forward consciously, in a manner that affords complete equality to men and women so we can all thrive together. There is no denying the fact that the world today favors men. There is inherent gender bias that means women have to give twice as much to get the same credit.

So, make the right choice in the sight of your community and make sure you take as many people as possible along with you. 

2. Hold other men accountable for their behavior.

Practice saying, "That's not okay!" Say it every time you hear another man being disrespectful to women. Let others around you know that harassment is not cool

3. Read feminist writers.

From Betty Friedan to Sheryl Sandberg, and from Ijeoma Oluo to Roxane Gay, many women have powered the feminist movement and given a voice to their issues.

Follow some of these writers, even if you have just started reading about the subject. Pay attention to their thoughts and ideas and try to figure out what happened to them to give rise to their feelings. 

4. Boost women's voices.

Boost articles, speeches, and books written by women, especially if the subject matter is sexism. Similarly, if you are looking to learn more about race, choose writers who are indigenous, black and people of color. This way you can ensure that you are staying true to the revolutionary slogan that goes, "Nothing about is, without us!"

RELATED: How The #MeToo Movement Is Teaching Survivors To Find Their Voice And Self-Worth

Men should also help amplify women’s voices at work when you see them being ignored, dismissed or claimed by others. Speak up!

5. Treat women as people.

Make it a point to introduce the women in your circle by their designation, instead of saying something abstract like, “This is the very pretty Margaret. She works with us.” Use her full job title, and also mention her accolades to earn brownie points and respect from women around you. It’d be a good idea to say something like, “This is Professor Margaret and she heads the Department of Physics here.”

Don’t call her sweetie or any other diminutive nicknames. These pet names are better left for more personal settings, and only when she is comfortable with you.  

6. Be mutually respectful during sex.

It’s time for men to flip the parading already. It's no longer enough to stop your sexual advances upon hearing "no." Instead, proceed only when you get a clear and very verbal yes. The idea of the non-verbal agreement is muddy at best, as evident in the case brought against Aziz Ansari

7. Do all you can to make the world a safer place.

It’s not enough to fire off a tweet, sympathizing with the women in the #MeToo movement. It’s time for men to have a dialogue among themselves. Don’t look for a public show of support or offer words of encouragement. Instead, do something.

It’s time to ask the uncomfortable questions. Are you shocked to hear about the rampant sexual abuse in the world? Did you really think that the problem was a small, isolated affair, instead of the global phenomenon that has affected thousands of women? 

As men, it’s time to really hear the stories put forth by women in the #MeToo movement.

Hear them talk about how they’ve had their mental, physical, emotional and psychological faculties destroyed by sexual harassment or sexual assault. And then, it’s time to do everything you can to make it stop.

RELATED: How To Make #TimesUp & #MeToo About Me And You

Christine Rudolph is passionate about fashion, fitness and lifestyle trends. She is also a blogger, writer, and a technology freak. Follow @RudolphBlogger for more updates.