To clarify: the title question is absolutely not a “/shrugs/ what can I do?” shirking of responsibility. It is a sincere, open request for guidance. Because I’m worried.
I worry that I won’t be able to accurately put across what I want to say, and that these words will hurt instead of help.
I worry that these sorts of abuses happen every day, which they pretty obviously do.
I worry that inattentional blindness means I don’t even register or recognise them when they do.
I worry about the effect incidents like this have on the women in my life, professional and personal, all of whom I hold in the highest regard.
Most of all, I worry that it’s me.
To be clear, I’m not worried for me, but that the problem is me. I am worried that I might be making the lives of the women I work with even the tiniest bit worse.
I consider myself a feminist. I worry a lot that I’m a crappy feminist, and actually make things worse while thinking I’m helping. I want to support the women around me as best I can, and better than I do.
If any of these concerns feel familiar to you, dear male reader, then I hope that that means we’re at least aware that we might be at fault. If so, it is our responsibility to awaken and improve that awareness in others, while we continue to work on ourselves.
I am resolved to do better and I want help to be better. You deserve it.