Men Fight For Women’s Rights
Over in Saudi Arabia, women are taking to the streets to drive. It’s actually not illegal for women to operate vehicles in the Kingdom. The country just won’t issue driver’s licenses to them. So these “women drivers” simply get licenses elsewhere.
And some Saudi men give two thumbs-up. Video here.
Or, see this parody of Bob Marley’s classic, “No Woman, No Cry” renamed, No Woman, No Drive,” from Alaa Wardi on YouTube
Meanwhile, in India today women and girls are bombarded by sexual harassment and threatened with rape. 12-year-olds attend rape seminars, and a new phone app allows women to double-click the power button to send an SOS and location information to friends and family.
But the bad guys are now facing good guys like “Delhi bikers,” biking enthusiasts who are committed to changing men’s attitudes, and who offered a public apology from Delhi men to Delhi women.
Or, Jonathan Abraham helped found India For Integrity. He says,
In the protests after the Delhi gang rape everyone was talking about punishment for the perpetrators but no one was asking “How can I change and make Delhi better and respect women more?”
He and others have set out to do just that.
An Indian New York Times letter-writer adds,
During the demonstrations after the fatal gang rape on a New Delhi bus, men of all ages took to the streets in equal numbers as women… Watching the country of my birth from afar, I was feeling distraught at what had been done to the young victim. Seeing the men and their outrage was, for me, the saving grace, the reason to feel hope that things would improve, that women would not automatically be blamed or considered victims.
Others respect and aid women in everyday ways. On Indian Airlines, businessmen can be seen holding babies, burping infants, and entertaining toddlers, who are not their own, to give moms a break and a chance to eat.
Meanwhile, at Egyptian political protests, where sexual harassment and rape were common, men used their bodies to create a safe zone for their protesting sisters.
And earlier this year when an Iranian court “sentenced” a man to the “humiliation” of wearing traditional Kurdish women’s clothing in public, other men posted pictures of themselves in women’s wear on social media.
Masoud Fathi, poet, journalist, political activist, and feminist, put up the first photo with a sentence that became the campaign’s theme: “Being a woman is not a tool to humiliate or punish anyone.”
It all reminded me of the American men who don high heels and “walk a mile in her shoes” to protest rape culture and to support women’s freedom to dress and walk around whenever and wherever they want.
Sometimes it’s individual men like Patrick Stewart – a.k.a. Star Trek’s Capt. Jean-Luc Picard — speaking out against violence against women. Mr. Stewart knows the horrors, having grown up with a violent father. He has made a plea for action, but — “not an action that will make things better in six months’ time or a year’s time but action that might save someone’s life and someone’s future this afternoon, tonight, tomorrow morning.”
And when Cinnamon Cooper posted on “How to be a feminist without anyone knowing” for Splice Today, she was surprised that a few Princeton men spoke out, asking,
“Can’t men be feminists too?” … “Why are you only writing about what women can do to be feminists? What about us?”
And boy, was I proud of those boys.
I’m proud of them, too. And I’d like to thank them.
Posted on November 1, 2013, in feminism, men, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged feminism, inequality, men, New Delhi gang rape, safe zone Egypt, Saudi women driving, sexism, violence against women, women. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.