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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

#MeToo: 14 ways you can help victims of abuse feel safer

Nicole Stamp, a Canadian television host and actress, has shared a list of 14 things people can do to make victims of abuse feel safer.

tv Updated: Oct 17, 2017 16:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
These tips can be used by people from all genders.
These tips can be used by people from all genders.

Several men on social media, responding to the #MeToo campaign, have been asking women how they can help.

Nicole Stamp, a Canadian television host, actress and filmmaker, shared a list of 14 things people can keep in mind to make victims of abuse feel safer. The post has been shared nearly 39K times and the comment section is filled with gratitude from men and a unanimous agreement from women.

The #MeToo campaign, started by Hollywood actor Alyssa Milano, encourages men and women to speak up about surviving sexual assault or harassment to show the “magnitude of the problem.”

Stamp’s list was originally intended for a small group of her male friends who were stunned by the ubiquity of the abuse. The tips can be used by people from all genders.

The 14-point list talks about how men can help in boosting female voices in general, and particularly at work. It suggests following feminist writers on social media because the resultant feeling of “discomfort is your male privilege allowing you to disengage from an important conversation that women don’t get to disengage from.”

Do you address women by cutesy names like “honey, baby, darling, kiddo, young lady, girl, or dear”? Don’t do it at work or social gatherings. “This is a subtle way of putting them down, elevating your own status over them as a man who is choosing to vote them as attractive, and reminding them and all present that they’re just cute little ladies that nobody should listen to.”

Consent is important. Try to read the person’s body language; people should not have to explicitly say ‘No’. “If the other person stops reciprocating, gets quiet, seems tense or stiff, avoids making eye contact, pauses, or otherwise slows the tempo of the encounter, then you should.... STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING.”

Gendered insults are derogatory. “B**ch, c*nt, s**t, p*ssy, f*g, girly, sissy, cuck, etc. Use insults that work on everyone rather than insults that specifically target the feminine as weak, lesser, and undesirable.”

Don’t force gender on the children in your life, let them decide what counts as ‘girl stuff’. “Do something that’s coded as traditionally “feminine” in a way that embraces the feminine as a valid way of being, not in a way that mocks femininity.”

As was made clear by the #MeToo campaign, women are almost always alert and cautious. “When a woman is walking alone and you end up walking behind her, please slow down to increase the distance between you. Go out of your way to help her feel that you’re not following her.”

You can read Stamp’s entire list here:

User @mrbenjaminlaw tweeted on Tuesday listing ways #HowIWillChange. The tweet soon became a thread, with men chipping in with their resolves.

Some users swore never to enable, even passively, behaviours that lead to abuse. Some acknowledged their own capacities for harmful and toxic behaviour. A few users resolved to educate themselves better about issues that concern women. A lot of people swore to speak up.

First Published: Oct 17, 2017 15:34 IST

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