It can be such an incredibly difficult time for men this month to celebrate women’s history, so I’ve compiled this list to propose some ways they can show their appreciation.
1. Venmo every woman in your life 22 cents every hour for eight hours, five days a week to compensate for the wage gap (in California).
The wage disparity in America is still prevalent today, with the gap being even more prominent between white men and women of color. Economic power is foundational of American success, and to have this hindered is a massive detriment to women across the nation, often obstructing mobility and overall well-being.
2. Go to a sports store and buy one of those cups people wear in baseball, but three sizes too small so it sort of digs into your nether regions every time you move. Wear it all day for three to seven days to mimic period cramps.
Countries including Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Indonesia offer paid menstrual leave if that is any indication that the pain women feel is much more than mere discomfort. This pain women endure during their period has been constantly ignored and belittled in American society while the effects of PMS is widely used against women as a weakness.
3. Walk up to an intimidating-looking guy on the corner of a street and ask him to scream at you what he thinks about the shape of your body.
The uncomfortable and fearful experience of being catcalled is ubiquitous for many women. The imminent danger they face when wanting to respond or stand up for themselves cannot be replicated.
4. Only buy items with the pink tax — the same exact product you are offered as men, but at a higher price — and call it financial compensation.
The pink tax is the common way in which products marketed toward women are more expensive than those marketed toward men — including razors, shampoo and haircuts. Studies have shown that companies find women are willing to pay more because they are less “price sensitive,” taking advantage of their willingness as a means to overcharge and increase their revenues. This willingness to pay more, however, just exhibits the way women have become accustomed to having to spend more money their entire lives for basic goods and services. One cannot become more “price sensitive” when there is no choice but to choose the more expensive option.
5. Change your major entirely to Gender and Women’s studies.
Or, take a class or two as one of your electives to learn on deeper level the distinct experiences of women and the multitude of ways gender has become politicized and weaponized.
6. Work out intensely every single day so that you experience body aches and soreness, stop drinking water to cause headaches and eat bad fish daily for nausea — all to mimic the way birth control can affect the body. And try not to “be so emotional.”
For however long birth control has been around with the various types to use, it’s frustrating that there isn’t a clear choice that is safest for women’s mental and physical health. I’m very much not a scientist and I know it is monumentally difficult to create a safe form of birth control, but men can at least recognize the risk women take when taking contraceptives. Whether it is to relieve period symptoms or practice safe sex, both are very necessary to their health and well-being, and not always as optional as some think.
7. Only speak in class in a really low voice so no one hears you — so they ignore and talk over you.
Men often speak over women, either to dominate them in the room or as a rude and condescending way to “help” them get their point across. The undervaluing of a woman’s intellect is far too common in academic, work and social spaces, and this activity may help men revisit the elementary value of waiting for your turn.
8. Tell people you’ve suddenly experienced amnesia so people explain things to you over and over and over again.
The way “mansplaining” makes women feel not only ignored and small, but also ignorant and incompetent, is insulting and degrading. There is obviously a line between wanting to be clear and thorough and straight up assuming a woman isn’t smart enough to know what’s being explained. However, if men are as all-knowing as they talk like they are, they should be able to straddle this line quite clearly and respectfully.
9. Get a wax.
It hurts. Obviously, not all women get waxes but many feel a pressure to. So, take one for the team and get a Brazilian.
10. Individually text every woman you’ve ever known and apologize for any and all minor inconveniences you have ever caused.
It’s just the right thing to do.
Behind every great man is a great woman, and between them is an intense disconnect of understanding and empathy as well as a completely different set of lived experiences. I think a lot of what women want from men in regard to the gender disparities in this country is just a bit of recognition and compassion. My hope for this month is a greater sense of solidarity and action in the Berkeley community, as well as the nation toward the enduring battle for equality, representation and legislation. This month, I encourage men to recognize the small ways in which their daily lives alter from women due to the ingrained systematic forces that are built against us.
This is a satirical article written purely for entertainment purposes.