‘Spread the word without looking like a caped crusader’.
All right, maybe we don’t need to tell YOU about the benefits of gender equality, e.g.…
Reduced rates of violence against women? Yep, YOU know all about it.
Improved mental health and suicide rates amongst males? Yeah, uh huh, YOU knew that one!
Saving the economy billions a year? Sure, YOU have been all over this one for a while now...
Better health, happiness and relationship for everybody? Oh YOU’RE all over it.
But what about those people you know who aren’t as on top of this, and don’t see how important it is to understand and value equality.
So how do you help your friends move away from myths about men and women, without alienating them or making them feel like you’re telling them what to do? Here are a few tips:
1. Slowly, slowly
Raise the topic with mates who are more likely to appreciate the ‘fairness’ of gender equality. It’s much harder to sell the benefits of gender equality to someone who sees the whole topic solely as a ‘women’s issue’, irrelevant to them, or too ‘feminist’ to even talk about. Start with your more open-minded mates and work from there.
2. Go for easy pickings
It can take courage pointing this stuff out to mates, so it’s ok to start small. Do simple, low-risk stuff like supporting people when they take a stand or share stuff on social. Let them know they’re not the only one.
3. Focus on the upsides
Instead of just calling out the downsides to inequality, talk about the benefits of gender equality.
Mention things like the fact that gender equality reduces conflict, which means things are fairer for everyone and means better relationships, whether they’re platonic or romantic or whatever. Who doesn’t want better relationships?!
4. Let someone else say it for you
5. Get good information
Read up on facts so you can answer questions like 'What about men?', be prepared to bust myths, and memorise good ways of expressing your points. The best communicators usually use examples that people can relate to and have good info to back them up.
Instead of blaming or accusing people, offer solutions they can put into practice.
6. Stay off the soap box
You don’t have to embarrass your mate in public, so just keep it short and sweet with stuff like ‘not cool’, ‘not funny’ or ‘come on, you’re better than that’.
7. Don’t get personal
You’re not trying to start a fight here – you want your mates to get on board, so keep it conversational and constructive.
The good news is you might have a bigger impact than you’ll ever know.