Each year on March 8—including last Thursday—the world celebrates International Women’s Day. The holiday dates back to 1911 and is the origin of Women’s History Month, which we also celebrate in March and which The Root is celebrating in tandem with our sister site Jezebel.
But like the all-too-fleeting Black History Month, both International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month are bittersweet celebrations. After all, women (and black folks) are still engaged in battles for equality, autonomy and respect, including fighting for reproductive rights, combating sexual abuse and harassment in the workplace, and closing the gender wage gap—which, at its current rate, is not projected to close for another 40 years.
And like black people, women—many of whom happen to be black, too—deserve more than a month or day when our humanity is universally recognized and celebrated. Believe it or not, this can be a day-to-day, 365-day-a-year practice [Editor’s note: The black women here at The Glow Up would definitely be thankful for it].
That said, we realize that this whole respect and recognition thing doesn’t come easily to everyone. That’s why we were so relieved to stumble upon this godsend of a handy-dandy guide from Broadly titled, “100 Easy Ways to Make Women’s Lives More Bearable.”
While we take slight exception to the suggestion that our lives are currently unbearable (aside from the harassment, abuse and inequality, being a woman is awesome), we found ourselves nodding in enthusiastic agreement at this entire list. And because we know that not everyone has the interest or patience to actually read a list of 100 ways they can offer daily support to someone else, we’ve compiled our top 20 for you (but seriously: Have some human decency, read the damned list and actually do some of it):
1. Before explaining something to a woman, ask yourself if she might already understand. She may know more about it than you do.
5. Remember that fat women exist and aren’t all trying to get thin. Treat them with respect.
6. In fact, just never comment on a woman’s body.
8. Trust women. When they teach you something, don’t feel the need to go and check for yourself. And especially do not Google it in front of them.
19. Learn to praise a woman without demonizing other women. “You’re not like other girls” is not a compliment. I want to be like other girls. Other girls are awesome.
34. Share political hot takes from women as well as men. They might not be as widely accessible, so look for them.
41. If you meet a man and a woman at work, do not assume the man is the superior for literally no reason.
51. If you have a strict boss (or mom or teacher) who is a woman, she is not a “bitch.” Grow up.
71. Remember that loving your mom/sister/girlfriend is not the same as giving up your own privilege to progress equality for women. And that gender inequality extends beyond the women in your direct social group.
72. Don’t assume that all women are attracted to men.
74. If a woman tells you she was raped, assaulted, or abused, don’t ask her for proof. Ask how you can support her.
77. Do not walk too close to a woman late at night. That shit can be scary.
79. This should go without saying: Do not yell unsolicited “compliments” at women on the street. Or anywhere.
82. Be happy to have women friends without needing them to want to sleep with you. The “friend zone” is not a thing. We do not owe you sex.
83. Remember that you can lack consent in situations not involving sex—such as when pursuing uninterested women or forcing a hug on a colleague.
85. Trust a woman to know her own body. If she says she won’t enjoy part of your sexual repertoire, do not try to convince her otherwise.
87. It is not cute to try to persuade a woman to have sex with you. EVER. AT ALL. Go home.
92. Examine your opinion on abortion. Then put it in a box. Because, honestly, it’s completely irrelevant.
94. Understand that not all women have periods or vaginas.
98. Uplift young Black and Indigenous girls at every possible opportunity. No excuses.