There are plenty of people out there who think women have progressed beyond their place in society, but you’re not one of them, right? If you’re looking for ways to progress women’s rights then you’ll have to start small. You’ll have to start with yourself. The following are three ways to make a difference in the women’s rights movement that you yourself can accomplish any day of the week.
1. Don’t put down others.
This seems like a general statement, but believe me it applies to women’s rights too. I’ve heard many well-meaning feminists make statements about members of the opposite gender or belief system that don’t serve to instruct or inform but rather to put down and belittle. Before you say anything to support your cause, be sure to ask yourself if your argument can be just as strong without mentioning the opposition at all. If you can’t make the argument without mentioning your opposition, your argument is likely an ad hominem and has no place in a proper debate. At that point you’re just mudslinging.
2. Write your representatives.
If you feel like women’s rights issues, for instance laws on violence against women, aren’t being well-represented in laws, write, email, or call your representative. Using the tools that representative democracy has provided for you demonstrates your commitment to your cause and also enables you to lead by example. Affecting change from within the bureaucracy may take time and not be as satisfying as screaming at someone face-to-face, but real change is affected over time.
3. Do your own research.
Most importantly, an articulate member of any community of people should have well thought-out points and reasons as to why they believe what they believe. If you can’t calmly and rationally explain your viewpoint then perhaps your opinion isn’t as strong as you thought. Listening to leaders in your community is important and beneficial, but it’s equally important to temper that with your own reading and understanding.
Although issues of women’s rights are a hot button political topic as well as a social one, don’t allow your opinions to be used as a weapon against your opponent. It’s likely that they believe what they believe the same way you do, and no one’s mind has ever been changed by a screaming match. Treat people with respect and lead by example. Work to affect change in your day-to-day, and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Society is still progressing, and there need to be everyday people like you and me to help it move forward.