Good Guys | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
Support local, independent journalism in Central Oregon! Become a Source Weekly Insider today.
Pin It

Good Guys 

A half dozen ways to be a better man

Feminism isn't just for women. Despite the prefix, wanting equality for a group that comprises a slight majority of the population is a cause we should all be able to get behind. But, without bras to burn or once-shaven leg hair to grow in, what does solidarity look like?

"Learn about the issue, decide what you want to do, and speak up about it. It does not need to be big," says Janet Huerta, executive director for Saving Grace, a nonprofit advocating for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Central Oregon.

"Do you have sons or nephews? What do you tell them about how to treat girls? Do you hear other guys telling jokes or putting down women? Do you laugh or not? Do you tell them that you don't want to hear it?" she asks. "It's the little stuff that adds up, that makes a difference, even if it doesn't seem like it."

That means you don't need to sign up for Women's Studies 101 or start referring to the past as "herstory." A little effort can go a long way toward soothing the sting of patriarchy. Plus, as Huerta points out, ladies are totally into guys who stand up for women.

1. Don't be a jerk. It should go without saying, but if you so much as pretend to care about women, you shouldn't be assaulting or harassing them—physically, sexually, or emotionally. If you think that women are somehow beneath're probably not reading this. But, if you are, get thee to a competent therapist post haste.

2. Pay attention to how other people treat women. No one is asking you to literally walk in someone else's stilettos, but you might be surprised what you see and hear when you start to pay attention. Observe how coworkers talk to the women in the office, or how friends treat waitresses.

3. Listen to—and believe—women. When women tell you something is offensive, objectifying, or unwelcome, pay attention. Not only are they the experts on their own lives, scientists say they're getting smarter faster than men. So sit back and learn something.

4. Seek out women's perspectives. Read books by female authors, watch television and films created by women, rock out to female musicians, and reach out to the women at the top of their fields when looking for an expert. (Recommendation: anything by Toni Morrison, or "Broad City.")

5. Mind your language. While most of us know what counts as "fighting words," there are plenty of other ways to put down women with words. "You throw like a girl" is not appropriate, unless you're saying it as a compliment, like the Oregon State softball pitchers who throw blazing fast and furious!

6. Be part of the solution. Volunteer with or donate funds to organizations working to empower women and protect their rights. Not sure where to go? The World MUSE, the force behind the annual MUSE Women's Conference, is a good place to start.

For more ideas on how to be a righteous dude, check out,, and

About The Author

Erin Rook

Erin is the Source Weekly's Associate Editor. Before moving to Bend in 2013, Erin worked as a writer and editor for publications in Portland including PQ Monthly and Just Out. He has also written for the Willamette Week, El Hispanic News, Travel Portland, OUT City, Boston magazine and the Taunton Daily Gazette...
Pin It

Speaking of...

More in The Women's Issue


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed

2022 Annual Northwest Crossing Christmas Tree Lighting - Harcourts The Garner Group Real Estate

Thu., Dec. 1, 5:30-7 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in The Women's Issue

  • Women's Issue 2022

    • Mar 2, 2022
    Our annual Women’s Issue takes a look at some of the issues facing women today, and looks ahead to new frontiers. More »
  • Women of the Year 2021 ▶ [With Video]

    • Mar 3, 2021
    Stories of women doing great things—and that includes our Woman of the Year, Community Hero, Young Hero and more. Meet these incredible change-makers in Central Oregon More »
  • 2021 Women's Issue

    • Mar 3, 2021
  • More »

More by Erin Rook

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2022 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation