“If we don’t do the right thing then what is to stop anyone from thinking you’re doing the wrong thing? It’s time for us guys who want to be better to actually do better. This means standing and speaking up, however we can. It’s time for us to be accountable and share the responsibility. Now is the time for MEN to find a way to stand up and speak up to make sure women can be heard! This behavior change will require courage to move forward. " - Ray Arata
From Calling Out Men To Calling Them In:
It’s Time To Respond, Not React
For the past year, society has been in a phase where women are “calling out” the bad behavior of men. From men in the entertainment industry to corporate men to high ranking politicians to a Supreme Court Justice nominee, its apparent that no man is beyond reproach. Even one of the top most well known feminists stands accused of conduct that puts his integrity into question.
As a man who is a feminist, inclusionary leadership keynote speaker and a leader in the Better Man Movement, I often get asked the question mainly from men, “Is this necessary that all of this is happening? Much of this stuff happened a long time ago. I’m afraid where all this is going.”
To which I answer, “Yes, this is necessary, it’s painful, and it’s been a long time coming.” What may have been acceptable twenty to thirty years ago, has changed. What was never ok then or now is exploitation of a power differential towards women. And there has been a backlash that many companies are finding necessary to address within their cultures and leadership structures.
FALLOUT OF MAN “CALL OUT” MUST BE ADDRESSED FOR COMPANIES BEST CHANCES AT ONGOING SUCCESS
If companies are going to inspire the most creativity, innovation and productivity out of their teams, improve employee retention and attract high level talent, then they must address the fallout from this man “call out” phase.
As a result of this “call out “ phase, many men are in some form of reaction…whether it be fear induced that has them worry about saying or doing the wrong thing, to flat out being unwilling to mentor or sponsor women. Some men stay frozen and many men are looking for direction with respect what to say and do in order to be supportive and become better inclusionary leaders.
It’s time that men consider responding instead of reacting from fear. We as men need not look far for behavior to emulate. During this call out phase women are and have been courageously standing up, standing together, and standing for what's right and speaking against toxic male behavior, even when the risks are incredibly high despite potential unintended consequences too numerous to mention.
IF GOOD MEN DON’T STEP UP THEY ARE MORE AT RISK FOR GETTING LUMPED WITH THE BAD APPLES
The unintended consequence of inaction could be that good men get lumped in with the bad apples. I offer to the men that want to be part of the solution , to consider, “If we don’t do the right thing then what is to stop anyone from thinking you’re doing the wrong thing? “
It’s time for us guys who want to be better to actually do better. This means standing and speaking up, however we can. It’s time for us to be accountable and share the responsibility. Now is the time for MEN to find a way to stand up and speak up to make sure women can be heard! This behavior change will require courage to move forward. It’s likely that fear or shame might cause us to react, recoil, or refrain from saying or doing anything.
Speaking for myself, being a conscious ally takes some courage. I can feel fear about saying or doing the wrong thing because of how I might be perceived from women or men...I know that’s my ego. I want to be liked, that’s human. If I make a mistake, I can clean it up and still be a good person. Allies acknowledge the fear and keep moving forward.
The root of the word courage is cor—the Latin word for heart. ... Courage originally meant “To speak one's mind by telling all one's heart.”
This is going to require that we as men step out of our comfort zone and into some vulnerability ...that’s where change happens. It’s ok to not have all the answers, to admit fear...whatever our truth is.
SHARING FROM PLACE OF VULNERABILITY ALMOST ALWAYS BUILDS TRUST AND CONNECTION
What feels counter intuitive for most men is to admit fear or not knowing what to do or say because we’ve been taught it’s a sign of weakness. When I’ve asked women about men sharing their truth from a place of vulnerability, I’ve almost always found that it builds trust and connection. Isn’t that where collaboration starts? It’s a crucial step on the all’s journey.
Corporate culture needs men who are willing to be courageous allies. The Better Man Movement is here to support them. What kind of man am I talking about? Men who are fathers, husbands, partners, sons, as well as corporate leaders. Men who are willing to show up with their whole self.
The leadership opportunity for women is to “call in” potential allies to stand up and speak up to move forward as partners. This isn’t about putting the burden on the oppressed. It’s about empowering yourself and asking for what you want, to call men in to listen, to hear the experiences of the people who don’t have the power they do.
The leadership opportunity for men is to stand together with women. This is about our commitment to accountability and change.
I want to invite all of us to view partnership as an inclusionary solution to move us beyond the focus on exclusionary issues. Calling out bad behavior has to include the calling in. Men and women have to be willing to show up by opting-in instead of staying in frozen in the fear that they can’t learn from their mistakes.
My ask of women is to recognize that allies will make mistakes.
If we are to work together as partners, it’s going to require some patience and forgiveness for the learning curve.
My ask of men is to tap into that courage, take a risk , acknowledge the fear, and never stop learning.
Why? Because we are Better Together!
Founder of the Better Man Conference
Co-Founder, Inclusionary Leadership Group
Keynote Inclusionary Leadership Speaker at www.rayarata.com