Stand With Us, Not For Us: How men can be better allies

It’s not just girls needing each other’s support! Here’s 5 ways men can stand in solidarity with women – because gender equality extends to STEM and beyond.

It’s not just girls that need each other’s support! Men need to have a stand with us in the fight for women empowerment too. While equality and equal representation being the goal, this can’t happen while we live in a patriarchal society that gives men more access than their women counterparts – and men need to realize this too.

With an equal world in mind,  here’s how men can become allies.

Start them young!

As much as we hate to admit it, the undermining of women starts out way too young. Seemingly innocent sayings like ‘boys will be boys’ can inflict harmful gender stereotypes on kids and cause them to carry it out until adulthood.

We can change the pattern by introducing little kids to gender-equal forms of media that don’t inflict gender stereotypes or something as simple as explaining these mediums to them at a young age. After all, toxic masculinity isn’t just taught, but honed at home.

Check your privilege

To heal the roots of patriarchy, men also have to be aware of the privilege they have. Though being privileged differs between context and situation, one can’t argue that men have long been given excuses that just won’t slide for women. says that ‘men will apply for jobs when they meet 60 percent of the hiring criteria, while women wait until they meet 100 percent.’ This gap alone shows how male entitlement hurts women in the field – whether men realize it or not.

Hold other men accountable

It’s not enough to keep yourself in check, men have to keep their circle well-aware too. Psychology Today says that most men know that there’s something wrong about speaking about women degradingly, but the pressure to succumb to so-called “locker room talk” makes them incapable of challenging their peers in fear of being shunned.

When in doubt, consider this: you don’t defend women just because they’re wives, girlfriend, mothers, or sisters, but because they’re individual human beings who are worthy of respect.

Join feminist causes

Being an ally doesn’t end with being kind to the girl next to you, men ought to call for equality for women of all walks of life! With that, it’s only fair that allies be informed on the kind of issues women are dealing with – like harassment, unfair wages, misogyny, and more.

Men getting engaged and lending their voice to women advocacies doesn’t just make them better well-rounded allies, it’s also a way to know what they’re standing up for.

Give girls the mic

Lo and behold, the final step that some just can’t seem to overcome: actually giving space to women. With patriarchy being the unspoken cultural norm, it can be a challenge to lend your space for others.

Giving girls the mic also extends to little things like ‘mansplaining’, or talking to women in a degrading way about something they’re actually knowledgeable about. It’s also a huge leap to actually give women credit where the credit is due.

After everything, men have to realize that being an ally is not about them.

Achieving a gender-equal world can only work once we all start getting involved for the better. What we mentioned is only the bare minimum in giving fair wages, opportunities, and removing the longstanding systemic sexism against women – but it can be a start. 

Because the truth is: women don’t need anyone to be their saving grace in the fight for equality, men just have to stand back and make it possible for women to shine. It’s about time, anyway.


Miss Represented: KickSTARTing gender equality in schools

With the holidays fast approaching, the “new year, new me” mentality is getting stronger each day. Though this Christmas season being a clear change from the past, the goals we’ve kept throughout the year still remain.

One of the most vital ongoing objectives for STEM girls comes from the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to achieve gender equality and women empowerment—a long-time plan that has yet to come to fruition for worldwide girls in academia.

Despite gender gaps being an ever-present problem in and out of school, what we need is a cultural shift to get the ball rolling—a change that doesn’t just happen overnight. 

We took some notes from‘s 5-part ‘S.T.A.R.T.’ plan in achieving STEM media diversity and adapted the cause to start the movement on fighting gender norms in our own schools.


First and foremost, we need to be active in introducing the idea of a stable support system at home. Even if we aren’t in the educational field, being supportive of the girls in our own family will instill the idea that they have control of what career they want.


Being actively aware of gender bias is no easy task! More often than not, internalized misogyny has made most see girls as lesser than boys. We shouldn’t be afraid not just to call out, but more so correct when these stereotypes appear—for all genders and ages.


After looking out for each other, we can then maximize the impact of STEM girl empowerment by learning laws and initiatives in place that empower them. One of these ongoing jurisdictions is the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act No. 9710), which seeks to eliminate gender discrimination by protecting, fulfilling, and promoting the rights of Filipino women. Yes, we have actual laws for our progress!


With the schools serving as one of the first breeding grounds of creating stereotypes among genders, the European Institute of Gender Equality proposes schools to develop a Gender Equality Plan (GEP) to identify and remove gender bias in their curricula. Though this may sound like a pipe dream in the Philippines, we can reinforce our own GEPs by being proactive in school board discussions and opening the topic with those in power.


Lastly, we have to remember that anyone fighting for gender equality is in it for the long haul. No matter how progressive or prepared we are, bias tends to accidentally infiltrate some forms of thinking —and that’s normal. We need to check up on ourselves and remember that though we have no choice in how we were raised, we have the power now to shift the conversation for the future.

As we enjoy the holidays to reboot, let’s not forget how the next years will go once we START the changes we want to see now.
There’s no better present than the gift of access, by giving STEM girls a future where they’re given the same opportunities and moral support as boys. So we can finally say through each year: “New year, stronger us.