A few weeks ago, one of our favorite female travelers @lostwithpurpose received a message from one of her male followers asking how he and other men could be better allies to solo female travelers. We were so inspired reading her and her followers’ responses to this question! So much so that we asked our own Instagram followers to chime in on the subject.
After all, we need more male allies in our community. Having more men understand our dreams, needs and plights creates a more compassionate world. Today, we wanted to spotlight some of the recurring points that were discussed!
To the men who are reading this post — before we begin — we want to thank you. Just by opening the link to this shows that your interest in supporting women who travel is real. We need more male allies like you!
Don’t Second Guess Our Desire To Do It Alone
It’s a thought many people (not just men) have – but we want to travel alone for our own reasons. We’re not weak. We don’t need a hand to hold to maneuver through the world. Our desire to go alone has nothing to do with our inability to find someone to go with. We may be traveling for mindfulness, for inner awareness and growth, for a personal challenge. Whatever our reason is, if we tell you we’re traveling by ourselves… instead of second guessing our intentions, support them!
We Might Be Afraid Of You – Please Don’t Take It Personally
With the sad amount of horror stories we hear, understand that we might be fearful of the men we encounter in public. Our fight-or-flight senses may be on high alert when we see you on a street. Please, please do not take this personally. Maneuvering through the world independently as a woman can instill a serious sense of fear in us.
Be The Guy Who Steps In
Harassment (and the fear of harassment) is a real thing. If you see something, say something. We need more men who are able vocal enough to step in and stop unsafe behaviors that men often display towards women.
We’re Good, We Promise
On the other hand, when we say that we’ve got things under control, trust us! It can be difficult to express our need to be left alone, whether its for our own safety or for some quiet time. So, if we’re telling you that we’d like to go home or we have other plans – give us some space.
Understand The Crap We Put Up With
Put yourself in our shoes. Living our lives alone in unfamiliar places is intimidating enough! Now imagine the unfortunate “crap” we face – the catcalling, the harassment, the amount of time we worry if our outfits will draw negative attention. To understand our plight is to be our ally. We need more compassionate men to support us.
We’re Not Being Rude, We’re Being Private
When you ask us where we’re from, where we’re staying, how long we’ll be in town – understand that we might not be comfortable telling you our private information. Our guard may be up. We may have faced men who have invaded our privacy before. There’s nothing wrong in asking about our experiences, our favorite moments, what we look forward to… just know that when it comes to very private information, we may not be comfortable to share.
Be The Guy Who Amplifies Our Stories
Please, be the guy who is proud to share the stories of the many women traveling alone in this world! We need more of the beautiful, encouraging stories of solo female travelers on the headlines. We need more women to know that they shouldn’t be afraid to go it alone. You can help us. Be proud of the women adventurers out there… help us tell our stories!
Did we miss any ideas you have on how men can be better allies to solo female travelers? Leave a comment below and let us know!