When You Marry an Ally

Next to Ron Swanson, my husband is the most “manly” man I know. Also, the best. Hands down.

As I previously mentioned, Election Night was rough in our house.

The past few days have been getting better, but I keep waking up hoping it was all a nightmare, quickly cycling through the stages of grief a la Leslie Knope–denial, bargaining, anger, no I won’t accept this.

I also previously mentioned how inspired and motivated I am by those who are using this loss as a rallying cry to do more and better social justice work, and to be better allies and neighbors. That continues to be true. What I haven’t really mentioned is how phenomenal my husband, my partner has been.

We have been married a little more than a year, and what has surprised me the most about marriage is how his character continues to reveal itself to me. I knew him pretty darned well when we got married, but I am still learning things about him and about how good a person he really is.

This election has been tough for Julio, but he has also been so attentive to my feelings of anger and grief. He has tried his best to cheer me up. He has sworn to wear his Knope ’16 every day. Today is day three. More importantly, he is continuing his efforts to be a good man and a good ally to women in his industry.

Recently, he was asked to be part of a diversity committee at work, part of the company’s effort to do a fairer job of hiring good people (Rock on). Wednesday night at dinner, Julio told me that he thought that they were actually doing okay in terms of racial diversity, but they could do better at hiring women and giving them a voice in the company. “There’s a woman on the committee, too. How do I address that issue without mansplaining?” he asked.

We talked about it. I suggested bringing the issue up, and leaving a beat for the woman to pick it up, if she wanted to. If not, proceed with what he wanted to say. Sometimes it’s enough to bring an issue to the table and let a more directly affected party take it from there. But you don’t want to make that person be a spokesperson for their minority group, either.

Objectively, this effort is not huge, but it is a contribution, and it is important. Thanks, bae. I see you; I hear you; I love you. I’m sorry if me bragging on you makes you uncomfortable.

Men, there are so many ways you can help, even without much effort:

101 Everyday Ways for Men to Be Allies to Women

5 Ways Men Can Be Allies to Women at Work

10 Ways Men Can Be Feminist Allies, Because Yes, Feminism is for Everybody

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