- Ruby Savill-Downs
Supporting Womxn as Men: The Project Created to Educate, Support and Empower
In a world where divisions between gender, sex, race, religion and everything in-between is increasingly rife, people are using their voices to do what they can to combat this. Oscar O'Sullivan is a film student at Leeds Beckett Uni, and has created the Instagram page @supporting_womxn_as_men with the aim of using his privilege and position to "support, hear, empower and create safer spaces" for womxn, in a world in which this often feels very absent. It works towards debunking growing issues that are perhaps difficult for some to discuss, unnormalizing the inherently oppressive attitudes and cultures that sadly still exist between us today. The page has proved overwhelming popular to both womxn and men, attracting over 1.4k followers in a matter of days, and encouraging interactions on topics that many struggle to bring to the surface. We spoke to Oscar about his motivations behind creating the account, and what type of future he hopes it will cultivate for womxn and men alike.
Hey Oscar, how are you? Firstly, both congratulations and thank you for the set-up of @supporting_womxn_as_men - its done unbelievably well. What are your initial thoughts on the huge support behind it?
Thanks so much! I guess my initial thoughts are actually sadness, the support shown has been obviously sick but the fact that people have said how needed it is shows how shit things really are.
What was your main motivation behind setting up this account?
Honestly been thinking of what I could do for a while, after countless stories of the womxn in my life telling me of the way they are treated, the story and response of Octavian’s ex girlfriend Hana sharing her story of vile abuse made me so sick I felt I had to finally try to do something.
How have your experiences shaped the way you want to help educate young men?
I think my experiences as a trans man have given me a different insight into both men and womxn/femme people and I think that because I do have a different experience of being a man to cis men and have experienced the world of patriarchy and the grimness that’s comes with it pre being a man, it feels my duty to make men more educated as best I can. I owe it to all the amazing womxn in my life.
What do you think are the most critical issues that divide women apart from men, and more significantly oppress them?
I think the most critical issues that oppress womxn and femme people are abuse of all kinds, mysogny, social expectations, emotional and physical labour, lack of understanding from men of their privilege and how to treat womxn.
And finally, moving forward, what do you hope people take away from the account and integrate into their everyday lives and interactions?
I’m hoping that what gets taken from the account is solidarity for womxn and femme people to see that they are not alone in their experiences, give some hope that change is in progress. And that men will finally truly listen to womxn and unlearn their misogyny and damaging ways and put the effort in to learn how to be a better ally, a better man, better partners and friends to all womxn.
You can view some of the posts from the Instagram page below. Make sure to follow, support and most importantly interact with the issues that are being discussed here. If we work together, we can make a positive change.