Trying to be a better man.

Women deserve to share a fairer world with better men.

It’s #IWD2021 . I’m angry and sad (but mostly angry) about the injustice, inequity and violence Australian women suffer and the roles Australian men play in perpetuating it, whether through action or inaction.

Me (right) in 1983, a younger, dumber man.

I’ll try to be a better ally. I will try harder not to walk past it and I’ll be more determined to call it out when I see it.

I’ll sign the petition, attend the march and I’ll donate to help organise it.

If, when trying to be an ally, I make mistakes, I will try not to be defensive if someone calls me out on it. I won’t mansplain. I won’t allow myself to believe I know what it must be like.

I’ll believe the women who share their experiences with me. I won’t try to fix it when I’m being asked to listen and care. I will offer my support should they choose to speak up and act.

I won’t hog the microphone or the lectern for myself and I won’t speak, or sit on a panel, at an event without sufficient female representation.

And if you’re wondering whether my attitude has anything to do with what I said, did/didn’t do in the past, you are absolutely right. I’m 56. I have a thousand regrets, big and small. “I’m not as bad as [other guy]” isn’t the same as “I’m not to blame” or “I played no part”.

But just as the world has changed in 50 years, and I’m ashamed of who I used to be, the world can continue to change, and I can be proud of who I am in my relationships with women.

I think many of us feel Australia might be at an inflection point, that we might be about to flip up to making significant, lasting positive societal changes.

Australia seems on the cusp of a big shake-up. But even if it is, it’ll take courage to tip it over the edge.

You might get branded as “the mob”, get called shrill, unpredictable, emotional or much worse. You might feel exhausted, you might feel frightened, you might get hurt.

Don’t let them divide you. Don’t be be afraid. Don’t let it stop.

It’s your fight, but I’m with you.

I’m Alan Jones, an EiR for startup accelerators, GP at M8 Ventures. Previously investor, founder, and early Yahoo PM. Opinions mine (but should also be yours).

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