Allies are people who support a group who are commonly the subject of discrimination, prejudice, etc, but who are not members of that group. Specifically, feminist allies are individuals who are not women who support women's rights and promote feminism.
On being a good ally
First of all, you might like to read up on Privilege. Then, read and learn the steps outlined in shrub.com's great article, "Check my what?" On privilege and what we can do about it.
The simple list of what you need to do (based loosely on the article linked above):
- Accept and understand your privilege
- Learn to listen
- Don't make it about you
- Adopt a language of respect and equality
- Believe women when they call out abusive men
- CALL OTHER MEN ON THEIR CRAP
Check Resources for men for feminist writing aimed at allies.
Examples of ally behaviour
It's not hard to be an ally. Even a blog post helps. Here are some examples:
- In response to the CouchDB talk:
- In response to Street harassment:
- "Shit Men Say to Men Who Say Shit to Women on the Street" This video shows many good ways to tell someone that what they're doing is not okay ("I can't take you anywhere" "That's street harassment" "It's not ok" etc.) Watch the video for the expressions: the delivery is as useful to have in mind as the lines are.