I love women, all they face and all they fight through. Knowing the perseverance women and girls have around the world is most definitely inspirational, and gives me hope that we will one day soon gain the equality that is deserved.
1. COMPLIMENT THEIR SUCCESS
One certain way to support other women is to compliment their success. Whether that be her small achieved goals, career, parenting, a set of skills, etc., it is always refreshing to know that other women support and are inspired by what you are doing. Sometimes we get caught up in the day to day stresses that we forget how much of a positive impact we make on others, and a small compliment from one lady to another can really be encouraging and uplifting to the soul. Countless times a random compliment from a good friend, an acquaintance, or even a total stranger from the Internet has given me a boost of inspiration and a sense of achievement, knowing I have other women on my side.
2. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF
It is detrimental to your health and well-being to compare your self to other women. Accept and love yourself for who you are as an individual, and you can grow into the woman you desire. Comparing yourself to other women only furthers your insecurities and judgements, which is harmful to all parties. Instead of comparing, you can be inspired. Instead of creating negative feelings of envy or loathing, you can aim to be the best you want to be. I realize this is a challenge when the ‘ideal body image’ is thrown in our faces on the daily and there are constant reminders on the Internet of what our bodies should look like and how women should be acting; however, it is extremely important that women do not see other women as competitors, rather allies. We can only improve the quality of life for all women when we see each other as a team.
3. ELIMINATE “I HATE GIRLS” AND “WOMEN ARE CRAZY” FROM YOUR VOCABULARY
As just mentioned, women should aim to be a TEAM. It is not fair (nor true) to stamp all women as crazy or as the lesser sex. Spewing hate toward other women and girls just because they are female is outlandish and tasteless. We are old enough to realize it is ‘character traits’ that we like or dislike, and character traits are not exclusive to your sex. If you want to have negative feelings toward someone, let it be because of their character, not their gender. When you say you hate girls or all girls are crazy, you are only shitting on yourself. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you are just like all the other girls and women in the world. Yes, we are all different, but we are also very much the same.
4. WOMEN AREN’T TRYING TO BE LIKE MEN
Something I see quite often that is really disheartening is when others assume a woman is just “trying to be like a man” or “wants men’s attention” when she picks up a new hobby. From women riding motorcycles, to playing video games, to reading comics, to working out, I hear it all of the time. First off, a woman can do whatever the fuck she wants; let us just be clear on that and get that out of the way. Second, to say a woman is trying to be like a “man” or just wants men’s attention, is assuming that men figuratively own all of these actions and that women only do things in regard to how men see them. Um….FALSE and FALSE. Unless a woman is trying to grow a penis, she is not trying to be like a man. Maybe she just wants to live life to the fullest? Maybe she wants to try everything? Maybe she met someone who introduced her to said hobby and found a loving interest for it? If a woman wants to be a CEO, a scientist, a gamer, a rider, or whatever else in the world, encourage it and support it; never berate it.
5. STICK UP FOR OTHER WOMEN
*IMPORTANT* In the wise words of Martin Luther King Jr., “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” YES, YES, & YES AGAIN. With all of the social networks and sexist Internet warriors on their keyboards these days, it is easy to see someone shaming, victimizing, and being blatantly rude to a woman or about women in general. Stand against this! If not to change that person’s mind, at least for the other women reading and thinking they are on their own. Have you ever read a woman stick up against something sexist and it was fucking awesome and you were like “YES, THANK YOU!” What if nobody said that comment? What if that silence made you feel alone, and sent the message that everyone thought that ignorant way? There can never be too many “stop being fucking sexist” comments. Never. Ever. Ever. This goes for situations in person as well. I can remember certain times when a woman came up to me after a sexist encounter and made me feel SO much better about the situation when she showed that she cared about my well being and was on my side. It makes the whole difference in the world.
6. UNDERSTAND/RESPECT THEIR CHOICES
image | women celebrating winning the right to vote in 1913
The fact women can now make their own choices is FABULOUS. Being that women started voting less than a century ago, until 1978 (with the The Pregnancy Discrimination Act) a woman could legally be fired for being pregnant, and until 1974 (with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act), “banks required single, widowed or divorced women to bring a man along to cosign any credit application, regardless of their income,” the strides women have made since then are just astonishing (but have taken far too long). Women making their own choices should be respected and appreciated, even if they differ from your own beliefs and choices. Even if we don’t quite understand or agree with what another woman is choosing, we can always be thankful that she can do so. This can pertain to choosing a certain job, buying a house on her own, deciding to be child-free, being a stay at home mother, keeping her last name when she gets married, her reproductive choices, what she wears, etc. etc. FREEDOM IS AWESOME.
7. BOSS x=x BITCH
A woman being a boss does not mean she is being a bitch! A woman who is not afraid of being in charge or assertive should not have to deal with the scrutiny of being called a bitch or other harsh names. These types of personalities are beneficial for some jobs, such as enforcing rules, and hiring/firing, and women should be able to freely take on these jobs. These personalities can also be necessary in personal relationships to not be walked on or taken advantage of. Now I understand the difference between having a type A personality and just being an asshole, but try to look at the situation with an open mind and see if they are being a mean person or if they are just doing what is necessary for their job/self.
8. NO MORE INSULTS/BODY SHAMING
Calling another woman ugly, insulting her for what she looks like, and body shaming are such a barbaric state of affairs. None of us are perfect, therefore none of us have the right to judge others for what they look like. Who cares if you think someone is ugly. Who cares if you think a woman is too big to be wearing a bikini. Who cares if someone’s eyebrows aren’t perfect. Who cares if a woman has hairy armpits. Remind yourself that it’s probably none of your business, and it is also pretty irrelevant. Physical looks are minuscule to the grand scheme of things, and judging another woman’s looks only divide us further. Accepting and supporting all body types, shapes, colors, hairiness levels, and styles is a beautiful thing and is a definite way to make women stronger and closer.
I do not mean to imply that all women think these things of all other women by ANY means. These are just some of the experiences I have seen and thoughts I have had in my own personal life that I believe many women could relate to. My hopes are to send the message that positivity and having other women’s back can go a long way, and is beneficial to everyone. Amazing things happen when women have mutual supportive relationships with other women, and I hope all women and girls have the chance to be involved in these relationships.