What You Can Do to Fight the War on Women
The war on women has been on-going since the beginning of time. Worldwide, we have been treated as second class citizens. We have the government meddling in our reproductive rights, we are expected to live up to unrealistic beauty standards, and the pay gap is real y’all (just ask Mo’Nique). Add in some color and queerness and the struggle gets even tougher! Here are some ways you can fight the war on women:
Give a Compliment (and take one too!)
Did you know about 20 years ago, before social media people got ‘likes’ in person? It’s true! No double-tapping, heart-eye emoji’s, or thumbs-up button necessary. We used our words! Women (queer or otherwise) seem to have lost the art of giving each other compliments. Here’s the gag: giving someone a compliment is proven to boost dopamine (feel-good hormone) in the same way a ‘like’ can! You never know what someone may be going through, or how they might be feeling that day. Your compliment could seriously be the highlight of her day, no matter how small. So the next time you’re out, don’t be shy to tell the barista at Starbucks that you love her nails. Who knows, she may be so giddy that she’ll even spell your name right!
Also, don’t be afraid to accept a compliment when it is given to you. It can be awkward sometimes being complimented on something you are either insecure about or don’t see the beauty in. That doesn’t mean you should respond by denying it or putting yourself down. If someone compliments your shirt don’t respond with “oh, this shirt is so old!” Smile and say thanks. Overtime this little mind trick will help boost your confidence. Confidence is sexy!
Stop Supporting Things You Don’t Believe In
This is a BIG one and I’ll probably get some flak for this, but stick with me. There are things that society has deemed acceptable and “normal” that we may not agree with, but still support. We tune into reality shows that glorify women fighting. We listen to music that objectifies and puts women down. We retweet mean posts making fun of and tearing each other down. I know it’s easy to shrug it off and think it’s all in good fun, but imagine the lasting effect that can have on your psyche. I’ll be the first to admit, I watched The Bad Girls Club religiously seasons 1-12 (seven years I’ll never get back). I was always entertained by seeing the antics of these women with weaves flying and mattresses thrown in the pool. Then one day I grew tired of it. The plot to each season became so predictable and staged, it got pathetic. I stopped seeing these casted women as entertainment, and started seeing them as sell-outs. Going on TV and acting a fool for a check and some appearances at night clubs isn’t worth our dignity—at least not mine. I had to stop watching.
I did the same with music that speaks so vulgarly about women and our roles. Its one thing to hear at a party in turn up mode, but to actually sit down and listen to what’s being said and still nod along… nah, I can’t do it. There’s way too much good music out there (in the same genre mind you) that doesn’t make me feel like I'm only good for what’s between my legs. This is not to shame my sisters who find entertainment in these things. Rather, it is to say that we as women should think critically about how we are portrayed and how we are giving a hand it helping these things thrive.
Start Supporting Things You DO Believe In
It should go without saying that if you’re going to ditch the things you don’t believe in, to replace them with things you do believe in. We as women have a LOT of spending power (statistically speaking). This means we can control the economic flow of companies, artists, and brands we support. During the holiday season we hear a lot of “buy black” and “shop small businesses”, but that all seems to dissipate by January. Let’s keep that going all year round. Go buy that Erykah Badu concert ticket, because her music uplifts you. Get those handcrafted goods from that woman selling on Etsy. Contribute to that Kickstarter fund to support projects from content makers you enjoy. We have a list of women of color brands that you can support. Support doesn’t always have to come in monetary form, something as simple as spreading the word about these people and companies can create awareness. Being visible in marginalized communities is a huge step in the right direction.
Teach Young Girls They Can Do Anything
Whether you are a mother, auntie, older sister, whatever, it is up to us to help shape the next generation of women. Teach the young girl in your life that she can be anything she wants. Encourage her to work in male-dominated industries (engineering, mechanics, coding, etc.) Don’t limit their dreams. A friend of mine has her two daughters enrolled in a course on how to DJ! They seem to love it and have fun with it and that’s what matters. If we teach young girls that they can flourish in anything they set their minds to, we can help dismantle these gender roles that have been in place for far too long.
Include and Support Our Trans Sisters
All too often transgender women are left out of the conversation when it comes to women’s appreciation, empowerment and equality. This has to stop. I notice a lot of cis-gender women tend to have an “us vs. them” attitude when it comes to including our trans sisters. For what? We all come from marginalized communities and we all have our struggles that come with our intersectionality. There are already caste systems put in place to make sure the wealthy white man stays on top. If you think you are inherently “better” for being a cis-gender woman, you need to be checked on your transphobia and how problematic that is being a member of the LGBTQ+ community. We are in this fight together.
Let Your Voice Be Heard
An asshole once said "women should be seen and not heard". We KNOW that's total bullshit! If women in history never spoke up and fought for equality we wouldn't have the rights we do now. It is women like Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Grace Jones, Janet Mock (the list is infinite) who have paved the way for us. Never think "i'm only one person, I can't change the world" you CAN! Whether it's calling your local representatives to protect our reproductive rights, taking to the streets to rally against hate, or simply speaking up when you see an injustice, BE HEARD! Don't allow anyone to silence your voice. We are powerful!
Happy International Women’s Day!
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