There has been much talk lately of women's rights and solidarity. While we may have "come a long way, baby" there is still a vast gender bias in the country. And women are just as guilty of denigrating women, if not more so, than men. It is time we women support each other emotionally, physically and even financially. While that may sound grandiose, it doesn't have to be. Here are five simple ways women can support each other.
Why women should support each other
Nothing brings out my inner feminist more than seeing other women deride each other. Comments in my newsfeed dismissing the Women's March as a "hissy fit" or reposts of memes about Trump getting more "fat women" to walk than Michelle Obama repulse me.
I don't always identify myself as a feminist because of the extremists on the other side that spout nonsense like women can be anything they want to be as long as it isn't a housewife because that is letting down the cause. No. Just no.
Every time a woman dismisses another woman for her appearance, opinions or choices she is perpetuating the stereotype that women are petty creatures. How can we expect men in power to hear our voices when we continually use those voices to tear each other down?
If we want to affect real change in this world women need to start supporting each other... all... the... time. Not just when she espouses our beliefs.
And supporting each other doesn't have to be hard, time consuming or costly. It just takes a little thought.
Support businesses that make women's lives better
Let's be honest, shall we? Money is power. Many women are forced into choices because of lack of money.
Give a hand up not a hand out.
Buy from women owned businesses.
That friend or family member that is selling bags, or makeup or vitamins or candles? Support her. You don't have to buy from her if it isn't your thing, but don't cut her down for trying to better her life.
Support bloggers by commenting or sharing their posts.
Invest in start ups that improve women and children's lives (Kiva, Crowdsource, etc.). One less overpriced coffee a week might be nothing to you, but that same money could mean everything to another woman.
Stop supporting businesses that perpetuate women's insecurities
You know the ones I mean. The ones that make women feel ugly for not being "perfect" even though their projected standard of perfection is a Photoshopped distortion. I won't name specific companies because I will not advertise for them. But the fashion and beauty uindustries are full of them. Pick up any "women's" magazine, or worse those marketed to our girl's, telling them at an early age that they are not good enough.
These companies make billions preying on women and we fork over our money year after year for fear of looking old or fat. Stop living in fear. They continue these ad tactics because we continue to buy their products.
Start making more conscious informed choices with your hard earned money.
[Tweet "Women can and should support, empower and uplift each other. #women #empowerment"]
Never make derogatory comments about any woman's appearance
We tell our children appearances don't matter than post a comment on social media ridiculing a woman for her body or how she dresses it. Why do the media and business continue to fat-shame women? Because we continue to allow it. We unconsciously repeat stereotypes about color, and weight and beauty. We reduce a person's worth to how they look.
Stop clicking on posts and articles about celebrities gaining or losing weight. Stop sharing "funny" pictures taken of a woman without her knowledge solely for the purpose of demeaning her for not being perfect. How is shaming another person for her looks, funny?
[Tweet "How is shaming another person for her looks, amusing? A true woman uplifts those around her. #women #empowerment"]
Stop judging solely on appearance. Teach our young people that looks don't matter by your actions.
Don't make judgments about another woman's choices
Mother, no children, stay at home mom, working mom, natural childbirth, Cesarean, breast feeding, immunizations, gay, straight, home school, public school, vegan, paleo, Christian, Wiccan, Atheist, blah blah blah! Whatever!
If I choose to be a stay at home mom and send my child to public school I do not owe you an explanation. I do not need to be in the workforce to contribute to society. I do not love my child less than you love yours because I send him to public school.
Unless she chooses to share her reasoning with you, you do not know why another person chose to vote in the election the way that she did. Or maybe she didn't vote, again for reasons she does not need to share with you.
Don't make grand sweeping condemnations with terms like "libtards" and "stupid rednecks". We aren't in third grade. Stop the name calling. Just stop.
You make your choices, let other woman make theirs. Stop judging them for living their lives differently. You don't have to pay their bills or live with their choices therefore you have ZERO say in what they choose.
No woman owes it to you or "the cause" to live her life a certain way.
[Tweet "Let's not hate each other, but respect each other. #women #empowerment"]
Remind another woman she is awesome just the way she is.
A smile. A wave. A look of solidarity (instead of condemnation) to a mother when her kid is mid-melt down in public.
"I love your smile" "Thank You." "I appreciate all that you do." "That outfit looks fabulous on you." "You got this."
All so easy to do and all go a long way to helping another person feel good about themselves.
When we are secure in ourselves we don't have the need to bring others down.
[Tweet "Five easy ways women can support each other and why we should. #women #empowerment #support"]