Look in the comments section of any article or blog geared toward women and you'll see a devastating pattern of behavior that revolves around vitriolic, misogynistic language from both men and women. This isn't a post meant to tear down anyone, nor is it meant to convert anyone to feminism – we're not even talking about that right now because regardless of how you feel about feminism, the fact is that as women, we need to support, uplift, and inspire our sisters. Women are under attack from all sides. We deal with sexual assault and abuse, misogyny, professional barriers, and spiteful behavior on the daily. It's time to stop fighting, at least among ourselves.
Listen to women when they speak to you. Listen to their experiences. Really hear what they're trying to say, especially if their experiences are different from yours. Never shut down a conversation simply because your experience is different.
That being said, it is important to share your experiences. You never know when your story might uplift another woman, inspire her, or somehow help her feel like she's not alone.
You are in control of your body. You are not in control of anyone else's body. You are in control of your choices, morals, and preferences. You are not in control of anyone else's choices, morals, and preferences. Treating a woman as if she's lesser, somehow dirty, or "easy" simply because she may be more sexually active than you is wrong.
Don't shame women for being overweight or underweight, for being curvy or thin, for being short or tall. Don't shame other women for any part of their bodies. Why would you want to?
It's time for women to stop shaming each other about anything. Even if you don't agree with a woman's choices, there is no reason to shame her, gossip about her, or judge her. Would you want to be on the receiving end of that?
There are so many women in the world. We come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. We're at varying places on the gender spectrum. Remember, the experiences that women of color have are different than the experiences a white woman has. The experiences a trans woman has are different than the experiences a cisgender woman has. To embrace women at all, it is essential to support all women.
This goes back to number one. Showing your vested interest in another woman's experiences is an excellent way to support and uplift her.
Get honest. Without honesty, we can't make progress.
To that end, don't be afraid of discussing the uncomfortable subjects, even if you feel awkward. Especially if you feel awkward, really. The most important things are often the hardest to say. If we don't tackle the uncomfortable topics, how will we ever get past them?
Tell a stranger you love her eyes. Tell a coworker she's doing a fantastic job. Tell a friend you're proud of her. Don't be shy about giving compliments.
There's nothing worse than pitting women against each other. Don't give in to that mentality. You are not in competition with other women. You don't make yourself look better when you tear down someone else.
Again, women aren't competition! These are your sisters in solidarity.
Fighting over a partner is unnecessary and toxic. If someone in your life is trying to pit you against another woman, walk away from that person and befriend the "other woman" instead!
It's natural to envy someone else's success, but jealousy is toxic, too. Be proud of the women in your life who attain success.
Competition is so toxic that maybe it's time to flip the script. The next time you feel like you have to compete with a woman at work, at the gym, at school, or anywhere else, collaborate with her instead. Two heads are better than one, right?
Set an example for women in your life. Mentor someone who needs help, experience, or advice. You'll find that it's fulfilling for both of you.
There is nothing like female friendship. It's all-encompassing, deep, and strong. You don't need a Ya Ya sisterhood, necessarily, but a group of close women friends can change your life for the better.
This just bears repeating.
Sometimes, it is really hard to be respectful to some people. Try your best, though, especially when it's hard. You never know what someone else might be dealing with and, besides, there's no reason to let someone else's attitude affect yours.
Believe their stories, their traumas, their triumphs, and their tragedies. Believe them. Don't automatically doubt the experiences other women share with you.
Everybody has an opinion, just like everybody has an anus. Sometimes they stink, but they're still there. Instead of closing yourself off to different opinions, listen to them. You may not change your mind, but you'll have a new perspective that may color your beliefs in the future.
How do you uplift other women?
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