“Women can do anything.”
“Empowered women empower women.”
“I’m with her. “
We wear the t-shirts, rock the pantsuits (or whatever the hell we want), and are strong. We own our seats at the table and break new ground at every corner. Entrepreneurs, leaders, mothers.. unafraid.
On International Women’s Day on March 8, my feeds were flooded with positive, empowering messages. Women tagging each other, lifting each other up. It was a good day for female positivity and Canva/ Picmonkey were working overtime to create the cute graphics featuring smiling women. (I made one, I’ll admit it). Big companies were even getting in on the action, celebrating women, if being a little more pandering in their messages while doing it.
It seems like now should be a time where women are more powerful than ever. Factually, we are, with more rights, breaking more and more glass ceilings and holding more positions of power than ever before in history.
But the pay gap still exists, it seems like we might never have a woman president, and despite all the hustle we got, in the wise words of Taylor Swift, “I’m so sick of running as fast as I can, wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man.”
We also face struggles of judgement and hate within our own gender. It’s fueled by decades and centuries of internalized misogyny… of “well meaning” older women telling younger girls how to eat, act or think to “get a man” or “be a well-behaved young lady. ” We tell each other to “hurry up” to get married or have kids because “the clock is ticking.”
All patriarchal bullship* passed down until we stop putting up with it.
So what happens the day after International Women’s Day? We put our feminist t-shirt back in the closet and go back to life as usual?
I can’t be the only girl who feels like there isn’t much I can personally do for womenkind without attending a march or personally trying to take on massive and complicated projects I couldn’t possibly tackle alone, like improving women’s health rights.
Also I, like many powerful women, have a job, and it’s hard to balance fighting for equality with managing my own complicated and busy life.
So how can I, just one woman, make things a little better?
How can I make a difference?
Let’s chat about some things you can do to empower yourself and make a difference in the women around you and in your life. This will trickle effect out.
1: Take power in your own life.
Educate yourself. Don’t stop learning or questioning, especially when someone tells you to let them handle everything.
Adult women shouldn’t use the excuse “nobody taught me” – we have the internet and endless info available. Teach yourself or ask for help. Don’t accept ignorance.
2: Have your own money.
Money isn’t everything, but a woman with an emergency fund can escape a bad job, living situation or somewhere unsafe. Money can buy you space, safety, a place to breathe and make good decisions.
If you feel like there is no place to cut or way to save some emergency money, learn to make a budget here.
It will help. And here’s my free budget template to get you started. Click here.
3: Fight the fights that present themselves in your life.
Individually we may not be able to do anything about misogyny or the wage gap, but when unfairness presents itself in your life, do the hard thing and call it out. Step up. Don’t put up with it. You could make a difference for you and others and empower other people to stand for themselves.
4: Support other women.
Tearing each other down in our own gender is one of the major things holding equality back. Dictating how other women should live their lives is wrong. Stop body shaming, mom shaming, slut shaming. We are hurting our own cause.
5: Love yourself.
Believe in yourself. Be kind to yourself. You are strong as hell. We have lived through everything life has thrown at us so far. You have power, influence, might. Stop doubting your greatness. We are stronger than we know.
Let’s take this thing beyond International Women’s Day.
How do you empower yourself as a woman? How do you empower others? What would you add to this list? If you know something, I want to learn and share it with others too.
<3 One strong woman