Shame in Your Game, Who Says so?
PSA: This article is in reference to solely the good that can come out of women empowering women. It is no way a solution or reference to sexual assault, rape, or any violence towards women. Recent events though, have shown the power of multiple voices and support. Let the women on Time Magazine remind us we are stronger unified.
You may not like it, but just hear me out
“That’s just how society is.” You’ve all heard it and you’ve all said it at least once in your life. One way or another you’ve been guilty of perpetuating the idea and falling victim too certain stereotypes. You just accept that’s how the world is and ignore the fact you have the power to change it. You can hate me for saying this, but in reality, it’s something feminists tend to forget or acknowledge. Ask anyone close to me and they will tell you I am absolutely a feminist (although I hate that label, it puts me in a box). I want equality for all races, genders, cultures etc. you name it. But I digress. That’s a whole blog on its own. My point is, maybe to progress as a woman, we need to progress as women.
Slut Shaming … you know you’re guilty, we all are
Have you ever sat somewhere and judged other girls? No? Are you sure?
Have you ever called a girl out for her style, her looks, her personality, or her lifestyle choices? Then, the answer is YES, you have judged before. I’ll admit it, we all have. It’s what girls do!
We’ve all said, “ooh she’s that girl”, “Yea, she’s a slut”, “Why would she dress like that?” The list goes on and on and on. How sad is that? I mean seriously, think about it, women today are fighting relentlessly for equality and respect but we cannot even give it to one another. Each time we slut shame, judge, exclude, verbally attack, or dismiss another female’s success we give the patriarch power. Each time we call one another “bitch”, “slut”, “hoe” etc. we give the words more power. Each time we body shame one another, we promote the fashion industry’s idealization of thin bodies. Each time we discredit some other woman’s success we fuel the fire of inequality.
Girls love to bash and judge more than they love to support and promote
That girl who just posted a selfie, do you have any idea how much courage that may have taken her? What was your reaction? Did you praise her for her courage (you go girl!) or did you screen shot it and judge her in a group chat (check this chick out)?
That girl in the form fitting dress and cute shoes may have stood in front of the mirror for hours convincing herself she looked good enough to wear it. What was she agonizing over? Most likely she was fearful of the looks and judgement other girls would throw her way. (Are you one of those girls?)
That girl who posted a story about being in the gym may be learning how to love the skin she is in. Do you have any idea what those other women are facing? What did it take for that woman to wear that dress, post that picture? We all hate the fashion industry for editing photos but then we put our photos through at least 3 different editing apps before posting. (Once, again just contributing to the unrealistic standards we are all supposed to live up to). You have no idea what other women are battling but you do know your own battles.
We have all felt insecurity. We have all held back before to avoid judgment by others. All this judgment along with unrealistic beauty standards have created an atmosphere that can promote feelings of shame, not loving yourself or not loving the skin you’re in. But, something has to give. We can continue to point the figure at males (they absolutely do not help the situation), but to make a real change we have to take the power away from them and put it where it belongs, in our hands.
Take the power back
We are society; it’s time to stop brushing off certain stereotypes with the excuse of well that’s just how society is. I repeat, WE ARE SOCIETY. We are women who have the opportunity to support one another or not. We are women with the opportunity to stop feeding into those degrading stereotypes. If we stop all the name-calling, slut shaming, and judgement we take away the rest of society’s (and men’s) power to do the same. Support the thick women, support the tiny women, support the women who are comfortable with their sexuality, support the women trying to start their own business, support those selfies, and risky outfits. Support women period! The moment we show no shame in our game we take away everyone else’s ability to shame us.
She’s not like you? Support her anyway
That’s right, a woman doesn’t need to be like you for you to support her. Maybe her fashion choices aren’t for you, maybe her image and lifestyle choices aren’t for you but in the end, WHO CARES?! If she is not directly and negatively impacting your life, you have no reason to put her down. Even if she is adding negativity to your life don’t waste energy and time hating her. Wish her well and carry on. Harboring negative feelings is draining and unhealthy, just remove her from you life and hold no ill will. Blowing out someone else’s light will not make yours shine brighter. Once women stop shaming one another we start letting the world know we will not tolerate their opinions (hint, hint men). Don’t talk negatively about a woman when she leaves the room. Don’t send her selfie in a group chat. Don’t call her a bitch and, by all means, do not slut shame. Instead, try to compliment her, empower her and support her. You’d be surprised how good it will make you feel. Yes, that’s right it will make you feel better about yourself too.
No insecurities? Imagine that
Imagine if you didn’t have to feel insecure in your favorite dress. Imagine your body shape being revered by all other women (even if you aren’t a size 2). Imagine if your selfie blew up. Imagine if you did not have to edit your photos. It’s all possible to achieve. I’m not saying it will be easy and it won’t be achieved over night. But, day-by-day a difference can be made if you start right now. If we demand respect from the media, the men in our lives and other women, then we have to give to each other first. If you want to be a true feminist, support females no matter what they do.
So many men just don’t get it, so let’s show them how it’s supposed to work. Let’s stop pointing the finger and take back our power. If you stop judging other women and just show support for the beautiful souls we all are it will make a difference. If you believe there is no shame in our game, then all the men in our lives, the boys and girls we raise and the entire population will see it, believe it and live it too.
Start now, today! Don’t wait, look around you right now and say something empowering to the first woman you see. It doesn’t have to be profound. It can be as simple as you look great today! And, you know what? It’s true; you all look great to me!