It’s International Women’s Day and while there were a great number of things I wanted to blog about, I have decided to write about something that hits a bit closer to home.
Women as a whole, I believe, generally band together for a greater good, we empower each other when we can. We call our friends our sisters and for the most part, we attempt to conduct ourselves in a far more compassionate manner than our male counterparts. But what about those times we are less than kind?
From slut-shaming to virgin-shaming (as in Chelsea Handler’s mockery of Taylor Swift) we contribute to the negative view of women in countless, innocuous ways. We perpetuate our reputation as shrews with every time we use a man to get what we want. We further shatter the woman who was raped by saying (or at least just thinking) “she was asking for it”. In smaller, seemingly innocent ways-why do you roll your eyes at the woman wearing a revealing outfit? why do you infer a woman who has several male friends or had a child out of wedlock is a slut?
There isn’t much we can do to stop girls and women from being raped. Human trafficking is an alarmingly large business that seems too difficult to stop. Washington D.C. seems determined to choose the fate of your body, choices, even insurance coverage simply because we are female. It’s easy to assume there is nothing you can do to change this. But you can change things every day. What are we teaching our daughters to expect? Are we teaching them to be bullies towards other girls? to sacrifice their dreams because “girls don’t do that”? to accept abuse just so they aren’t alone?
On a more personal note, I know I have engaged in behaviors that are detrimental not just to the person on the receiving end, but myself as well. Do I discount the opinion of women who have made different life choices than I have? sometimes yes. Have I behaved rudely towards my ex’s girlfriend rather than deal with my anger in healthy ways? Yes. Have I placed men in my field of work on a pedestal merely because they are men with letters after their name? Nearly everyday.
So, on this day celebrating women, I plan to do just that. Honor the sacrifices we make, honor our differences, strengths, weaknesses and talents. I will celebrate my role in this sisterhood and try, in any little way I can, to be a better woman and better human being.