You are your own worst critic. That is blatantly true for anyone. More often than not we see ourselves in a completely different way than others typically perceive us, although women seem to defy this concept when it comes to our gender as a whole.
I am not attempting to make any accusations for my gender, or create a shame cycle. These are simply five observations that I have noticed among my generation that I would like to see dissolve within in my lifetime if we are ever going to combat gender equality and prevail.
Before you berate me for putting down the entire gender of women, hear me out. Everyone regardless of gender is insecure. Women however can be unresponsive when it comes to their self-worth.
We are worth the time and effort to become equals. We need to ask for raises. We need to perceive ourselves as equals before we can ever get men to believe it. We must ask to receive what we want.
It can be easier at times to tip toe around the office and show your strength through your work ethic. This is a good plan, but a movement needs to be heard as well as seen. Stop apologizing for being a woman who knows what she wants. I do this constantly and need to forego the blame.
2. Accepting Sexism At Face Value
Newspapers, celebrity news site, and magazines are filled with articles about changing our lifestyles from losing weight to trying a new hairstyle. Most of the commercial media attack the physical attributes rather than asking why. Why do we feel this way? Why do we have to strive to be something other than who we are at this very moment?
Read, read everything, but ask why. Don’t let the media or published works get away with becoming fact purely because it is published. Inquire about topics that matter. Don’t accept anything at face value.
We fight with one another to win the attention of men, our bosses, or even a parent. We put down other women to keep ourselves up. Competition is healthy, but there are positive actions we could replace our negative attitude with. Compete for a job. Compete for an award. Compete to win solely based on your best effort brought forth, not because you pulled the other woman down so maliciously that she had to fail.
Competition is facilitated through hard work and determination. Disengage from the negativity that secretes into your mind.
We allow labels of our gender to separate us. We have all done it. She’s black, white, Latina, Italian, fat, thin, etc. The list can go on and on. I encourage women to ignore the adjective. It only creates a barrier. It is a mental blockage that gets in the way of the noun. The true power is that we are all women.
Women share unique attributes, perspectives and are able to create life within our bodies. Those should be our guiding lights. We are all individualized women, but at our core we are women.
Singled out, it is difficult to make a change or empower a large portion of the population, but if we were to simply ignore the label of each woman and just remember fondly that we are women desiring to be heard.
In order to do so, we must first acknowledge that those barriers we want broken down between males and females have to be broken down between females before we can expect to make change in any positive way.
5. Lacking Support
We want gender equality because we think of the women that we know and understand. We aren’t thinking about equality for the drunk girl at the bar who is slurring her words while desperately flirting with the bartender for free shots and trying to read the text messages on her smartphone. Nope, that bitch doesn’t deserve anything. Well, now that’s the problem.
As a gender we aren’t able to pick and choose who to fight for. Our emotional responses to initial observations are false. That drunk girl is having fun. She isn’t deliberately trying to ruin your evening. Because sometimes, we have to remember, we are that drunk girl.
We can all get sloppy, but that is when we most likely need our fellow women to keep an eye on us.
For example, sports teams alike take all faucets of each individual to create a strong team. One weakness is another’s strength. Women need to look out for each other a little more often and become a supportive team to all women, not just the ones we know.
In the end, many of us will become a parent to little boys and girls. Teach your children to be better than we are because change starts at the core of no longer accepting the problem as the reality.